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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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Kelly and John Paul emphasized that they wanted a laid-back, simple yet elegant wedding celebration at a restaurant in the Distillery District; one of my favourite’s, Archeo.

Archeo has pleasant staff and delicious food with a cozy and modern backdrop. To me, I think it suits a cold winters night or a chilly spring as the golden glow that you get here is super sweet. I always enjoy getting ambient light photos here because the light is good in every direction. ( a nerdy observation from a photographer but a goodie)

Kelly and John Paul had the perfect amount of spring decor elements. The dried lavender sprigs along the candle holders was especially cute. What a simple yet beautiful idea! The couple wanted a no fuss reception which they got with much success. Previous to that, they went to get officially hitched at the City Hall with close family members. City Hall is nothing fancy or even romantic but it does save a lot of time and money and make the focus about the celebration!

All the best to you both!

xx – april

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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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August 2, 2015 was a wedding that I wanted to really impress with my photo skills. I was hired by one of my former photo classmates to shoot his wedding. The pressure was on! lol. James Durant is a talented photographer and artist that chose me to shoot his wedding and I was honoured! It is especially a motivator to shoot some impressive work when you shoot for your peers.

The day was beautiful, hot and sunny. I started my shoot day photographing the gorgeous bride, Robin. She is laid-back and took the morning with ease, taking time to feed and relax with Charlie, the couples’ adorable baby boy.

I was truly impressed that someone would take on their wedding day with a small baby in tow. I silently wondered how the day would unfold as weddings in themselves can sometimes be stressful. Charlie however was a champ! He slept for almost the entire day – with a few feeding breaks and only one short crying stint. I was stunned! Perhaps the casualness of James and Robin was a reflection of Charlie’s calm personality. Whatever it was, I will forever have this idea that getting married with your baby is no biggie. 😉

The ceremony and reception took place at the adorable Enoch Turner Schoolhouse. Charlie came down the aisle with James and his mother in a gorgeous vintage pram. James looked dapper as ever in his electric blue suit and Robin of course looked classically elegant in her lace gown.

The moment after the ceremony, was my time to shine. You know – those bridal party and couple photos that I wanted to take to really avow that they chose the right photographer. And then a photographers nightmare literally happened right before our eyes; A STORM! I’m not talking about a trickle of rain – I am talking about those afternoon rain storms where the clouds roll in black as night. Yes, this happened. James looked stunned. I was terrified. We both looked at each other and laughed. I’ve seen this future for myself – if I ever get married. This will totally happen. It only happens to the people who really understand how much it affects good picture-taking. To be quite frank – for all the people who have been told that rain is lucky and that clouds are better for photos – it’s all BS. It’s only a comment to make you feel calm. Dry is always better and sun can be controlled by a good photographer. So – with our umbrellas in tow – we stuck it out. James and Robin knew the drill and I got soaked. The rain storm stopped exactly 5 minutes before we were supposed to enter the reception. I could barely handle the irony. To my delight – in that 5 minutes the sun cracked through the dark clouds, and a glorious pink glow shone down. We hurried to get some shots in this pink glistening delight and then it was over. HA! All in all, considering our severe down-pour and lightning storm I think we did pretty good. We got some great shots in the rain and I am pretty happy with the outcome. James and Robin are too.

The rest of the wedding was heart-felt. Between the family speeches, and James good friend singing a tune made just for the couple, I felt like this group of people really knew how to show their love for one another. This day was about celebrating the people who bring joy to your world, who make your heart smile and who ultimately you wouldn’t want to live without.

Thank you for having me document your day James and Robin.

xx- april

 

robin+james1 robin+james2 robin+james3credits:

venue / enoch turner school house

caterer / 10tation

bridal gown / maggie sottero; becker’s bridal

hair + makeup / arrowbow

flowers / patchouli

cake / made by a close friend, leah denov

favours / donation to the heart + stroke foundation ( in memory of James father ) + cookies with an R + J stamp

music / kenny saint

second shooter / patrick moher

favourite wedding details / incorporating James Barbados background and Robin’s

Thunder Bay background into the drink specials, decor + music / baby charlie’s outfit and vintage pram

 

 

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Last winter I found myself searching for winter wedding inspiration on Pinterest and I was surprised by the lack of snow-themed winter weddings. Every “winter” wedding was from Cali or Australia and it seemed to me as though the wedding industry had forgotten about the countries who actually experience a real winter. Surprisingly enough, people do get hitched in the snow! Where is the imagery? How do other couple’s get inspired?

Olive Studio has gone through some major changes in the last 6 months. I have expanded my studio, bringing on new first shooters, a wedding planner and offering my second passion as an additional service; decor styling. I created this winter inspiration as a lift off to introduce planning and decor styling as one of Olive Studio’s new services. With the help of a very talented team of vendors, here is our interpretation of a dark and romantic Canadiana winter wedding.

I couldn’t think of a more perfect setting for a Canadiana-themed wedding to take place than Linda and John’s dream farm called Holly Oaks. Linda is an avid horse enthusiast with a passion for horses and running a successful equestrian business. The property has maintained its 1857 farm roots but the couple has introduced a twist of modern and functionality operating as a very successful equestrian facility. Looking to expand, Linda would like to use the large property to host small functions and unions. With acres and acres of outdoor land opportunities; a huge stable, arena, and barn, the property hosts endless options for weddings. There are not only beautiful horses but also chickens, low line cattle and adorable Shropshire sheep.

When I think “Canadiana” I think of plaid, beards, hipsters, hipsters with beards, hunting, ice fishing, winter sports, woods, deer heads, the great outdoors, wood fires, cider, horse rides, snow, hay rides, blankets, evergreens, pies, cinnamon and shortbread cookies. Instead of focusing on a glamorous snow theme, I wanted the warmth and coziness of Canadian winters to be the over-all mood. After-all, with winter slumps comes generations of perfecting winter hibernation. We are the masters of indoor fires and cozying up in blankets for hours while the darkness sets in early. Why not use our long winters and celebrate something other than Christmas? Since Marsala was the colour of the season, the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood and the Wolf came to mind. It seemed to be fitting to create a dreamy woodland farm wedding in the snow.

With that fairy tale in mind, the table decor was based around my personal collection of brass candlestick holders and a fabulous plaid fabric I sourced. I made napkins out of the fabric and found a winter/deer theme plate at Anthropologie that was just perfect! Marsala, black, white, gold and contrasts of blue quickly became the colour scheme. Antique mixed with new seamlessly: silver goblets sat along-side glitzy gold + glass tumblers. Gorgeous gold-plated cutlery looked modern and as a final woodland touch, turkey feathers were placed in the centre of the gold plated bowls.

Leslie from Warehouse 84 provided even more brass candlestick holders and added quirky brass deer heads as decoration. Her beautiful antique chairs finished off the ends of the table as hay bales fit alongside as a rustic bench. Sheepskins lay atop the hay, adding another texture and making for comfy seating. Lastly, gorgeous deep coloured and textured fruits are scattered on the tabletop, inviting your eyes to dance from detail to detail.  Becky from Blush and Bloom, created a gorgeous whimsy of florals that posed in various brass containers of her own collection. Olive branch, garden roses, anemones, scabies, magnolia, spray roses, pivot berry, double tulips, carolina sapphire and asparagus fern decorated the table top creating a deep and luscious colour story. Asparagus fern was wrapped around the low hanging chandelier and centred over the long harvest table which was situated in the centre of the stable aisle. Horse heads poked in and out of the stall doors in curiosity creating an intimate environment mixing nature and glamour. Lastly, a bear rug anchored the table and posed under the grooms chair. The room was elegant, cozy, rustic, and of course romantic and you would never know it was the middle of January in Canada! The overall atmosphere was almost like a Medieval Royal Feast.

To continue with the theme, we set up a Spiked Cider Station in one of the empty horse stalls. Using hay bales, wooden planks and crates, we created a tabletop for the cider, decorating it with cut logs, garland and furs.  A huge chalkboard in an antique frame was used as the sign and farm tools laid about the scene. Fox taxidermy made their friendly appearance as well of course. In another stall, we created a vintage blanket station for guests to grab before they cozy up with their loved ones with a spiked cider in hand for a romantic and moody ceremony experience.

The ceremony set-up was simple and a little boho. In the centre of the huge horse arena, a tee-pee of circular patio lights was created. Using a 2×4 as a pole and many extension cords and staples, a perfect tee-pee was erected. An early evening ceremony sets the romantic tone. All the guests watch in the darkness which makes it feel as though they are witnessing the couple’s love privately. It is intimate, emotional and utterly romantic, especially when the guests are watching cuddled up in a blanket of their own.

Lastly, we set up a dessert station on one of Linda’s antique horse carts at the opposite end of the stable. A rustic chocolate cake iced imperfectly with asparagus fern was the feature dessert by Le Dolci. For the savoury types there was a delicious cheese platter of blocked aged cheeses adorned with honeycomb, olives, figs and walnuts. A stunning deer head watched over them both.

The ambiance was set and all that was needed, was some life. Gill Evans and Josh Mcaree from Lang Models, posed as our bride and groom. Anais Anette created a gorgeous boho inspired lace and silk gown just for our shoot. Canadian, native designer, Angela DeMontigny, selected some of her stunning fur pieces, jewellery and clothing and Audra Harris carefully curated the final look also using some staple menswear from The Bay and House of Vintage. To top off the look, Karima Sumar painted a sultry Marsala lip complimented with natural boho inspired hair. Flower crowns au’ natural and in silk were handcrafted by Blush and Bloom and Lady Hayes.

All in all, our team of creative vendors did a fantastic job of creating a moody, woodland winter wedding. It was romantic, off-the-beaten track and for me, very Canadian. I hope this inspires the winter wedding in you! Afterall, it is possible to create a beautiful wedding in a difficult climate. It may take some extra planning and care but even a real snowy winter CAN be beautiful!

xx- april

 

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credits

venue / holly oaks farm

floral + flower styling / blush and bloom

furniture + prop rentals / warehouse 84

photography / decor styling / art direction / olive studio

wedding gown / anais anette

native clothing + accessories + jewellery by designer / angela demontigny

select menswear / the bay + house of vintage toronto

wardrobe stylist / audra harris

hair + makeup / karima sumar

silk flower crown / lady hayes

cake / le dolci

cheese tower / cheese boutique

models / lang models / gillian evans + josh mcaree

special thanks to every horse owner at the barn for prepping the barn and their horses!

special thanks to photo and lighting assistants, David Wile, Scott Ramsay and Ally Chadwick

 This styled shoot was also featured on weddingchicks

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A gorgeous August Saturday grazed this sweet couple, Gianna and Dusan on their wedding day. The afternoon couldn’t have been more relaxed as I hung out with the bride and her two sisters in the couple’s cozy Liberty Village condo. Gianna ran around the apartment with a hussling ease as she finished some of her DIY projects – such as making her own cake, finalizing traditional Slav rosemary button-holes and even doing her sister’s hair! It was a pace that I don’t often witness but I admired how calm and collected she was and excited to see Dusan! She got dressed and ready in 20 minutes and unsurprisingly she wore a modern skirt with a chemise. She looked stunning!

Dusan clearly thought so too when he tearfully greeted her below the condo. We took some photos and walked to the restaurant where the couple exchanged their heartfelt written vows and then enjoyed their reception. They opted against a sit down dinner and instead chose an endless array of delicious passed canapes,  a grazing table and an oyster station.

The day’s focus was on the couple, their love for each other and the people that mattered the most to them. This wedding is an example of how a loving couple created a day they will never forget on a budget and without the elements some might expect you need for a wedding. It was a gorgeous day full of love, good eats, great chats, heart felt speeches and of course dancing the night away!

All the best to the both of you.

xx- april

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Mildred’s Temple Kitchen

Second Shooter:

Lelania Little

 

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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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