AN URBAN INDIAN WEDDING

TIA + SAILESH

Photograph from an Indian wedding in Ottawa

Sailesh and I met four years ago online. Within a week of each of us signing up, he had sent me a message asking me out for dinner. That first date lasted about 5 hours, talking over our shared meal, and he asked me out on a second date right then and there. The rest, as they say, is history! Over the years, we have built a life together including a home, common interests and lots of laughter. We love to travel, enjoy trying new restaurants, and just being ourselves together. We are best friends who share everything, which makes for a deep bond and meaningful connection. The experience of true love, including supporting and challenging one another, has been one of the best ever in life :) 

Sailesh proposed to me on New Year’s Eve 2017, around our third year anniversary. He took me out for dinner to our favourite restaurant and then we were supposed to go see the fireworks on Parliament Hill, which we missed because we were having such a good time. We ended the night at home, just the two of us. He pulled out a ring box and totally surprised me with a proposal. I, of course, said yes! It was a very romantic and intimate moment that I will always remember. The ring was a beautiful vintage diamond one that he had picked out himself. 

We pulled off a big Indian wedding about eight months later. We were ready to get married and were not looking to have a long engagement. The stars seemed to be aligned as the venue, caterer, DJ, decorator and photographer we wanted were all available on the date we were hoping for so we knew it was meant to be! Plus we had an amazing wedding planner, Sarah Wong, who helped make this moment unforgettable for us. 

The concept was an urban Indian wedding. We wanted to celebrate our relationship by having a modern wedding with traditional elements. Instead of numerous events over a week, we decided on three major ones in two intense but fun-filled days! Our venue was the Delta Hotel City Center where we had our sangeet on the eve of the wedding day followed by a reception after the marriage ceremony at the Hindu Temple. We could not have asked for better memories of this time. We were surrounded by two hundred close family and friends at what was an incredible wedding. 

We chose Union Eleven, and Kristen De Castro in particular, to take our pictures as she has been the photographer for all my friends’ weddings in our Indian community in Ottawa. Her attention to detail, ability to capture cultural significance, perfect portraits and laidback nature made for a great time working together. We could not be more grateful to everyone who shared in this event and made it even more memorable!

A LE BELVEDERE WEDDING

ERIN + JUSTIN

cool couple portrait at a le belvedere wedding in wakefield quebec

From a surprise proposal on Valentine’s Day in Magic Kingdom to a wedding ceremony atop the rolling hills of Gatineau, our love story has felt like a fairy tale. 

After getting engaged on a winter trip to Disneyland almost two years ago, Justin and I fell in love with Le Belvédère about as quickly as we had fallen head over heels in love with each other four summers before. In our eyes, nothing could top the breathtaking cliffside terrace to be the scene of our vows of love and commitment to one another. Unfortunately, with every peak comes a valley. Ours came two weeks before the wedding, when we lost the diamond from my engagement ring on a hiking trip in Gatineau Park, never to be found again – unlike Cinderella’s glass slipper!

Luckily, the disappearing diamond was our last major hurdle and the rest of the wedding went off without a hitch. Our wedding day was sandwiched between cold, rainy days but, as luck would have it, there was not a cloud in the sky as we prepared to say our “I dos”. Later we would discover that Derrick and Courtney had captured all of the excitement of the preparations – from Justin tying his best friend’s tie, to my mom helping me into my dress, and the big reveal with my sister and best friends. 

Then came one of my favourite moments of the day: my first glimpse of Justin standing at the altar with a tear in his eye as I rounded the corner. I committed to always ski with Justin and he promised to celebrate Christmas “big” with me every year. The moments that followed were equally incredible, from a cocktail party on a breezy patio, to a sensational dinner and emotional speeches, to a perfect sunset, and our first dance on a terrace alight with sparklers. Afterwards, as we danced the night away to live music surrounded by our nearest and dearest, I felt on top of the world – literally and figuratively.  

Our wedding was our most spectacular day ever. In the days that followed, all we wanted to do was relive it – luckily, our photos have allowed us to do so. What truly struck us about Union Eleven’s work was their ability to capture raw human emotion and interaction – a huddled discussion between Justin’s father and his childhood best friend, the tears welling in my best friend’s eyes, a quiet moment between a bride and her father, candid laughter between newlyweds.  

With a magical wedding behind us, all we need now is our happily ever after…