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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.


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

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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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!


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

Traditional Ontario Wedding

These two are adorable.  And not just because they are high school sweethearts and called their wedding the “White Wedding”, a totally fun play on their last name.  Nope, it’s because you can just tell that they are soooo in love.  And in every beautiful image captured by Union Eleven Photographers, that love literally jumps from the computer screen.  See it all in the full gallery.


From the Bride… On July 13, 2013 I married the best man I have ever known. Greg and I started dating in high school and I knew right away that my grade 12 prom date would one day be my husband.

During the planning of our wedding we had decided to do a “first look” photo shoot with our photographer. Greg thought this might take the edge off and allow us to be more relaxed during our ceremony. I will never forget the jitters that I had while being escorted down to meet Greg for the first time on our wedding day. I saw him about 200 feet away with his back towards me and knew that the emotion to come would be like nothing I had ever experienced before. When I finally tapped Greg on the shoulder, he turned around and instantly started to cry. This was such a special moment- one that neither of us will ever forget.

Luckily for Greg the first look photo shoot really did take the edge off for the ceremony. Unlucky for me, as soon as I started walking down that aisle towards my future husband, I could not control the waterworks. We were married at NEXT restaurant in Stittsville on one of the hottest days of the summer. The ceremony was extremely personal and touching and I could not have dreamt of a more wonderful way for us to begin our married lives together.

Our “White Wedding” (a play on our last name) reception was a mix of soft lace and crystals with just the right amount of DIY projects to keep me occupied for 13 months! My initial thought when walking into our reception space was that I felt as though I was in heaven. The space just had such a light, fluffy and cloud like feel to it.

The only thing more beautiful than the wedding itself were the people who surrounded us with their love and adoration. Thanks to Kristin at Union Eleven Photographers, we will never forget the overwhelming emotions of our wedding day.

Photographer: Union Eleven Photographers | Flowers: Ottawa Flowers | Cake: Cake Ninja | Reception Venue: NEXT Restaurant | Bride's Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Bridesmaid's Dresses: BCBG Max Azria | Bride's Dress: Mikaella Bridal from With Love Bridal Boutique | Bride's Necklace: BCBG Max Azria | Decor: Details Ottawa | First Look Photos: Brookstreet Hotel

Romantic Engagement Session

Now this is a couple that knows how to celebrate their upcoming wedding.  A little something that may or may not have to do with their sky-high adorability factor (it’s a real thing), their total chicness or their serious happiness in each and every photo captured by Laura Kelly.  My guess?  It’s all of the above, and then some.  See so much more right here.

From Laura Kelly Photography… Kim and Jeremy are two of my sweetest friends, and when the time came for them to get engagement photos done, Kim and I started planning immediately!

I’m in love with the three different styles this shoot has to offer — the homey dog-walking look, the stylish downtown couple, and OF COURSE the romantic beachy vibe at the end. Kim made the save-the-date wine bottles herself with chalkboard paint and a chalk pen. So beautiful and perfect for these two wine lovers.

Photography: Laura Kelly Photography

Chateau Laurier Wedding from Joel Bedford Weddings

This wedding right here?  It’s the sort of wedding you obsess over.  A wedding that is sooo full of gorgeous details and heart skip a beat moments, you can’t seem to get enough.  I guess that’s what happens when a beautiful bride and groom join forces with a talented team of vendors (think Joel BedfordMillennium Blossoms and WOW Events)…. pure, unadulterated magic.  Click here for more.


Cindy and I often found ourselves in the same circle of friends when I moved to Ottawa in 2009. We would attend the same church, events, dinners, concerts and parties. From there Cindy and I developed from acquaintances to good friends in a matter of a couple years. We quickly realised that we had a lot more in common than originally thought. And after years of being friends, we naturally developed into being the happy couple we are today.

After a short seven months of dating, I knew that Cindy would be the woman I wanted to marry. I also knew that if I waited any longer I would run the risk of somehow ruining what I knew to be the best thing that will ever happen to me.

So on a mild September night, I convinced Cindy that she needed to attend a work function with me that was to be held at the National Art Gallery that evening. All was in place. When she arrived she was surprised by a security guard awaiting her at the front doors of the gallery prepared to escort her inside. She quickly realized that, along with the escort, she was the only person in the gallery. As her coat was taken, she was walked to the water bridge room of the gallery where she was surprised with champagne, flowers, an uncountable amount of candles, along with a nervous groom-to-be.

After a fumbled speech, a yes, and a couple of tears, we were quickly swept outside for pictures by a well-placed photographer. Minutes later, and after little convincing, I was able to talk Cindy into going for wine at our favourite restaurant, “Play.”

As we had arrived, Cindy, as well as all of our closest friends and family, were shocked to be a part of such a special occasion as they were all under the assumption they were simply attending a well-orchestrated “overdue night-out-on-the-town-dinner.”

We spent the remainder of the night laughing, drinking and celebrating.

The most memorable moment of our wedding was simply the party afterwards. There was a special energy in the hall that night that could be not be replicated while we were celebrating with family from all over the world and close friends. Cindy and I danced with a certain sense of heightened happiness, excitement, and relief that you just can’t plan for.

Our favourite wedding detail was the getaway car ride after the ceremony in the white mini-cooper. The car was decorated by Cindy’s sister with a “Just Married” sign and clanging strings of cans behind. The car ride on the gorgeous Ottawa River Parkway, as husband and wife, from the church to Major’s Hill Park was a fabulous private moment. It was so exciting when people, waved, honked, and yelled well-wishes and congratulations as we drove by. As for myself, I would have to say the music and the party. DJ Nick was phenomenal; he kept the party going all night long.

Our photographers Joel Bedford and his fiancé Justyna were awesome. When choosing a photographer we were not only concerned with the product but the people behind the camera. We figured they would be the people we would be forced to stare at all day and the last thing we wanted was to deal with someone unpleasant. But Justyna and Joel were wonderful. By the end of the night Cindy and I saw them more as guests then we did vendors. We would highly recommend them to anyone in need of amazing shots from amazing people.

If you are looking for the most fun, professional and talented videographers then look no further than RENO Video in Ottawa. Sylvain and Caroline made us feel comfortable and relaxed, which is hard to do with a camera in your face all day. They were fun and excited about our wedding from the moment we met them until the last moments of the night. They made sure to catch every great moment as it happened while blending in the crowd so naturally. We couldn’t be happier with our choice.


Photographer: Joel Bedford | Videographer: Reno Video | Wedding Planner: WOW Events | Floral Design: Millennium Blossoms – Rouida Kandalaft | Wedding Dress: Ines DiSanto | Cupcakes: The Cupcake Lounge | Stationery: Invitations by Dawn | Ceremony Venue: St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church | Bridesmaids' Dresses: The Dessy Group | Catering: Fairmont Chateau Laurier | DJ: DJ Nick | Favors: Donation to Coptic Orphans | Wedding Venue: The Chateau Laurier | Groomsmen Attire: Club Monaco | Hair + Makeup: Vasko Tadorov, Montreal | Suit: Hugo Boss

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Danford Lake Wedding from Studio G. R. Martin Photography

I adore each and every day on SMP Canada, but today is extra special. Today I get to share the wedding of a dear friend of mine (who is also somewhat responsible for me meeting my now hubby), and boy is it a pretty one. Not that I am surprised, that’s just how this little lady operates. Kelly has an understated elegance she carries with her everywhere she goes, and it played out beautifully as she tied the knot to her Mr. Right. Their lovely lake cottage set the scene for a perfect day (despite a few snafus) and was filled with details that had so much heart I could burst. It’s prettiness defined, and they deserve nothing less. Here’s to a lifetime of happiness you two, I couldn’t be happier for y’all…See all the gorgeous images from Studio G. R. Martin Photography right here.


From the Bride… Paul and I both grew up with cottages and love spending our weekends there. This past February we purchased our own cottage next door to my parents on Danford Lake and knew that this was the only place we wanted to host our wedding celebration. Our dock was the perfect place for a ceremony and my parents’ beach was the perfect spot for a reception. Our cottage will always be our “Special Place” and now, it’s even more special.

Finding a gown for an outdoor cottage wedding is challenging. I didn’t want anything too fancy or heavy, yet you I wanted to avoid the typical chiffon destination-style gown. After 6 or 7 bridal shops I found the perfect elegant form-fitting dress at With Love Bridal Boutique.

Birch and blue hydrangeas were the focus point of our decorations. We handcrafted everything from birch trees that were cut down on our property. Our biggest creation was the birch bar, and the theme was supported by our birch candles, birch tags for the mason jars, birch cupcake stands and birch platters.

Outdoor weddings can have it’s challenges when it come to weather!! The Friday afternoon before our wedding, a massive storm that sparked tornado warnings, swept through southern Ontario and Quebec leaving over 400,000 customers without power. Our task turned from setting up decorations in the tent to “saving the tent”…..Trees fell down all over and on our property. One tree landed on a guest’s car! Thankfully our tents did not fly away but were partially damaged. We were left out of power and obviously, a little shaken up!

Our families and bridal party bond grew stronger together and made the best of the situation. We rented 6 generators in order to be able to power the DJ booth, the kitchen (that was to be used by the caterers) and all the lighting. The bridesmaid and I were able to locate 4 big Hydro-Quebec trucks on the highway, pull them over and convinced them (ok, bribed them, even with brownies…) to come fix our power first. We must have been blessed by a hydro worker with a big heart because our power came back by 8pm the next day just in time for the cake cutting. The generators worked great until then and our 100 guests had been fed ..

An outdoor wedding at a cottage is very challenging to plan. You have to think of everything! Tent and table rentals, porta-potties and hand washing station, lighting and accent lighting, dishes and cutlery, entertainment, alcohol and beverages, safety because we were next to a lake, etc. More importantly, you need to find the right vendors that are willing to drive to your cottage and help create your vision. Overall, having a cottage wedding was more work than we anticipated (and more expensive!), but in the end it was more special and personable than we could have ever imagined.

Photography: Studio G. R. Martin Photography | Floral Design: Fleurs Illico | Cake: La Boite à Gateaux | Wedding Bands: Jubilee | Catering: The Mixing Bowl | Suits: Moores | Bride's Jewelry: With Love Bridal Boutique | Bridemaids Dresses: J.Crew | Tents and Rentals: Big Top Tents | Wedding Invitation: Studiono8