Reserve today: 1-800-545-3681

Make your ceremony your own

All Seasons officiant Brigitte Samson conducting a winter ceremony

February 10, 2017

There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to the words and actions that you use to proclaim your love and support to your spouse at your wedding. The right wedding officiant will be willing to perform a personalized and beautiful ceremony that will represent your love story.

If you would like to have traditional elements such as the bride’s father walking her down the aisle, vows that include words such as “in sickness and in health, richer and poorer,” a reading of 1 Corinthians (Love is patient, love is kind…), or a kiss to seal the deal, then by all means, include them. However, there is no reason to feel bound by convention.

The ceremony can include stories and jokes, it can reference your favourite movies or the activities, sports, or hobbies that brought you together or helped your relationship grow. Throw in a favourite song, dance down the aisle, or read a poem. The right officiant will be flexible and understanding and want to work with you.
Legally, the ceremony must include a question of intent to each partner (Do you bride, take groom to be your husband?), the signing of the marriage license by the couple and two witnesses, and the officiant pronouncing the couple as married.

Ask for what you want

The point is, most of the ceremony content is up to you. Don’t be shy! Ask your officiant for what you want. Choose an officiant who will listen to your vision and help you make it a reality. Some weddings officiants are willing to go even further and will dress the part for a theme wedding!

There are great ways to include your children in your wedding. Sand ceremonies or rose ceremonies can make kids feel included and can offer a visual representation of the new family being created. Children can also sign the “record of solemnization” portion of the marriage licence. It is the keepsake portion of the licence that you will keep.

Pets can be included too. Make sure you find an officiant who will be comfortable with this and make sure you have someone to help pet-sit after the ceremony – after taking some cute fur-baby wedding photos.

A good officiant will be able to make suggestions for your ceremony content, work with you to develop the ceremony you want, and then manage the flow of the ceremony on the big day by soothing nerves and high emotions and reminding you to look at your partner – the reason for the festivities in the first place. On your big day, let your personality shine!

Making wedding shows count

Friendly All Seasons Weddings officiants

January 13, 2017

‘Tis the season for wedding shows. All the couples getting married next summer or in 2018 are gearing up their planning and looking to book vendors and tackle DIY projects in preparation for their approaching nuptials.

The Ottawa Wedding Chapel and All Seasons Weddings will be at a variety of shows across Ontario in the coming weeks. These shows are a great opportunity for us to meet potential couples and answer their questions.

Here’s a couple of tips on making the most out of a wedding show.

  • Check for early bird tickets (if there is a charge to get in).
  • If there is a swag/goodie bag for the show, take a careful look through it. Sometimes there are coupons to save you money!
  • Pre-plan your show. Look at the floor plan, if available, or at least the vendors list. Highlight the ones that provide the services you need.
  • Be ready to compare. Do your homework by finding regular prices for services you are interested in. That way you will know how good those “show specials” are.
  • Wear comfy shoes!
  • Create a new wedding email account. This will keep all your wedding-related info in one place and keep your personal account spam-free. You can use it to enter draws as well.
  • Have your name, email address, phone number, and wedding date on address labels. There will be lots of draws to take part in and these are the details companies will be asking for on their ballots. Stick your info on the ballot and save writing it over and over!
  • Use the camera on your phone. Take pictures of anything inspirational and anything you don’t want to forget.
  • Have fun! Take someone with you who will help you enjoy yourself and not stress you out.

Where can you find us?

Here’s a list of where you can find the Ottawa Wedding Chapel and All Seasons Weddings.

Jan. 13, Dream Wedding Showcase in Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Jan. 21, Bride and Groom Show in Kemptville, ON (Ottawa Wedding Chapel display)
Jan. 21 and 22, London Winter Bridal Show in London, ON
Jan. 21, Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm Open House in Edwards, ON
Jan. 21, Old Montreal Weddings Open House (Hotel Place D’Armes) in Montreal QC
Jan. 22, Kingston Wedding Show in Kingston, ON
Jan. 29, Wedding Trends Show in Peterborough, ON
Jan. 29, Kortright Centre Open House in Toronto, ON
Feb. 26, Best Western Plus, Parkside Inn and Spa in Perth, ON
April 22, Women’s Day Show in Embrun, ON (Ottawa Wedding Chapel display)

Chapel Offers Handfasting!

All Seasons officiant Alan Viau performing a handfasting

January 6, 2017

Handfasting is the process of wrapping cords or ribbons around the wedding couple’s clasped hands and knotting them, symbolically binding their lives together. It has been popular over the last several decades with Wiccan and Pagan religions, but can now be found as a part of non-denominational or other religions’ wedding ceremonies as well. We’ve seen a few ceremonies at the Ottawa Wedding Chapel where the couple have included handfasting.

As far as historians can tell, handfasting dates back to ancient Celtic Scotland and was originally part of a formal betrothal ceremony (the precursor to today’s engagement). The couple pledged themselves to one another for future marriage. It seems likely that the term “handfast” was taken from the Old Norse “handfesta” meaning to strike a bargain by joining hands. It follows the same logic as our common handshake to seal a deal. Handfasting is also probably where the phrase “tying the knot” came from.

Modern-day Pagans and Wiccans were the first to revive the use of handfasting. They use the power of intent as part of the ceremony. The tying of the couple’s hands is a visual illustration of their intent to be bound together. The cords or ribbons may be braided or woven together in advance while carefully thinking of good wishes for the couple.

A full Wiccan handfasting ceremony might involve several cords. A cord could be draped across the couple’s clasped hands for any or each of the following: sharing of pain, sharing of laughter, sharing of burdens, sharing of dreams, using anger to temper the union, and honouring each other. Once all the cords are laid, they are tied together.

Incorporating handfasting

While sometimes a couple will choose a full handfasting ceremony, more commonly it is incorporated into their vows. We have seen an officiant say something along the lines of, “Please join hands. As your hands are joined with this ribbon, so are your lives, holding each other, caressing each other, supporting each other and loving each other.” The couple’s hands remain tied as they say their vows to each other and then the ribbon is removed without untying the knot. Another option is to give each guest (or maybe just your witnesses or children) a ribbon and have them all bind your hands together.

A possible downside is that you may need a rehearsal, especially if you are using more than one ribbon or cord, just so there is no fumbling on the big day. A rehearsal may result in an extra payment to your officiant.

Handfasting can be a beautiful addition to your wedding ceremony. It’s a great way to work in personalized vows or wording. The tying of the cords or ribbons is an illustration of your intent to bind your lives together. It may be something that your guests haven’t seen before. If you’re interested in adding handfasting to your ceremony, we’re happy to accommodate you at the Ottawa Wedding Chapel.

Happy Holidays!

Winter wishes to you

December 22, 2016

Our office will be closed from 4:30 pm on Dec. 22 to 8:30 am on Jan. 3. We’ll be back in January ready to help all of you who get engaged over the holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the staff at Ottawa Wedding Chapel and All Seasons Weddings and best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.

Make sure your Officiant is Legit

Marriage licence

December 16, 2016

A Parry Sound, Ontario woman has been charged this week with solemnizing weddings without lawful authority. Michelle Bottineau was charged after a couple she conducted a ceremony for complained to local authorities about not receiving their marriage certificate.

Authorities investigated and discovered that a second couple married by Bottineau was facing the same difficulties in obtaining their certificate. She was charged by local law enforcement with:
-Fraud under $5000
-Forging legal documents and credentials
-Pretending to solemnize weddings without lawful authority
The police suspect more illegal marriages, and they are reaching out to any couples who may have used the services of Bottineau.

We have seen other cases where con artists conduct fraudulent ceremonies for the sake of quick gain. While these couples will eventually have their marriages recognized by the province, they will experience delays in receiving their marriage certificate.

At the Ottawa Wedding Chapel and All Seasons Weddings we always advise our couples to consult the following directory which lists every licensed officiant in Ontario. A confirmation of your officiant’s credentials may save you a lot of trouble and paperwork in the future.

Make sure to visit before your big day.

Charcuterie Board Cocktail Reception

Ottawa Wedding Chapel Charcuterie Board

December 9, 2016

You want your wedding guests to feel pampered and well-fed, and you also want a chance to visit with as many of them as possible. A fancy sit down dinner will accomplish the first part of that equation, but not the second. The answer may be a cocktail style reception, that will allow your guests to mingle more. But will your friends and family still be well fed? Absolutely, if you do it right!

We recently served a charcuterie board buffet for 65 at the Ottawa Wedding Chapel. Not only does charcuterie allow you to include some high end and expensive meats and cheeses, without breaking the bank, it also avoids the potential disappointment of hot hors d’oeuvres gone cold. You can have something for everyone and allow guests to explore their palate, while still providing some standard favourites.

Charcuterie = tastes & textures

We tempted the guests at our recent reception with pumpkin hummus (fitting our fall-themed table décor) and locally made rhubarb chutney. These slightly unusual tastes were balanced out by more familiar cream cheese.

Charcuterie is all about providing a variety of tastes and textures, so we included soft and hard cheeses, spicy salamis and subtle cured meats, crisps and soft bread, fresh grapes and dried apricots, olives and nuts. Because the food is meant to be served at room temperature, there isn’t a rush to get everyone fed. Folks can nibble throughout the reception.

A cocktail style reception also allows you to hold your event in a smaller (and perhaps more affordable) space, because you don’t need so many tables. We had a handful of tall cocktail tables, as well as some seating around the outside of the room. You are also saving on the cost of servers – far fewer catering staff are required for a buffet style reception.

Passing on a traditional sit-down dinner also gives you the flexibility to change up other wedding traditions. No one will notice if you skip out on the speeches, for example. While you’re at it, why not forego the fancy, and expensive, wedding cake and instead have bite-sized portions of all your favourite desserts.

Charcuterie restaurants are still riding a wave of popularity, don’t be afraid to jump on it for your wedding reception. The benefits are many, one of the biggest being you will spend more face time with your guests.

Decking the Hall

Decking the halls

December 2, 2016

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We’ve been decorating the chapel for the holidays and thought we’d share a few pics. Our stained glass is so beautiful that we don’t need much in the way of accessories. We’ve added some fresh evergreen wreaths to the exterior doors and some cheery poinsettias inside.

We are looking forward to our December weddings, including one on Christmas Eve! The reception will feature a variety of warm appetizers and some hot apple cider from our catering friends at Winchelsea Events. Tasty treats and sparkling wine combined with the warmth of family and friends celebrating this couple’s love story — the guests might not want to leave.

Pretty Pictures

Christmas Collage



Ottawa Chapel Offers Pop-up Weddings

November 25, 2016

Pop-up Weddings at Ottawa Wedding ChapelHave you been waiting to get married? No time? No money? Don’t want the stress of planning a wedding? Ottawa Wedding Chapel has your solution. Celebrate Valentine’s Day and your own personal love story on Sun., Feb. 12 with a pop-up wedding. The chapel has taken care of the details, all couples need to do is get their marriage licence from city hall, book an available time, dress up, and show up to #getwed.

We wanted to offer local couples the chance to have an amazing and stress-free wedding for a low cost. We’re anticipating a fabulous day.

The chapel has been completely refurbished and features stunning stained glass and gleaming wood. It’s a classically beautiful space. Almost every couple that comes for a tour ends up booking.

Pop-up Package

The pop-up package includes one hour of time in the historic and beautiful Ottawa Wedding Chapel in Kenmore, a licensed wedding officiant from Wedding Ceremonies by All Seasons to conduct the ceremony, and music for the walk down the aisle. The bride will have use of a beautiful bouquet from Blooms by Beyond the House in Russell, ON and will receive a rose to take home.

The pop-up wedding package also includes photography by Margaret Link Photography. The couple will take home two 5×7 prints to help them remember their wedding day. CDs with all the digital files can be ordered for an additional cost. Couples will also enjoy a champagne toast once their ceremony is complete, sharing a glass of sparkling wine and a sweet treat with their witnesses.

Five couples will tie the knot at the Ottawa Wedding Chapel on Feb. 12. For more information on how to book, visit Ottawa Wedding Chapel on Facebook, email, or call 1-800-545-3681.


Blog Welcome!

November 21, 2016

Ottawa Wedding ChapelWe love weddings. It’s a huge part of what we do here at the Ottawa Wedding Chapel. We’ve seen so many, and each one is different.

Many couples choose our chapel because of its intimate feel and elegant aesthetic. It’s the perfect combination of warm wood, stunning stained glass, and fabulous acoustics. Nearly every couple who come for a tour end up booking.

We’ve decided that we’d like to share our stories and ideas with you…so we’ve started a blog. Here you will find everything from stories and pictures from wedding dreams we’ve helped come true at our chapel, to ideas we’ve collected from elsewhere on the web. We’ve got some good advice for you, and will sometimes share a laugh with you too. We’ll introduce you to other local Ottawa-area companies in the wedding biz and showcase some of the great products and services they offer.

We hope you will come talk weddings with us!

Who is this wedding for?

September 26, 2016

Just married couple on bikePlanning a wedding can be stressful for couples and it may cause a lot of strain in the months leading to the big day. In our long experience helping plan weddings and managing officiants all over Canada, we noticed that things do not have to be stressful. Couples sometimes need to take a step back and say, “who is this wedding for?” Some couples get so lost in the planning process and the coordination between the two families, that they forget the whole purpose of the wedding is to make the great love that they share official!

While it’s great for your families and friends to feel involved and want to take part in the excitement leading up to the wedding, ultimately the day should be about you and your fiancee and you should plan a ceremony and reception that you will enjoy.

Even if you stress over extensive planning, things can still happen. Sometimes weddings go wrong due to unforeseen circumstances. Here are a couple of examples of  brides who overcame impossible odds to make their wedding dreams come true.

The first story is about a bride who had the misfortune of her limo having a flat tire on her way to her wedding. Most brides would have started panicking, but this bride had a very simple solution. She got herself to the side of the road and stuck out her thumb, aiming to hitchhike to the ceremony (in her wedding dress). Angelique may have arrived half an hour late, but she got there in style on a motorcycle! She had waited 11 years to marry the man of her dreams, and was not going to wait one more day.

Another inspiring story is about Kevin and Carmen Shanahan who wanted to have a wintry wedding. They were thinking of a ceremony in front of a fireplace and a menu including hot cocoa. They were not expecting a blizzard on the biggest day of their lives. Carmen and Kevin refused to cancel their wedding and decided to go ahead. The upside of the uncooperative weather? Magnificent pictures, with the couple appearing to be in a winter wonderland.

The way we see it, couples should focus on planning a wedding they are going to love rather than trying to please everyone who thinks they should have a say. Even with perfect planning, you certainly can’t control every aspect of the day, but feeling comfortable with your plan and going into the day with a positive attitude will ensure that whatever obstacles come your way the wedding will be full of fabulous memories.