Laura & Zach’s Dreamy Niagara Vineyard Wedding

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Laura and Zach’s wedding was set against the most spectacular and romantic vineyard setting – the gorgeous green rows of grapes touched by the golden sun made us feel like we were in a dream.

Laura’s attention to detail brought the beauty inside the reception tent, as lovely mis-matched yet co-ordinating vessels held an unexpected and totally fresh array of florals, and each plate was adorned with an adorable burlap and lace pouch which housed home-made caramels as a ‘Thank You’ to guests.

The whole vibe of the day felt so beautiful – amongst the days I’m sure we’ll all remember fondly as one of those epic Summer memories that we’ll never want to let go.

There was so much happiness, warmth and love that day, and the gorgeous setting mirrored how we all felt.

Here’s a look at Laura and Zach’s beautiful wedding at Ravine VineyardAnd be sure to read some words about the big day from the couple themselves at the bottom of the post! 

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… And here are some words about these lovebirds and some of their advice to engaged couples:

 

Q: Tell us a bit about your love story?

A: We were originally introduced through friends during University. With both of us at different schools and living in different cities and with no physical introduction, we continued on our separate paths. It wasn’t until July 4th, 2010 on a random Sunday, that we decided to meet up in Toronto on a whim. For those that know us, this was out of character for both of us! We then spent the day exploring the city, opening up to each other about our lives, the difficulties we’ve overcome, hardships we’ve endured but perhaps most importantly, where we wanted to go in life. We joked, we laughed and we continued to just let it all happen! After an incredible 8 hour walk through the city, we sealed it with a kiss and have been best friends and soul mates since.

Q: What were your favourite wedding moments?

A: It is almost impossible to narrow down a favourite moment, the entire day was magical! From the moment we woke up to the time we fell asleep, the day was perfect.

Q: Any advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?

A: Enjoy the planning process, stay organized and stay on top of things! By doing this, you will be able to relax and enjoy the weeks leading up to the wedding. Don’t forget to think about the guests in your planning, the small things go a long way! Most importantly, it’s your wedding, so throw an extraordinary party to celebrate your love with family and friends!

Q: Any final thoughts about the day you’d like to share?

A: The day won’t go by quickly if you are relaxed and ready to enjoy!

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P.S. This wedding was featured by The Wedding Co.! Check out the feature here: http://www.theweddingco.com/olive-photo/ 

Shelley & Dave’s Shabby Chic Toronto Restaurant Wedding

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I was holding off on publishing this wedding since it was going to be featured on Style Me Pretty – but now enough time has passed and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you.

I got to shoot this wedding on my birthday (June 21st) – First day of Summer, longest day of the year, and a day so full of love and beauty all around… such a fantastic way to spend a birthday!

Shelley & Dave went *all out*. This wedding is styled to the nines!

This shabby-chic affair was everything they are – sweet, stylish, chic, classic, beautiful, and oh so memorable.
Being there felt like I had stepped into a magazine or gorgeously styled blog post – you could tell these two had put so much thought into making this a special day with so many personal touches.
They painted and potted all the herb place card holders/favours themselves! Shelley’s mother beautifully calligraphed all the guests’ names as well, and Dave wrote out the seating chart by hand.
They had a super fun Polaroid ‘photo booth’ ‘guest book’, and guests pinned their special messages to the newlyweds onto cute twine lines strung over a wrought iron gate fixture. And, those who like to Instagram were invited to use the hashtag #thecolenbranders via an adorable bunting banner at the entrance.

… And let’s not forget about the DARLING sprinkle-covered cake with sweet fondant bowties! (A nod to the gents’ bowties, perhaps?) This cake wasn’t just awesome to look at, either – it tasted phenomenal. And the ice cream bar with topping choices next to it was a fun way cap off dinner and provide an energy boost for dancing!

There are almost too many special details to recount!

Congratulations again, Colenbranders!!

P.S. So much kudos is deserved to Fidan and Christina ofDesigned Dream Wedding Planning for setting up Shelley’s vision so perfectly, and to Alina of Flowers Time – Toronto Floral Design Studio for the gorgeous floral arrangements! And to Caffino Ristorante for being such a wonderful venue!
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Go find your Joy

“Stop worrying so much (be present)… Dance a little bit… Go find your joy…” 
— Some of the good words of advice from Sandra Bullock to graduates this year in this short video:

Good Advice

Click the image above or this link (and scroll down a bit) to watch the video: http://tinyurl.com/pt6o4oz

In it are sentiments that have been amongst some life-changers for myself as well.

Wishing you all well as you embark on a new week, lovelies ❤ 

Discount on a photo session? Woot!

Want a discount on a photo session? Know anyone who needs a photographer?

It’s always special when folks refer friends and family to me, so to show my appreciation I’d like to extend a discount to you if you spread the photo love!

Here’s how the referral program works:
* Receive $50 off your next session when you refer anyone who books a session
* Receive $100 off your next session when you refer anyone who books a wedding
* Receive a FREE session when you refer 3 couples who book weddings, or 5 people who book other sessions. Woohoo!

** For multiple referrals, discounts can be combined and applied to your session **

To benefit, be sure to let me know when you’ve referred someone so I can trace the booking to you 🙂

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Kashfia & Arber – Married! 04.19.2014

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How can I describe to you just how beautiful the love between these two wonderful human beings is?

Let’s start with how sweet they are individually – they are each so kind-hearted, caring, and considerate of others… multiply that by a lot between the two of them and you have an inspiringly supportive and nurturing couple. It’s amazing how they look at each other, and how attentive they are to one another. You can instantly tell these two have a solid bond.

In my initial meeting with the two of them I was so touched to see the care with which they each explained their ideas for their wedding – making sure the other agreed, and supporting the other’s statements, affirming the importance of their loved one’s ideas.
They explained to me that they’d have two separate days for their wedding festivities – one would be a simple home ceremony performed by an Imam in keeping with Kashfia’s Bengali culture, and the other would be a more Western reception with a Bengali twist: shared, family-style food and a stage set up with a backdrop for guests to get photographs with the newlyweds. Impressively, Kashfia and Arber created this stage setup themselves since Arber has a theatre design background and they’re both very artistic. You’d never guess the super cool backdrop was made using gold spray-painted straws!

Another pleasant – and totally amazing – surprise was Arber’s speech to his wife… After Kashfia’s lovely, tear-inducing words to her husband, Arber mentioned he’s not so good with words… so the DJ fired up some music and Arber began to sweetly sing Elvis Presley’s ‘Only You’. The whole crowd started hooting and hollering at how fun it was!
I’m so happy Arber’s sister Borana – an old friend from high school – referred her brother and Kashfia to me. It was such an honour being present to capture their heartwarming love.
Warmest congratulations and best wishes for a happy marriage, lovebirds.

I have no doubt you’ll have a beautiful life together ❤
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And now, some words from the newlyweds!

How did you meet?
We first met at a New Year’s Eve party. Arber had spent the entire night trying to learn the name of every single person who was there and almost burned down our friends’ apartment by passing out sparklers to everyone. To quote a friend of ours, the sparks have been flying ever since!
What was your favourite wedding moment (bride & groom)
Kashfia: My favorite wedding moment was definitely when Arber began singing “Only You” in lieu of a speech. It was such a wonderful surprise, and it captured how sweet (and funny) Arber is as a person.
Arber: My favorite moment was our first dance, to the wonderful singing of our friend Michelle and masterful accompaniment of our friend TJ on guitar
Any advice for engaged couples planning their wedding? 
•Whether or not you are doing a DIY wedding (like we did), ask for help and use your support network; our wedding would not have happened without all the friends and family who insisted on making sure our day went well.
•On the day of the wedding, hire a day-of coordinator or make sure that someone you trust is going to take care of any questions or problems that may arise
•Manage your families’ expectations early on in the planning process, especially if you and your partner come from different backgrounds. The hardest part of all of our preparations was trying to figure out how to do right by our families and our cultures.
Details: 
– Dress designer: Off-the-rack white wedding dress, altered by Arber’s neighbour Moza who is the most talented seamstress we know; lehenga from Asiyans in Scarborough
Makeup: Asha Arabia
Suit: Custom made by Sun & Moon Ltd.
Centrepieces & Bouquets: We made them ourselves, with the enormous help of our friends!
Cakes & favours: The favours were local honey that we spent a day pouring into glass jars, that were then hand labelled by our friends. Instead of a cake, Arber’s parents got us a macaroon tree from a local Albanian pastry shop.
Venue: The Assembly Hall
Any final thoughts about the big day/experience of getting married that you’d like to share?
Try to make the planning process fun for the both of you; some things are going to be a chore and some things you won’t agree on, but it’s really nice to look back on the day and remember how it brought you and your partner closer together. KashfiaArberLRGoodWM-66

Stephanie & Brian – Married! – April 12, 2014

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Stephanie and Brian got married!
And it was a beautiful day to match their beautiful smiles.

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I had a lot of fun photographing their engagement session a while back and was so excited to photograph their wedding!

The sun shone through the windows of Stephanie’s parents’ house as she and her bridesmaids got ready, and the warmth that filled the room was echoed by their apparent ease and contentment. Steph was remarkably composed – no nerves were visible on this bride’s face. Perhaps it was because after a nine-year relationship, this couple was already connected in the strongest way, and getting married, though an exciting and wonderful occasion, was but a way of formalizing what they already felt in their hearts.

Their family and wedding party were all so welcoming – I felt like one of the gang, joking, laughing and dancing as I snapped away – everyone was in such a great mood!

After the lovely ceremony at Leaside United Church (where Brian beamed endlessly) we headed in the stretch limo (with Veuve Clicquot champagne, no less) to the Distillery District for the wedding party photos. The weather was even nice enough that Greg’s Ice Cream was open! Of course we had to grab a cone!

Afterwards we headed to The Vue  for dinner, dancing and merriment – the entire dance floor was packed with happy people celebrating this love that’s been almost a decade in the making.

Congratulations, lovebirds! It’s been an honour to document this happy time in your life, and I wish you all good things to come!
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And now some words from the newlyweds! (They sent this from their honeymoon!)

What was your favourite wedding moment?
Bride: Walking down the aisle and seeing Brian with the biggest smile on his face ear to ear, just knowing he was as happy in that moment as I was, is a moment I’ll never forget…and the moment we were pronounced husband and wife was pretty amazing too! 🙂
Groom: Having our first dance together as husband and wife and singing to Steph as we danced. At that moment it felt like just her and I were in the room alone sharing a special moment together.

Any advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?

Enjoy the day! You’ve spent so much time planning for your wedding so on the day just remember to enjoy it and don’t sweat the small stuff because no one will notice but you. It’s a beautiful day and you don’t want to miss it because it really does fly by!
Details:
– Dress designer: Paloma Blanca www.palomablanca.com purchased from Mona Richie www.monarichiebride.com
– Suit: S. Cohen Inc. www.scoheninc.com purchased from Gino’s Fashion www.ginosfashion.com
– bouquets: Verdi Florist www.verdiflorist.com
– Centrepieces: Verdi Florist www.verdiflorist.com
– Cake: Eini & Co. www.eini.ca
– Favours: Macedo Wines (bottled by the Bride & Groom) www.macedowinery.ca
– Invitations: Etsy shop – The Best Day Paper Co
– Reception Venue: The Vue by Peter and Pauls www.thevue.ca
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Rates – In case you were wondering!

I’ve been getting more inquiries for baby sessions recently, so I’ve created a dedicated section for family, baby & maternity on the Olive ‘Rates’ page.

All other rates for working with me are there as well, so if you’re interested in booking a session feel free to check it out &/or share the link with loved ones who need a photographer:
http://olivephotography.4ormat.com/rates

And as always, feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions at all: olivephotographyTO@gmail.com – I’d be super happy to help you out 🙂

Featured by Intimate Weddings!

** Very excited that Olive Photography has been featured by Intimate Weddings! **

Intimate Weddings Banner

Intimate Weddings is the go-to site for planning a small wedding.

Intimate Weddings is the only major blog that is devoted to small weddings (weddings with less than 75 guests). Our Quantcast rank is 9,438 making us one of the top 10,000 most visited sites on the web.”

I’m honoured.
** Check out the feature here: ** http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/intimate-ontario-garden-wedding-christa-jorden/

And of course many congratulations go out to Christa and Jorden for planning such a beautiful wedding with so many gorgeous hand-made touches!

Contortion Coolness! With Gabriella DeBartolo

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Gabby is an old friend from my undergrad days, and this was the first time I got to see her in action.

She wanted to get performer portraits taken for her website and I have to say, I was *so* excited to witness the incredible moves I’d seen in her Facebook updates!

It was super impressive to see her flow in and out of poses with such ease – I don’t think I can bend my back even a tenth of how far she can!
But I know it takes tonnes of work to do the cool things she does – she says she stretches and practices every day.

If you need a performer for your wedding or event, she’s totally your gal. Feel free to check out her site: http://www.torontocontortionist.com/

… And without further adieu, here’s the main attraction!

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