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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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)


*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!
http://www.weddingbells.ca/real-weddings/a-romantic-pink-wedding-in-toronto/

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!
StephBrianLRWM-81

Ashley & Jalal – Married!

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Remember these two from their engagement session? They’re a super fun, super adorable and super in love couple — Ashley and Jalal are married!
It’s so sweet to see how magnetic their love is. Their attraction is so strong you can feel it just being around them! You can get a little glimpse of how fiery their love is by seeing how Jay looks at Ashley in some of these photos. And Ashley is just so smitten.
Love these two.
I had a fantastic time photographing this wedding – their friends and family were so friendly and man, do they know how to have fun! Music blasting in the limo, jokes and laughs the entire day, and such high energy and full-on happiness!
Ashley got ready at The Ivy at Verity hotel and we then headed to St. Peter’s Catholic Church for the ceremony, followed by The Distillery District for photos and Tappo Wine Bar & Restaurant therein for the reception; it’s a lovely rustic, intimate restaurant with such delicious food and a wonderful outdoor patio space where they set up a few hookahs! Super neat – love when couples incorporate cultural elements into their weddings.
Once we got to the Distillery District Ashley & Jay changed into their comfy Converse shoes – but not just any Converses — Jay wore sleek leather ones that he meticulously polished to look fab, and Ashley wore adorable white ones with a platform incorporated in them so her dress didn’t drag. She said her feet were sooo comfy, which is important when you’re on your feet all day! Even more so when you have to navigate uneven cobblestone streets. Cute idea, guys!
I’ll stop blabbing now and let y’all see some photos from this rad wedding!

** Scroll to the end of the photos to read some insights from our happy couple! **

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And now, some words from the newlyweds!

What was your favourite wedding moment?
Bride: I have so many favourite moments, but I think my top faves are when I received a pre-wedding love note from the limo driver upon his arrival to pick the girls up. When I read (or attempted to) and my maid of honour, Faye, finished reading Jay’s love note to me I was literally in happy tears. I thought, wow I am so lucky, I am about to marry the sweetest man! My second favourite moment was when my mom walked me down the aisle. She is the most important person in my life and I love that she had that honour and moment! Not to mention, that was the moment I finally got to see Jay’s smile waiting for me at the end of that long aisle! Finally, my last favourite moment would have to be when “Sweet Carolina” came on during dinner (the Fab 8/Boy’s song on Jay’s side) and I got to see my husband in his prime with his closest and bestest friends; dancing and singing and hugging! They made me so happy to see what wonderful friends he has in his life, who travelled long and far to be with him for his day! He was so happy and that made me so happy!
Groom: Other than the usual… Seeing Ashley that first moment on the aisle, kissing her and calling her my wife, and our first dance, I have quite a few favourite moments as well. If I have to pick I would say that the moments Ashley and I shared at the alter while listening to the priest and guest speakers was so special. We were both so excited and nervous. Each time one of us was about to have a moment of tears or nerves, we would whisper something funny to each other. Everyone wondered what we were saying. No one will ever really know lol Looking at her, and sharing this moment with her was more than I could have ever imagined to be so special. We never realized how truly special signing that piece of paper, having that day and having the “husband” and “wife” title really is!

Any advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?
If you had asked us a few months ago, we would have said “Run away just the two of you and forget the big to-do!” It is so much stress! BUT it is SO WORTH IT! Don’t dwell on the little details, no one will notice. Have fun, and stop to take in the moments happening around you. Do it your way! But most importantly, spend the time, money and energy on finding an amazing photographer. Your photos are all you will have when that amazing day whips by and is over! We are less than two weeks over with it, and so happy we already have our beautiful photos to reminisce with!

Details:
– Dress designer: Moon Light Couture by Val Stefani from Mona Richie Bridal
– Suit: Jack Victor Exclusive Collection www.jackvictor.com
– DJ: Rob Gri AKA DJ Greedo @ Del Vinyl Entertainment www.delvinyl.com
– Centrepieces: DIY
– Cake: Merry Cakes (Merrycakes.ca and merrycakesdotca on instagram)
– Venues: The Ivy at Verity hotel,  St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Tappo Wine Bar & Restaurant in The Distillery District
– Makeup: Shari at Sutherland Artistry
– Lashes: Jennifer Couto at Lasholiscious
– Hair: Daniel Palacio at Deberardinis Salon and Spa

Congratulations again, you two!! Had a blast, and feel so honoured to be your photographer!

Anastasia Giaouris
Facebook.com/OlivePhotographyTO
@OlivePhotoTO
info@olivephotography.ca

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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