May & Kareem – Engagement Sneak Peak

It was a chilly, chilly Saturday last weekend but this sweet pair warmed my soul – so much happiness!
I won’t say much about them just yet, but in the mean time here’s a little sneak peek at their engagement session!

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Yeah, Baby!

This holiday I received some beautiful news:

Christa & Jorden, a couple whose wedding I photographed last Summer on July 5th, 2013, are expecting their first little one this July 2nd!

Warmest congratulations, you two! I’m so excited for you, and your child will be absolutely blessed to enter a home filled with so much love.

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Live, Laugh, Love. And worry less.

“I’m feeling too fat to be photographed…”

… Unfortunately, many of us say or think this all too often.

I came across this moving read this morning (link below).
‘I nearly left this earth with no physical evidence of the goofy, wide open and loud love I have for my life, my husband, my family and friends.’ – A sobering reminder that we need to be easier on ourselves and allow ourselves to enjoy this life that we’re so fortunate to have (without worrying so much about how we look while doing it – indeed, you look beautiful to others!).

As a photographer I aim to get the most ‘flattering’ pictures possible for my clients, but one of my great joys is also capturing those *real*, special moments full of feeling. 10+ years from now, those are the ones we’re most likely to smile about as they transport us back to those wonderful moments lived.

Here’s the original article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/teresa-s-porter/so-youre-feeling-too-fat-to-be-photographed_b_4351360.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

Meagan & Adriano – Married!

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Ah, Meagan and Adriano. Two absolutely lovestruck people who make such a beautiful complimentary pair.

As Adriano mentioned in his reception speech, Meagan’s happy, bubbly personality  captivated him from the start and lifts his spirits – which tend to be on the more serious side like his poker-faced father (who I got to know and think is actually such a sweetheart). But, you wouldn’t guess it if you were to be in the presence of the two of them together – When he holds and gazes at Meagan, Adriano’s always got the softest, most tender look on his face and the most gentle and carefree smile.
I’m actually getting a little teary-eyed just thinking about it.
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I met this awesomely sweet couple last Winter at a coffee shop in the Annex and they were such an easy pair to talk to. Meagan’s a bit like me – optimistic, enthusiastic, and a definite planner. Adriano’s like my hubby – a bit stern at the start as he figures you out (I quickly saw smiles from him) but so supportive and implicitly trusting of his partner’s vision. It was clear he just wants Meagan to be happy.

We did an engagement session in March, and on Friday, September 27th I got to document their super lovely wedding day!
On the big day I met the bride and her bridesmaids at a funky salon at Ossington and Harbord called The Saloon. The quirky design features lent themselves to a laid back, fun atmosphere, which was perfect for this bride and her maids… who sipped mimosas from green plastic cups, no less!
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MeaganAdrianoWedLRBlog-6We then headed over to The Old Mill for the gals to get ready at the really beautiful suite that Meagan and Adriano reserved…MeaganAdrianoWedLRBlog-12

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… then did a ‘first look’ before the ceremony…

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… as well as some wedding party and family photos.

MeaganAdrianoWedLRBlog-26MeaganAdrianoWedLRBlog-2-6Then came the ceremony in the chapel at the Inn. Meagan required quite a few tissues – it was very sweet.
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You could tell that Meagan and Adriano were on Cloud 9 that day, and that everyone was just so happy to be there.
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And now, a few words from our bride!

How did you feel on your wedding day? I felt highly emotional from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed. It was the most amazing, surreal day of my life!

What was your favourite wedding day moment? I truly find it hard to pick a favourite moment of the day, because it was all so special, but I would have to say the moment we were officially declared husband and wife was my fave!

Any advice for engaged couples planning their wedding? Try not to stress over it too much. It’s just one day, and the most important thing is that at the end of it, you are married to your best friend! It’s easy to get caught up in the hype, but just try to enjoy the process!!

Details:

Dress: My was purchased at Windsor Bridal in Toronto, and it’s an Allure Gown.

Centrepieces: Flower arrangements were made by myself and my stepmom, Heather, as were the boutonnieres and bouquets! They were definitely one of my fave touches for the day, they turned out better than I expected!

Cake: Made by a dear friend of mine as part of our wedding gift.

Bridesmaids Outfits: I let the bridesmaids choose a nude/metallic shoe of their choice, and the dresses were Social Bridesmaids by Dessy in the colour African Violet.

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Meagan and Adriano, I’m so happy for you both.
It was my absolute pleasure to be there to document this happy time in your life, and I look forward to being there for many more as I’m so glad we’ve become friends!
I really think you guys have something special and beautiful. Congratulations on becoming husband & wife!!

Anne & Helio – Married!

AnneHelioFB26Anne and Helio are such a fun pair who kept eachother – and me – laughing all throughout their special day.


After seven years together, these two had a lovely afternoon wedding on June 8, 2013 at a beautiful Mississauga estate called the Glenerin Inn, surrounded by lighthearted and enthusiastic support. It was clear that Anne is usually the life of the party, so naturally everyone had a great time.
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On the morning of their wedding I met Anne in her suite at the Glenerin where she had spent the night. She, her two daughters (from a previous marriage) and her maid of honour – a dear friend of 30 years – donned co-ordinating silk robes as they got ready. The atmosphere was exuberant. Such lively excitement filled the air as the ladies in that room joked, shared stories, and talked about the occasion.
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There were many special personal touches to this wedding. Anne wore her grandmother’s wedding ring alongside her engagement ring as a tribute to her and a beautiful reminder of enduring love.
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A friend who had actually started as her daughters’ hairstylist came to do Anne’s hair.
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Anne’s sister had given her a silver coin to signify good luck so she carried it in her shoe.
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Anne’s best friend Heidi made the bouquets, centrepieces, and other beautiful details.

Heidi’s daughter, manager of Toronto’s Queen Street Terroni restaurant, made the wedding cake, topped with a gorgeous arrangement of fresh flowers.
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They drank from a ‘love cup’, called a quaich, brought by a friend from Scotland, which is said to connect whoever drinks from it together… and other special touches added to the memorable experience of their unique day.
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Through all the belly laughs, wide smiles and fun times, there was also a tenderness about Anne and Helio’s love. It was an honour to photograph their special day and I wish them a lifetime of the enduring, happy love they so evidently share.

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Yentle & Geoff – Married!

 

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Ah, Yentle & Geoff. Two of the most kind-hearted, sweet individuals you’ll ever meet.
I won’t say too much about their wedding since they’ve so wonderfully captured the essence of their big day in the words to follow, but I will say that their love is the kind that could bring a smile to even the most hardened hearts (Mr. Grinch, I’m lookin’ at you). The twinkle in their eyes and glowing glances portray impossible amounts of breathless adoration and happiness filled to the brim. Just recounting it brings back the awe and amazement I felt as I released the shutter with each new smile-inducing moment at their lovely Toronto City Hall wedding.
Yentle & Geoff, I have no doubt that you two are perfect for each other. Warmest congratulations to you both!

The Engagement: From Yentle

Geoff technically proposed to me twice. The first time was on a pretty normal morning. We were getting ready for work in our apartment and mid-way through brushing his teeth, he stopped, looked deep into my eyes and said, “Do you wanna get married?” The rest of the day felt like a dream. From there we started slowly planning our small, intimate wedding and picked out an adorable white gold ring with pave diamonds as an engagement ring. I was under the impression that I would be able to wear it right away, but Geoff is a little trickier than that. He hid the ring as soon as I got it sized and playfully pretended to propose every so often.

I was kept in suspense for months and in March of 2012 I took a weekend trip to Montreal with my best friend. Upon my arrival home, I opened the front door of our apartment and was welcomed with the beautiful and breathtaking sight of 200 lit tealight candles and fresh rose petals leading from the foyer to our bedroom. Geoff had put up little love letters for me to read along the way, and as I arrived to our bedroom, there he was on bended knee, presenting the ring with a rose in his mouth.

The Significance of the 24th

May 24th is such a special day for us. Both of our birthdays, as well as that of our cat’s, fall on the 24th of our respective months, so we knew we wanted to have our wedding on the 24th too. May just felt right, and it’s also the anniversary of my mother’s parents. It was incredibly moving to spend time with my Lola (grandmother), who was also my Maid of Honour, and was a bride herself 66 years ago on that very day. It also doesn’t hurt that we get to celebrate every anniversary from here on with a long weekend!

The Big Day: Geoff’s Reflections

It all seemed to happen so fast. The day we had been planning for so long came and went, followed by a much deserved sigh of relief. The morning of the wedding I got to sleep in. This was crucial to the success of the day on my end. After I awoke, I found reminder messages on my phone from my lovely bride strangely reminding me to wear clean socks. I had just assumed that this was the time Yentle decided to tell me that my sock hygiene left something to be desired. I was happy to be wrong when I opened the sock drawer and found a new pair of stunning shark-themed socks packaged in a label which read “In Case of Cold Feet”. When I arrived at City Hall, I was able to finally see my beautiful bride to be fully decked out in her wedding attire. It was definitely a sight I will cherish for the rest of my life. Next it was off to the wedding chambers to do the deed itself. Everything was handled very professionally and the chambers were decorated beautifully. Our officiant George was incredibly thoughtful and conducted the ceremony with class. I got the chance to pour out my heart to my darling in front of friends and family as I read out my vows. I managed to keep my composure, but just barely; it was a very touching moment. When I finally had my wife officially ringed, there was much joy and celebration as we smiled and strolled back up the aisle which was the scene of so much nervousness only minutes earlier. It was done. It was then that I fully understood why people always said your wedding is the happiest moment of your life.

The Big Day: Yentle’s Reflections

Geoff and I got married on May 24th, 2013 and it is a day we will never forget. I spent the previous evening at my parents’ house and got ready there, while Geoff stayed at our apartment. I wanted his day to start off fun and playful, and I made sure to tell him to wear clean socks (which, I’ll admit, is an unusual request) to surprise him with a pair of socks  I placed in his drawer with sharks (his favourite animal) on them – in case of cold feet.

Spending the previous night and the morning of our wedding with my parents and sisters was incredible. We dipped into old memories and shared our hopes and dreams for the future. My dad made my favourite breakfast and those were the most delicious eggs I’ve ever had! My sisters are very talented, and after quickly doing their own hair and make-up they started on mine. At one time I had one of my sisters curling my hair, my other sister was applying my false lashes, while my mom was delicately painting my toenails and my dad was taking pictures. It was a zoo in that room, and I couldn’t help but feel all the love and excitement. (…continued)

(…) The ceremony was held at the Wedding Chambers at Toronto City hall. Before the ceremony our family members were able to mingle as Anastasia (Olive Photography) coordinated our “First Look”. His smile as he first turned around would have brought me to happy tears, but I kept it together for the sake of my make up! Our officiant, George, was fantastic. At our request, he began with the ring warming ceremony asking our family members to pass our rings among themselves as they silently wished or prayed for us. It was truly touching to receive the rings back with all of their love. We recited our own vows to each other in front of our loved ones, and I often play those words back in my head now.

After photos, we all rendezvoused at the Horizons restaurant at the CN Tower – which was greatly appropriate since we both felt like we were on cloud 9. The view was spectacular and the food was delicious! We all watched the sun set as its glowing, orange light bathed the city and continued liaising under the bright, almost-full moon. The staff was incredibly accommodating and very supportive of us staying well after our meals were over to continue celebrating.

Special Details

Each of our guests received a program – outlining the itinerary of the day, a hand stamped handkerchief with our initials (for happy tears), and little wands with long strands of ribbon to wave around instead of throwing confetti or blowing bubbles. My mother made beautiful silk flower boutonnieres for Geoff, his parents, his little sister (who was also our ring bearer), as well as one for herself and my father. I personalized Geoff’s with a little ‘1-up’ mushroom made of oven baked clay inspired by the Super Mario games. I made a matching one for my bouquet too, as they symbolized a “new life” for us.

Though our special day was pretty non-traditional, I definitely wanted to keep with the bridal traditions of having something old, new, borrowed, and blue. My something is old was the gorgeous veil, with a crystal-encrusted headpiece and hanging pearl, that my mother wore on her wedding day; my something new: my wedding dress that my extremely talented aunt custom-made for me; I borrowed lovely pieces of jewellery from the important women in our lives (from my mother, both of my grandmothers, my aunt, Geoff’s mom and step-mom) to create my bouqet; and my something blue was provided from my father. We cut out two hearts from one of his old work shirts and glued them under my shoes, so that throughout the day I would be walking with his heart.

Our day was amazing, and though it was fun and exciting, we’re both incredibly glad that it’s under our belts and we can begin building our life together.

Advice for Engaged Couples

Remember that your wedding day is for you and your love – and should reflect your personalities. It’s important to keep an open mind during the preliminary planning process, as you will get a lot of ideas thrown your way. Some of those ideas will be great, maybe some things you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of, but there will be others that will not feel right – don’t be afraid to say no to those.

DIY projects are great and affordable ways to add personal touches, but it is extremely important to choose those projects wisely and plan out when to do them ahead of time. You don’t want to be the struggling bride/groom-to-be wrestling with a glue gun on the night before your wedding.  Additionally, your friends and family members will ask you if there’s anything the can do to assist you, they love you and they mean it, so don’t be afraid to accept help. (…continued)

(…) After all is said and done, you will be incredibly surprised how fast the day will go. Remember to stop, breathe, and enjoy your special day.

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Meagan & Adriano – Engaged!

Meagan and Adriano had a sense they were meant for each other before they had even technically met – they found each other online and knew the chemistry was right. They began dating and on their 2-year anniversary Adriano proposed at dinner – with a unique twist.

His family owns a flatbread company that has its name in grocery stores across the country and naturally, since it’s so delicious, they planned to have some of it with their meal. Adriano saw an opportunity to surprise Meagan and he hid the ring in the flatbread box – she was genuinely surprised and elated!

I had the honour of photographing these two lovebirds this month, and I can’t wait to photograph their wedding on September 27th, 2013!

Without further adieu, the happy couple!
(Click on the photos to enlarge.)

Mason’s 1st Birthday – Cake Smash!

Mason’s mother Alyssa contacted me after finding my page on Facebook – she wanted to get some photos taken to celebrate her son’s first birthday, and she loved the idea of a cake smash. The concept is adorable: baby’s first cake – watch them go wild. Alyssa made the cake herself, and Mason was definitely a fan. At one point he was shoving fistfuls of cake into his mouth, and then just decided the best way to go at it was to put his whole face into it – hilarious! It was a pleasure visiting with Alyssa and Mason – we had a blast!