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.
If you consider yourself a foodie, then look no further for wedding inspiration! Thuy-Vi is a foodie at heart so it just made sense to make the food a top priority for her wedding – and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! This Restaurant 18 wedding in Ottawa is a foodie’s dream day! Thuy-Vi & Will kept their wedding day intimate, upscale, and eclectic.
Thuy-Vi and her (now) husband, Will, hosted their wedding guests at Restaurant 18, a contemporary fine-dining restaurant serving steak and seafood in Ottawa’s Byward Market. They focused on an intimate and cozy ceremony, amazing food for their guests, and thoughtful and carefully curated details. My absolute favourite parts of their day (besides the food!) were the eclectic touches – like the custom neon sign – and Thuy-Vi’s gorgeous and understated Jenny Yoo gown.
Thuy-Vi and Will’s wedding at Restaurant 18 started with a first look with both sets of parents. It’s the first time I’ve had a bride request this and it was a nice addition to their day. We followed it with Will and Thuy-Vi’s first look.
I’ll let the couple tell you more about their wedding day…
What did you prioritize when planning your wedding?
Food was a big one! As a foodie, I wanted to make sure our venue could provide the best meals for our guests (and us!). We also wanted to have it at a location that was convenient for our guests who were mostly from out of town so we chose right in the middle of downtown Ottawa. And lastly, we just wanted to make sure it was small and intimate so slashing that guest list was a must and we’re so glad we did because it gave us a chance to see everyone and actually catch up!
What was the most memorable part of your wedding day?
Seeing both families meet and have a good time. Covid was definitely hard on everyone and since our wedding was the first post covid lockdown wedding, it was so great being able to see everyone in person again, especially people we haven’t seen in those 2-3 years.
If you can go back in time what would you tell the old you before you start wedding planning?
Don’t stress out so much about the little stuff, everything will work out in the end and you won’t remember them the day of or even afterwards! Don’t overthink it because no one will know something was missing or went wrong.
The location was great because we had a big chunk of family and friends coming from out of town so it was so central that people can still visit Ottawa, walk around, and explore without having to drive. The venue took care of everything for us and it was so great to work with them. I just dropped off all the decor and they set the whole thing up for us. Their food was delicious and guests couldn’t say enough great things about the staff!
Funniest moment on your wedding day?
It’s a toss up between my dad stealing the mic and forcing us all to listen to him sing 3 long accapella songs (we said no to karaoke) and to my brother who was our MC for the night but had a little too much to drink and forgot about his job announcing different things throughout the night.
What was it like working with your photographer?
Amazing!!! We are super awkward people and have never done a photoshoot before so we were nervous. She was so easy to work with, directed us through the whole thing, took great pictures and we had a great time! So much laughter haha
Venue: Restaurant 18 // Photographer: Mary Calotes // Dress: Jenny Yoo // Floral: Vivian Flowers // Officiant: Rob Campbell, All Seasons Weddings // Suit: Banana Republic // Hair and Makeup: Natalie and Jen from Julep Hair Salon // Cupcakes: Thimble Cakes
Mary Calotes is an elopement and wedding photographer based in Ottawa, Ontario. Specializes in capturing genuine moments that gives you all the feels.