Tamara and Jeff

Mill St. Brew Pub Wedding

Laid Back and Beautiful

Photos by Phillipa Maitland Photography
Compiled by Pam Dillon

“A handsome man with some serious dance moves caught my eye,” says Tamara. It was November of 2011 at the Crazy Horse in Kanata. That’s when Tamara met Jeff. They chatted, they danced, then Jeff asked for her number.
The next day, he called. Six weeks later, Jeff invited her to fly to Victoria, BC to spend New Year’s. “It didn’t take long for me to realize that he was the person I wanted to wake up with each morning and say goodnight to each night,” Tamara says.

Three years later, after dinner at a downtown restaurant, as they admired the sunset by Parliament Hill, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. The answer was an enthusiastic yes.

They planned their wedding for September 10, 2016, and they chose The Mill Street Brew Pub as their venue. Both wanted a big party. “Our goal was for everyone to have fun. From incorporating little bits of humour into our ceremony to keeping the speeches short and lighthearted and everyone on the dance floor, we hoped to have the greatest time with our friends and families.”

Tamara had an additional priority: her dress. She discovered it at With Love Bridal Boutique. “Despite having no clue what I wanted when I started shopping, I fell in love with a full lace fit and flare gown.” It was the Pierce design by Maggie Sottero.

She had her makeup done by Shanna Brazeau and had unique bracelets made for her bridesmaids via Katye Landry Designs. The couple tapped Ottawa Flowers, Suzy Q Doughnuts and Morris Formalwear for other aspects of their day.

The wedding’s style is best described as “laid back, simple and beautiful,” Tamara says. Gold, white and ivory were used for decor and accents, and the team from Sage Designs created ceiling draping/lighting that led to a backdrop. Flowers and tea lights were incorporated into the look, and rather than a guest book, the couple had a large wooden C painted white for guests to sign. “It is now displayed in our home.”

The day had many personal elements. At the ceremony, members of the wedding party passed Tamara and Jeff’s rings down the line, telling them what they wished for their future. The couple wrote their own vows, and danced down the aisle after the ceremony.

“We decided not to have any communication the day of, leading up to our ceremony, so we were like a couple of kids in a candy store when we first got to see each other,” Tamara recalls. “We were so focused on one another that our officiant (Trudy Garland from All Seasons) actually had to call us to attention. It was slightly embarrassing, but our loved ones got a good laugh at us.”

At the tables, another traditional detail was replaced with a unique expression of caring. “Most of our loved ones know how much we adore our one-eyed rescue dog Sunshine.” So in lieu of wedding favours, a donation to the Ottawa Humane Society was made in honour of the guests, and at each place setting there was a personalized post card with photos of Sunshine and a message from the couple.

At the reception, Jeff happily took the lead on tapping a cask of beer for the guests, but there was another, unanticipated highlight. “A mariachi band showed up to serenade us,” Tamara exclaims. “One of Jeff’s groomsmen is Mexican and had secretly arranged for a surprise visit from the band. We had a great time on the dance floor enjoying their performance.”

From start to finish, she describes the day as incredible. “I didn’t want it to end. I got to marry the most incredible man and have all of our family and friends from across Canada there to celebrate with us. What more could I ask for?”

Mill St. Brew Pub Wedding




Carol-Ann and Xavier

Bride Name
Carol-Ann Morin
Groom Name
Xavier Fernandez Le Bras
Date of Wedding
Lachérie Photographie
Reception Held at
Hôtel Intercontinental
Wedding Dress
Boutique Champagne!
Groom’s Fashions From
Mercerie G.Brabant
Bride’s Hair By
Highlight Maquillage
Bride’s Make-Up By
Highlight Maquillage
Cake By
Baiser velouté
Flowers By
Binette et filles Inc.
Invitations By
Mayline Confections
Other Vendors
Wedding Planner: Matrimoniom, Planification de mariage
Videographer: Stamina videos
Jewelry : Bijouterie Burelle
Decor : Tenue de soirée
Decor : Sofa to go

Nathalie and Olivier


Rustic and Unique

compiled by Ariel Vered
photos by Annemarie Gruden

Nathalie and Olivier met online five years ago. Both still in school, “we were quite busy and didn’t have much time to devote to dating,” she said. Nathalie even canceled their first date because she was too busy with exams. A few months later, she rescheduled and they’ve been together ever since.

The couple have a tradition of taking a trip to Quebec City every summer, so on their trip in the summer of 2016, Nathalie suspected a proposal might be coming. “I was kind of expecting it because it’s our little paradise over there,” she said. “He was really nervous so I knew something was up.” Nathalie had previously mentioned that when a proposal happened, she just wanted it to be the two of them. Olivier waited until every other person had left the park and got down on one knee to ask Nathalie to marry him.

Nathalie found her wedding dress at With Love Bridal Boutique. The Mikaella gown was an all lace fit and flare dress with exposed boning on the bodice. “I had tried on about 20 dresses before that and when I put on that dress, I just knew it was that one,” said Nathalie. “I can’t say why. They say that you know when it’s the one and that’s the feeling I got.”

They chose to get married at Strathmere, one of the first venues to come up when Nathalie Googled “wedding venues” and the first one that the couple visited. The couple was incredibly impressed by the staff, down to the simple gesture of o ering them free co ee from the café. “It felt like they cared and wanted to take care of us and knew how to take care of the wedding,” said Nathalie. “We knew right away that we wanted to get married at Strathmere.”

The ceremony and party were both held outside. The couple wanted their wedding to have a rustic country feel, but still be unique. “I’d call it a natural vibe,” said Nathalie. “I wanted everything to be really natural and a bit more casual.” Nathalie’s bouquet of wild flowers looked so natural, in fact, that someone asked her if she’d arranged it herself. In fact, the bouquet was a surprise even to Nathalie, who had simply asked the florist for a bouquet of wildflowers. She dry-pressed the flowers to preserve them and mounted them on a frame in their home. The meal was catered by the staff at Strathmere. Instead of a wedding cake, the couple opted for eight different flavours of cupcakes from The Cupcake Lounge.

“Everything is blurry from the wedding…but the moment I remember most was right before the ceremony I got to meet Olivier and have our rst look,” said Nathalie. “It was just the two of us. It was nice to get a moment away from everyone and have a moment together. It got a lot of the stress out of the way. When I think of the wedding, that’s what I think of.” W


Wedding Books Worth a Read

It’s always fun to check out and read the latest books related to engagement and wedding planning. These two new titles  are well worth a read.


Oh No, They’re Engaged!: A Sanity Guide for the Mother of the Bride or Groom

By Joy Smith

This book will help any mother (and bride-to-be) carry off her parental role in planning with dignity and common sense, while explaining the execution of a traditional wedding. Included is vital information on advising the couple on emotional decisions, relationship issues and budget concerns. From controlling expenses to managing the guest list, this handy guide provides all of the information necessary to helping a son or daughter have the wedding of their dreams. As a parent, your life is about to change, and this will have far reaching effects. Who could guess the spark of a tiny diamond has the power to ignite the flurry of activities and emotions following the engagement of a daughter or son? Marriage is a turning point in your son or daughter’s life, a commitment to a future as a responsible adult with a family to care for. When the reality meets the dream, I guarantee your child will rely on you for help in crossing over. This special time in your life gifts you with closeness to your child, even as it thrills and scares you to death.


Wedding & Reception Planning: The Etiquette Guide for Planning the Perfect Wedding

By Rebecca Black and Walker Black

Planning a wedding can be exhausting. Worse yet, the process can strain relationships to the breaking point, especially with our ever-growing extended family filled with “exes.” However, if we know how to plan correctly, we take fewer false steps. The entire bridal party knows each step of the process. More importantly, if planned with this recently revised book and proper etiquette in mind, your wedding could be the event guests rave about for years. The author`s advice walks you through it all. W

Compiled by R. Legault.


Creative Ways to Wow Your Wedding Guests

wedding guests

Fun, Fancy and Fresh: Capturing the vibe of the season

by Ariel Vered

Small, intimate weddings are gaining popularity as couples seek to celebrate in a unique style but that doesn’t mean colour is taking a back seat in achieving that special wedding vision for this year’s bride.

Tying the knot means tying together all the loose ends needed to perfectly pair your wedding theme to everything from wedding colours, food design, dessert trends and table settings. The possibilities are endless for a wedding that captures the easygoing, light and refreshing vibes of the season. Let’s look at some of the fun and trendy ways couples will ‘wow’ their guests this spring and summer.

‘Tis the season

The warm weather seasons are all about living life to the fullest. Your wedding’s colour scheme should reflect the tremendous joy, happiness and good energy of your special day. There is a trend toward bold, vivacious colours that will add just the right pop of colour against any wedding gown or bridesmaid dress. The popular colours for 2018 are pearlescent hues and jewel tones. ink vibrant reds and pinks to add a splash of rich, lively colour to your wedding vision or go for a sunnier yellow or orange. Metallic, iridescent shades always add a feeling of luxury.

Small, intimate weddings are gaining popularity as couples seek to celebrate and focus on connecting with the people who have helped nurture their relationship. This also allows the couple to spend more money on aspects of the wedding that are important to them, whether it’s the venue, food or decor. A smaller head count also opens up the possibility for a greater selection of interesting outdoor venues.

Sweet trends

There is a move away from elaborate wedding cakes. As long as there’s a small cake for the bride and groom to cut (if you choose to do that tradition), there are so many sugary possibilities to put an exclamation mark on your wedding meal. Couples are choosing dessert tables that enable the guests to sample a plethora of sweets. Instead of a wedding cake with tiers of different flavours, go for cupcakes in a variety of flavours. Give your caterers your wedding colours and oral choices and see what decoration they come up with; caterers are having fun giving the newlyweds a gorgeous surprise they didn’t expect when the cake is brought out.

Setting the scene

The rustic boho theme is still popular, especially for outdoor summer weddings. Simplified elegance is an always classic wedding vision. Shades of whites and pearlescent hues with pops of colour will bring a light, airy feel to your wedding. Mix rustic, natural pieces and oral patterns with the subtle glam of glass vases and metallic touches for an on-trend wedding aesthetic. Vintage vibes never get old. Incorporate family heirlooms and antiques to add some nostalgia to your décor.

Bold flavours

Your wedding meal is a chance to make a lasting impression. Give your guests a meal to remember by choosing flavours that stand out from the standard wedding fare. Instead of planning a meal that plays it safe with classic wedding dishes, get bold with seasonal ingredients and inventive plating. Challenge your caterer to come up with an out-of-the-box menu. Create a menu that speaks to you as a couple and is a fusion of your family backgrounds, cultures or personal palates. Buffet and food stations are a great option to bring a variety of bites and eases the pressure of food restrictions. Given the rise in dietary restrictions, vegan options are becoming a popular xture of wedding menus and they can be as flavourful and interesting as any other dishes. One of the big colours of 2018 is rose gold, a great colour to incorporate into your wedding’s food design. Want to add some glitz to the plate? Here’s a wild idea: Sprinkle edible glitter to make your wedding food design really sparkle. W

Kim and James


Fun Love

Compiled by Ariel Vered
Photos by Stacey Stewart

Kim met James on a dating website eight years ago. “I had five dates that week,” remembers Kim, “and he was the funniest. He wasn’t the most stylish, but he was the one that made me laugh.”

They hit it off instantly. After one year together, she met his kids and they moved in together, blending their different lifestyles: country for him (he grew up on a family farm in Chesterville) and city for her (she is from Ottawa).

James proposed in December 2015, hiding the ring in the Christmas tree. The problem: Kim couldn’t see it amongst the big Christmas lights. “I wear glasses, so things reflect,” she said. “He had to point it out!”

The couple wanted to get married right away. They chose to get married at Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm, a one-stop shop that helped them plan all aspects of the wedding, including catering the food. “For someone like me that works full-time, they do basically everything for you,” she said. “It’s very handy.” The venue captured their style of wedding, which was casual, fun, camping, on the farm vibe. It was centrally located for guests coming from Ottawa and Chesterville, and having it on a farm was a nod to James’ farm upbringing.

Kim walked down the aisle in a Stella York dress with a sweetheart neckline. “I don’t wear a lot of fancy, dressy clothes,” she said. “I wanted something very simple.” She also wore her signature glasses for the wedding. “ There’s not a lot of representation of ladies with glasses,” she said. “I don’t see a lot of that in the magazine. Even to google online for ideas for hair, there was nothing.”

The couple included James’ kids in the wedding party as junior bridesmaid and groomsman. Kim wrote their wedding vows, which included jokes about Ford Motors, zombies and time management. “We laughed the entire time,” she said. The couple’s goofiness continued during their wedding pictures, which also featured James’ Boss 302 Mustang — “everybody knows that’s his second love,” said Kim.

Making sure their guests had fun was a priority for the couple. While they took wedding pictures, the guests played camp games and gathered around a bonfire. Later in the evening, they surprised their guests with fireworks. “We got everyone outside saying that we were going to do a group picture,” said Kim. “It was dark outside. I don’t know how they thought we were going to do it. But everyone really enjoyed the fireworks.”

The wedding was full of unconventional touches. In lieu of table numbers, they named the tables after places and things they love and tailored to who was seated at the table. The couple had a popcorn bar instead of a wedding cake. And as a departure from the standard tinging of glasses, there was a ‘kitty for the kitties.’ Guests were invited to deposit loonies and toonies into a cat-shaped piggy bank if they wanted the couple to kiss. They donated the money, which ended up being $150, to a cat shelter in Merrickville. It was a wedding that captured the couple’s fun, casual vibe. Kim and James danced their first dance as husband and wife to Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters.” “If you listen to the words,” said Kim, “it meant more to us than any kind of frou-frou love song.” W