Streetcar Design Co shares the exquisite wedding story from Charissa & Mateen’s rustic romantic Berkeley Fieldhouse Toronto wedding with insight and behind the scenes stories from Toronto bride Charissa.
You beautifully capture the movement and beauty of Clarissa’s wedding dress. What is the story of her dress and how did you weave it into the wedding story ?
Charissa looked incredible on her wedding day. She gleamed with effortless beauty in her gorgeous Pronovias dress, so I knew I wanted to create some playful movement for the photos. The weight of the dress was perfect to whip around – nothing like swishing a pretty dress from side to side!
From Charissa: At first I wanted something very simple and minimal with no frills or embroidery. As I continued the dress search I started falling in love with one dress that I saw at about four different dress shops and each time I kept gravitating towards it! The silhouette was beautiful, sheath and flowy but with some lace detailing throughout the front, back and sides – I was in love! The lace was so unique and by a Spanish brand, Pronovias, whose style I immediately fell in love with. I think it suited my personality very well – pretty laid back but also just the right amount of pretty details!
What were some of the reasons Charissa and Mateen chose the Berkeley Fieldhouse and what were some of their visions for the wedding style they wanted to create?
This sounds like a perfect question for Charissa! I’ll leave it to her! But I will say that shooting at BFH was an amazing experience. I love the mix of atmospheres, the food, the staff and the overall eclectic vibe the venue radiates. I look forward to many more happy weddings taking place here!
From Charissa: There are so many reasons why we chose the Berkeley Fieldhouse! Location was a huge factor, we wanted to stay in Toronto and be close by to our condo and the church we had our ceremony at. The perfect balance between outdoor and indoor space was another huge reason we chose Berkeley Fieldhouse as this is hard to come by in the city! We definitely wanted an outdoor cocktail hour and greenery, and Berkeley Fieldhouse had the perfect blend.
We also had heard amazing things about the food, and the menu choices were a huge pull as well. The wedding style we wanted was a blend of rustic, modern and muted. We love natural tones and tried to pull in elements of sage, wood, and grey/cement tones and tie them all together! The Berkeley Fieldhouse was the perfect canvas that already had beautiful elements that we just wanted to enhance with little touches of our personalities, and from the feedback we’ve received, the venue definitely did just that!
How would you describe the mood and experience that Clarissa and Mateen wanted to create in the space and how was this accomplished and in turn how did you plan to authentically capture these intentions?
Charissa + Mateen loved that Berkeley Fieldhouse had an array of different atmospheres – from the rustic + intimate treehouse to the bright yet romantic background of the event room. To authentically capture the space, we wanted to document unforgettable moments throughout the venue. We did our best to utilize the contrast within the outdoor spaces.
When shooting a wedding, the light is what drives and inspires us to create. Staying true to the story of the wedding day is very important to us as photographers. We rely on natural lighting and authentic moments to tell the story of our couple’s big day.
From Charissa: We definitely wanted a mix of different moods in our space and I think Berkeley Fieldhouse accomplished just that. A nice outdoorsy and earth toned patio/woods area, and a light and airy space inside that could transform in the night.
We wanted different dimensions and areas our guests could escape off to and explore, and the Fieldhouse totally delivered on that. We definitely wanted to include elements of light where I could, so the candles, lanterns, chandeliers, and outdoor string lights definitely added to the ambience we were looking for.
Ultimately, we wanted our guests to feel the aura of love, warmth and family!
How do you plan to manage all the creative technical aspects of a photo when you are constantly in the motion of a wedding day?
As photographers with over 80 weddings under our belts we can honestly say that managing all technicalities while remaining creative comes with patience and experience.
We are constantly switching from a documentary perspective to a role of directing and curating during family formal portraits and wedding party photos.
There are aspects of both roles we love! We love being a fly on the wall during the getting ready portion of the day and we also love connecting and becoming creative with our couples and their friends and family during portrait time!
There is a photograph you shared on instagram that is titled ‘”When the “I’m actually married” vibes sink in.’ This becomes a time capsule of their wedding story. What are some of the layers of storytelling you like to play with for your couples?
The photo referenced here is my absolute favourite from this wedding. Moments like this one are exactly what we look for when we document a story. Yes, portraits and family photos are important, but its moments like this that enhance the narrative I’d like my couples to relive. Weddings can be an emotional roller coster for everyone involved, not only the bride and groom. Friends, mothers, fathers, siblings, and other family members can play an important role in a wedding day. It’s their relationships with each other that can really drive a story forward. Wether its a shared moment of tears or laughing together at an inside joke, its all apart of the big picture when we’re documenting a wedding.
How do you work with natural light and how it hits the subject to make the magic happen in your photos?
Our ability to utilize natural light allows us to convey an authentic story. All in all, we are purists when it comes to our photography. We really love to shoot exactly how we see our subjects. Of course, we may position our couples and their wedding parties in flattering light but we don’t like to fabricate light that isn’t already there for example we refrain from bringing in extra external lighting. We only bust out our flashes when its absolutely necessary. With the absence of external lighting it’s much easier to capture unexpected, natural candids on the fly.