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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

carla+russel1carla+russel2carla+russel3carla+russel4

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

Save

Save

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Jenny and Alex are a delightful power couple. They are go-getter A-types with sweet dispositions. They met while both studying in Med school and Jenny  describes Alex as “that smarter, charming upperclassman.” Wow! What a compliment! The thing is, Alex really seems to be just that! And the two-some are fun-loving, outgoing and easy to talk to! I really enjoyed getting to know them and their family and friends.

Jenny and Alex wanted their wedding to revolve around Chinese culture, their family and friends; and they did that successfully! The day was traditional and simple with a western ceremony first at Hart House, followed by a tea ceremony and then a Chinese reception. The day was perfect. Not only was the weather gorgeous but the lucky couple had many friends and family to help with making the cake, arranging the center-pieces, setting up the venue, and playing music at the ceremony.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. I am sure there will be many and you will do them best together! Thank you for having me capture your beautiful day!

xx- april

 

jenny + alex

jenny+alex2

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VENDORS

RECEPTION LOCATION

The Brighton Convention Centre

CEREMONY LOCATION

Hart House

OFFICIANT OR PRIEST

Jeremy Citron

CAKE

Alex’s mom!

CATERING

Jackie with Grand Catering

DRESS

The Brides’ Project – please support!

TUX

Vera Wang Black

SHOES

Mischa Bradley

ACCESSORIES

Necklace and bracelets were presents from Alex’s family

FLOWERS

Pacific Florist

HOTEL

Sheraton Parkway North

MUSIC

Our talented friends, Sunchin Kim and Tiffany Chen

HAIR

  Alysse/FancyFace

MAKEUP

Orly

FAVOURS

Maple sugar lollipops

BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE

Chaps Evening Gown

BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS

Kate Spade earrings

BUDGET:  $40,000

NUMBER OF GUESTS:  210

Your favourite detail

I got to wear the Chinese dress that Alex’s mother got married in!

Your favourite moment

“Absolutely the first dance. For the first time that day, I was able to close my eyes, take a deep breath and just soak in the moment.”

Your first dance song

Ray LaMontagne – You are the best thing

Second Shooter

Scott Ramsay

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On a perfect day in July, I had the pleasure of photographing Alice + Greg’s intimate wedding at the Doctor’s House in Kleinburg. These two couldn’t be any sweeter if they tried. They have that kind of connection that makes you feel like a nosy voyeur if you look at them for even a slight second. They laugh and giggle and share these glances that only they understand the meaning of. It makes your heart melt but not too much that you feel like they should take it inside. lol. They actually have the ability to spread their love around them, like the warmth of a babies giggle that goes directly to your soul. They made my job of capturing love, admiration and friendship a really easy one…. I also think Greg practices the moves of Prince Charming which helped 😉

These two love birds decided on a private first look outside of Glendon College Campus. It was of course, a teary eyed one full of kisses and laughter as Alice waved her hands in attempt to clear her water-welled eyes.  Greg and Alice danced through the afternoon photos like pros and got right into the Chinese tea ceremony at the Doctor’s House. The back gondola was a perfect location for the ceremony so that guests could partake in the service and also choose to mingle in the outdoor cocktail hour. Alice and Greg wanted their guests to feel as if they were on a country escape from the city, and that it did feel like. The weather was perfect, the couple in love and family and friends relished in every moment of it! The day was a success!

All the very best to you both Alice and Greg, what a pleasure.

xx – april

ALICE+GREG1 alice+greg2 alice+greg3 alice+greg4

VENDORS:

RECEPTION LOCATION: The Doctor’s House
CEREMONY LOCATION:  St Eugene De Mazenod
CAKE:  A Cake Odyssey 
DRESS:  Pronovias   (white dress), Darizi (Chinese traditional red dress)
ACCESSORIES:  Mindham Fine Jewellery  
FLOWERS:   Verdi Florist 
HAIR/MAKEUP:  Hair  Makeup:  mobilemakeovers.ca
FAVOURS:  Amy Lu
BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE:  BM’s dresses:   fashioncrimes 
  GM: Freeman Formalwear

NUMBER OF GUESTS: 150

DIY quoted from Alice:
“Greg created our invitations with the help of a friend. We incorporated coral into our floral arrangements and bouquets for consistency. They provided a lively pop of colour against the grey/silver attire of our bridal party.

We worked with Hanna from Verdi Florist, who gave us a few inspired ideas about the layout for the head table and having unique centerpieces for each table. It took several trips to Winners and Marshalls to snatch up all the mercury glass vases, along with several other items that got incorporated into our guest sign in table. We had these two mint coloured watering cans that were particularly charming, even more so once they were filled up with fresh flowers.  

We used our own wine crate to cradle wines that we had bought specifically to celebrate our future anniversaries. Guests signed these instead of a guest book”

Alice’s favourite detail:  Having 2 dresses, but my bracelet and earrings from Mindham Fine Jewellery was a very close second.

Their favourite moment:   Too many! The moments leading up to our First Look, greeting my new father-in-law upon exiting the church, the hilarious speeches from the Best Man and MOH and nephews dancing up a storm.

Your first dance song: Peter Gabriel – The Book of Love

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This summer I had the pleasure of getting to know Flora and Dave. They hired me years before their wedding date and so we have had some time to get to know one another. They wanted a wedding that would bring both of their cultures and family heritage together and that is certainly what they successfully did!

Flora and Dave began the morning with tons of time to get ready and play the traditional Chinese door games. Once Dave successfully got into the house they began the day with a traditional tea ceremony which was led by Flora’s grandmother. The morning was not rushed at all and together with Flora’s family and the groomsmen they stopped for a Chinese lunch at the house.

The reception and ceremony would take place at King Valley Golf Club and Flora and Dave changed into their western clothes once they arrived. Guests started trickling onto the outdoor patio which looks out onto the golf course. Rain was threatening the outdoor ceremony but once Flora walked down the aisle, the sun peered through the clouds and the rest of the day was perfect.

The ceremony had some of Dave’s Jewish traditions with the Chuppah and breaking of the glass, however the Rabbi officiated a Humanist ceremony. It was personal and sweet and Dave almost broke Flora’s foot instead of the glass 😉 – almost. jk Dave!

There were a few other traditions that followed into the reception but the one that is the most memorable in my opinion, is the Horah of course. Everyone got involved and danced the night away!

Both Flora and Dave’s families seemed to connect very well. They each had emotional speeches that helped me understand what kind of crazy glue these two families used as connectivity to one another. It was a special day and I am happy to be a part of it. Here I will share some of it with you.

Enjoy!

xx- april

 

flora+dave1

flora+dave wedding

flora+dave wedding

 

VENDORS

DECOR + FLOWERS: Le Papillon Events

PHOTOBOOTH: Snapz Photobooth

LIMO: Aurora Stars Limo

DJ: Audiotainment

HAIR + MAKEUP: Bridal Secretary 

WEDDING CAKE: Artsy Baker

RECEPTION LOCATION: King Valley Golf Club

CEREMONY LOCATION: King Valley Golf Club

OFFICIANT OR PRIEST: Rabbi Eva Goldfinger

CATERING: King Valley Golf Club

DRESS: Best for Bride

TUX: Tuxedo Royale

SHOES: Custom Made

ACCESSORIES: Necklace and Earrings from Swarovski

Gold Bangles from H & F Jewellery

FLOWERS: Le Papillon Events

HOTEL: Hilton Suites Markham

MUSIC: Audiotainment

HAIR/MAKEUP: Bridal Secretary

FAVOURS: DIY

CENTERPIECES: DIY

PLACE CARDS: DIY

MONEY BOX: DIY

SEATING CHART: DIY

CEREMONY PROGRAMS: DIY

CAKE STAND: DIY

BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE: Custom made

INVITATIONS: Printed from exclusively weddings; hand-made with portfolios from papergarden

RENTALS: Chinese Traditional Dress from Market Village

BUDGET: $40K

NUMBER OF GUESTS: 127

Favourite detail: The Mr. and Mrs. Handmade sign on the sweetheart table.

Favourite moment: The first dance because we took accelerated lessons, totaling only 2 hrs and it was a success.

Your first dance song: Backstreet Boys – The Best I Can; Backstreet Boys the groom’s favourite band and once upon a time, he thought he looked like Brian.

 

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Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting a bubbly woman by telephone. She wanted to hire me to shoot her casual wedding at the Old Mill in Etobicoke in September and I agreed. It was only a few hours of coverage for a Sunday wedding brunch. These are becoming ever so popular these days and refreshing, really. The day is short and sweet, revolving around brunch (my favourite meal). It keeps costs down, yet still makes the wedding day formal in a way of celebration. Jade was just as bubbly in person as the few times we spoke on the phone. She is the most giggly and positive woman I have ever met. She was as refreshing as her Sunday brunch. The day went without a hitch, and Mark her equal counterpart, was just as generous and friendly. I wish you both well as a married couple. If you are this high on life now, I suspect you will stay this way forever; as two peas in a delightful pod.

xx- april

 

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On September 1st, 2013, I had the pleasure of photographing Maria and Yuseph’s intimate wedding at JUMP restaurant in Toronto’s financial district. I was hired to shoot candid imagery for only a couple of hours and that was it. Something short and sweet and I came with no anticipation that the day would leave a huge impression on me. I left that evening absolutely wowed! (which I will get to) I had literally only spent 4 hours with the couple and their friends, which for wedding coverage is slim. It sometimes feels a bit rushed to get all the perfect shots from a photographers perspective. We have this image of all the expectations a couple will have and feel like we must get them all. It can be a lot of pressure and when your time is limited (although the expectations are fewer) you still have this compulsion to get them all. I wasn’t covering a “getting ready” portion but I was covering everything else, alone.

The day went so smoothly. The family shots sailed by and the couple were keen to get shots of themselves all around the financial district. Yuseph and Maria were so laid-back and fun. They relished in every moment of the day together and with the people who mean the most to them in this world. The guests arrived and the ceremony was on the patio outside of JUMP. It was a short ceremony called a “humanist ceremony” which isn’t any specific religion but a belief that we can live ethical and fulfilling lives by reason and humanity. It is a powerful ceremony that poses interest on the couple and the people that surround them. These ceremonies are full of tears and laughter and make for intimate and personal vows that everyone can appreciate regardless of a religion. I found this particularly thoughtful to have at this wedding since the guests were from every end of the world and back again. I have never seen such multiculturalism in such a small space! It was so refreshing! Of course, Toronto is by far the most multi-cultural place I have ever been, but I had never seen that represented in a circle of friends and families. It was inspiring.

Once the cocktails were over, guests were led into JUMP’s dining room which was just recently redesigned. The gold, browns and blues felt cozy yet modern. Maria and Yuseph had limited details but they did add pops of colour with blush pink roses in mason jars, and blue macarons on each plate setting. The dinner ensued promptly and speeches ran their course. The last speech of the evening was from Maria’s father. He is a distinct Chinese man with a great sense of style, poise and a presence that makes you notice. He began speaking in Mandarin while his eldest daughter translated in English. His speech began like any typical father of the bride and then his words hit me like a two ton brick. I am sure every person in that room was captivated. Maria began crying. I thought I might very well begin sobbing behind my camera as I had never heard such honesty and deep regret at a wedding before. His words came out like a young boys sing-song that had been trapped for years. He looked proud of himself for breaking the “rules”, regretful for not doing sooner, yet confidant that he had finally said what he had been thinking and feeling for many, many years.

Maria has shared this little piece of what I think are the most profound words from a father who has regretted his past but has decided to make a positive and encouraging change for his families future and in hopes to evoke the same change in others.

“Both my youngest daughter and I tend to hide our emotions and our love. Because of my personality and traditions, it’s very hard for me to speak my feelings. But it is different here in “Oh Canada”. In my cafe you can always hear people say “darling”, “sweetheart”, “love” and “I love you”. But it is never from my wife to me. Those sweet words do not mean much to us, but they can make you feel quite good. Today I would like to take this opportunity to make a change. To make a change in myself and tell my daughter something that has been kept in my heart all these years: Ah B, I love you. Wow, this indeed does feel very good. Friends, if you have been the same, do not miss such an opportunity. To those who you love, tell them your heartfelt feelings. It is actually quite easy. Tell them “I love you”. Life will be more beautiful.” – Mr.Chen Wei

WOW! is all I can say. I can’t imagine the guts it took to say those words publically for Maria’s father but I can acknowledge that he has taken steps that should make him and his family and peers very proud. What an inspiration! I hope he has continued to tell you these simple words, Maria, that make your heart melt and your eyes light up. “I LOVE YOU”. They are such simple words that make us feel so vulnerable. If we do not love or express love, are we connected? Do we have a purpose in this world? Isn’t love what we are all seeking to feel and give? Brene Brown said “In order to love or have connection, we have to allow ourselves to be seen.” Mr.Wei did just that. I went home that evening with more gusto and more spunk in my step. I was in awe of what I had just been of witness to. I wanted to make sure that the people I love heard me say the words. “I LOVE YOU.”

xx-april

yuseph+maria1 yuseph+maria2

VENDORS

CAKE: Bobbette & Belle

CATERING: Jump

DRESS: Mirella’s Ladies Boutique

TUX: Harry Rosen

SHOES: Nine West

FLOWERS: Bloor West Village Flowers

CEREMONY LOCATION: Jump

RECEPTION LOCATION: Jump

MUSIC: Derek Macrae

OFFICIANT: Arran Liddell

HAIR/MAKEUP: Maggie Ng

FAVOURS: Bobbette & Belle

NO. OF GUESTS: 115

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On June 29, 2013, I had the pleasure of photographing Anni and Henry’s glamour inspired wedding in the city! All of the details were chic and glamorous with the contrast of the vintage rustic restaurant in Liberty Village called Caffino Ristorante. The juxtaposition of everything elegant vs. everything urban antique was so inviting. Anni had full creative control of the details which together she and Henry crafted together. The dessert table featured everything pink, gold and pale yellow which Anni also styled and propped. The baroque styled cake by Nadia & Co was a grand statement piece, bringing the colours of the dessert table together. The surrounding decor of the restaurant helped tie in all of the colours and key pieces of the day. A mirrored brick wall set the back-drop for the dessert table and large pink peonies spotted in glass vases on the tables. Beautiful gold chairs accented all the inspiration cake colours and picture frames with flowered papers numbered the tables. An adorable mini paper brides dress draped off of Anni’s chair and a sweet little blue tie off of Henry’s. All in all, this wedding was a gorgeous mix of old and new, glam and rustic, formal yet candid. I had a blast photographing you both Anni and Henry and wish you all the best!

xx-april

Please feel free to check out this wedding on Wedluxe’s blog: http://www.wedluxe.com/index.cfm?pagepath=Editor_s_Blog&id=6997&modeX=BlogID&modeXval=15898&BlogID=15898&action=showcomments&title=True-Love-True-Luxury-Anni–Henry

or if you were a guest, go to this link for photos of the day:

http://olivestudio.smugmug.com/Olive-Studio-Work/WeddingsEngagements/AnniHenry-Wedding/Anni-Henry-WeddingReception

anni+henry1 anni+henry2 anni+henry3Vendors:

Photography: Olive Studio

Venue: Caffino Ristorante

Stationery: Bride & Groom (design) and Eagle Print (printing)

Gown: Vera Wang from Vera Wang Toronto

Bride’s Accessories: Vera Wang (sash), Chanel (hair accessory)

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik from Browns and

Christian Louboutin from Holt Renfrew

Jewellery: J. Crew (necklace and bracelet) and Kenneth Jay Lane (earrings)

Rings: Tiffany & Co.

Bridesmaid Dresses: BCBG Max Azria

Bridesmaid Accessories: Bitter Sweet (earrings and necklaces)

Formal Wear: Tiger of Sweden (suit) J.Lindeberg (shirt),

Hugo Boss (daytime tie and shoes), Burberry (evening tie)

Hair and Makeup: Bridal Secretary

Floral: Kay & Young Flowers

Decor: Marlee Choo

Additional Rentals: Babylon Decor (Chiavari chairs)

Cake: Nadia & Co~

Sweet Table: Bobbette & Belle

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