{ “WATCHING SAPHIA WALK UP THE AISLE...SHE LOOKED SO AMAZING, SO PERFECT. AND THE PARTY!” The duo took fun wedding photos in the fated produce aisles. Saphia muses that in the future when there are kids in the picture, they may take their first portraits there. Cool...! A SNAP PROPOSAL It was a picture-perfect day at Bronte Provincial Park one fall day, all the brilliant Ontario fall colours at their best, when Saphia and Ivan went on a nature hike. Ivan put his Olympus SLR on a log, set it on automatic timer, approached Saphia and dropped to one knee, proposing just as the shutter went off. The pixie-dust moment when she said “yes” was captured forever. Perfect timing, Ivan! TWO HERITAGES Saphia’s Indian/East African background and Ivan’s Croatian culture were both honoured in two separate, and very different, wedding ceremonies, a few weeks apart. The Indian wedding, comprising many age-old symbolic ceremonies, took place first. Saphia hadn’t grown up knowing much about Indian cultural traditions, so this was a fascinating experience for her as well as Ivan. One element involved Saphia’s mother holding a glass of sweet milk for the bride and groom to drink, symbolizing the way that in the way milk fortifies bones, the ceremony fortifies relationships. Later, Saphia and an uncle had to grab as many gold coins as they each could from a special pillow in one try. These were given to charity, representing the hope that in their married life, Ivan and Saphia would always have riches enough to share with others. For the traditional Muslim Nikaah ceremony, Saphia had henna designs on her hands and feet that included Ivan’s name. According to lore, the deeper the colour and the longer it lasts, the stronger is the love of the groom for his bride. The incorporation of the groom’s name harks back to the days when discovering where it was located in the intricate designs was an icebreaker for bridal couples whose marriage was arranged. GOWNS GALORE & MORE For the Indian ceremony, Saphia wore her grandmother’s exquisite saree from her wedding 52 years prior. An ornate sherwani made Ivan look every inch an Indian prince. Saphia didn’t want to take off the gown she wore for the Croatian ceremony. “When else am I ever going to be able to wear a dress like that, wisps of flowing chiffon and a two-metre long train?” But she did take it off when she changed into her sleek and chic reception gown. She removed the belted train skirt after midnight, transforming it into a cocktail-length dress for “real dancing”. PHOTOS: Clint Russell | Renaissance Studios Photography | 905.864.9300 Wedding Essentials 2013 73