Ivanna and Gaurav met all the way back in 2010, while they were in university and they ended up in the same class. They spent the summer glancing at each other across the classroom, but never got the chance to meet. One day, Gaurav noticed his roommate talking to “that beautiful girl from class”. He took the opportunity to test his charm and introduced himself. It paid off because their chemistry was instant and it hasn’t died down after all these years!
One of their favourite things to do is to travel together and Gaurav wanted to make their proposal a unique travel memory. When they were in Florence, Italy, Gaurav told Ivanna that they were going to go on a photography tour. But their “tour guide” was actually a photographer Gaurav had hired. The photographer then asked Ivanna to look away for a romantic pose and that was his cue to propose. It was perfect because they now have all these memories in Florence documented on camera – very romantic indeed!
Their wedding ceremony took place at the stunning BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto. Gaurav’s family is actually from Nepal and Ivanna’s family from Trinidad, so it was nice to see the cultures come together with a fusion wedding ceremony. During their Hindu wedding ceremony, Gaurav gave Ivanna a Pote, a long green necklace called the tillhari, which is made up of small green beads (pote beads). The pote bead chain is worn around the neck as a symbol of marriage.
Gaurav wore a mix between a modern and traditional Nepali groom outfit which was gold with dark red detail. He accessorised his attire with a kukuri (a small knife) and a topi (a hat with a traditional Nepali pin). Ivanna also stayed true to her family’s Indian / Punjabi origins, wearing a beautiful dark red lengha with gorgeous gold detailing.
After their ceremony, we took the time to photograph them as a newly married couple around the temple. Can you believe that this Toronto mandir took 18 months to build and consists of 24,000 pieces of hand-carved Italian carrara marble and Turkish limestone and Indian pink stone? Photographing Ivanna and Gaurav with the mandir in the background made the photos seem like we weren’t even in Canada!
Spending the day with Ivanna and Gaurav is so much fun. The way that they look and smile at each other can easily make your heart swoon. But you’re also laughing along with them since they’re always making everybody laugh with their playful witty banter.
We were lucky to spend multiple days photographing Ivanna and Gaurav’s wedding celebrations and wedding ceremony day was day two out of three! I will be posting their wedding reception day in our next post. Stay tuned!
Wedding Photographer: Samantha Ong Photography
Ceremony Venue: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Coordinator: Trade Sensations
Hair Stylist: Rachel Renna
Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Officiant: Vijay Sharma
Mehndi Artist: Leezee’s Henna Art