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Archive for the ‘multi-cultural weddings’ 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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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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I met Celine when I was 3 years old at our local Nursery School and since then we have always kept in touch. We were never “besties” but we had fond shared memories and always enjoyed catching up on one another’s lives when had our annual run-ins.

After I started traveling, I didn’t see Celine for maybe 6 years until I returned home and joined my gym spin class and she was the instructor! We laughed and chatted for a long time after she destroyed me on the bike! Since then, we saw each other regularly either in our new Toronto hood or at the gym.

Torsten, a very tall and handsome German man frequented Celine’s Monday night spins. Soon enough I learned that he was her other half. After months and months of Monday night spins and after workout chats, Torsten hired me to photograph his condo which was up for sale. From there, our friendships blossomed and soon enough I had the true pleasure of being asked to photograph their wedding day! I was so excited for Celine!!! After many years of us talking about life and relationships – she was getting hitched to both of our surprise! She never thought of herself as the marrying or “do it in sequence” type and here she was – planning her wedding! We find ourselves laughing at life’s surprises and embracing the change.

Celine did an excellent job of making a casual lunch wedding. Firstly, the couple decided that having the wedding on a Sunday would set the pretense that this event would not be a huge dinner or party. They looked all over the city for a venue and to their surprise fell in love with the newly renovated Holcim Waterfront Estate in Mississauga. It feels like a lakeside retreat but it is only minutes from the city and from where Celine grew up. It was perfect for an outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour. The couple added vintage touches around the grounds such as their welcome drink station. Wine barrels acted as table legs, holding “his” and “hers” flavoured lemonade. Crates were stacked alongside, showcasing photos of the couple. A gorgeous gold framed mirror finished off the whole look. Seating was also a lovely feature that sat around the pond and scattered in pretty groupings.

The ceremony was quite special as Celine and Torsten were merging two families and two cultures. Their friend was their officiant which made the ceremony that much more intimate. Other friends took turns doing readings and when Celine and Torsten went to sign their registry, they locked a bottle of champagne in a box. This box had two keys with each of their names on one. Each gave their key to a friend that they cherish and this friend would guard the key until Celine and Torsten would celebrate an anniversary.  These friends were not only the key keepers, but also represented guidance and support for each Celine and Torsten, when their marriage faces hardship. Another very sweet touch that was added was the flag ceremony. The couple had a Canadian and German flag sewn together. At the joining of their marriage, they each cut a side of the flag into a heart shape and met their scissors in the middle.

Celine, I am truly honoured that you chose me to be part of your small and intimate Sunday lunch wedding. The day had “YOU” written all over it; from the casual but elegant setting to the vintage details and unique ceremony procession. I am elated that you found the man who makes you happy, keeps you on your toes and keeps you real. Torsten, thank you for making my photos even more heart-felt with your crying spells! lol. You are a caring and charming man who has many friends that care deeply for you in return. That says a lot about your kind character.

I wish you both all the best in your future endeavours together. Whether it be more spontaneous travel weekends, new fitness goals or even a sweet mixed baby (I’m sorry I can’t help it Celine ;)) – I am excited to witness you doing it together.

xx – april

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VENDORS

CEREMONY + RECEPTION LOCATION

Holcim Waterfront Estate, Mississauga

WEDDING DAY COORDINATOR

Cheryl Eidt

OFFICIANT

Mike VanSlingerland

FURNITURE + PROP RENTAL

The Creative Occasion

 

 

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Rory came to Toronto on a year holiday visa from Ireland and tagged along for a weekend trip to London, Ontario with his cousin, Jennifer. Justine is Jennifer’s best friend and had been told that she and Rory were “musical soul mates.” It turns out she was right! The rest was history!

Justine and Rory haven’t been apart since and have lived together in both Canada and Ireland and have been to more concerts than she can count! Ironically, Rory’s cousin Jennifer eventually met Rory’s best friend and now they too are married.

Rory planned to pop the question to Justine after a Friday night dinner at one of their favorite neighborhood restaurants. Unbeknownst to Justine he intended to propose on the walk home. Justine however, ruined his plan, (like many an engagement story) insisting on hurrying back to the house. As she was rushing around trying to get ready for a big family barbeque they were having the next day, he stopped her and in the middle of their hallway got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Spending the rest of the weekend celebrating with family and friends is something they’ll always remember.

The twosome got married at the gorgeous Fermenting Cellar in Toronto’s Distillery District and almost all of Rory’s family from Ireland was there! They tried to blend classic and formal elements, mostly a black-­and-­white color scheme, with more laid back contemporary touches to keep it from feeling stuffy.

You guys were a blast to photograph and I had fun trying to understand the entire families Irish accent and “pretend” that I understood! lol

xx – april

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VENDORS

Number of guests:
130

Wedding song/explain choice:
“Palaces of Montezuma” by Grinderman. Nick Cave is one of our favorite musicians and
we felt that this song, written for his wife, was a beautiful and upbeat choice.

Honeymoon:
Puerto Rico followed by a Caribbean cruise

Ceremony location:
St. Basil’s Church

Reception location:
Fermenting Cellar

Bridal gown designer/boutique:
Le Spose di Gio from Dina Alonzi Bridal

Bride’s veil from Dina Alonzi Bridal
Bride’s shoes from Kate Spade

Bridesmaids:
Monique Lhuillier from Dina Alonzi Bridal
Jewelry from Stella and Dot

Groom’s Suit:
Custom from P.J. Newman’s Menswear, Ireland

Wedding planner:
Day-­of coordination by Michelle Kavanagh of Bespoke By Michelle.K

Music:
Traditional Irish music by Alana Cline
DJ services by Maren Hancock of Dialed In DJs

Hair:
Makai Salon, Streetsville

Makeup:
Fiona Man

Flowers:
Blush & Bloom

Stationary:
Bella Figura

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May 2 couldn’t have been a nicer day. A spring wedding can be sometimes nerve-wracking as any Torontonian knows our springs aren’t very predictable. It turns out this day was perfect however and Christine and Bryan were getting hitched! It was the first Saturday of May and the Gardiner Expressway was closed. I was fearful of a mad traffic jam so I took the subway and ended up arriving at the Trump an hour before my start time. I couldn’t believe the luck of the day. 22 degrees, sun, a breakfast wrap and coffee and not a worry in the world about arriving on time. AHHH. A sigh of relief.

My day of work started with ample details at the Trump Hotel. It is one of my favourite hotel locations because of their service. The staff are beyond hospitable and have helped in a rainy jam one too many times. No to mention, the textures and colours of the bar behind the front desk are just dreamy. Most hotels in this city have revamped their look to a more modern and clinical feeling which is never fun for finding textures and colour for photography. Since Christine was getting ready at the hotel I knew that the colourful backdrops would suit the Berkeley textures and eclectic whimsy. We got gorgeous getting ready shots and headed to St.Paul’s Basilica for the ceremony.  The bride walked into the church to “Yellow” by Coldplay being played on cello and violin. It was a short and sweet ceremony, which allowed for plenty of time for the bridal party to take many pictures at Todmorden Mills and Berkeley Field House, and we even stopped by a nearby railroad to snap some couple photos.

The reception was a tremendous celebration with free-flowing alcohol, great food, touching speeches, a never empty dance floor, and most importantly so much love and happiness in the room. Christine and Bryan’s family and friends are warm and welcoming people and by the end of the night, I felt at home with them. What a lovely day to compliment a lovely couple. I know you both will do amazing things in your life together.

 

xx- april

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VENDORS


LOCATIONS

VENUE: Berkeley Fieldhouse 
CEREMONY LOCATION: St. Paul’s Basilica 
OFFICIANT OR PRIEST:  Father Frank McDevitt
HOTEL:Trump Hotel Toronto 

ATTIRE

DRESS:Cher by Watters from Felichia Bridal
TUX:Michael Kors rented from Freeman Formals
BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE: After Six from Saratinas Bridal Boutique 
SHOES:BCBG 
ACCESSORIES:BHLDN 
WEDDING BANDS: Twain Designs 

FOOD
CAKE: Andy’s Wedding Cakes 
CATERING:Berkeley Events 


DECOR

FLOWERS:Art of Celebrations 

ENTERTAINMENT

MUSIC:Duo Fiore (Ceremony)
 Indie Wedding DJ (Reception) 

BEAUTY

HAIR/MAKEUP:Hair by Paulina Gorecki
 Makeup by Gina Frantzis 

STATIONARY

INVITATIONS:Wedding Paper Divas 

GIFTS
BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS:Bread & Circus Fine Jewelry  

DIY

    "Reception stationary was obtained using free wedding templates online and printing them at MACH II Press in Toronto."

    "Flea markets, yard sales and second hand stores were visited for the year and a half leading up to the wedding to obtain décor items that 
fit the vintage inspired theme to be used for the receiving table and other décor for the reception – among our favourite pieces found- vintage 
tiered cake trays, small vintage vessels, a candelabra and antique books. A vintage Underwood typewriter was borrowed from one of the bridesmaids and
 became a focal point on the receiving table." 

NUMBER OF GUESTS: 130



Written by the Bride:

"The flowers and décor at our reception were my favourite details. The centerpieces consisted of an eclectic design of different jars, bottles, antique vessels colored 
in gold and brown with mixed flower heads/fillers/foliage. The head table was adorned with garland made of foliage and mixed flowers matching the centerpieces. The 
flowers were so gorgeous and romantic – fit our theme perfectly and really created the ambiance that we wanted." 

"My favourite moment was saying “I do!” in front of our closest family and friends at St. Paul’s Basilica"  

"We chose "You’re the One" – The Black Keys as our first song because its simple and a touching love song, by one of our favourite rock duos"


What was the most important factor when deciding on a wedding photographer?


"Finding someone that could document our love and the emotions of the day (experienced by us, our family and our guests) in a raw and natural way and with a shooting 
style that worked with our wedding theme and vision – we had a vintage/whimsical inspired wedding. Someone that would be able to piece together a story and 
document it by capturing the day as it happens. We also wanted a photographer that we got along with and who wasn’t afraid to take 
charge and “rein in the bridal party” when necessary (which turned out to be the case on our wedding day!)." 

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On the eve of the first day of 2015, Melissa and Mireille recited their vows as darkness fell at Arta Gallery in the Distillery. The tearfully joyous ceremony was intimate and romantic and especially cozy as the night grew windier and colder.

When the ceremony was over the entire group lined up outside the “heart” installation in a tunnel effect with sparklers to send off the newly weds to their reception location. Melissa and Mireille ran through the sparkling tunnel formed by family and friends beaming with joy. The night ensued at Archeo restaurant just a few minutes walk away from the gallery. Archeo is a gorgeous venue offering delicious eats and great service. The atmosphere is perfectly suited for an intimate New Years celebration with the warmth of golden lights and rich wooden beams. Bringing in the New Year and simultaneously celebrating their love with all of their closest friends and family couldn’t have been any sweeter. Cheers and kisses were passed around the dance floor and the party continued in full force.

Congrats ladies! It was a blast photographing you and celebrating the beginning of 2015 with some pretty awesome people!

xx – april

 

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VENDORS

CEREMONY VENUE: ARTA GALLERY, DISTILLERY DISTRICT, TORONTO

RECEPTION VENUE: ARCHEO TRATTORIO RESTAURANT, DISTILLERY DISTRICT, TORONTO

OFFICIANT: TIBBY JOHNSON

 

 

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Janice and Mark said their personally written vows to each other at 2nd Floor Events in Toronto one gorgeous fall afternoon. The ceremony and reception took place all in the event space in a casual and laid-back atmosphere. The space is modern and reflected the couple’s taste of an environment that naturally persuades people to mingle and drink without a stuffy or too formal of a setting. Janice and Mark decided on focusing on good food stations and good drinks so that their many friends and family members could enjoy the interactions of each other much more easily than in a sit down dinner affair. These types of weddings are becoming much more popular as they are cost effective, casual and put the emphasis on mingling and partying as opposed to having to incorporate the traditional events of what most people expect to see at a wedding.

Many couple’s ask me how they should plan their wedding day schedule and as much as I can guide them on timing for photography – I always remind them that they can do whatever they want! Many people end up focusing on making everyone else happy and sometimes, I think they should rein it in. What is your goal? What is the most important factor for you as a couple to experience on your wedding day? Sometimes, photography is not a focus. Sometimes, dinner is also not a focus…or speeches, or even dancing. Decide on what your number #1 goal is and go with it! After all the planning and saving, it is ultimately a memory you want to cherish and not regret you did differently.

Janice and Mark were able to isolate their must have’s and went with it. Photography was important but their friends and family and interacting with each of them was more of an end goal – so we decided that I would capture the entire wedding in a docu-journalistic way. We still did some family shots and a few couple shots but the focus was on candids. I approached this wedding as any other wedding but I personally had a goal to photograph each and every guest in a cool way and I think I achieved that. I wanted to give Janice and Mark a series of images that documented what happened, who was there and of course keep it fun and beautiful. I didn’t need to distract them from their guests or take them away for hours. As long as the photographer and couple are on the same page, everyone will understand what kind of end goal they have and I can get the shots that my client expects. As a client looking for a photographer, you should never feel shy to tell the photographer what kind of photos you love the most or expect to see. If you don’t like details that is an important thing to communicate. The photographer should still photograph them, but they know where to spend their time wisely.

So, for the future bride or groom who is currently overwhelmed by the must have’s or the must do’s – rein it in. What is important to you? Do you have too many friends that you want in your bridal party? Have you started inviting all of Italy to your wedding day because they met you once upon a time? Have you cut down the speech times to 2 minutes per person and don’t know when you can start dancing?

Rein it in. You don’t have to follow any rules. Your wedding day should be as fun and laid-back as you want it to be.

xx- april

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