SUBMIT WEDDING
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Elegant Ontario Wedding

This is a day that starts out with a pair of gorgeous glittery gold peep toes and just never stops being fabulous.  From the stunning fuchsia dotted blooms from Flowers Talk to the exquisite stylings of Dahlia Decor to the non-stop awesomeness captured by Joel Bedford Photography, it’s a wedding that perfectly mixes traditional details with rustic stylings and everything in between.  See it all here.

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Summer
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Art Venue

From The Bride… Saeed and I got married on the first day of the most beautiful summer. I have to say I’m a little biased… and even though our wedding has come and gone, I truly feel as though it will always remain our “best day ever.”

During the initial stages of planning, we knew a few things for certain: Who we wanted to photograph our wedding, and where we wanted to have it. The rest fell into place over the next year of planning (and countless hours on pinterest..duh!)

My main inspiration for the wedding came from our trip to Cinque Terre, Italy, where Saeed had proposed a year earlier. The colors, the smells, the people, the history…everything about cinque terre was a surreal dream. I wanted to bring a little bit of that back and pay homage to it on our special day.  Our dessert table was reflective of this. I gave Lidia of Petite Event Co and Catherine of Catherine’s cakery my vision and they brought it to life!

Our wedding incorporated a little bit of our cultures, and since Saeed and I grew up in Canada, we wanted to modernize it as well as include parts of our traditions that we felt represented us. The Persian table ceremony (sofreh Aghd) took place on the roof overlooking the beautiful chateau laurier and the canal. The design and execution of the ceremony table was the most challenging aspect of planning our wedding, mainly because I had to educate myself on the custom, source all supplies, and of course, make it my own!

We designed and printed our own invitations, this I have to credit to Saeed for the endless hours he spent creating them. The invitations sparked our love for blackboards which we used quite a bit at the wedding! (Despite our parents telling us they looked like invitations to a funeral.)  We further personalized them by adding our own envelope liners. There were a lot of DIY elements to our wedding as well. The centerpiece birch boxes with gold glitter, the gold vases on the buffet table, the place cards and personalized thank you cards were all made with love. Instead of a sign-in book for the guests, we wanted to do something a little different, something that represents our love for travel. We had our guests sign a beautiful map of the world which we framed in a frame we hand painted gold to match our color scheme. This would serve as piece we could include in our home as a beautiful memory of our friends and family. In and around as well as outside our tent, on cruiser tables and orchard boxes, we also had several frames with our favorite love quotes. I chose quotes that best signified my feelings for Saeed.

We wanted to make sure our guests were going to have an unforgettable night, as well. We did this with some of our favorite things. First, we hired a sushi chef to make sushi on the spot for our guests during cocktail hour; this is how Saeed and I met… you could say we love sushi, A LOT. Second, we rented an old school carnival popcorn machine. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but put a bag of popcorn in front of me, and I will devour it! Lastly, we hired a caricature artist. It was completely unexpected, and people had so much fun with it! Not to mention, they each received a unique keepsake that they took home at the end of the night.

There were so many incredible moments during our day. Saeed and I had our first look earlier on, along with only our photographers and two best friends. I wouldn’t change this for the world! I managed to get most of my messy crying out of the way (Phew!!!). It was also important for me to have a first look with my dad, and I’m grateful for the moment we had together when it seemed like no one was watching.

Our first dance was emotional, but it was the last dance that really made me realize just how crazy lucky we were. At that point most of the guests had gone home, and the only people left were our closest and bestest friends. Saeed and I were slow dancing to Aladdin’s “A Whole New World”… obviously our favorite movie. Before I knew it our friends were all dancing in a closed circle around us singing a whole new world to us in sync and yet so out of tune. It was truly the most amazing moment of the night!!!

The day could not have gone so perfectly without our incredibly talented vendors, some of which went above and beyond what was asked for, and we will forever be grateful to them!  Joel and Justyna of Joel Bedford Photography are a mind-blowingly talented team that has a way of making you feel so comfortable even when you’re out of your element. We had SO much fun with them taking pictures that I didn’t care that my dress got so dirty before I even walked down the aisle! Lidia of Petite Event Co. masterfully created our beautiful dessert table, as well as some other décor aspects of our wedding. She is so talented, yet remains so humble. My hair and makeup team were superstars!

Everyone came together that day to help out in any way they could. You truly feel like the luckiest person. One of the best feelings in the world (besides eating a huge bucket of popcorn) is to be surrounded by people who are willing to travel near and far to be by your side, to watch you commit to the love of your life. We are so darn lucky!

Photography: Joel Bedford | Wedding Gown: McCaffrey Haute Couture | Cake: Catherine's Cakery | Catering: Les Grillades | Make Up: Faces By Noah | Hair: Kirsty MacDonald | DJ: In Touch Media | Decor: Dahlia Decor | Florals: Flowers Talk | Sweets Table: Petite Event Co. | Venue: National Art Centre

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Romantic Vintage Inspired Wedding

Can we just talk about how seriously gorgeous this Anna Campbell wedding gown is for a moment, please?  Like, really take a moment to soak in its incredible beauty?  Because this isn’t just any gown… it’s a drop-dead gorgeous stunner that perfectly compliments the breathtaking bride and her amazing romantic meets vintage wedding.  See every fabulous DIY (!) moment captured by Joel Bedford right here.

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Summer
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Museum

From the Bride… With a year of long-distance planning from Australia, and a lot of help from family, friends and vendors, we were able to pull off our perfect wedding day! As Peter’s family were travelling from Perth Australia, and mine from all over Canada, we wanted to make sure our day was filled with love, laughter, tasty food, and lots of dancing. I think we pulled it off!

Our theme for our wedding day was vintage, romantic elegance, with a soft colour palette of mint, peach and gold. Our ceremony and reception took place in the stunning Restaurant Des-Beaux Arts in the National Gallery of Canada. The venue is perfectly situated in downtown Ottawa and looks out onto the Ottawa river, Nepean Point and Parliament Hill. It was an ideal location to show off my home town to our out-of-town guests.

From start to finish our wedding day went off without a hitch. Our photographers, Joel & Justyna, were amazing!  They coordinated all sorts of shots, as we had no clue where to go in Ottawa. They also helped two very camera shy people become relaxed in front of the camera.

Our food caterer, Thyme and Again, were incredibly accommodating and made us feel well looked after. Their food was excellent and their wait staff were attentive. We had arranged to have Pavlova as our dessert (something for the Aussie’s). Not only did Bridget, the Catering Coordinator, provide us with a yummy dessert, she remembered me mentioning, in one of our meetings, that I love dark chocolate and added a truffle onto each plate. It was a small gesture that put a big smile on my face.

The wedding DJ, DJ Mellow Dee, was highly recommended by two friends. He did not disappoint. Days after our wedding guests were still talking about how amazing he was.

To keep our wedding budget down, we really wanted to try and do as much DIY stuff as possible and also get help from our talented family members. My brilliant cousin created our floral arrangements for our tables. For table numbers, we collected vintage themed postcards from all the different cities Peter and I have visited.

My brother is excellent with a camera and was our videographer for the day (only one of his many roles). He captured each special moment on film and two days after the wedding he had already edited and posted our video for all our friends and family to see. It also was something we could easily share with the family members who were unable to attend the wedding.

My graphic design savvy friends helped create the programs, place cards and wedding signage. I also found several free downloadable signs online and used Vistaprint for printing.

My brother-in-law’s family tap their own maple syrup, so they supplied us with eight gallons of syrup for our wedding favours. We never realized how much work goes into bottling maple syrup. The hard work paid off though, as they turned out beautifully! Also, the Australians were thrilled to take a bottle back home.

Peter gave me full creative freedom for our big day. He trusted my vision and put up with my crazy little details. The one and only stipulation he had was he wanted our wedding cake to be his family’s traditional fruit cake. My Mom took on that challenge and made this family favourite recipe. In case people didn’t want fruit cake, we had three additional smaller cakes (vanilla, chocolate and red velvet) from a local bakery. I then found the ‘Mr & Mrs’ cake topper on Etsy from Paper Treats.

We can’t say the lead up to the day wasn’t without any stress; two weeks before our wedding, we received the news that my mother might not make it to our wedding. She has been battling cancer for years and had recently taken a turn for the worse. With unbelievable support from family and friends, we made it through and so did she. One of our favourite wedding moments was seeing my mother on the dance floor dancing late into the night.

We are so very grateful for all the love and support we received from all those around us. We will cherish this day forever.

Photography: Joel Bedford | Florist: Elise Schmitz - Toast Events | Wedding Gown: Anna Campbell | Cakes: Artistic Cakes & Bride’s Mother | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Etsy (Renz Rags) | Make Up: Amanda Hickman From Pro Make-Up Group | Hair: Lori Dyck - Showpony | DJ: Dwight Grant (aka DJ Mellow Dee) | Tuxes: Moores (Vera Wang) | Celebrant: Patti Koeslag | Ceremony Musicians: Capital Strings | Decor Rental : Amy + Jen | Floral Arrangements: Elizabeth Munro | Flowergirl Dress: John Lewis | Reception Venue + Ceremony: National Gallery Of Canada

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Casual City Engagement Session

Let me assure you there’s NO better place to start your Friday than this little ol’ gallery. Why, you ask? It’s jam-packed with engagement sweetness captured by Joel Bedford and just might inspire you to book a love session of your own. Happy swooning!

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Summer
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Outdoor
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Casual

From Joel Bedford… We photographed these two lovers in late summer. They had just become engaged, and are putting their wedding off for a little while as Alia finishes medical school and David wraps up his PhD. We gallivanted around Ottawa with these two – from coffee shop to canal, rooftop and park. If these two were any more elegant and in love, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. We had originally planned an evening shoot but it poured that night, so we met up at 9 am the next day – they woke up like this. No joke. #beautifulinlove

Photography: Joel Bedford