Robyn and Adam's wedding day happened to be my last wedding of the 2019 fall season, and I honestly think I could not have finished the season on a higher note! The two got married at Mill St Brew Pub surrounded by their closest family and friends. The personal touches scattered throughout the day really made for a unique and memorable day. From the custom made gifts, to the prank First Look with Adam and one of the groomsmen, to incorporating their loveable dog Bentley into their super sweet ceremony, an adult flower girl (Adam's sister) the two had a truly personalized day that every guest definitely appreciated, myself included! It's easy to know after spending a day with them and their loved ones that the two are some of the most genuine and fun people you will ever meet! Oh, and I should probably mention that Adam started off his day with doing THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE!!!!
I started off my day with Robbie and her girls as they got ready at the nearby Ottawa Marriott Hotel, while my second photographer Emily was with Adam and the guys. Wait til you see Adam's reaction to the ice-cold water falling onto his head! I'm telling you, these two were just the right amount of crazy-fun for my liking! ;) Keep reading and you'll see what I mean!
After pinning on the boutonnieres and buttoning up the dress, it was time for one of my MOST FAVOURITE wedding traditions: a daddy-daughter First Look!
*Insert the sobbing face emoji*.
The mirror on the wall was giving me some SERIOUS heart eyes from the minute I walked into the room. I knew I had to use it as much as we could for photos.
We hid Robyn in the bathroom, while we walked dad over to a cozy spot on the couch. We told him to keep his eyes closed until his daughter was in front of him, and well, you'll see the rest!!!
Remember how I said the two were the right kind of crazy-fun?! (I mean that with love BY THE WAY!)
Robyn emailed me a and the videographer a couple of days before the wedding to let us in on the fact that she had a surprise planned, without Adam's knowledge. She was going to dress up one of the groomsmen in a wedding dress and use him to play a prank on Adam during their First Look!!!! I had seen photos from other prankster-weddings doing this funny new tradition but I had never been able to witness this gag in person before. I was stoked!
More on what a First Look is all about will be coming later on the blog!
Adam took it like a champ!!! Just moments later, while Adam's heart was certainly still racing, Robyn snuck on over and...
Time to go get married!!!
Remember how I said these two had a really personalized and fun wedding day?! One of my very favourite parts of the day is coming up, and I'll give you a clue: IT INVOLVES DOGS!!!
Adam's sister and flower girl read a poem about dogs! Get the kleenex...
"Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride together - enjoy the experience of the fresh air and wind on your face.
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
When you want treats, practice obedience.
Take naps together. Run, romp and play daily. Be loyal.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout,
run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk together,
and love each other unconditionally."
The happy tears didn't stop there. Adam and Robyn surprised their moms with roses, as thank yous for all the sacrifices and sleepless nights of parenthood they surely endured.
We made our way over to the old mill, which was a few steps away from the restaurant.
As we were walking over, with Robyn and Adam ahead of us in the staircase, Emily (my second photographer) shouted (like we photographers often do when we suddenly see the perfect shot:
"WAIT!" And then this happened.
Side note: I love when a couple is down to climb some rocks to get kickass wedding photos!
Time to go party!!!
Ok, BY FAR the CRAZIEST THING at their wedding was the dessert bar!!! I mean just LOOK at this MONSTER!!!!! I think this was the exact conversation between Adam and me once I had laid eyes on this amazing arrangement of sweets:
Me: Holy sh*t Adam!!!!!!!!! This is insane!!!!!
Adam: Yep, we don't f*ck around!!!!!!!
There was a cake. There were cupcakes of all kinds. There even was a candy bar AND OMG THERE WAS A DONUT WALL!!!!!!! Insta-drool.
OK, SO BOUQUET TOSS:
To the unmarried ladies - my words of advice after watching many bouquet tosses over the years???
IT'S ALMOST ALWAYS, FRONT ROW CENTER!
Told ya! ;)
A few more traditions and that wrapped up the night and the fall wedding season for me!!
As for Robbie and Adam? For their honeymoon, the two travelled to Italy for a romantic road trip! I (along with their friends and families, I'm sure) lived vicariously through their wine and food infused Instagram stories for the duration of their trip.
Congrats Robyn and Adam! I can't wait to see what life has in store for you both, and Bentley of course!
- xo Val
Wedding dream team:
Main photographer: Valerie Miles Photography
Second shooter: Emily Dozois
Videographer: Red Dog Digital
Hairstylist: Michele Julien
Makeup artist: Olivia Foulkes Makeup Artist
Florist: Stoneblossom Floral
Getting ready location: Ottawa Marriott Hotel
Ceremony + reception venue: Mill St Brew Pub
Officiant: Jim Emerson of Enduring Promises Inc.
Wedding planner/coordinator: Christine from Mill St Brew Pub
DJ: Matt Topic
Cupcakes: Batter Up Bakery
Cake: Alyssa Ashton
Donuts: Mavericks Donuts
Catering: Mill St Brew Pub
Bride’s dress: Adamyk Bridal
Bridesmaids dresses: Lulus
Groomsmen + groom attire: Indochino
Invitations: Designed by the groom, printed at Allegra Marketing Print Mail
Wine Stopper Favours: MyfairGuestBook from Etsy
Caro and Martin go WAY BACK! They've been together for a decade, and you can just tell when a couple has been together for so long because you see them able to communicate with each other sometimes without even using words. You see it in Caro and Martin, and it's just SO sweet to see!
On the day they got married, the weather was rain in the early afternoon, but by the evening time, the sun came out which allowed us to sneak in some really AWESOME sunset shots on the golf course.
Their wedding was honestly such a blast, and I think it's easy to see that in their photos!!! I also happen to be friends with quite a few of the guests in attendance, so of course, that made for a really wicked good time. I may have even stayed a little extra longer just to enjoy the dance floor.
I started off my day with Caro and the girls at the Brookstreet Hotel, while my second photographer extraordinaire Emily was with Martin and the boys to capture them getting ready. I always LOVE this part of the day, because I feel like it really does set the tone for the day that is to come. There are usually TONS of laughter, some jokes, just a bit of nerves, but it's ALWAYS a good time to see the bride and groom hang out with their closest family and friends.
Just before leaving for their bride and groom First Look, Caro wanted to capture her dad's reaction of seeing his daughter as a bride. Another of my favourite moments, because there are almost ALWAYS tears of joy when dad realizes his baby is getting married!
Caro's little brother escorted her downstairs to her First Look with Martin.
Next on the to-do list? Go to The Marshes Golf Club to get MARRIED!!!
Over the humming chatter of a growing crowd, you could smell the delicious cupcakes lovingly made by The Frosted Shack.
One quick whirl around the parking lot in a convertible before the ceremony, why not!?
I'm always in awe when I go through the photos from a wedding to edit and I see that my second photographer Emily captured the most adorable photos of kids! While I'm busy running around scouting the next location for photos, talking with family or wedding venue staff, having a second photographer and second pair of eyes is SO WORTH IT for shots like these, and of course so much more!
A few photos with family :)
They say that "You Are The Sum Of The 5 People Closest To You" which in Caro and Martin's case I think rings true! Everyone in their wedding party knew how to have a great time just like Caro and Martin, and it made my job so easy! So much so that I knew they wouldn't bat an eye if I suggested posing "LIKE A TIGER!" during formal photos, an ode to the classic Austin Powers movie!! Hah!!!
While their guests and wedding party enjoyed cocktails, we snuck in a few more romantic shots of the two before they headed back inside. You'd never guess that just a few hours before this warm and glowing sunset that it had actually rained!
Emily and I had such a blast at Caro and Martin's wedding! I think it's safe to say their guests also had a great time. Congrats Caro and Martin! Can't wait to see what life has in store for you two next! :)
Wedding dream team:
Hair stylist: Stéphanie Diotte
Makeup artist: Kassy Dow
Florist: Stoneblossom Floral Gallery
Getting Ready location: The Brookstreet Hotel
Ceremony + reception venue: The Marshes Golf Club
Officiant: Natalie Joy Quesnel of All Seasons Weddings
Wedding planner/coordinator: Andrea Lamont of The Marshes Golf Club
DJ: Clifford Feltham
Cupcakes and cake: The Frosted Shack
Catering: The Marshes Golf Club
Bride’s dress: Ami-Fer Montreal
Bridesmaids dresses: Alliance Bridal
Groomsmen + groom attire: Jimmy Suits
Favours: Pineneedles Farms
If you love puppies, then you've come to the right place! Steph and Mat's engagement session at the Arboretum was SO MUCH fun that my face hurt from smiling so much! They wanted to celebrate their upcoming destination wedding by booking an engagement session! I was SO EXCITED when I found out they would be bringing not ONE but TWO puppies to their session!!! I LOVE dogs and couldn't get enough of Bailey and Lexi, their two ADORABLE chocolate labs! Keep scrolling for more puppers!!
Thinking of bringing your dog(s) to your photo session? Bring a wrangler! This is important even if your doggo is well behaved because this allows us to get the best of photos with pups as well as without pups. Bring a family member or friend, just like Steph and Mat did, and of course... Bring TREATS and toys!!
Also, if you have an extra-high energy floof-pup, it's never a bad idea to show up to your shoot location extra early so that they can get their 'zoomies' out beforehand!!!
Cuddles!!! DOGS!! AND RINGS, OH MY!!
Thanks for stopping by!
Chantale and Warren met one night when they went out with friends to Zaphod's (which sadly no longer exists) here in Ottawa. Little did they know at the time that their lives would be changed forever and that one day years later, they would be getting married at the beautiful Herb Garden in Almonte. :)
When we met at their consultation earlier this year, I knew that they had something special between them. I could tell just how EXCITED Warren was to show me the video of when he proposed in their favourite city of Prague. The two love to travel and to be together and it’s easy to see that they are a perfect match.
The day started out with the girls getting ready at Chantale and Warren's home in Ottawa and everyone was so happy to be there and Chantale was as cool as a cucumber. I knew that I was in for a great day!! After getting a few detail shots of Chantale's shoes, her ring and her accessories (and of course her dress!!!) we decided to do a First Look with her bridesmaids which turned out to be a really sweet moment.
Her mom helped her into her dress and I think in that exact moment it all just: sank. in.
The day we had all been waiting for was finally here.
I knew when we did their engagement session last January that the venue was going to be gorgeous but I honestly was blown away when I saw the decor! From the archway at the altar, the flowers on the tables. There were even personalized engraved coasters that each and every guest was able to take home at the end of the night. These were lovingly made by the couple.
Can I just say that while looking through the photos that Emily took.... My mouth was legit WATERING at the sight of those pizza slices!! I'm also totally okay with the fact that one of the groomsmen snuck in a slice for the formal photo of the guys in the stairs, because pizza is a fundamentally important part of anyone's day. Just look at that cheese......... Mmmmm...... *drool*.
When we got to The Herb Garden, I could tell that Warren was a little bit nervous. I think he was just really really excited to see his bride. As soon as I told him how gorgeous she was, his eyes LIT UP and it seemed like the nerves went away and the excitement started to take over: the realization that he was finally going to see his bride for the first time in just moments for their First Look.
My second shooter Emily and I, took the two aside where they could share their own intimate moment before an amazing day of celebration with their closest family and friends. It was clear to see that they were just SO excited about this day.
We snagged a few photos of the two of them, and off they went just a few moments later to GET MARRIED!
The views from the ceremony location were amazing: Chantale and Warren were surrounded by their loved ones! Of course, let’s not forget their adorable German Shepherd Bella who was sitting front row to watch mom and dad say "I do"!
Also, wait til you see Chantale's twin brother Dan get overwhelmed with happiness during the ceremony. I, for one, just about lost it, that moment was just so, SO sweet to witness.
Also, mom's reaction in the background.
Omg who's cutting onions here?
The ceremony was literally THE BEST. One of my favourite parts of the day (there was also the dance floor, but that's later!)
There was a dog. There were beautiful florals and archways, there were smiles, there were tears OF JOY. There were laughs! Literally everything everyone wants for their ceremony, right??!
Me: Okay guys!! Now I want you soooo close together that it's awkward! Then get even closer when you think you can't get closer!
Chantale: I'M STUCK IN TIA!!!!!!!!!!!!
Go on, keep reading.
That's when things started to get a little..... weird.......
And then to finish off photo time, we slipped off just the 4 of us for some sunset photos. This is when the true photo magic happens, y'all!
*Insert heart eyes emoji here*
Just check out that GLOW.
Necessary pre-dinner food sampling from Meatings BBQ, the caterer. The smokey and delicious smells were in the air during our sunset photos, and I'm not going to lie to you, I was quietly salivating and excited to finally try Meatings food after hearing so many amazing things!!! They did not disappoint. I'm still dreaming about those mouth-watering ribs.... Mmmmm...
Oh right, so:
THERE WERE BABY SQUIRRELS IN ATTENDANCE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!!!!!! And we kept calling Chantale the modern day 'Snow White', obviously!
They literally ran to us and the wedding party, and crawled up everyone's legs! Which sadly means they were orphaned, but have no fear, because my super-duper second shooter Emily came to the rescue! She brought them home with her, hand fed them Pedialyte until she was able to bring them to a nearby wildlife rescue.
Have I ever said how amazing Emily is????!
Update: The rescue says they will contact her again in a few months when it's time to re-release them into the wild. My. Poor. Little. HEART!!! Thank you Emily for giving these little guys a fighting chance! And also, I hope you take photos of this momentous event.
No caption needed.
Now here's a combo of two things I never thought would make sense together:
Baby Squirrels & Wedding Bands.
(Band name anyone? lol jk... Maybe...)
Cue more drooling........ I snuck into where my nose brought me. It was, of course, the behind the scenes of some seriously AMAZING FOOD being served. Can you tell I was hungry at this point?!
Also, shoutout to guests who match the wedding decor. Good job dude!!
The sweetest first dance. <3 I love watching the guests' reactions as this happens.
So apparently Warren is known to love a good hoodie or two or LOTS. So his groomsmen surprised him with his very own CUSTOM:
HOODED JACKET! For both class and comfort?! As you can see, it was well-received. Hah!
That was when The Socials along with DJ Danny took good care of us, until the wee hours of the night. They all did an amazing job at keeping the dance floor PACKED all night!!!
I'm truly SO thankful to be able to work a job that allows me to take part in some of the BEST. DAYS. EVER! Congrats Chantale and Warren, from the bottom of my pizza and BBQ loving heart.
I love my job, I love my job!!!!
Dream team vendors
Second photographer: Emily Dozois
Venue: The Herb Garden
Hair + makeup: SD Beauty
Bride’s dress: Renewed With Love Bridal Outlet
Groom + groomsmen attire: Moore’s
Cupcakes: Nihad El Ghrabli
Catering: Meatings Barbecue
Officiant: Jordan Graham
Wooden guestbook: Fearon & Sons Woodworking Co.
Live band: The Socials
DJ: Danny V