When it comes to wedding photography, every couple has their must-have shots: there are the ceremony shots, bridal party shots, family portraits, shots of just the couple, ring shots and so forth. While it’s certainly important to cross these “staples” off your checklist, truly exceptional wedding photographers know how to float into the background, allowing them to capture so much more!

Candid, unplanned photographs capture those raw, organic emotions that come naturally to you in a beautiful moment. Whether it’s a touching exchange of glances between father and daughter just minutes before the big “I do”, that look of surprise when a groom sees his beautiful bride for the first time, a teary-eyed familial embrace, or a moment of absolute euphoria, these are the beautiful moments you’ll cherish forever.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we reached out to some of the most talented, local Toronto/GTA wedding photographers and asked them to share some of their beautifully captured moments with us. Grab a box of tissues and enjoy!

Alixandra Gould Photography

“Adam and Nadine were cooling off inside the Royal Conservatory of Music before family photos when Adam’s nephew ran right up to his uncle and gave him the biggest hug he could. Nadine looked on, with a mix of laughs and tears.”

– Alixandra, Alix Gould Photography

David & Sherry Photography

“After all the planning, preparing, hair, makeup, and dressing, the wedding day really starts when the bride reveals herself to her father all dressed and ready to be given away. This is the last moment her father is going to see her as a single woman. The daughter he raised, the baby who is no longer a baby, is soon to be given away into the care of her loving husband. This moment of overcome emotion is what weddings are all about.”

– David, David & Sherry Photography

Mango Studios

“Wow, where do I start? Hands down, spending 3 epic days photographing Arati and Satish’s wedding was one of the highlights of this summer! Everything, from their designer outfits to their larger-than-life choreographed dancing performance, was nothing short of AMAZING! However, among all of these grand things, what really inspired us was the couple’s connection.

During those 3 days, we really got to know Arati and Satish and what beautiful, down-to-earth spirits they both are. Showing their genuine, raw emotions was our number one goal. That’s why we took our signature candid approach to their wedding photography. By incorporating storytelling and editorial elements, we strove to capture their emotions and the warmth they shared with their family and friends in every shot.”

*Header image also captured by Mango Studios*

– Ayyyna, Mango Studios

Olive Photography

“This couple’s first dance wasn’t just between the two of them – it also included a soon-to-be-born baby! Their giddiness about their new life as husband & wife AND parents was all over their faces the entire day. They were so incredibly happy!”

– Anastasia, Olive Photography

Elizabeth in Love

“This image was taken just as they were pronounced husband and wife. It was the look of excitement as he was about to kiss his new bride. These two share a fun and easy going relationship. They truly are best friends. We caught so many adoring glances from Neil toward Alicia all throughout the day. It was easy to feel how much this day and marriage meant to them. It was a very emotional wedding for the couple and all family and friends.”

– Elizabeth, Elizabeth In Love

Sara Monika, Photographer

“While photographing Rasih (the groom) with his family, I noticed Claire having a moment with her grandma with her dress flowing around her. I later realized that the most important women in her life (mom and best friend included) are all in one photo!”

– Sara, Sara Monika Photographer

Scarlet O’Neill

“Chris’s expression is everything in this photo. This moment is from when he met his Samantha at the aisle during their ceremony. His expression and excitement makes my heart feel such happiness. I’ve gotten to know these two over a little while and every time I see them together, I can feel the love. The way he looks at her never changes. That’s what love is about. I hope every man is this excited about their partner and the day they say I do.”

– Scarlet, Scarlet O’Neill

Purple Tree Photography

“We love this photo of Steven and his nephews and niece, minutes before the start of the ceremony. This special moment took place in Luttrelstown Castle in Dublin, Ireland where he got to marry his beautiful bride, Jenya. We flew all the way from Toronto to be a part of their big day. Steven is Scottish, and Jenya is from Canada. All of Steven’s siblings were able to come, so it became a pretty special family reunion as well. We feel that moments like these are most treasured within the couple’s families, and it creates a legacy for all the generations to come.”

– Svetlana, Purple Tree Wedding Photography

Lucas & Tay Photography/Cinema

“Life is all about the small moments and these are exactly the moments we love to capture. This was captured right after Liana’s father had ushered her up to meet her soon to be husband at the historic Knox College.”

– Lucas, Lucas T Photography

Everlasting Moments

“A photograph captures a moment in time that can never be replaced. There is nothing more precious than having your grandparents share in your special day with you!”

– Roxy, Everlasting Moments

Toronto Wedding Studios

“This photo was taken just after Sarah finished putting on her beautiful wedding dress when her father entered the room and saw his daughter looking like an exquisite princess. The look on his face shines with happiness – the moment is truly priceless.”

– Rudo, Toronto Wedding Studios

Krista Fox Photography

“I love when a couple decides to do a ‘first look’ before they walk down the aisle. Not only does it make the day much more relaxed for everyone by getting the photos out of the way early so that the couple can spend cocktail hour with their guests after the ceremony, but having this private moment almost always gives way to the most authentic emotions. The couple is able to react without having to worry about maintaining composure in front of all of their guests.”

– Krista, Krista Fox Photography

5ive15ifteen photo company

“Why do we love winter weddings? Snowball fights, obviously! Michael & Mike were brave enough to venture onto a frozen Lake Ontario to have a little fun on their wedding day. Check out that view!”

– Pat, 5ive15ifteen Photo Company

Tara McMullen Photography

“Getting groups of kids to smile at once during family photos is always tricky, never mind doing that on one of the hottest days of 2016. When we got all the littles lined up for this shot, their parents decided to help out by standing behind the camera and playing the “no laughing game.” The premise was simple – the kids were told not to laugh while the parents acted as silly as possible to get a reaction. It worked like a charm, even the couple had a hard time keeping their composure.

– Barb, Tara McMullen Photography

Laura May Photography

“Aaron and Sean got ready back to back, in the same room and did a unique first look–they turned around to see each other as soon as their suit jackets were done up. Immediately following their first sight of each other, they embraced excitedly and toasted with a bottle of champagne. Their joy and love permeated the entire home and this was one of the moments captured during that initial embrace moments before they said I do.”

– Laura, Laura May Photography

Leydon Photography

“The flower girls and ring bearer were waiting inside of this room while the rest of the wedding party was getting ready. No parents, no adults, just four little kids. I walked in on them discussing their newly missing teeth and the tooth fairy and quickly got this shot before they noticed me there!”

– Erin, Leydon Photography

Brandon Scott Photography

“Andrew, the groom, and his new father-in-law embrace as he gives away only his daughter, Camille, during their ceremony.”

– Brandon, Brandon Scott Photography


“Coming from your partner, the power of a heartfelt compliment can bring about the most genuine smile, the supreme happiness, and the most authentic emotion. It transpires trust, honesty, inner beauty and a feeling of being loved. Not surprising then, giving a compliment elicits all the same emotions as receiving it.”

– Tally & Michael, Phototerra

Rhythm Photography

“My favourite moment at a wedding has always been the first dance. I absolutely love how this couple’s first dance took place on the beach in Punta Cana surrounded by their closest and dearest friends and family. It was truly a magical moment!”

– Anita, Rhythm Photography

Olive Studio

“This was the bride and groom’s first dance, all the guests lit up sparklers and sang along to the song which made it such a special and memorable moment. The twirl was completely unplanned and spontaneous and it was the bride and groom’s favourite moment of the day.”

– Marilyn, Olive Studio Photography