October 24, 2022
You see it all the time – people viewing the world through their cell phone cameras. For example, recording video of a fireworks display, taking a million photos of an iconic landmark and fiddling with filters trying to get that one ‘gram-worthy shot, and, unfortunately, taking non-stop video or photos of a friend’s wedding ceremony. In all cases, these people are missing out on being in the moment and having the fullest experience. So how do you make them stop for your wedding?
Ask nicely….and more than once
Set your expectations from the beginning by mentioning in your invite that you are having an unplugged or device-free ceremony. Explain that you have hired a professional photographer or appointed a specific friend to capture the event. If you are having wedding programs you can mention it again there by saying, “Thanks for respecting our wish to have a camera and phone-free ceremony.” You could also set a sign at the entrance of your ceremony venue to remind people. Finally, ask your wedding officiant to make an announcement before the ceremony begins telling guests to put their phones on silent and put them away so they can be fully present and enjoy the moment with you.
Or try for a compromise
Another option is to ask guests not to take photos until you have been pronounced as married. The officiant could announce at the beginning of the ceremony that cameras and cellphones should be stored until the end of the ceremony when the couple will spend a few moments posing for guests’ photos.
What about people sharing “unsanctioned” photos online?
You know your guests best. Do you have the type of friends and family who carefully curate or those who post their entire camera roll (including the blurry ones)?
If keeping the lid on wedding photos until you have a chance to view and select your own preferred shot is important to you, you may want to take steps to help that happen.
First, ask your photographer if they can provide a couple of sneak peek shots so you can get a sanctioned photo out on social media quickly, ideally the next day. Another option is to take a “just married” selfie and get your own photo out first that way.
Follow the steps above for an unplugged ceremony. You should also think twice about a wedding hashtag – which will encourage people to post photos.
You can let guests know ahead of time that you would appreciate them not sharing photos online until you have had a chance to post your own. The same as asking for an unplugged ceremony, your options for asking and reminding guests not to post on social media are in the invitation, in the program, via a sign at the venue, and an announcement before the ceremony begins.
You can also review your social media settings and adjust your privacy so people can’t tag you or tagged photos won’t show on your FB or Instagram pages.
Best of both worlds?
If you do want friends and family to share photos from the reception, you can reveal your wedding hashtag at the reception venue. You can also create an Instagram-worthy backdrop or seating area and have a sign encouraging people to take photos.
There will always be one
No matter what you say or do, there will always be someone who doesn’t play by your rules. Try not to get upset. Maybe they are truly addicted to their phone. It’s their loss for not taking time to be in the moment with you. And a good photographer can work around them.
September 8, 2022
Wedding arches are a big décor trend and it seems like they will stick around. And why not? It’s an easy way to have a big impact on your ceremony space.
An arch is a way of drawing the focus to the spot where you will exchange your vows. They are especially helpful if you are getting married outside where there is no obvious focal point or at a venue where it’s essentially a blank canvas.
Two takes on the same pergola at the Ottawa Wedding Chapel
An arch can help you incorporate the colours and theme that you have selected for your day. From bo-ho to sleek and modern, an arch is a set-piece that helps create the ambiance you want. You can use pretty much any material — wood, metal, fabric, live plants, etc.
Your arch can also serve as a backdrop for photos after the ceremony as well. Guests won’t be able to resist snapping a few frames in front of it.
You can rent all sorts of backdrops, flower walls, and arches. Wedding groups on social media or buy and sell sites like Kijiji are also a good source for ready-made items. Of course, if you’re handy you can DIY it and have it to keep or sell to someone else. If you are buying or making a sturdy structure, you can add it to your garden or patio after to extend its life.
You don’t have to break the bank — simple can be very effective. You may be able to use something you already have or something you can thrift or make — sheer curtains, old wooden ladders, paper flowers, a tree branch, etc.
The sunflowers here are a perfect tie-in to the couple’s splashes of yellow.
Keep the weather in mind as you plan. There could be rain or wind and you don’t want your arch to tumble — make sure it’s stable and possibly staked to the ground. Wind can also play havoc with draped fabric.
If there is a view or horizon, pay attention to what vista your arch frames — it’s going to be in a lot of photos. You may want to work the angles to avoid a highway with traffic or the back of a building for example. And while you may think of a wedding arch as having a lot of height to draw the eye, you can create something lower to the ground (especially if you have a view with mountains in the background). An existing flowerbed can be your focal point with some added pillars or use potted perennial plants to create a low-rise semi-circle. You can use the plants for landscaping at your home afterwards or gift them to the members of your wedding party.
In the end, make sure that the focal point of your ceremony location is something that brings you joy when you look at it. The personality of the couple should be apparent — so don’t be concerned with sticking to something flowery, if that’s not what you like. Get creative and playful. Make it as steampunk, anime, forest elf, comic book, futuristic, or Day of the Dead as you like. It’s a key visual for your day.
March 2, 2022
Whether you are eloping or having a huge wedding, you are going to need official witnesses for your ceremony to sign the legal marriage documents.
You will need two – one to sign for each partner. At every wedding there must be at least five people present: the couple, two witnesses, and the officiant. In Canada, witnesses must be physically present, they can not be present by video.
Witnesses must have the mental capacity and language skills to understand what they are witnessing and signing. They may not be impaired by drugs or alcohol. Some provinces have rules around age, for example in BC witnesses must be 19+, in Alberta 18+, but in Ontario it’s up to the officiant’s discretion (we still recommend 18+).
Witnesses can be family or friends, or they can be strangers. They do not have to be Canadian citizens or live in Canada.
There is no obligation for your honour attendants (best man/maid, maid/man of honour) to act as witnesses. If you would like to recognize someone else important to you by having them sign as a witness, the officiant can call them up at the appropriate time.
All that witnesses have to do is sign their name on the legal paperwork. They also need to provide their home address for the officiant’s records or marriage register. Should something go wrong with the process of registering the marriage (lost in the post, etc) it is possible that witnesses could be called on to sign/testify that they witnessed the marriage and agree that both parties were consenting, on the date it took place.
If you are planning an elopement and do not have witnesses for your wedding, your officiant may be able to supply them. Our chapel and All Seasons Weddings both offer this service for an additional fee. If you are eloping in a public place, you can try to find witnesses on the spot.
If you are planning something unusual or a location that is difficult to reach (requiring hiking, snowshoeing, paddling, etc) double check that your witnesses are on board, or take those factors into consideration when selecting them. You want someone who is delighted to be standing on top of a mountain with you, not someone who doesn’t have the proper gear or stamina.
No matter if your witnesses are your best friends or complete strangers, your wedding will hopefully be a memory you will carry with you forever.
January 19, 2022
Getting married can be stressful and getting married in the time of Covid-19 has amped that stress level way up. We’ve put together some tips to help keep you focused and avoid spiraling off into the stress abyss.
Decide what is important to you
What do you want to remember about your wedding day? What do you want your guests to remember? Set some end goals and then work backwards. When questions come up and you feel pressured to make decisions, go back to those goals and use them to give yourself permission to let some things go. If you’ve decided dancing to boppin’ tunes with your friends and a killer dessert are at the top of your priority list, you can get the cheaper napkins or pass on buying fancy shoes/wedding favours/fresh flower centrepieces and not give it a second thought.
Covid Caveat: In a landscape of changing regulations for social interactions, decide what is a deal breaker. Do you require dancing? Drinking? Can you be happy with 20 guests or will you hold out for 200? Talking about it in advance can make it easier if the time comes and you have to decide to move forward or postpone. Take it a step further and make a tiny wedding back-up plan. You can’t control the Covid situation. You can be prepared to manage your wedding to fit regulations.
Keeping things smaller to start with
A smaller wedding can end up being easier to plan and less expensive as well, so it might be less stressful to start with. We have certainly seen couples with small Covid weddings say it was a blessing in disguise – they had a ready-made excuse for not inviting far flung cousins and work acquaintances and it kept them focused on what was really important to them. Keeping your wedding party tiny can also prevent drama and keep the day-of logistics simpler.
Manage family expectations
Pleasing family can be a huge stressor. As much as possible, try to be firm with your wishes and let family know from the very beginning of planning what they can expect. If parents are paying, negotiate the areas where they will have a say. Be upfront and honest about what is important to you – and what stresses you out.
Build in time to your wedding day schedule to relax
Space out appointment times, taking into consideration that hair or make-up can take longer than anticipated. Plan for lunch. Sitting down and eating something will give you time to breathe and enjoy the company of your wedding entourage. Not to mention that food will help keep you fueled for the big event to come.
Some couples like to remove themselves from the hubbub right after the ceremony and find a quiet place where they can spend a few moments in just each other’s company. See what options there are at your venue. Some venues have a suite for your use where you can sneak away and chill out for 15 mins in the middle of your reception with nobody trying to take your picture.
Take a break
Make sure planning doesn’t take over your life. You need time to take care of yourself and time to spend with your partner not talking about your wedding. Schedule date nights where wedding talk is off limits. Lunch with friends and tell them ahead of time that you don’t want to talk about the wedding. Schedule a relaxation massage in the week before your wedding.
Get help and delegate
You are only one person. Even if your future spouse is on-board to plan and organize by your side, you are still only two people. Face the fact that maybe you can’t do it all and get help. You can hire a planner (even a consultation for couple of hours with a professional might help you get a better handle on your to-do list and give you a solid plan for moving forward) or enlist family and friends to help. When delegating to someone, be specific in your requests and budget, and then try to let go of the need to control that task.
Stay organized and don’t leave things until the last minute
Whether it’s with lists or charts, on paper or an app, checking things off is a great way to make sure that nothing gets missed. Knowing you are organized can also help keep stress at bay. If the idea of a list makes you break out into hives, maybe you have an organizationally inclined friend who would be happy to act as your coordinator, or hire a pro.
Roll with whatever happens on the day of
Keep your focus on the positives. There is a good chance that something won’t go exactly right on your wedding day. You can’t control all the external factors (weather, vendors messing up, accidents), but you can control how you respond. Remember that the guests don’t know how things are supposed to go. If there was no wedding cake they would assume it was by design rather than you forgot to pick it up. If something goes amiss, look at your partner and remember the purpose of the day. Everything else is secondary, so you might as well try to laugh at any hiccups along the way.
October 20, 2021
While wedding dreams may be made of castles, mountains of fresh flowers, horse-drawn carriages, gorgeous gowns, and sleek suits, reality is sometimes a little bit different. Nobody ever stumbles or has their stomach growl during a ceremony in the movies. Go ahead and plan a spectacular wedding day that will make your dreams come true. But also, we urge you to practice practicality. Here are some ways to do that.
You might love the crystal high heels or a have your heart set on a new pair of swanky dress shoes, but it’s important to keep comfort in mind. You are going to be on your feet a lot!
-Break shoes in before the big day – this goes for anyone from flower girls to groomsmen. Remember that high heels will make your feet ache if you’re not used to wearing them.
-Brides should practice walking around in their wedding dress and chosen shoes. Think about your wedding location. Will you need to climb any steps? Try some in advance. Figure out the most elegant way to pull your dress up out of the way. Heels will also sink into the ground if you are spending time on grass for your ceremony or photos.
-Bring another pair to change into later. Grooms and other wedding party members should consider this as well. You want to focus on making memories not trying to pretend your feet don’t hurt.
You have planned a wonderful wedding meal for your family and friends, but have you considered what you will eat the rest of the day? Many times, couples arrive to their wedding ceremony location stressed, hungry and thirsty.
-Plan a mealtime into your wedding day itinerary.
-Make sure you have some healthy snacks on hand in case you don’t feel like eating a whole meal.
-Drink water during the day as well. Write it on your schedule. In fact, hydrate yourself in the whole week ahead – your skin and the rest of your body will thank you.
-If you are having a cocktail-style reception (hopefully we’ll eventually be able to hold those again once Covid has run its course), appoint someone to get you a plate of food and deliver it to you. Every guest will want some face time with the newlyweds, so it can be tricky to slip over to the buffet table.
– Consider the kids. Kids may be unsure of fancy dishes they aren’t used to. If you’re not having a specific kids’ plate, make sure at least one part of the meal is straightforward and likely to be agreeable to kids. Maybe mashed potatoes or even bread. This author recently witnessed a wedding dinner where a teen guest ate only bread because everything else was “too weird.” We all know there are picky adults as well.
Don’t drive yourselves anywhere. You want to be able to enjoy a glass of wine or just kick back and not have the stress of worrying about parking or directions.
-Have someone to take you to the ceremony, and someone to take you home or to your hotel at the end of the night.
-Think about the items you need to transport from the ceremony location to the reception venue or home from the reception at the end of the night. If you are having things delivered by vendors like flowers and cake, you’ll need to have space to take leftover items away. Flower arrangements can take up a lot of space in a trunk and backseat! Appoint someone to transport the gifts as well.
-Don’t forget about the guests. To prevent drinking and driving and make sure everyone feels free to celebrate with you, consider arranging a ride home for people and provide info on public transportation access. A shuttle to the hotel where people are staying or a designated driver service can make a difference.
Other practical tips
-If a bride’s bouquet is arriving in a vase of water, have a dish towel or paper towels on hand to dry the stems before she walks down the aisle.
-Make sure your coordinator or a wedding party member has a little emergency kit (think extra hair pins, safety pins, straight pins for boutonnieres, some tissues, pain meds for surprise headaches, a bottle of water, etc.)
-Have a plan for what is happening right after the ceremony. You’re waking down the aisle, freshly introduced as a married couple, and then what? We’ve seen many couples falter as they aren’t sure what to do next. Discuss ahead of time with your photographer. Are you heading directly to a photo location? Are you greeting guests? If you’ve been streaming the ceremony to non-local guests do you want to stop at the camera and give them a few words of thanks for tuning in?
-If you are writing your own vows to read to each other, send them to the officiant (separately if they are a surprise for each other) so they can be included with the officiant’s ceremony script. That way if the cue cards go missing or the phone battery goes dead, there will be a copy for you to read from.
-If someone forgets the wedding rings, you can use an engagement ring or another normally worn ring as a placeholder so as not to make a big deal about it. Or borrow a ring from the officiant or someone in the wedding party.
-Have a simple wedding website where guests can double check date/times/locations/directions/parking info/Covid safety requirements. Sometimes paper invites get tossed or lost. The Knot has a great rundown of options: https://www.theknot.com/content/best-wedding-websites
-Make an emergency contact list including numbers for vendors, all parents, honour attendants (best maids/men), your planner/coordinator, and any other key players. Distribute the list and give vendors a specific point of contact for last minute issues. You do not want to be dealing with someone lost trying to deliver a cake before your ceremony begins.
We hope these little nuggets of wisdom will help you keep your feet firmly planted on the ground as you dream about your perfect ceremony and reception. Keeping sight of real-world issues can reduce stress on the wedding day and help you enjoy seeing all your plans come to life.
May 28, 2021
An elopement is a sudden secret wedding, often without parental consent. We’ve seen Covid-era micro-weddings referred to as “eloping” but usually these are just small weddings rather than true elopements. Parental consent isn’t such a big deal in modern times, but sometimes people still choose a sudden secret wedding.
Why get married suddenly? There can be lots of reasons. Maybe you have been together forever and finally decide to make it legal. You may not feel the need to have a lot of wedding fuss because you have been living your vows every day. Maybe your schedule is incredibly busy, and you don’t have time to plan a big wedding day. Or perhaps outside circumstances, such as pregnancy, job opportunity in another country, impending surgery or medical treatment, or end of life diagnosis will play a part. It’s also possible that once the decision to get married is made, you just don’t want to wait.
Why get married secretly? Some people don’t like the spotlight and the idea of standing in front of dozens of people declaring their vows is too nerve-wracking. If this is you, eloping might feel like a huge relief. You may have a challenging relationship with your family, or there may be other challenging relationships within your family. If you’re not convinced your divorced parents can be in the same room together without fireworks, eloping might be for you. It may be that your choice of partner is not approved by your family or friends. If people haven’t been supportive of your relationship, why would you want them at your wedding?
The good news is that eloping is a completely normal and acceptable way to get married. You don’t need permission from anyone!
What do you need to get married? In most of Canada, getting married is very straightforward (Quebec is the exception here.). You need a marriage licence, two witnesses, and a wedding officiant. The witnesses do not have to know you personally, they just are just there to witness you declaring your intent to marry your partner and the officiant pronouncing you as married. You don’t need to have rings or vows, flowers or toasts. All Seasons offers a “Make it Legal” package with its officiants at the location of your choice (your home, a hotel room, a park – you pick!) The Ottawa Wedding Chapel also offers simple, straightforward elopements (with a nicer backdrop than city hall).
Potential side-effects of eloping. You may end up with friends or family who are disappointed they didn’t get to celebrate with you. Weddings are still key milestones that many people feel should be shared. But guess what? Your family or friends can arrange a get-together without a wedding.
Don’t feel guilty if you decide to elope. Your reasons are your own and nobody should feel they have the right to dictate how you decide to tie the knot with your partner. Eloping can be exciting and romantic. Imagine saying “I do” with a Rocky Mountain helicopter ceremony or with an intimate ceremony at the location of your first date.
It will save you a pile of money that you can put toward travelling, purchasing a home, or even just paying down your debt. This alone is a good reason to consider it. The average Canadian wedding costs $29,450 according to Wedding Wire in 2020.
Eloping is less complicated and less stressful than a traditional wedding. There is no need to follow any tradition. Run off and get married on a Tuesday if you want! Get married in your pyjamas at home. Book a hotel for the weekend and spoil yourselves with massages and a fancy dinner, and squeeze in a wedding in between. What is important is that the two of you commit yourselves to your life ahead in a way that feels right to you.
Photos by Marcelo Chagas and Emir Kaan Okutan from Pexels
March 17, 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic drove us online more than ever. Everyone from preschoolers to grandparents has learned how to Zoom, or use other video chat tools. Video also became a bigger part of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, so it makes sense that we are seeing video as a bigger and more frequent component of wedding planning.
Here are some ideas to make sure you are making the most of the amazing technology we have available to us.
Save the date
We used to send cards by post, and while receiving a beautifully designed card on thick cardstock directly to your mailbox still carries a certain gravitas, it’s cheaper and quicker to let friends know online. Save the date videos have grown in popularity. It’s a chance for creativity and to hint at the type of event you are planning. For top-notch and completely customized results, you can hire a professional of course, but there are also video templates online for purchase, or even for free, where you can slot in some photos and your details and be good to go — or pop your iPhone on a tripod and freestyle your DIY.
Video shines when capturing a couple’s love and happy tears during a “first look” moment and some shots of the couple getting ready make a nice addition to a wedding video. Filming the venue before all the action begins also gives the couple a chance afterward to check out all the small details they may miss in the excitement – the perfect flower arrangements, a ring bearer having his tie straightened by his mom, or the look on grandma’s face as she arrives at the church.
At the Ceremony
This is where the lockdowns and restrictions have hit the hardest. We are limited in the number of guests we can have physically present, meaning that some of the important people may not get to be there for your vows. The next best thing is to have them attend virtually by streaming the ceremony.
Make sure that your officiant mentions those joining online, with particular attention to anyone who is very close to you (grandparents or siblings, etc.) You can also have someone from afar take part by doing a reading — just make sure you’ve got a big screen so the folks at the venue can see the person at home.
If you’re streaming the ceremony, make sure the device has a close-up and clear view, and use a tripod or solid surface to keep it steady. While the device microphone is probably good enough if you’re inside, an outside location may benefit from an external microphone (possibly with a baffle to limit wind noise) to make sure everyone can hear the words being spoken.
Here are a few other tips:
- Check out the wi-fi in advance at your location. Ottawa Wedding Chapel offers wi-fi to all users.
- Review the different platforms and services to find the right one (Zoom, Facebook, Facetime, Teams, Google Meet, Youtube Live). They have different limitations re: number of people, etc. There is a nice summary at the bottom of this article.
- Do a test run with your equipment in advance.
- Make sure everything is fully charged!
- Password protect your livesteam or virtual “room.”
If you are hiring a professional videographer, you can include some reception moments in your video coverage, like speeches and first dances. If you are winging it on your own or have decided to only have professional video for the ceremony, appoint a trusted friend or relative to capture some of the reception fun.
You can set up a video station somewhere at your reception venue. This can be used in different ways. If you’re going live, it allows guests who are there in person to interact live with guests who are online. And it goes without saying that the wedding couple needs to make it a priority to stop by for a chat with virtual attendees. If it’s live, we also suggest having it be active only for a certain time, rather than all night long – virtual guests will tire quickly if there is too long in between visitors.
If you don’t want to livestream from the reception, a video booth can still be a fun way to collect video messages from the guests who are there. You may want to prepare a list of questions for them to answer so they’re not stuck for ideas. Video should be located in a quiet corner away from the speakers.
Wedding videos have come a long way. They are now often slick Hollywood-style productions with drone footage, and a variety of soundtrack tunes. Professional videographers are going to supply a professional product, so if actually hearing the vows and having everything in focus and smoothly recorded is important to you, you should spring for the experts.
You may also end up with a great video by asking for any tech-savvy teens to collaborate on shooting/editing. It will give them something fun to do, and you could wind up with a surprisingly good product – but you never know.
You may have seen the example (pre-Covid) of a GoPro strapped to a bottle of Fireball that caught a unique perspective of everyone who took a slug. (Google it; it was a THING.) Small cameras can be added to a bouquet, or the lapel of a suit to give an up-close perspective. A pet-cam will give you some silly footage from a down-low viewpoint. You can also think about creative placement such as next to the officiant’s face (or on the officiant) during the ceremony looking out at the couple and the guests. Other suggestions for innovative angles include having the make-up artist wear a camera while the wedding party is having their make-up done, or capturing some above the dancefloor footage.
January 13, 2021
Music is a great way to personalize your wedding day. From walking down the aisle to a first dance to the last song of the night, choose songs that you love and that represent you and your love story.
How many songs do you need for your wedding ceremony? At the Ottawa Wedding Chapel, we normally say three – one to walk down the aisle, one during the signing portion of the ceremony, and something joyful and peppy at the end, after you are formally announced.
There can be extra songs added of course. Some couples have a separate tune for the entrance of the parents, attendants, flowers girls, etc. and then switch to a different song just for the partner walking down the aisle.
We do, however, caution you against using too many selections at the beginning. Unless your entrance is a particularly long walk, each piece is heard for just a brief period and too many changes will make it sound choppy and could also be challenging for whoever you put in charge of the music.
The songs you select are up to you. While you can walk down the aisle to classical favourites Pachelbel Canon in D or Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, don’t be afraid to spice it up a little. Select something from a favourite movie soundtrack or a song you sing to each other when it comes up on your playlist. You have permission to be quirky or even silly. You might have your guests thinking, “That’s so them!” when they hear the first few bars. We had one couple who played the Jeopardy! theme song during the signing of their marriage licence. Another couple selected a children’s song that their kids loved as their final song and they all danced down the aisle together at the end of the wedding.
Live music – Live music is always a treat. From a harpist to a violinist to bagpipes, we’ve seen all types of live music. If you would like to have someone sing (the acoustics in our chapel are amazing), the best place to incorporate that is during the signing of the marriage documents. It can be a bit of a lull in the ceremony while the couple and witnesses are taking their turns to sign. A live music performance is more likely to keep your guests engaged.
If you are using a DJ, take the time to chat with them about the kinds of music that you like. Also remember that they are professional and through experience they know what normally keeps a dance floor full, so resist the urge to micromanage. Allowing your guests to make requests is one way to make sure they get their fave songs.
If you are simply creating your own playlist, give some thoughts to the ebb and flow of music and group a few similar songs together. If you get Aunt Jeanie out of her seat to bop to a Beatles song, don’t follow it up with something harsh and modern. You’d like her to stay on the dance floor for a few turns.
The downside to a pre-selected playlist is that guests aren’t able to make requests. And we’ve all been at parties where the playlist gets hijacked by someone with a specific musical taste. A professional DJ keeps that in check.
The songs that you select for your first dance as a couple and any dancing done with parents, should be meaningful to you. Don’t worry about being proper or meeting expectations. You can go with a heavy metal ballad, or reach back in time to the 60s, or pick a cover by a band that nobody else has ever heard of. These are your memories.
And if, on the other hand, Perfect by Ed Sheeran or All of Me by John Legend really speaks to you, don’t be phased by the fact that it has been used countless times before. Embrace it!
Music can also be used as the soundtrack to a slideshow at your reception or to accompany the introduction/entrance of the wedding party. This is a great time to flex some musical humour.
Dinner music – If you opt for music during dinner, keep in mind that it will be a background sound. Instrumental is great or soft rock type tunes. Save the pumping dance music for later on.
You can also leave your guests with a musical history of your relationship. CDs may be past their prime, but you could provide a jump drive with digital tunes or a Spotify play list that includes music from your youth, tunes from your courtship, and culminates with the song you selected for your first dance.
Music is tied so closely to memory. Hearing a song later can evoke a specific time and place. Make sure that the music you select for your wedding day is meaningful and will help you relive amazing memories in the years to come.
December 18, 2020
No matter the holiday you are celebrating, we hope you are able to spend it with someone you love. We wish you warm cozy nights, sunny days, tasty food to nibble, games and conversations (online and off) to connect with friends and family, and health for the year ahead. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Ottawa Wedding Chapel.
Our office will be closed from Dec 18 to Jan 3 and will reopen on Jan 4. New requests through the website will be answered. If you are having a wedding emergency or wish to be married before Jan 4, you can call our office and be connected to our emergency line.
We’ll be hosting a few small ceremonies over the holidays to help bump up our Christmas cheer. 🙂
November 12, 2020
More and more, we’re spending time thinking about the effects of our life choices on the environment. Why should your wedding be any different? As a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime event, weddings can get crazy and extravagant and wasteful. Even if you aren’t willing to commit to everything on this list, we hope you will at least think about the impact of your wedding and try to take some steps to make it greener.
Keep it small: A trimmed down guest list means less of everything – less travelling, less waste, less energy used.
Travel: Travel has the biggest impact on your carbon footprint. It makes sense to host the wedding in the location where the fewest number of people have to travel long distances. Skip the destination wedding. Keep your ceremony and reception close together to limit travel or consider supplying group travel (party bus anyone?). Also think about your honeymoon. A local getaway, cycling adventure, train travel or sailing are all greener options.
Vendors that match your sensibilities: There are some who specialize in green weddings. At the very least ask questions of your vendors and let them know low-waste and sustainability are important to you. That’s how we change the status quo, making our preferences known and deciding with our dollars!
Wedding favours: Consider skipping them altogether or having something compostable like fancy cookies, flower seeds, tree seedlings, locally made maple syrup in a glass container, etc. Buy from a local business or DIY. Or in lieu of favours, let guests know that you are making a donation to an eco charity.
Décor: Rent or buy second-hand and resell when you are finished. Look for natural materials instead of plastic. Avoid balloons, especially balloon releases where you are sending pieces of plastic into the air with no knowledge of where they will come down or who/what may find them.
Rings: Buy ethically sourced gemstones, and if possible, consider a creation from a local jeweler. Some jewelers will reuse gold or stones you already have to make something new. A vintage family ring can be a lovely idea as well and can be resized if needed.
Flowers: Focus on blooms that are locally grown and in-season to cut down on shipping. Or go for a boho wildflower bouquet you gather yourself.
Clothing: For the happy couple, think about rentals, second-hand/consignment, or consider sustainable fabrics from local/national designers. Let wedding party members wear something they already own or at least let them select the outfit if you want them to purchase something new so they will be more likely to keep it and wear it for years to come. Princess Beatrice recently got married in a gown that was pre-owned by Queen Elizabeth II. Even the royals are embracing second-hand!
Dinner: Ask your caterer if they use local products and what they do with food waste. Consider local wines and beer. A plated meal produces less waste than a buffet.
Tablescape: Potted plants or succulents can make for stunning tables, and guests can take them home at the end of the night. Think about locally available flowers and greenery and other natural materials like woodcuts, pinecones, apples, etc.
So, get your thinking cap on and spend this winter imagining all the green and sustainable options you have for your wedding day.