Plan B for Outdoor Weddings

Plan B

Plan B

Make a Contingency Plan

An unexpected storm or late snowfall in the winter can wreak havoc on your outdoor wedding plans at the very last minute. Whether every forecast has predicted beautiful, sunny weather for every day in history of the particular date you’ve chosen, the unexpected can – and often does – occur. A contingency plan is the smart bride’s choice to ensure her day goes her way, no matter what.


Choose a location that is often used for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies. Book both locations for the wedding, if possible. Although that can get pricey, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Decorate the interior of your home if you are getting married in your own backyard. This can be seen as a celebratory measure if all goes as planned. Guests can move chairs, one by one, into the home, and sofas and chairs can be arranged indoors to make immediate accommodations.

Make sure to choose an indoor reception if you’re having an outdoor wedding. Book the reception for the time the wedding is scheduled to start. This will not be much more expensive as halls are often rented by the day. If possible, have the reception hall decked out early that morning (or the night before). Since it is prepared to hold all the wedding guests – and has the same decor – a wedding can easily be moved inside. It may lack the beauty and spark you were hoping for, but choosing an exciting and gorgeous locale for the reception can take care of those fears.

Rent a wedding tent. This is the smartest choice if you are having an outdoor wedding and are absolutely adamant about getting married at a certain location. Instead of postponing your wedding day, add a tent – it’s a worthwhile investment.

Let the bridal party and your immediate family know about the contingency plan. In case of an emergency, you are going to need help organizing all of the other guests.

Open communication is important when planning all aspects of your day. A Plan B is just good common sense! W

From the files of Ottawa Wedding Magazine.

Plan B

Bridal Fashion: Finishing Touches



Simpler styles sometimes call for some not-so-simple embellishments and accessories. Nothing should ever overshadow the bride’s dress, but the right selections and additions may take your style to the next level and complement that gorgeous gown.

Hair jewellery

We love a little bit of glitz in the bridal ‘do. If you’re opting out of the traditional veil, then you’ve got options on how to make your look pop. Hair jewels can be as over-the-top or as delicate as desired. A few of our favourites are the side style, which essentially acts as a pin to push one side of the hair away from the face. Another option is the addition of a jewelled “brooch” delicately placed immediately above a low gathering of tresses. If your dress lacks embellishments and bling, then hair jewellery may be the perfect finishing touch to your overall bridal style.

A full circle of jewels crowning the head is also a current favourite. If you’re going for an Arabian Nights kind of vibe, try the delicately beaded crown which falls forward to gently kiss the forehead.


Floral crown

The floral crown hasn’t been completely de-throned just yet. This look pairs nicely with flutter sleeves and other retro-centered styles. An all-white or ivory gown is the perfect blank canvas for a colourful floral crown.

A winter tropical paradise begs for a simple silhouette and an ethereal floral crown. Whether for the bride, the bridal party, or both, floral crowns give an unmistakable whimsical, fun, and flirty vibe.

Ashley and Niko


Glitz and Glam

compiled by Lindsay Ruck
photos by Union Eleven

Before Ashley and Niko became husband and wife, they were co-workers at the Lonestar Texas Grill in Ottawa. “Niko and I met all the way back in 2003 when he hired me to work as a bartender.”

A romantic relationship would ensue in 2010. “I didn’t actually know he was asking me on a date. I thought there was a group of us hanging out, but it turned out it was just the two of us.”

Surrounded by family, Niko saved the best gift for last and asked Ashley to be his wife Christmas morning in the bride’s childhood home.

The couple planned their perfect day at the Fairmont Château Laurier in the Nation’s Capital. “We knew we wanted our wedding to be in Ottawa. This is where we both came to university; this is where we met, have a home, have built a life and continue to reside. Ottawa is such a vibrant city. We really wanted all of our family and friends to take advantage of all the amazing things it has to offer.”

Out-of-town guests were treated to a welcome bag of goodies, including a map of the city, restaurant suggestions, snacks and beverages and all of the fun and festive details for Ashley and Niko’s wedding weekend.

With the help of Karen Sagle of When Sparks Fly, the couple created an intimate and romantic day for their 128 guests. Shades of gold, champagne and ivory were sprinkled throughout the ceremony and reception sites.

“Almost all of the décor I sourced myself and my wedding coordinator was awesome at putting it all together exactly how I wanted it on the big day. I wanted everyone to walk into our wedding and reception and see that this was very personal to Niko and I and this was representative of our personalities.”

A special personal touch came in the form of a video played prior to the ceremony. Once guests were seated, the “How we Met” vignette, created by Cloud in the Sky Studios, shared the story of Ashley and Niko’s love. “I was so happy we were able to share that with everyone and it was a unique touch that Niko and I will have as a keepsake forever.”

As the large wooden doors parted, the bride entered the Canadian Room on her mother’s arm donning a Hayley Paige ivory strapless ball gown with a full tulle skirt, horsehair flounces and a chapel train purchased from White Satin Bridal in Bells Corners. “I did not think that was the type of dress I really wanted so I wasn’t focused on looking for that at first, but soon most of the dresses I was attracted to were ball gowns, and they couldn’t be big enough. The dress was beautiful and I felt as though this was the dress I wanted to marry Niko in.”

Upon reaching the gold runner aisle peppered with candles and rose petals, Ashley’s father escorted her to her groom, who was blown away by the beauty of his bride.

The couple exchanged vows in front of a breathtaking backdrop of gold sequined panels and ivory fabrics.

Following the ceremony, guests made their way to the Adam Room on the Château’s main level. The room’s grandeur was made all the more spectacular with the bride’s creative details.

Tables were adorned with rose gold sequined linens, gold chargers and gold votives. Centrepieces, arranged by Ottawa Flowers, featured luscious hydrangeas, orchids, calla lilies and roses. Each guest found their name handwritten on mini champagne bottles, and champagne flutes were delicately rimmed with edible gold glitter. Vintage gold mirrors were scattered throughout the room, including next to a handmade guest book featuring photos of the couple’s e-sesh.

A three-tier stunner made by The Girl with the Most Cake was surrounded by individual mini cakes.

Guests were gifted personalized mason jars and had the option of slipping into gold flip flops as the night went on. “I will say Pinterest was my best friend and worst enemy. I would find great ideas and tweak them so they were individualized to our wedding, but just when I thought I was done and my crafting was over, I would come across something else I wanted to incorporate into our wedding.”

It’s safe to say all of the bride’s efforts paid off, as the couple enjoyed a picture-perfect day surrounded by the ones they love. “Our wedding was everything we wanted and we spent it with all the people that meant the most to us.” It’s no surprise the best way this couple could think to describe their day is a “dream come true.” W

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

wedding photographer

Whomever you choose to capture the essence of your day essentially becomes part of the wedding party – sticking by your side and making sure not to miss a moment. Choosing a photographer who not only fits the artistic style you want for your wedding, but who can also fit with you and your bridal party are equally important.


When meeting with your potential photographer, keep in mind that he or she will most likely be around the bride and groom more than any other individual.

Some photographers are casual and laid back about everything, while others will immediately take control. The casual, laid back photographer is most likely not going to get in the way, and will capture the candid shots everyone loves. The more controlling photographer will get people where they need to be and deliver those perfectly-posed shots. Most photographers fall somewhere in-between the two.

Other personality types include the overly-friendly versus the overly-quiet. No one personality is better than another: it’s up to the bride and groom to decide who they want for their day.

Some studios will hire outside photographers to work for them. When having the consultation with the studio, identify if that person will be photographing the wedding or someone else. Ask to meet the person who will be there on the wedding day.


Any good photographer will do a combination of “candid” and “formal” shots. Are the formal shots posed in a way that will please the client? Do the candids look natural and memorable? The style of the photographer should match what the bride and groom imagine for their day.

Albums, prints, disks – what else?

If buying the optional book or album, check the quality ahead of time. Will people be able to flip through it years later? Will it hold together? Does the photographer do a good job of using the album to tell a story? These are all things one should consider before making a purchase.

If photographic prints are provided, what type of paper and inks are used? Does the photographer do the prints in-office, or does he or she send them to a quality lab? If a disk is provided, what is on the disk? For example, does this include high resolution JPG files the clients can use to make prints later? Or are they low resolution, which will only work on websites, but won’t create a quality print?

There is nothing wrong with the photographer limiting what is in the initial package and charging more for extras, such as a full-resolution disk or additional prints. Just make sure to ask questions, understand the order, and ensure everything is documented in the contract.


Photographers are only going to show potential clients their best work. Since most photographers do online galleries, ask for a link to a few other client galleries. This will give the client realistic expectations, as not all photographs taken will look like they belong on the cover of a magazine.

Are the images consistent? Does the photographer use a lot of soft or hard lighting? High contrast or low? Identify the breakdown between black and white and colour images.


It’s important to set a realistic budget for a photographer. Once that budget has been set, ensure you understand what is being provided by the photographer for that price, including the cost of any extras. Examples of extras include: extra time, additional prints or disks, albums, and more.

Photographers don’t just charge for a product, they charge for time, and that needs to be taken into consideration when hiring a professional. Processing pictures and creating albums are all time put in after the wedding day. W

wedding photographer


Formal Fashion Tips for the Groom


What to Wear for a Formal Affair

Congratulations, you’re getting married! Now that you’ve popped the question, you’re wondering what you’re going to wear.

First principles

Your bride’s gown should be your first consideration. Her dress will set the formality of the day.

What to choose

– It’s best to stick to more conventional tuxedo styles.

– Choose a one-, two-, or three-button, or even double-breasted silhouette.

– Wool tuxes are best.

A tuxedo should be 100 per cent wool (or close to it). Wool is a natural insulating fiber, and breathes while regulating body temperature. The natural elasticity of wool means it will shed some wrinkling and retain a crisp, sharp look throughout the day.

When in doubt, talk to an expert

Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Wardrobe consultants are highly trained and are not only a valuable resource for advice on tuxes themselves, but also bow ties, cummerbunds and all of the other accessories you’ll need to look sharp on your big day.


Choosing the Right Bridal Bouquet



Wedding Style in Bloom

Every bride is different, and no two weddings are ever exactly the same. From the tiny details to the big ones, a bride’s personal style can be found in nearly every aspect of the big day. This is especially true of the bride’s bouquet. Here we’ll cover five different styles and how the bouquet complements her unique flair.


Updated and chic are two words synonymous with a contemporary bride’s style. These brides love all things luxury. Martha Stewart Weddings recommends a variety of modern bouquet styles for this type of bride. For example, white, ruffly poppies with black centers give a luxe spin on a traditional bouquet. Eggplant calla lilies, green hypericum berries, fringed tulips and dusty miller leaves come together to create a bold, contemporary bridal look that complements a range of wedding themes and colors.


For the bride who sticks to tradition, a simple, elegant bouquet is best. Ivory bouquets are a great choice for the bride who wants the attention to be on her, not her bouquet. A hand-tied bouquet of ivory-colored rosesmakes a subtle statement that suits the style of a traditional bride.


On-trend brides are out to find the style of the moment for their big day. The farm-to-table style of thinking is important to many of these brides, and that includes their choice of flowers, too. Many trendy brides look for locally grown flowers for their wedding day. They want bulk in their bouquets and stay far away from the traditional loose and wide bridal bouquet shapes. They want arching branches and dangling vines and foliage. Chrysanthemums, succulents, rich foliage and herbs, fruits and edibles are just some of the biggest trends in bridal bouquets this year.


There are no rules when it comes to bridal bouquets for the avant-garde bride. They are on the search for a wow factor when it comes to planning the day when they will tie the knot. For this bride everything is couture, from the dress to the cake to the bouquet she will carry as she walks down the aisle to the alter. Bold bouquets that make a statement are best. From whimsical cascading lilies to architecturally focused bouquets made with many different colors and textures, nothing is off limits and the bouquet style is certainly elevated from other styles mentioned here.


Simple is key when it comes to the minimalist bride style. This bride opts for the simple wedding dress without any frills or glitz. The same can be said about her big day bouquet. Less is more when it comes to minimalist brides. This style of bride will likely opt for an elegant arrangement in a simplistic color palette. Smaller bouquets are the arrangements of choice for this style of bride. Olive greens and a collection of white peonies make a simple, understated bouquet that complements a minimalist bridal style.

About The Engagement Ring


A Cut Above

When selecting an engagement ring, there are several components to consider. Before you pop the question, check out our simple bauble breakdown.

What’s the difference?

Asscher cut
This style – first cut by the Asscher brothers in Amsterdam in 1902 – features facets which are parallel to one another. The Asscher cut appears glassy rather than brilliant.

Cushion cut
The cushion cut is an antique cut which most often resembles a cross between the old mine cut (a deep cut with large facets which was common in the late-19th and early-20th centuries) and a modern oval cut. This shape is also sometimes referred to as the pillow cut or the candlelight diamond (a reference to cuts designed before electric lights when diamonds sparkled in the light provided by candles).

Emerald cut
Originally developed for cutting emeralds, the long lines of the emerald-cut diamond tend to make it less fiery than a round brilliant cut, but the style also tends to have more dramatic flashes of light. The trim lines of emerald-cut diamonds lend an elegant, sophisticated air to the simplest and most elaborate ring settings.

Radiant cut
The radiant-cut diamond is often rectangular or square with cropped corners. The radiant-cut diamond is faceted for fire and tends to be more forgiving of diamond flaws and weaknesses than other cuts.

Round brilliant cut
Developed around 1900, the round brilliant diamond has become the most popular diamond shape for the engagement ring, either as a solitaire or with accent stones. Diamond cutters now use advanced theories of light behaviour and precise mathematical calculations to optimize the fire of a round diamond.

The ideal diamond cut has 58 facets. Fewer or more facets have been shown to detract from a diamond’s brilliance. W

Gorgeous Emerald Cut Diamond Ring with Double Halo Diamonds

What’s Trending in Engagement Rings?

The classic solitaire.

Coloured gems (pink diamonds, sapphires, rubies, etc.).

Smaller diamonds surrounding a central gem.

Unusual settings (elaborate, lofty and twisted).

Vintage styles.

Eco-friendly rings which use recycled gold and diamonds from conflict-free areas.

The four Cs of diamonds:

Cut (facets and proportion)



Carat Weight (size)

Buying a Ring for Less

Keep these tips in mind when shopping for your ideal jewel:

Understand the four Cs
– Learn the importance of the four Cs and the quality that is most affordable for your budget.

Find the right jeweller
– Whether you’re looking online or keeping it local, read reviews from previous purchasers to guarantee quality. Ottawa holds a wide range of specialty jewellery boutiques.

Navigate the salesman
– It’s important to ask the right questions to determine if a salesperson has any wiggle room.

Save in the right places
– You can save about $2,000 by purchasing a 0.5 carat less (and they look almost identical). Splurge on quality instead.

From the files of Ottawa Wedding Magazine.

Fashion Guide for the Groom


A simple style breakdown for men

It’s no secret that the bride’s wedding gown trumps all other decisions for the big day. But with so much effort put into finding that perfect dress, we believe the groom’s wardrobe deserves the same kind of care. To assist with your shopping quest, check out what’s trending for the groom this season.


– The look for 2016 is best described as Jay Gatsby meets James Bond.

– Grooms are opting for custom and tailoring to get that perfect fit.

– This coveted style points back to a classic two-button with a modern twist and a modern fit.

– Vests will continue to play a large role in the formal category.

– When it comes to formalwear, black is always a classic, but grey and steel blue (a.k.a. the “new blue”) will also be extremely popular.

– Subtle texture is popping up in formal suiting.


Tip: Choose a look that’s right for you. Don’t be afraid to

personalize your style with accessories and fit.


– Navy is the new black. Expect to see multiple shades of blue replacing the classic black suit.

– Steel blue – a midpoint shade between royal blue and navy – will continue to dominate.

– Subtle plaids and checks will also continue throughout 2016, especially in sport coats and accessories.


– White solids are a staple in menswear, followed by shades of blue and purple.

– The classic solid white shirt is more important than ever this year.

– Textured shirts, in the form of small rib effects and patterns, are gaining popularity. These subtle additions are always tone-on-tone and not usually visible from afar.

– Rounded edge details are back in a big way – especially in terms of belts and shoes.

– Burgundy is also making a comeback in clothing and accessories.

– Less is always more. Have fun with your accessories and don’t concern yourself with everything matching perfectly.

– The bow tie – in multiple patterns and shades – is everywhere this year.

– Remember, unlike the pocket square or statement sock that can stand alone, a bow tie should work with the shade of the suit, but doesn’t necessarily need to be a perfect match. W


Compiled by R. Legault with source

Elizabeth and Tony


Meant to Be

June 12, 2015

compiled by Lindsay Ruck
photos by Andrew Van Beek Photography

Just as Elizabeth was about to give up on the online dating scene, she received a message from Tony. A successful first date would be the beginning of this couple’s happily ever after.

After moving in together, discussing marriage, and browsing sparkly baubles, Elizabeth prepared herself for a Christmas engagement. But Tony had other plans in mind.

“[Tony] picked me up some random weekday in November and took me to the Rockcliffe Park Overlook.”

After snapping a few shots of the beautiful sunset, Elizabeth turned to see Tony on one knee.

“He said I was the woman he had looked for his entire life, but never thought he would find. He proposed November 12 – 18 months exactly since our first date.”

Over the course of those 18 months, the couple experienced personal hardships and heartbreak. Despite the lows, their love for one another only grew stronger.

“Walking through so much together in such a short period of time made us both realize we could lean on each other and we can make it through anything together.”

The couple chose Strathmere – a 200-acre country retreat – for their June 12, 2015 nuptials and reception.

“The second we walked into the renovated barn, I thought it was a nod from my dad who lived on his family farm.”

While the barn was planned for the reception, Strathmere’s beautiful landscaped grounds were designated as the ideal surrounding for an outdoor ceremony. But a morning rainfall which lasted well into the evening meant moving the ‘I dos’ indoors. Luckily, Strathmere boasts several picturesque venues which, in the end, proved to be the perfect setting.

“Both Tony and I thought it was more intimate with the candles and it had worked out that way for a reason. It may have not felt as warm and romantic if it had been outside.”

Inspired by the magic of all things Disney, guests enjoyed instrumental renditions of several Disney classics before the ceremony began.

Elizabeth made her entrance on her mother’s arm donning an Oleg Cassini creation found at David’s Bridal.

“There was no need to look any further once they added the blush belt with flowers and crystals.” Tony, who sported a grey tuxedo, was just as in love with his bride’s selection.

“I thought [Elizabeth] looked incredible. I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

Another pleasant surprise for the groom appeared as the bridesmaids made their way down the aisle.

“Tony had no idea the dogs were in the wedding until my bridesmaids, Erika and Stephanie, came down the aisle holding Zoe and Abbie.”

Besides looking adorable, the dogs had the important task of carrying the rings – tied around their necks with a purple ribbon.

Elizabeth’s favourite colour was also found in the bridesmaids’ dresses, table linens, the groomsmen’s paisley-patterned ties and peppered throughout the bride’s bouquet.

Cherry blossoms were found throughout the venue, including adorning the ceremony arch and centrepieces. For a personal keepsake, each guest was invited to add their paint thumbprint to a cherry blossom “guestbook.”

“I have a cherry blossom tattoo that I got in honour of my mom because I had read that though they look beautiful and fragile; they have deep roots.”

Disney-inspired elements were also found in the guest favours. Each woman in attendance received a white Cinderella carriage candle embellished with a “Happily Ever After” ribbon. Guests also received a DIY-coaster made of clipped pictures.

Despite the rain, Tony and Elizabeth enjoyed a whimsical and romantic day with loved ones. W

From The Editor: Dreams Can Come True

Cool-weather weddings are magical, romantic, and provide the perfect backdrop for cozy memories. The season is filled with rich and sumptuous colours, roaring log fires, and hopefully a sprinkling of snow. What more could a winter bride-to-be ask for?

In this issue of Ottawa Wedding Magazine, you’ll discover so many ways to create an event that is simply “you.” Invitations are the first impression. Charm your guests with satin ribbons and romantic hues—the starting point for your event needs to say it all.


Photo by Miv Photography

Our fashion department features this season’s hottest bridal trends. From high slits and detachable skirts to off-the-shoulder and fluttery sleeves, we’ve got your ultimate fashion fix. We’re also talking accessories and featuring statement pieces that are oh-so-you.

Winter evenings are perfect for twinkling lights, candles, and outdoor lanterns made of ice. The night sky and bright lights can make outstanding images for you to look back on for years to come.


Photo by Candace Berry Photography

Because the cold weather can be a challenge for our skin, we’re sharing advice on how to stay fresh-faced, no matter the temperature.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Ottawa Wedding Magazine. Our tips and tricks are meant to inspire and help you make your wedding one to remember.

Have a spectacular day!

PatPat den Boer




Photo by Rick Brand

Want to see your special day in Ottawa Wedding Magazine? If you want to contact me about how to include your wedding day in this publication, then please take note. We will not accept high-resolution images by e-mail. If you would like to send me a note about your wedding, do so in four or five paragraphs, describing your day. Make sure to include the bride’s and groom’s names, wedding date and location. Send along two or three low-resolution (less than 1MB) images. We have special requirements for photos, which will be communicated to you once your story is accepted.