When Emily & Marco met with me to discuss their wedding, I was really excited because a) it all sounded so lovely, I mean an Italian Disney wedding, what’s not to love? And b) they were simply the sweetest couple. Their engagement shoot was a fun winter session to boot so I knew their wedding day would be nothing short of beautiful. And I wasn’t wrong.

      I started off my day with the ladies as my second shooter, Leesa headed over to the boys. From what I saw in her photos, the boys definitely had a great time with Marco’s family and of course getting in some classy alcohol before the days true festivities began. The girls weren’t far behind on that aspect! I arrived to a beautiful suite to find almost everyone completely ready and in beautiful floral silk PJ sets while Emily was just… WOW! Seriously Belle vibes but better. They’d been kind enough to place their custom wine glasses, gifts and flowers on a table for me so I got right to work with detail shots. When I saw Emily’s dress and shoes however I just about hit the floor. An outfit fit for a true Disney princess. The first thought that crosses my mind was ”I’m so excited to get her to spin in this” haha. Our morning was fairly mellow until it was time to pop dat champagne! The girls all lined up and waited for Siobhan to finish up getting her makeup done. As they talked amongst themselves, Emily still holding the un-popped bottle, a surprise happened… THE BOTTLE POPPED! All on its own. Everyone was pretty surprised and let out a little yelp. And then lots of laughter was had. I had unfortunately not expected that to happen and was disappointed I had missed this shot for Emily but then she smiles and says: ” I have a second bottle… Let’s pop it!”, did I say how much I love this girl?! Came prepared and didn’t let nothing bring her down, more champagne for all! After we popped some bottles, the ladies each had their glass before it was time to get dressed. They got things done pretty quickly and for that I applaud them. It always surprises me how quickly girls can get things done when there’s a time crunch. Kathleen, the maid of honour and one of the sisters of the bride dressed her beautiful little daughter Maddie, then herself and then Emily herself. Now that’s a skillful MOH. I asked Emily if she would like to do a reveal to the other girls who hadn’t seen her yet and she said sure why not. I lined them all up and told them to open their eyes. There were Ooohhsss and Ahhhsss, and maybe some fake crying for the camera (you girls are hilarious) but in the end it really all was love for our bride to be. We then quickly scurried out the door to make our way down for the limo.Half the group went in one elevator while the rest of us, including myself, waited for the next one as we were on the 19th floor. Well as the first group was going down, we heard three screams (like horrible screams) come from Emily, Maddie and Kathleen. The four of us still on the floor could only look at each other in almost fear and questioned what the heck just happened. My thought was that Emily’s dress got stuck in the bottom of the door and it was ripping or something along those lines. As we finally made our way down (it seriously felt like forever) we found out that poor Maddie’s fingers got stuck and smushed in the elevator door and stayed there because they weren’t in the sensor portion. Luckily for us, Jess (Marco’s sister and Emily’s bridesmaid) is a nurse at CHEO and was able to have a look at her little fingers. She even had a froggy ice pack on her and gave it to Maddie to make her feel better. By the time it was time to go she was totally fine. Yay for a child’s resilience and for Jess!
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      I left a little before the girls got in the limo so that I could get to the church and chat with my second but on my way (I was at Carleton University at this point), I get a call from Emily. I answer it and she proceeds to tell me they forgot the veil in the room and it just so happened that I had the room key in my fanny pack, I often keep important things for the bride and groom in there so they don’t have to worry about it. So I U-Turn (it may have been illegal) and book it back to the Hotel. As I get to Carling Emily calls me back and tell me the concierge came back and let them into the room, PHEW, crisis averted. I got to the church where is was almost full with guests and Marco and his boys were greeting guests and ushering them in for the ceremony to start. Marco walked down with both his parents and gave them a kiss and hug before awaiting his bride at the front. He looked away before she walked through the doors making me think he wanted to wait until she got closer to him to look. But alas he mustered up the courage to turn and look up and the ever slightest smirk and sparkle in his eye appeared as he saw his princess walk towards him. Steve, Emily’s dad, proudly walked his daughter down the aisle and kissed his little girl goodbye as he handed her hand to Marco. The ceremony was beautiful. Lovely prayers from family and friends amongst blessings by the priest. Emily and Marco kept it nice and serious up until they had to read the vows in unison and they tumbled on their words a few laugh prompting them both to laugh out loud. Then the guests burst out in laughter and it was so lovely to hear. The priest gave him another blessings and wished them peace which was their prompt to kiss, and what a kiss it was! The guests cheered and applauded as these two finally sealed the deal. A quick signing of official documents and walk down the aisle and it was done, they were finally and officially husband and wife.

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      As we proceeded to take a group shot outside, the clouds parted and the sun came through! A day that we had anticipated rain ended up being sunny with clouds. Emily’s mom was definitely watching over her little girl. After the family photos (which went surprisingly fast) we were off to Dow’s lake to get portraits done. The wedding listened pretty well to instructions, I ain’t gonna lie but we had a few stragglers ;). The girls did a great job all together even though there were bees and gnats everywhere. There may have been a couple EEEPS as the bees flew by but no one got stung at that is a success. I think my favourite part was when I asked them to do a specific pose and Marco’s brother and Best man, Riccardo, turns around and calls me Ma’am. Now I don’t remember what he said but him calling me Ma’am just stuck to me and I burst out laughing and jokingly scolded him. Riccardo, I’m not even 30 yet, don’t Ma’am me! Everyone just burst out laughing at that point and we finished things off with the group having a great time. We walked around the Dow’s lake gardens a little for Emily and Marco’s portraits and basically I just let them have time to themselves, ever so slightly prompting them when needed. They walked hand in hand and laughed at anything and everything. Actually Emily tripped on her dress a few times which made her burst out laughing and it was so contagious that Marco laughed with her. I was even able to get our Disney princess to sit in the grass with her new husband, because, ball gown magic. When I asked Marco to kiss her shoulder he tried ever so hard but the angle was off and he kinda looked like… well you know when you drop something on your chest-ish and you try to just bend your neck forward and stick our your tongue to lick it but you look silly? yeah like that. And once again everyone was laughing. I think the happiness of what they had just done and just being together in that moment was such a happy happy moment that they couldn’t help but smile and laugh every chance they got and it definitely made my job just that much easier. But alas it was time to run into the limo before time was up and head over to the venue!

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      Fun fact, this is the elementary school where Emily and Marco met! They ”dated” in 6th grade, how sweet is that?!
      ottawa wedding photographer Dow's lake samantha danis photography disney wedding ottawa wedding photographer Dow's lake samantha danis photography disney wedding ottawa wedding photographer Dow's lake samantha danis photography disney wedding ottawa wedding photographer Dow's lake samantha danis photography disney wedding ottawa wedding photographer Dow's lake samantha danis photography disney wedding ottawa wedding photographer Dow's lake samantha danis photography disney wedding ottawa wedding photographer Dow's lake samantha danis photography disney wedding ottawa wedding photographer Dow's lake samantha danis photography disney wedding ottawa wedding photographer Dow's lake samantha danis photography disney wedding ottawa wedding photographer Dow's lake samantha danis photography disney wedding ottawa wedding photographer Dow's lake samantha danis photography disney weddingWe arrived to the venue and I made my way inside first only to find that all the guests were already in the reception space and not in the lobby as directed. Knowing full well that Emily wanted to see the room before anyone else and to enjoy it all with Marco, I quickly told the DJ to announce everyone to leave the room and to take their belongings with them. I wanted to at least try to get photos of the space looking somewhat untouched. 10 minutes later the room was empty and we were able to get Emily and Marco in. The room was decorated with beautiful gold and pink accents. From the gold chiavari chairs and sequin linens, gold table, pink uplighting, pink satin napkins and pops of colour in the florals the room looked beautiful! Not to mention the beautiful floral and draped wall behind the head table AND monogrammed dance floor. It was a perfect mix of Emily’s love for Disney, their chosen colours and that oh so classic Italian feel. I think my favourite part however was the Cake and sweets table… Omg you guys, I’m SOOOOOO Upset I didn’t remember to take some of these treats home. There was cupcakes, cake, cake pops, sugar cookies (omg I could smell them, they smelled amazzzinnngg) and freaking CANNOLIS! Guys, I didn’t get to eat any of the cannoli’s at an Italian wedding, Sam is very very sad. Back to the point, the table was stunning with gold and white accents as well as beautiful greenery throughout. Just all of it was absolutely stunning. After the initial look of the room and some small dilemmas hitting our couples ears it was about time to get that receiving line going to allow guests back into the space.
      Sala San Marco Ottawa Wedding Samantha Danis Photography Sala San Marco Ottawa Wedding Samantha Danis Photography Sala San Marco Ottawa Wedding Samantha Danis PhotographyThe evening was filled with so much fun, laughter and tears starting off with the first dance. Emily and Marco walked into their first dance right away and not even 1 minute in and their wedding party was surrounding them and wrapping them in party streamers (an old Italian tradition). Everyone was bumping into each other and surrounding the happy couple as everyone laughed and danced to Head over boots. The night continued with lots of humour from both MC’S and some great speeches from both of their families. My favourite was most definitely Emily’s three sisters speech. They talked about her as a child and how she was and how she’s grown as a woman. They spoke fondly of growing up together and of the memories they now cherish of their mother including being able to celebrate Emily’s bachelorette at Disney with her. And finally then ended things with well wishes but all from lines of Disney movies and ending it with ”TOOTH LOVE” and a nice peace sign. Everyone was laughing as was I and I totally caught on to the Disney references being a Disney fan myself but I was curious as to where tooth love came from. Did I miss a Disney movie or something? So I walked over to the girls and asked. Emily proceeded to tell me that when she was little and lost her teeth, she would write a letter to the Tooth Fairy and end it with ” Tooth Love”, I just about died of laughter. Emily you truly are the most kind hearted person. Throughout the speeches were also the Father Daughter dance and Mother son dance which were both very beautiful as both parents cradled their children into their arms. Babies no more mom and dad. And of course the wedding guests couldn’t sit back and let the wedding party have all the fun! Quite a few quests would get up and burst into song and dance at their tables when some pretty epic tunes came on (backstreet boys anyone). Definitely some highlights of the nights! Our Bride and Groom ended speeches as they always do with lots of laughter and even some tears. Emily opened things up by saying something along the lines of; ”Thank you for coming to our wedding, if you’re here then I hope you know who we are but just in case, Hi I’m Emily and this is Marco” all the while being very serious and lifting her hand in a quick hello motion. They thanked their friends and family for attending and said beautiful words to their grand parents and each of their parents. This is where things got emotional. Emily’s mother died shortly before the wedding which is nothing anyone should ever live through and she was so strong about it all. Not once during the day did I see her smile falter as she enjoyed every moment but during her speech, she wished to thank her. It all proved too much as her cousin Sara got up and read the portion of the speech dedicated to her mother, Pam. Marco followed things up by speaking highly of his mother in law and how much of this wedding was thanks to her. And with that I say, Pam I didn’t get to meet you but everything I heard about you makes me know in my heart that you were a phenomenal person who loved her family dearly. And your daughter is every bit just as amazing as you.

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      After some tears and more laughter, they sealed the speeches with one last kiss and made their way onto the dance floor! People were immediately drawn to the floor to get their boogie on with the bride and groom. Even the kiddos joined into the fun. This was the first wedding I’d ever witness a choreographed Baked Alaska routine. The servers came out with slices of the baked Alaska on plates with sparklers and pranced around the room to a song which was so so fun! And then back to dancing everyone went, it was some fun entertainment to say the least. 10pm quickly came and the Merry Dairy ice cream cart made it’s appearance and Emily and Marco were soooo excited to get into some of that. They each grabbed their cups and we made our way out to get some night shots. After a few shots we made our way back inside where I decided I wasn’t done yet and wanted one more shot of the couple in the Lobby under the large chandelier, and that’s exactly how things ended for me. With an epic shot after an epic day. Emily and Marco, a million thanks for being so freaking awesome throughout this whole process and for being a true Disney Princess and Prince. I hope the remainder of your evening was everything you’d hoped and dream and that you ate ALLLL the ice cream. Much love, Sam xox

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      Vendor Love:
      Makeup Artist: Makeup by Caty
      Hair: Julep Salon and Social Club
      Wedding dress: La Maison Bridal Boutique Design by: Martin Thornbury
      Bridesmaids dresses: Henkaa
      Flowers and decor: Pearl Decor
      Groom and Groomsmen attire: Morris Formal Wear
      Jewellery: Howard’s Fine Jewellers
      Venue: Sala San Marco
      Videography: Bryan Jone Video
      Cake: Valentina’s Sweet Treats
      Second Photographer: Leesa of LW Imaging
      DJ: Momentum Music
      Ice Cream cart: The Merry Dairy
      Photography: Samantha Danis Photography

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