Ryan Van Der Hout from Luminous Weddings shares Tala and Aaron’s gorgeous elegant refined and fun winter wedding at the Berkeley Church.

We don’t stage photos, we help set the stage for authentic moments to unfold. How has this approach worked out so well for your clients?

Most people don’t want to feel posed and they don’t want to feel like their entire wedding day is a photoshoot. That said, they want beautiful photos and they want to look stunning in them. For that reason being fully candid or photojournalistic is also not going to work for most couples because they are going to need some prompts on what to do. What we’ve found is setting the scene for amazing things to take place is the perfect balance. We bring intentionality into every moment so that things are lit perfectly.

We also like to bring emotions in as much as possible.

People often spend the whole day trying not to cry, but that photo with a parent or your partner when the emotions come flooding out is likely going to be a favourite photo.


Your love of photography began at age sixteen pursuing photography in a dark room. How do you feel beginning this way continues to influence your work?

Beginning at such a young age has allowed photography to become second nature. At this point, the camera is merely an extension of my mind and body so when I’m with my couples, I am fully present for them. I’m not thinking about something technical because I’ve already done that work. The most challenging and rewarding part is now entirely around relationships, allowing people to express themselves through their photos and truly be present.

Having started in the darkroom and studied photography just gives me a wider range of inspiration to pull from because I know the history of photography right from the beginning.

How does having a career also simultaneously as a fine art photographer bring in influences to the wedding albums you create?

I think being in the fine art world allows me to think outside the box sometimes, but in terms of our albums and prints I’m very conscious of what is current and is going to look good for the next 50 years+. I also have studied photographic conservation and so make sure everything we put out into the world is built to last.

A lot of what you see being made, especially as wall art, by wedding and portrait photographers is not at all archival so we try to educate our clients to invest in photos that will look the same to their great grand-children as it will the day we deliver it.

How would you describe the wedding style Tala and Aaron chose for their Berkeley Church wedding and how did you envision capturing the day based on this?

Tala and Aaron’s wedding was classic yet refined and honestly a whole lot of fun.

They are people who really value photography and drama. For their first look, even though it was the middle of winter we got up onto the rooftop of the Grand Hotel because Tala wanted that moment to be epic.

“Leena who owns Let’s Party Consultants recommended us which is a true honour! Photography was super important to Tala and Aaron and we wanted to just blow them away. The Berkeley Church is one of our favourite venues in Toronto. It is an olde church the was converted to a venue but retains many of the original details like the stained glass and millwork.” Luminous Weddings

You mention that “The Berkeley Church is one of our favourite venues in Toronto. It is an old church the was converted to a venue but retains many of the original details like the stained glass and millwork.” What are some of the ways you so beautifully translate these attributes in your work ?

The Berkley Church is truly one of the most beautiful venues in Toronto, it is exactly what you would think of when you think of an old church as a backdrop. Everything looks original and has the patina of history; while still being a modern venue that is very comfortable to party down in. Some of our favourite features are the stained glass, as natural light is a key element to great photos; the loft area allows us to take dramatic photos down to the first floor; and the mirrored double staircase, which makes a stunning location for photos.

If you had to pick a favourite wedding portrait of the couple which one would it be and why?

I think any of the photos of the two of them on the stairway leading up to the ceremony space.

It’s truly a magical spot and they seem just fully in their own element there.

What were some of the priorities Tala and Aaron had for their big day and how did you highlight these priorities in the album you created for them?

I think relationships were really the most important thing for them, so foregrounding family, their bridal party and friends, as well as their love for each other, was really what their album centred around.

From a photographers perspective what are some of the best things about a winter wedding?

I really love winter weddings. I think part of it is that for most photographers being inside without a lot of natural light is kind of a scary thought. But for me, that’s when my creativity gets to come alive even more. We get to spend more time engaging with architecture in our portraits because we are typically inside. I think guests also love it because in the summer there are 101 fun things to do, but a wedding in the winter is going to be a big night out so it’s bound to be more of a party. Lastly, when we can, photographing falling snow is just gorgeous and adds drama to any photo – like rain without the fear of getting soaked.

Ryan Van Der Hout Luminous Weddings 

Berkeley Church 

Let’s Party Consultants