A Winter Wedding at Le Belvedere


I met Paul via online dating (Not Tinder!), we were both single and casually looking for someone to do stuff with. Not necessarily looking for something serious but I noticed that he was active, loved the outdoors and animals like me, and we just ended up hitting it off right from the minute we started messaging. We made plans to meet up that same week, and became kind of inseparable ever since then. It felt like we had known each other our whole lives. Funny enough, it turns out our online ‘match’ was actually our second encounter. We discovered not long after hanging out that we had sort of met before, back in 2004. I dated someone in his high school class (small all-boys school) and attended his prom and all the grad parties that were held that year. It is a weird feeling to think back to that time and know that my husband was in the same room as me on more than one occasion, our paths crossed many times but we never actually met. We continued on our own paths, more school, jobs, boyfriends/girlfriends, Paul joined the Canadian Army and even did a tour in Afghanistan. Almost 10 years went by when destiny put us in the same (virtual) room again. Maybe it’s just a coincidence but I like to believe that we are meant to be! 

Every Christmas we spend the week up north at Paul’s family cottage. So, Christmas of 2016 was no different, we spent the week with family; playing games, getting drunk on champagne, snowshoeing, tobogganing, and eating too much. I was very sick with a bad cold, so I wasn’t too keen on going anywhere which worked in Paul’s favour. He was planning on proposing to me but the problem was the ring he ordered hadn’t arrived in time, so he had to drive down to Montreal mid-week to pick it up. Paul and all his family (because of course everyone knew but me) decided to trick me by telling me that they were going to spend the day in town, shopping, swimming at the local indoor pool, etc. while Paul was actually driving to Montreal – in a snow storm of course. Lucky for them, I decided to stay back at the house because I was sick. They even sent Paul a picture of his cousin trying on clothes so that he could send it to me from his phone! Part A of getting the ring was successful and I never suspected a thing. The next day Paul had planned a big snow shoe up the mountain, this was Part B – the proposal. The problem was, I was still very sick and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with snowshoeing. The whole family had to convince me that ‘getting some fresh air’ would do me good so reluctantly, I went. Did I complain the entire time? Yes. When we finally made it to the top of the mountain I collapsed dramatically on the bench and pretended I was dying. Of course, Paul was trying to propose up there so he needed me to stand up. He gave me his hand to pull me up, to which I slapped away. But then I saw his face change, and become serious – it was at that exact moment that I knew something was going on. So, I stood up and then he opened his jacket, removed something small, and went down on one knee. To say I was completely shocked is an understatement. I was floored, but in the best way possible! We both had tears of joy. 

Since we both love winter, and since Paul proposed in the winter, we decided to keep with the same theme and have a winter wedding. Le Belvedere was the perfect venue for us and especially for an outdoor winter ceremony – we didn’t even look at any other venue. I loved every single second of our wedding day it is hard to say which is my favourite part. Walking down the aisle was very special, I remember the feeling when my sister, the Maid of Honour, walked down just before me and turned back to look at me before she left, it still makes me tear up! When I rounded the corner with both my parents, I was overwhelmed with happiness and I knew that we were doing the right thing. Paul looked like royalty in his uniform, and I loved my long sleeve lace wedding dress, especially with the fur shrug. We decided to match the colour theme to Paul’s uniform – red, gold, black and white.  The decor and the flowers were absolutely stunning – everything was better than I had imagined it. The food was delicious, the music was spot on, our cake was incredible! The whole night was filled with love and laughter and happiness. It was hands down the best day of our lives. 

My younger sister is a wedding photographer with her own business, but she didn’t want to work on my wedding day of course so she helped us find a good photographer. We checked out a few websites and we all liked Union Eleven. Their website was great, and there were a lot of photos to look at. We also liked that we could choose to look at the work from their different photographers and then request who we would want as our photographer. We made a trip out to Ottawa to meet Brittany at the U11 studio, which was awesome. The first meeting was great, we got to see photo albums, talk about our vision for the day, and just get to know each other. Working with Britt and Jess on our wedding day was a piece of cake. They made everyone feel comfortable and took a lot of natural, candid style shots – which is exactly what we wanted. The overall experience with U11 was great and I would highly recommend them. Our photos turned out beautifully, and we absolutely LOVE them. 

Thank you so much! 

-Stacey & Paul


Photography by Brittany Fleming