an intimate backyard wedding…

7th April, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Backyard Wedding Ideas


2012 Wedding Trends– it seems to be a year of going back to the basics, simplicity is key, less is more & all that jazz.
Backyard weddings are a beautiful setting for your wedding. It incorporates elegance, simplicity, and the vintage style we all love. Your backyard can serve as your ceremony and reception, and most of all– your home.


Who said your backyard can't be a wedding venue? Image Courtesy of StyleMePretty


Decor: Flowers, flowers, flowers. Utilize the florals in season (or in your backyard) and encompass them into everything–incorporate them into the hairstyles, decor, background decor, the food tables, etc.


Backyard Weddings: Simplicity & Elegance in your own backyard. Image Courtesy of the Blog



Menu:  Again, because the general tone of your backyard wedding will most likely be casual, your menu can be that as well. Take simple, casual dishes and add some flair. BBQ or smoked meats and grilled kabobs–or things like herb roasted vegetables, marinated and grilled chicken, fruit salsa, and strawberry shortcake. You can’t go wrong with these favorites!


Image Courtesy of


Favors:  Backyard weddings allow you to have a lot of versatility in your wedding favors you choose to set out at the end of the night. A favorite that can be encompassed as a wedding favor AND dessert is a milk and cookie bar. There are plenty of ways to have this at your wedding– just depends on your style & taste.


Cookies & Milk Wedding Favors: Adorable favor idea for a backyard wedding. Image courtesy of



don’t trash the dress, glam the gown!

24th October, 2011 - Posted by Lia - 4 Comments

When Lia first asked me to be a guest blogger, I was super excited. I thought about what I could contribute that would be somewhat unique and which you’ve perhaps not seen before.  As modern brides, you’ve very likely heard about the “Trash the Dress” trend where a bride is invited to don her dress some time after the wedding day and jump in a lake, roll around in the sand, or participate in some other activity that often leaves the treasured dress in tatters.  While I like the idea of a photo shoot after the wedding, I cringe at the thought of “trashing” a dress that has so much meaning for a bride.  What I offer my clients is something a little different:  I call it “Glam the Gown”.

My “Glam the Gown” sessions give brides the chance to wear their wedding dress again and to create some truly unique photos that can be fun, glamorous, sexy, romantic – whatever they want.  The bride gets all glammed up (I work with a makeup artist who can also do her makeup if she chooses) and we head out for a fun day, shooting at a location that is not typical for wedding photos.  Since first offering these type of sessions for newlywed brides, I’ve shot in many different locations, from abandoned buildings  to deep in the woods. Most recently, I did a session at Brome Fair with a couple whose wedding I photographed last December. 

Jordana and Tom had a wonderful winter wedding at the romantic Willow Place Inn in Hudson. When I suggested a country fair for our “Glam the Gown” session, Jordana was over the moon.  She was so excited to have the opportunity to wear her wedding dress again and despite the sweltering heat – and her allergy to horses – she was up for pretty much anything!  Tom was also a great sport, especially when I suggested he wear jeans and cowboy boots instead of more formal attire.

My vision for this particular shoot was to use the bright sunlight to create vivid, saturated images that would really showcase the bold colors that were prevalent at the fair.  This was a bit of a departure from my usual style – and certainly not the type of post-processing I do for wedding photos, but as an artist, I always enjoy trying something different.  I am so thankful to have amazing clients like Jordana and Tom who are willing to embark on these creative journeys with me! 

We arrived at the fair in the afternoon and were immediately drawn to a small enclosure with the cutest little alpacas you have ever seen!  René, from Domaine des Nobles Alpagas, was very accommodating and allowed us to mingle with his furry friends, who were shy at first, but eventually warmed up to Tom when the food came out!

We then headed out onto the midway, where we caused quite a stir.  A wedding dress and a beautiful bride were like a free pass to the front of the line for every ride. One little girl pronounced that Jordana was the “Prettiest bride EVER”.  The same girl gleefully asked Jordana if she was at the fair for her honeymoon – and we did not have the heart to tell her no.

One of the things that is so wonderful about a country fair is that everyone is so friendly.  As we headed towards the stables, we were greeted like celebrities.  The team from C.D. Stables graciously offered to bring out a horse to hitch to their carriage, and even helped Jordana climb up into the driver’s seat for some impromptu shots. 

As the sun started to dip towards the horizon, I decided that I wanted to finish up with some softer, more romantic images.  I just love the color of the light at sunset…

And since we all love bloopers, I could not resist including this one last shot…

If you’d like to book a “Glam the Gown” session, simply mention that you read about it on Lia’s Bridal Lounge, and if you book before December 31st (2011), you will be eligible for a 15% discount on the session.  If you book your 2012 wedding with me before December 31st (2011), you’ll get a “Glam the Gown” session for free!

You can check out more of my work on my website: or why not stop by and “Like” me on Facebook at:

a personal favorite….creative perspectives photography!

22nd November, 2010 - Posted by Lia - 1 Comment


An insight into Victoria de Martigny , the lady behind the lens of Montreal’s Creative Perspectives Photography! You can really feel the passion and  enthusiasm in her responses and her photos really capture the moment beautifully. I hope you enjoy reading her answers  and viewing stunning photos of Billy & Laura’s recent wedding as much as I have!

How long have you been a photographer? How did you develop a passion for photography?

It struck me from a young age that a photograph was a very treasured memento of a special occasion that truly made people happy.   Like many little girls, I was mesmerized by bridal magazines and the stunning photos of beautiful brides that crowded their pages.  I was also enamoured with National Geographic and wanted to BE the photographer camped out on the African plains to catch a shot of a Cheetah cub… I begged my parents to buy me a camera and when I received my first 35mm film camera as a gift from them for my 8th birthday, I was thrilled!   Unfortunately, as an 8-year-old, I didn’t have the budget to travel to Africa, so I took photos of the family pets instead :-)  I also took pictures of people; my family, the lady at the grocery store, the neighbours – pretty much anyone who would not shoo me away when I pointed my camera at them!  

It was really in high school that I found my niche as a photographer though, when I was asked to be the Candids editor for our yearbook.  I brought my 35mm camera with me everywhere, delighting in the opportunity to catch and document special moments – many of which still make me smile to this day.  I found that through my lens, I was able to look at a scene with a different perspective and see things that other people didn’t.  In the years since high school, I have continued to upgrade my equipment, develop my skill and shoot a variety of subjects.  My images have appeared in newspapers, magazines, advertising campaigns, corporate brochures and even on the side of two mini-vans for the Ecomuseum Zoo! 

What other genres apart from weddings do you do?

I love photographing all types of celebrations including weddings, engagements, maternity shots, births & baptisms, family portraits, grads, sports, birthday parties and anything else you can think of.  Occasionally I do nudes and at a recent gallery showing with several other photographers won the “People’s Choice” award for one of my nudes. 

I am also a HUGE animal lover, so whenever I have the opportunity, I hit the trails with my gear and photograph wildlife.  I’ve won awards for some of my wildlife images from the SPPQ (Society for the Promotion of Photography in Quebec) and  Because my family of furry friends is so important to me, I always have an open invitation for clients to bring along the family pet during portrait sessions, whether it be a dog, cat, bird, snake… whatever.  I love them all!    

What’s your style of photography?

The three words I would use to describe my style are Bold, Bright and Beautiful.  I like to capture candid moments as they happen naturally and try to be unobtrusive while I work.  I’m a romantic at heart, so my favorite shots are the ones that show true emotion.  I prefer to shoot in locations with beautiful natural light, but have an entire portable studio setup which I use when supplemental lighting is needed.  Most importantly, I like to have FUN while I work and I bring that attitude to every shoot so that the experience can be positive and enjoyable both for me and my clients. 

What inspires you as a photographer?

I am still inspired by that treasured photograph and the smile it will bring to my clients’ faces.  I am very attentive during the initial consultation; listening for clues into clients’ lives, what makes them work as a couple, how they interact, their sense of self and sense of style – and I work extremely hard to reflect those elements as I capture their celebration in a natural way.  I like to get to know who my clients are as people and what’s important to them because ultimately that helps me create images that will be meaningful to them. 

I am also constantly inspired by other photographers.  I am an active member of the Lakeshore Camera Club, I participate in online wedding photography forums and regularly take photography workshops to continually expand my creative vision.  This year I was selected to participate in a 5-day wedding photography workshop with Jasmine Star  – one of the top 10 wedding photographers in the world – which was broadcast live to an audience of almost 200,000 people.  I am also an accredited member of WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International), ASMP (American Society of Media Professionals) and NAPP (the National Association of Photoshop Professionals) which are all invaluable sources of inspiration.

Do you do destination weddings? If you could have a destination wedding where would it be?

Have camera – will travel!!  I am definitely available to do destination weddings.  Whether the destination is a two-hour drive to Mt. Tremblant or an 8-hour flight to Paris, I can accommodate any destination request.

My ideal destination wedding would be somewhere romantic and beautiful, with unique landscapes which would provide a stunning backdrop for wedding photos:  A beach in Australia at sunset… a vineyard in California… the ruins of Machu Pichu in Peru… in front of the Louvre in Paris… a castle in England… a tent on the plains of Africa, with giraffes and elephants and lions in the background… I could go on forever!

Any advice for brides on choosing a photographer?

1-      PHOTOGRAPHER’S STYLE:  When choosing a photographer, make sure that you look at their portfolio to be sure you like their style and ask to see the final images from a complete wedding.  Many photographers will showcase their best shots but you want to be sure that they can provide consistently good images for every stage of the day from getting ready to the reception.  Larger studios often sub-contract their weddings to a multitude of freelance photographers, so while you may love the work on the studio’s website, those shots may not have been taken by the photographer who will shoot YOUR wedding, so ask to see the portfolio of YOUR photographer.

2-      PERSONALITY:  You will be spending one of the most personal and intimate moments of this day with your photographer, so it’s important that you like the person, are comfortable being yourself with them and trust them to do their job while you enjoy your day.

3-      CREDENTIALS:  Once you like the style and personality of a potential photographer, don’t let their salesmanship and charm convince you to sign a contract yet!  Ask about their experience shooting weddings, their photography training and memberships in professional associations.  Since wedding photography is an unregulated industry anyone with a decent camera can claim to be a wedding photographer.  After your day is over, it is the photos that you will look back on fondly for years to come, so make sure your photographer truly is a professional that can deliver on their promises.

4-      CONTRACT:  Make sure you have a written contract that clearly defines the services provided and the associated cost(s).  While it may seem easier not to deal with a contract, it is much better to ensure that your expectations are defined in writing BEFORE your wedding day.  A professional photographer will have a written contract that will cover everything from the cost you’re paying to what happens if they are unable to photograph your wedding due to illness.  Make sure you know if the photographer will charge you extra for retouching, travel, a second photographer, overtime, etc.  Also make sure that the contract covers product delivery so that you know when you can expect your prints and/or albums to be ready – otherwise you could find yourself waiting months or even years before you see anything!

Where is your favourite location to take wedding photos?

I love to take wedding photos in outdoor locations with beautiful natural light.   The Montreal Botanical Gardens offers a variety of lovely settings when the weather cooperates as do many of the parks in the city.  Old Montreal can also be a stunning backdrop for wedding photos when time permits.  For the more adventurous and non-traditional couples I like to shoot in unexpected locations (such as these shots of Billy and Laura at a chocolate factory) which can provide unique and artistic images.

Any words of wisdom for a bride on her wedding day? (Sweet  & Short)

These are my top 5 pieces of advice for a bride on her wedding day:

  1. Eat breakfast.  No matter how hectic things may be in the morning, your body will need energy for what is sure to be a long (and amazing!) day.
  2. Stay hydrated.  Designate one of your bridesmaids to have bottled water for you to sip on the way to the ceremony, during the formal portraits and at the reception. 
  3. Pack an “Emergency kit”.  Include things like Tylenol, tampons, safety pins, kleenex, extra lip gloss, breath mints and comfy shoes to change into later.  One of your bridesmaids can also be responsible for keeping this handy.
  4. Take time to taste the food, laugh with your girlfriends and dance with your husband. 
  5. Most of all, remember to HAVE FUN, SMILE and know that today, YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL.