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Chapel features beautiful stained glass

Stained glass flowers

March 24, 2017

There is nothing that can compare to the beauty of light falling through a stained glass window. At the Ottawa Wedding Chapel we have some of the most beautiful stained glass in the area. Featuring flowers, rather than religious iconography, our windows have a wide appeal.

Long History

Stained glass is a form of painting that began over 1,000 years ago. One of the oldest known examples of multiple pieces of colored glass used in a window were discovered in Jarrow, England at St. Paul’s Monastery, which was founded in 686 AD.

The glass makers were called glaziers, and while most never left a signature or identifying mark on their artwork, during the middle ages they belonged to very powerful “guilds.” Companies that built stained glass would be under contract with these guilds and could not produce windows without an “official” glazier being on site. Metallic salts were added during the glass making process to produce glass of different colours.

A stained-glass window consisted of pieces of coloured glass held together in by a web of lead. In early days, the glass had details such as faces and hands painted and fired on to it in black or brown paint.

About the year 1300, stain was discovered that had the ability to turn white glass yellow or blue glass green after it was fired, opening up more colours and shading options. The term “stained glass” derives from this silver stain that was applied to the back side of the window.

Some of the most powerful art produced in the Romanesque and Gothic time periods were religious visual stories, in French cathedral windows. Advances in construction made it possible to make larger windows. Because of this the craft underwent a revival and was used as a storytelling medium, consisting mostly of biblical scenes.

Stained Glass collage

Modern Glass

In the 17th and 18th centuries, glass making was in decline. It wasn’t until the 19th century that another revival took place. Less expensive production methods made it more accessible to a wider range of people. US inventor Louis Tiffany used copper foil and solder to connect the glass pieces instead of lead. This development also allowed for a higher level of detail. His company, Tiffany Studios was a huge success and Tiffany lamps became especially popular.

Now stained glass has reached the masses, with home glass studios common for hobbyists. Regardless of its popularity, a beautiful piece of glass lit by the sun remains a breathtaking view.

The stained glass windows at the Ottawa Wedding Chapel are remarkable for their design. They provide a calm, soft natural light without an overbearing “churchy” feel. They are a wonderful backdrop for photos. If you are looking for a more spiritual presence, the chapel does have one large window that features a cross.

Outdoor wedding success comes from planning

outdoor wedding

March 10, 2017

Outdoor weddings are often fun and are enhanced by the beauty of nature. Being outdoors presents a lot of advantages, but there are also many factors that may cause calamity.

Here is a list of things to consider:

1. Bad weather is your worst enemy
Bad weather will ruin your wedding, if you are not prepared for it. Make sure to have cozy blankets ready in case the temperature drops, shade areas to combat the heat. Umbrellas and cover areas will also come in handy, so unexpected showers don’t take you and your guests by surprise.

2. Care packages
Be prepared with all the essentials your guests may need for an outdoor wedding. You might include include blankets, sunscreen, band aids, emergency contact list, bug repellent, flashlights, fans, bottles of water, and flip flops for the sake of dancing!

Some venues allow guests to bring their own wine to weddings for a flat fee paid by the host of the event. This is a great method to save money and allow your guests to enjoy the alcoholic beverages which they prefer the most. If you are having a wedding in your backyard or estate, then this option would offer a variety of selection. You would have to provide the glasses and maybe a self-serve bar area.

4. Tell your guests where to go
Regardless of the layout and theme which you have for your outdoor wedding, make sure that your guests are clear on where to go and what is expected of them. Provide clear signage to where everything is from the bar to the bathroom.

5. Wind-proofing
Do your best to windproof your décor as a gust of wind can make everything go flying, including food and beverages. You don’t want a big spot of red wine on your wedding dress!

6. Manage the heat creatively
A hand held fan may a blessing during a hot outdoor wedding ceremony. Be creative by putting your wedding program on a fan; your guests will memorize your wedding program by the end of the ceremony. Make sure to keep your guests hydrated — not just beer and wine! An ice cream cart with a selection of frozen treats would be a hit with guests, because who hates ice cream?

7. Save the Flowers!
Ask your florist to mist the flowers if you are expecting a very hot day.

8. Lighting
If your wedding plans will plunge into the darkness of the night, then string lights may be the best option for you. They are easy to set-up, and if you have trees around then you can create a magical forest feeling for your guests. Placing camping lanterns underneath table clothes will enhance that magical feel.

Pop-up Wedding Recap

Pop-up wedding

March 3, 2017

Despite the biggest snowstorm of the season, four couples tied the knot at the Ottawa Wedding Chapel on Sunday February 12 in our first ever pop-up wedding event. There were snowflakes caught in fancy updos, cheeks rosy from the cold, one late bride, and some chapel staff members stuck in the parking lot at the end of the afternoon, but the snow didn’t stop the show.

Four different love stories celebrated in one day made for an amazing experience. Each couple was unique — from the camouflage-themed wedding rings and bouquet to an elven princess. They wrote their own vows and proclaimed their love in front of a couple of people that are close to them — best friends in one case, parents in another case, and their children in a third case.

Some brides took advantage of our beautiful fresh bouquet from Blooms by Beyond the House in Russell, Ontario. It was a lovely collection of dusty pink roses, white hydrangeas, soft pink lilies,and greenery. It was subtle enough not to overpower our diverse brides, but still some gorgeous eye candy for the photos.

All couples received two 5×7 prints from Photography by Margaret Link to take home with them and most decided to purchase a CD full of edited photos from their wedding as well.

Our lovebirds celebrated with a glass of sparkling wine and some treats created by Homecoooked Meals To Go after their ceremony was complete. There was bite-sized strawberry cheesecake, mini butter tarts and chocolate turtle bites. Delicious!

Get in on the next Pop-up event!

We are so pleased to have been a part of the weddings for these four couples. Enjoy a few photos from our Pop-up wedding event.

Pop-up wedding event

It was such a success, we’re considering doing it again. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, drop us a line and let us know. We’re collecting a list of potential pop-up sweethearts.

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