Aleethia and Pete’s wedding day at Beantown Receptions was just as fabulous as we’d expected it to be! I was so excited for this one because Aleethia and Pete are truly two of the kindest and happiest souls I think I’ve ever met. Here’s the story of their wedding day at the beautiful Beantown Receptions.
Now as you may or may not know, the summer here in Ottawa has been ridiculously hot and Aleethia and Pete’s wedding day was no different. With the humidex we were going to hit 42 degrees Celsius and that’s not comfortable for anyone BUT, at least it wasn’t rain so we were happy about that.
I arrived at Beantown to find Aleethia and her girls had already arrived and were enjoying some drinks in the bridal area. Of course I immediately got to work with her details, admiring her dress but most of all, her killer heels. She had these crystal encrusted high heels that left myself and the staff at Beantown in awe. Pete had arrived with his boys which meant it was almost time for first looks! I went back inside to find Aleethia and her mom waiting for me, ready to go. And so Imelda helped her little girl into her gown, helped her with her shoes and bracelet and just like that it was time to get going.
We started things off with the girls first because who doesn’t want to see their bestie as a bride for the first time? They all lined up and opened their eyes to see Aleethia as a full fledge bride, grinning from ear to ear. Their mouths were ajar for a good few seconds before turning into huge smiles, eyes sparkling, they were all just so happy. I let them enjoy their moment together as I made my way over to Pete. The boys were doing their finishing touches, tying their ties, putting on their jackets. Pete’s brother, Phil, who was his best man for the day, helped him out with these last minute touches. Pete’s best man couldn’t make it to the wedding due to covid so Phil graciously stepped in last minute for his brother which is the sweetest. Just like that, we were on the golf cart and on our way to the woods for Aleethia and Pete’s first look.
The day was bright and Hot but in the woods we actually got some nice cover from both the sun and the heat. Well, not so much the heat but it was still cooler in the shade! Pascale went out to find our bride and drive her over while Pete got ready to see his soon to be wife. Aleethia walked into the woods, heels and all with a smile so big, I didn’t think it could get bigger, but I was wrong.
She walked up to Pete and gave him a hug from behind and then walked in front of him so they could finally be face to face. Both their smiles grew bigger and the love in their eyes was just so beautiful to see. Pete smiled, said wow and pulled her in close for a hug and a kiss. We spent the next little bit doing portraits, allowing them to spend time together before bringing the wedding party in for some shenanigans.
Now remember, we’re in the 40’s temperature wise and my brain remembered, hey you have a fan to keep yourself cool. But my priority on wedding days is always my clients so I grabbed my fan and clipped it onto Aleethia’s ankle (she had the perfect shoes for it) and turned it on. It wasn’t much but she was thankful for the air flow she was getting. I really should have gotten a picture of it because it looked like an ankle monitor for criminals haha. After a few spins and cuddles in the woods, we invited the wedding party over for some more portraits. Luckily for me, they all understood the assignment and I had no problems getting all the shots our happy couple would love. I mean, the sun couldn’t make up its mind on whether or not it wanted to be behind clouds or not, but we made it work wonderfully.
We had so much time before and after the ceremony that I felt we could cut the portrait time short so that the entire wedding party could go relax in the air conditioner before spending the next 3 hours outside in the heat. And so, indoors they went as guests started to arrive slowly but surely. While inside, Aleethia wanted to do a first look with her dad so we placed him for the moment while she hid. When she made her way out, her mom was dressed and couldn’t help but hug her little Leaf (Aleethia’s nickname) and cry as she held her. It was a sweet moment and her bridesmaids watched on and teared up as they watched.
After wiping the tears, Aleethia’s dad turned to see his baby girl. I wasn’t sure what to expect but knowing Aleethia and her smiling ways, I wasn’t surprised to see his reaction. A big smile across his face and pure love and joy in his eyes as he looked at her. Just as always, the sweetest moments of the day between parents and their children.
The guests were in place and so it was time to get everyone on the carriage and off to the ceremony space on site. Geneviève, the owner of Beantown, was our officiant for the day and as always she did a wonderful job of preparing everyone so that things ran smoothly. One thing you can always count on with Beantown Receptions is how organized they are. They know their sh*t. Pete made his way down the aisle with his mom followed by the wedding party and finally Aleethia and her parents. People often are against first looks because they think it’ll ruin when the partner’s see each other down the aisle but it really doesn’t. Pete looked at Aleethia with a new look in his eye, the look of ‘’that’s my wife’’ and I love seeing the differences in those looks.
Aleethia and Pete smiled and laughed throughout the ceremony, as did their guests and of course, things went without a hitch. They exchanged their personal written vows and here is part of Aleethia’s that I loved: ‘’ Pete, you are my favourite person, my best friends and my confidant. When we first met, it’s like our souls had already known each other. We fit into each others lives so easily.’’ Which was soon followed by: ‘’ I promise to try to not leave my mugs all over the house.’’ Haha! The guests cheered them on as they were pronounced husband and wife and their shared their first kiss as so. They embraced so softly and made their way down the aisle to petals being thrown by their guests. A dip kiss and more big smiles, they were off to their private carriage ride with champagne.
Cocktail hour was spent mingling around and taking portraits in between. We had wonderful family photos, played lawn games, drank some alcohol and wandered around the property chasing the light and taking advantage of all the different backdrops Beantown Receptions offers to their couples. And as quickly as it came, cocktail was over and it was time to make our way into the main hall for the reception.
As always, the space was beautifully rustic with personal touches from our couple like their cake which was made by an aunt, their photos throughout and a beautiful cardbox. The back corner was reserved for the 6 piece band that Pete used to play with (I was pretty excited to hear them). Dinner went so perfectly, the staff was efficient and the food was delicious, as always. Aleethia and Pete walked around, talking to their guests and just soaking in the day and being able to see all their loved ones. They even opted for my FAVOURITE desert, FLAMBAY! The chefs come out and light the skillets on fire with some alcohol while they make fresh crêpes in front of the guests. Then the crêpes are wrapped around vanilla ice cream, topped with fresh fruits , whipped cream and finally, a shot of maple syrup. YUM!
Speeches were next and we had some beautiful words by Aleethia’s dad, the Best Man, Phil, the Maid of Honour, Cora and Pete’s mom. Everyone had nothing but wonderful things to say about this beautiful couple and of course re-telling the story of how they met. It’s a funny story actually as they met at a house party in the student ‘’ghetto’’ of Queens University where they won beer pong and ended up cuddling into the couch. To which a Japanese exchange student asked if it was normal to cuddle like that during parties haha. They ended up being long distance as Pete went to study in Singapore and Aleethia in Germany, doing their masters together at Oxford university in England.
Something that stood out to me was how while Pete was in the UK, his grand-mother became ill and tried to hold out until the wedding but ultimately could not. Pete dropped everything and flew to Vermont to be with his family in this difficult time. The dedication this man has to his family is immeasurable and I’m sure his love for Aleethia is the same and that he will take care of her fiercely.
Another hilarious moment was during Phil’s speech. Now after the ceremony, Mark, one of the groomsmen ‘’iced’’ Pete (this is when you find a Smirnoff ice and have to get down on one knee and chug it). So I had the bright idea to ice Pete during the reception but how? Leave it up to Phil. He switched up his speech and Iced his brother at the very end, it was pure gold. Speeches ended with Pete coming up for both he and his wife and speaking from the heart. Thanking their family, friends, and everyone who helped them through all the years to get here. It was genuine, kind hearted, and beautiful to witness.
Their first dance as husband and wife was held on Beantown’s little island, private for them, but guests could still watch as they swayed under the stars. Or should I say, Fireworks! The show was spectacular as always and Aleethia and Pete didn’t slow dance like most. They spun, laughed, jiggled and jived and had a blast on that little island. They followed things up with a shoe game where both of them answered questions opposite for most of the game which had all the guests laughing.
I ended my night with doing a last set of portraits of our beautiful couple under the mood and by the fire. Saying goodbye on the dance floor as I made my way out of Beantown and a perfect day.
Aleethia and Pete, what more can I say but thank you. Seriously, you never let your smiles waver, you kept your spirits up all day regardless of the crazy heat we were experiencing and just went with the flow so perfectly. Your guests were fantastic and made the day perfect in every way. I wish you both so much joy and love and can’t wait to see what the future holds for you both. And of course, congratulations to Pete on passing his first Canadian exam right before his wedding. Well deserved sir. Love you both dearly xo.
Wedding Dress: Renewed With Love Bridal Outlet (Mikaella)
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: RW&Co
Flowers: Tania’s Cheap and Chic Designs
Officiant: Genevieve Desjardins
Venue: Beantown Receptions
Band: The Placeholders
Videographer: Viking Film