Denise & Mark’s Fall Waterfront Engagement Session

DeniseMarkEngagementLR-Web-43DeniseMarkEngagementLR-Web-70 DeniseMarkEngagementLR-Web-8It was a super windy, cool day, but my goodness did I feel the warm love!
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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Ashley & Jalal – Engaged!

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There’s most certainly a spark between Ashley and Jay – one that sizzles, if ya know what I mean.

This pair is hot together, and it’s evident that they are super into each other. While I photographed them embracing one another I heard Jay complimenting Ashley – it made me gush just a bit.

We went to Toronto’s Polson Pier to photograph their engagement session since the view of the city from there is really pretty awesome. If you haven’t been, go check it out!

Unfortunately it was CRAZY windy, so much of the session involved Jay having to help Ashley move her beautifully done hair out of her face, and wiping the wind-induced tears from her eyes (messing with her also beautifully done makeup) – we joked about how him ‘fixing’ her was the theme of the session.
Despite the wind, however, we did have fun, and we managed to get some really sweet moments captured when the wind took a bit of a break. They even enjoyed playing a quick round of one of their favourite board games – how cute!

We also munched on some really yummy fries and poutine from a nearby food truck whose scent was wafting onto the beach, tempting us to wrap up and eat! Haha. Of course, that lent itself to a fun impromptu photo-op as well.
… Great, now I want french fries again… 😛

Here are some photos from our time together, as well as some words from the bride and groom-to-be at the end!
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And now, some words from the happy couple:

THEIR FIRST DATE
“It was the night of the Grey Cup Event… After meeting at a local pub for some cocktails after a long day’s work, the two couldn’t wait to kick back and get to know one another over good conversation and some drinks. A local “regular” couldn’t help himself from visiting the table frequently and striking up conversation with the cute couple. J’s amazing sense of humour and ability to kindly tolerate the poor lonely man was admirable. However, his firmness and fearlessness in finally telling the guy to bug off and “allow him some time alone with his pretty lady”, really won Ashley over! From that night on, they were basically inseperable, enjoying any and every minute they could together…”

THE PROPOSAL
When it happened: Sunday, August 25, 2013
How it happened:
“What a better way to start the evening then a night at the Canadian National Exibition! After an evening of fun and entertainment with close friends, Jay was adamant about getting home by midnight. Wondering if they were going to turn into pumpkins, Ashley was reluctant and curious as to why it was so important to be home early on a Saturday night. After heading to the Danforth for a night cap with their friends, the two finally headed home to retire for the evening… or so she thought.

When Ashley got home, she immediately headed upstairs to bed. Jay came up insisting she wait, and come downstairs with him. After she agreed, he took her by the hand and guided her downstairs into her family’s dining room. As she asked “what are we doing?!”, she walked into the room lit with candles, and dressed with flowers. Jay presented her with champagne, sweets and… a small jewelery box! Jay asked, Ashley said yes, and so the story continues…”

Makeup: Shari at Sutherland Artistry
Lashes: Jennifer Couto at Lasholiscious
Hair: Daniel Palacio at Deberardinis Salon and Spa

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Anastasia Giaouris
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@OlivePhotoTO
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