Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

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





The Doctor’s House, Kleinberg


Platinum Entertainment Solutions




Karima Sumar


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







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July 7th was a perfectly beautiful sunny day that started out with dark skies and rain. I was sure that the sun wouldn’t make an appearance but to my pleasant surprise it turned out to be a perfect Saturday.

Shireen; a beautiful, poised and delightful young woman, welcomed me into her bustling family home on her wedding day morning. I had the unique pleasure of photographing her and her best friends, and family getting wrapped up in silk woven saree’s in all the pale colours of the rainbow.  Sheer delight from all the girls’ excitement filled the air, as Shireen held back tears of joy on many occasions.  I could feel the love this family had for one another almost instantly and knew that the photography would show it.

Below, I have comprised a long series of images from Cyrus and Shireen’s wedding day. This wedding blog entry is a long one, as their religion and heritage is unique with a ceremony that I am sure most of you will never have seen before. The Zarathusti wedding ceremony is composed of beautiful symbolism and rituals focusing on the couple and their love. I felt quite privileged to witness such a beautiful ceremony in Toronto’s gorgeous venue, Arcadian Court, and will share a quick synopsis of some of the symbolism.

The Ara Antar (the curtain) ceremony starts with the couple sitting facing each other, surrounded by seven married women from both families.  The witnesses hold a white sheet between the two chairs so the couple cannot see each other.  Cyrus and Shireen’s right hands are joined, with a cotton thread wound around their hands three times.  In their left hands they are holding some rice, symbolizing a joint commitment and strength in unity. The thread is then passed around the couple seven times as the priests recite the “Ahunavar” prayer, the most sacred of all Zarathusti prayers, the vibrations of which are said to be identical to those at the creation of the universe.  At the end of these prayers, the curtain is dropped, symbolizing no separation between the couple, and Shireen and Cyrus will throw the rice in their left hands at each other.  The first person to hit the other with rice is said to win the “race of love” and will be the foremost one in loving and respecting the other.  Shireen and Cyrus then sit side by side laughing because Shireen won the race of love! 🙂

Since Shireen and Cyrus’ wedding was such a busy day, I am photographing the couple together on another date. They wanted to take as much time as possible to enjoy their friends and family that traveled from all over the world. I completely understand how busy weddings can be and how divided some couples feel that they must separate their time for guests and for photos. This is not something I always encourage to do, but for some couples, this is the only answer to enjoy your celebration and get all the photography desired.

I look forward to shooting again with you both! You are a genuine and loving couple. I wish you all the happiness life offers!

xox – April

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On October 1st, 2011 I had the pleasure of photographing my best friends brothers wedding. Jeff Ladner is a twin of my friend Christie and I have known him since we were 4yrs old. He is a down-to-earth jokster with a genuine caring heart.  Together the three of us went to nursery school where a friendship blossomed through Christie and I, and Jeff  became a fixture at our play-dates and in the classroom.

Jeff is the 3rd sibling of four children of the Ladner family to get married and I was honoured to be asked to shoot his wedding. When I first met his wife Katherine, I was instantly smitten. She is a beautiful, charismatic, well-spoken and extremely compassionate woman. She is the kind of partner that will put everyone first and like Jeff’s mother, Bonnie, she is a deeply loving family woman. Love her in an instant, and keep her forever.

The lovely pair got married in Mississauga and then went to Burlington Botanical Gardens on the brisk but sunny fall day. The venue was perfectly spotted with details revealing Katherine’s shabby chic inspiration and the room was filled of faces that I had recollected over the years of visiting the Ladner family. Both Jeff and Katherine’s family were the bridal party members which showered the guests with their strong connections to their family roots. It was an emotional day for many; including me, teary eyed during the speeches,hiding behind my camera. 😉

Overall, the day went as smoothly as I could have ever imagined and Katherine and Jeff were radiant! Congrats to you both. May you spend your years of  ups in celebration of each other and conquer the downs with the knowledge of a family structure that will forever support you. My love and best wishes to you both!

xoxo April

Venue: Burlington Botanical Gardens

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A beautifully shy and successful woman from Korea meets a fashionable, assertive and successful man from Toronto and together they move to New York to fulfill their artistic desires. I met the pair in the summer to go through a practice run photo-shoot and learned that the two of them share love for the arts, architecture, city life, and are quite the bon vivants. This stunning couple are paired eloquently together sharing a quiet yet playful love for one another. We had plenty of time to photograph the pair in the city streets, reminiscent of their city life together in New York whilst simultaneously bringing some nostalgia to Tom’s past in Toronto.

Canoe restaurant was the place to be on this perfect night. Atop the TD centre building on the 42nd floor a view of the city awaits its guests. It was a view I had never seen before and set a mood so spectacular for the evening ahead. As the sun set, Yonghwa and Tom had their first dance and the rays of the sun glistened off their cheeks. Shy as they are, they cut the dance short and made their way to the table to start a delectable dinner for their guests to leave talking about. As the sky turned into an array of city lights, the candles changed the mood from urban to romantic. It was a dream of a night.

My best wishes to the both of you as you embark on your journey in New York together.

xoxo April

Dress: Vera Wang

Venue: Canoe, Toronto: http://www.oliverbonacini.com/Canoe.aspx

Photo Locations: King St, TD Centre, Osgoode Hall

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Ana and Pete are perfect for each other. They are sweet, artsy, playful, passionate and sensitive to each others needs. I could sense it the first time I met with them. This wedding would have to be one of my favourites to photograph because they are connected on all levels and the camera could see that.

Pete is a playful guy that hates his photograph being taken but since meeting me has had some practice in front of the camera.  He likes to mock any posed shots and so I shot this wedding as candidly as I could with a decent sized bridal party. Ana is also playful but she is full of heart and fantasy. She is a woman who has dreamed of a perfect wedding day as a girl (or at least I got that impression 😉 and Pete is her Prince charming.

This off-the-beaten track wedding started at the King Eddie, then bridal party shots around Front and King St, dinner with close family at Osteria and an evening ceremony and party at Cabinet in the Distillery District. All around it was a phenomenal day that was celebrated with ease and laughter.

Ana + Pete: I know you will have a future of happiness together, dreaming out more fantasies that you make reality.  Thank you for having me capture your perfect day!

xoxo April

Hair + Makeup: John Sheehy

Venue: Cabinet @ the Distillery

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The summer months are destined to bring friends, family and loved ones together to join in the celebration of experiencing a happy couple tie the knot. Although I do not advertise that I shoot weddings on Olive Studio’s website, I do photograph them. I do this simply because weddings are a whole other niche that warrants a website all to itself. I do not want to limit my gypsy lifestyle and book weddings years in advance so I keep myself limited to booking a few weddings each year on the year. This allows me the flexibility to combine travel with shooting for Olive Studio. It is a perfect balance for all my passions of photography and keeps life and work dynamic and tantalizing.  I love shooting weddings in a documentary style as I believe that is when the most real moments can be captured. I find myself drawn to personal exchanges, emotions, and the moments when people have stopped posing.  Of course, some posed and contrived shots are always necessary to make the bride look as stunning as she is! I am adding a link to some of my wedding work so that readers interested or inquiring can view my wedding portfolio. If you are interested in rates or packages, I would be happy to send you a pdf rate list or a personalized package price. My rates start at $2200.


Thank you all for your constant inquiries!

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