Phedra + Alessandro | Archeo, Distillery District Wedding

We always enjoy hearing our couples’ stories – how they meet, how they get engaged and any interesting facts along the way.  Phedra and Alessandro (Ale)  have one of the most interesting stories we have heard. Ale was Captain on the cruise ship that Phedra was a performer on, and I am guessing her singing voice made her hard to resist, along with her obvious beauty, both inside and out.  Their dating life was spent traveling all over the Mediterranean together, before finally deciding that they needed to make their relationship permanent.  The big dilemma came in the form of trying decide where to have their wedding celebration – either the small village in Italy, where Alessandro’s family and friends all resided, or Toronto, where Phedra’s family and friends lived?  Well – rather than make that tough decision, they decided to do both!  They were officially married on a cliff-side ceremony over-looking the sea in Italy (*swoon*), and their second wedding celebration happened on a surprisingly beautiful day in February here in Canada, which we were grateful to be a part of.

When we arrived to photograph the pre-wedding preparation, it was such a different atmosphere than what we are used to.  Phedra and Ale were getting ready together, calm, relaxed and sharing the moment with family in Italy via skype.  Ale surprised us with his newly-learned skills fastening Phedra’s dress with the tiny crochet hook.  Impressive!  Once they helped each other get ready, we were able to take advantage of the beautifully muted skies at the Evergreen Brickworks for their photographs. These two are seriously photogenic; we were oohing and ahhing over how gorgeous they looked in the photographs on the backs of our cameras (usually we wait to do that at least until we are able to look at the photos on our computer screens!).  They also have an incredible natural chemistry together that wasn’t just put on for the sake of photography.  Once we all had enough of the brisk February air, we went back to Archeo in the Distillery District where they renewed their vows and confirmed their commitment to one another in front of their Canadian family and friends.  It was a short and sweet ceremony, but they couldn’t take their eyes off each other, which was really adorable.  Their first dance preceded their dinner and they then enjoyed the rest of their evening laughing and mingling with their guests.  I have to say the standard kissing game (where guests have to sing a song with the word “love” in it to get the couple to kiss) was taken to a whole new level at their reception.  Many of Phedra’s songbird friends were in attendance,  and WOW – it was like having a front row seat on Broadway.

Our congratulations again to Phedra and Alessandro.  We loved getting to know you and we really enjoyed partaking in your “Canadian” celebration.



March 19, 2012 - 9:55 am

Alessandro - Thank you!!!!! I love the photos!!!!!! I think they are great, and despite the brisk air it was a lot of fun!!!!!! Thank you again. Alessandro

P.s. my wife is so gorgeous!!!!!!!

March 19, 2012 - 2:11 pm

Amanda - soooo beautiful!

March 24, 2012 - 9:18 am

Willow Bond - OH my….I am seriously trying not to blubber my way through these photo’s. They are divine. Bride and Groom are beauties. You show the love…that is just what your eye catches. Amazing.

Journey to Costa Rica

I was headed solo to beautiful Playa Hermosa in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica for the beach wedding of Dan & Jen.  It was no easy trek to get there, 16 hours, 3 airports, 3 planes and 3 taxis but I finally reached my destination, Pranamar Villas.  I was surprised to find out that my third plane aboard “Nature Air” was not a simple transfer from the San Jose, Costa Rica airport, but at another smaller airport about 30km away.  Racing against the clock I snagged a taxi only to find an accident on the route, which had me nail-biting in the back seat of the cab.  Luckily I made it just in time, but to my surprise the plane was SOOO small.  I guess I wasn’t prepared for this tiny little prop plane, but the alternative would be a 4-5 hour taxi to my final destination.  I was permitted 27 lbs of luggage, and my gear weighed in at 77 lbs!!  Long story short, the gear made the flight, and I had the ride of my life!  I sat directly behind the pilots and watched as they casually shared vanilla wafer cookies from a ziploc baggie.  The ride was fairly turbulent with a few shrieks and whimpers from the other eight passengers (not me of course!) , but the views were spectacular and worth every minute of the queasiness.  We landed on a tiny strip amongst the jungle where the airport consisted of a covered shed and a coke machine.  After paying my $2.25 airport maintenance fee I caught my last taxi and about an hour later I was finally relaxing to the sound of the ocean waves outside of my villa.

I thought I would share my little travel adventure, as destination weddings come with their own quirks and stressful moments.  Keep watching the blog for highlights from Dan & Jen’s beach wedding coming soon…


March 8, 2012 - 11:13 am

Glenda - Mel, Wow! Exceptional! An excellent photographer, artist and creative!

March 8, 2012 - 2:22 pm

Lee - It looks as if the beautiful weather & setting complemented you talents. These photos make me want to quit life and hop on the next plane to Costa Rica.

March 9, 2012 - 3:42 pm

Catherine - Amazing! Makes me want to flee my cubicle and fly away! Beautiful photos.

March 10, 2012 - 10:58 am

Lily - What a crazy journey. I made a similar trip to Panama but my photos don’t compare! Plane shots are cool.

March 11, 2012 - 12:12 pm

Auntie Sue - My Mel…the things that you do are so exciting…you have so many stories to tell us all…love them all…you are the best in my eyes……………..

March 18, 2012 - 11:49 am

Steve - Mel: You are the consummate professional.

July 9, 2013 - 4:43 pm

Meaghan - Mel you are so talented!

“da vinci renaissance” – featured in both eastern and western canada issues of WedLuxe

We are always over-the-moon excited when one of our editorial features gets published.  It is so gratifying to see the initial concept and effort of the team evolve into a beautiful printed layout, and nobody does a print magazine better than WedLuxe.  The latest WedLuxe magazine hit the stands in December, and we are doubly excited to announce that our 6-page editorial spread was not only selected for publication in the Eastern Canada issue, but the Western Canada issue as well!  SO exciting.

Putting together this particular editorial was not a feat for the faint-of-heart.  We took a big risk and chose a specific outdoor location (Rockwood Ruins) because we felt it was the perfect backdrop for the scene.  What we didn’t anticipate as part of the risk, however, were severe winds, rain and a tornado watch – which is exactly what we got and threatened to send us running for cover on more than one occasion during the day.  As a team, we had only one opportunity to make this editorial work.  We put a lot of time and effort into developing the concept and bringing it to life, so having it trampled (literally) by a tornado was just not an option.  Thankfully, Mr. Tornado took pity on us, and only left us with a downpour of heavy rain, thunder, and lightening – but not until we had packed away the last box into the vehicles.  *Phew*.  We always say “big risk, big reward”, and we like to think that this double feature was our big reward for a risk we took that may be bordering on slightly crazy…

We hope you like the feature.  To see it in print, please make your way to any Chapters, Shoppers, or a newsstand across Canada (oh how much do we love the sound of that?).  Enjoy.

K + M

We would also really like to thank all the incredibly talented people who’s time, effort and creativity made the Da Vinci Renaissance Editorial FAB-U-LOUS!

Location:  Rockwood Conservation Area

Producer, Concept Co-Creator and Stylist:  Lisa Allain – Visions of Platinum and Garnet

Concept Co-Creator, Designer, Florals and Styling:  : Paras Mehta – Design 2 Decor

Cake: Konstadin – Cakes by Konstadin

Invitation and Menu Design:  Deb Lau Yu – Palettera Custom Correspondences

Wedding Dress: White Toronto Marchesa

Headpiece: David Dunkley

Model: Julia Nonkes

Hair Stylist and Make-up Artist:  Shobana Lakkavally – Amplified Soul Make-up + Hair Couture

Savoury Table: Sarah Lock and Chistine Ostiguy – Yorkshire Pudding Inc.

February 2, 2012 - 7:54 am

Jacquie - Beautiful! Congrats!!

May 3, 2012 - 8:26 am

Olga - These are stunning!
Great job – so inspiring!
Keep up the great work!



maricar | toronto maternity photography

It feels like just yesterday I photographed Maricar’s wedding to Cyril, and here I am years later photographing her maternity.  Just days away from her delivery date, we wanted to get some maternity photos done, fearing she could go into labour at any time!  Lucky for us our shoot day was not the day Baby Emma would choose to arrive.   With Maricar on bed rest and a cold windy winter day outside, we ended up indoors where we could stay cozy and warm, after a short-lived attempt to venture outside.  Maricar looked beautiful, and like her wedding day, was super easy to photograph.  She planned on surprising her husband with these photos to commemorate their pregnancy, and I know he will love the photos as much as we do.  With the maternity shoot now complete, I waited in anticipation for the announcement of Emma’s arrival…a baby shoot to follow…!

Just 6 days after our maternity shoot, Baby Emma was born!  I was so excited to meet this little bean that weighed in at just 6lbs 2 oz.  Of course she is super-cute like her mommy with very big expressive eyes.

Congratulations again to new mommy Maricar and daddy Cyril.  Your daughter is simply adorable, and I look forward to photographing her again as she gets a little bigger:)


January 24, 2012 - 4:58 pm

Sandra - Beautiful work as always. Baby Emma is just a gem. Congratulations to the new parents.

January 24, 2012 - 7:57 pm

Kathy - Love seeing both the maternity and baby shots together. Maricar is simply radiant and Emma a total beauty. She looks so peaceful sleeping all tucked in. Very lovely.

wedluxe show reviewed by vitamin daily blog

Once the exhaustion for the Wedluxe show wore off on Monday, we were so happy to see that the show was getting such amazing reviews.  We knew it would.  We didn’t anticipate, however, that we would be reviewed.  We were tickled by what this blogger said about us.  She reviewed the whole show, and then made her selections of the best in the show for each category.  We know it is only one person’s opinion (and perhaps she didn’t make it through the whole show to see any other photographers – haha), but still, her words were encouraging, and we were thrilled. To see the whole review, click here.

We shared top pick with Alex Albojer of Life Images, and were happy to do so – we’ve always admired his work, and he is an awesome guy as well.

k + m


January 18, 2012 - 11:18 am

Amy :) - Congrats Ladies ! I’m definitely one of those who is lucky to have you !