Davina + Daniel

First, let me get the obvious out of the way: Yes, their names really are Davina and Daniel! I have to admit, I thought their first email might be a joke, but in fact, they and their wedding were very real! We were obviously very curious to meet the couple who share our names, and we had the opportunity when we photographed their engagement session in New York City last spring. During this first "date," we  learned that the four of us also share a strong love of sushi, travel, and our families. We also learned that it is very strange for us to direct a couple using our own names, but we somehow managed to get used to this by their wedding day (and we do expect this to have been a once-in-a-lifetime thing!) Fast forward a few months, and we were all on the French Riviera to celebrate the union of the other Davina + Daniel. Festivities began days before the wedding with parties in Monaco, all leading up to one simply breath-taking event. Davina, Daniel, and close to 300 guests gathered at Davina's family's gorgeous home in Latte, Italy, near the French border and overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The whole day was flawless; stunning, really, from beginning to end, but it was the sense of togetherness that really left an impression on us. Among the olive trees, and with the salty sea breeze in the air, this wedding truly felt like a celebration and there was no doubt about it: these two families who came together that day absolutely adore one another.

After a private and emotional bedeken, sweet and simple ceremony, and a lively outdoor horah among the olive trees, guests enjoyed a classic Italian feast at one long table in the garden (remember when I said there were nearly 300 guests?!). Traditional Napolitan musicians provided entertainment, and then traditional Catalan dancers escorted Davina and Daniel, followed by all the guests, to an epic dance party further down on the property. It was almost 4am when we left, and although the party was being shut down, guests seemed ready to keep it going!

It was a tremendous opportunity for us to share in such a beautiful celebration with Davina and Daniel. A shout-out goes out to the incredible Guendalina, Sophie, and the whole team who pulled off every little detail to perfection, and of course to Davina and Daniel for entrusting us to capture it all.

Abby + Bahi

On the eve of Abby and Bahi's wedding, we met up with them at a bar in downtown Toronto. The four of us discussed how life has a funny way of putting two individuals together, often times despite the odds. It was our very first time meeting them, yet the conversation flowed effortlessly, and had the four of us sharing intimate details about life with a partner. The complicity we had discussed the night before was so obvious to us as we witnessed them become husband and wife the next day. Having been kept separate for the first part of the day, they constantly exchanged excited glances throughout their traditional Sri Lankan ceremony when they were finally reunited. You could feel the relief that came from being together again, as though all was now right in the world again.

After the ceremony, Abby swapped her sari for a navy gown, and Bahi went from a traditional sherwani to a silver suit for their elegant reception at the Art Gallery of Ontario. There, about a dozen friends and family members took the mic to recall stories of Abby and Bahi's lives as individuals and as a couple. It was a trip down memory lane for the two of them, as told by the most important people in their lives, and it gave all guests a unique insight into these two individuals. What ensued, as one would imagine, was laughter, tears, and everything in between.

We absolutely love photographing cultural weddings for their energy, color, and sacredness, but to get such an intimate view into the relationship of these two individuals was even more special to us. Thank you, Abby and Bahi, for allowing us into your lives and your wedding day.

Allie + Sam

I don't think a single wedding goes by without me getting a little choked up at one point or another. At Allie and Sam's wedding, it was the moment when, escorted by her parents, Allie began her walk down the aisle to the beautiful, powerful voices of an opera group. Sam is a big fan of the opera, and having these singers for both their processional and recessional was his only request for their wedding day. For Allie, these powerful moments of emotion occurred all through the day, and I just loved watching emotion wash over her. She bowed her head and closed her eyes as Sam read the vows he had written for her, taking every word in, and she laughed and shook her head slowly in disbelief the first time someone used the word "husband" to refer to him. She lived her wedding day one moment at a time, savouring every one individually. And Sam, well, Sam was a rock. He was on top of things; a man of action, yet calm and collected. The perfect groom, really. And when it came time to talk about Allie - or every time he looked at her, really - everyone could see him melt a little. And who could blame him? Allie channelled the glamour of an old fashioned movie star  in her fitted wedding gown and her mother's 1970s repurposed veil. The entire day unfolded perfectly, a string of special moments, flowing organically from the moment Allie slipped into her wedding dress, to the last dance of the night. Thank you, Allie and Sam; we are so grateful to be the ones selected to document it all.

Chatti + TJ

If Chatti and TJ's story were a fairytale, it would go something like this: Once upon a time, there was a boy and there was a girl. He was of Italian ancestry and she was Cambodian. They lived 5 miles from each other in Colorado, yet their paths never crossed there. One day, the boy decided to pursue new career opportunities in the far away land of Cambodia. A few miles away, she was breaking the same news to her family. It was in this far away land that boy finally met girl and - you guessed it! - they fell in love. They decided to marry in another far away land, Italy, where she had always dreamed of having her wedding and where he had family history. It was an event filled with love, laughter, and song. And, of course, they lived happily ever after. When Chatti, a wedding photographer herself, asked if we would photograph her wedding in Italy, we could not say "yes" fast enough. Luckily Chatti and TJ shared our enthusiasm, and less than a day after her initial email, we officially became their wedding photographers. They chose a classic Italian villa, nestled in the hills just outside the historical town of Cortona, as the setting for their wedding week. Since the two have travelled extensively and lived abroad throughout most of their relationship, they have built up an international group of friends who have become a family. A dozen of these family members not only joined Chatti and TJ in their wedding festivities, but rallied together to arrange flowers, hang banners, and even officiate the ceremony. It was a true labor of love.

Speaking of love, we also fell in love with these two sweet individuals, as well as their incredible group of guests. It was with open arms (literally!) that they greeted us on the first day and they never made us feel like we were any less than family. Despite a bit of rain during dinner that forced everyone to retreat to the dining room, the day truly did unfold, appropriately enough, like a fairytale.

Thank you Chatti and TJ for including us in your wedding plans. We loved every moment of our time in Tuscany with you and your wonderful family.

The Vendors Venue: Villa Ruffignano Catering: Marcella of Villa Ruffignano Dress: Marisa Styling: By the bride and executed by her wonderful friends Florals: Annalisa Banelli of La Bottega delle Idee

Janice + Jason

We have had the pleasure of getting to know Janice and Jason (the J's) through Jason's sister MJ and his brother-in-law Mike (the M's). The M's are two of the most important people to Daniel and I (the D's), so we the D's knew that because we love the M's, we would also love the J's (and we do!). On their wedding day we quickly learned that we are but two names on a very, very long list of people who also love the J's. From the start of the day to the end of the night, their posse of friends and family enthusiastically participated in surrounding them with a crazy amount of high energy. They ambushed them at the exit of the church, cheered them on during the limo ride drink-chugging, and every one of them took part in an epic dance-off... not surprising considering  one of the groomsmen is a member of the Jabbawockeez!

The J's incorporated their shared passions for beer, their cockerspaniel Fuji, and Star Wars into their wedding; my personal favorite was their "May the J's be with you" Instagram hashtag. Not only do the J's share these quirky interests and inside jokes with each other, but their friends and families are very much a part of the stories that led to their ongoing antics. Throughout the day I was reminded of how precious it is to not only find the person who brings out the best version of yourself, but also to find an entourage of friends who enrich your life. The J's have that in spades, and their wedding was a celebration of just that.

The M's have enriched our lives since the moment we met them, and we are so grateful to have been included in the J's circle with such warm and open arms. Thanks for sharing your wedding day with us, you two. "This will be a day long remembered." (that's a Star Wars quote... which I'll admit I had to Google!)

 

The Vendors Venue: Hilton Waterfront Huntington Beach Church: Our Lady Queen of Angels Coordinator: Simply Sweet Weddings Photobooth Rental: Photobooth Supply Co. Videographer: Film Foto Fusion DJ: SGM Events Cake: Kings Hawaiian Bakery Hair: Eileen Alvarez Make-up: Beauty by TK