Friday Faves: Autumn Wedding Inspiration

Hooray for Friday! Since it’s the end of the week and we’ve featured some fabulous real Ottawa wedding stories over the last few days, we’re going to highlight some of our favourite images from those wonderful local celebrations.

The colours? The flowers? The settings? The ideas? Oh my. So lovely.

For starters, Alicia and Ryan were married October 14, 2016 at Bean Town Ranch. The fall colours were spectacular. 

wedding inspiration

What an idyllic setting for these beautiful images by Lisa Provencal Photography

wedding inspiration

Alicia’s fur stole is perfect.

wedding inspiration

And this shot of her spectacular flowers, stole and matching shoes is beautiful. Wedding Accessories: 13/10.


Although Tory and Jordan‘s wedding was in June at Jabulani Vineyard and Winery, the gorgeous colours and flowers would work well for fall too. 

wedding inspiration

Check out the dazzling jade green dresses and the rich hues of the flowers. Wow!

wedding inspiration

Tory’s flowers and Jordan’s pocket square? Worth taking notes. 

wedding inspiration

And these drinks? So beautifully presented … and photographed by Amy Pinder Photography.

wedding inspiration


Finally, here’s some wedding magic that happened  at Gillies Grove on the outskirts of Arnprior. When Julie Normadeau from A Dream Come True Events, Annemarie Gruden Photography and other wedding pros planned a fall photo shoot, their theme was “a modern-day romantic fairytale in the woods.”

Not only are the resulting visuals arresting, a real-life fairytale actually came true! The couple in their shoot, Alexandra and Devin, decided to use the occasion to get married.  

wedding inspiration



Alexandra’s hair, by Tanya Vernick at BEDAZZLED, is elegant.

wedding inspiration 

The cake is really lovely too. 

Click the Alicia and Ryan, Tory and Jordan and Alexandra and Devin links to see more images and ideas, from stationery and table settings to decor style and floral accents. 

Romantic Time with your Spouse-to-be

romantic time

In all the hustle-bustle of planning a wedding, it’s easy to get caught up in the details:
Caterer? Check.
Wine? Yes.
Limo? Yes.
Centrepieces? Oops.
Not only are there many things to do and organize … and sometimes DIY, it’s not uncommon for there to be a challenge or two to tackle. The venue is double-booked? Now what?
It’s no wonder couples can get a bit stressed or overwhelmed, and can wind up putting the To Do list before the fun stuff. Well, it’s time to bring back the fun stuff. After all, five years from now no one will care whether the centrepieces or wedding favours were perfect. But if you’re relaxed, happy and content as a couple, that joy will be felt by everybody on your big day.

So you owe it to yourselves and to your soon-to-be guests to take romantic time out to have some fun and to enjoy each other’s company.

As R Legault tells us in Wedding Stress – Tips for dealing with the joys and challenges leading to the big day, ” Take time for yourselves Don’t ever forget the reasons why you and your spouse are doing this — for love and for devotion and commitment. Many couples lose focus of this as they follow through with their wedding planning details. Remember that no wedding is ‘perfect’. Keeping the love and excitement right through the wedding is also very important.

“Plan a surprise, one-night ‘date’ and promise yourselves to not talk about the wedding whatsoever during that time. Pretend as if you are back to the stage of dating, and keep it fun, mysterious and romantic. Break your date up into two parts — one where only ‘body language’ is allowed, and one where talking and socializing about anything other than ‘weddings’ is emphasized. Stay away from busy places.”

Marriage Proposal … #taketheknee ?

Wedding proposal concept. Young couple have dating at sun set. Man in love is kneeling on knees and giving wedding ring to surprised woman.

Our neighbours to the south are up in arms over NFL players who #taketheknee during the national anthem. Odds are, though, if you #taketheknee, present a sparkly ring, and ask the big question, the reception will be much more uniformly favourable.  But what does getting down on one knee have to do with proposing marriage? And where did the idea come from? Now is as good a time as any to find out.

As Wikipedia notes, “Genuflection (or genuflexion), bending at least one knee to the ground, was from early times a gesture of deep respect for a superior. … The Latin word genuflectio, from which the English word is derived, originally meant kneeling. … The custom of genuflecting, as a sign of respect and even of service, arose out of the honor given to medieval kings.”

In matters of the heart as well, genuflection is a sign of respect and of honouring someone. As event planner  states at Love to Know, “… the idea of asking for a loved one’s hand in marriage while partially kneeling is a highly symbolic gesture embodying the very essence of committing one’s life to another. The ideas of goodwill, honor, and trust in that one person is [embodied in] opening themselves completely to another without shame or any physical defenses.”

And while getting down on one knee is an old tradition, it still has legs today. In fact a few years ago, Men’s Health and  The conducted a survey asking about 1,500 engaged or married men and women what makes a great proposal. Over three quarters of the guys gave the bended-knee gesture a big thumbs up.  “76% of men believe they should go down to one knee to propose.”

Females agree. Marriage Proposal Do’s and Don’ts, an article on The Spruce by Nina Callaway, recommends you make the bended knee part of your proposal.  “Do drop to one knee,” she advises. “Again, times have changed, but there is something so charming and romantic about a man on one knee asking the love of his life to marry him. Even if you’re not a traditional guy, it will make the proposal more momentous.”



Wedding Beneath an Autumn Canopy


When a couple fell in love all over again


This splendid photo essay is inspired by the love of a real couple, so the true emotions could be captured step-by-step. The strategy: a social media contest to find the perfect pair.

The thing that surprised us most was the impromptu wedding. We were fully expecting a proposal out of the shoot, but just one week before we were set to shoot, our couple decided to take advantage of the romantic set already designed and in place, to simply just “get married.”

The overall look and feel to the shoot was to create a modern day romantic fairytale set in the woods.



The designers chose a heavily wooded forest to set the stage for that fairy tale ambiance. With beams of light peeking through the trees, it more than set the tone for romance.

Important physical props and details for the setting came together quickly with the use of candles, tones of purples as a pop of contrast in the florals, modern day calligraphy in both the stationery and chalk art, as well as guest signing boards.

Colours played a big role. When creating the tablescape, the designers found inspiration in using soft gray and a pop of eggplant purple to contrast the rich warm tones of the forest. This colour palette was incorporated throughout the table linens, glassware, candles, custom napkins in gingham black and gray fabric, to add a hint of masculinity. The candles and dripping wax were also important features to enhance the romance. W





Tory and Jordan

Jabulani vineyard wedding

photos and text by Amy Pinder Photography

Tucked away at the back of Jabulani Vineyard is a meadow. It was here, just feet away from the aisle where Tory and Jordan would soon be married, that Jordan waited in suspense to see his bride. Though they’d seen each other almost every day for the past 13 years, the excitement of seeing his high school sweetheart for the first time as a bride was surreal!

In this First Look moment, Tory walked towards Jordan in her crystal beaded white gown from ‘Renewed with Love’ and tapped him on the shoulder. While most grooms would turn around and take in this moment right away, Jordan did not. Instead, he waited … waited some more … and then when he was ready, slowly turned around to see her. His reaction as he saw Tory for the first time as his bride was one that I will never forget: joy, surprise, and—beyond everything else—an unequivocal love for the woman who would soon be his wife. Thirteen years of dating had finally led to this moment.

One of my favourite moments of the day was having the mothers sign the wedding registry during the ceremony. This is something I’ve never seen before and was a very special touch to involve them in this part of the day. You could tell this meant a lot to them too!

Tory’s bridal bouquet by Mill Street Florist was one of sheer beauty and is an inspiration to brides everywhere. White anemones, blush roses, ranunculus, eucalyptus, and subtle hints of succulents decorated this oversized bouquet with class.

Every corner of the reception barn at Jabulani was filled with thoughtful details: photos of the couple throughout their 13 years of dating: from parasailing down south, to their early years of dating, to vacations together across the continent; table wine from the very same vineyard where they exchanged their vows; harvest tables decorated with forest green runners and greenery garlands; and a mirrored seating chart, showing guests where to be seated for dinner. The room was carefully coordinated by Bourbon and Bloom, who were an asset to the couple throughout the night by driving into town to get more ice when it ran low, to setting up and tearing down the decor, to keeping the timeline running on track.

Jabulani vineyard wedding


Jordan asked my dad the day before. It was my day off in the middle of the week; he took a personal day from work. He booked us a day of horse trail riding in Wakefield but didn’t tell me till the morning of. It was a beautiful day, and not busy since it was a weekday. We went out on the trails with our guide. Halfway through she stopped to tell us there was a beautiful lookout point. So she watched our horses while we walked to the edge of the mountains. She was right; it was beautiful. I’m not sure how Jordan started it, or what he said, but he did get down on one knee to ask me to be his wife. My first reaction was “duh, of course” (insert facepalm here). Afterwards we celebrated with a bottle of champagne from my grandparents and a beautiful lunch by the water in Wakefield. No one knew for the afternoon so it was like a fun little secret for the afternoon. It was the sweetest, most genuine, perfect day.


Tory met Jordan on a clear summer’s night, whilst he sailed majestically down a side street in Stittsville in a borrowed Giant Tiger shopping cart. It was love at first sight. Proper introductions were made a short while later at the home of a mutual friend. Jordan, as some of you know, had a minor obsession with video games from the age of four to the present. He would use this “skill” to get the girl. Tony Hawk skateboarding on Nintendo 64 was the game, Jordan knew Tony Hawk, and he knew it well. Tory was brazen as she sat down next to Jordan and picked up a controller, never one to shy away from competition. They battled fiercely for the next hour, barely a word spoken between them as the war raged on. In the end, Jordan probably let Tory win, a classic move to get the girl. That one night pretty much did Jordan in; he was hooked.

Jabulani vineyard wedding


Ceremony + Reception venue: Jabulani Vineyard
Planner + Day-of Coordinator: Bourbon and Bloom
Wedding dress: Renewed with Love
Wedding dress designer: Maggie Sottero
Bridesmaids dresses: David’s Bridal
Mobile makeup artist: Makeup by Elle
Hair stylist: Blushes
DJ: Quality Entertainment
Florist: Mill Street Florist
Amy Pinder Photography

Cheers to Wedding Drinks!

wedding drinks

Have you been to a wedding with an open bar or a serve-yourself bar? Depending on the weather and the crowd, it can be a lovely idea .. or you can wind up with way too many rowdy, inebriated guests along with a ridiculous bar bill.

If it’s a hot hot day and there are tubs full of ice-cold beer and coolers? Watch out. They are apt to empty quickly.  Or if many of the guests are of an age that they still like to party, don’t be surprised if there are lineups at the open bar.

There’s a lot to be said for being hospitable and offering drinks while keeping the festivities fun and safe. Nobody wants things to get out of hand .. i.e. a fight in the parking lot or a drunk cousin who won’t pass over his car keys. Careful planning can make all the difference. Certainly, you can have cocktails prior to dinner, wine with dinner, champagne toasts and a signature drink or two. But it’s okay to set limits and to offer a coffee buffet and snacks starting at midnight.

When you’re doing the drinks math, here are some numbers to consider:

  • Sparkling wine – one bottle serves six to seven people.
  • White wine – one bottle serves five people.
  • Red wine – one bottle serves five people.
  • Dessert wine – one 375-millilitre bottle serves eight people with 11⁄2 ounce pour.

Champagne or Sparking Wine

Weddings and champagne are practically synonymous. Who doesn’t want a flute of bubbly to toast all the joys of the celebration? But do you have to break the bank for some fizzy fun? No you don’t. If you and your spouse-to-be love champagne and you’re having an elegant, champagne-worthy affair with a reasonable number of guests, by all means let the champers flow. But if you’re having a crowd of 300 for a rustic country wedding in a barn, you’re better off sticking to a less pricey sparkling wine for the toasts only — and only for those who want to toast with sparkling wine. Guests are quite happy, generally, to toast with whatever libation they have in hand.

If you do want to have an open bar, you can choose what to stock it with based on your budget and your crowd. For instance, you can stick to a selection of wine and beer, plus a signature drink or two. If you want to offer the full array of libations, including liquor and liqueurs, be sure to have an experienced bartender doing the pouring. You can also consider having a time limit on the free bar — for instance until 10 p.m.

The aim, always, is to ensure everybody has a fun time.

Alicia and Ryan


Bride Name
Alicia Lam
Groom Name
Ryan Cahill
Date of Wedding
Lisa Provencal Photography
Reception Held at
Bean Town Ranch
Ceremony Held at
Bean Town Ranch
Wedding Dress
White Satin Bridal Couture
Groom’s Fashions From
Vera Wang
Groomsmen’s Fashions From
Vera Wang
Bride’s Hair By
New York New York Hair Salon
Bride’s Make-Up By
Bella Luk
Cake By
Family Of The Groom Created the Cake
Catering By
Bean Town Ranch
Flowers By
Stoneblossom Floral Gallery
Invitations By
Designed by friend Lindsey Daleo and DIY assembled
Favours By
Toronto Popcorn Company
Other Vendors
Veil: The Brides Project
Hairpiece: Ritche Bridal
When we got married, we had been together for 6 years (almost 7 now!). We picked the month of October to get married because we know we started dating in October 2010 but neither of us remember what date it was, so now we have a proper anniversary to celebrate 🙂

We met as volunteers for the Psychology Student Association at uOttawa – I was a 101 week guide and Ryan was the President of the association; we crossed paths all weeks at different orientation events and started dating soon afterward.

Melanie and Jacques


Rustic Elegance in Lavender

September 17, 2016


Melanie and Jacques met through best friends five years ago at a New Year’s Eve party. They took the relationship day-by-day and within six months they were basically living together. Less than a year later, they bought a house together in Luskville, Quebec.

The proposal came as a surprise, even though “I basically harassed him for about a year-and-a-half to propose,” she joked. Though they had shopped for rings, she thought it was never going to happen. Then, one day in June 2015, Jacques called her into their office to see a new hunting scope he had just purchased. He insisted that she open the box.

“I open it and there was my ring in the scope box,” she recalled. “He had told me that he would totally catch me off guard, and he did.” Little did she know that as soon as Jacques got the call to pick up the ring, he had gone over to her parents’ house and asked her father for Melanie’s hand in marriage. “He’s a gentleman,” she said.
They decided on a September wedding. “Fall is one of my favourite seasons,” she said. “I have pale skin and copper hair, so the fall colours are the best colours for me.”

Melanie bought her Maggie Sottero “Joleen” dress at Renewed With Love in Carleton Place. The mermaid scoop neck gown featured lace embroidery on top of tulle. The way that the embroidery fell in the back resembled peacock feathers, which was the right fit for the theme of the wedding: peacock.

“The peacock has always been my go-to animal,” said Melanie. “The colours of the peacock are passionate colours and that’s how we both are as individuals and as a couple.” They used the purple and teal of peacock feathers as the wedding colours.

The ceremony and cocktail hour were held at a lavender farm in Luskville, followed by the reception and party across the street at the Luskville Community Centre. The lavender farm has some family history: Melanie’s grandmother’s family used to own the property. When the current owners purchased the farm, in addition to growing lavender, they established a winery and named one of the wines after her grandmother’s family. As party favours, the couple gave out homemade soaps from the lavender farm with personalized wedding wrapping.

The wedding was catered by Shep’s Catering in Aylmer, who knows Melanie’s family very well. “I’m celiac, so he took care of all my allergies,” she said. The wedding cake was made by one of Melanie’s close friends — with a gluten-free cake top — and a dessert table of homemade, hearty treats was provided by Melanie’s cousin who is part owner of Pine Lodge in Bristol, Quebec.

The rustic yet elegant wedding was a true family and friend effort: the couple enlisted their loved ones in the conception and making of the décor. “It was a DIY wedding,” Melanie said. “My parents painted vases during the winter months. My grandmother and great aunt were on glue gun duty.

When you involve everybody, there are so much laughter and so many memories throughout the whole planning.” In fact, Melanie’s sister created an album of pictures from the whole year as a wedding gift, including touching moments from the day they got engaged to the first wedding show they attended to Melanie’s father cutting wood for the centerpieces. W


Elegant Winter Wedding Shoot offers Inspiration

winter wedding

winter wedding

You are The One Whom My Soul Loves…
Enchanting moments at every glance

Tucked away in a beautiful and cozy stable, we met with some of Mother Nature’s most gracious creatures. Horses are truly majestic and we were thrilled to work with these two beauties.

When designing this styled shoot, we wanted to create something chic yet rustic. Elegant above all. We wanted to show that styles can be divergent yet harmonious. We hope you will enjoy this styled shoot as much as we did creating it with this dream team.

Lily & Roses Exquisite Events took charge of this project. We coordinated and designed the décor and created the gorgeous flower arrangements and sweet table filled with loads of delectable treats. This is what we do best; tie various elements together to create a look both aesthetic and enchanting.

Siberia love

Working with professional models from the Dulcedo Modeling Agency was such an unforgettable experience. Both models were stunning and they made such a beautiful couple. We had goosebumps watching them connect and bring our vision to life.

The gown…oh the gown! We were speechless to say the least! This whimsical creation was custom-made for this project by the one and only Boutique Champagne. We developed the idea and concept with these two amazing ladies who are the heart of this gem of a bridal shop.

As for our beau, we were fortunate to have him wear not one, but two amazing suits as well as a cute wood bow tie from Mercerie G. Brabant.

McGuire Make up Art has such a talented and mobile beauty team, and we were thrilled to have them on-site and part of this project for the hair and makeup.

To complete the look, we called on Gelmoment for the nail art. Their product is smart, durable and eco-friendly — which we love.

Fur is making a comeback and we knew we wanted Elama on this project. Their creations are eye-catching and elegant, showing that fur can still be done in a fashionable way.

It was important for us to have fashion jewellery that was sophisticated yet affordable. We also were looking for an equestrian look, which we were fortunate enough to find at Lala Bijoux.

The cake was a masterpiece created by Bayard. Tall and elegant, this naked cake was overflowing with fresh fruits, with a hint of winter colours for effect.

Creaglam is the stationery guru behind the vintage inspired invitations. Simple and delicate, it completed and tied all the elements of this projects together.

We called upon Bianca Diorio to capture the photos and Lasting Motions for the videos of this project. Bianca is extremely talented and understood right away the feel we were going for. Lasting Motions’ editing and speed of work is simply brilliant. Both were a delight to work with as always. W



This equestrian Siberian love story shoot took place in and around a stable where we were able to showcase a sweet table, cake, floral design, a gown, fur accessories, jewelry, a suit, make up, hair, nail art and stationery. Lily & Roses Exquisite Events designed and coordinated the entire styled shoot. All has been captured by an amazing photographer and videographer. All parties involved are also local companies from the greater Montreal area.

Concept & design, decor, flowers, sweet table, coordination: Lily & Roses Exquisite Events –

Photography: Bianca Diorio Photographe –

Videography: Lasting Motion –

Models: Dulcedo –

Hair & makeup: Gabbie McGuire Makeup Art –

Bridal Gown: La boutique Champagne –

Suit: Mercerie G. Brabant –

Fur: Maison Elama –

Jewelry: Lala Bijoux –

Cake: Bayard Gâteau –

Stationery: Creaglam –

Nail Art: Gel Moment Dimitra –

Stable & horses: Ferme l’Auteuilloise –




Wedding of the Year Big Win for Courtney Elizabeth Events


Ottawa Wedding Awards
Wedding of the Year Winner

Ottawa Wedding Magazine was once again a proud sponsor of the Ottawa Wedding Awards gala held earlier this year. The winning entry for Wedding of the Year went to Courtney Elizabeth Events.

This gorgeous couple embarked on their wedding planning journey with the vision and tremendous amount of work and support from a group of close family and friends, led by Deirdre Stirling.

Jamie and Jon are high school sweethearts who proved that true love and friendship really do exist.

Their vision for the day was to create an elegant, ethereal, and romantic wedding day at the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne on a long weekend in May.

Jamie’s incredible taste shone through in the months leading up to the wedding as she has a true sense of how to mix industrial pieces with romantic and rustic tones. The florals gave off a light and airy feel with inclusions of white peonies, roses, hydrangeas and strong pops of greenery flowing from every piece. She wanted to keep colours minimalistic with soft blush, white, and violet tones.

These two always placed each other and their family and friends first, and wanted to make sure they worked hard to have each and every guest feel at home. They chose their vendors 
the same way; Jamie and Jon hand-selected each carefully with help from Courtney Elizabeth Events. It was easy to suggest various wedding industry professionals that we felt would be a good fit, because we knew they wanted each of their vendors to feel like an old family friend.

The wedding day began at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, where Jamie and Jon prepared for their wedding with family and friends 
by their sides. No small detail was overlooked. Jamie and her father arrived at their family church, St. Patrick’s Basilica, in a luxury black vintage Rolls-Royce, where her gorgeous bridesmaids escorted 
her in to make her grand entrance. With the traditional pipe organ music and acoustics of the domed ceiling, her processional was like no other. After the couple’s meaningful nuptials, the bride and groom made their first walk as Mr. and Mrs. to the sounds of a traditional Irish bagpiper to celebrate their family heritage.

Their amazingly talented photographer was able to capture
 the most stunning photos in Ottawa’s Dominion Arboretum just as the cherry blossoms were showcasing their most perfect pink blooms for this long weekend wedding celebration. We were able to keep the bridal party smiling with drinks and music from the nearby party bus along with a well-planned timeline, which created a great atmosphere for everyone involved.

The Horticulture Building was transformed with DIY touches from a close family friend, Deirdre Stirling, who poured her heart and soul into bringing the couple’s vision for the celebration to life. With the help of a big team of family and friends, they were able to create an open yet intimate space for guests to enjoy signature cocktails, live musicians, and delicious treats from a fabulous local caterer.

Dinner was served family-style with bite-sized treats that were informal, yet elegant. The bride and groom wanted a unique menu starting with a delectable charcuterie board featuring plenty of meats, cheeses, and antipasto items; then served a fun and lighthearted mix of mini-sliders, grilled chicken and shrimp skewers, and twice-baked potatoes as their main course; and a delicious cheesecake in mini-mason jars for dessert.

The night ended with traditional Irish whiskey and a packed dance floor full of guests who enjoyed every bit of the evening and the details that included. A late night DIY luxury popcorn bar and pizza from a cherished family-favourite pizzeria accompanied cupcakes and other desserts prepared by family for this special day.

Jamie and Jon make such a genuine couple, with a strong love for everyone around them. Each of the vendors commented on what a joy
 it was to work with them and create 
a friendship from the very moment they met. It was a joy for everyone
 to be welcomed into their tightly-knit circle with open arms and lots of laughs. Our team wishes them nothing but a life of love and happiness. W

Winner: Courtney Elizabeth Events
Planners: Courtney Norris and Deirdre Stirling
Date of Wedding: May 21, 2016
Happy couple: Jamie Keeley and Jon Petten (now—Jon and Jamie Petten)
Ceremony Location: St. Patrick’s Basilica
Reception Venue: Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park

Ottawa Wedding Exp

Photographer: Amy Pinder Photography
Caterer: Culinary Conspiracy
Florist: Ottawa Flowers
Décor: Deirdre Stirling; DIY
with the help of close family and friends
DJ: Intelligent Audio Visual
Transportation: Capital Limousine
Wedding cake: Traditional Newfoundland baked by Sherry Petten
Sweets, treats, candy station: DIY popcorn bar; Kernel’s Popcorn
Wedding gown: Custom Anaise Anette from The Handmade Bride
Bridesmaid dresses: Amsale from With Love Bridal
Men’s wear: Brooks Brothers
Officiant: Father Pierre Champoux
Makeup: Olivia Foulkes Beauty and Justine Lambros
Hair: House of Morris and Kristina Mei
Jewellery: Ben Moss
Stationery: Minted
Invitations: Minted