By Michael Carty Photography in violet ben wedding newfoundland bride rings shoes bridal mountain gap historic gardens digby annapolis smiths cove newfie stick waders

Every wedding is unique.

Different relationships, families, friends, customs and quirks.

Violet+Ben was full of all of the above.

Besides the very real bond between lifelong friends and family, there was the unmistakable down to earth warmth of character that only Newfoundland natives bring with them.

Once they finished getting ready at the Villages of Mountain Gap, we raced to the Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal for the ceremony.  It was a beautiful day and speaking from a completely photographic point of view, they couldn't have picked a better spot for me to capture it.

After the receiving line and group photos, my wife/assistant Sandra and I took Violet+Ben for a walk through the gardens to capture some fun and beautiful images of just the newlyweds.

Then it was time to head back to the Gap for cool refreshments, delicious food, heartfelt speeches and some dancing with a sprinkle of both new and old Newfoundlander traditions (the process of stuffing a bride into wader boots while in full wedding gown is amazing to watch ;) )

And tonight I get to shoot more images of Violet+Ben as we have our first Trash the Dress session this evening at the beach - stay tuned for those :)


Best wishes for Violet+Ben in their adventurous life together and thank you for letting my wife and I be a part of your beautiful day.


By Michael Carty Photography in wedding nova scotia wedding nova scotia weddings wedding photography bride church marriage family wedding day digby digby pines resort digby legion vw bug tears of joy hometown wedding country wedding

In my line of work, you get to travel a lot.  You meet new people from all different walks of life.  But nothing has the ability of being both unique and familiar as a hometown wedding.


I've known Madison and her family for several years and I was more than happy to capture her and Michael's big day.


Before the big day, I had told both Madison+Michael that I'm all about that connection - emotional, familial, friendship and that tears (of joy) were my biggest love when shooting weddings.  They both assured me I would get my fill of tears, and they delivered...


Madison+Michael couldn't have asked for a better day for their wedding.  The sun was shining, the sky was clear and everyone was working towards making sure everything was just right before heading to the church for the ceremony.


Afterwards, we drove to the Pines Resort - a beautiful place for wedding photos, and I caught all the love and laughter with friends and family.


After a bit of shooting, we all realized how hungry we were and that was our cue to head to the Legion for the reception and some supper... (and candy...)


The candy bar was delicious and the cakes were too.  As you can see, they both had a little fun at each other's expense - welcome to married life lol!


Everywhere I looked I saw love, laughter, bonds of friendship and family.  Good natured jokes and silent moments of solemn reflection peppered the day.


My deepest thanks to both Madison+Michael and their family for letting me be a part of their big day - may your marriage be full of joy and adventure!

Esession: Melissa+Bryan

By Michael Carty Photography in melissa bryan melissa+bryan photography michael carty michael carty photography wedding nova scotia nova scotia wedding annapolis royal annapolis royal historic gardens wedding photography esession engagement session love

How cute are these two eh?

Could I find a more adorable AND photogenic couple in all of my life? 

Melissa+Bryan hail from Bedford, NS and being busy people as they are, we had limited scheduling options available for us to shoot their engagement session.  The weather was decent all week, but called for clouds and rain on the day we had planned.  Needless to say I was a little concerned over how the images would come out - if they would at all.

Don't get me wrong, clouds are terrific - they soften shadows, help my subjects from squinting like they would in sunlight and they tend to make skin look super buttery smooth... but rain... rain just kills camera gear, ruins makeup and hair (both of which were professionally done) and turn all three of us in to drowned rats.

And it DID rain - but we lucked out and it stopped a few hours before our session started!

So we had beautiful light, no rain and everything had a good wash from the earlier drizzle; I was ecstatic.

Melissa+Bryan were a gem to work with.  They were up for anything and everything as we started out at the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens (shout out to manager, Trish Fry for letting us have access after hours!) and made our way down the beautiful main street of Annapolis Royal to the piers.

What looked like a rained out day turned into an afternoon filled with smiles and laughter, love and tenderness, newly formed trust and friendships with some incredible people that I had the pleasure to capture with my lens.

I honestly can't wait to hang with these two again this September and shoot what will no doubt be a beautiful wedding - see you soon Melissa+Bryan!

8 Signs He's/She's Going to Propose this Holiday Season

By Michael Carty Photography in wedding proposal holidays

You’ve been together for a while.  You know it’s happening at some point.  But how do you really know if he/she is planning on popping the question soon?   Like how about now?  When the holidays have set everything aglow and the world just feels more romantic.  Scroll DOWN to read 8 sure-fire ways to know if he’s proposing during this magical season.  Well, sure-fire might be a stretch.  Or maybe it’s not.

1.  They've been getting mushy lately.

Like talking about your future.  Wanting to cuddle on the sofa and just look at the lights on the tree rather than tune into the usual Netflix roundup.  If they have made a distinct shift into mush-ville, there may be a ring on the horizon.

2.  They ask if you want to go on a trip.

Especially around the holidays when no one goes on trips unless they involve great Uncle Tommy and a really bad fruitcake.  If they pony up a Caribbean trip right when you’re brainstorming on ways to avoid getting your cheeks pinched by Grandma Millie, you know love is in the air.


3.  They cranks up his cheap side a bit.

Saying no to big group dinners at fancy restaurants (because aren’t those the WORST for paying way more than you should be thanks to that absurdly expensive bottle of champagne that was ordered!?), or suggesting that you Netflix and chill instead of going out on the town?  They could have a very expensive reason for resorting to his often buried cheap side.

4.  They ask what your pinterest handle is.

This one’s tricky because they either want to buy you a diamond ring or something miscellaneous.  And it could go either way.


5.  They are acting squirrely and nervous.

They're fidgety.  And can’t sit still.  When some people make big decisions, it often means they can’t plop on to the sofa with the same sense of ease that they normally do and instead, they putz around, fussing with everything, asking a million questions and generally just being odd.  Especially on the day-of.


6.  They plan a trip – without you.

Because a trip without you could very well mean a trip to see your parents which has a high likelihood of being built around “the talk.”  They could also just be going to Vegas with their friends but a little snooping around should get you the answers you need pretty fast.


7.  Your parents start acting weird.

And if there is a trip to have “the talk” on the horizon, it will be made all the more clear when your mom starts acting aloof.  This is a classic mom response.  Dad’s are generally a little more cool. Moms? Not usually so cool.


8.  They don’t seem to be doing any major shopping.

Because they're done!  If their gift is a big ass sparkly ring, they don’t need to do another darned thing!

That's it! 


I suppose this could also double as a list to avoid dropping hints that you're planning on proposing as well - good luck to you all!!


Michael Carty

Your Top 3 Wedding Investments from Real Brides

By Michael Carty Photography in wedding brides marriage photography rings dress

Flowers, venue, menu, DJ, live band, travel, invitations, honeymoon, officiants, family, friends, cake, dress, suits, gifts, best men, maids of honor, etc, etc, etc…

The list goes on, believe me – it took at least two years for my wife to plan our “simple, summer wedding”.

If you don’t get ahead of things and lock down what’s actually important, you can easily get lost in all of the minutia that weddings can entail.

Over the years, I’ve covered many weddings.  It goes without saying that I’ve also had a lot of conversations with brides.  I was always making note about what was important to them while they were planning, then comparing what was truly meaningful for them post-wedding day.

So whether you’re a bride-to-be starting to make your list or one who is neck deep in cake samples, invitations and dress fittings, save yourself some grief, doubt and buyer’s remorse by taking the advice from these experienced bridal champions.

There are three things that pop up across the board from almost each and every bride I’ve talked to – her dress, the rings and the photography.

It may not be immediately obvious why all three of these are so vital, but once you take a second to think about it, you realize that these are the only items – besides your new spouse – that you actually get to keep after your wedding.

Let’s explore them a bit to get a clearer picture:


The Dress – the star of the show, the reason we’re all here, the bride is the sparkling jewel on the crown that is the wedding day.  You’re on top of the world and all eyes are on you – and your gorgeous dress.

If the suit makes the man, then the dress makes the bride, right?

It’s what all your guests remember when they think of how beautiful you were, it’s one of those ‘specifically for you’ items that make the day extra special for you – because it is your day after all, and it’s what you’ll be showing people throughout your life from your wedding albums.

No bride wants to settle on something that ‘will do’, that just sets them up for big regret later – but you can’t go back… and you will be stuck with images of that dress for the rest of your life.

Even faced with the fact that you will only wear it this one time, my brides have insisted that there are a myriad of options for their dresses, like a Trash the Dress session or passing it on to one of their children for their wedding.

Now for those of you that are interested in a more daily use item, that’s where we move onto…

The Ring – It’s packed full of symbolism – together, forever, unbroken.  You keep it as you build a family and life together, grow old and most likely pass the onto your children and their children’s children as heirlooms.

Very romantic, as it should be.

Rings can be customized to a degree that is borderline insane nowadays.  Designed to whatever tastes you and your future spouse have.  Whether you’re a fan of Star Trek, Star Wars or Starbucks, the sky is the limit.

Rings are a physical symbol of your love and dedication to each other – and it doesn’t hurt the ego to show off a little bling every once in a while.  It’s a reminder of what led up to this special day and every day following.

But if you’re wanting an injection of 100% emotional nostalgia, we come to…

The Photography – beyond a shadow of a doubt, your wedding photography is the most emotionally charged and connected momento you will ever own.

They are windows into your day; not paintings or sketches – light from those slices of time were actually captured and can be displayed forever in your albums and on your walls for you and your whole family to relive and enjoy for all your lives.

If you have a great photographer, they’ll catch those candid moments where real emotion reveals itself, between you and your mother, father, grandmother, siblings, children, friends, new spouse – the list goes on.

Looking at those images 50+ years later, you can still hear the music and laughter, feel the caring arms embracing you both as two families come together, and the same joy and excitement you felt that day.

I will admit, I am a little biased when it comes to these three items, but while a dress is worn once and rings can be replaced(although that would probably be accompanied by a very cross spouse…), your wedding day can’t be reshot.

Because your photography holds the strongest connection to your memories of your wedding, the decision of both who you hire and how much you invest shouldn’t be taken lightly.

And I should know, my wedding photographer was dropping the ball – starting on the wedding day.  I won’t go into the details because I don’t believe in bashing another photographer and she has since gained more knowledge in the industry and taken actions to rectify our relationship.  But if I were to do it again, I would’ve done it very differently.


Do these make sense?  What would you consider the most important decisions for planning your wedding?

From what I’ve learned over the years shooting couples, I find the most important part is the couple themselves, and that’s my motto for each and every wedding.

It is your day, right?

Michael Carty