bride getting hair done by sim ferrante ottawa

Now that we are the beginning of April, and coming up to wedding season, I wanted to touch on all the amazing vendors that we used and loved for our big day, back in October.

Planning a wedding is so stressful, but having great vendors is what will ensure your day runs smoothly and as stress free as possible.  I can say from experience that everyone I’m sharing today are people I would hire again, ten fold, and are the ones I would recommend to every close friend and family member if they were planning a wedding.

With so many moving parts, vendors are the one thing you need to nail down as early on as possible, and the good ones always book up the fastest, so let’s jump in!

HAIR & MAKE-UP

ferrante salon ottawa bridal wedding hair

Hair & Make-Up | Ferrante Salon

Sim, the owner of Ferrante Salon, is a personal friend of mine, but the kind where we enjoy catching up over meals and dishing on our latest shopping finds. I had never been to her for hair or make-up, but friends had and I knew her work was amazing (plus she always looks so put together!).

I reached out to her before the wedding to find out if we could hire her to come over to my place in the morning to do my hair and the bridesmaids’ and moms’ hair and make-up and she immediately said yes!

In advance, I had sent her inspo photos the girls wanted for their hair and make-up, and the night before I set up chairs by the windows in our bedroom in an effort to make the morning seamless. Sim and three of her glam squad girls arrived bright and early at 7am and got started immediately. There were trolley’s of make-up, hair products and more. It was exciting! We put on music (this playlist) and they got down to business.

The girls were upbeat, friendly and amazing at what they do. They were efficient yet took their time with each girl. Everyone looked stunning and loved their look, and of course I was so happy with how my hair turned out (and did my own make-up).

Having them come to our place in the morning was so much easier then trekking everyone to a salon, and especially since we needed to be out of the house by lunch, this was the best way to ensure everyone looked exactly as desired, mimosas in hand! 😉

PHOTOGRAPHY

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best Ottawa wedding photographer, Lisa provencal photography, andaz ottawa
best Ottawa wedding photographer, Lisa provencal photography, bride and groom kissing
best Ottawa wedding photographer, Lisa provencal photography, bride and groom kissing

Photographer |  Lisa Provençal

Lisa is the (hired) Photographer who takes most of my photos for my blog, but she is actually a wedding photographer first.  When it came time to choose who would shoot our big day, it was a no brainer.  Not only have we cultivated a great friendship, she’s a whiz behind the lens with so much talent and she’s also such a sweet and kind person to boot.

She’s calm under pressure, strategic, and a good planner.  She made sure all of our basis were covered before the wedding ie. locations to shoot if it rained; which was the last thing I wanted to focus on, I mean, it wasn’t going to rain on our wedding day. No, it snowed instead.
In October. *insert cringing emoji!*  

When the day came, and everything was a sloppy, wet mess outside, I was silently praising Lisa for urging me to come to a decision on rain locations in advance.  

She knows how the day will run and can anticipate any hiccups and maneuvers around them with ease, ensuring the bride and groom come first.  

Even Marco, who had never worked with her before (besides our engagement photos), kept saying how great she was to work with and how she really put him at ease in front of the camera (also: not his favourite place 😉 ).

If you’re in need of a wedding photographer, call her immediately, tell her I sent you & put your worries aside for capturing the moments of the biggest day of your life. Trust me, she has it covered.

MUSIC

best Ottawa wedding band, Jackson miles trio
Jackson miles band playing at le belvedere
best Ottawa wedding band, Jackson miles trio

Band & DJ Services | Jackson Miles Band

Music is huge in our house–always playing and I take a huge amount of care mapping out a playlist when we host. That said, when it came time to pick the music for our wedding, Marco was adamant we have a band. When a friend suggested Jackson Miles, I went down a rabbit hole checking them out and listening to all their covers. They are so good!

The true test was to get Marco on board, who is a musician himself and pretty particular 😉 when it comes to these things. Literally within listening to the opening of one song, he was sold!

I connected with Jason, the owner of the band, and he was so wonderful to deal with. I wrote an entire post about our experience with Jackson Miles for our wedding because they were absolutely sensational!

WEDDING PLANNER

virtual wedding planner, novella theory events portland

(Virtual) Wedding Planner | Novella Theory Events (Christina)

Although she isn’t local, I absolutely cannot share this list without mentioning our Wedding Coordinator who helped us virtually, from Portland, Orgeon. Despite being thousands of miles away, Christina took a ton off my plate, eased my worries, and was the one I could turn to for any and all questions (vendors, suggestions, ideas, ‘the norm’ and just easing my overall stress!).

I wrote a full post about what it’s like working with a virtual Wedding Planner and cannot rave enough about it and her. She truly relieved so many worries and took so many tasks on that I didn’t want to do (think, finding and negotiating with vendors, reviewing contracts, addressing minor details, etc.). She was fabulous to work with and kept me sane!

TRANSPORTATION

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Limo Service | East Coast Limos

Booking a limo was on of the last things I did, which, maybe wasn’t the smartest decision, but I was overwhelmed with everything else and figured I could put it off.

One of my closest friends had a few transportation connects, so she reached out to various companies for me to start the ball rolling. I went back and forth with several, but it was hard to negotiate and people didn’t want to budge. I felt discouraged and didn’t want to spend $1000+ for four hours of transportation, but at the same time, the wedding party was seven people and we needed something.

I finally stumbled upon East Coast Limos and they were super friendly, accommodating and kind. Dealing with them was easy and they were really organized. Once our deposit was down, I truly felt like I could let go and all would work out on the day of, and it did!

We asked for our limo to arrive at 11am on the big day, but us girls were so behind we didn’t end up hitting the road till almost 12:30pm! Fortunately, the limo driver was super kind, understanding and patient, ‘All part of the job!’ he declared, with a smile as we rushed out of the house and piled in.

Furthermore, with each change of plan (the weather really wasn’t on our side, that day), he flexed and adapted seamlessly without an ounce of push back. He was so kind to continue looping the block as we ended up being forced inside for our photos before the ceremony, and when we were done he came with an umbrella to escort me to the limo. Highly recommend!

WEDDING DRESS ALTERATIONS

best wedding dress alterations Ottawa, bride in wedding dress with lace back

Seamster | Top Stitch Tailoring (Fayez)

When I found my wedding dress, it fit almost perfectly but a few alterations were still needed. That said, I was nervous about trusting such an expensive piece to just anyone.

I met Fayez on my first trip to the bridal boutique I ended up buying my dress from; he was their on-site Seamster. However, by the time my dress was ready for pick up, he had opened his own business so I went to see him there and was blown away.

First, let me preface this by saying I have a Tailor and have been going to the same woman for years, and she’s amazing. While she doesn’t do wedding dresses (or maybe she does…), after having my alterations done by Fayez and hearing about his past work and experience, I will be visiting him again with my next item that needs tailoring.

For my dress, we needed to shorten the straps, add cups, a bustle, remove a lace panel from the train (my preference for the look), and add additional lace to the see-through lace panel on the back (to hide my Spanx! 😉 ). The biggest of all these was the lace he cut out of the extra train fabric, then meticulously hand sewed piece by piece to the back portion of my dress to provide more coverage. It truly looks like the dress came like that and is absolutely stunning! I was jumping up and down when I put it on and saw how it looked on, just a week before the wedding. He’s amazing.

Not only does he specialize in wedding dresses, he has been making women’s clothing for years! He’s also a fiery ball of energy and so friendly and upbeat–hanging out with him is like spending time with a friend, and so enjoyable!

VIDEOGRAPHY

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best Ottawa wedding videographer, lr media

Videographer | LR Media (Laurent Rostaing)

When I asked Marco what his top three, must-haves for the wedding were, the one thing we didn’t see eye to eye on was a Videographer. Boy has that changed after the fact! We both agree that it was truly the best decision and money spent out of everything.

Our Wedding Coordinator actually found Laurent and sent me his portfolio after I had told her our vision and what we wanted in a Videographer. We had looked at a lot of Videographers, and no one was quite hitting the mark… until we found Laurent.

As I clicked through, watched his videos and poured over every detail on his website, I couldn’t help but get excited, and feel hopeful. At this point, I had already convinced Marco we needed a Videographer, but he too had some high expectations on the end product. After checking out Laurent’s videos, he was sold.

The next step was to meet Laurent over Facetime, and I was instantly drawn to him. He’s probably one of the nicest humans I’ve ever met, calm, warm and a great listener. He really put me/us first and wanted to know exactly what we hoped for our day. He kept telling me that the more communication we have, the better, so he can capture and create exactly what we envision.

Fast forward to the day of our wedding, I’ll never forget Laurent arriving at our home and coming upstairs to see me getting my hair done. We were ‘meeting’ for the first time in person, and he was exactly as he was on all our video chats leading up. He greeted me with warmth and a smile, gently asked how I was doing and immediately started filming. He followed our Photographer around all day, never getting in her way and letting her lead (which she said was perfect), but caught so many moments! I had told Laurent it was really important to us to capture the party aspect of the wedding and he took that so seriously–he even stayed till almost 11pm, which is pretty much unheard of for Videographers and Photographers (they are usually gone after the first dance).

The best part was obviously when we received our wedding video several weeks later (also, his turn around time was about five weeks, which is super fast for video–so impressed!). Laurent actually reached out to me to let me know it was ready, in case I wanted to surprise Marco–which I did. We bawled like babies and had to stop the video several times and just take it in. It was so special. Then, a few weeks later, when we had all our family together, we surprised them with the video. Not a dry eye in the house!

FLORIST

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capital florist rose gold arbor with pampas grass
wedding bouquets in vases ottawa florist

Florist | Capital Florist (Carla)

I’m not sure how I came across Carla but once I did, I devoured her website and Instagram–she does gorgeous work with florals, and I couldn’t stop watching her Instastories. When I reached out to her, she suggested we meet for coffee and things just rolled out from there.

Carla is so personable and fun to be around, she is open and excited to hear about your vision but also there to fill in the blanks when you’re not sure what you should do/need.

When we met, I showed her a few inspo pics on my wedding Pinterest board, and a picture of my dress, we discussed the overall look and feel we wanted for the wedding and she made some suggestions of in-season flowers that would work and also keep the price down.

One of the best things about Capital Florist is that they offer on-site decor and tear down. This means if you’re hoping to have your venue decorated, but also not hire a full on decorating, they can do it for an additional price. Since decor was high on Marco’s list, we opted for this and so glad we did! They did a great job setting everything up, adding little touches and then we had nothing to worry about at the end of the night nor the next day.

From there, we went back and forth via email, finalizing bouquets, decor, place settings, an arbour with pampas grass, and more. Carla was always super pleasant and easy to deal with, it was wonderful!

On the day of our wedding, they dropped off the bouquets where us girls were getting ready, and then headed to the venue to set everything up. It was seamless, easy and amazing, not to mention our bouquets were stunning!

JEWELER

rose gold eternity band in flowers
pbr designs Ottawa wedding rings

Wedding Rings | PBR Designs (Paul Richter)

When Marco was planning to propose to me, he asked Paul create a custom ring, and when it came time to create our wedding bands, there wasn’t a doubt in our mind we would return back.

Paul is an amazing Goldsmith–quite possibly the best in Ottawa–with over twenty years of experience under his belt. His attention to detail and quality are the two things I value most about his work, and as a person, he’s incredible kind, social and down to earth. Working with Paul has been an absolute pleasure and I know we will use him again and again for any future jewelry. You will not find anyone better.

I’m going to share a full post about our wedding rings and what it’s like working with Paul to design them, so stay tuned for that.

SEE ALL WEDDING POSTS HERE

I hope this post was helpful to you, even if you’re not in Ottawa and trying to figure out what you need and what to look for. Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful things and times but the payoff is so worth it and your day will truly be the best day ever. See you girls tomorrow xo

BEST OTTAWA WEDDING VENDORS

Hair & Make-Up | Ferrante Salon
Photographer |  Lisa Provençal
Band & DJ Services | Jackson Miles Band
(Virtual) Wedding Planner | Novella Theory Events (Christina Wachspress)
Limo Service | East Coast Limos
Seamster | Top Stitch Tailoring (Fayez)
Videographer | LR Media (Laurent Rostaing)
Florist | Capital Florist (Carla)
Wedding Rings | PBR Designs (Paul Richter)

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