Real Weddings

Kelly and Joe


A Scenic Setting

October 12, 2014

compiled by Lindsay Ruck photos
by Kristina Staal Photography

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in June, Joe asked Kelly to be his wife.

After enjoying a breakfast in downtown Ottawa, Joe brought Kelly to Major’s Hill Park.

“This spot is meaningful to us because early in our relationship we shared a moment there where we both thought, this is exactly where we wanted to be and that we had the potential to be something great.”

As the couple approached the park, Kelly knew she was about to experience one of the most memorable moments of her life.

“I knew he was going to propose because if I were the one proposing, it would be exactly where I’d take him. Through my tears, I can remember him saying this was the place that he knew I was the one, and that his life had forever changed. Then he asked if he should get on one knee, and my response was, ‘Heck yes!’ The rest is history.”

The Britannia Yacht Club was the perfect setting for their dream day, as both are great lovers of the outdoors.

“As we walked towards the Britannia Yacht Club, it brought back memories we made early in our relationship; all the times spent on Joe’s boat, fishing, reading, and really getting to know one another.”

On her father’s arm, surrounded by 125 guests, the bride donned a Stella York by Ella Bridals creation, found at With Love Bridal Boutique in Stittsville. The chiffon off-white strapless design featured a corset back, layers and beading.

The bridesmaids looked striking in black gowns of their choosing.

“They could choose any style; any cut they liked. They could buy it new or just dig a classic out from their closet.”

To offset the black, pops of colour were found in the maids’ shoes, bouquets, the groomsmen’s socks and their ties.

“We wanted each of the bridesmaids’ bouquets to be a different colour to match the groomsmen’s ties and bridesmaids’ shoes.”

The bride’s bouquet was a combination of white flowers wrapped in burlap.

The theme of the day was fall rustic-chic with Japanese inspiration.

“I’ve always loved the rustic barn-style look. The fall, with all the pretty leaves and calm water is our favourite time of year, so we wanted to tie in the fall rustic look with a touch of my Japanese heritage.”

For the grand entrance into the reception, also held at the Britannia Yacht Club, the groomsmen surprised all in attendance (including the newlyweds), with their own individual dances, including a rhythmic gymnastics routine with a red ribbon.

“It was hilarious to watch and really got the crowd involved. Joe and his friends are very close and all of their dances reflected how much fun they have together.”

The rustic fall theme was found throughout the reception. Guests were able to see all events of the day listed on barn- style chalkboards. Kelly sanded, stained and painted the card box and signing board and centrepieces featured mason jars filled with baby’s breath and burlap table numbers.

Japanese inspiration was found in the intricate fans placed at each table setting.

“The base represents birth and the blades represent the pathways we take in our lives.”

The couple were also each given handcrafted cranes, which symbolize happiness and eternal youth.

The newlyweds opted for both cake and cupcakes. Made by Judy Kiar, the top tier was a carrot cake with cream cheese icing, and the lower three tiers featured three delectable kinds of cupcakes: French vanilla with raspberry filling, chocolate, and carrot with cream cheese icing.

Following Japanese tradition, the bride changed into a beautiful kimono for the cake cutting ceremony.

“When I was living in Japan I had a kimono custom-made with the hope that I could someday wear it on my wedding day. Japanese traditions are very important to my family and it was important to us that those traditions be a part of our special day.”

Guests were invited to leave a message for the happy couple in a video booth and were each given origami candy jars as party favours.

Kelly and Joe created a beautiful day that not only celebrated their love for one another, but also highlighted all of the things that make them who they are. It’s no surprise that when asked to sum up the day, it could only be described as the “best day ever.” W

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