Lindsay and Adam are two of the sweetest, most kind people I have ever met. I truly mean that. They have such big hearts and are the type of people who genuinely open themselves up to you and let you … Continue reading
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!
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
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.
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!
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!)
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!
Photos in this post are from Jodi & Brad’s big day – FULL POST HERE!
With so much love,
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.
– Tell us a bit about your love story – How you met and/or how you got engaged?
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!
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!
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.
– Dress: Annette’s Bridal, St. Catharines, Ontario
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!
And now, some words from the newlyweds themselves!
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)
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.
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 Vineyard… And be sure to read some words about the big day from the couple themselves at the bottom of the post!
… 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!
P.S. This wedding was featured by The Wedding Co.! Check out the feature here: http://www.theweddingco.com/olive-photo/
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!
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.
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!
Anastasia (Olive Photography)
Style Me Pretty
Shelley & Dave’s Wedding
Link to Feature: http://www.stylemepretty.com/2014/09/22/whimsical-toronto-restaurant-wedding/
The Wedding Co.
Laura & Zach’s Wedding
Link to Feature: http://www.theweddingco.com/olive-photo/
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/