Archive for the ‘Weddings’ Category

Caitlin and Nick felt like instant friends when I met them. They greeted me with huge smiles and we chatted about life and weddings. They have an elegant yet modest air about them,  making you feel as though you just met a couple of movie stars. They are clearly both gorgeous and equally as smart and it was a pure pleasure photographing their wedding day – especially at one of my favourite Toronto venues.

Toronto Hunt Club is nestled on the bluffs of the Toronto/Scarborough border. The scene is nothing like a standard Toronto view. It feels as though you are looking out into the wide open ocean. The Victorian mansion, is full of textures and warmth and the sun blasts beautiful sun rays through the giant windows at sunset.

The ceremony site is on the grounds, and allows for an outdoor wedding. It is simply a gorgeous yet simple set-up. The back-drop speaks for itself.

The bridal suite is especially my favourite, as the light is always soft and bright and the colours and mirrors a perfect back-drop. Not only is the bridal suite gorgeous, but Caitlin’s bridal party was full of blonde STUNNERS. I felt as though they were all casted for the cover of a Vanity Fair. The boys looked dapper too – in their well-fitted blue suits with blush pink ties! Overall, the wedding party was easy on the eyes which made my job pretty easy!

Caitlin and Nick put a lot of heart and soul into their wedding and crafted many DIY’s. You really got a personal taste of who they are as a couple with many photographs dotted around the mansion. One of my favourite details was their “guest book.” They decided to create a message in the bottle guest book where they had 5 bottles representing their 1st, 5th, 10th, 25th and 50th year anniversaries. Each guest was to write a special message and leave it in the bottle of their choice. It is a unique and surprising experience for the couple for many years to come.

I had a really fabulous day photographing your wedding, Caitlin and Nick. Your family and friends were a true pleasure and I am always appreciative of a couple that “gets” photography. It is a hard balance – trying to schedule the limited time you really have on your wedding day – did you talk to every guest? did you enjoy each-other? did you get the photographs you really wanted? did you eat? did you drink? did you dance? did you sit back and watch the event unfold as an observer and truly appreciate that everyone there was there for you? I have never been married, but the more I watch people do it, the more I wonder where to prioritize my time. I love good photography and awesome night shots like we took some time to take – but I also understand that it takes time away from the “experience” with your loved ones.

Thank you for being good sports and getting some of those extra shots! I think they were worth it!

All the best to you both in your new chapter of life as man and wife.

xx- april

I asked Caitlin to describe her wedding and this is what she said:

“The day was absolutely perfect; it was everything that I had hoped for and more. The bridesmaids, maid of honor (my sister), my mom and I arrived at 9 am to begin decorating and to get our hair and makeup done. Before the wedding day, I spent many late nights around our family dining room table working on arts and crafts with my mom and sister by my side. We wanted the style of the wedding to be very warm and personable; we decorated the Hunt Club with as many photos of the two of us as possible. The wedding day was so beautiful; the sun was shining and saying our vows over looking the bluffs could not have been more romantic. There were many special surprises throughout the day, including my “something old” and “something blue” gift that was given to me by my mother; it was a blue gemstone ring that my father had given to her when I was born. Also, to help calm each other’s nerves, Nick and I exchanged notes before the ceremony that were hand delivered by our best man and maid of honor. We wanted our wedding to be as romantic as possible and we decorated the Hunt Club in blush pinks, pearls, lace and roses. We had our first dance on the lawn over looking the lake and danced to “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice, which was performed live acoustically by our musicians. You could feel the love the entire day from our family and friends; everyone had waited for this day to come and were so excited to share our most special moment with us. The speeches made by our friends and family made us laugh and cry, it was so touching to hear some of the most special people in our lives share stories about us individually and as a couple. Our MC, even made a Hamilton Tiger Cat jersey for my dad that read “Mr. McAlpine” and gave him the number “one” because “he was my first love.” (Nick used to play for the Hamilton Tiger Cats).”

caitlin+nick 1




CEREMONY LOCATION: The Toronto Hunt Club


CAKE: Bobbette and Belle

CATERING: The Toronto Hunt Club

DRESS: Kenneth Winston (purchased at Becker’s Bridal in Toronto)

TUX: Groom and Groomsmen suits were custom made by The Dirty Inc.

SHOES: Caitlin – Badgley Mischka, Nick and all Groomsmen – Steve Madden

ACCESSORIES: Groomsmen socks and ties – The Tie Bar

Caitlin’s Hair Piece – Woodbride Bridal shoe Shop,

Caitlin’s bracelet – Becker’s Bridal

FLOWERS: Cool, Green and Shady

MUSIC: Live Music – Nathan Smith and Deniz Lim-Sersan (played during the ceremony, cocktail hour and first dance) , DJ – Veriation Music

HAIR/MAKEUP: Hair – Cat Morals, Makeup – Hilary Jenset

FAVOURS: Mel’s Cupcakes and Cakes (Melissa Miras)

BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE: Dessy Collection (bought at Jealous Bridesmaids in Toronto)

BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS: Silk Black Robes (used to get ready in, from Forever 21), also treated the girls to get their hair done

INVITATIONS: Empress Paper Crafts (also did the stationary for our seating chart, table numbers, hashtag sign, labels on bottles for guest book, etc.)

RENTALS: Linens – Around the Table

DIY: Card box (birdcage), Seating Chart (picture frames), Guest book (“Message in a Bottle”), picture frames


Your favourite detail: Sharing notes to each other before the ceremony to calm our nerves

Your favourite moment: Walking down the isle and making eye contact with Nick for the first time (finally!) …. As soon as it was over, all I wanted to do was walk down the isle over and over again!

Your first dance song: why? “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Bryce (the lyrics fit Nick and I perfectly)



Read Full Post »

Alice and Ram are the like-minded couple that I have blogged about before; travel enthusiasts, fun-loving, laid-back and wanting a party to celebrate their marriage with all their close family and friends. Since Ram is from Israel, the couple was hesitant about who might come. This network of family and friends however are clearly very close, as most of the guests were from Israel and abroad. The evening was so intimate and allowed guests to get as much talk-time as possible with each-other.

The wedding was held at the Inn at Cobble Beach surrounded by heaps and heaps of snow covered hills. It was a breath-taking sight with the lake just beyond and luckily the storm that came through that night came late so all the guests were already there and got to party the night away, awaking to a fresh dump of Canadian snow. Alice and Ram weren’t too hung up about the décor or details, and focused instead on making sure their wedding was laid-back, fun and personal. In keeping with Israeli tradition they opted out of a cake and favours….The day couldn’t have been more moody and romantic as the snow whizzed around the Inn and guests danced the night away.

I wish you both many more years of fun, laughter and travel.

xx- april

For links to the online gallery for more of the wedding, please go to: http://olivestudio.smugmug.com/Olive-Studio-Work/WeddingsEngagements/AlivceRam-Wedding/Reception

alice+ram1 alice+ram2



Wedding Theme: Don’t really have one. Winter weekend getaway.

Wedding song: Come Away with Me, Norah Jones

Ceremony/Reception Location: The Inn at Cobble Beach

Bridal Gown: Paloma Blanca/Promises and Lace

Groom’s Tux: Ermenegildo Zenga

Music: Superfly Entertainment – Mitch Masters

Flowers: Memorable Designs

Stationary: Paperless Post and DIY


Read Full Post »

Roda and Yahya are so laid-back and easy to talk to. They came to me looking for candid wedding photography but also for someone with multi-cultural shooting experience. They had come to the right person. We chatted about our mutual love for travel and Islamic traditions. Although I consider myself quite worldly I hadn’t shot an Islamic wedding before. Since Roda and Yahya’s families are mixed, they told me that the wedding would attempt to include all ethnicities and cultures that represented their families. How cool was this! They did this by having an East African promise ceremony following the engagement, a Muslim religious ceremony (with catering from over 5 ethnic cuisines!) and a more hybrid wedding reception with their western cultures. They had many cultures represented: Canadian, Somali, Yemeni, French, Mauritian Indian and Palestinian! Yeeeyy to diversity!

I asked Roda about her engagement story and how she met Yahya. This is what she had to say.

“Yahya and I actually knew of one another for years but never met in person. We ran in the same circles, he lived 2 blocks away from my house and one of his friends dated (and eventually married) one of my best friends but through all those years we only heard of one another but had never met! Finally after 7 years of this running around, we had a chance meeting online when I was travelling and he convinced me to cut my round-the-world trip short so I could give us a chance. Friends convinced me it would be worth it and after some negotiating for some future all expense paid travel deals from him, I accepted and flew back to Toronto! lol.  When we finally met, it was a ” holy moly, it was you all along!?” type of reaction; we really were an unlikely couple..but we’ve made it work for the last 4 years! 🙂
After Yahya had done the traditional asking my grandmother/ family elder for my hand in marriage, he surprised me with a day full of all the things I love: sunsets, peonies, sushi and poetry. He topped it off by presenting me with the most perfect vintage engagement ring that I had been gushing over in magazines. It was a beautiful day.” 🙂

The wedding day went off without a hitch other than my pathetic attempts to say Yahya’s name properly which was mildly embarrassing. Every time I did, the couple would quietly giggle until I finally blurted “I’m not saying your name remotely correct am I?” The couple laughed and agreed. I still went on to pronounce his name 20 different ways but in the end I think we all realized that I was a lost cause about it.

There were a few other details that I came to learn about Islamic weddings. The first and foremost important detail I learned is that no one is in a hurry AT ALL. I’ve shot all sorts of weddings where people are generally in a hurry. But this wedding was as laid-back as one could imagine..and I mean hours “late”. It did make me nervous at first because I felt like it would end up being my fault. I soon learned that it was not just Roda and Yahya. It was the entire guest list. I rushed to the reception hall thinking we would need to catch up on photographs and no one was there! haha. Not a single soul. I just laughed to myself and thought, well someone needs to relax.

The rest of the night came with ease and soon enough speeches and eating was on the way. Afterwards, the men left the hall to lounge in the lobby and the women congregated to dance with ease and remove their hijabs. It was a wonderful moment to witness and I was really blind about what was happening. The women laughed and danced and sang and freed their gorgeous hair to the beats of the music. I had a blast photographing them! I wished that my second shooter Scott could see how much fun we were having but at the same time it felt so special that he didn’t. It was an experience that helped me understand their traditions and value the bonding of women.

Travel is my drug because I am so interested in cultures and traditions around the globe. My camera is my journal, my eye and my reason to have the privilege of bonding with people I might never of had the opportunity of bonding with. Weddings are so deeply rooted in everyone’s culture that it is something everyone understands. I love family and friends and of course parties. At least once in a person’s life it is great to bond with every person who is meaningful to you. Having them all in one place is so special. I love my job. I love that I am a complete stranger walking into all the details of two people’s lives and extended family. I am the voyeur who gets to capture these special moments in time and watch family dynamics. It is truly lovely. My photos will be the ones you grab for if your house burns down. They are truly a treasure. I can only hope that strangers from all walks of earth invite me to capture their special day. I never want to become a machine and create shooting recipes for my clients. Boredom is not bliss. I thrive off of learning about people’s way of life and I try to capture what captivates me and of course embodies that culture. When I am surrounded by new experience and something I don’t fully understand, I use my camera to connect me. I am always welcomed into social circles that way and am amazed at how much a camera bridges that gap. When clients ask me if I have experience in Jewish weddings or Chinese weddings, I say yes but explain that should never be a deciding factor in hiring someone. A new eye and a new experience always creates good imagery. A good photographer seeks to find something unseen.

Thank you so much Roda and Yahya for welcoming me into your multi-cultural wedding day. I had a blast and we got some gorgeous shots! Good luck in Abu Dhabi!

xo – april

roda+yaha1 roda+yahya2


Wedding theme and motif: I love all things vintage, lacy with a touch of glam so a 1920s elegant reception was decided. Feathers, soft garden roses and glitz galore! Colors were pinks, white and metallics with a touch of black.
Number of guests: 200
Your best moment: There were so many fun, touching and utterly hilarious moments that it’s hard for us to decide! Our first look, when the charleston was played  and our entrance with the arabian drummers are top 3!
Honeymoon: Yahya did promise a world tour honeymoon after I gave up my trips for him when we met so as of summer 2014 we are moving abroad for 2 years! 🙂
Ceremony location:Shangri la gardens, Markham
Priest church officiating:Family friend
Reception location:Chateau Le jardin, Woodbridge
Bridal gown Tara Keely with custom bolero and headscarf ( hijab) by bride’s grandmother.
Bridal party attire :Blush pink and champagne custom dresses
Groom’s tux and suit:custom
Cake:the incredible Deepa from Spring Bloom cakes. Independent, small home baker that made my hand drawn pic come to life!
Catering and food:Riaz Catering ( such a nice man! SUCH a kind sweet gentlemen with years of experience. THE go-to Afghan caterer.
Wedding planner:Gwen from Lush Lux Event planning.
Event decor:Manti from Hidden Treasures. Completely understood my vision and created for us an enchanting space.
Favors: personalized arabian aromatic oils: diy by grandma, mom and aunt.
Music: family dj: Mona
Hair and makeup: saba malik-elements of beauty
Flowers: Margaret and her team from Florida Flowers made all my centerpieces.  The attention to detail and taste of this woman is superb. Looved working with her!
Stationery: my personal diy. Im in love with paper and obsessed with fonts; I would do it all over again!




Read Full Post »

Ivy+Kevin’s stylish rustic tented wedding is featured on style me pretty today. Enjoy!

LINK: http://www.stylemepretty.com/canada-weddings/ontario/2014/03/31/rustic-ontario-barn-wedding/

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 7.43.13 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 7.43.00 PM

Read Full Post »

On October 19, Nancy and Joe tied the knot. It was the first month of the year that literally poured every Saturday. Each week would be lovely and then the Friday night forecast predicted gloom. I would never choose to shoot in the rain just because its, well, wet. It isn’t exactly the easiest of weather conditions to battle with a bride in a beautiful white dress and a bunch of lovely bridesmaids in dressy shoes and hair quaffed just so. My tactic however, is to get it done as painless as possible and hope that the bridal party will follow suit. This simply means, I embrace the droplets and let them be a part of my background. If you let the rain ruin your day, then you have looked passed what the day really represents. You have planned this moment for a year, and spent a ton of money. Don’t forget to have fun!!!!! Stressing will not change anything and so I tell my couples to think more along the lines of umbrellas, dramatic grey skies, reflections in puddles and a perfect soft box for lighting your skin. Get matching umbrellas and a flat change of shoes. That is luckily what this bride and groom and all of their bridal party did with pleasure which made my job a whole lot easier and their hour of photos a lot less painful. Let go of the fact that the hem of your dress will not be perfect. Regardless of the rain, it WILL get dirty. I am not suggesting that everyone can do what Nancy and Joe did, but if you have no indoor options for photos and you are somewhat okay with the idea of getting a little damp or a frizzy hair or two, then don’t overlook the beauty of rain. It can be well worth the challenges and your hair can be fixed! I promise. 😉

Nancy and Joe are great examples of a couple that focused on what they could change and not what they couldn’t. They embraced the rain because photography with their bridal party was a really important “must have” for their wedding day. To my sweet surprise, no one even peeped a complaint. It was truly a pleasure! We got some amazing photos outdoors despite the odds against us and everyone winded up happy. My goal has been reached and that puts a smile on my face at the end of the day. Sometimes we all have to endure something that isn’t the easiest but the pay-off is worth it. Please enjoy the sneak peek of Nancy and Joe’s beautiful wedding and for more photos of the reception please click on this link: http://smu.gs/1h41WCJ

nancy+joe1 nancy+joe2VENDORS

Theme: Rustic, Vintage, Elegant

Number of Guests: 230

Wedding Song: Sleepwalk, Ritche Valens

Favourite Detail: The 3 birch trees behind the head table and the wedding favour jam jars

Ceremony Location: St.Dominics Church, Mississauaga

Reception Location: Mississauga Convention Centre

Bridal Party Photo Location: Erindale Park

Bridal Gown: Ella Rosa from Josy’s Bridal

Hair/Makeup: Karima Sumar

Read Full Post »

I met Holly over a year ago at Georgina Reilly’s gorgeous DIY wedding shower. Holly was one of the masterminds behind the creative Alice in Wonderland inspired tea party. She is electric. Not only is she beautiful and clearly a creative talent, she is articulate, motivated and full of beans! My wedding meeting with her involved conversations of life, love, and everything not involving weddings. I felt like I had known her for years. How can I not love my job when I love my clients like this!? She is now one of my go to people on my party invite lists. She is a woman that spreads her positive spirit around like a contagion. I thought that her groom might be shy and over-shadowed by such a power-woman but that is not the case. He is handsome, clever, witty and sensitive. What more could a woman want? They complete each-other like two peas in a pod. I am so grateful for weddings that are just easy to photograph because the people in them inspire you to create your vision. Congrats Holly and Aaron! It was a pleasure.

xo – april

To see more of this wedding check out the latest blog post: http://www.theweddingco.com/holly-aaron-at-the-rosehill/

Guests from the wedding are welcome to purchase prints of the reception at this link: http://smu.gs/14QrxaL

holly+aaron1 holly+aaron2


CAKE:  We didn`t have a cake—we had mini cupcakes made my TOBEN FOOD BY DESIGN (three flavours: red velvet, vanilla bean, and dark chocolate.)


DRESS: White by Vera Wang (David`s Bridal)

TUX:  Hugo Boss

SHOES: Aldo (Bride)

ACCESSORIES: I wore small blue stud earrings as my something blue, my engagement ring, and a tiffany`s bracelet that was given to me from Aaron a few Christmases ago (it is engraved Romance). Aaron didn`t really wear any accessories other than his Armani watch.

FLOWERS: My beautiful friend Alexandra Lorusso and Heather Mollette did my bouquet, the bridesmaids bouquets, and the floral arrangements. They did incredible!!



HOTEL: We stayed at the Intercontinental Yorkville

MUSIC: We had a DJ from MAGEN Boys entertainment

OFFICIANT: Jock Macdonald

HAIR/MAKEUP: I went to BLO BAR Yorkville (along with all my bridesmaids and my mother) and had my makeup done by the wonderful Bianca at the MAC counter at the BAY Yonge-Bloor. She rocked my face like no other.

FAVOURS: My mom created a candy table and those were the favours. Aaron and I spent MANY hours in Michaels craft store picking the right brown bags and stamping ink to ink our fingerprints (in a shape of a heart) onto each individual bag.

BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE: Each bridesmaid wore their own dresses—they chose what style they liked in the pink colour band I gave them. They all wore super cute matching sparkly gold shoes from Aldo. They all had their hair blown out and could wear whatever jewelry they liked. The groomsmen all wore black fitted suits of their choice. They all looked incredibly dashing.

BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS: Aaron gave his groomsmen 32oz beer steins that had their nicknames engraved on them. Aaron also provided a lot of beer for the boys for the day of the wedding along with some celebratory cigars. For the girls, they each received a cute white and coral stripped clutch, a small candle from bath and bodyworks, a hankerchief that I ordered from Etsy that is stitched NO UGLY CRYING, and a floral notebook from Indigo. I also included a small bottle of Skinny Girl Margarita.

INVITATIONS: Our friend Olivia Wilkens designed our invitations and they were exactly what we wanted! I cried when I saw them.


BUDGET: 28, 000


Your favourite detail: I don’t know if I have a favourite. The bridal party was so much fun and  they all looked magical! Aaron looked very handsome—I really enjoyed putting a ring on it! Haha.

Your favourite moment: There has never been a moment in my life that I have been at a large party and I know every single person there. It was incredibly humbling. There was so much love surrounding us, it was truly a moment I will never forget. I will never forget the way Aaron looked at me when I walked down the aisle with my dad—he was just so overcome with emotion and it was that moment there that I TRULY without a shadow of a doubt knew that he LOVED me more than anything. It was a really special moment.

Your first dance song: why? Our song was NO OTHER WAY by Paulo Nutini. He has such a great voice and it really lent itself to the “old-fashioned” love that we love.

Read Full Post »

On June 22nd, Ivy and Kevin finally tied the knot after years of dating. This couple couldn’t be sweeter if they tried. They clearly adore and admire one another, as do all of their friends and family. Kevin is rambunctious with a heart of gold. He is sensitive and crafty beyond most women’s dreams. He engraved the names of each of his groomsmen in tools as a gift. The nifty part is that they each get a tool box which works independently but also clips together as one huge entity. The guys were elated! In fact, both Kevin and Ivy’s families don’t hold back the sensitive words of wisdom or tears of joy. You can feel the respect and adoration they all have for each other. It is really wonderful to be surrounded by such a feeling when you barely even know these strangers. Ivy is sweet, quiet and has impeccable taste. She has an eye for detail which made this wedding so uniquely distinctive of Kevin and Ivy. A vintage, farm, chic feel was the theme of this wedding. Barrels held as bar legs, olive oil was bottled in sweet jars for the guests. The cake toppers were sweet little owls made by Ivy herself. Ivy’s dress was simple and flowing which couldn’t have suited the setting more ideally. She could move with ease and look elegant at the same time. Her grey shoes gave her outfit a lovely contrast to the elegant white and her hairband added a bit of a whimsical touch.

A huge white tent was pitched on the property of Ivy’s family farm. Fields and fields of green outstretched over small rolling hills in Uxbridge. The setting was so perfect and simple. Driving up the gravel hill, I could see a beautiful house with rows and rows of chairs for a ceremony set-up in front. In the back was the tent overlooking the family pool and the never-ending wispy fields. Ivy and her friends got ready in the house she grew up in, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of family getting the tent and land ready for her big day.

The couple decided to do a first look before the ceremony. It poured rain all morning but as I always promise each couple, “It will stop raining when we need it to.” Maybe I will jinx myself, but this promise has worked for the last 2 years. I have never shot a ceremony or bridal party in the rain, and yet the weather network almost always predicts it for each Saturday.  Somehow the sun knows that we have business to do. The moment we went outside, the rain subsided and Kevin walked the fields to meet his bride. He choked up the entire walk over and Ivy excitedly waited with her back to him. She too, was crying before he even got there.

The ceremony went wonderfully and the moment Ivy got down the aisle, the sun came through the clouds and didn’t subside until it set that evening. It ended up being the most beautiful sunny day, sticky and hot but perfect. Cocktails were enjoyed all over the property. A buffet dinner was served in the tent and a few speeches were spoken, games were held and a slide show was viewed. This wedding was one of my favourites this year because of its simplicity and efforts to make sharing with friends and family the most important. Ivy and Kevin will surely be happy in love like their grandparents married of over 60 years who danced the night away together. I wish you more and more years of developing great sticky bonds like you both have done so successfully thus far. Congrats Ivy and Kevin!

xx – april

For guests to enjoy or purchase more photos from the wedding, please go to: http://smu.gs/10uFCs0

Ivy+Kevin Wedding Blog

Ivy+Kevin Wedding Blog2Ivy+Kevin Wedding Blog 2_Ivy+Kevin Wedding 3 blog

Wedding Details:

Number of guests: 186

Wedding Motif: Vintage/Farm/Chic

Flowers: Heather Benjamin

Stationary: bride

Caterer: O’Malley Catering, NewMarket

Wedding Song : Simpliest Love – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic  Zeros – They chose this song because they felt it reflected their relationship; simple.

Fav wedding detail: Wooden barrel bars- They bought the barrels on kijiji and friends made the bar tops

Honeymoon: Nantucket, Massachusetts

Ceremony and Reception:  Family Farm

Bridal Gown: Jenny Yoo

Shoes: J Crew

Headband: Anthropologie

Earrings: Swarovski

Bridesmaids Dresses:  Aritiza , Shoes: Aldo

Grooms tux: Suit – RW & CO, Shirt- Zara, Tie- Banana Republic, Shoes- Steve Madden

Groomsmen- Pants- Gap, Shirt- Zara, Tie-J crew, Shoes- Sperry

Cake: Tin Mill, Uxbridge

Favours: Olive Oil Emporium, Toronto

Wedding Planner: None ( Ivy & Mom)

Bride and groom made the ceremony playlist

DJ – Bob Hawkins Professional DJ service, Newmarket

Hair- Kylea from J Sowa-Joy Hair Studio, Port Perry

Make Up- Erin Den Ouden, Freelance Makeup Artist   erindenouden@live.ca

Memorable wedding moment: Best man being thrown into the pool which resulted in a spontaneous pool party with 30 or more wedding guests jumping into/thrown into the pool in their wedding clothes, including all of the groomsmen, groom and fathers of the bride and groom.



Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: