Charis + Ryan

Wood House Elopement

A weekend getaway, tucked away in a riverside cottage. Cozy, slow-living vibes radiated from the time we got there to the time we left. A relaxed, unscheduled wedding-that was truly the inspiration of the day. (disclaimer: this was a styled shoot for one of my retreat weekends; however, for the purposes of the blog I wanted to tell the story as a real wedding to give you a feel for what we could plan for your intimate wedding or elopement).


Charis and Ryan decided to tell their story outdoors in the pure whiteness of winter while basking in the presence of their own company. They came with full intention and anticipation of having no plan except to cuddle next to the fire, watch their breath as they exchanged vows in the cold and dance around the rooms like no one was watching. 

We started their wedding day in the kitchen as I snapped a few photos while they cuddled in their pyjamas. Breakfast, coffee and wool socks made for the best way to kick off this cozy story. After all, the kitchen is already known for its intimate conversation, heart-felt meals and homey aromas, the perfect placement if I do say so myself!

Once the caffeine kicked in, music broke out. Luckily, the Airbnb came with a slew of records and a record player that made the next portion of the day all the more enjoyable. The crackles of the needle pressing on the record threw some retro feels our way and these two totally loved it. 


Then it was time to say yes to forever…


Getting ready together and seeing each other before the ceremony is not for everyone, but these soon-to-be weds excitedly got dressed together which made for some extra cute getting ready photos. 

Charis brilliantly put on some blunnies as her wedding shoe of choice and was able to walk in the snow much better than if she’d been wearing heels. The couple walked down to the frozen river for an outdoor ceremony on the dock. Once we finished their vows, we continued around the property for a few pictures before heading inside to warm up. 


After warming up by the fire, they sat down for an intimate dinner for two. They nestled in the corner of the living room for a catered 4-course meal prepared on a candle-lit table. Wine and board games became the rest of the night’s “agenda” as the lovers piled on top of blankets and pillows while finishing their last sips.

You can feel the love so tangibly during these unscheduled elopements. Finding the quirky things and activities unique to the area is exactly what your wedding may need. It’s like the cherry on top. Whatever you want the day to be is what you can make it, no matter the place, time or season. Telling your story is my top priority. 

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A note from the author:

While a picture speaks a thousand words, I want to give some insight and inspiration into how I go about my photography. Each couple has their own story to be told and I want to portray that through these images. Here you will read about the stories, inspiration and magic behind the galleries. Telling your story correctly is so important to me and it often starts way before the wedding actually takes place. Let’s start chatting about how we can make that happen together. Tell me about the two of you and what you love. What makes you feel the most connected? If you were to dream up anything you wanted to do on your wedding what would it be?


Photography: Evelyn Barkey Photo assisted by Marcucci Photo

Venue: The Wood House Muskoka

Design: Shannon Bellisle

Florals: Forgather Floral Co

Hair: The Hudson Hair Salon

Makeup: Makeup by Chelsey B

Catering: Common Good