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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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)


**Mini Teaser Post** Kelsey & Nico’s Sunset Beach Engagement Session!

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Here’s a mini teaser of our beautiful time yesterday!
More to come soon!

PS – How stunning is this couple?

Much love,
Anastasia
info@olivephotography.ca

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Denise & Mark’s Fall Waterfront Engagement Session

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Every time I think about this engagement session I picture Denise’s bright, life-filled smile and her sheer joy being in the presence of her doting fiance Mark.

It‘s as though there were magnets pulling these two close to each other – they were embracing or holding hands the entire time. It was just the sweetest.

These two have been in a long distance relationship for – get this – 9 years! She’s been here in Toronto and him in Georgia. (The picture with the little maps with hearts on them is a nod to their long distance history.) I don’t know how they’ve done it. Seeing how much they love being together I can only imagine how difficult the distance must have been all this time. But, once they get married he’ll be moving to Toronto so they can share their new life together in the same place, finally.

It was fantastic spending time with you, guys. Thanks for inviting me photograph this beautiful time in your life – I can’t wait to also photograph your wedding on January 3rd!

** Check out the bottom of the post for their love story, written by Mark! **
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** And now, some words from our groom-to-be Mark about their love story! ** 

Denise and I have been dating for nine years. The most amazing nine years of my life, I have to say. Our story began by the most unlikely of happenstances. She and I happened to be online playing a pool game at the same time. Yep, an online pool game. Many people assume that she and I met on some dating site or something like that because I am from Georgia and she is from Toronto. For those that know us, I’m sure that amuses them as much as it does us.

We spent a year getting to know one another over the phone and text messages or IM’s before I came to visit her in Toronto on September 22, 2005. We have been dating and seeing each other ever since. It has been hard to stay as close as we are and have grown to be over the last nine years, but soon the wait will be well worth it. She makes me the happiest man on Earth and could not or would not wish for a better wife to be. God has truly blessed us with love and a sense of peace when we are together. With a smile like hers, who wouldn’t be happy?”
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Isabella & Lukas – Engaged!

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Well aren’t these two just cute as a button??

Isabella and Lukas mentioned they’re not usually comfortable in front of the camera, but I wouldn’t have known that if they hadn’t mentioned it – Isabella even thought she didn’t look good in photos… I beg to differ, miss!

Though they may not usually be comfortable around the camera it sure didn’t seem that way – maybe they’re just so comfortable being around each other, bringing the best out of one another. I’ve gotta say, these photos ooze comfort and coziness – Isabella and Lukas danced around, kept each other warm from the cold, gave the sweetest glances – they make me smile. It was super fun to be in the presence of such open hearts.

The day was definitely a bit brisk and the Fall air had a bite to it, but it was sweet to witness how Lukas held Isabella close to warm her up. Even sweeter to see the looks of pure smitten-ness in their faces and body language.

After some time outside we got to enjoy two beverages with each other. First, the two of them enjoyed a pint (Lukas joked that he should have had it at the start of the session since it warmed him up), then later we went to a nearby coffee shop to enjoy some hot tea and apple cider – mmm, like Autumn in a cup!

I had so much fun getting to know these two and I absolutely cannot wait to photograph their wedding Next October 17th!

(Be sure to check out some words from the couple themselves near the end of this post!)
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And now, some words from our lovebirds about their Love Story!

“Our love story was definitely not one of love at first sight. We met in middle school, where we found each other dorky and unappealing. A couple of years went by and a close friendship developed. At school we chose the same classes, would visit each other’s lockers, and laughed at each others jokes. We would phone each other nightly to discuss our latest crushes, often Isabella giving Lukas sage advice.  We saw each other through several brief and awkward relationships. Eventually we got tired of our friends interrogating us about our developing affections for one another and the inevitable happened. We weren’t sure if it would last past prom, but more than eight years later we are now planning a wedding.

Despite having no phone service, Lukas planned his big proposal while working at a hospital in the tiny northern town of Moose Factory, Ontario. He chose our favourite winery to stage a private dinner, featuring all of Isabella’s favourite foods and wines. He got down on one knee and an emotional Isabella nodded a yes.
Our relationship has been through long distance, three university degrees, many travels and a beautiful proposal. Nevertheless, our relationship remains much like it began – two friends who laugh at each other’s jokes.
We look forward to sharing our special day with our family, friends and with Olive Photography!”
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Newborn Josiah Liam

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Ah, Josiah. Baby to two of the sweetest parents you’ll ever meet, Chantelle and Joel. I had the pleasure of photographing those two back when they were engaged, and it was absolutely amazing to see them again – with a new life they’d created! I can’t tell you how cool I think that is.

During our session baby Josiah was ever-so-curious, eyes wide and scanning the entire environment around him. So no sleepy shots for this curious fellow. (His eyes are beautiful, though, so that wasn’t a problem, and I got to witness his developing personality.) What was really amazing was that if you called him, he looked *directly* at you. That’s so rare for a baby this young! His sight is likely still being developed but it was pretty incredible to be looked at like that by a week-old mini person.

It was also wonderful to meet Chantelle’s mum who had flown all the way from England to see her new grandchild – she glowed when I asked her how it feels to be a grandmother.

It’s so evident that this li’l one is absolutely adored and loved to the fullest. It was a joy to be in the presence of this family and photograph this beautiful time in their life.

Thank you for coming over, guys! Please feel free to come back anytime!

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Family Session! Danielle, Jeremy, Damian, Jada

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I had the pleasure of photographing this sweet family last year and was thrilled when they asked me to do another session with them this year. It’s so neat to see how kids grow and how their personalities evolve over time. Damian is a sweetheart big brother who is so good with setting an example for his little sister, and Jada is so full of life and spunk!

During our session both of them would stop to marvel at the beautiful and cool things they saw, and of course I had to stop and marvel with them – it’s so much fun getting into the imaginative and exciting world of kids! For example we saw paw prints dried in the mud and wondered what animal could have left them, or when I spotted a ladybug at the start of our session Jada insisted on carrying it with us the entire time, which meant I had a ladybug crawling up my arm or finger between shots so she could pose without getting distracted by the cuteness. It surprisingly stayed with us from start to end without flying away!

Danielle and Jeremy have raised such wonderful kids and I had so much fun with their whole family.

Here’s to next year, lovelies! Thanks for the memorable and wonderful afternoon!

Much love,
Anastasia
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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!
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!
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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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