Wanderlust + True Love | Fermenting Cellar, Toronto

When it comes to having the vacation of a lifetime, the only thing that can top the experience is meeting and falling for the love of your life. That’s exactly what happened when Holly + Simon were each visiting Cinque Terre on the coast of the Italian Riviera with their separate groups of friends.

Simon was travelling with his two best friends, Rob and Sean. The trio saw a lovely group of girls sitting at a patio bar where they were being harassed by plenty of local Italian men, so the guys devised a plan to “rescue” the damsels from the deluge of advances! It was the perfect plan because Holly was in that group of girls, and she and Simon hit it off right away.

Like a storyline fit for a movie, the two little groups merged and they all travelled together for the rest of the trip. Holly + Simon were absolutely inseparable and bonded over their passion for travel and photography, and they came back home deeply in love.

Little did they know, when they first met at that patio bar, that they would soon find themselves exchanging vows at the altar, with Rob and Sean standing by as groomsmen. It goes to show just how serendipitous life can be!

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This particular wedding party was especially close with one another. Holly knew that her bridesmaids had always adored her stylish Longchamp handbag, so as a special gift she gave each girl her very own Longchamp handbag from Betty Hemings in the color of their dresses. Along with the covetable handbags, each girl received a sleek gift box tied with an anticipatory pink ribbon and a personal hand-written “thank you” note. The black boxes were filled with beautifully silver framed group photos from Holly’s surprise bachelorette party in New York. The photos depicted a group of vibrant ladies who were thrilled to have just been picked up by a swanky limousine, courtesy of a very sweet and thoughtful Simon!

After “oooing” and “ahhhing” over their fabulous gifts, the ladies tended to Holly and adorned her with makeup, jewels and finally her stunning Vera Wang mermaid style gown with dreamy ruched tulle. She slipped her feet into the silver Jimmy Choo heels and was ready to see her groom. The bridesmaids themselves changed into their gorgeous Amsale dresses in a matching shade of Navy Blue – yet with slightly differing cuts and styles for some added intrigue and eye candy.

*As you can see, a precious little girl has just been touched by the magic of a fairytale wedding and is no doubt planning her own dream wedding as you read this! We’re thrilled to have caught that wonderful moment and hope that one day she will look back at that photo and remember the exact moment when the realization of love and magic hit.

The ceremony was held at the beautiful Blessed Sacrament Church in Toronto, where Paul + Nina were married just 2 years ago! From introducing Holly + Simon to us, to advising them on the day, Simon’s brother and his lovely wife were undeniably thoughtful and helpful in the wedding planning process!

As the processional began, Holly’s mother and father both walked her down the aisle. Her parents looked so proud of their daughter as they handed her off to her soon-to-be husband. Simon looked absolutely dashing in his handsome suit and Holly was as photogenic as could be – the camera loved them! The camera also loved their friends and family outside the church after the ceremony as we captured some of the most vivacious laughter and congratulatory embraces that we’ve ever seen.

The bride and groom took a series of photos at Alexander Muir Park across the road from the church, and then some more at the Historic Distillery District in Toronto where the lighting was divine. We curated a nice mix of classic and urban shots to fit everyone’s personality. Holly and her girls had the most amazing rose bouquets that called for a few extra, special photos to freeze their beauty in time.Holly and her mother planned both the wedding and the reception, and they did a truly fantastic job. The reception took place at the Fermenting Cellar which was beautifully decorated by Avenue Flowers. Each table was set with crystal, incredible floral arrangements and chic Lucite chairs which reflected the candlelight in the most magical of ways. Chandeliers hung over the head table, all tables were draped with silk linens and flutes of bubbly champagne were added as the final touch.

Seeing as how Holly + Simon met in the Cinque Terre on the coast of the Italian Riviera, an authentic Italian band called The Sensations serenaded guests throughout dinner. Later, the dance floor became the place to be as guests formed a conga line and danced well into the night!

Other highlights of the evening were the memorable speeches from the groomsmen and bridesmaids. All of the speeches touched on how the bride and groom met but, while the girls’ speeches were sweet and touching, it was the guys’ speeches that had everyone in stitches! They even went so far as to present Simon with a deep fryer, deeming it as “Something every man needs, but isn’t allowed to put on the registry.” Be it adorable or hilarious, all of the speeches showed just how much they all care for one another!

{Looking back} While shooting Holly + Simon’s engagement portrait,  we realized that we were working with a very special couple. They were so head over heels in love and infatuated with each other that frame after frame came out virtually perfect. The energy was amazing and we couldn’t wait for the wedding day to arrive!

I’d like to give a special thank you to Nina and Paul (who happens to be Simon’s brother) who introduced us to the bride and groom to us a while back. As a collective group, Nina, Paul, Holly and Simon have also referred us several other couples including {Janine and Kyle},  {Ashley and Evan},  {Shauna and Richard} and more coming soon. We shot Nina and Paul’s wedding back in 2010, and are so humbled by the wonderful gesture of the referrals. Initially {Tania and Sean} introduced us to Nina a few years back, after Tania saw {Amanda & Michael}’s images from their day. Building these tight-knit lasting relationships with clients is the highlight of our job!

We feel so lucky to have been part of not only this wedding day, but also this entire group of wonderful people. We’re looking forward to seeing the whole group again at the next one!

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