Michael and Melanie’s Ottawa Winter Wedding

Michael and Melanie’s Ottawa Winter Wedding

Michael and Melanie’s Ottawa winter wedding day was a day to remember. As with any winter wedding, you have no clue of how cold the weather will be or if there will be snow or not. We were all hoping for the best, but it ended up being the worst. Their wedding day weather was a doozy, like a temperature of -22°C with the wind chill factor. I think it actually felt colder than -22°C at times when the wind really picked up mid-afternoon.


The ceremony was short and sweet, having been married by Mike’s pastor from his childhood. After the ceremony, we deaded to the museum for some outdoor photos. We had actually allotted an hour to do outdoor photos. However, with the severe cold, I shot their outdoor photos in 13 minutes from start to finish. My second shooter, Michelle, had to hold a golf umbrella over me in order to try and keep my cameras from getting too much snow on them.

It was cold!

Even though Michelle and I were bundled up in snow pants, hats, and mitts, that wind still hurt something fierce. I could only wear the mittens with the bare fingers sticking out, so that I could still press the buttons on my cameras. Within that 13 minutes of shooting outside, two of my fingers had gotten frost bite. Kudos to the entire wedding party–especially Mike and Mel–for braving the cold without coats, hats or gloves. They all did well for their outdoor photos. As you can see, there was a lot of snow blowing everywhere.

Good food. Good fun.

Aftwards, everyone went inside to warm up and then take some indoor photos. The reception went well. The food was great. And many old school beats were played by the DJ, which got everyone of all ages up and dancing. Even the little ones were up and dancing the backpack kid dance. (My eight-year-old does the floss and it always entertains me.) Mike and Mel, it was a pleasure to be able to document your special day for you. All the best to the both of you in 2020.


Their wedding day was brought together by the following vendors:

Did you like Michael and Melanie’s Ottawa winter wedding photos? If so, please take a peak at some of my other photography work. And, if you’re looking for a wedding photographer, I’d be thrilled to hear from you. Contact me to request my wedding photo pricing guide.

Michael & Melanie’s engagement session

Finally, take a look at their Ottawa engagement photo session, which we shot this past summer.

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Ottawa winter wedding sneak peek

Ottawa winter wedding sneak peek

Almost two weeks ago I shot Mike and Mel’s Ottawa winter wedding at the Aviation Museum. So, here’s an Ottawa winter wedding sneak peek from one of their outdoor winter wedding photos. More photos to come soon. Stay tuned!

I’d love to hear from you if you’re searching for a wedding photographer. Fill out my little questinnaire on my contact page and I’ll send you my wedding pricing guide. All of my wedding photography packages include two professional photographers, professionally edited digital files in a custom USB case. I hope to hear from you soon.


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One Response to “Ottawa winter wedding sneak peek”

  1. Michelle

    Gorgeous, you can’t even tell it was super cold!

5 Reasons Why You Should Do a First Look

I’m a HUGE fan of shooting a couple’s first look on their wedding day. Some couples may not know what a ‘first look’ is. This is when the couple chooses to see each other before the wedding ceremony and their photographer is there to document it. Those tender, magical moments are priceless. I do understand that many couples still prefer to stick with tradition and not see each other until the wedding ceremony. However, please hear me out by reading about 5 reasons why you should do a first look on your wedding day.


1. Share a Tender Moment Together

Imagine seeing your beautiful bride or handsome groom for the first time with no one else around, (except for your photographer documenting this tender moment). You can say whatever you want to each other and share in a special moment before the wedding ceremony. Most couples get teary eyed when they see each other. And why not, as it’s the most important day in their lives together. It’s really very touching to see people with their hearts on their sleave at that moment.


2. It Relieves Stress

Most couples are beyond stressed on the day of their wedding. When they do a first look and see each other for the first time, it helps to calm their nerves when they embrance and get to say some loving words to each other. This helps to cut the tension before the wedding ceremony. And talk about being in the moment!


3. You look your best

When you schedule your first look (and subsequently the formal portraits) before the ceremony, you’ll look your best in your formal photos. This is because you haven’t been sweating in your clothes for hours or been crying through the ceremony. And your family members will also look their best for the formal portraits for the exact same reasons. (P.S. The flowers won’t have started wilting yet!)


4. More photos of you!

That’s right. You’ll end up getting a lot more photos of the two of you. If you’re paying a professional photographer to take photos, why not maximize the amount of photos that you’ll get. Just imagine how amazing your wedding album will look (or wall portaits) with so many beautiful photos to choose from.


5. More Time to Spend with Guests

When couples schedule a ‘first look’, they need to make sure to have enough time scheduled to also shoot the formal portrait session right after the first look. That way we get all of the family and wedding party photos taken care of BEFORE the ceremony. This leaves the couple more time to spend with their guests after the ceremony, instead of leaving for a couple of hours to shoot their formal portraits. AND, the guests don’t have to twiddle their thumbs for a couple of hours between the ceremony and reception. It ends up being a nice win-win scenario.


I’ve given my 5 reasons of why you should do a first look on your wedding day. However, this sort of thing is not everyone’s cup of tea. No worries if you don’t want to do a first look on your wedding day. I’ll work with you on the sort of timeline you would like to do for your wedding photos. I can only give suggestions and the final say is up to you.


Are you newly engaged? Are you currently on the hunt for a wedding photographer? I’d love to hear from you! Contact me through my contact page and request my wedding photography pricing guide. And if you like what you see, we can also set up a time to meet. I look forward to hearing from you.


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Experimental Farm Winter Maternity

Experimental Farm Winter Maternity Photos

A few months ago I shot some Experimental farm winter maternity photos. These two lovelies were fantastic to work with. They were easy going and fun to work with.

The day wasn’t too cold and the sun came out halfway through the shoot. So, at least we weren’t freezing during the photo session. I liked their cute Icelandic sweaters that they wore. (They’ve visited Iceland too. I’m jealous.) The sweaters gave a nice homey touch to their pictures.

As with most of my clients, they were nervous to get their pictures taken. However, they soon warmed up for the camera and I was able to get some nice shots of them. Now, if this winter weather could be over soon, I’d be happy about that. For now, you can enjoy looking at these photos in the comfort of your heated home or office. Have a great day. 🙂


For those who are currently expecting, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me to book your photo session. If you’re just visiting because you’re looking for ideas for your own maternity session, you can read these helpful blog posts:

If you’re on the fence about booking a maternity session, you can take a peek at some of my past maternity photo shoots to see if this is something that you’d like to do. Whether you book with me or not, I highly suggest that you do a maternity photo session. You won’t regret it. It’s a beautiful way to document this wonderful time in your life. But for now, you can take a peek at these past pregnancy photo shoots:

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Winter Arboretum Pregnancy Photos

Winter Pregnancy Photos at the Ottawa Arboretum

Last month I shot some winter Arboretum pregnancy photos with this lovely couple. I was kind of apprehensive to shoot at the Arboretum in the winter, since it’s closed off for the season. I don’t want to put any of my pregnant clients in jeapardy, in case they slip and hurt themselves or their baby. However, this lady is an avid hiker, so this was easy for her. In fact, she already took her dog for a walk here a few days before to scout the location herself.

It was fairly mild and I’m glad there was some snow on the ground. It always gives a dreamy look for a backdground. And snow also helped them to pop out against the landscape. All in all, it was a pretty location with nice lighting (thank you clouds!). I got some really nice photos of them.

Props matter

I liked the unique props they included in their maternity photo session, like the amathest rock to signify their child’s birth stone. I also liked the little Christmas ornament that they can hang on the tree each year as a momento of their little one. It’s those little details that make a photo shoot more personal.

It was a pleasure to work with these two. I look forward to meeting their little one when he or she is born as I’ll be shooting their newborn photo session.


Maternity sessions are one of my favourite photo sessions to do. If you’re pregnant, I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email to book your photo session. 

If you’re on the fence about booking a maternity session, you can take a peek at some of my past maternity photo shoots to see if this is something that you’d like to do:

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Ottawa Museum of Nature Wedding

James & Stephanie’s Ottawa Museum of Nature Wedding

This past September I shot James and Stephanie’s Ottawa Museum of Nature wedding. I’ve been wanting to shoot a wedding inside the Museum of Nature for a number of years. So, I was super happy when Stephanie first contacted me and wrote that that’s where they were getting married.


These birds of a feather stick together

I met James and his posse at the museum and we shot their photos until Stephanie and the girls arrived. Then we did something I’ve never done before–we did a first look, which also included the wedding party being right there. Normally, I just take photos of the couple in a remote spot, so that they can have their private moment together. However, I learned later on at the reception that these guys all hung out together in university, so that’s why they were all included in that special moment.

We then shot all of the formal portraits, before everyone headed inside for the ceremony. Their wedding ceremony was held in the Queen’s Lanter, which is so beautiful and has lots of natural light. It was a beautiful ceremony with a mixture of laughs and tears of happiness–my kind of wedding.

The rest of the afternoon and evening were filled with lots of fun and laughter. These professed nerds know how to have a good time.

It was a pleasure to be able to document James and Steph’s beautiful wedding festivities. May your new lives together be filled with much love and laughter. 🙂


Ottawa Wedding Vendors

Stephanie and James’ beautiful wedding day was made possible by the following wedding vendors:

I hope that you enjoyed viewing Stephanie and James’ wedding photos. If you’re looking for a wedding photographer, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me and I’d be happy to send you my wedding pricing guide.

Check out their engagement photos

Finally, if you liked these photos, please check out their downtown Ottawa engagement photos by the canal. Its extra cute because they brought their adorable welsh corgi to be in some of the photos. Too cute!

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Planning the Wedding Day Timeline

Planning the Wedding Day Timeline

One of the most important things to help the wedding day run smoothly is planning the wedding day timeline. Most couples have never been married before, so they don’t know how much time to allot for things within the timeline. I`ve shot enough weddings to know what works and what doesn’t work in the flow of the wedding day. So, I figured that I’d give helpful suggestions to engaged couples of how to plan the flow of their wedding day timeline.


In planning the wedding day timeline, one thing that most couples don’t understand is now much time is needed for photography. The more time you give for your formal photography time, the higher amount of beautiful photos you’ll receive. I`m not suggesting that you need to give four or five hours for formal portraits. However, I always tell my clients to make sure that there’s at least two hours devoted solely for the formal portaits. This includes family portraits, wedding party portraits and photos of the bride and groom.(If you’re doing a first look, include an additional 15-20 minutes in the formal portrait time.)


Travel time and buffering

You must also calculate enough travel time between each location and add buffer time on top of that, in case of traffic or stragglers. For example, one couple sent me their timeline (before I revised it) and they gave zero minutes for buffer time. Their timeline had their formal portrait time end at 5:30 pm and their reception entrance (with them walking in as the newly married couple) begin at 5:30 pm. Even though we shot the formal photos at the reception site, how was that timeline even possible?!?!? People just don’t think about buffer and travel time.


Most couples (including said couple) also don’t account for travel time from the church to the reception site (in their case, it was 20 minutes) as well as buffer time. I told this particular couple that there are always family members who straggle in. Sure enough about 1/3 of their family members were 30 minutes late in getting to the reception site for photos. The moral of this story is: be smart and add buffer time between everything. This also helps your photographer out because they need time to pack up their gear, transport it to the next location, unpack the gear and then get their settings and lighting correct to shoot the next part of the wedding day.


Ceremony Length: 30 or 60 minutes?

You also need to know how long your ceremony will be. Typically, a religious wedding ceremony is an hour long, while a non-religious ceremony is about a half hour in length. You also need to know that after the ceremony, you’ll spend about 30 minutes with all of your guests congratulating you. If you don’t have time to spend with guests after your ceremony, have your wedding officiant announce near the end of the ceremony that you will be leaving right after the ceremony to get your formal photos taken and that they can congratulate you later at the reception.

Cocktail Hour

It’s also good to leave at least 45-60 minutes of buffer time before guests need to sit down for the reception. This will give you time to freshen up as well as have a drink with your guests and just relax. During this time, your photographer can take detail shots of the reception (decorations, cake, tables) as well as take photos of guests. This is why cocktail hour is a great thing to have in your wedding day timeline.


Regular Wedding day timeline

My typical timeline (for 8 hours of coverage) would be something like this for a wedding day that has several locations:

  • 12:00-1:00 pm (getting ready photos, etc. I work with the bride/bridesmaids while my 2nd shooter works with the groom/groomsmen.)
  • 1:05-1:30 pm (pack up gear, leave getting ready site and head over to ceremony site)
  • 1:35-2:00 pm (unpack gear, get camera settings ready, photograph guests as they arrive)
  • 2:00-2:30 pm (ceremony) *Note: 2:00-3:00 pm for religious ceremony*
  • 2:30-3:00 pm (friends and family congratulating you)
  • 3:05-3:30 pm (pack up gear and head to park for formal shots)
  • 3:30-5:30 pm (formal portrait time: family portraits, wedding party and couple portraits)
  • 5:35-6:00 (pack up gear and head to reception location)
  • 6:15-6.45 pm (you enjoy cocktail hour/hors d’oeuvres with guests, while my 2nd shooter and myself take detail shots of the reception hall, decorations, cake, as well as photos of guests)
  • 7:00-8:00 pm (dinner and speeches)

Wedding day timeline (everything at one venue)

For weddings that have everything take place at the same venue (getting ready, ceremony, portraits, reception), the timeline (for 8 hours of coverage) would be something like this:

  • 1:00-2:00 pm (getting ready photos, etc. I work with the bride/bridesmaids while my 2nd shooter works with the groom/groomsmen.)
  • 2:05-2:30 pm (take details of ceremony location, photograph guests as they arrive)
  • 2:30-3:00 pm (ceremony)
  • 3:00-3:25 pm (friends and family congratulating you)
  • 3:30-5:30 pm (formal portrait time: family portraits, wedding party and couple portraits)
  • 5:30-6:15 pm (you enjoy cocktail hour/hors d’oeuvres with guests, while my 2nd shooter and myself take detail shots of the reception hall, decorations, cake, as well as photos of guests)
  • 6:30-8:30 pm (dinner and speeches)
  • 8:30-8:45 pm (first dance, parent dances, beginning of party/dancing
  • 8:45 pm (cake cutting)
  • 9:00 pm (Event coverage finished)

Notice how much more of the timeline is able to be covered when there`s no travel time? I love, love, love wedding venues that can do everything on site. You don’t have to waste time packing and unpacking gear at each location and to drive from one place to another. (Thats why I think wedding venues like Stonefields, Evermore, Strathmere and LeBelvédère are fantastic venues to get married at.)


Wedding day timeline (First look timeline)

More and more couples are opting to do a first look in order to lessen the amount of time that their guests have to wait between the ceremony and reception. I love shooting the first look. It`s a special time that the couple can see each other privately before the wedding ceremony. They’re always wonderful to photograph. Check out the timeline for doing the first look and portraits before the wedding ceremony.

  • 12:30-12:50 pm (First look photos and a some photos of the couple)
  • 12:55-2:45 pm (formal portrait time: family portraits, wedding party and couple portraits)
  • 2:50-3:25 pm (pack up gear, head to next location, unpack gear, get camera settings ready, photograph guests as they arrive)
  • 3:30-4:00 pm (ceremony) *Note: 3:30-4:30 pm for religious ceremony*
  • 4:00-4:30 pm (friends and family congratulating you)
  • 4:35-5:00 pm (pack up gear and head to reception venue)
  • 5:00-5:45 pm (you enjoy cocktail hour/hors d’oeuvres with guests, while my 2nd shooter and myself take detail shots of the reception hall, decorations, cake, as well as photos of guests)
  • 6:00-8:00 pm (dinner and speeches)
  • 8:10-8:30 pm (first dance, parent dances, beginning of party/dancing
  • 8:30 pm (Event coverage finished)

Save 30 minutes in your wedding timeline

Finally, in planning the wedding day timeline, you can save 30 minutes by having your wedding officiant announce during the ceremony that the couple will be heading straight to the reception venue and so all guests should head to the reception venue. Then they can congratulate you during the cocktail hour. By doing this, you will be able to either have your one hour reglious ceremony and not have it affect your timeline, or you can have an extra 30 minutes in your timeline to start your reception 30 minutes earlier. Thus, the dinner can begin at 5:30 pm, which will give an extra 30 minutes for reception/dancing photo coverage.


Contact me for my pricing guide

I love shooting weddings and I’d love to hear from you if you’re looking to book a wedding photographer. Contact me for my wedding photography pricing guide. All of my regular wedding photography packages include two professional photographers, a complimentary engagement photo session and a custom USB of your edited wedding images.

If you found this blog post was helpful, you might like the following:


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