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A Surprise Backyard Wedding at the Bride and Groom’s Home!

Surprise, We’re getting Married! is the sign that greeted family and friends as they arrived at this couple’s home and what followed was a beautiful, intimate celebration captured by diana marie photography. It’s a family affair, with the prettiest backyard setup dining under the stars and a true celebration of love paired down to the simplest of details. See so much more right here.


From the Bride… Mike and I met extremely briefly through a friend in college. He had graduated from the same program I was currently taking and we probably said 2 words to each other. Years later, I just so happened to intern at the same advertising agency he worked for (in a totally different city) – one might say it was fated. The first time we hung out, Mike took me out for drinks and a movie for my birthday and after we went for coffee and talked. We talked so long that the coffee shop closed and we were forced to leave. Not feeling as though the night was over, we made our way to the 24 hour grocery store and wandered the aisles, randomly bought some sparklers and proceeded to the parking lot where we burned them down one by one, before finally saying goodnight. We started hanging out as friends, but over time realized we were together more than we were apart and have been ever since. In hindsight, that first night foreshadowed our relationship to come, as we’re rarely apart and we never run out of things to discuss, argue, or talk about – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Inspiration behind the day: We wanted to do something elegant and slightly vintage, that was pretty and special (above and beyond a normal dinner party), yet comfortable and casual. We wanted our family to TRULY enjoy the day, no drama, no effort, just a celebration of our families coming together. We spent the last 2 years of our lives designing and building our home, so it was only natural that we get married there. It’s a memory that will always live in these walls.

Favorite memories of the day: Besides marrying my best friend, this question is tricky. The surprise was OBVIOUSLY a highlight, though nerves and excitement make the memory slightly blurry. However watching my two nieces on Mike’s side, guide my youngest niece (on my side) down the aisle, to me, really symbolized our families coming together and filled me with joy. Late night sparklers with the girls, was also something I’ll never forget.

Music choices: The ceremony and our first dance were Jill Barber a favorite of ours. We had a very mixed playlist for the rest of the day, primarily bossonova at dinner and happy celebratory songs during the cocktail reception.

Advice for brides planning now: I have to admit it was nice to have everything under my control, as no one knew what we were doing so couldn’t offer their opinions, but at the same time we missed out on a lot of the ‘tradition’ of a typical service. My advice would simply be to be mindful of your family and friends that are being left out of the process and try to find ways to minimize their hurt feelings. This for me, meant making up special gift boxes and bouquets for my nieces who have always talked about being a part of our wedding and using some family heirlooms throughout the decor (Nana’s ring and Grandpa’s cigar box, etc) to make sure my Mom knew that great sentiment went into the planning – it’s the little things that matter.

Photography: Diana Marie Photography | Videographer: Amanda Masson | Florist: Fleurish Design Studio | Makeup Artist: Rebecca Marie | ties: Moaning Minnie | Grooms Suit: Hugo Boss Red Label | Bride's dress (custom made): Lisa Van Hattem | Chairs: Pat's Party Rentals | Rentals: Special Event Rentals | Rentals: Key Event Rentals | Wedding Cake & Caterer: General Chefery

Burlington, Ontario Wedding at Le Dome Banquet Hall

It doesn’t happen often, but this wedding left me completely speechless. The colors, the style, the ridiculously gorgeous couple – everything.single.moment of this drop dead gorgeous soiree is stunning to say the very least. It was captured beautifully by Grey Weddings, leaving us all with a gallery so pretty I could cry. See even more here, and don’t miss their fabulous film from Elle & Be below.

Event Venue

From Bride…A romantic & intimate wedding full of personal details, and symbols of both our relationships history and love. Our first ceremony was hosted on a piece of land two footsteps from my family home. Our decor featured sheer draping lining the path of 100 year old trees, a birch tree four pillar mandap with hanging chandeliers, a DIY photobooth made of hanging gold frames, vintage books, glass coke bottles and wingback chairs for guests to relax. Ambience was created by a violin player serenading guests throughout the morning with classic love songs. Our second ceremony took place inside a large Sikh temple with our closest family & friends. Here, we solidified our future for the second time, the sunlight streaming through the large glass windows. Ending the day was at my home where my family through rice & rose petals as we departed in a vintage Ford.

I always knew I wanted to marry a friend. Someone with whom I could share my tears or laughter and who I knew would always stand by my side. But it was as my best friend was standing in front of me, his smile peaking through the sheer fabric of my mothers vibrant red wedding sari – the divider between us, that I realized today my dream was coming true.

Sunny and I met over a decade ago and though we were inherently different people, each with unique interests, upbringings and cultures there was a draw that always pulled us together. And though the friendship lasted for years, it was one day that he confessed his feelings to me with the disclaimer that he hoped I wouldn’t be mad.

The friend crush they called it. The moment when you take the greatest risk in your life of loosing your friend but the best chance you could take at gaining a new love. From this moment on our love story began full of fireworks, laughter and ongoing chapters of love.

With us both being of Indian heritage, our wedding was a week full of festivities and traditions. A perfect symbol of us. We celebrated with religious ceremonies, turmeric masks, henna parties and both a Hindu & Sikh wedding ceremony. Best of all, we had the opportunity to share with our friends & family the love that we had felt for so long.

Thinking of our Hindu ceremony, I can still hear the soft sounds of the violin serenading our love as we made four circles around the symbolic fire, the panels of my traditional skirt moving with every step. The warm feel of the summer breeze as our families embraced and laughed in our antique inspired lounge full of hanging gold frames, vintage books and wingback chairs. Finally, the moment when Sunny took the sindhoor and marked a line in the part of my hair, signifying that I was now his wife.

Then, the Sikh ceremony where I smiled at my groom as I held onto his scarf tightly, symbolizing the unity of our future after my dad passed it from him into my hands. The rounds we made signifying our vows to one another, and the moment I had to leave my parents home in our vintage Ford, my mother whispering in my ear don’t look back for this was the start of our beautiful future.

Photography: Grey Weddings | Cinematography: Elle & Be Wedding and Lifestyle Cinematography | Wedding Planner: Zardozi Events | Reception Venue: Le Dome Banquet Hall | Catering: Avani Asian Indian Cuisine | Hair & Makeup: Andrea Ellingson | DJ: Empire Entertainment | Ceremony Music: Tino Pop Violin | Bride's Outfits: Sagar Couture | Decor: Petals & Pearls | Groom's Reception Attire: J.Crew | Henna: Shikha

Ontario Engagement Session from With Love Heather

Call me a dork, but I totally got goose bumps when I read this adorable couple’s engagement story. I don’t want to ruin it for any of you, so I’ll just tell you that it involves a plane ride and a surprise meeting half way around the world. And when they returned to Canada, they met up with the fabulous With Love Heather for their oh-so-cute e-session. See it all right here. 

From the Bride-to-Be . . . This past summer my family had planned a trip to the Olympics in London, England. The trip was 2 weeks long and we were so excited to be there at all of the events as well as spending time with our family. Every night before bed I would update Peter at home about our day, Skyping him, and wishing he was there to share all of the incredible sites and events that London and the Olympics bring. The night of the 1st of August ended with a message sent to Peter about our Water Polo event, and how he should just jump on the next flight out and come! Little did I know…he was already on a flight. The next day, August 2nd 2012, was one that continues to give me goosebumps. My family woke up, went for breakfast, and got on the tube to go to our Olympic event. After a few hours of China vs. China in the Table Tennis finals (China won…go figure.) my family took a stroll through Hype Park in London before our dinner reservations. My sister and dad had to use the restroom, so my mom and I walked down a path towards the water. She then said “Let me have your camera and I’ll take a photo of you over there by the water” So I did…

I took 5 steps down the little dirt path overlooking the Serpentine lake to find my very well dressed boyfriend sitting on a bench with a rose. Everything went numb. He walked towards me with that brilliant smile that I love so much and hugged me tightly. We sat on the bench while he slowly read me all of the things he loves about me that he had jotted down on a restaurant menu. We both couldn’t stop smiling. Then, at 6:04pm, halfway around the world, Peter got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

Wedding Photography + Design: With Love Heather / Location: Bruce Trail in Burlington, Ontario / Cupcakes + Treats: Fortinos Bakers / Decor: MichaelsSalvo Gifts / Bride’s Attire: Talula “Navy Shorts” + Top Shop “Jacket” “Scarf” + J Brand “Jeans” + French Connection “Sweater” / Brides’s Shoes: Coach / Groom’s Attire: Zara “Cardigan” + G-Star “V Neck” + Energie “Sweater” + Rock & Republic “Jeans”