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modern + minimalistic wedding

July 7, 2012

July 7th was a perfectly beautiful sunny day that started out with dark skies and rain. I was sure that the sun wouldn’t make an appearance but to my pleasant surprise it turned out to be a perfect Saturday.

Shireen and her gorgeous bridesmaids wore the most adorable matching shorts and tanks while they got ready that morning.

Shireen; a beautiful, poised and delightful young woman, welcomed me into her bustling family home on her wedding day morning. I had the unique pleasure of photographing her and her best friends, and family getting wrapped up in silk woven saree’s in all the pale colours of the rainbow.  Sheer delight from all the girls’ excitement filled the air, as Shireen held back tears of joy on many occasions.  I could feel the love this family had for one another almost instantly and knew that the photography would show it.

How adorable do the flowers girls and ring bearer look!

Below, I have comprised a long series of images from Cyrus and Shireen’s wedding day. This wedding blog entry is a long one, as their religion and heritage is unique with a ceremony that I am sure most of you will never have seen before. The Zarathusti wedding ceremony is composed of beautiful symbolism and rituals focusing on the couple and their love. I felt quite privileged to witness such a beautiful ceremony in Toronto’s gorgeous venue, Arcadian Court, and will share a quick synopsis of some of the symbolism.

The flowers that adorned Shireen and Cyrus’ neck during the ceremony were stunning!

The Ara Antar (the curtain) ceremony starts with the couple sitting facing each other, surrounded by seven married women from both families.  The witnesses hold a white sheet between the two chairs so the couple cannot see each other. 

Cyrus and Shireen’s right hands are joined, with a cotton thread wound around their hands three times.  In their left hands they are holding some rice, symbolizing a joint commitment and strength in unity.

The thread is then passed around the couple seven times as the priests recite the “Ahunavar” prayer, the most sacred of all Zarathusti prayers, the vibrations of which are said to be identical to those at the creation of the universe. 

I was very inspired and in awe of the beauty and tradition.

At the end of these prayers, the curtain is dropped, symbolizing no separation between the couple, and Shireen and Cyrus will throw the rice in their left hands at each other.  The first person to hit the other with rice is said to win the “race of love” and will be the foremost one in loving and respecting the other.  Shireen and Cyrus then sit side by side laughing because Shireen won the race of love! 🙂

A toast to the new bride!

Since Shireen and Cyrus’ wedding was such a busy day, I am photographing the couple together on another date. They wanted to take as much time as possible to enjoy their friends and family that traveled from all over the world. I completely understand how busy weddings can be and how divided some couples feel that they must separate their time for guests and for photos. This is not something I always encourage to do, but for some couples, this is the only answer to enjoy your celebration and get all the photography desired.

The gorgeous clear blue sky that day couldn’t have been more perfect for this wedding photo session!

Taking your wedding photos by the waterfront is always a good choice. You can’t beat that backdrop!

Shireen and Cyrus are smiling ear to ear as they’re finally introduced as husband and wife for the first time.

Shireen and Cyrus’ speech brings the bride’s mother to tears. There was a lot of love in the room that night.

I look forward to shooting again with you both! You are a genuine and loving couple. I wish you all the happiness life offers!

xox – April

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ceremony + reception: Arcadian Court // wedding planner: Natalie Ho // officiant: Nozer Kotwal and Farnad Bulsara

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Olive Studio is a documentary based photography studio, specializing in unique, intimate and off-the-beaten track weddings. Our candid shooting style allows for couples to...
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