Keep reading to see this gorgeous Whistling Gardens anniversary session celebrating Dianne and Bert’s 10 years of marriage!
It’s a rare thing to meet someone and decide immediately that you are meant to be. The kind of people that you never want to lose, that you would be a sobbing mess if they were ever going to leave your side. The first time this happened? It was with Dylan. We were just friends and he decided he’d go to the other side of the world for college. Once I read his Facebook update saying he was leaving to go to Australia, I had a completely unplanned, deeply felt wave of sobs come over me. I knew I not only wanted him in my life, but I also knew, without fully understanding, that our destinies were very closely tied to one another. I wanted to have in my life forever.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve experienced that kind of special connection in my life. One of those times was when I met Dianne Velthove. Facebook brought us together. We’re both crunchy mamas, photographers who love to love our couples, and our faith is incredibly important in each of our families. She’s fought some huge battles in life and weathered some serious storms. She is tenacious and she is vibrant and speaks her mind. She’s also weird like me (hooray for weird friends!). We can say completely off-the-wall stuff to each other without ever blinking an eye (the mark of a pretty incredible friendship!).
She’s the bestie I always dreamt of meeting and I just had to wait a little bit (okay a lot, about 3 decades worth) to finally meet her. Dianne is a gem and I’ve threatened that she’s never getting rid of me no matter what. It’s a lifetime deal when you meet a friend like her!
This year Dianne and her husband celebrated the big ten year mark! We are at seven, and we still feel like newbs. Marriage is this precious thing and the longer Dylan and I are married, the more we see what a delicate and resilient weaving married life is.
My cousin recently got married. At their Jewish wedding, the Rabbi summed up healthy marriage in three words: marriage is give-give. In a culture that yells that marriage is give-take, that was a pretty bold assertion that he shared. The rabbi went on to say that “taking” in marriage is evil. Shock! Horror! Another super bold statement that will make anyone squirm. But marinating on that thought leads to a deeper truth. Knowing how to receive love in marriage is important, but ‘taking’ implies “you owe me” and “give it to me since it’s rightfully mine”.
The strongest marriages we know are ones marked with giving, even sacrificing what we want some of the time. It’s this really beautiful, imperfect dance of giving and caring for each others’ hearts that keeps us humble, tender, and grateful for one another. That’s the kind of marriage we aspire to. And it’s also the kind of marriage Dianne and Bert are running after too, and we are so proud of them!
When we first stepped onto the Whistling Gardens property, we got transported to a place unlike any other we have experienced. It was otherworldly and completely beautiful! It felt like a European getaway, nestled in this small, beautiful town. Whistling Gardens is located in Wilsonville, Ontario. This Norfolk County property is very close to Brantford, Ontario. The gardens have been voted as one of Canada’s best botanical gardens. It has also won national awards and is acclaimed internationally for its beauty. Whistling Gardens is a huge property, too! It is spread over is 20 acres and there’s over 4,500 plants (plus a bird actuary!). This botanical garden is the perfect spot for engagement and anniversary sessions, and it’s a dream spot for a wedding, too!
Anyone that knows Dianne well, knows she likes to shop. Like, really likes to shop! And her taste is impeccable and so classy! She also loves beautiful things (much like myself)! For her Whistling Gardens anniversary session, she wore the cutest structured white dress that we snagged on a Winners shopping trip together. Her second outfit was a seriously stunning gold dress from JJs house. Bert was looking pretty smashing too, and rocked a suit and bow tie. Together, these two were a dream to photograph!
It was a complete honour to photograph Dianne and Bert’s togetherness at their Whistling Gardens anniversary session. They are so cheeky together, and we love how much fun they had!! Our favourite parts were exploring the Paris garden, visiting with the swans, and a fun champagne pop. But our absolute most favourite part was the last moment of the photoshoot. Bert held Dianne and told her how proud he was of her. Dianne buried her head into his shoulder and cried.
It wrecks us how powerful safe, unconditional love is. Ten years in, and 4 kids later, these two have a love that is going the full distance. They know how to have fun and laugh together. And we admire their passion for building a safe home and raising their children to be amazing, admirable humans. Dianne and Bert, we are so proud of you two and we are so happy to know you both on this life journey. Much love, always!
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We're Dylan & Sandra. Married photographers, donut lovers, and obsessed with family and our squishy toddler. We're so glad you're here! Grab a drink and stay awhile for classic + joy-filled love stories in and around the GTA, London, Niagara and the best-of wedding advice!
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