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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx – april

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VENDORS

VENUE | CEREMONY | CATERING

The Doctor’s House, Kleinberg

DJ

Platinum Entertainment Solutions

FLOWER BOUQUETS

Groom

MAKEUP + HAIR

Karima Sumar

FIRST DANCE SONG

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx – april

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VENDORS

Reception:

Angus Glen Golf Course

Wedding Planner:

Rebecca Chan Weddings + Events

Decor/Flowers:

Fete Boutique

Band:

The Love Supremes

Cake:

Bobbette & Belle

Transportation:

Red Star Limo

Hair:

Puzzle Creation

Makeup:

Fiona Man

Slo Mo Videobooth:

Event Circle

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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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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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Sam and Frankie’s wedding was the first wedding of 2016 for Olive Studio. It was a gorgeous spring day and I was excited to document the union of this incredibly sweet two-some.

Sam and Frankie met in grade 9, dating for two weeks but because of their extreme shyness towards one another, they broke up. Two years later, the stars realigned and they have been together ever since. These high-school sweethearts truly adore each other. Sam is extremely sweet, enamouring and has a contagious laugh and smile that will cheer any dark mood. Frankie is fun, kind and quiet…..very quiet which is a great balance for his chatty counterpart. His deep dimpled smile does wonders too 😉

What I noticed very quickly, while documenting them was that they are both head-over-heels for one another. I was instantly charmed by the couple’s dynamic and knew that the photos would show how genuine their love is. I had a blast working with you and your kind family and friends.

All the best to you, Sam and Frankie in your new life chapter.

xx- april

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Words from the Bride

What was your favourite wedding moment

“My favourite moment of the day was the ceremony, watching Frankie be taken up in the moment listening to the officiant and listening to Frankie’s vows. It was amazing to look out to the crowd and see nothing but our closest family and friends there to support us and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. This day was literally the best day of our lives, so far!”

What was your first dance song?

“Brad Paisley – Then . Frankie actually picked this song which was surprising as he isn’t a country fan at all. It was perfect for us. Being together 11 years, it symbolized points in time each of us have looked back and had thought that in that moment that we knew it was going to him/her. Over the years we’ve realized that the best is yet to come.”

 

VENDORS

RECEPTION + CEREMONY LOCATION

Hazelton Manor

OFFICIANT

Alexa Gilmour

WEDDING PLANNER

Alexandra McNamara

FLORIST

Cool, Green and Shady

CAKE

Dufflet

FURNITURE/DECOR RENTALS

Under Wraps

MAKEUP/HAIR

Amy Beth Duclos @ Bespoke Beauty

DRESS

Kleinfeld – Hayley Paige

SHOES

Badgley Mishka

SUIT

Michael Kors

BRIDAL PARTY ATTIRE

Bill Levkof

FAVOURS

Homeade Strawberry Jam

BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS

Mancrates + earrings + necklace

STATIONERY

Minted

PHOTOBOOTH

Snapz

MUSIC

DJ EXTREEM

SECOND SHOOTER

Jasper

NUMBER OF GUESTS

240

BUDGET

Between 40-60k

 

 

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Leslie and Jason are the perfect compliment for one another. Leslie is outgoing and talkative and Jason, quiet and sweet. They have a mutual love for travel, the outdoors, sport and are certainly the go-getter types.

It was a pleasure to travel to Guelph for the wedding – a new atmosphere for my creative shots! It also helped that the weather was absolutely gorgeous! We had tons of time for bridal party shots on this day which makes it especially nice for the couple I think. We were never in a rush and had ample architectural and natural backdrops to work with. This certainly helps make my life easier too…and I have more time to “fix” the couple along the way. Not all weddings can be this drawn out but when you can afford the extra time, I certainly recommend it.

Once we finished shooting near the river, we got some shots on Guelph university campus. What a lovely spot! Guests started filtering onto the patio of Creelman Hall for cocktail hour where Leslie and Jason had arranged some fun games. Hors D’oeuvres were passed around and we even made it back in time for Leslie and Jason to enjoy some of their cocktail hour.

The hall itself was done up with many DIY’s created by the couple. My favourite one was the cake station, as there were a few blank canvased cakes waiting for guests to decorate! There was candy, icing and all sorts of decorations to encourage friends and family to make it “theirs”. What a sweet idea!

The night of course ensued with dinner and dancing and my favourite part of the night was Leslie’s dance with her dad. As the voyeur for the day I certainly felt their connection and I loved the shots I got showing their sheer delight in one another.

Thank you for a wonderful day Leslie and Jason! You and all your pleasant friends and family made the day go by smoothly. It is days like these that remind me how much I love my job!

xx – april

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VENDORS:

Wedding Planner:

Christine Zulauf and Quinn Dam

Church:

St.George’s Anglican Church

Reverend:

Ralph Blackman

Reception:

Creelman Hall, University of Guelph

 

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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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