August 7, 2021
I first met Sylvia and Fernando through friends of theirs (Shannon and Matt) that I photographed at a recent styled shoot. I had great fun photographing Shannon and Matt, when they were the models at an impromptu garden-styled wedding shoot (in a lovely little greenhouse way up high on a hill!) To read about what it feels like to be in a glass greenhouse when a crazy storm is rolling in (think tornado-like) and you only have a few minutes to snap photos before you have to duck and take cover!!, here are all the details: https://lisarivardphotography.com/grow-old-with-me/). I am just SO happy that we survived the storm in the greenhouse and that Shannon and Matt put in a good word, encouraging Sylvia and Fernando to give me a call when they were looking for their elopement photographer! I feel lucky to have met four really great, brand new friends!
I grew even more excited when I heard that Sylvia and Fernando were going to get married at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory! I’ve always wanted to photograph a wedding at the conservatory, among the floating butterflies and flying birds, in a tropical paradise! As an added bonus, they told me that they were planning a butterfly release after the ceremony, which I couldn’t wait for (and I knew it would make for some really cool photos too)! But wait I did, as did Sylvia and Fernando. Their wedding was rescheduled four times! yes four times! due to covid and, ironically, they waited four full months before they could tie the knot in front of family and close friends.
The setting was so beautiful – inside and out – which meant we took so many stunning photographs outdoors and in the conservatory, in both daylight and then again when we took a magical trip back inside after dusk. Sylvia’s mom Bozena had purchased and arranged all the florals for the sweetheart and reception tables……I think you’ll agree that the result was just gorgeous with beautiful creams accented by pink blush stems and ever so soft greenery – can we talk about the beautiful sweetheart table florals? Just gorgeous! It is obvious that Sylvia’s very talented mom has an incredible eye and it was so sweet seeing her witness the reception space and how her vision had come to life for her daughter’s special day.
I just melt at these special mother daughter moments!
Sylvia’s rings were just beautiful and I especially love Fernando’s unique wedding band!
Sylvia’s talent was also on display in the invitation suite and menus and ceremony place cards, which she designed and printed herself. I love how the day was such a seamless combination of both items purchased or arranged by wedding vendors and personalized items designed and made by Sylvia and/or her mom, making the day and the surroundings so meaningful! And Sylvia had to make the invitations at the last minute too. When their elopement could finally take place they were also able to have a few guests join them (which they hadn’t been able to plan for at first due to the pandemic restrictions). I was so happy for them that they could have additional guests in attendance!
Emotional moments with dad just minutes before Sylvia and Fernando exchanged vows.
Sylvia and her mom had planned for the florals to reflect an elegant, classy affair and they knocked it out of the park! I was in awe of Bozena’s immense talent. The reception table florals were perfectly complimented with the gorgeous florals that were on display on the Mr. and Mrs. cake, as well as in the bridal bouquet and the father and groom boutonnieres, beautifully designed and arranged by Sofiya at Brantford Blooms. It was all just perfection!
Fernando and Bozena as they get ready to walk among the butterflies and enter a tropical paradise where Fernando will see his bride for the first time!
Exchanging vows in a tropical paradise, Sylvia and Fernando’s happy place!
They did it! Finally…….finally……they are now married! And glued together (more on this below!).
First dance as husband and wife. They make a stunning couple together, don’t you think?
Outside the conservatory to grab that glowy light for a few snaps before heading back inside for some more butterfly photos! We got there just minutes before the sun was about to hide behind the clouds. So glad we did!
Back inside for some more bride and groom portraits!
And the oh so fun butterfly release! Surprisingly, Fernando’s dark jacket was a real attraction – could it have been the beautiful jacket design they were attracted to?
More bride and groom fun!
And now for the magical glow of the conservatory at night!
More special father daughter moments and a lovely mother in law and son dance.
I know how much Fernando had really wanted his family to be with him and Sylvia on this special day. But while Fernando’s sister was not able to be with them, she made a very important virtual appearance during the reception to share in the excitement and joy of the day and I’m thrilled that we caught it all on camera…..more than one camera!
As darkness settled in outside, the conservatory took on a whole new level of magic!
The butterflies loved Fernando even without his suit jacket on!
From the moment I met Sylvia and Fernando in person, they instantly made me feel comfortable to be around them – fun, easy going, and always so positive. Their nickname together is ‘glue’, which after photographing their engagement session, I completely understand! When they are around each other they are so happy, and seeing them together among the butterflies in their happy place, it was just the best! It has been a true privilege to meet them, and to share in their special day. I am so happy to call them friends!
Venue: Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory @cambridgebutterflyweddings
Officiant: Bill Judge
Florist (bouquet and boutonnieres): Sofiya, Brantford Blooms @windflowerxbbf
Florist (reception florals): Bozena, Sylvia’s mom
Hair stylist: Jacqueline Phoenix @jacquelinephoenix.hmua
Makeup artisti: Ashley Geddes @ashleygeddesmakeup
Bridal Gown: Bridals Direct @bridalsdirect
Grooms attire: Collins Formal Wear Kitchener @collins_formalwear
Cake: The Cake Box @cakeboxcanada
Nails: Luxe Nail Bar @theluxenailbar