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Archive for the ‘Love.’ Category

On a cold February day in Kleinberg, my good friend Stephanie and her fiance, Scott tied the knot. Steph and I met at a studio in Toronto where we both told a mutual friend that we wanted to be each other’s friend but didn’t know how. hahaha. Our mutual friend then told us both that we were ridiculous and to go out together and after that, the rest was history!

Steph and Scott and I also share a house, each in a different apartment in the Junction. Over 5 years in the making of our friendship, and I would have to say that Steph is a special woman. She has the great ability to listen to your problems and your celebrations, and always be truthful and non-judgemental support. Steph is also a ton of fun! She was for a long time my single girlfriend in the city to go out with, have drinks and dance the night away.

Many nights we would chat about our relationship woes and we would both wonder if the saying “When you know, you know” is really true. On a serendipitous type of encounter, Steph met Scott, and now she is a true believer of “When you know, you know.” Suddenly, Steph’s world changed and within months she was living with Scott and a year later they were engaged. I have never seen my friend happier and I too, now believe that this saying is really a “thing.”

Scott is more reserved than Steph, has an artistic flair, a love for sport and hanging out with friends and family. Steph can be high energy and Scott has a great ability to slow her down. Together, the twosome are a fun and supportive team and I couldn’t be happier for them.

While Steph is the Queen Bee of organization, production and planning, Scott focuses on the creative details. A romantic and insanely time-consuming DIY that Scott undertook was the creation of Steph’s paper bouquet. Steph had brainstormed and made her Pinterest page for the wedding, incorporating her love for a flower-less bouquet. Months and months went by and Steph consumed by other projects, realized she wouldn’t have the time to make her bouquet made of her favourite novels. In the meantime, Scott decided that he would surprise her with the hand-made bouquet of her dreams. Scott tea dyed each page of Steph’s favourite novels and then hand painted the edges. He dried them in the oven and cut them carefully in petal formations. After realizing that this diy would take much more time than he anticipated, he had to tell Steph what he was up to. She was stunned by his romantic and ambitious act of love. Scott went on to finish 5 paper bouquets and 5 boutannieres. It took him over hrs and seriously won him brownie points!

Steph and Scott are a fun, casual and no fuss kind of couple. They wanted their wedding to reflect that. Scott comes from a small family and Steph, being Porteuguese, has an enormous one! After careful consideration, Steph realized that her dream of a tiny wedding was not realistic for her family. She has many extended relatives that she considers her immediate family, and so with a little arm twisting Scott agreed and gave up on his dream wedding to be married by Elvis in Vegas!

The couple did their best to cut out some typical traditions that they just didn’t feel reflected them; like the late night seafood table and a big cake. Choosing a large enough venue for people proved to be a challenge at first. The couple wanted something more special than a banquet hall, yet within a manageable price range. The Doctor’s House was a perfect fit! Surrounded by nature and with a quaint church, it suited Steph and Scott wonderfully.

Steph and Scott wanted the details to be limited as the venue spoke for itself. The couple potted simple miniature evergreen trees for the centre-pieces which added a fresh spot of colour against the winter scene out the windows. They also made all the guest favours; small packets of chocolates.

Since steph’s favourite “colour” is black, it was only fitting that the bridesmaids wore their own choice of black dress and accented their nails and shoes with bright red. The boys wore fitted navy suits.

All in all, this wedding day was a day that Steph and Scott really focused on the joining of their friends and families. There were great speeches, a surprise song by a close friend and family member, and the night ended with dancing the night away!

Steph, I am so happy you found your “when you know, you know.” You deserve someone who will love, motivate, accept and continue to surprise you. Scott, you make my friend truly happy for all those reasons and more. You are a man for life.

xx – april

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VENDORS

VENUE | CEREMONY | CATERING

The Doctor’s House, Kleinberg

DJ

Platinum Entertainment Solutions

FLOWER BOUQUETS

Groom

MAKEUP + HAIR

Karima Sumar

FIRST DANCE SONG

“When the Right One comes Along” by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio from Nashville Soundtrack

 

 

 

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Carla and Russel are laid-back, fun-loving and quirky. The later I stayed into the wedding, the more I learned that this group of friends and family are incredibly FUN!!!! They might come across quiet and unsuspecting but really that is not the case at all! 😉

Since the couple got engaged at the Toronto Zoo, it seemed only fitting to incorporate their mutual love for animals. They made a donation to the Zoo in lieu of favours and included a gold animal with animal fact on each dinner table.

My first pleasant surprise was the reception entrance. The bridal party and couple entered with the fierceness of a wrestlers WWF challenge. AND – did I mention they had a wrestlers belt? This certainly set the tone for a party…and it just got started there.

“The Love Supremes” performed to impress that night and EVERYONE danced the night away! I find that many weddings music either makes or breaks the party and a band almost always is a guarantee to keep people moving and encouraged to be involved. Mostly, I think this is true because they play covers which every age group can enjoy. Secondly, they set the tone with their high energy. This party certainly was high energy.

I forgot to mention that before the dancing even began, a slew of karaoke wonders happened. The “kissing game” involved guests coming up to sing and WOW! There are certainly some musical talents in this crowd! The couple also played the traditional shoe game but added a quirky twist by holding up giant cutouts of their faces instead of shoes.

All in all, the day and night was a blast. Carla and Russel are a pleasure to be around and you could tell that was the case by how much their friends and family got into the wedding festivities. You could really feel the love this day and I think that you can see that in these photographs.

All the best to you two. I certainly walked away that night feeling like I should approach life with as much fun and gusto as the two of you.

xx – april

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VENDORS

Reception:

Angus Glen Golf Course

Wedding Planner:

Rebecca Chan Weddings + Events

Decor/Flowers:

Fete Boutique

Band:

The Love Supremes

Cake:

Bobbette & Belle

Transportation:

Red Star Limo

Hair:

Puzzle Creation

Makeup:

Fiona Man

Slo Mo Videobooth:

Event Circle

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As many of my reader’s know, I often post about my best friends’ children. Since I don’t have any of my own, I give my undivided attention to Elise and Ethan when I see them. Soon enough, they will be grown and babies no longer 😦

A quick trip to Springridge Farm in Milton proved to be a success for Elise but not so much for Ethan. Ethan was less than impressed on this trip but Elise was in good spirits. At least we were successful for one!

We tried our best to capture some cute shots of the kids and the kids with their mamas. Here are just some of my favourites.

xx- april

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Bailey and Tom had an intimate tented wedding celebration on Bailey’s family farm in Stouffville. They wanted the wedding to reflect who they are; fun and casual, so the family farm was a perfect fit. The farm kept it rustic and elegant and together with the couple’s family and friends, they were able to do everything themselves. Not only did this save money, but left an impression of the couple, their style, and their life ambitions together.

Everything was scheduled on site which made the day relaxed and all about the party! Guests were invited to camp out on the property and a cozy seating area dotted around a campfire circle waiting in anticipation for marshmallow roasting. The couple’s fun touches were the “Dance Floor Rules Sign” as well as two of their favourite drinks as Signature Drinks. Bailey’s family collects classic cars, so they incorporated some of the cars into the décor as well as the pictures. Bailey’s mom and aunt did the planter arrangements, and Bailey’s family friend Patty Yake did the head table decor, dessert and gift table as well as the flowers for the arch. Another friend named Patti Skelton was a huge support for the family from beginning to end and was in charge of purchasing decor, and the runner for last minute errands on the wedding day. All in all, the couple had a huge support system that they can’t thank enough!

Bailey loves horses, so she wanted to arrive in a horse and carriage as a surprise to everyone except her mom. All décor and details were collected, donated, or bought by the wedding party and parents of the bride and groom. Hay bales were covered with burlap as ceremony seating, and a fake flower arch was the focal point for the ceremony. I had never seen a fake flower arch but I was impressed at how real it looked. It is a brilliant idea to prepare if you plan on doing your own flowers ahead of time! The bridesmaids and moms helped make all the guest favour home-made jams and the set-up of the reception was a full family effort. Overall, the decor was simple and elegant with a country rustic flair.

Bailey included a portion of her mom’s dress in her dress, as well as a picture of her dad on her bouquet as he had passed away – even though her stepdad walked her down the aisle, she still had a piece of both her mom and dad with her. Tom first met Bailey in Toronto, so his cuff-links were a map of the city (which also happened to show Stouffville, the location of the wedding).

You could feel the love on this gorgeous wedding day, understanding that family and friendship means the world to Bailey and Tom. The afternoon ceremony was tearful and heartfelt as the couple pronounced their affectionate vows to each other. There wasn’t a dry eye in the field.

I couldn’t be more honoured to be there to capture the day. Bailey and Tom; you have something truly special. I hope you remind yourselves everyday of the love, friendship and admiration you had for one another the moment you said “I will”.

All the best to you both!

xx – april

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FROM THE BRIDE’S MOUTH

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE DETAIL?

“Our homemade jam favours, as the bridesmaids and moms made it together. It took an entire day of prepping the jars, making the actual jam, and tying on the burlap tops with the perfect bow.”

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENT?

BAILEY: “After the ceremony was over, walking back up the aisle hand in hand with Tom to everyone clapping and cheering – it hit me that we were officially married and could now celebrate! Also the bridal party entrance to the reception – we all got to have a lot of fun with that and set the tone for the rest of the night. “

TOM: “First seeing Bailey as she arrived in the horse drawn carriage and walked down the aisle.”

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DANCE SONG AND WHY?

“Our first dance was “10,000 Emerald Pools” by Borns. We both love this song and Borns, so the acoustic version of this song seemed like the perfect fit for our first dance. Also as sappy as it may sound, the lyrics capture the way we feel about each other – at the end of the day all we need is the other person.”

VENDORS

VENUE

Bailey’s family farm in Stouffville

OFFICIANT

Leslie Sedore

CEREMONY MUSICIANS

Walla Music

DJ

Bob Hawkins

HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE

Lionel’s Farm

FURNITURE/DECOR RENTALS

Affair Rentals

FLOWERS

Stouffville Florist

MAKEUP

Katie Assinck

HAIR

Rhonda Cox

DRESS

David’s Bridal

SHOES

Project Elegance

SUIT

Newman’s Menswear

BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE

Bill Levkoff

BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS

Bridesmaids: robe, champagne glass, embroidered maeup bag, Kate Spade Bracelet

Groomsmen: Cufflinks, bottle of liquor, tickets to Jays game

STATIONERY

Debbie LeBuffe

PIES

John Leadbetter

FAVOURS

Home-ade Jam

BUDGET

$20-30K

NUMBER OF GUESTS

125

SECOND SHOOTER

Lelania

 

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Vania’s brother and Frank collect hockey cards and when Vania and her brother bought a house together, they started “Bbq Wednesday’s” where Frank made frequent appearances. Soon after that, Frank was a house staple for not just hockey cards.

Vania and Frank are laid back and a ton of fun! They wanted their photos to be relaxed and candid and in the heart of their neighbourhood which is also my neighbourhood; the Junction. We had a blast shooting with the full bridal party, wandering around in back alleys, the local ice cream joint and even No Frills. This no fuss group enjoyed every moment and even Frank, who doesn’t enjoy being photographed, lasted a patient 2 hours! I was impressed.

Documenting Vania and Frank was easy. Frank makes Vania laugh out loud every minute. Sometimes with a dry joke, and other times he barely utters a word. She is clearly head over heels for this genuinely sweet man.

Often times shy or photographically challenged couples approach me with worry about their wedding day but I always encourage them that a candid approach works….and well. Sometimes, these shy couples even work wonders for the camera, because they are just truly themselves. This is why Frank turned out to be an easy subject. He didn’t act for the camera, he just was himself. Shooting candidly does require finesse. I still make directions, choose my composition and areas where light is of the utmost importance. After all that is chosen, I then get couples to interact with one another in a real way. This in my opinion beats shooting something purely docu-style because I still want the shot to be void of any ugliness in the background, bad direction of light or people blocking one another.

Overall this day was really enjoyable for everyone involved. Vania and Frank wanted the day to be about family and friendship, going with the notion that less is more.

You were both a pleasure.

xx – april

 

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FROM THE BRIDE’S MOUTH

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENT?

“When I saw Frank and all my nerves went away..”

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DANCE?

“Pearl Jam…Frank wanted to pick the song since he doesn’t dance. He regretted it when we were dancing. lol”

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE DETAIL?

“When April said “show me your dimple”… It floored me how she had been there for 5 minutes and noticed it right away. It isn’t always noticeable.

WHAT WERE YOUR DIY PROJECTS?

Table seating, table numbers, vases for bouquets, table menus, guest book

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING?

“Simple. Less is more. Everything went just right with the right people as a part of our day. Pinterest is a girls best friend. “

VENDORS

CEREMONY + RECPETION LOCATION

Presidente Banquet Hall

OFFICIANT

Kettle Creek Weddings

PLANNER + STYLIST

The bride, Vania

CAKE

Dazzle Me Cakes

FLOWERS

Heavenly Creations

MAKEUP + HAIR

Cristina Di Carlo and Marisa Ferreira

DRESS

Jealous Bridesmaids

SUIT

Tip Top Tailors

BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE

Lulus for the girls, guys whatever they had at home that was black

FAVOURS

Donations to heart and stroke foundation

BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS

Hats, shoes, ties for guys.

Swarvoski crystal bracelets with day of emergency kits for ladies

PHOTOBOOTH

Boothography

DJ

Digital Entertainment Group

BUDGET

Between 20-30k

NUMBER OF GUESTS

130

SECOND SHOOTER

Scott

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Erica and Luke are a fierce and funny duo and here is the layered back story of how they met:

“In 2009, Luke and his friends were randomly put on a Sail Croatia boat with two of Erica’s friends (one of them, Kayla, was a bridesmaid) for a week-long sailing trip.

Fast forward to 2011, Kayla was visiting Erica, who lived in Vancouver, and Luke was living in Whistler to do a snowboarding season with Richard ( a groomsman). Kayla, who had Luke on Facebook still, said “I met this guy a few years ago, I don’t really know him, but he was cool and he would probably let us stay on his couch for free if we want to go snowboarding”. And so Kayla and Erica went up to Luke’s. Kayla ended up deciding to stay in Whistler for a few months, so Erica would go up every weekend (between studying her masters degree) to hang out with Kayla, Luke and their friends.  Within a month, Erica & Luke were dating (but they pretty much got together after about 5 days knowing each other!). The rest is history!”

This story seems like perfect fate. I love to hear how couple’s meet and especially love circumstances so looming on chance.

Since Erica is a fellow Canadian and Luke is an Aussie, but both are living in Australia, the couple concluded that they would need to have two weddings in order to properly celebrate with all the people they love so dearly.

The Canadian wedding was chosen to be as casual and backyard bbq style as possible. 40 people flew in from overseas and they wanted to make sure that the wedding was focused on their guests and the party. Since neither Erica or Luke are very serious people, they wanted it to be fun and laid back!

A pig roast was the inspiration with lots of lawn games and outdoor seating to encourage guests to mingle and get to know one another. Since people were flying from all over the world for this wedding, Erica and Luke wanted to make sure that they could spend tons of time with each friend and family member.

Since the couple lives overseas, most of the planning and coordination was done by Erica’s extraordinary mom and Aunt Debbie. Aunt D made all of the chocolate favours, which were Canadian themed (loonies, maple leaves etc) and a campfire with feature smores were part of the Canadian integration. Since most Aussie’s have never heard of smores and are banned from making campfires, this was especially entertaining.

As for decor, Lesley Lebel, the owner of the stunning venue Sagewood Farms, handled all of that with her personal collection of vintage dishware, furniture, and more!

Even though I only knew you two for a day, I feel like I’ve known you for years. You make an obvious loveable pair, evident by the outpouring of love and admiration from your family and friends from around the globe. Wherever your adventure together goes, go with all of your heart.

xx- april

 

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“FROM THE BRIDE’S MOUTH”

FAVOURITE DETAIL

“The popcorn bar! We wanted an affordable way to provide food/snacks to everyone at the end of the night after all the shots, and the popcorn bar was a hit! Also, the cupcakes – Erica LOVES baking them at home, so they were a perfect touch, and the caterers did a BEYOND BEAUTIFUL job decorating all of them and our cake… just gorgeous. Luke’s was the beer cans!! The Molson Canadian beer cans were a bit retro and also very Canadian, and they just fit the scene perfectly (and the Aussies loved them… haha!)”

ERICA’S FAVOURITE MOMENT

“My favourite moment was reaching the base of the aisle with my dad; everyone under that big beautiful tree, and my husband-to-be looking like a stud at the other end of the walkway.”

LUKE’S FAVOURITE MOMENT

“My favourite moment was at the end of the night, with a sparkler send-off to the Canadiana camping tent where we spent our first night together as man and wife.”

FIRST DANCE SONG

“Island in the Sun by Weezer – It’s been my favourite song since forever, and when we got together, Luke really got into them as well. We even saw them live at a festival in Squamish BC, where the lead singer sang the song while walking beside us in the crowd! The band has always held a special place for us, signing along to their songs on road trips, seeing them live in Melbourne, and the song was perfectly upbeat, laid back, and very paradise-y (with a bit of a rock-y chorus), perfect for our day.”

WHAT ERICA HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR WHEN CHOOSING A PHOTOGRAPHER

“Number 1 important factor, is that the photography was non-cheesy, candid and natural photography, which you don’t just nail in 80% of your portfolio; you nail it every time. So that was a major factor. But we also fell in love with your stuff the moment we read how you try to take lots of photos of the guests so that we can remember that too – obviously, with everyone flying in, that was a big thing for us. And finally, the finishing and editing of your photos is just so natural but with that light, pink-y kind of finish that makes it look like a fantasy (which it was). It’s just enough editing to make it beautiful but still totally imperfect like the subjects are. And to be honest, I totally think you could charge more than you do. The only other photographer that we considered other than you was $4,500 for one photographer. That was super expensive, but I thought you were a total bargain for what we got, and now that we’ve seen the result… like, we legit won the lottery.”

VENDORS

VENUE

Sagewood Farms

OFFICIANT

Rob Brouwer

CATERING

Feast Your Eyes Catering

CAKE

Feast Your Eyes Catering

FLORALS

Mint Floral Co

MAKEUP + HAIR + NAILS + TANS

Brooklyn Salon+ Spa

DRESS

Maggie Sottero

GROOMSMEN ATTIRE

Tip Top Tailor

SHOES

Klub Nico

FAVOURS

Homeade Chocolates

BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS

Coordinates bracelets from Etsy + Etsy Robes

STATIONERY

Custom designed by family friend

MUSIC

Spotify playlist

BUDGET

Between 30-35k

NUMBER OF GUESTS

130

SECOND SHOOTER

Jasper

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A few years ago I met Mike through shooting his brother Chris’ wedding. I have the extreme pleasure of often meeting clients this way and by default, developing a relationship with them before their wedding even approaches.

Mike and Shawna wanted their wedding outdoors and surrounded by a backdrop that they couldn’t get in Toronto; and that was a stunning beach! With the help of Luxe Weddings, the couple chose to stay at the intimate resort Azul Beach and have their wedding off-site at Marina Maroma in Playa del Carmen to be certain that their guests would have an exclusive and private wedding experience.

The day was perfect and typical Mexican weather other than an intense wind that got stronger as the day progressed. A high of 34 degrees, deep blue skies and a humid heat. I was thankful for the wind!

The groomsmen wore navy blue suits and the bridesmaids blush pink dresses. Shawna’s gorgeous and form-fitting lace gown by Paloma Blanca was a perfect selection for the tropical and hot climate. At the last moment she chose to have her hair down but partially pulled back because of the wind, and it couldn’t have been a better choice. She looked absolutely stunning and her hair stayed perfect all night!

The day started off relaxed as Shawna and Mike enjoyed the beach in the morning and got ready in the afternoon. As Mike got a massage, Shawna did her own makeup and she looked flawless!

The couple started with a first look in-between matching doorways which the couple say was the most romantic moment of the day. We then took family portraits, bridal party and couple shots and made our way to the venue for the evening beach ceremony.

The ceremony was lightly decorated since the scenery spoke for itself but it did include gold charivari chairs, white lanterns, and a beautiful arch with blush and white floral and branches weaved through the top. The ceremony was short and sweet and led by the couple’s cherished family friend Laddie Haines. Moments after walking down the aisle together, Shawna and Mike twirled and kissed in private bliss. They were finally married!

A cocktail hour ensued at the Dolphinarium and although not planned, the dolphins did a show for the guests as they enjoyed the couple’s signature Raspberry Mojito cocktail.

Guests then made their way to the reception set up on the beach for sunset. The wind had progressed to a level so high that the planner, Meghan got the venue to install a fabric wall to block the sand and wind from the tables. Luckily it helped! Although the wind prevented some decor details from being set up, it was really a Godsend to help keep it cool for guests. No one ever noticed either, as the setting was certainly stunning on its own.

Guests collected their star fish tag including their name and table number. At their table they found their name hand written on sand dollars placed on their menus. A sparkler was also attached to be used for the couple’s first dance.

The moonlight and custom love sign shined on the dance-floor as the couple entered the reception and went straight into their first dance. It was dreamy, as all the guests swayed with sparklers and Shawna and Mike danced to “Lost Together” by Blue Rodeo. This song is loved by the couple and symbolizes their love and life together. Near the end of the song, Mike picked up Shawna and twirled her around and around which got guests teary eyed and made for a great shot!

Shawna and Mike were so gracious to have such a huge turnout for their destination wedding. Many of their family and friends were able to attend and danced the night away with them.

Shawna and Mike; you were an extreme pleasure to work with and an even bigger pleasure to photograph. I wish you all the very best in your new adventure as husband and wife.

xx – april

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VENDORS

CEREMONY + RECEPTION LOCATION

Marina Maroma

HOTEL

Azul Beach

OFFICIANT

Family Friend

WEDDING PLANNER

Meghan Jakumowski from Luxe

CAKE

Lomas

DECOR/RENTALS

Lomas

DIY PROJECTS

Star Fish tags to find tables

Sand dollar place setting with calligraphy

Minted Menus

Welcome Bags

Custom Sunglasses @ Deal Cardinal

cocktail napkins @ Napkin Niche

welcome bags – @ Poppy Crate

travel mugs – @ Factory21

Gold tags for star fish – @ Karli Boutique

DRESS

Paloma Blanca

SHOES

Jimmy Choo

BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS

Swarovski Crystal Heart necklaces, Harry Rosen ties and socks

STATIONERY

Paper + Poste and Minted

MUSIC

Lomas

NUMBER OF GUESTS

80

FAVOURITE DETAIL

Sand dollar hand written place settings

FAVOURITE MOMENT

First Dance with the sparklers

 

 

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