5 Best Venues in Winnipeg Manitoba

  As a Winnipeg wedding photographer, it’s valid to say that I’ve done my fair share of investigating not only for amazing places to take photos, but amazing places to have the wedding as whole! So, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned, to potentially save you a few steps in your planning! Here are my top 5 wedding venues in Winnipeg.

  1. Hawthorn Estates 

Let’s start with a popular one, Hawthorn Estates. There’s definitely a reason for its popularity… it’s absolutely breathtaking! It has the perfect balance between the rustic style and elegance. Hawthorn Estates is located just 15 minutes away from Selkirk, it’s not too far, but far enough away to be quite private! Their venue can hold up to 150 guests! On its property, it has a modern barn for an indoor event or a five acre lot filled with so many opportunities for a gorgeous outdoor wedding. A few spots such as the “marriage hill” and “the solarium” have such great and romantic set up potential. It has surrounding farmland and a lot of private grounds for those intimate couple photos! (My favourite part). Not only does this venue have beautiful reception and ceremony set ups, but they have a Hawthorn House… a perfect opportunity to get those IDEAL indoor house couple/engagement photos! A photographers dream!

If you’re intrigued, check out their social media, website and reviews for more information:

Website: https://www.hawthornestates.ca
Instagram: https://instagram.com/hawthornestates?igshid=jowvr2zs4zko

If you’re looking to make your photographer really happy here are some things we look for.

  • Shade! Life saver on those harsh sunny days!
  • Good background, including a variation in locations without having to go to far.
  • Big open area for those nice bridal party shots!

 2. Prairie Homestead Weddings 

Next, I want to emphasize my love for Prairie Homestead Weddings. If you’re from Manitoba, I’m sure you can appreciate the name of their venue. Like Hawthorn Estates, this venue also has the perfect balance between the rustic style and elegance. Prairie Homestead might beat all of my top venues in the romance department and I’ll tell you why. Inside the dome like indoor facility, there are lights strung along the ceiling and a gorgeous chandelier, setting the mood. Also, the beautiful trees on the property have string lights hanging from the branches, making it look so unbelievably romantic. (Would be such a great photo opportunity, just saying). I’m a sucker for lighting – I’m a photographer, what can I say – so when I see a venue spice up their space with lights, it gets me so excited! Get this, their reception shed can hold up to 225 people! If you and your fiancé are planning to get getting ready photos done (you should), the bride will be very happy with the space she’s provided with… my girlfriend would tell me it’s the best part about the venue.

Check out these links to learn more:

Website: http://prairiehomesteadweddings.com
Instagram: https://instagram.com/prairiehomesteadweddings?igshid=mbwwhzhwv0s

 3. The Gables Wedding Barn

Farmhouse, but make it elegant. That’s the Gables Wedding Barn for you. A genius combination if you ask me. I couldn’t have designed a better looking venue, I give you my word. The modern, yet farm like white exterior of the barn is eye candy. The dream wedding photo location. The maximum guest number is a sweet spot at 200, not too many, not too restrictive. Perfect amount for the average wedding size! Something that makes this venue unique is that they have an outdoor option next to a wheat field which (trust me) looks absolutely stunning in photos! Besides the eye pleasing structural facility, they have a great list of preferred vendors to make your wedding planning even more easier for you! They also include a bunch of rentals in the venue booking fee (that’s a win). If you’re a fan of farmhouse like me, this is definitely, 100%, without a doubt, the spot for you and your fiancé!

My description doesn’t do them justice, take a look for yourself:

Website: https://www.thegablesweddingbarn.com
Inbstagram: https://instagram.com/gablesweddingbarn?igshid=1lqwopfz20gwv

  4.Cielo’s Garden

This location lands near Steinbach and needless to say… its gorgeous! If you want your wedding to be surrounded by nature where every you look, this is your place. If this venue fits your colour pallet and style you’re golden. 

Not only is their venue beautiful but their staff are next level. You’ll never feel so taken care of by anyone else!

Website: https://www.cielosgarden.com/Website: 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cielosgarden/?hl=enInbstagram: 

  5. Clear Lake – Elkhorn and Danceland

Last but not least I’m hitting you with a beautiful outdoor venue. As a huge outdoors guy I absolutely love this venue. This venue is right by a golf course and looks over the water. With the right light this location is stunning. After your ceremony you have the option to go down to the waters edge to take stunning sunset photos. Definitely worth considering!

 

Website: https://www.elkhornresort.mb.ca/weddings
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elkhornresort/?hl=enInstagram: 

Goodluck!

Finding the venue that suits you the best is tricky but definitely worth the work! No matter what venue you pick remember that the most important thing about your wedding will always be the experience. Make sure you do what you can to make the planning and even the wedding day a positive experience. Be in the moment and capture those memories!

Photography Winnipeg

WITH THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY, EVERYONE LOOKS GOOD

White Willow Photography believes that everyone deserves to be beautifully seen. Our photography is about capturing the very essence of the person, allowing their inner beauty to shine through. Our goal in every photoshoot is to go beyond just capturing beautiful snapshots. We are artists and trusted business partners obsessed with unique, visual storytelling and capturing unconventional beauty. Our goal is to tell your own exclusive story through photographs designed to last a lifetime.

Ready to let us work our magic? Get in touch with us. We are looking forward to speaking with you!

GOING THE EXTRA PHOTOGRAPHIC MILE – WINNIPEG

Finding a photographer that will go the extra mile is hard, but one that will go the extra photographic mile is even more rare. At White Willow Photography, our goal is to make your photographic experience enjoyable and the photographs beyond exceptional.

The very essence, of White Willow Photography, is to not just be there to take photographs but to enjoy and rejoice in your special occasions. We believe to capture the emotion and elegance of the moment; we need to be emotionally part of it. We laugh, cry, and get excited along with our clients.

Yes, we will go to your destination and that is going the extra mile. However, going the extra photographic mile means experiencing the moment with you. You will truly see the White Willow difference.

PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICES – WINNIPEG

White Willow is proud to offer many photographic services to Winnipeg customers. There are many potential photography services that we could offer, but we have decided our specialty resides in a few that bring out the true essence of our clients.

Weddings – That happen moment when two join together as one. We focus on capturing the elegance and happiness of the occasion. It is a once in a lifetime event that you want to remember for a lifetime.

Lifestyle – It is about capturing the life’s moments of pure joy. The fun times we spend together as a family and how we spend it. Yes, we take the traditional family portraits, but we want to go the extra photographic mile. We like to capture special life moments.

Couples/Engagement – The big day before the BIG Day! Your chance to show the world the beauty of two people together. Our goal is to capture the shared joy and excitement while showcasing beauty.

Every occasion is special and capturing its essence and beauty is key to perfect photography.

WINNIPEG PHOTOGRAPHY

Many often wonder what makes photographers different. With White Willow Photography, its how much we invest in each client to make sure their photography session is enjoyable, and the final product is exceptional. Contact us and find out about the White Willow Difference.

 

Bring Love into your Couple Photo Shoot

Engagement photo session holding hands

   Want to know why I love couple photo shoots so much? Because it’s two people that fit so well together, that know exactly how to make each other laugh and what to do when their significant other is sad. Together those two people go through hardships but love each other through it, and that’s worth celebrating. The love two people have is more then love at first sight or love from a Disney movie.

   Over the years I’ve taken photos with different couples. But the ones that always get me so excited are the ones that express their love to their significant other. I understand that it’s a little different in front of a camera. Especially for shy couples. That’s why I wanted to give you guys a couple steps to bring more life into your photos!

Airplane hands pose during an engagement photo session
  1. Think of a Meaningful Loation

   Your photographer might know of some really cool locations that will make the photos turn out really well. However if you want the photos to be truly special then find a location that means a lot to you! This might be in your house, or where you had your first date. The possibilities are endless. Find a location that describes your relationship. Your photographer wont know a location that is special to you or meaningful. 

   Makoy and Dani (In the photo above) asked me to take photos at La Barrier Park in Winnipeg. Although I haven’t taken photos here before I did know the location some what. Arriving at the location they pointed out to me their favourite spots at the park. We ended up find some nice shade with pine trees behind. We were able to work together to find a location that meant a lot to them and a spot at the location that was great for photos. At first they didn’t tell me but this was actually where they got engaged. At the end the of photo shoot they took me to where Makoy got on one knee. These photos didn’t only turn out amazing but they were also special to the couple.

2. Bring a Meaningful Prop

   You and your significant other know your relationship better than anyone else does. That’s why it’s up to you to think of a prop to bring to your couple photo shoot. Trust me it will make your photographers day! 

   Here’s some examples to get the ideas moving. Bring your fancy car and get some photos to show off both your significant other and your new rims. Another idea is a guitar. Maybe it means a lot to your partner that you play to them. Bring it along and have a picnic and play her some tunes! Maybe even bring a book and read it to each other. 

   The possibilities are endless. It’s an easy way to step up your couple photo shoot and bring meaning into it! 

Engagement photo session during golden hour

3. Love Languages

   Okay here it goes! Here’s the big one. Love languages, have you heard of it? By no means is this a concept I came up with. Gary Chapman wrote the book 5 Love Languages.

If you aren’t familiar with this concept I’ll give a short overview. It’s the idea that in a relationship each of us have one or two ways we feel most loved. Either Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, or Physical Touch. The book really goes deep into these and I highly recommend reading it. #NotSponsored If you would like to take the test on which love language you have you can do that HERE.

   After figuring out what love language your significant other is we can then figure out how to show them the way they feel loved on your photo shoot! Here’s some more examples

  • Words of Affirmation: Surprise them with a hand written love note, say something cute into their ear, compliment them.
  • Acts of Service: Go out of your way to help them, tell them on your photo shoot that you’ll cook when you get home. Ask them how you can help them. Make them something that you had to put effort into.
  • Receiving Gifts: Go buy them a small gift to give them, buy them flowers. 
  • Quality Time: On your photo shoot do something they like to do. Be thoughtful when picking how you spend your time. If they like reading a book together then do that!
  • Physical Touch: Get spicy! Get out of your comfort zone to show them love!

   I understand doing this might be an intimate moment, if you need to tell your photographer to give you two a moment or to take photos from a distant then do that. Don’t take these tips as rules but instead as guidance. You alone will know how to make your partner feel loved.

Enjoy!

Melanie & Kyle

Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer

Winnipeg Wedding Photography

Melanie and Kyle are such a fun and cute couple. They absolutely killed their wedding day photos and made the best out of their COVID wedding. They actually planned their wedding only a day or two before their wedding day. I really believe you enjoy your wedding day when you take time to enjoy the moment and not stress that everything needs to be perfect.

TIPS FOR ENGAGED COUPLES – 

 It’s good to be involved in your planning but don’t become consumed by it. Enjoy the moments you get to share with your significant other. The more you stress about having everything PERFECT the less you’ll enjoy the day!

Intimate weddings are becoming more and more my favorite type of weddings. As much as I love a big fancy wedding, there’s something about being able to eat pizza with your family.  Here’s some photos from the wedding!

Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer

 

After the ceremony we took a drive to Bunn’s Creek Park. Honestly for a small park in the middle of the city it had amazing colours and landscape. Here we took the family photos as well as the wedding party photos. What makes these photos some of my favorite is the amount of kids that attended the wedding. It was a blast to be able to take photos with all the kids having fun in the park. 

This wedding took place in fall and you can tell that the colour of the leaves is amazing! I personally really love how these photos came out! Also Melanie and Kyle are great models 😉

 

Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer
Wedding Couple Photography in Winnipeg Manitoba taken by Winnipeg Wedding Photographer

Steps to Booking your Wedding Photographer

If you ever wonder what’s the next step to booking your photographer, here’s a guide to help! 

 

  1. Reach out to your photographer! Great! you probably already did this. 
  2. Confirm they are available on your wedding date. 
  3. Ask to see their packages and if they have any added charges. Does this fit your budget?
  4. Set up a time to chat, it’s important to meet your photographer before putting any money down. Have them look over the contract
  5. Talk it over with your significant other.
  6. Place a deposit and sign the contract! Congrats you did it!
If at any point you decide the photographer you’re talking to isn’t the one for you, please don’t ghost them. It’s important to let a photographer know that you appreciate their time and that you won’t be booking them.

Winter Outfit Guide

Have you ever wondered what to wear to your outdoor winter photo session?? Great, I put together this guide to hopefully help you in your upcoming photo shoot. Just to be clear these images are not taken by me but taken off trusty Pinterest. 

Of course this is just a recommendation on what to wear, you do you. I tend to lean towards clothes without patterns. Another suggestions is that if one of you wears blue jeans, maybe the other should wear a jean jacket. I personally love the beige look. Try black jeans with a white or beige sweater. 

If you’re still wondering what to wear try surfing Pinterest a little or ask a friend!

These photos were not taken by me, you can find these photos on Pinterest.

How to Choose a Wedding Venue

 

Be picky. This is your special day and you only get one chance, if you aren’t 100% into it, don’t choose it! Don’t be pursued by the prices they may offer you in order for you to choose them, if you don’t like it, keep the train moving. Sometimes restrictions like COVID or your budget can come into play, but there’s always a way! 

Determine a budget and stick with it. Don’t even browse for venues that are out of your budget, because it’s likely you will fall in love with them and will want to change your budget. It’s better to start off your marriage without any financial setbacks am I right? There’s a venue out there for everyone. Don’t start by looking at the expensive venues.

You will want to make sure the venue you are considering has flexible hours or are open until the time you want your after party to go. Also, keeping in mind the time it will take to take down all the decor, etc. 

Make sure you know every single little thing they may charge you for; if they offer you a package, compare their price with vendors you can provide yourself with. Hidden fees are not fun, make sure you ask the appropriate questions to insure the best outcome! Also make sure to ask about cancelations, are you able to get your deposit back? This is very important especially with the uncertain times we are experiencing.

Think about you and your spouse’s values and personalities. Are you super social and love people? Or are you guys more private and like to have your own space? Make sure to take note of how private or non-private the venue you are considering is. If you are like me (more private), you will want to make sure there are no outsiders able to catch a glimpse of your wedding. Your wedding is a very personal moment and some people appreciate the extra privacy!

REVIEWS. REVIEWS. REVIEWS. I can’t stress to you enough how important it is to do your research before considering a venue. Things you will want to know before falling in love with the style, is how friendly the staff is, if they are negotiable, if their prices are reasonable, how the property is maintained, etc. The last thing you want is to absolutely love the style and theme, but end up being disappointed with horrible customer service or to be ripped off. Use your head, not your eyes. Easier said than done, I know. At the end of the day venues are there to serve you and a venue that has put in the work to make their clients feel loved and appreciated will show through the reviews and even word of mouth.

 

Here are some important questions to ask your venue before you book them:

  • Is this the right size of venue for the number of guests I have?
    • Is it easy to find?
    • Where is parking? On-site or nearby? Does it cost extra?
    • Are their hotels close by if need be?
    • Are there shuttle services or transportation options for guests who have been drinking? 
    • Is there a dance floor?
    • If it’s an outdoor venue, is there an indoor location? (indoor backup plans are a must)
    • Do they allow outside vendors or do they have ones that they partner with?

This is an exciting time in your life, a time to celebrate love! I hope with all my heart that the wedding planning process is just another highlight of your story and not a tragedy. These steps and questions will get you that much closer to your happily ever after!

5 Best Locations for Photos in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Over the years of shooting different couple sessions I’ve found the perfect locations in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Locations can make all the difference, find the one that matches your likes and personality. Not the outdoorsy type? That’s fine, there’s a lot of amazing city locations. Or maybe you enjoy hikes and the smell of pine trees. There’s a location for you. 

   It’s important after a location sparks your interest to go check it out. You can even do this from home! Here’s some useful tips for scouting your location. 

  1. Research: Look up your location on Instagram, Facebook, and Google. For example if you type into instagram “Birds Hill” It will start to show you a bucket load of photos others have taken there. You might have to sort through a bunch of selfies, but you’ll find some pretty locations. You can also look up “Photo Shoot at Birds Hill” in Google and then you’ll be able to see what other Photographers have done with that location. You can also find a location by downloading a hiking app. This can show you amazing trails and some photos from these locations!
  2. Scout it out! It’s important to take some time to just look around. If you don’t know what you’re looking for then try looking for some shaded areas, or a view, or even some pretty colours.

   Check out my list of locations below for some of my favourite recommendations.

  1. Birds Hill Provincial Park 

   

  I have to start off with my favourite! Birds Hill is filled with a variety of locations. Want beach photos, a tall forest, or even a beautiful field. What more could you want for your engagement shoot?! I often run mini sessions at Birds Hill because of the variety for my clients to pick from. You also have Pineridge Hollow for a post photo shoot bite to eat. If you are looking for a beige look for your photos I would say Birds Hill is perfect.

2. Assiniboine Forest

 

   This is the perfect spot for your engagement photo shoot! This is a much closer option for those living central Winnipeg. I’ve even seen some wedding photos being taken here! If you’re looking for a rustic outdoors look with plenty of trees then this is a place for you. This location is my favourite in the summer during sunset! Personally I don’t go for the green leaves in my photos but instead I like the wild grass and bushes that grow in some of the fields. Keep in mind that there aren’t that many washrooms and if you’re shooting in winter then there’s not many places to warm up.

 

3. St. Vital Park

   

   Forest, Bathroom, and Geese! This location definitely has its pros and cons. But it still makes it onto my top three. Here’s why, I love the amazing cleared out forest but I’m not a big fan of all the green. Personally my style has shifted more and more, and I choose to stay away from the green. If this fits what you want then this is perfect. Now in winter this location is my favourite. For one reason and one reason only, It’s the Duck Pond building. This building is used for putting on skates, warming up, and going to the washroom. For winter photo shoots this is amazing. I’ve had so many photo shoots that are always sooooo cold and then the faces start to go pink and it’s never fun. So St. Vital Park is perfect for playing in the snow, skating, and a nice cup of hot chocolate.

 

4. Exchange District

 

   If you’re looking for those city vibes for your insta you probably have thought of the exchange district. But where exactly in the exchange district is good for the photos you want. Here’s a couple ideas for spots to check out!

 

  • City Parking Lot: Top of indigo parking lot at Mcdermott and Rorie
  • Tunnel: King St. and Bannatyne Ave
  • Nice Ally with vintage Bar: Bannatyne Ave and Rorie St and McDermot Ave
  • Red River College – Exchange District Campus

 

   You can’t get the city feel like the exchange district anywhere else. Make sure to scout out the location before scheduling your shoot.  

 

5. Grand Beach

 

   Besides the water always being cold… This location gets the best sunset photos! If you have the time to drive out there and it’s warm out, then I highly recommend this location. You can make a fun day out of your photo shoot by also going for a hike!



   Whatever your tastes are, there’s a location for you. I find with a bit of exploring you can find amazing locations anywhere! Even better than Pokemon Go hunting! (Not really) Happy hunting.

5 Things to know before becoming a Photographer

The last thing you want is to be surprised by your photographer. Next thing you know you aren’t getting what you paid for, or worse… Your photographer shoots with a Canon camera!! I’ll try to keep my bias for Nikon out of this but so on and so forth. Keeping these 5 things in mind while booking your photographer might save you.

1. Know the style you want.

Okay imagine this… Kelly wants photos of her wedding, so she hires one of the first photographers she comes across. She sits down for a whole hour explaining the type of photos she wants. After her wedding she loses it because her photos don’t look exactly how she imagined it. Don’t be a Kelly, PLEASE. Now it’s good to have expectations of your photographer, but don’t ask your photographer to change their style to what you want. A photographer can’t change their style willy nilly. Instead find a photographer that matches what you’re looking for.

If you don’t know the style of photos you want, try searching Instagram or Pinterest for some different styles you like. Maybe just pick something that will match the walls of your living room, that you impulsively painted a shade too close to brown.

2. Photos? What about everything else?

Now that you know what style of photos you want, what about everything else? There’s more to your photo shoot than the photographer showing up and taking your photo and calling it a day.

It’s important to clarify some things before booking your photographer. Each photographer works differently, so it’s good to be on the same page for the day of your photo shoot. Try asking questions like, “Do you deliver digital files I can download?” or “How long does it take to get our images after the shoot?” or even ask if they offer prints or albums. This will help clarify all the unknowns before picture day.

3. Budget

Photographers charge money, and sometimes it feels like a lot of money. But that’s a conversation for another time. Here are some things to clarify about expenses. Are there additional expenses? Travel fee? How much is the deposit? And finally what is their cancellation and refund policy? These questions will help you stay out of any sticky situations. I hate sticky situations.

4. Reviews

This one’s kind of obvious but make sure to check out what others are saying about the photographer you’re considering hiring. This will help you know what you might be getting yourself into. This will also help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your photographer.

5. Personality

I saved the best for last. Photographers come in all shapes and sizes. To get the best possible outcome for your photo shoot, find the photographer that matches your personality. There’s quiet and loud photographers, there’s photographers that blend into the background and there’s photographers that aren’t scared to join in on the dance floor. Find a photographer that will make you the most comfortable on your shoot. Most photographers express their personality pretty quickly through email or text, or even a video call.

With these 5 tips I have no doubt you’ll find the right photographer for you!

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