Susan & Ike – Married at Rosewater Room

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Susan and Ike got married at Rosewater Room in downtown Toronto – I love a full-on city wedding – lots of fun and totally interesting locations for photos!

Susan and Ike have a love that is without pretension, is youthful and jovial, joyful and free – They care about each other with a confident and beautiful abandon – two individual souls who can exist and support one another in the most admiring way.I was really touched watching how magnetically drawn to each other they are, seeming completely elated to be in each other’s arms, yet also how totally happy they are watching each other enjoy themselves in the crowd of loved ones from afar – What I’m trying to say is, this couple has a bond that goes deep, and it was an honour to photograph their wedding at Rosewater on Saturday.

Their speeches included words to each other that had this photographer teary-eyed and completely smitten being in the presence of this amazing love. The love was also echoed all around by every single one of their guests who was so impassionately excited to be there. Susan and Ike’s crew is tight. I photographed their friends Eini and Celso’s wedding last year and this large, rambunctious and completely fun group was all there – it’s so cool and inspiring to see such a large group of friends and family be so gosh-darned close.

Susan and Ike’s wedding day had a number of personalized touches. Their cakes were made by a friend, and the groom’s cake was a surprise, made to look like a DJ mixing board since Ike loves to DJ. It even lit up! All the flowers, including bouquets, boutonnieres and centrepieces, were made by an incredibly talented friend/bridesmaid. They had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony to honour their family background. And, perhaps coolest of all, all their wedding day events took place within a few city blocks of where they live! Rosewater, where they got married, is so close to their home, and and we chose to walk around the neighbourhood with their wedding party, shining some new light on the locations they go by on a daily basis – love how personal that was to them!

Anyhow, I’ll stop gushing about these two and let you see some of their photos now — and don’t forget to check out the bottom of the post for some words from our newlyweds themselves! Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0356Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0363Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0366 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0367 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0369 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0364Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0358Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0368Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0360Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0357   Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0370 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0359 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0361Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0362 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0376 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0375 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0374 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0355 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0354 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0372 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0377 wedding photography Toronto

Now some words from the newlyweds!

– What were your favourite wedding day moments (each of you, or one of you)?  The first time we saw each other on our wedding day and walking down the aisle. Him: walking through our neighbourhood and capturing us in the area we live in. – Were there any noteworthy challenges to planning your wedding?

Trying to maintain your patience and remaining calm:) If you can work through that, you can work through anything!
– Now that you’re wedding planning pros & newlyweds, do you have advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?
Know that all that planning and preparation will culminate in a single day that will go by all too quickly, so savour every moment of that day.
Vendor Details:
– Photography: Olive Photography

– Dress Designer: David’s Bridal Galina Signature – Suit: Freeman’s Formal – Cake: Eini & Co
– Flowers: Bridesmaid
– Makeup: Iris Liu
– Hair: Davis Lau – Studio 39

Attention, Couples! Why is a Wedding Day Itinerary important?

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Why is a wedding day itinerary important? 

Your wedding day is such a whirlwind of events, and it’s easy to get lost in the flow of it all – And that’s totally ok! It’s super important for you to be able to relax and be present, truly enjoying your day without a worry.

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But, in order to be able to do that, some planning before your big day is so critical. For example, it’s amazingly helpful to have a detailed itinerary for your wedding day planned out. With so many events going on, it’s so beneficial to have a guideline as to how much time there is for the different parts of the day. 

You spend seemingly endless hours planning out the many aspects of your big day, and it’s important to allot enough time to properly document them, as well as for them to actually happen! 

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Now, having a detailed itinerary may sound rather rigid, and isn’t good wedding photography about being relaxed and capturing real moments as they happen? The answer is YES! Trust me, having a realistic timeline in place does not mean the actual day can’t be documented organically, full of candid and wonderful moments. The itinerary just means enough time has been given for each part of your day, allowing us all to be more relaxed and letting those moments flow without a quickly ticking clock and a feeling of being rushed. (Who wants to feel rushed on their wedding day?… I’m guessing not you!)
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When couples book with me, I e-mail them a sample itinerary I created with one of my past brides, along with suggested times for certain parts of the day to help ensure we get the shots we need – And couples really appreciate this! Having a plan with allotted times (including enough ‘cushion time’ since wedding days to often veer off schedule a bit) really helps ensure the day goes smoothly. 

Big bonus: The time we spend planning out your itinerary before your big day means you can rest easy and truly be present on your wedding day, knowing all the key things have been accounted for. 

And a relaxed couple means much more natural and happy photographs, and an overall better wedding experience.

Cheers to that!

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Photos in this post are from Jodi & Brad’s big day – FULL POST HERE!

With so much love,

Paula & Kevin – Married at the Palais Royale

Paula Kevin FB WM-61 Paula Kevin FB WM-70 Page-08 copy I can’t believe I hadn’t blogged this wedding yet! It’s one of my faves from last Summer.

After a decade together (yup, you read that right) these high school sweethearts got hitched.

It was a blast photographing this totally fun, laid back wedding. There were many spontaneous outbursts of singing, dancing and tonnes of laughs.

Paula and Kevin, congratulations again! And, congratulations on your little one on the way!! Page-07 copy Paula Kevin FB WM-2 Paula Kevin FB WM-3 Paula Kevin FB WMPaula Kevin Web-11 Paula Kevin Web-10 Page-01 copyPaula Kevin Web-21 Paula Kevin Web-3 Paula Kevin FB WM-10 Paula Kevin FB WM-13 Paula Kevin FB WM-15 Page-03Page-01Paula Kevin Web-13 Paula Kevin Web-34Paula Kevin FB WM-19 Paula Kevin FB WM-20 Page-05 copy Page-06 Page-02 copy Page-03 copyPage-04 copy Paula Kevin FB WM-16 Page-04 Page-10 Page-05 Page-07 Page-08 Page-09 Page-11 Page-13 Paula Kevin FB WM-44 Paula Kevin FB WM-45 Paula Kevin FB WM-46 Paula Kevin FB WM-72 Paula Kevin FB WM-65 Paula Kevin FB WM-64 Paula Kevin FB WM-63 Paula Kevin FB WM-62 Paula Kevin FB WM-4 Page-09 copy Page-11 copy Page-12 copy Paula Kevin FB WM-71 Page-02Paula Kevin Web-16Paula Kevin Web-17 Paula Kevin Web-67

Page-12 Page-06 copy Paula Kevin FB WM-77 Paula Kevin FB WM-76 Paula Kevin FB WM-68Paula Kevin FB WM-69 Paula Kevin FB WM-75   P.S. This wedding was *featured* by The Wedding Opera! You can check out the feature here: http://www.theweddingopera.com/2014/12/10/toronto-wedding-at-the-palais-royale/

Vendors:

Photography: Olive Photography

Venue: Palais Royale, Toronto, Ontario

Bridal Gown: Mori Lee bought from Best for Brides

Hair: Rupa (home salon)

Makeup: Amanda Kelly (bridesmaid/sister-in-law)

Day of Co-ordinator: Stephanie Strongman-Borg from Pegasus Hospitality Group

Stationery: Gartner home printed stationary

Decor: Home made by Bride and Entourage

Groom’s Attire: Moore’s

Cake Design by: Kake KreationsWhitby, Ontario

DJ: Veriation Music

Videographer/Cinematographer: Johnathan Lewis from Johnathan Productions

Officiant: Ray Swash from Dream Wedding Officiants

Sam & Joe’s Intimate Restaurant Wedding at Boehmer

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It’s completely evident that Sam and Joe are totally adored by their friends and family, and I can see why. They have such spirit and are so much fun to be around! Never a dull moment around these two. Full-on belly laughs galore at this one!

They had an intimate restaurant wedding at Boeher (my *goodness* was the food delicious!), and everyone was just so happy to be there.
The speeches were full of hilarious stories, intermingled with touching ones about how much they are admired, and how much everyone supports their union.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you guys for inviting me to photograph this happy time for you. It’s been a joy and a half. ❤
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Alicia & Curtis’ Enchanted Summer Wedding

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There’s definitely something inexplicable about the way the sun beams gently kissed Alicia and Curtis’ shoulders and the way the greenery reached all around them, encircling them, almost as though it were reaching to hug this clearly completely enamoured pair.

They exchanged vows in a wonderful outdoor ceremony which included a sand ritual to honour those who could not physically be there… perhaps the sun beams and amazing good vibes were coming from those passed loved ones they had taken the time to honour.

Curtis’ father is a pastor, and it touched my heart to see him officiate this union – how beautiful to have a parent take such an involved and supportive role in ushering their union.
It was also really touching to see the groomsmen together in prayer before joyfully walking over to the ceremony – where Curtis positively *glowed* with pride and joy as he saw his breathtaking bride-to-be walking toward him, with her parents beside her.

We were lucky to have an extended amount of time after the ceremony to enjoy the gorgeous day and take some photos to commemorate this time for them.

Hope you enjoy!
And don’t forget to read Alicia and Curtis’ love story, written by the lovebirds themselves, at the bottom of this post! Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography _0236Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography _0246Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography 0238Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography 0242 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0237 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography 0228
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And now, some words from the newlyweds themselves!

– Tell us a bit about your love story – How you met and/or how you got engaged?
Ours was a true love at first sight story. It began at a Christmas banquet for young adults at a church in Grimsby, Ontario. Alicia was a first time guest there, and Curtis had been attending for some time. Alicia immediately caught his eye. It began with a simple introduction and quickly spiraled into an all out romance. The two became inseparable, not able to go a day without seeing each other.

From then it was only four months before the couple was engaged (to the day from when they became boyfriend and girlfriend).  It was a beautiful spring day. Alicia was busy setting up and attending her sister in-law’s baby shower, for her very first nephew. This was the perfect opportunity for Curtis to set up a few things of his own. Curtis picked Alicia up from the shower telling her he had made dinner reservations because he knew how busy she had been throughout the day. She was already dressed up for the shower so it was the perfect opportunity. As she got into the Chevy pick-up truck there was a single red rose resting on her seat beside him. Curtis had planned to give her flowers three times that night.
It began with a romantic candle light dinner in an upscale restaurant Alicia had been wanting to go to for some time.  Curtis had gone there earlier and dropped off a dozen roses to be waiting for her at the most romantic table (as requested) when they arrived. They shared an amazing meal together, which included live music as entertainment (perfect with Curtis’ background). From there they proceeded to go on a drive through the scenic back roads of Fonthill, Ontario. Their drive led them to a spot near a river where they had shared romantic walks together many times in the past.
Curtis had excused himself from the vehicle only to return with an acoustic guitar in his hands. He told her he had written her a love song and he wanted to share it with her. After finally calming his nerves he began singing. Alicia was in tears. It was at this time she knew something unforgettable was about to happen. Curtis left the truck to go get Alicia‘s final gift. He returned with a beautiful blue orchid in his hands (Alicia‘s favorite flower). Tied to the the flower was a small bag with an engagement ring in it. Curtis untied the ring from the flower, got down on one knee (in the mud I might add) and asked her to marry him! The rest in now history.
-The Groom
– What was/were your favourite wedding moment(s) (bride & groom)
Bride: My Favourite wedding moments were the ones spent together, just the two of us. With the hustle and bustle of the day, going for a wild ride in the Chevy Bel-Air, taking pictures and walking down in the enchanted forest, and of course stopping to play with the squirrels and ducks, felt as if I was able to hit the pause button; they will forever be ingrained in my memory.
Groom: My Favourite moment was seeing my bride for the first time, it is a moment I will never forget. I also loved the opportunity to share our special day with all my Family and Friends!
– Any advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?
Don’t let the little things get to you. Do your best to plan and be prepared, but not to the sacrificing of your relationship.  On that special day, simply enjoy each other. Enjoy your family and friends. Most importantly… HAVE FUN!
Any final thoughts about the big day/experience of getting married that you’d like to share?
The day will go by faster than a blink of an eye. Try your best to really take in the moment (especially the alone ones with your spouse-they will be rare) … And if you think you won’t be able to, Hire a great photographer like Anastasia (Olive Photography) …it will help when that moment has past and you look back at what it really was… to Marry the Love of Your Life.
-The Bride
Details:
– Dress: Annette’s Bridal, St. Catharines, Ontario
– Shoes: Nine West
– Bridesmaids: The Dessy Group
– Veil: Borrowed from Maid of Honor, Iva Laska
– Groom & Groomsmen Suit(s): Tommy Hilfiger, The Hudson’s Bay Co.
– Bouquets: Vermeer’s Garden Centre & Flower Shop, Welland, Ontario
– Centrepieces: Custom-Made by Bridal Party
– Cakes : Above and Beyond, Welland, Ontario (salted caramel)
-Favours: The Madsen Family Apiaries, Lowbanks, Ontario
– Venues: Illuminaqua Centre, Merritt Park, Welland, Ontario
Reception: John-Michael’s Banquet Hall, Thorold, Ontario

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*Featured* on Style Me Pretty Living – ‘Celeb-Worthy Birthday Cakes’!

The sunshine has been oh so lovely today and my day just got even brighter – Came home to a surprise feature by Style Me Pretty Living! They used Shelley & Dave’s wedding cake photo in a feature about ‘Celeb-Worthy Birthday Cakes’ in honour of Reese Witherspoon’s Birthday. http://www.stylemepretty.com/collecti…/1227/picture/2065436/ Happy birthday, Reese Witherspoon!

Super adorable sprinkle & bowtie cake by Swirls Cupcakes. ** Wanna see more of the wedding this cake came from? Click here! http://www.stylemepretty.com/2014/09/22/whimsical-toronto-restaurant-wedding/ **

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Niveen & Rob’s Rustic Garden Wedding – In the Winter!

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Niveen and Rob struck the perfect cultural balance, incorporating their two diverse backgrounds into a beautiful, impactful wedding celebration.

They had an intimate home ceremony to make their marriage official in Niveen’s culture, then had a beautiful ‘Western’ wedding reception at Archeo in Toronto’s Distillery District (which I had the honour of photographing) with a jaw-dropping floral arrangement above their head table, super cool sweet table with chocolate-dipped Oreos (their favourite cookie), baklava (a nod to Niveen’s culture), and surprise entertainment in the form of belly dancers and other dancers who impressively balanced candelabras on their heads!

They also had a ‘love lock’ engraved with their initials and wedding date to secure to a love wall near their venue – one they can visit and smile at for years to come.

Niveen sported a super cute stole to keep her warm (can you believe it’s H&M?), an eye-catching headpiece, and blue velvet shoes as her ‘something blue’. Rob had a nifty and totally dapper tie clip along with a custom-tailored suit.

Check out the bottom of the post for words from the newlyweds!

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Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography Distillery District_0164Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography Distillery District_0192Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography Distillery District_0180Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography Distillery District_0184Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography Distillery District_0185Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography Distillery District_0178Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography Distillery District_0193Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography Distillery District_0194Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography Distillery District_0189Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography Distillery District_0196And now, some words from the newlyweds themselves! 

What made you choose a winter wedding?
N: We were actually hoping for a summer outdoor/garden wedding. But, life happened and we ended up buying a house. My family is traditional and preferred that I move in after we are married. So we planned the wedding in 6 months because we’d rather be together than wait for the summer sun! Luckily, its a less busy time and it was possible for us to find some fantastic artists, venue, and vendors on such short notice. Other than taking photos in the cold, It was perfect! And I wouldn’t change the time even if I had the chance to. In the end I got the garden wedding I wanted, thanks to our brilliant Florist at Coriander Girl. We knew we wanted something lush and romantic and more colorful than a typical white winter wedding and she made it happen. We had all the lovely vintage touches through the fantastic Krista Jane and the awesomeness that is Archeo.
What were your favourite wedding day moments (each of you, or one of you)? 
R: the first look was definitely something I was waiting for and was one of my favourite moments of the day. The speeches were also great!
N: I can’t pick one, I know it’s a cliche. But maybe catching rob tear up at the speeches, he never cries! Something about knowing that I’m not the only blubbering fool the entire time and that on the inside of that solid exterior there’s a man with a ton of feels.
Were there any noteworthy challenges to planning your wedding?
R: not really, Niveen planned everything so well. She has a great eye for detail and made sure the day would turn out as well as it did. The only thing that worried me leading up to the day was the weather but other than being cold, I think we lucked out.
N: Trying to blend our two very different families. I’m of Middle Eastern heritage and Rob is Canadian, and I wouldn’t say it was so much of a challenge as much as being conscientious and respecting both aspects of each other’s culture. Oh and on a more logistical point, order your invitations way in advance and order extras…long story ha!
Now that you’re wedding planning pros & newlyweds, do you have advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?
R: the day does really fly by. It’s over before you know it. We had a relatively small wedding with just over 100 guests and it was hard to get quality time in with each one. Make sure you take the time to go around to each table and connect. I ended up meeting a lot of the guests on Niveen’s side and I’m glad I took the time to say hi.  And try to get the tasting done early. We had to reprint some menus after the tasting because the desert sounded great but we ended up changing it after the tasting.
N: Just because its winter it doesn’t mean that it has to lack life or color! We ran in the opposite direction of silver and white, and went with gold, navy and deep pink and purple jewel tones. Another tip, no matter what your budget is, hire a day of coordinator! I didn’t want to think of a thing during that day besides having the time of my life. Last one, use your gut/instincts, I met with a few photographers, and florists, and something just clicked with who we ended up with. Everything felt natural, and honest, and I couldn’t have met greater and more talented people!
Other thoughts/reflections you’d like to share?
N: Take a minute to yourself and stand in a corner of the room and appreciate it. I did that once, and I wish I took more time to just take it all in because it goes by so fast!
R: once the day starts just go with the flow.  Some things will go wrong and not work out but in the end the small stuff doesn’t matter. Enjoy the day and each other and don’t forget to eat the cake. I only had the one bite and now I have to wait a whole year to try it again (we kept the cake top for our 1 year anniversary)

Vendors: 
Photography: Olive Photography (www.olivephotography.ca)
Flowers: (www.coriandergirl.com)
Vintage Rentals: Kj& Co. (www.kjandco.ca)
Veil: VeilsofArt  (http://www.veilsofart.com)
Cake: I do Wedding Cakes (www.idoweddingcakes.ca)
Prairie Girl Cupcakes (https://www.prairiegirlbakery.com)
Jelly Modern Donuts (www.jellymoderndoughnuts.com)
Homemade oreo cookies dipped in chocolate, coconuts or walnuts!
Dress Designer: Tara Keely by Lazaro (www.theknot.com/wedding-dress/tara-keely)
Shoes: Nine West (www.ninewest.com)
Suit: Custom – Indochino (www.indochino.com)


Jodi & Brad’s Romantic City Wedding at the Thompson Hotel, Toronto

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Jodi & Brad are an absolute riot, and I had the pleasure of photographing them and their cool city wedding at The Thompson Hotel. The city skyline from the roof was incredible, and inside Jodi & Brad had decorated the sleek space in a lush, romantic way with modern touches (like the rectangular gold vases, clear ‘ghost’ chairs, and fun personal additions like cat place cards, their favourite candy and silly wedding-themed surveys for guests to fill out). The mixture of styles was pulled off wonderfully – it’s no wonder, since Jodi’s an event co-ordinator extraordinaire!
Their height difference was also so cute – Brad had to bend down quite a bit to kiss his bride! They’re super adorable together.

*Check out the end of this post for some wedding planning reflections from these newlyweds!*
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** Here are some words from the couple about their love and wedding planning: **
“Our wedding was a comedy of errors from start to finish, but when all was said and done, ended up being a perfect day. We had a number of things suddenly change during the planning process that made us have to re-adjust our desired theme and ovrall look & feel. One of those (not so minor) things was having the restaurant the reception was scheduled to be in close down a few months before the date. We had chosen the particular restaurant because it had a very soft, warm, and romantic feel to it, which we both loved. We moved the reception to the Lobby Bar in the Thompson hotel, and were thrilled with the results, but it meant having to modify our romantic theme to a more modern venue. We tried to incorporate soft touches with the colors, flowers, centrepieces, and overall décor so it was a combination of downtown chic meets soft romanticism. My biggest piece of advice for brides (and grooms) planning their wedding is to roll with the punches. Things will change, things will be adjusted, but as long as you’re able to adapt you’ll do just fine. It can be a stressful time but if you have a vision in your head of what you picture the day to be, you can always translate that into whatever situation may greet you. My second piece of advice is to have fun with it and make it yours. A wedding should be a reflection of who you are as a couple and doesn’t have to follow a cookie cutter script. We forewent most traditions – no cake, no garter/bouquet toss, and only one person each in our wedding party – because we felt they just weren’t us. Instead, we opted for quirky and personal vows and to show off our love of cats with hand painted gold cat nametags. We also gave our guests mini packages of our favorite candy brought home from Germany in my suitcase as favors. We felt like each and every guest at the wedding was able to have a snapshot of who we were together and the type of relationship we have. Groom says: Truthfully, there’s only so much input a groom has when planning a wedding when the bride-to-be works in the event production business. You just answer “yes” and “no” honestly when asked and try to not say anything stupid. My better half did a fantastic job of making sure that we were able to put on (what we feel was) the ultimate party for our friends and family, some of whom had come from as far as Australia to be involved. The only thing I would recommend to those about to get married is book your photographer for as long as possible in advance. We had our incredible photographer booked for several hours and we still ended up needing to keep her for additional time as the timeline got a little delayed, as can often happen with weddings. That time flies by SO fast so keep that in mind when planning your day. Oh, and you’ll have a lot of people pulling you in this direction and that, but don’t forget to take a few minutes to eat!”Toronto wedding photographer Thompson Hotel Wedding_0128

*Featured* on Wedding Chicks!

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Been holding onto this exciting announcement for 3 months and it’s finally ready to share… Incredibly excited that Jodi & Brad’s wedding is ** featured on WEDDING CHICKS today! **

Wedding Chicks is a phenomenal wedding blog filled to the brim with enticing and swoon-inducing weddings and tonnes of inspirational ideas for the big day.

I’m totally honoured to have my work featured amongst their pages and am so grateful to Jodi & Brad for entrusting me to document such an important day for them.
They did a remarkable job orchestrating their romantic city wedding at the Thompson Hotel.

** Have a look at the feature here! **
http://www.weddingchicks.com/2015/02/09/black-and-white-glam-wedding/