Susan & Ike – Married at Rosewater Room

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Susan and Ike got married at Rosewater Room in downtown Toronto – I love a full-on city wedding – lots of fun and totally interesting locations for photos!

Susan and Ike have a love that is without pretension, is youthful and jovial, joyful and free – They care about each other with a confident and beautiful abandon – two individual souls who can exist and support one another in the most admiring way.I was really touched watching how magnetically drawn to each other they are, seeming completely elated to be in each other’s arms, yet also how totally happy they are watching each other enjoy themselves in the crowd of loved ones from afar – What I’m trying to say is, this couple has a bond that goes deep, and it was an honour to photograph their wedding at Rosewater on Saturday.

Their speeches included words to each other that had this photographer teary-eyed and completely smitten being in the presence of this amazing love. The love was also echoed all around by every single one of their guests who was so impassionately excited to be there. Susan and Ike’s crew is tight. I photographed their friends Eini and Celso’s wedding last year and this large, rambunctious and completely fun group was all there – it’s so cool and inspiring to see such a large group of friends and family be so gosh-darned close.

Susan and Ike’s wedding day had a number of personalized touches. Their cakes were made by a friend, and the groom’s cake was a surprise, made to look like a DJ mixing board since Ike loves to DJ. It even lit up! All the flowers, including bouquets, boutonnieres and centrepieces, were made by an incredibly talented friend/bridesmaid. They had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony to honour their family background. And, perhaps coolest of all, all their wedding day events took place within a few city blocks of where they live! Rosewater, where they got married, is so close to their home, and and we chose to walk around the neighbourhood with their wedding party, shining some new light on the locations they go by on a daily basis – love how personal that was to them!

Anyhow, I’ll stop gushing about these two and let you see some of their photos now — and don’t forget to check out the bottom of the post for some words from our newlyweds themselves! Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0356Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0363Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0366 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0367 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0369 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0364Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0358Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0368Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0360Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0357   Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0370 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0359 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0361Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0362 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0376 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0375 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0374 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0355 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0354 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0372 Toronto Wedding Photographer Olive Photography_0377 wedding photography Toronto

Now some words from the newlyweds!

– What were your favourite wedding day moments (each of you, or one of you)?  The first time we saw each other on our wedding day and walking down the aisle. Him: walking through our neighbourhood and capturing us in the area we live in. – Were there any noteworthy challenges to planning your wedding?

Trying to maintain your patience and remaining calm:) If you can work through that, you can work through anything!
– Now that you’re wedding planning pros & newlyweds, do you have advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?
Know that all that planning and preparation will culminate in a single day that will go by all too quickly, so savour every moment of that day.
Vendor Details:
– Photography: Olive Photography

– Dress Designer: David’s Bridal Galina Signature – Suit: Freeman’s Formal – Cake: Eini & Co
– Flowers: Bridesmaid
– Makeup: Iris Liu
– Hair: Davis Lau – Studio 39

Attention, Couples! Why is a Wedding Day Itinerary important?

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Why is a wedding day itinerary important? 

Your wedding day is such a whirlwind of events, and it’s easy to get lost in the flow of it all – And that’s totally ok! It’s super important for you to be able to relax and be present, truly enjoying your day without a worry.

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But, in order to be able to do that, some planning before your big day is so critical. For example, it’s amazingly helpful to have a detailed itinerary for your wedding day planned out. With so many events going on, it’s so beneficial to have a guideline as to how much time there is for the different parts of the day. 

You spend seemingly endless hours planning out the many aspects of your big day, and it’s important to allot enough time to properly document them, as well as for them to actually happen! 

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Now, having a detailed itinerary may sound rather rigid, and isn’t good wedding photography about being relaxed and capturing real moments as they happen? The answer is YES! Trust me, having a realistic timeline in place does not mean the actual day can’t be documented organically, full of candid and wonderful moments. The itinerary just means enough time has been given for each part of your day, allowing us all to be more relaxed and letting those moments flow without a quickly ticking clock and a feeling of being rushed. (Who wants to feel rushed on their wedding day?… I’m guessing not you!)
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When couples book with me, I e-mail them a sample itinerary I created with one of my past brides, along with suggested times for certain parts of the day to help ensure we get the shots we need – And couples really appreciate this! Having a plan with allotted times (including enough ‘cushion time’ since wedding days to often veer off schedule a bit) really helps ensure the day goes smoothly. 

Big bonus: The time we spend planning out your itinerary before your big day means you can rest easy and truly be present on your wedding day, knowing all the key things have been accounted for. 

And a relaxed couple means much more natural and happy photographs, and an overall better wedding experience.

Cheers to that!

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Photos in this post are from Jodi & Brad’s big day – FULL POST HERE!

With so much love,

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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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* on Wedding Chicks!

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Been holding onto this exciting announcement for 3 months and it’s finally ready to share… Incredibly excited that Jodi & Brad’s wedding is ** featured on WEDDING CHICKS today! **

Wedding Chicks is a phenomenal wedding blog filled to the brim with enticing and swoon-inducing weddings and tonnes of inspirational ideas for the big day.

I’m totally honoured to have my work featured amongst their pages and am so grateful to Jodi & Brad for entrusting me to document such an important day for them.
They did a remarkable job orchestrating their romantic city wedding at the Thompson Hotel.

** Have a look at the feature here! **
http://www.weddingchicks.com/2015/02/09/black-and-white-glam-wedding/

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/