Caroline and Marc Desjardins would discover, after meeting on a dating website, that they had attended high school together in Cornwall. They didn’t know each other then, but from the messages they exchanged online years later, it was pretty clear that they were meant for each other.
“I knew from our messaging that he was the one,” said Caroline. Marc concurred: “It was always pretty comfortable from day one. We were at the same point in our lives, we wanted the same things.”
Marc proposed while in the Dominican Republic for a friend’s wedding. They had arranged a couples’ photo shoot — something she had always wanted to do — with the wedding’s photographer and unbeknownst to Caroline, Marc had alerted the photographer that he was planning to propose at the end of the photo shoot.
Caroline had gotten really sick that day, and Marc was concerned that the proposal wouldn’t happen. But as the couple slowly made their way down to the beach, with the sun setting behind them, Marc proposed, followed by a special dinner on the beach.
After going dress shopping in Ottawa with her whole bridal party with no success, Caroline found her wedding dress at Bridal’s Al-Mor a bridal shop in Winchester, just outside of Ottawa. This time, Caroline took just her mom and her sister. “I tried on three dresses and the third dress was the one,” she said.
She fell in love with the romantic vintage dress, an A-Line lace dress by Bonny Bridals, featuring a fitted top, flare bottom, long train, corset back, and lace applique. The one glitch: Marc hates lace. “I had a funny feeling I wouldn’t like her dress,” confessed Marc. “I think of lace as something you see on your grandmother’s table. But when we did the first look before the wedding and I saw Caroline, she and the dress looked amazing.”
When it came to wedding planning, Caroline and Marc worked with RSVP Events, an Ottawa-based event planning company, who handled the decor and executed the couple’s rustic-vintage wedding vibe. The couple chose a chalkboard theme that was reflected throughout the wedding, such as the three-tiered chalkboard style wedding cake from Sweet Song Cake in Ottawa. For wedding favours, they wrote each guest’s name on chalkboard stickers on mason jars; the jars doubled as place setting and wedding favour. “We wanted to give something that our guests would re-use,” said Caroline. “We wrote every name by hand ourselves.”
The couple were married at Orchardview Wedding and Conference Centre in Ottawa, which also provided the catering. The ceremony was held outside, and though there was the possibility of rain, the day turned out to be sunny and beautiful. “There’s an old wives’ tale that if you hang rosary from your clothesline overnight, it won’t rain on your wedding day. I asked everyone I know who had a rosary to do it,” Caroline revealed.
The event was filled with special touches, including: a dove release, with Caroline and Marc each releasing a dove followed by 12 doves released by their two flower girls; a vintage cop car, since Marc, a police officer in Ottawa, was just beginning his career when they met; and a ban on elevator wedding music: they gave their wedding DJ a playlist of upbeat string quartet versions of popular music to keep the party mood fun and upbeat.
“We didn’t want to have a cookie- cutter traditional wedding,” said Marc. “Rather than do what is traditional because that’s how it’s usually done, we wanted to think outside the box, do what we enjoy, and have our wedding be a reflection of us as a couple.” W