A Spring Love Song
June 18, 2016
compiled by Ariel Vered
photos by April-Anne Hewens, APM Weddings
Mary-Anne and Jeff met through friends at a Halloween party in 2009. At the time, Mary-Anne was planning to leave Ottawa and move back home to northern Ontario to recuperate from surgery for a condition that affects her joints. They saw each other again at his birthday in December and kissed for the first time. Over a two-year period while she continued to have surgery, the two kept in touch and on her third day back in Ottawa, Mary-Anne and Jeff went on their first date. “We’ve been together ever since,” she said.
Jeff proposed on the Victoria Day long weekend at a cabin he’d rented in Val-des-Monts, which reminded Mary-Anne of her grandfather’s log cabin. As he and Mary-Ann stood on the deck, he popped the question, setting up a GoPro to record the proposal.
The couple chose to have an outdoor spring wedding at the Marshes Golf Club in Kanata followed by a reception at the nearby Brookstreet Hotel. “It made it an easy day for everyone. We were pretty happy with it,” said Mary-Anne. The ceremony was a short drive or walk around the golf course and everyone could stay onsite.
Mary-Anne walked down the aisle in a fit-and-flare mermaid style Maggie Sottero from Alliance Bridal. She was instantly drawn to the blush and ivory scalloped lace and tulle dress, which featured a low back and removable lace cap sleeves. She complemented the dress with a simple belt with a jeweled center, matching hairpin and a custom raw cathedral veil.
The couple worked with Ottawa wedding planning company Satin and Snow on final details and day-of coordination. “They were one of the best investments of the whole wedding,” said Mary-Anne. “The place looked incredible and beautiful and amazing.”
They commissioned Satin and Snow to build a wedding arch under which they got married. Instead of a generic ceremony and vows, Mary-Anne used her background in communications to write a more personal ceremony script that expressed what love meant to the couple.
Mary-Anne wanted her wedding décor to have a natural, flowy ambience with a clean, soft colour palette of blush pink, gold and sage green. She worked closely with Ivy Stripe, an Ottawa-based invitation printing service, to design watercolour wedding invitations to go with the light, airy feel, which they carried through with the table numbers and place cards.
At the reception, guests sat in gold chiavari chairs at tables adorned with different-sized pillar candles and floating candles and little vases of fresh cut roses, peonies, tulips and ranunculus. The head table featured a greenery garland repurposed from the wedding arch.
Family was a central theme of the wedding, and the food was an ode to Jeff’s Italian culture. Instead of a wedding cake, they had Italian pastries from Simply Biscotti including rum baba, a favourite of Jeff’s nonna. As animal lovers and beloved owners of their dog Duke, they made donations to the Ottawa Humane Society in the names of their guests.
Their first dance was to I Want to Grow Old with You, the love song Adam Sandler sings in The Wedding Singer. In Mary-Anne’s words, “If Jeff were to write me a love song, that’s what I would imagine it would be like. Every time I hear it, it’s my instant happy memory.” W