Real Weddings

Ashley and Niko


Glitz and Glam

compiled by Lindsay Ruck
photos by Union Eleven

Before Ashley and Niko became husband and wife, they were co-workers at the Lonestar Texas Grill in Ottawa. “Niko and I met all the way back in 2003 when he hired me to work as a bartender.”

A romantic relationship would ensue in 2010. “I didn’t actually know he was asking me on a date. I thought there was a group of us hanging out, but it turned out it was just the two of us.”

Surrounded by family, Niko saved the best gift for last and asked Ashley to be his wife Christmas morning in the bride’s childhood home.

The couple planned their perfect day at the Fairmont Château Laurier in the Nation’s Capital. “We knew we wanted our wedding to be in Ottawa. This is where we both came to university; this is where we met, have a home, have built a life and continue to reside. Ottawa is such a vibrant city. We really wanted all of our family and friends to take advantage of all the amazing things it has to offer.”

Out-of-town guests were treated to a welcome bag of goodies, including a map of the city, restaurant suggestions, snacks and beverages and all of the fun and festive details for Ashley and Niko’s wedding weekend.

With the help of Karen Sagle of When Sparks Fly, the couple created an intimate and romantic day for their 128 guests. Shades of gold, champagne and ivory were sprinkled throughout the ceremony and reception sites.

“Almost all of the décor I sourced myself and my wedding coordinator was awesome at putting it all together exactly how I wanted it on the big day. I wanted everyone to walk into our wedding and reception and see that this was very personal to Niko and I and this was representative of our personalities.”

A special personal touch came in the form of a video played prior to the ceremony. Once guests were seated, the “How we Met” vignette, created by Cloud in the Sky Studios, shared the story of Ashley and Niko’s love. “I was so happy we were able to share that with everyone and it was a unique touch that Niko and I will have as a keepsake forever.”

As the large wooden doors parted, the bride entered the Canadian Room on her mother’s arm donning a Hayley Paige ivory strapless ball gown with a full tulle skirt, horsehair flounces and a chapel train purchased from White Satin Bridal in Bells Corners. “I did not think that was the type of dress I really wanted so I wasn’t focused on looking for that at first, but soon most of the dresses I was attracted to were ball gowns, and they couldn’t be big enough. The dress was beautiful and I felt as though this was the dress I wanted to marry Niko in.”

Upon reaching the gold runner aisle peppered with candles and rose petals, Ashley’s father escorted her to her groom, who was blown away by the beauty of his bride.

The couple exchanged vows in front of a breathtaking backdrop of gold sequined panels and ivory fabrics.

Following the ceremony, guests made their way to the Adam Room on the Château’s main level. The room’s grandeur was made all the more spectacular with the bride’s creative details.

Tables were adorned with rose gold sequined linens, gold chargers and gold votives. Centrepieces, arranged by Ottawa Flowers, featured luscious hydrangeas, orchids, calla lilies and roses. Each guest found their name handwritten on mini champagne bottles, and champagne flutes were delicately rimmed with edible gold glitter. Vintage gold mirrors were scattered throughout the room, including next to a handmade guest book featuring photos of the couple’s e-sesh.

A three-tier stunner made by The Girl with the Most Cake was surrounded by individual mini cakes.

Guests were gifted personalized mason jars and had the option of slipping into gold flip flops as the night went on. “I will say Pinterest was my best friend and worst enemy. I would find great ideas and tweak them so they were individualized to our wedding, but just when I thought I was done and my crafting was over, I would come across something else I wanted to incorporate into our wedding.”

It’s safe to say all of the bride’s efforts paid off, as the couple enjoyed a picture-perfect day surrounded by the ones they love. “Our wedding was everything we wanted and we spent it with all the people that meant the most to us.” It’s no surprise the best way this couple could think to describe their day is a “dream come true.”

Sign Up for Our

Enter your email address below to receive tips, articles and exclusive contests in your inbox.