A Nice Surprise – 2015 Wedding Wire Couples’ Choice Awards Winner – Neat!

Well this was a nice surprise to discover this evening!
Logged into my WeddingWire account and learned that I’ve been selected as a 2015 Wedding Wire Couples’ Choice Awards Winner!

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What does this mean?

Here’s a bit about the award, as described by WeddingWire:

The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® recognizes the top 5 percent of local Wedding Professionals from the WeddingWire Network throughout the United States, Canada and abroad that demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards® are awarded solely based on the reviews from over 200,000 newlyweds. Awards are determined by a combination of excellence in four factors: overall rating (quality), total number of reviews (quantity), review performance from 2014 (recency), and consistency of reviews from year to year (consistency).”

Well, folks, I’ve gotta say, I’m so, so humbled and grateful to all of you who have taken the time to stop by my WeddingWire page to write kind words about your experience with me as your photographer. It truly means *so* much!

It’s always such a pleasure working with all of you.
It’s amazingly rewarding to make you happy (and capture your happiness!), and I feel incredibly lucky that I get to do that on a daily basis. ❤

Here’s to more wonderful memories (and great reviews from happy couples!) this year!

Love love love to all of you!


Behind the Scenes photos via @OlivePhotoTO on Instagram – Go follow!

P.S. If we’ve worked together and you’d like to add a review of your own but aren’t sure how, e-mail me and I’d be happy to send you a link! 

Anastasia Giaouris
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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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Alluring Black & White

What are your thoughts on black and white photographs?

I did a little colour vs. black & white post a while ago and it seems the vast majority of people prefer colour. I mean, colour is vibrant, lively, and generally awesome so I can understand why!
Though, there’s something about the simplicity of a black and white image that is so beautiful. The lack of colour gives way to alluring depth and contrast, and without colour the subjects can’t help but be the focus of the image. There’s also a ‘moodiness’ and a feeling to them that is quite something.

I started photography on black and white film, developing my own film and seeing the super interesting ways this kind of image can appear.

Felt a bit nostalgic today and had a bit of fun re-editing some photos in black and white.
Though I’ll of course continue shooting in colour, I do enjoy throwing in the occasional B&W frame.

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Featured! 3 times last week!

Hiya folks!

My, was it an exciting week last week – I was so incredibly honoured to have my photos featured by 3 wonderful blogs!

I was really thrilled, but I have to say, my work is so inspired by the amazing souls who place their trust in me to photograph their milestones.  Shelley & Dave, Laura & Zach, Fidan & Designed Dream – these features are as much yours as they are mine. Yes, I might see and capture things in a certain way, but so much of what I photograph is the beauty, life, love and hard work of those who invite me in to come and snap my shutter. I photograph from the heart, opening up and feeling your joy and responding to that – that’s where my work flourishes, and your events had such an abundance of awesomeness that you guys manifested into your life.

So congratulations to all of you on having your gorgeous affairs selected and shared, and thanks so much for choosing me to photograph them!

And now, without further adieu, here are some preview screen shots and the links!

Much love,
Anastasia (Olive Photography)

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Style Me Pretty
Shelley & Dave’s Wedding
Link to Feature: http://www.stylemepretty.com/2014/09/22/whimsical-toronto-restaurant-wedding/

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The Wedding Co.
Laura & Zach’s Wedding
Link to Feature: http://www.theweddingco.com/olive-photo/

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Style Me Pretty Living
Shabby Chic Themed 1st Birthday Party
Link to Feature: http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2014/09/26/shabby-chic-themed-1st-birthday-party/

*Featured* by Weddingbells!

Hey y’all! This is just a super quick post to share some happy news:

Olive Photography has been featured by Weddingbells!
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Recognize those photos? They were posted a li’l while ago on the blog.

To see the feature on Weddingbells, click the link below!

Stephanie & Brian had a super lovely wedding, and it’s an honour to see it shared in such a highly regarded place.

Thanks for inviting me to document your big day, guys, and thanks Weddingbells for making my day!

Getting Creative + Breaking the Rules

Sometimes it’s ok to break the rules – especially when it comes to art.

A photo doesn’t necessarily have to be in focus to be lovely and affecting. Here’s a shot of Laura + Zach’s wedding cake showing what I mean.
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Speaking of which, I love hearing about the different ways people get creative!

** Do any of you have any creative hobbies? Have you ever tried just letting go and seeing what you come up with? **

Think about it. Maybe it’s painting, or pottery, or sewing, knitting, sketching, dancing… there are so many ways to get creative! You don’t have to answer, but think about if you have a creative outlet that allows you explore a different, perhaps more authentic part of yourself than you allow during regular life. Or a little corner of your soul that rarely gets to play… Getting creative and not worrying so much can feel so great! And in the end you can end up with something really beautiful. 

Try it! And if you want to share, I’d love to hear about the ways you get creative, perhaps break the ‘rules’ a little bit, and how it makes you feel 🙂  


Eve & Dave’s Old Hollywood-Themed Wedding

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Eve and Dave’s wedding felt like an Old Hollywood affair. Not just because of Eve’s flawless, totally amazing finger wave ‘do and red lips (such a cool bridal look!), but also because of many other little touches she so thoughtfully assembled for her and Dave’s big day. 
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For example, she and all her bridesmaids carried authentic vintage beaded purses (her gift to them); they rode in a vintage Rolls Royce (Oof! So nice.); their reception venue was a historic ballroom; their wedding party photos were taken on historic University of Toronto grounds, adding to the classic, historic vibe… and more. A unique and fun theme for a wedding for sure. 
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There were other great personal touches to this wedding as well, like the favours being mini sewing kits (Eve is a seamstress with an alterations business) and the lining of Dave’s suit jacket was a photograph of their dog Botox – how cool is that? Eve also spent 6 hours – per shoe – to bedazzle a pair of white Converses which she wore all day to stay comfy under her show stopper of a dress. Seriously, get a load of it. Wowza! 

I’ll stop rambling now and let you check out the photos.

Thanks for having me be a part of this special time, guys! Many congratulations! 
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Samantha & Darren’s Irish-Themed Wedding

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This wedding had so many guests from out of town – it’s amazing how love brings people together. And to honour their Irish family background Samantha & Darren had many green touches (my favourite colour!… ‘Olive Photography’ – could you tell?). For instance, Samantha wore gorgeous emerald earrings, super cute green shoes, and had lovely green brooches in her bouquet – along with many other little touches throughout their wedding. What a neat idea to infuse culturally-significant colour into your wedding palate, eh? Definitely some great inspiration in here if you’re planning a wedding!

They also personalized their wedding in the sweetest way by infusing little greyhound accents in adorable unexpected places like the favours, cake topper and signing tree painting. This is because they are parents to a greyhound named Froggy whom they love so much.


And congratulations again, you two. Such a pleasure being your photographer.

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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 🙂