Real Weddings

Wedding of the Year

Thanks to quick pivot, ace team and lots of heart

Laura Mazzarello and Scott Downey’s September 2020 wedding was “a labour of love,” says Marianne McLeish. In a tight time frame Marianne’s company, Heirloom Heirloom Events and Décor, and a team of pro vendors managed to pull off a day she describes as “the absolute best.”

It was. Not only did the bride and groom agree with Marianne’s assessment of the September 5 festivities—“Laura and Scott were over the moon with how it all turned out”—so did a panel of industry experts: Heirloom Events and Décor won Wedding of the Year honours at the 2021 Virtual Wedding Awards in May.

Despite an assortment of challenges, this celebration was truly a standout. For starters, Laura and Scott were supposed to get married at the Ottawa Art Gallery in July. They postponed, hoping restrictions would ease. Then about two months before their revised date, when it became evident an indoor affair with all their family members and friends wasn’t in the cards, they switched to an outdoor scenario. “Laura and Scott were determined to get married and have the best wedding ever.”

They did. Though the weather wasn’t particularly cooperative, their two outdoor venues were on opposite sides of the city, and adherence to COVID safety protocols was top priority, thanks to a dedicated group of vendors their wedding was a gorgeous celebration full of personal style and special memories. 

One of those instances took place before the main events. Since Laura’s grandfather wasn’t able to attend, Marianne mentions, “She stopped by his place on the way to their first look so he could see her in her wedding dress. It was a beautiful moment filled with so much love.”
Pre-wedding, and after schools shut down, Laura, a teacher, also drove around the city dropping off canvases and paint sets to her students.  “She asked them to paint her a picture for her wedding day.”

When the day finally arrived, and 90 guests gathered for the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour in Scott’s parents’ backyard, those pictures were displayed on a gold grid wall in the yard. What’s more, two of the bride’s and groom’s friends from high school were on hand to play live music. Guests also appreciated a beautiful extra-large sign on linen, by Avi from Avi Scribbles, displayed near the welcome table.

After the festivities, a smaller number of guests proceeded to Laura’s parents’ backyard for a dinner and reception. From start to finish, though, and one side of the city to the other, the look was seamless and the outcome was beautiful.

The design was modern mixed with boho chic, featuring a colour palette of dark forest green, merlot, neutral tones, and black accents. Modern signage and menus, clear ghost chairs, a golden grid backdrop, black geometric floral stands and square black candle holders were mixed with boho elements: harvest tables, dried flowers, taper candles, velvet napkins, and colourful florals. 

There was plenty of sparkle too: “Amanda and her team from the Gathering Event Co. hung string lights above the harvest tables” surrounding the pool at the second backyard and “created the perfect ambiance for an evening reception.”

One of Marianne’s favourite touches was the signature drink: Laura and Scott named it Hallway Hearts because they met in the hallway back in high school.

The Team
Planning and Design: Heirloom Events and Décor
Florals and Décor:  The Gathering Event Co.
Photographer: Kerry Ford Photography
Videographer: Quay Creative Co.
Menus, Place cards, Signage: Avi Scribbles
Caterer: My Catering Group
Bartending: Cody Nicoll
Furnishings: LouLou Lounge
Sage Velvet Napkins: Mlle Artsy
Tent: Rebel Tents
Cake: Serendipity Cakes
Bride’s Gown: Revelle Bridal
Groom’s Suit: L’Hexagone
Officiant: Rev. Kimberly Sabourin
Makeup: Faces by Noah
Hair: Hair by Adamo & Co.
Invitations: White Willow Co.
Love Sign: Caroline and Co.


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