I decided to bring my camera with me because even though I have a million pictures of other people having fun with their friends and family, it never seems to occur to me to take pictures when it's my fun and friends and family. I'm so glad I did - it ended up being such an amazing evening and I'm happy to be able to share some of my favourite images...
We all met up in front of Union Station around 4:30 on a lovely sunny Saturday. There were some introductions and lots of happy birthday wishes. Apart from Carolyn, I already knew Janine and Laura from working with them years ago (we also shot Janine's wedding in May and her sweet little nephew just last month - I'm almost her personal photographer now ;) ) but hadn't yet met Stephanie, Mary, or Vicki. Vicki and Carolyn have been friends for pretty much forever, and all the other ladies (including Carolyn) are stylists who work in photo studios making things look awesome for photographers.
John had very kindly made sure to stock the limo with a selection of white wines and champagnes - the only thing we were missing was cups, so we did what any resourceful ladies would have done, and asked the driver to pull over at Party Market..
the Birthday Girl :)
What every 40th birthday party needs - martini glasses with a big sparkly "40" on them..
back to the limo..
these glasses look fantastic, but were a bit to "spilly" in a moving vehicle - thankfully we also had flutes!
the fun is just getting started...
Laura did a fantastic job of pouring in spite of the bumps :)
Having never gone to prom or had one at our wedding, this was actually my first time in a limo that wasn't work-related (ie. shooting other peoples' weddings) It was pretty awesome :) I especially love the purply light coming through the tinted windows..
I should mention that Carolyn's son Aidan had made two mixed CDs of wicked awesome 80's tunes, which set a fantastic mood in our Party Limo (I think we all want copies Carolyn!)
I loved Stephanie's enthusiasm!
The soundtrack inspired memories of concerts, high school crushes, and fashion trends that seem hard to believe now (ie. the pinning of the lower half of the inside of your jean legs - what was that about??)
And..here we are - at the Riverbend Inn
All the ladies - I swear there was no advanced planning of what we were going to wear, we're just that good ;)
checking out the wine list
The original plan had been to sit by a window, but when we showed up they had this stunning patio overlooking the vineyard - the light was so beautiful and the temperature was perfect :)
Since I had been sitting right next to Carolyn in the limo, I ended up not getting any pictures of her on the way down. To make up for it, I got some really beautiful shots of her at dinner :)
Dinner conversation ran from discussing Love and Children to rating 80's movies (everyone loved Goonies and Footloose, but two of us weren't sure what the fuss was about Dirty Dancing. More than one of us had practiced perfecting routines from Flashdance...) This is how great friendships are forged :)
Yum - peach ginger cold soup
Janine's salad looked good too..
Okay. I like food. I eat at weddings fairly often, and the food is usually really good. This dinner was maybe the best meal I've ever had. I'm not kidding - it was fantastic :) Those are roasted garlic mashed potatoes with these beautiful mushrooms and asparagus under my steak...
And from what I heard, the chicken was also amazing..
pictures starting to get blurry = time to put the camera away ;) (this is why I don't drink while working at weddings haha..)
The limo ride back to the Royal York - very relaxed :)
To quote Stephanie's email the following day: "Carolyn has the best taste in friends :) we all had quite a few laughs"
Thanks so much to John for a lovely evening, and thanks to all the ladies involved for making it so much fun and so memorable!