Oh where the wind takes you. Vesna and Nebras’ Aquatopia wedding may have changed dates a couple times, but ultimately, I think it turned out PERFECTLY. These two beautiful souls were honestly meant to find each other. Her family being Serbian and his Persian, met in Gatineau of all places, in high school no less. If that wasn’t written in the stars, I don’t know what it. I’d only met Vesna and Nebras a little over one month before their wedding and doing their engagement session had me so excited for the big day. When July 10th rolled around, I was 100% ready for what was in store.
I started my day off with Nebras at his brothers home. His family was there, munching on a delicious array of foods set out and dancing to some Arabic music as they mingled around the house. I had asked Nebras to have his details set aside for me to photograph, including his bowtie. But when I arrived, he had it on already. He looked at me and goes; ‘’Please don’t ask me to take it off, it took me hours to perfect it.’’ I gave him a wink and said it was fine and got to work on his details. Luckily for me, Nebras has an eye for detail and fashion and he had a bunch of other items for me to photograph. Normally my grooms don’t have much in terms of details so this was a pleasant surprise.
We didn’t have much time together but what little time we did have, we made the best of. Took the boys out for a few casual shots outside of the home and then the party started, the Zaffeh had arrived! If you’ve never experienced a Zaffeh before, you really need to. They made their way inside and every body got up and danced. My favourite had to be the smile on Nebras’ face as he danced with his mum and just embraced the moment. You could tell he was having a great time and it was definitely a look into the rest of our day. As fast as the Zaffeh got there, it was time for me to head over to the ladies.
I arrived to find the girls super calm and hanging out around another table full of amazing food. I asked where Vesna was only for her to pop out of the bathroom, toothbrush in mouth and a big smile on her face. I got to work on some details as the girls finished getting their robes on before we started with our own fun. They mingled on the couch and snuggled up, supporting each other in their friends new adventure as a wife. Vesna and her mom were able to have a moment together as she got dressed and it was so sweet to see her mom cuddle up to her and look at her little girl. There was lots of tears when the girls saw Vesna in her dress for the first time. When they opened their eyes, they lit up and smiles were all around. Vesna walked in and they went in for a group hug.
We still had some finishing touches to do and so at it we went. Vesna put on her beautiful earrings and then her fabulous shoes as family started to arrive. We looked outside and saw that Nebras and his boys had arrived in a big black SUV. He wanted to stay for the Zaffeh but Vesna wasn’t having any of it. And so we shoo’d him off down the road as our bride made her way out to dance with all her family and friends. Neighbours made their way out into driveways and watched the celebration unfold. Everyone was smiling, dancing, singing. It was so beautiful to see both families come together prior to the ceremony. We had an hour drive to the venue at this point so it was time to head over and see what awaited us at Aquatopia.
I arrived to find the ceremony space being finished up by the venue as guests were arriving. As always, Aquatopia does a magical job at setting up everything and making beautiful florals for their couples. I mean, it’s a full on greenhouse, how much more beautiful can you get! The ceremony arch was beautifully decorated with floral pieces, the aisle lined with beige Chiavari chairs and the aisle was finished off with different heights of glass cylinders and floating candles in water. As guests took their seat, the boys and I waited at the back for their time to walk in. We laughed because Nebras’ started humming to the song that was playing and I was like; ‘’I THOUGHT THIS WAS GAME OF THRONES’’. Yes, they played GoT music and I oved it haha.
Then the guys made their way down the aisle with Nebras’ groomsman, Louis-Philippe taking the mic as the officiant for the ceremony. He announced our groom to make his entrance and Nebras did not disappoint. He walked the aisle like a runway and high fived friends along the way, smirking for the camera every chance he got. Hugged his mom at the end of the aisle and then awaited his bride.The girls walked down gracefully and awaited their bestie at the front as Vesna made her grand entrance, arm in arm with her mom. She was all smiles as she saw her guests and of course, Nebras, all smiles at the front as he saw his soon to be wife.
Short intermission here for a funny not funny story. As Vesna turned the corner to walk down the aisle, I backed up to the side of the aisle as I always do to let the bride pass. Well, as I did that, my foot nicked one of the vases lining the aisle and the glass was soooo fragile that it basically shattered. I was wearing small dainty sandals and a piece of glass fell inside and lodged itself in the underneath of my foot. I felt it immediately and knew I couldn’t walk on it. So, I Tip toed on my left foot so as to not apply any weight on my foot and basically hobbled around for a few minutes. Once I knew I had a moment, I hobbled to the back where my bad was, took off my shoe and it was covered in blood. I took out a towel (which I never bring but for some reason I’d brought one that day), wiped my foot a few times, towel had lots of blood on it too, yay, asked the venue coordinator for a band aid, took off my other shoe and went straight back to work. The things we do for our jobs haha.
The ceremony was beautiful as I knew it would be. Louis-Philippe had some good jokes and had the crowd laughing. Surprisingly, Nebras had some funny moments in his vows too that had everyone laughing. Vesna’s vows were so cute. I think my favourite part was when she said; ‘’ C’est grâce à toi que j’ai pu arrêter de travailler à l’urgence comme infirmière. J’ai pu besoin de rechercher l’adrenaline car à toi tout seul tu rend ma journée palpitante.’’ If you know Nebras, you know this to be a fact. He’s got energy and he’s awesome.
Nebras’s vows had a sweet moment when he recalled their meeting 14 years ago when he stepped on her shoe. Turns out, he said, that it was no accident after all, but a calculated effort. My two favourite lines from his vows were: ‘’I promise hat what’s mine is yours… except for the coffee machine. And I promise to always listen to your advice, but never take it.’’ Sounds like most husbands haha. And finally the most romantic line of all. ‘’You stole my life from the day I first saw you… And today, you stole my Birthday.’’ Yes, their wedding day was in fact, Nebras’ birthday. And so he will forever share it with their anniversary.
As I previously said, the ceremony was beautiful, so full of laughter and love. After those vows, who couldn’t help but smile at these two? They exchanged beautiful rings and sealed their vows with a kiss. A little celebratory cheers and down the aisle they went as husband and wife, finally!
We took the cocktail hour to do a little bit of mingling as well as portraits. I mean, there were so many people, they just had to say hi to everyone, and so on a mission Vesna and Nebras went while we organized the guests for photos. The wedding party photos were a fun one to juggle this time around. The guys were totally over it before it even began and they just wanted to go eat and drink and celebrate the night away. But alas, they had to get these done so I tried my best to go fast and get them to the bar as quickly as possible. Luckily for me, they were down to have fun and loved being able to tackle Nebras and throw him in the air. Not gonna lie, it was pretty awesome. The girls as always, gave me no hard time at all 😉. The sun was still high in the sky so we focused on a few more photos of Vena and Nebras before heading back into Aquatopia for the final Grand Entrance of the night.
One. Last. Zaffeh! The wedding party made their way in with their own songs and warmed up the dance floor for Vesna and Nebras to make their way in with the Zaffeh. They danced and danced and omg did they ever dance. I think the grand entrance and dance party lasted a good 15-20 mins before guests made their way into the reception space. They even lifted both Vesna and Nebras on their shoulders and had them dancing above the crowd. Like I said earlier on, I knew it was going to be a good day.
The reception space was beautiful with long white tables with pink cheese cloth table runners going down the middle. Greenery lined the inner of the table runners and each table had varying size bud vases with a few flowers for a minimalistic but beautiful décor. Their menu cards were translucent pink vertical cards that added that last pop of colour. And finally, the candles and wooden table numbers finished off the space. Oh, and let’s not forget the beautiful seating chart to indicate where guests were to be seated for dinner.
Everything went smoothly, as expected. Guests mingled and the bride and groom made their way around to say hello. Because who doesn’t love a good wedding after being locked up in our homes for 2+ years, right? Speeches were had, and lots of laughter came from them all. What surprised me throughout this day was that Vesna hadn’t cried, not once by this point. But that all changed when her Maid of honour, Andrea spoke. She kept her composure and read her speech so beautifully. She had Vesna in tears throughout the whole thing. After a beautiful thank you speech by the bride and groom, guests were invited over to the dance area for the first dance.
Vesna and Nebras swayed under the Aquatopia twinkle lights as their guests watched on and to everyone’s surprise, throughout the song, Two towers of sparkly flame sparklers (I honestly don’t know what to call these pyrotechnics) went off behind them adding a load of light and drama to their dance. They swayed in each others arms, sang along and Nebras even spun Vesna a few times ending their dance with a kiss. The Party got started like IMMEDIATELY after the dance and it certainly didn’t take long for guests to make their way onto the dance floor. The air was hot, the drinks were flowing, the fog machine was going and the party was LIT. I don’t think a single guests can say they didn’t have a good time at this wedding. It was seriously so beautiful and such a blast.
I ended my night by taking Vesna and Nebras out front of Aquatopia and creating a shot that highlighted the venue and couple to commemorate the epic day. And then off they went back into the venue to dance it up with their nearest and dearest. And back home I went to nurse my foot.
Vesna and Nebras, vous êtes des coeurs! I know planning this date wasn’t the easiest with everything going on but you succeeded and it was spectacular. I’m so grateful to have been a part of it all and to have been able to capture all of these special moments for you. I’m excited to see what the future brings for you. Happy Birthday again Neb and finally a big thank you to your guest who also happened to be a doctor and checked my foot to make sur the glass was out before I continued with my day. Je vous aimes xo
Hair : Marilie Beaudoin at Coiffurenu
Makeup : Nathalie at Makiage et Koiffure
Wedding dress : With Love Bridal Boutique ; designer : Essense of Australia
Cake : ThimbleCakes
Cupcakes : Batter Up Bakery
Venue : Aquatopia