Marina + Baher / Fairmont Royal York Wedding

Real WeddingsStirling MylesComment
Marina + Baher - Selects - 55.jpg
Toronto Wedding Couple Portrait

Connection takes time, and it often develops in ways we never expected.

Marina and Baher drifted around each other for years until they eventually drew closer, ultimately sailing together down the aisle hand in hand. We had the honour of documenting their story of a deep love that started when they were young. The couple ‘met’ in high school, but they were islands in different social crowds and didn’t speak to each other until they both attended the University of Toronto. It was then that they spent time talking on their GO Train commutes, and were friends throughout their time in school. They didn’t begin dating until they graduated and their love first set sail.

The couple’s elegant Fairmont Royal York wedding, at one of Toronto’s most stunning historic wedding reception halls, was perfectly curated. Amidst travertine pillars and painted ceilings, a warm light was cast, from the venue’s ornate chandeliers, upon every family member and friend in attendance.

Marina and Baher are there for each other. Really there. There’s an emotional proximity, nurtured and developed through years of close friendship. They are safe with each other, even when apart. You feel it in the room.

When you watch their beautiful, modern wedding film, we hope you can feel that closeness. In the moments of togetherness and support, but also in the solitary moments in the morning, reading each other’s wedding cards. No matter how far they are from each other, they are always there for each other. Really there, no matter which way the wind blows.

Marina + Baher - Selects - 32.jpg
Marina + Baher - Selects - 31.jpg
Bride smiling at modern wedding ceremony
Groom smiling at modern wedding ceremony
Marina + Baher - Selects - 87.jpg

Church / St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
Venue / Fairmont Royal York
Photography / Dave Abreu Photography
DJ - Sound Obsession
Stationary - So Pretty In Print
Floral & Decor - Royal Orchid Florist
Dance Floor - Event Graffiti
Cake - Fine Cakes by Zehra
Tux - Garrison Bespoke
Make up - Fancy Face
Hair - Ladylyn Gool

Wedding Film Music 2018 Picks

MusicChristian PetersonComment

For many couples, finding the right music is one the most important, yet somewhat confusing, things they have to do when it comes to their wedding film. While we've outlined how to pick music for wedding films in a previous blog post, we wanted to share a few of our favourite new Music Bed tracks for the summer. Without further ado, here are six songs that we'd love to edit to this year!

Brand New
by Ben Rector

Why? Ben Rector is the all-star wedding singer-songwriter of Music Bed. Soft and sweet, Brand New will carry you wedding film, allowing the images to feel at once happy and emotional.

by Secret Nation

Why? If you want a slower, softer, indie-feeling wedding film, Secret Nation's music is always a good way to go.

by Secret Nation

Why? Positive and high energy while retaining a soft touch, Believe feels like a love letter to summer. If Coca-Cola made a commercial with a truly indie artist, it might sound like this.

All My Heart
by Aaron Krause

Why? Nice and emotional, with a slower buildup and clean sections, All My Heart is ideally suited for wedding films using live audio content from cards, vows or speeches as the emotional core of the story. Plus, it's on the longer side at 5:03, leaving plenty of time for the day to play out.

This Love
by Tyler Williams

Why? If you're into slower, mellower music, This Love might be the one for you. Perfect for a romantic backyard or lakeside wedding

by Animal Island

Why? Youthful and energetic, Together is full of little pockets of emotion and opportunities for integrating live sound. Its multi-voice chorus also makes it feel like a love-full family affair.

Dare Me
by Hotel Apache

Why? Contagiously positive, Dare Me is peppered with bright vocals and playful synths. Perfect for a wedding film filled with friends and laughter, a piece that retains a bit of romance without taking itself too seriously.

Thousand Love Songs
by The Light The Heat

Why? On the cinematic end of things, Thousand Love Songs is romantic and emotional, with a clean structure that can let the images speak for themselves.

by Marie Hines

Why? If you're an eclectic and creative couple that wants an off-beat wedding film, give this one a listen. It's got a hint of electronica-infused mysticism. In all honestly, I'm not quite sure how a wedding film would feel cut to this, but it would be so original, and such a wonderful editing challenge.

Pam + Felix / Graydon Hall Manor Wedding

Stirling MylesComment
Family holding hands at Toronto wedding
Traditional Chinese tea ceremony at Toronto wedding

There’s no set timeline when it comes to genuinely connecting with someone. Sometimes you become friends over time, but others, you form a deep connection within moments of meeting them. And when you meet Pam and Felix, you feel like family, instantly.

We didn’t know what to expect when we went to document Pam and Felix’s wedding since we hadn’t spent much time with them before that morning. However, we came out at the end of the night with an unexpectedly close bond - and an invitation to go see the Great Wall of China.

For Pam and Felix’s beautiful Graydon Hall Manor wedding, we had the opportunity to create alongside our dear friend and Toronto wedding photographer, Erika at Ten 2 Ten Photography. Erika is a great ally, and someone we often discuss industry issues with as part of The Image Makers Collective group, so every chance to work together, more than just a casual encounter, is a time to think about our craft and what collaboration between wedding photographers and filmmakers can be.

From start to finish, this Toronto Chinese Wedding was not only a celebration of two people but a confluence of two cultures, as Felix’s family is from Hong Kong and Pam’s traveled from Tianjin, in Mainland China — a place where Pam moved to Toronto from eight years ago.

Every small detail in this multicultural wedding paid homage to their unique heritages, from a traditional Chinese tea ceremony to Felix's trying to speak Mandarin to Pam’s family.

Some of the most heartfelt moments in the wedding happened during the speeches. Felix’s best man and friend from university Bing talked about his friend’s generosity, emphasizing and that the only thing he loves more than cheesecake (which is a lot) is “sharing the things he loves with those closest to him”. Meanwhile, the maid of honour Alison echoed this by giving a list of things she loves about Pam, including the fact that she is “caring even if she tells you she’s not”.

Bridal party walking to the wedding ceremony
Beautiful outdoor Toronto wedding ceremony

And so to know Pam and Felix is to know they are warm, funny, understanding and caring. And not just to each other, but also to their friends and family. As you watch their wedding Highlights Film, you’ll witness these two beautiful souls share their infectious love of each other with everyone around them. The energy of their wedding burst with a bright light, with sparklers illuminating the night with a loving glow.

And so as we wrap up this project, even though we ended up not being able to take up Pam’s family on their touching invitation to the Tianjin reception, we still feel a special connection was formed. Perhaps even one day we’ll still get to visit the Great Wall of China together. Until then, an evening of karaoke will have to do!

Photographer : Ten2Ten Photography
Makeup : Windy Chiu Makeup + Hair
Hair : Uno Jo Bridal Hair
Florist : DeLight Floral + Design
DJ : Dev at Impact DJ
Officiant : Clifford Lau
Musician : Rachel at Chantel Dubé Harpist
Cake : Maxim Bakery and Restaurant
Calligraphy : Love Lettering by Doris Wai
Venue : Graydon Hall Manor

Dear Mom / A Farewell to My Biggest Fan

Christian Peterson1 Comment

Dear Mom,

One month ago, you left us. It broke our hearts.

I remember being frustrated by the sheer randomness of your passing, its suddenness. You had so much to look forward to. But it happened. And we miss you.

I remember not being able to say goodbye as I'd wished. I regret not fighting harder then to make things happen. But we sent our youngest sister to be with Dad. I think you'd have understood and supported our plan in the end. All three of us were there in spirit.

I remember how you always wanted us to get along, how you were often sad because we'd quarrel, but never angry. You never gave up. You'd always mediate, up until our last conversation. Inserting yourself between our frustrations, well-meaning. We made peace as we always did. You'd never hold a grudge if we hadn't.

You should know that we are pulling together beautifully.

I saw your granddaughter for the first time three days ago. She's energetic but shy at times. She loves her father so very much, it's endearing. She also loves books, which I guess comes from her grandfather. Luckily you got to meet her. We'll love her on your behalf.

And so this brings me to Dad. Dear Mom: as we move forward, we'll make sure he keeps going too. That he doesn't stop being the intelligent, hard-working, compassionate person you enabled him to be. You know, he says you saved his life when you met. Together, you traveled the world. And the same way he was by your side when your mother passed when you were even younger than I am now, he was by your side when you passed painlessly. You were each other's forever, there is no doubt about that!

Dear Mom, as your only son and oldest child, I'll make sure your daughters are becoming all they can be. I'll listen and comfort, give them the hard talks when necessary. I'll be there. They know that.

Dear Mom, I promise to be the positive one. You know, I've actually taken it to heart to tell others to cherish their parents and loved ones. In a strange way, this has turned into a beautiful opportunity to help others reflect on their relationships. I think you'd enjoy knowing that.

Dear Mom, you should know I've cried at every wedding since you passed. Now, I truly understand what until the end means. I know you loved the films we make. I'll keep making them, and remind every one of my couples of what 35 years of marriage can be, what it can mean.

Dear Mom, I'll have more to say when we honour you, all together in a few months, but for now, I'll leave it at this: a friend told me I had so much of you in me.

Dear Mom, she was right. And I'm glad she was. Thanks for the life, thanks for the love.

Ton fIls, Chri

Ton fIls, Chri

We always had so much fun together. (Photo:  Niv Shimshon )

We always had so much fun together.
(Photo: Niv Shimshon)

Kristin + Tom / Whistler's McNeil Room Wedding

Real WeddingsStirling MylesComment
Our groom smiling on his wedding day

Places can carry emotional memories, and for Kristin and Tom, New York City's Union Square is a very special location. It's where they lived (just a block away from each other), where they often visit, and it's where Thomas ultimately proposed. Their story, that we tried to express in a simple yet meaningful wedding film, is one of incredible connection; Their love carried across borders and postal codes with a connection that wouldn't break, even when separated by physical distance.

Five years ago, Tom from Toronto met Kristin, from St. Louis, MO, in the summer while he was interning at a law firm in the Big Apple. They met, as he says, "the old-fashioned way", in the early hours of the morning. And contrary to what his mom says - that "nothing good happens after 2:00 in the morning" - it was magic that took place then. A few years later, they finally had their first date, and even though he showed up late, they were instantly connected. Which takes us to their wedding day at St George's Orthodox Church in Toronto.

As you watch their lovely Toronto wedding film, you can't help but fall in love with Tom and Kristin. Right off the bat, you can feel the love not only between them, but from their community of family and friends who came to celebrate from all over the world. All day, they took great care of every detail of the wedding and reception, with the planning help of our friend Jan (of Willow Rose Events). Everything unfolded perfectly and Kristin, as a professional wedding designer with her company, Miss Design Berry, even made all the wedding stationary.

In true Mastoras family fashion, they had the reception at his uncle's restaurant, Whistler's Grille and McNeil Room. We couldn't help but get caught up in the joy and happiness shared by everyone on this incredible day.

Congratulations, Tom and Kristin! You are a beautiful couple that is a true testament of the fact that love knows no boundaries. Here's to many years of a happy life filled with love, friendship, and trips across the border.



Photographer : Purple Tree Photography
Hair/Makeup : BlushPretty 
Planner : Willow Rose Events
Band : Dave Murphy Band
Flowers : Blush and Bloom
Cake : Nadia & Co.
Stationary/Backdrop : Miss Design Berry
Plates/Goblets : Plate Occasions
Venue : Whistler's Grille and McNeil Room
Limo : Paradise Limo

Name *

The Best Wedding Film Music Of 2017

Resources, MusicChristian PetersonComment

With the wedding season well underway, and as we progress through our couples' wedding film edits, we thought we'd help couples that don't know where to begin when choosing songs for their wedding films and create our own list of the Best Wedding Film Music of 2017.

Now, in case you haven't read it yet, we create a post back in 2015 about How To Pick Music For Wedding Videos. This has been by far the most popular, and arguably the most useful, wedding resource we have ever created. So before going through our list of 2017 wedding song favourites below, give that a read to understand what wedding filmmakers look for in a song.

Before moving on to the goodness, it seems important to point out that all the songs listed here are available over at the Music Bed website. We don't have any sort of deal with them, and they don't pay us to advertise their wedding music licensing service; we just happen to like the creative they put out. Sure, you might not know some of the artists, but you can license the music legally, allowing you to share your film as you wish, basically anywhere (for our couples, the cost of licensing is included in the wedding film package). Plus, it's awesome to support indie talent, and your music won't feel so dated in a few years.

All right, so without further ado, here are our favourite wedding video songs of 2017. Just click on the images to listen to the track.

The Rival / When I'm With You (Walking On Air)  High energy indie rock with cool lyrics; also happens to be the perfect length.

The Rival / When I'm With You (Walking On Air)
High energy indie rock with cool lyrics; also happens to be the perfect length.

John Lucas / Caesar  Beautiful dramatic track with great singer-songwriter vibes and memorable, soft vocals.

John Lucas / Caesar
Beautiful dramatic track with great singer-songwriter vibes and memorable, soft vocals.

CAPPA ft West Coast Massive /   Paper Stars  Electro pop with a nice party feel, perfect for waterside weddings with a DIY feel

CAPPA ft West Coast Massive / Paper Stars
Electro pop with a nice party feel, perfect for waterside weddings with a DIY feel

Tim Halperin / From This Day On  One of Tim's newest tracks, it features piano and a storyline perfect for an inspiring wedding film.

Tim Halperin / From This Day On
One of Tim's newest tracks, it features piano and a storyline perfect for an inspiring wedding film.

Adrian Disch / Sky Lights (Instrumental Only)  Emotional instrumental indie pop rock goodness that will effortlessly take you places, stunning ambient track

Adrian Disch / Sky Lights (Instrumental Only)
Emotional instrumental indie pop rock goodness that will effortlessly take you places, stunning ambient track

Cody Fry / Go  Nice classic singer-songwriter song with hints of country and a structure that will work for any wedding film

Cody Fry / Go
Nice classic singer-songwriter song with hints of country and a structure that will work for any wedding film

Andrew Belle / Honey & Milk  Alternative indie with darker tones and pleasing depth of composition, good for emotional wedding days

Andrew Belle / Honey & Milk
Alternative indie with darker tones and pleasing depth of composition, good for emotional wedding days

The Rival / Good To Be Alive  This track is fun, upbeat, and, well, it will certainly make you... feel alive!

The Rival / Good To Be Alive
This track is fun, upbeat, and, well, it will certainly make you... feel alive!

John Lucas / Love Is Kind  Masterful guitar composition with a nice buildup, perfect for more spiritual couples

John Lucas / Love Is Kind
Masterful guitar composition with a nice buildup, perfect for more spiritual couples

Secret Nation / Believe (SVVN Remix)  Soft lyrics packaged in an exciting track that alternates between reflective quiet moments and high-energy peaks.

Secret Nation / Believe (SVVN Remix)
Soft lyrics packaged in an exciting track that alternates between reflective quiet moments and high-energy peaks.

Tim Halperin / I Believe  Easy to listen to, great flow for a wedding film, and meaningful lyrics. Tim Halperin is never a bad bed.

Tim Halperin / I Believe
Easy to listen to, great flow for a wedding film, and meaningful lyrics. Tim Halperin is never a bad bed.

The Light The Heat / Your Love Is My Home  Beautiful, meaningful, with a great structure. Doesn't go too hard, but definitely enough to carry a film forward.

The Light The Heat / Your Love Is My Home
Beautiful, meaningful, with a great structure. Doesn't go too hard, but definitely enough to carry a film forward.

Hoyle / New Love  High energy pop for contemporary couples, can really bring some pop to a film

Hoyle / New Love
High energy pop for contemporary couples, can really bring some pop to a film

Kiran & John / Toronto Botanical Garden Wedding

Real WeddingsChristian PetersonComment
bride with henna reading wedding card
Indian bride laughing in Toronto

The first word that came to mind when writing this post about Kiran and John's wedding was togetherness. As their two families went through the weeklong Toronto wedding festivities, relatives from around the GTA and all the way from the UK not only met, but bonded; strangers quickly became friends - so much so that invitations to visit and stay over were made - and, through many shared drinks, everyone came together.

We first met John a few years ago when we filmed his brother Matt’s wedding. And we're so happy that, in the years since, he met Kiran, who changed his life forever. Now flanked by a smart, strong and beautiful woman, he went from being a best man to being the man

The week-long multicultural wedding was a dialogue between two cultures, with Kiran’s heritage highlighted in an ‘Indian night’ that included bhangra dances and a sangeet ceremony, and John’s with a beautiful Chinese tea ceremony.

Pouring tea at traditional Chinese tea ceremony
groom celebrating at Indian wedding
mother giving bride gold bracelet at traditional tea ceremony
partying at Indian wedding night

It was a joy to capture Kiran and John’s beautiful Toronto Botanical Garden wedding, especially with our friend and Toronto wedding photographer Heidi Lau photographing the event.

As you watch their Highlight Film, you’ll witness many youthfully giddy moments, including the time when John goes in for the kiss at the altar too soon, and then has to patiently wait until it’s actually time to kiss Kiran, how they gleefully enter the reception, or the hilarious dance between the two dads at the reception.

At the end of it all, it's John that said it best: in each other they see not only a husband and a wife… they see home.

Photographer: Heidi Lau Photography
Venue: Toronto Botanical Garden

And If You Listen To The Light: a Wedding Inspiration Shoot at Airship 37

Styled ShootsStirling MylesComment

Objects don’t inherently carry emotions; it’s the context that we place them in, how we approach them, that gives them meaning. The same goes with colour: where shadows end, where light begins - and the delicate in between - is where stories begin. This editorial shoot, recently featured on the Ruffled blog, was an exercise in finding beauty in quiet, in deliberately harmonizing opulence with sparseness.

Curated and produced by our Toronto wedding planner friends Bisous Events in collaboration with The Look Bridal, the shoot took place at Berkeley Events’ blank canvas events space Airship 37, where we gathered with some of Toronto’s best wedding vendors to explore a common vision of refined simplicity. The setting was staged and curated, yet each element of the setup, from the wedding tablescape to the carefully curated wedding dresses, remained emotionally authentic.

While the table itself was upscale and the objects were still, we focused on what brought the settings to life. We found inspiration in light and shadows, air and breath, texture and space. We created room for our model Sam to simply be herself and engage with the setting organically, transforming spaces into beautiful bridal moments.

During the shoot, filming with body rigs as we always do, we tried to give the viewer a sense of personal perspective, of actually being there.

We also went much deeper into our setup shots, trying to convey in motion the emotion that Coyote Flowers’ floral arrangements evoked. We tried to hear and interpret the delicateness of nature, the poetry created by the almost imperceptible movement of carefully arranged branches. We let objects breathe and watched an intimate relationship with the camera develop.

When you spend enough time with an object, it eventually speaks to you. And if you listen to the light, you eventually realize the stories it tells you.

Planning and Production: Bisous Events
Makeup and Production: The Look Bridal
Photography: Purple Tree Photography
Floral Design: Coyote Flowers
Venue: Airship 37
Wedding Dress and Accessories: White Toronto
Jewelry: Anice Jewelry
Engagement Rings: Bluboho
Wardrobe Styling: Katie Goodfellow
Hair: Morgan Inniss
Wedding Cake: Sweet Regards
Furniture Rentals: Detailz Couture
Tabletop Rentals: Plate Occasions
Stationery: Maison Maquette
Model: Sam Leung (B&M Models)

Name *

Friends Friday: Niv Shimshon Photography

Stirling Myles1 Comment
Niv Shimson Toronto Wedding Photography
Niv Shimson Toronto Wedding Photography

Finding the right photographer for your wedding is not all about choosing someone who can just take pretty photographs, it's finding a person you can trust to capture your wedding in its uniqueness. Your wedding photographer has the important task of documenting those special details that colour your incredible day. Ultimately, he or she will know where to look for those moments that while small, are special.

Our friend and Toronto wedding photographer Niv Shimshon, with his polished, documentary-style photography, is one of the best at capturing this type of moment. His work is subtle and contemporary, his images memorable. What makes his imagery so special is that it never feels forced. Looking through his site, it’s immediately apparent that every couple he works with looks comfortable in their own skin; he makes room for them to express their individual personalities.

Originally from Tel-Aviv, Israel, Niv moved toward Toronto's bright lights where he now lives in the west-end with his baker-extraordinaire wife Alex and their adorable and high-spirited daughter Olive, and their dog Freddy. We sat down with Niv to chat about about his documentary photography process.

 His work has caught the attention of Junebug Weddings, The Wedding Co., Rock 'n' Roll Bride and Style me Pretty.

Niv Shimson Toronto Wedding Photography

One Heart Films: All couples want to look natural and at ease in their photographs, and we've always felt you do such a good job at facilitating that. So, what's your secret? How do you help couples feel more comfortable during a shoot?

Niv: Thank you! No special secret here, just talking with the couple before the shoot and helping them understand that this shoot is about them and not me. The couple doesn't need to pose for me, and they don't need to do anything they wouldn't normally do. This is the reason I tell my couples to choose a location/activity they would normally go to or partake in. I want them to be in their element and feel as if they are on a date. The most important thing is the connection between the couple, and I try to highlight this connection as much as I can with minimum interference.

OHF: In a lot of your photographs, location plays a huge role. How do find places that convey the right emotion for who your couples are?

Niv:  I don't look for a "beautiful" location and then suggest it to the couple. Instead, I talk to the couple and understand what they love, and why. Some couples will tell me about a particular location that they like, while other couples will say that they love urban/nature places, and so I suggest photo locations accordingly. I think that more important than the place is the light. Some of my favourite photos were taken in parking lots, in front of restaurant signs or alleyways. If I had taken them at a different time of the day, they would be a different photo altogether. The real challenge is to get the couple to feel at ease to the point they forget I'm there, and then the magic happens.

Niv Shimson Toronto Wedding Photography

Q: Speaking of location... you've taken a lot of wonderful photographs in Toronto and around the world. Out of all the places you've photographed, what is the most memorable place you've shot at?

A:  Memorable places I've shot aren't significant because of the location; they are memorable because I felt like I was having the best time, just hanging out with friends. Luckily for me, I feel like this most of the time.

Q: In many ways, what makes a session so special is the story being told out of the frame. What are some ways that couples have helped to make their love story more clear to you and, ultimately, helped you make it visible in the final photographs?

A: Communication is a key factor in having the couples' love story evident in the photo. I try to ask the right questions in our first meeting, and then usually we will talk a few days before the engagement shoot. I try to make them as comfortable as possible before the shoot, and I even encourage them to send me photos of what they are planning to wear. I tell couples that changing outfits too many times or bringing props to a shoot is usually a bad idea, as it will result in them concentrating on those things instead of themselves. The more a couple shares stories about their relationship, the little things that they love, with me, the better the photos will tell their love story.

Niv Shimson Toronto Wedding Photography

Q: Where do you get your inspiration from?

A:  Mainly from photo books. I love going to Toronto reference library. On the fifth floor, you can find rare photo books of all the great photographers. Usually, most of the books I love are related to street photography or documentary photography. This kind of photography, where the photographer works with a given environment and makes the best out of it is, for me, the most basic and elegant form of photography. I also love to watch films and try to understand how they use light to create a certain feel, build a scene.

Love in All Colours / Happy Pride

Christian PetersonComment

This morning, I was reading NOW Magazine's coverage of Pride and it struck me that, while I have always been open about my own support of the LGBTQ community, I had never publicly spoken about One Heart Films' views on this matter.

OHF is firmly in support of LGBTQ rights, from freedom of speech to washroom access, from protection from police brutality and systemic marginalization, to the right to equal marriage rights for all.

Dear LGBTQ neighbours, I want to keep this post short because this weekend is not about me or about us, but about you. I want you to know that while we haven't really worked together yet, we are in your corner, and you can count on us to be allies and friends. Happy Pride!

Truly yours,

Christian Peterson
Creative Director
One Heart Films


My wife’s the reason anything gets done.
She nudges me towards promise by degrees.
She is a perfect symphony of one.
Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
We chase the melodies that seem to find us
Until they’re finished songs and start to play.
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day
This show is proof that history remembers
We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger
We rise and fall and light from dying embers,
Remembrances that hope and love last longer.
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story.
Now fill the world with music, love, and pride.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda

Friends Friday: Ferré Sposa bridal boutique

Friends FridaysStirling MylesComment
Ferré Sposa Bridal Boutique
Wedding Dress at Ferré Sposa

The dress a bride chooses to wear as she walks down the wedding aisle says a lot about her as a unique individual. So many styles, so many gowns, so many ways for brides to express themselves! That’s why it’s always best visiting stores where shopkeepers really value the decision-making process, not just the process.

Our friend Jennifer Dang is that kind of shopkeeper. Both Toronto bridal boutiques, Ferré Sposa and Elizabeth & Beau, are stores she's involved in that promote a culture of positivity, with dress consultants that provide pressure-free support; because buying a dress doesn’t have to be stressful.

We caught up with Jennifer to talk about some different ways brides can put their own unique twist on their wedding outfits so that their personality shines through on their big day, no matter what they’re wearing.

Jennifer Dang at Ferré Sposa

STYLE /  The traditional white wedding dress is by far the most popular choice for brides, but it’s not the only choice. As a buyer, you see a lot of different designs on bridal runways and in magazines. What are your thoughts on the spectrum of more creative or alternative choices for bridal wear?

JH: I like to label myself as a modern/traditional bride consultant. I do a combination of traditional looks, because ultimately when people are getting married, it’s their first time. Unlike someone who might be in the industry, they might not be as daring. However, because they’re into fashion and style, they might want to do something a little different. A little tradition with a touch of modern. I look for something modern and useful when I work with brides.

PROCESS /  When a bride comes into on of your shops, where do they start? How do you and your team help them start the process of looking for their wedding dress? Every bride is so unique, from her tastes to her personality. In what ways can you help a bride choose a wedding dress that best reflects her?

JH: A lot of people come in asking “what do you think works for me based off my body type?” I’m actually trained not to go off body type. Ultimately if you’re able to rock a look, that’s all that matters. So whatever the bride is comfortable with based off her personality is the most important thing. I figure out more who the bride is to give them more of an opportunity to look like themselves. Although they may not know what to choose, I start to pick up what they’re selecting and start making mental notes. If they’re picking something more simple, or extravagant, I start to go with the process of talking them through what they like and don’t like. I formulate a look that suits their personality. It has very little to do with their body type.

Ultimately, I showcase what brides are comfortable with. I find what they feel good in and hone in from there. Once I start to narrow down, it makes it a lot easier to pick the right wedding dress.

Wedding dresses at Ferré Sposa

TIPS & TRICKS / Being wedding filmmakers in Toronto, we see many original looks and know that anything is possible, but a lot of brides don’t always realize that there are other choices beyond the dress that can really make a difference in their bridal look. From shoes to jewellery, headpieces to clutches, there’s a ton of ways to express their individuality. Do you have any tips and tricks for brides in terms of accessorizing, whether it be through purchasing, renting, or even DYI-ing?

JH: When I shop for wedding gowns, I always tell brides “don’t take at face value.” That means that whatever brides see on the rack, they can still modify. So let’s say they’re looking for a long sleeve dress, or they’re looking for something with straps, they’ll tend to look at dresses that already have straps or long sleeves. This is very limiting because what’s been working for years is strapless gowns. So using a broader canvas, and finding something based on the silhouette and adding in accessories will allow them a variety of selection. They don't have to look at the five dresses that have spaghetti straps or long sleeves. They can look at the other 20 gowns that are in the selection of the silhouette, and if the budget allows, adding those accessories. That’s the first thing brides can think of.

The next thing is that once they’ve purchased their gown and want to add more personality to it, they can get really creative in how they shop. One great tip is that you can look at hair pieces to be added as a belt for a very unique look, it might be more of a dainty hairpiece. So that’s a really creative way to save money. Hair pieces tend to be cheaper than belts.

I also find that a lot of brides take an opportunity in their shoes to bring them personality. Your shoes don’t actually show that much when you’re walking, but it’s in your detailed shots that gives some personality. I actually have a bride that had taken pieces of her moms wedding dress and asked us to incorporate it. It’s all about creativity. It might be as simple as taking the lace of your moms wedding gown and incorporating it into your own lace. Or taking and adding buttons to your gown. There’s lot of ways to have that homage to your mom. I think that’s a really cool, fun detail. I think it’s in thinking about what’s important to you. I always tell people that whether it’s your wedding gown or your wedding day in general, it’s bringing a piece of who you are in your wedding day style that’s a really nice touch for everyone to see.

Wedding dresses at Ferré Sposa

WILD CARD / You do a lot of traveling! Have you picked up any cool wedding traditions, customs or unique looks that you loved along the way? Anything out of the box that might inspire our Toronto brides?

JH: Bring your personality. I get so many couples that are mixed from different cultures. I love when they take the opportunity to allow their guests to experience the combination of the two cultures. It’s super unique to Toronto. It’s a beautiful thing. What a lot of these brides like to do is incorporate their culture so they have their roots in their wedding. It doesn’t have to be a huge part of the ceremony, but partaking in small traditions are a fun and meaningful way to have something that is a part of who they are so the guests can experience that.

Last year a southeast Asian bride I worked with wanted to wear a wedding gown. Typically, she would have worn a sari that is mid-drift and can be a ballgown, or a slim dress with a scarf over top. I found a gown that looked similar to that: it was a t-shirt lace-top that was cropped... and it was a ballgown. I think she had incorporated a scarf afterwards. It was such a beautiful mix of the western and southeastern cultures. As a consultant, I love being a part of that mixing process.

Angela + David / Nestleton Waters Inn Wedding

Christian PetersonComment

Oftentimes, when we discuss wedding film ideas with our couples, we chat about how distance shapes relationships, how serendipity is so precious, how our families shape who we are, how we can grow from complete strangers into each other's biggest fans, and so on. And then, once in a while, two people come to us with a story that can be told simply, in all but four words: it's always been you.

Enter Angie and David, who sat beside each other in grade one (he remembers it, she doesn't) and started dating at the end of high school. We didn't know this when we met them, but they've been each other's everything for a long time - ten years! What does that level of knowing each other look like? Well, when we showed up at the house to shoot Angela getting ready, the boys sneaked in like goofy teenagers; when they read each other's cards, they both cried so much reading that we needed multiple takes; when their 'official' first kiss happened, they had already kissed four times during the ceremony; and when they had their first dance, it felt more like a hundredth dance, silly faces and bows and all; In their wedding films, we tried to reflect all that: the comfort, the happiness, the playfulness that come with saying "we learned all this together, now let's do it all over again... and forever."

And so, as you watch the highlights film for Angela & David's Nestleton Waters Inn wedding, try and look for all this: that history in their eyes, those wordless expressions of love. There's comfort in the arms of someone that has known you since before you even fully knew who you were yourself. Speaking of A & D's relationship, the bride's sister said it best: "There was a time when I told Angela I didn't believe in relationships that started during childhood, because people simply grow up, and then grow apart. But I'm glad I was wrong about the two of you. You guys have turned me into a believer that puppy love can turn into true love, and that people can grow together rather than apart."

Angela and David, we wish you many more tens of years of discovery, of tender gazes and silly smiles, of true love.



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Bridewell, a bridal lifestyle series / Thank you for being there

Behind-the-Scenes, ResourcesChristian PetersonComment

From the moment we first thought of creating the #BridewellSeries, our goal has always been to encourage positivity throughout the wedding process. From mental and spiritual wellness to physical health and self-confidence building, we've tried to cover topics that uplift and empower brides-to-be.

It's been six episodes of meeting with friends, both old and new, and now it's time for Season 1 of the #BridewellSeries to come to an end.

We appreciate all the love and feedback we've received since our very first episode, and truly hope we were able to provide some much-needed support for every bride and bride-to-be before their special day. We genuinely believe that your wellness should come first!


To our best-in-the-city co-producer Barreworks: thank you for collaborating with us and being a force for good.

To our one-of-a-kind host Bo Lam: thank you for sharing your vibrant energy with us in every episode. You are the 'face of the franchise'. We love you!

To our guests Joanna (Barreworks), Phoebe (Phoebe Lo Events), Dawna (Dawna Boot Makeup), Ladylyn (Hair by Ladylyn), Hattie (Hattitude Jewellery) and Miranda (Barreworks): thank you for taking the time to empower our viewers. We appreciate you sharing all your invaluable advice on ways in which brides can feel confident before, during, and after their wedding day.

To my amazing OHF team, Tanya, Isabelle, Michael, Kathryn, and our shooter Anton: know that none of this happens without you.

And lastly to YOU, to all of you who watched or re-shared, intently or casually: thank you for joining us on this journey!

We hope you loved watching the #BridewellSeries as much as we loved making it. Please keep sharing your thoughts with us and stay positive, stay empowered, stay well. If all goes well, we'll be back!



Christian Peterson
Creative Director
One Heart Films

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Bridewell Episode 6: Miranda on Self-Care / a bridal lifestyle series

Christian PetersonComment

Breathe, just breathe. With all the pushing and pulling surrounding wedding stress, it can be easy for exhaustion and fatigue to begin affecting your physical well-being. Taking a moment to find your breath – even if it’s simply for a couple of seconds – can help to reground and reset yourself to feel present and calm in the moment.
Self-care is the major inspiration behind Bridewell. We created this series with all the elements of wellbeing for brides in mind, including mental health, physical health, and building self-confidence. Our goal has been to encourage positivity throughout the wedding process.

That’s why for our final episode of the #BridewellSeries we spoke to Barreworks Instructor, Miranda Meijer, on the importance of introducing self-care into your routine, ending the series perfectly on a positive and reflective note. 

Thank you for joining us throughout the Bridewell journey. We truly believe that your wellness should come first. We created the Bridewell series with this in mind – we hope we were able to provide some much-deserved support for every bride and bride-to-be before their special day.

We hope you enjoy this final episode. 



Guest: Miranda Meijer, Barre Instructor, Barreworks
Host: Ming-Bo Lam, Barreworks
Makeup: Dawna Boot Makeup
Hair: Hair by Ladylyn

Thank you for joining us throughout the entirety of the #BridewellSeries! 

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Bridewell Episode 5: Hattie on Style / a bridal lifestyle series

Christian PetersonComment

You don’t have to have your personal style completely figured out in order for your wedding look to be a success. Drawing inspiration from your own hobbies and lifestyle can help narrow it down: sometimes simply staying true to yourself is enough to feel confident on your special day. 

In our fifth episode of the #BridewellSeries we sat down with jewelry designer Hattie of Hattitude Jewellry at Barreworks Studio for advice on how to design a wedding that's distinctly yours. We chatted about ways to get inspiration from online sources, creating a vision board, trusting your gut, and paying attention to the little details to pull a look together.

We hope you enjoy this episode!



Guest: Hattitude Jewellry
Host: Ming-Bo Lam, Barreworks
Makeup: Dawna Boot Makeup
Hair: Hair by Ladylyn

Join us next week for the final episode of the #BridewellSeries on Self Care with Barreworks Instructor, Miranda Meijer!

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Bridewell Episode 4: Ladylyn on Hair Care / a bridal lifestyle series

Christian PetersonComment

Whether you decide to keep your hair style simple on your wedding day or you're opting to make a drastic change, like dyeing your hair from blonde to brunette, the most important thing is to wear your hair with confidence! Your hair is the most personalized accessory you have, so whether it's pin straight, bob short, ultra curly or somewhere in between, how you choose to wear it on your wedding day should be distinctly you.

In our fourth episode of the #BridewellSeries, we caught up with hairstylist Ladylyn for some eye-opening tips on pre-wedding hair prep at the Barreworks studio. As the hairstylist for all our Bridewell episodes, we knew Ladylyn was the best person to talk to about some tips and tricks for hair that will look great, both in photos and walking down the wedding aisle! 

We hope you enjoy this episode! 



Guest: Dawna Boot
Host: Ming-Bo Lam, Barreworks
Makeup: Dawna Boot Makeup
Hair: Hair by Ladylyn

Join us next week for Episode 5 of #BridewellSeries with jewelry designer Hattie!

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Bridewell Episode 3: Dawna on Skincare / a bridal lifestyle series

Christian PetersonComment

Feeling beautiful starts from the inside, which is why choosing your wedding day makeup artist is a process that goes more than skin-deep.

Having a strong connection and sense of trust with the person applying your makeup is so important – they need to share your values and, more importantly, also understand that it's not just about improving your complexion or covering up flaws! Good makeup artists will know how to accentuate the beauty you carry within so that it radiates out on your wedding day.

We chatted with incredibly talented makeup artist Dawna Boot at the Barreworks studio to find out more on how to foster that special relationship as well as skin prep tips for this third episode of the #BridewellSeries. Dawna is also the makeup artist for all our guests on the series, so if you want to see out more of her work, check out the rest of our Bridewell videos!

We hope you enjoy this episode! 




Guest: Dawna Boot
Host: Ming-Bo Lam, Barreworks
Makeup: Dawna Boot Makeup
Hair: Hair by Ladylyn

Join us next week for Episode 4 of #BridewellSeries, Hair Care, with hair stylist Ladylyn Gool.


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Bridewell Episode 2: Phoebe on Community / a bridal lifestyle series

Christian PetersonComment

In the months leading up to your wedding, it can be difficult to stick to the original vision you had for your special day. That's why it's so important to surround yourself with a good community – family, friends, vendors – who will help you stay true to your values and stand strong in the decisions you make.

We had a blast chatting with Phoebe Lo at the Barreworks studio about the importance of community for our second episode of the #BridewellSeries. As a longtime Toronto wedding planner, Phoebe had some great advice for brides on how to filter through all the different resources for the wedding planning process and how to surround yourself with a great wedding team that supports you every step of the way!

We hope you enjoy this episode.



Guest: Phoebe Lo Events
Host: Ming-Bo Lam, Barreworks
Makeup: Dawna Boot Makeup
Hair: Hair by Ladylyn

Join us next week for Episode 3 of #BridewellSeries with makeup artist, Dawna Boot!

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Bridewell Episode 1: Joanna on Posture / a bridal lifestyle web series

Christian PetersonComment

Today's the day! We're so happy to be sharing this first episode of the #BridewellSeries with you.

When we first started producing Bridewell with our favourite fitness studio, Barreworks, our goal was to provide couples, especially women, with a resource for ways they could boost their wellness, and in the process, build self-confidence. 

A great way to gain that confidence is through healthy physical exercise, which is why we decided to chat with Joanna for our very first episode of Bridewell. As an instructor and studio manager at Barreworks, Joanna Eisen is an exercise pro. She shared some tips on ways to improve posture and spinal alignment and also showed us some great at-home exercises that you can do to build your back – and your confidence – for that special moment when you walk down the aisle! 

We hope you enjoy this episode. 



Guest: Joanna Eisen, Barre Instructor, Barreworks
Host: Ming-Bo Lam, Barreworks
Makeup: Dawna Boot Makeup
Hair: Hair by Ladylyn

Join us next week for our next episode, Community, with Phoebe of Phoebe Lo Events!

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One Heart Films + Barreworks present: Bridewell, a bridal lifestyle web series

Christian PetersonComment

Part of our mission at One Heart Films is to help brides and grooms go through the wedding process in a healthy and positive way. We are firm believers in community and reject the tropes created by reality-TV: every woman is a bridezilla-to-be, grooms don't care that much about the wedding, things always go over budget, etc. In fact, day in and day out, we are privileged to witness kind and loving people try to make – sometimes tough – decisions that will shape their wedding day. We see people caring about people, considerate gestures toward vendors, and supporting attitudes when times get rough. So while everything isn't always perfect, we believe in highlighting the good over the bad and encouraging positivity. We want to help people feel good about their wedding, their partners, and themselves.

And so, with this in mind, we’re thrilled to announce a new web series we’ve been working on in collaboration with our favourite fitness studio, Barreworks.

The show, called Bridewell, is a bridal lifestyle web series that focuses on wellness, positivity, and staying true to yourself during the wedding planning process. Every episode, we’ll be chatting with industry professionals about tips and tricks for self-care, posture, style, hair, makeup, and how to surround yourself with a strong community in the days leading up to your special day. The interviews, hosted by Barreworks' own Ming-Bo Lam, are meant be light and casual, and will hopefully leave you feeling informed and refreshed.

From the day we first started following Barreworks, we loved their branding, their course offering and, most importantly, the values they communicate through their social channels. We’re so excited to have had the opportunity of producing this series with them. Watching our interviews with their barre instructors Joanna and Miranda, you’ll understand why they’ve been voted Toronto’s Best Workout Studio by NOW Magazine’s readers for four years running!

Our goal with the Bridewell series is to encourage and promote positive ways for women to boost their wellness and build self – confidence – not just for their wedding day but for the rest of their lives. We hope you'll follow us on this journey. The first episode, Posture with Joanna, goes live on Youtube, Facebook and on our site, on Monday, February 13. In the meantime enjoy our teaser video!

Lastly, heartfelt thanks to everybody involved in this project. We could not have done it without you. You perfectly embody the spirit of community over competition, and we are lucky to count you as friends.




Joanna Eisen & Miranda Meijer, Barre Instructors, Barreworks
Phoebe Lo, Phoebe Lo Events
Dawna Boot, Dawna Boot Makeup
Ladylyn Gool, Hair by Ladylyn
Hattie Dunstan, Hattitude Jewellery


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