I'm a wedding photographer based in Ottawa Ontario, but travels worldwide. My photography approach is intentional, honest and editorial. An organic approach to capture fleeting moments. This blog lives to inspire your wedding photos and provide you planning tips.
Having a truly unique vision for your wedding day comes from incorporating different pieces of your personalities. Gabe and Meg’s wedding contained thrifted elements, a beautiful historic estate, and everything from farm fresh flowers to food trucks. Their day was reminiscent of a cottage core wedding with a state fair inspired twist – and it was incredible.
Billing Estate Museum had a beautiful setting, with great trees and gardens in bloom. Which allowed us to take a more pared-back approach to decor. We wanted a fun and welcoming feel while still reflecting the beauty of the occasion. We reconciled that vision in what we called a ‘vintage wedding state fair’ theme. Our eclectic table décor included mismatched vintage lace tablecloths, china, water jugs and bud vases all lovingly hand-picked and thrifted by family. With the addition of local farm-fresh flowers from roam flora . We paired that with food trucks, backyard games, a lemonade stand and late-night popcorn. Bringing in the laid back vibe we wanted to create.
We wanted to have a backyard-style wedding, but not having a backyard presented a serious challenge to that vision! Billings Estate was a beautiful big backyard, complete with a great big tree that served as the backdrop for the ceremony, and white tents that fit the bill. Plus, being a City-owned property, we had the flexibility that DIY venues offer to curate a uniquely ‘us’ event.
Our number one priority was being able to have our friends and family present. These last couple of years, that hasn’t been a given, and we ended up postponing our wedding twice due to the pandemic. After two years of pandemic-related restrictions and physical isolation from friends and family, we were so happy that our wedding brought together our loved ones in one place for the dual purposes of a celebration of our love and a big, fun reunion.
It’s hard to pick a specific memory because we felt like we were walking on air the entire day. You hear all the clichés about your wedding day being the best day of your life, but we were both somewhat blown away by how exhilarating and emotion-filled the day ended up being. It’s one of the only, if not the only, times in your life you and your partner manage to bring all your people from various facets of your lives to one event and the significance of that cannot be overstated. So we soaked up every minute of it!
There were a tonne of last minute details in the month leading up to the wedding day – this was particularly true being at a DIY venue – so budget your time accordingly! We were both able to take a week off work before the wedding, which was really helpful for getting the final ducks in a row.
Capturing the day so we could look back on it was a priority for us, so Mary was one of the first vendors we hired. Working with her was fantastic. She has a great eye and gave us good direction and checked in with us to make sure she was getting the shots we wanted. We had to change around our photo-taking timelines on the day of our wedding and Mary just went with the flow. Her pictures turned out beautifully and she was a lot of fun to work with too!
Meg and Gabe
Meg + Gabe’s day came together beautifully. It was truly a stunning day. The florals from Roam Flora really tied it all together, and Caroline & Company put all the pieces together and made the day run so smoothly.
officiant: Justice Richard Boivin (the bride’s personal mentor) // venue: billings estate // wedding coordinator: caroline & company // dj: al connors // florist: roam flora // pizza: pizza all’antica // Meg’s ring: family heirloom // ice cream: merry dairy // rings: ecksand & mejuri // dress: white satin // bartender: pro bartenders // rentals: chez lili // tent rental: parliament parties
Mary Calotes is an elopement and wedding photographer based in Ottawa, Ontario. Specializes in capturing genuine moments that gives you all the feels.