Fairmont Chateau Laurier Wedding: Melissa + Rami

Ottawa-Notre-Dame-Chateau-Laurier-Wedding-Stephanie-Beach-PhotographyI have been putting off writing this blog post for so long now, but not because I don’t like writing or any of those sorts of reasons, no, I have been putting it off because there were so many amazing things that happened during Melissa + Rami’s wedding that I honestly don’t even know where to start! So, since these two truly wonderful people will be getting their photos a little later today, I figured I should probably get this post done so I just started at the beginning (a very good place to start).

I was pretty early showing up to bridal prep, and by this I mean even earlier than we usually are, as I was super pumped and just couldn’t sit around the house any longer. And I am actually really glad I did as the second I got to the house, Melissa and her girls were ready to go. We started with some photos of all of these completely stunning ladies, a few details and of course, getting our blushing bride into her dress. From there things went a little differently than most of our wedding days as Melissa, her bridesmaids and her family greeted family + friends who wanted to come and wish them well before the ceremony. They had set up a lovely area in the front of their house for photos and I loved the light and setting so much, so we of course had to grab some bridal portraits as well!

And of course there was the traditional Zaffeh entertainment! Zaffetna did such an amazing job as Rami’s family entered the home and presented Melissa with her bridal jewelry. There were so many joyous people, dancing and cheering along to the music, it was pretty awesome to say the least!

Over at the groom’s house Dave got to enjoy the delicious spread that had been prepared as friends and family celebrated with Rami. Although on his end, things eventually quieted down for a little bit when everyone headed over to greet Melissa, and this of course meant that the guys could squeeze in a little gaming and some extra photos too!

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Melissa + Rami’s ceremony was held at the always beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral in downtown Ottawa. One of my favourite photos from ceremonies at this location is of course the wide shot taken from the upper level and thankfully Dave always checks beforehand to make sure the stairs are open because I would be so sad if we left without this iconic shot! The ceremony was wonderful and we of course grabbed lots of family photos afterwards just outside. Everyone did a great job as we worked through the list of combos and the ladies were even nice enough to put up with the soft grass as I am sure it was a little annoying since their heels definitely sank in more than once.

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A quick break at the hotel and we were off taking photos at Major Hill’s Park. Side note, I often struggle with whether it is Major Hill’s Park or Major’s Hill Park, but a little while ago Dave helped me out with a little trick to remember – the Park ‘belongs’ to Major Hill, not the Hill Park belongs to Major. It is worded a little different when you can actually say it as you can put the emphasis on the right syllable, but you get the point. Anyway, getting photos in the middle of a Saturday at the park can be a little difficult, especially when there are so many people in the wedding party, and this is always just made even harder when the weather is as nice as it was on this day, but these guys were pros and everyone did so well and worked so quickly (I think the promise of air conditioning and drinks definitely kept them motivated!).

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And yet again, I was gifted the loveliness that is a cathedral length veil (made even more appropriate since they got married in an actual cathedral)! I just can’t get enough of these beauties, especially when they adorn the head of such a stunning person like Melissa! Seriously, she is a natural beauty who was even more of a knockout on her wedding day and this veil was the cherry on top of the sundae! I loved it so much that I had to keep reminding myself to get photos that weren’t so veil-centric as well, haha!

And just like their engagement session, Melissa + Rami were complete naturals in front of the camera and truly knocked it out of the park for their portraits! They really did make our job so completely effortless!

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Dave and I then left the Bride + Groom to enjoy some well deserved down quiet time to themselves as we ran over to grab room and detail shots of the reception and just generally get our bearings for the rest of the evening. I knew that the reception hall was going to be beautiful given the venue and the wonderful team working on it, but I was completely gobsmacked when I walked into the room! There literally was not a bad angle to be seen! No misplaced items to adjust or awkward placements to avoid while shooting, everything was picture perfect. So much so that I just kept shooting right up until Darcy (the wonderful wedding planner) gave us the 5 minute warning.

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This is when the party truly began as the Zaffeh Entertainment lead in the family + wedding party and of course the Bride + Groom themselves. To say that everyone celebrated the lovely couple would be a massive understatement! It was so much fun to capture the dancing and celebrations and Dave, being the smartypants he is, even got some more photos from the balcony for our couple during the whole thing. The remaining portion of the evening was interlaced with some pretty fantastic speeches, scrumptious food and of course more music and dancing. Melissa + Rami’s first dance was not only romantic and beautiful on its own, but it was complimented by dry ice and literal fire! The entire media team (meaning us and Jinbon) were on cloud 9 as we captured everything!

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I also wanted to give a special shout out to the couple’s wedding planner Darcy as she was so on the ball the entire evening it was unbelievable! Just as an example, we had sunset scheduled for a little later in the evening, but we were keeping an eye on the sky (as we always do during weddings) as came to the quick realization that there was no way we were making it to the scheduled timeslot. Once we let Darcy know she was so on it. I was photographing the bride dancing among a group of guests (worrying internally that if we had to wait to the end we were going to miss the glow) when all of a sudden I couldn’t find Melissa in the crowd. A little tap on the should from Darcy and I realized that she had subtly pulled  the couple from the dance floor and also found us an efficient path through the hotel and terrace restaurant to be able to get the perfect sunset photos!

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And just in case this very long blog post doesn’t relay my excitement for this wedding enough, let me just make it perfectly clear – we loved every second of this day. Everyone was so wonderful to work with and the day was filled with so much amazing energy. We definitely passed out from exhaustion pretty much as soon as we got home, and the wedding hangover was very real the next day, but all of that was so worth it as getting to be a part of Melissa + Rami’s wedding day was a true honour and a day I will remember extremely fondly for many, many years to come!

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Thanks to all of these amazing vendors who helped make this wedding possible!

Photography: Stephanie Beach Photography
Videography: Jinbon
Wedding Planning: Delightfully Elegant Events
Ceremony Venue: Notre Dame Cathedral
Portrait Venue: Major Hill’s Park
Reception Venue: Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Groom and Groomsmen’s Suit: Moore’s Clothing
Hair Stylist: Starz Salon Spa
Makeup Artist: Glam by Ariana
Florist: Mabelle Decorations
Cake: Dulce Couture Cakes
Zaffeh Entertainment: Zaffetna Entertainment
Transportation: Millennium Limousine Service
Seating Chart: Lettered.it
DJ: Interlace Group Events

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