faculty club edmonton wedding. {leah + arda}

October 28, 2015

Arda & Leah met at the Edmonton Fringe Festival some 6 years ago. As it often goes, they became friends over the years as Leah was coming to Edmonton to perform. Their first date was at a friends’ wedding in Lake Louise (remember Karolina & Andrej’s amazing Lake Louise wedding?) … and that was a beginning of their love story.

As a kid, Leah wanted to be an actress. Arda says he wanted to be a fireman when he was really young, then a cowboy, and when he was in his teens, a professional motorcycle racer. By day, he is now a structural engineer. In his free time though, Arda dedicates time to photography, especially film. It is always a bit intimidating to document a wedding of a talented photographer, so we’re holding our breath Leah & Arda will feel our love through these images!!

I’ve considered Arda a great old friend for many years, and it was such an honour to document this magical day. It was also really special to see familiar faces dear to my heart (you know who you are!)

Here’s their beautiful autumn Edmonton wedding at the U of A Faculty Club … enjoy!!

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Top three things Arda loves about Leah: “her spontaneous spirit, her kind and loving soul, and her sense of humour.”

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Top three things Leah loves about Arda: “his kind heart, his playfulness and generous spirit.”

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First Look… first look fall wedding

Arda on the Proposal:

“The proposal was funny! I was waiting for the ring to be sized and was going to propose as soon as it was ready. I wanted to do it at the Fringe Festival because that’s where we had met and that’s where I had tried asking her out for the first time. We found out that Leah was expecting two days before the ring was ready. She did not know that I had purchased a ring or was having it sized. I had picked up the ring on Wednesday afternoon and was planning to ask her that evening after her Fringe performance. I wasn’t nervous at all during the day but with the ring in my pocket, I did start to get very nervous! I had asked a friend to come out and take some candid pictures of the moment and as I was leaving work, the friend whose wedding we had our first date at (Andrej) mentioned that he was also going to come out and watch Leah’s show at the Fringe. I told him that he was going to get two shows for the price of one because I was going to propose to Leah at this show! At the end of her show, once the crowd had dissipated, I walked up to her with a twenty dollar bill in my hand. I knew she wouldn’t take money from me, insisting that “boyfriends don’t pay.” I had the ring under the twenty dollar bill and I knew she wouldn’t take the money so I wrote on the bill with a red marker the following words: “If you take this $20 from me, I will know you haven’t learned a thing.” When I walked up to her with the money, her initial reaction was to shake her head “no, boyfriends don’t pay” but then she saw the writing on the bill and was trying to read it so she grabbed it out of my hands and saw the ring. She was so surprised! Sometimes I will tell her that I love her but I will do it in “monkey speak,” you know, “oo ooo ooo”. I thought it would be appropriate to ask her to marry me in monkey speak so I started with “oo ooo oo-oo oo?” but she was in shock and was just staring at the ring so I said “Leah James, will you marry me?”  She responded with “are you serious???” but she was still wearing her wireless microphone and it came out full-blast from the speaker behind her for all the Fringe to hear! I said yes, I’m serious, I mean I’m standing here on your pitch at the Fringe with a $20 and a ring and I just proposed to you in “monkey speak.” How much more serious can a guy be?”

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Ideal day together according to Arda: “we love to travel and we travel really well together so…traveling light, with just a camera and exploring the culture/food/music of some far off land together.”

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Ideal day together according to Leah: “shutting the blinds, coffee/breakfast in bed followed by a lengthy family snuggle. Then, if we have the energy, an afternoon walk in the sun by the river valley.”

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Most romantic memory together according to Leah: “we spent our first date watching the sun set over Lake Louise with a bottle of wine.”

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Most romantic memory together according to Arda: “when we were still dating and Leah was living in Vancouver, I found out that she was going to spend New Year’s eve 2013/2014 by herself. She was house and dog sitting for one of her friends. I flew out to surprise her and we spent New Year ’s Eve together. I landed at 11:30 p.m. and we arrived at her friend’s house at 11:55 with just enough time to pour a glass of champagne.”

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Arda: “Leah is a very caring person. She is always looking out for me. She is also an amazing mother to Evan.”

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… and this is probably my new favourite image ever taken at a Wedding.breastfeeding bride

Leah’s favourite guilty pleasures: “sleeping in with our baby on weekdays.”

Arda’s favourite guilty pleasure: “chocolate.”

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Leah: “I really appreciate Arda’s sense of family.”

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Leah: “Arda is an awesome photographer and a great masseuse! Also, he is great at snuggling.”

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Yours truly. {For us, wearing this much clothes at a Wedding is new and exotic, hehe!}katya nova photographers

Arda: “Leah is an amazing acrobat, singer, song-writer, cook, masseuse and has a gift for pairing flavours. Also, she is great at snuggling.”

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Arda: “She slows me down so that I can enjoy life more. She also gave me a beautiful son!”

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Leah’s favourite thing to find in the fridge: “a ripe avocado.”

Arda’s favourite thing to find in the fridge: “chocolate cake.”


Leah: “How’s my live different because of Arda?! He brings love into my morning, noon and night.”

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Big THANKS to Emma, the wedding coordinator at the Faculty Club! faculty club wedding photossleeping babywedding faculty clubleah arda married

Dearest Leah, Arda & baby Evan!!! You are such amazing humans, so kind and loving, so down to earth and fun to be around!! Thank you for sharing this amazing Day with us… Hope you feel or love…. xoxoxo Katya, Rob & Zion-the-baby-Lion.



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