Toronto backyard wedding

Sometimes you meet people you immediately feel a connection with: something inside you just clicks with them. That is exactly how I felt when meeting Satoko.

I met her and her fiancé for the first time at her fiancé’s restaurant. Satoko was born in Japan but has built a life for herself – including her own company – here in Canada, where she met her future husband. I was amazed by her kindness and inspired by the brilliant, business-oriented mind.

They met a couple years before they actually fell in love: she was in a relationship with someone else but Ian knew she was worth waiting for and so he waited until the right time. He knew – from the very beginning – that she was the right one for him.

When they first got engaged, she didn’t want to make a big deal out of their wedding and was thinking about a small, civil ceremony at the courthouse. The more she thought about it, though, and the more she got into planning her wedding the more fun it became and the more she thought about having a larger event. The groom’s mom owns a beautiful home in North York, Toronto that was the perfect venue for their wedding day: not too big and gives the perfect intimate feeling they were looking for.

Satoko’s closest family and friends came from Japan for her and Ian’s wedding day. They completely transformed the space with Japanese decorations all over the house. I was amazed by the effort put in by those closest to the couple to make this day everything they ever wanted.

The day of their wedding, it was raining. Originally the couple wanted an outdoor ceremony in the big, open backyard the home has so rain posed a large problem to making that dream a reality. They ended up putting up a tent with a floor in the backyard so they could keep that dream alive and their day could go exactly as they planned. Halfway through the ceremony, as Satoko and Ian were reading their vows to one another the rain stopped and the sun started shining brightly.

After the couple was married, Ian’s dad made a moving speech about how happy Ian is now that Satoko is in his life including his wishes for a wonderful life together full of love and laughter. Satoko’s father took a little different approach: he prepared a song for the newlyweds. Everyone – including me as the photographer – had tears in their eyes listening to this beautiful song. I will never forget this moment and thank God that I had a camera to cover my face completely wet from tears!

Towards the end of the evening, Satoko made a speech of her own. Originally she didn’t want to as she often cries during especially emotional times but she was so moved and touched by the love their friends and family showed during this whole day dedicated to them. Ian also made a speech – completely in Japanese – and it was dedicated to his new family, along with the hopes of visiting Satoko’s home country of Japan more often and for longer than just short vacation time.

During the reception – also held in the backyard – Ian’s restaurant catered food for all of the guests. The vibe of the reception was very casual and laid back, with a feeling of home. The evening concluded with a beautiful display of fireworks, which was a great way to end the first day of their life as husband and wife.