I Got Married At An Ottawa Beer Bar And Here’s A Look At The Casual But Classy Affair

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Narcity Media.

Planning a wedding (especially during an ongoing pandemic) can come with many opinions and pressures. Of course, I did a number of things to help me not be completely stressed out before the big day, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t let stress get to me once or twice.

One thing I really wanted to make sure was to make the most of the wedding day when it came around, and that’s what I did. I planned a special day for me and my (now) husband. Although some things were traditional (hello, big white dress), we did a lot of things our own way, and it made the day even better.

A friend even told us, “the day had you both written everywhere”. Mission accomplished. From getting ready at home, having a first look, and getting married in an Ottawa brewpub, this is what my wedding day looked like.

The bride and bridesmaids walking outside in green dresses from the store I needed.Of wild dawn photography

For a story, my husband and I met at a country bar in Nashville, Tennessee in the summer of 2018. After about a year of working remotely, I moved from my hometown of Windsor to the capital, Ottawa. The pandemic delayed our plans a bit but we ended up getting engaged in 2021 at a local beach near our house and planned the wedding for spring 2022.

The bridesmaids laugh with the bride as they help her get ready for the wedding. The bridesmaids laugh with the bride as they help her get ready for the wedding. Of wild dawn photography

We both slept at the house the day before the wedding and spent a relaxing evening together before the big day (it was a great choice). I stayed home getting ready with my daughters and he got ready with his wedding party at his mother’s house.

The back of a bride and groom before their first look at Chaudiu00e8re Island. The back of a bride and groom before their first look at Chaudière Island. Of wild dawn photography

We decided to do a first look – which I would highly recommend to any engaged couple – where we had a private moment before our ceremony. Not only did it mean more time together that day since we had a ceremony at 4 p.m., but it was a special moment for both of us before the wonderful chaos of the day.

The bride and groom share a quiet moment during a first look in Ottawa. The bride and groom share a quiet moment during a first look in Ottawa. Of wild dawn photography

Friends of Ottawa, our photos were taken in the “Zibi” sector of Chaudière Island. It’s close to downtown (and our wedding venue) and makes a great backdrop if you like that modern yet rustic industrial look. It was also wonderfully quiet.

Bride posing with her parents outdoors in front of trees and greenery. Bride posing with her parents outdoors in front of trees and greenery. Of wild dawn photography

Family photos were taken nearby, behind the Royal Canadian Navy monument. Right next to the multi-use trail is an area full of beautiful greenery and views of the Ottawa River.

Wedding ceremony organized by Frid Events at the Mill Street Brew Pub in Ottawa. Wedding ceremony organized by Frid Events at the Mill Street Brew Pub in Ottawa. Of wild dawn photography

Both the ceremony and reception took place at the Mill Street Brew Pub, a casual restaurant and bar housed in a historic stone building. There is a private space upstairs which was ours for the evening. We used the restaurant chairs as ceremony seating, and our wedding decorators from Frid Events set candles in the aisle and simple greenery on a champagne-colored drapery out front.

View of the wedding aisle lined with candles and a couple in front with the officiant. View of the wedding aisle lined with candles and a couple in front with the officiant. Of wild dawn photography

Both of my parents walked me down the aisle to celebrate our fifteen minute ceremony during which I cried the entire time. Our officiant Adrienne, from All Seasons Weddings, made an effort to get to know us, so the ceremony was personal.

Brittany Frid helps the bride down the stairs with her bouquet and a glass of whiskey. Brittany Frid helps the bride down the stairs with her bouquet and a glass of whiskey. Of wild dawn photography

After the ceremony, we both snuck downstairs with our wedding party to savor the fact that we just got married. Our wedding coordinator brought glasses of whiskey and sparkling wine for some private time and a toast.

Mini grilled cheese appetizer at a wedding at the Mill Street Brew Pub. Mini grilled cheese appetizer at a wedding at the Mill Street Brew Pub. Of wild dawn photography

The ceremony room was returned for dinner as we enjoyed happy hour in the adjoining room. Our guests enjoyed appetizers like mini fish n’ chips and grilled cheese. There was also beer and other drinks, of course.

Wedding dinner hosted by Frid Events at the Mill Street Brew Pub with simple greenery and candles. Wedding dinner hosted by Frid Events at the Mill Street Brew Pub with simple greenery and candles. Of wild dawn photography

The dinner tables were covered in champagne-colored linens with simple greenery running down the middle and small candles strewn along it. We also enjoyed three dinner wines including a red, white and rosé option since this girl wanted her rosé.

Bride and bridesmaids at dinner, laughing during a wedding speech. Bride and bridesmaids at dinner, laughing during a wedding speech. Of wild dawn photography

We had the typical wedding speeches from our parents, best man, and bridesmaids. However, my dad making fun of my poor grades in high school gym class and my bridesmaids rhyming “s**tfaced” in a poem made it a little less traditional. After our speech, we opened a barrel of beer instead of cutting a cake.

The bride and groom prepare to kiss during the golden hour. The bride and groom prepare to kiss during the golden hour. Of wild dawn photography

During dinner, my husband and I slipped away for some golden hour photos, which was another great excuse to get away from the craziness and have some quiet time together. The lawn and pathway just outside Mill Street made for a great photo spot.

The newlyweds dance for the first time in a bar with exposed brickwork and twinkling lights. The newlyweds dance for the first time in a bar with exposed brickwork and twinkling lights. Of wild dawn photography

Another tradition we clung to was the first dances. We danced together in front of the bar, surrounded by our family and friends, before the father-daughter and mother-son dances.

Neon sign of Mr. and Mrs. on the dessert table at a wedding. Neon sign of Mr. and Mrs. on the dessert table at a wedding. Of wild dawn photography

The dessert table opened at the same time as the dance floor and was fully set up by the venue staff, making it one less thing I had to think about. A few hours later, after our DJ from Midnight Music kept us on the dance floor all night, we enjoyed our late night snack from Kraft Dinner (because why not have your favorite things at your wedding) .

The wedding dance floor inside a Mill Street Brew Pub in Ottawa. The wedding dance floor inside a Mill Street Brew Pub in Ottawa. Of wild dawn photography

If I could give one simple piece of advice to an engaged couple, it would be to remember that it’s your day and no one else’s. Make the most of it because when people say it goes by quickly, that’s a drastic understatement. Let’s face it, you’ve probably already stressed enough anyway, so just focus on enjoying every moment and having fun.

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