This may be one of the coolest wedding stories, like, EVER! This bride and groom were gifted their dream wedding by Laura Kelly Photography and a slew of other super-talented Ontario vendors after the bride placed second in a contest put on by a local radio station where the winner received a fully paid-for wedding! Feeling like this bride also deserved to win, Kennedy Event Planning, Full Bloom Floral Design and Scrumptious Catering (just to name a few) pooled together to put on a gorgeous outdoor soirée for 30 of the couple’s nearest and dearest! Check out the rest right here-and don’t miss the sweet film by Know by Heart!
From Laura Kelly Photography… Erika and Eddy used to be just two people in love, walking around Ottawa, Canada, thinking about planning their wedding. And then Hot 899 (a popular radio station in our lovely city!) announced a contest called Runaway Bride. The contest was that two brides-to-be would be dropped off at Parliament Hill in the morning, and they would have seven hours to get as far away as possible (with rules like not being able to physically touch a phone, and a 10-minute time limit for riding in a car or on a bus, etc.). And the prize? A complete wedding package valued at over $55,000. Erika didn’t waste any time filling out her application and brought it down to the station with crossed fingers and a vague feeling that their application would be chosen. And she was right — Hot 899 narrowed it down to 50 couples and treated them to brunch where two names would be drawn. When Erika’s name was called, she barely had enough time to put her game face on before the competition started. I remember that I had four shoots on the day of the contest, and every time I got back into the car, I’d listen for the updates on Runaway Bride. At 4:55 p.m., I pulled into my driveway, and stuck around so that I could hear the winner. For the whole day, I had been rooting for Erika because she sounded so sweet during all of her interviews. I listened as they announced Kathleen as the winner and waited for the part where they would tell Erika about her runner-up prize. But that never really happened…
I ran inside, checked the Hot 899 Facebook page for updates and saw that the last photo that was posted was of Erika running in the home stretch. So I left a comment on the photo, something along the lines of, “ERIKA! You did so good! Girl, call me up and I’ll shoot your wedding for free, we can just pretend that you won.” I figured Erika would never see my post because I assumed it would get buried by all of the posts about the winner, but I felt it was worth a shot. But then one of Erika’s friends, who follows me on Twitter, saw my tweet, took a photo of it with her phone and sent it to Erika. About three hours later, I got a friend request from a certain Erika Osbourne. I got SO excited when I saw that and immediately sent her a message letting her know I was serious about my offer. She sounded so grateful when she wrote me back. I read about how she had such a great experience with the contest, but that their uncertain job security wouldn’t allow them to get married any time soon. I’m pretty sure she expected me to say, “Aww, too bad!” but instead, I went home, paced around my kitchen for an hour and decided to call the wedding guru. I called Shannon at Kennedy Event Planning and rambled for 10 minutes about how I had this crazy idea but no clue how to start working on it. I thought she would call me crazy and tell me to let it go, but instead she said, “I’m in.” We made it our mission to get an amazing team together to sponsor a wedding for Erika and Eddy. And thanks to the girl I call the wedding guru, we did it.
Erika and Eddy were married on July 15th, 2012, among 30 of their closest friends and family. Everything — the jewelry, dress, limo, cake, champagne, etc. — was sponsored by our amazing creative team. The wedding went off without a hitch. Shannon at Kennedy Event Planning wanted to make sure that Erika and Eddy were involved on as much of the planning as possible. Erika was drawn to a color palette of orange, pink, cream and white, and Shannon ran with it. She incorporated peaches into every last detail and created a gorgeous, delicate, romantic event that took Erika and Eddy’s breath away. When they pulled up to Stonefields Heritage Farm on the day of the wedding, they had absolutely NO idea what to expect. Like I said, they picked the colors and let Shannon run with it. Erika took me aside at one point during the day just to say that she was so thrilled with how everything turned out, but even more so … completely overwhelmed. Capturing the details was really important to me, because I knew that after the wedding, she would look at my photos and see things she didn’t get a chance to see during the wedding day. Most brides know exactly what details are on their tables, but this was such a different situation. I can’t tell you how magical this event ended up being … a creative team got together and pulled out all the stops to create a dream wedding for two people who said “I do” while barely having the words to describe how they felt. Erika and Eddy hold a special place in all of our hearts.
From the Bride… My name is Erika, and I am one half of Esquared, a couple that was recently married thanks to Laura Kelly Photography. My husband (that word still gives me goosebumps!) is Eddy. We had been going through some tough times with job losses and had to postpone our wedding due to the financial strain. I had applied, and was successful, in securing one of two spots for a local radio contest in which the grand prize was a dream wedding. The competition was a long day of grueling physical activity, and while it was incredibly fun, it was also very strenuous. Unfortunately I was not the ultimate winner, and there was no consolation prize. Eddy and I were going to have to wait quite some time before we would be able to be married. However, Laura Kelly did not think that was good enough. She spoke with some of Ottawa’s finest wedding vendors, and through a lot of hard work, perseverance, love and dedication, she (along with Shannon Kennedy of Kennedy Events), she gave Eddy and I a beautiful, spectacular, absolutely gorgeous wedding FOR FREE! The kindness and generosity that was extended to us through complete strangers was absolutely over whelming and surreal. It was completely unexpected and blew our minds. I am so fortunate enough to sit here typing this email to you as Mrs. Harrison. This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Laura Kelly and Shannon Kennedy.
Wedding Photography: Laura Kelly Photography / Wedding Venue: Stonefields Heritage Farm in Beckwith, Ontario / Event Design + Planning: Kennedy Event Planning / Floral Design: Full Bloom Floral Design / Wedding Cinematography: Know By Heart / Catering: Scrumptious Catering / Wedding Cake: It’s a Matter of Cake / Wedding Invitations: Wishtree Invitations & Stationery, Inc. / Entertainment: Professional Entertainment Group / Wedding Dress: Jacquelin Bridals Exclusive via With Love Bridal Boutique / Shoes: TOMS / Jewelry: True Bijoux