Irena and Jacob: Beantown Receptions

When I first met Irena and Jacob or, Irka and Jake as I know them, I could literally feel their love. I know it sounds cliché and that everyone getting married is in love, but there was something about these two. Likely the fact that they’ve been together 12 years and their love still feels like that of new sweethearts. None of that changed on their wedding day at Beantown Receptions! If anything, it was even more palpable. Here’s how Irena and Jacob’s wedding day at Beantown Receptions went through my eyes.

Arriving at Beantown, I was met with a beautiful day and an even more Beautiful Irena. Her eyes lit up as soon as she saw me and I could see how excited she was. She walked around and showed me all the beautiful details she and her friends were able to create for this day. Yes, aside from myself and the venue, everything in this wedding was a total diy!!! And to be clear, they rocked the hell out of it. I quickly went to work on details including all three of Irka’s rings and Jacob’s beautiful band which he’d been wearing for months at this point. I love the details in his ring from the trees, to the holo type band looking like the northern lights. Well done indeed Jake.

Something I never see is how Irena did an ode to her mother with her something old. She actually took a medallion of lace from HER wedding dress and put it in the center of her dress, right next to her heart. She also took more lace and made the beautiful little butterfly cap sleeves. Truly taking that ‘’something old’’ to the next level. The girls were more than happy to go out in their beautiful silk purple robes to drink some mimosa’s while looking at the scenery and thinking of the day ahead. The girls changed into their beautiful blue gowns and proceeded to help their friend into her dress to complete her beautiful bridal look. As soon as Irka was in her dress and accessories, she sat down and read the little love letter Jake had written to her. He kept it simple and to the point, which was enough to make Irena smile and blush as though it came from a secret admirer. She was ready to go and so, I grabbed our groom and headed into the woods for their first look.

Irena and Jacob’s wedding had an almost rustic/fantastical theme to it making the woods to perfect place to capture them. Jake waited patiently as Irka made her way over with the good old golf cart Beantown provides to their couples. Jake honestly kept his cool about him, his face looking so serene as Irka walked behind him with a big smile, tapping on his shoulder for him to turn. His face lit up immediately, as one would hope! They were both lost in each other’s eyes in that moment. I think the world stood still as they shared soft touches, big smiles and the most beautiful caress with Jake pulling Irka close to his chest and both just eyes closed, taking it all in.

We wandered around the woods for a bit, exploring different spots here and there. Taking our time and just embracing the day ahead. They hardly ever let go of each other’s hands, stealing quick glances, just looking at each other in awe. Through it all, they laughed. As happy as they were to be in each others arms all day, they were also eager to see their wedding party, and so we went over to find them for some more photos!

First look in the forest at Beantown Receptions or Irena and Jacob Ottawa Wedding Photographer Black and White
Bride and Groom Irena and Jacob Portrait at Beantown Receptions curtesy of Samantha Danis Photography

As we made our way over in the Beantown Buggy (this is what I’m calling the cart from now on), Irka told me that they’d forgotten her veil but her mother-in-law would be bringing it later so we would proceed without it. But as we were walking out to our spot, Jill, Jake’s mom arrived with the veil and couldn’t help but gasp as she saw her soon to be daughter-in-law. I knew from that moment that I would really like Jill (psst, I was right). We all spent the remainder of our time together honestly, just having fun. This was a really good group of people that shared so much love for their friends. It was clearly a special day for everyone involved. After a few group photos, we ended our pre-ceremony day with photos along the pond of just our beautiful couple. The willow tree had just enough greenery in it to be beautiful again and of course, who can resist the little bridge framed so perfectly by the trees. With guests starting to arrive, it was time to hide Irka and Jake in the main hall but not before a first look with her dad, Tom.

Dressed in his Marine’s Best, Tom looked so lovely all in white as he waited with nervous excitement to see his little girl. As he turned to see her, the biggest smile spread across his face. I think the joy that came over him was just enough to stop the tears from flowing but he went right in for a big bear hug, he actually went in for a few of them. He noticed the medallion on her chest as his wife’s wedding lace and Irka pointed out that the sleeves came from it as well. Tom pulled her in for another big hug. And then they stood there, holding hands for a few moments before joining everyone else to get the ceremony on its way.

Wedding Party Portraits Ottawa Wedding Photographer
Willow Tree Portraits with Irena and Jacob at beantown Receptions Samantha Danis Photography
Irena and Jacob Ontario Wedding Plantagenet Beantown

Guests were driven to the ceremony site in the real Beantown carriage while the sun hid away to give us a true overcast day but there was no rain in sight. Jake didn’t walk down the aisle, rather, he waited at the front allowing his bride to have her own special moment of being the one to walk down the aisle with a parent. And boy was Tom ever proud to be that parents. He smiled as he walked his daughter down to who would be his son-in-law, proud as a papa bear can be. I looked over to see Irka’s mom in the biggest grin I think I’d see all day at this point. She too was beaming, full of pride in her little girl. Irena and Jacob held hands as their friend (their officiant), red from his book… I mean, his monopoly board. Yes, he used a monopoly board! Told you everything was DIY (in the BEST and nerdiest way possible). Even their vows, which they had written in little black books, were filled with nerdy references from Dr. Who, to DnD.

All those references definitely had the guests laughing, but many moments had them in tears, including Irka and Jake themselves. There’s nothing I love more than looking up and seeing a single tear roll down either of their faces and I got that with Irka. All of the parents were puddles as well which was so sweet to see. The bridesmaids were in such tears that Irka’s mom, Robin, leaned in with a tissue box handing some over to our girls. It was such a sweet moment. They exchanged their beautiful rings and were officially pronounced husband and wife! But before the big kiss, they actually turned, faced their guests and raised their arms in celebration. For a brief moment there, I genuinely thought they weren’t going to remember to kiss. But I was wrong, thankfully. They turned to face each other for a big smooch, and a few more for good measure. Guests stood up and cheered them on as they made their way over to their private horse and carriage ride while guests headed to the cocktail area.

We had a long time for cocktail which, with this group of people, was soooo much fun. Literally everyone intermingled, laughed, drank and just had an awesome time. You knew from the cocktail that the reception was gonna be Fire. Family photos were even a super fun time. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much at a wedding as I did at Irena and Jacobs’. Jake’s dad, Mark, seemed a little confused a few times as to when and where he was supposed to be for photos. I kept hearing God Love Mark, and I was like; ‘’what is that?’’ and basically it’s any time Mark does or says anything kind of out there or funny, they say; ‘’God Love Mark’’. And so, throughout the day, I would join in on the fun!

Fun fact, Irka and Jake’s parents became super good friends during the 12 years they’ve been together and have the best relationship I’ve ever seen for in-laws. They even swapped partners for one family photo as a joke which had us all laughing. The wedding party, bride, groom and I headed off for a few more photos before heading over to the little chapel to finalize the documents and of course, for me to get set up for the reception.

Irka and Jake Spring Wedding at Beantown Irena and Jacob Samantha Danis Photography

The room was so beautiful with the simple centerpieces of oil lanterns, twinkle lights and accented with the beautiful place cards made by one of Irka’s bridesmaids. Blue and purple linens throughout to tie in their colour scheme. Their cake was so adorable too (made by a friend), it looked like a birch tree with their initials carved in the top. But I think my favourite had to be the ‘’flowers’’ just like her hair pieces, the tables were decorated with handmade paper flowers that Irka made herself. All from, can you guess which book? That’s right, Harry Potter. I knew I loved this girl!

Guests stood and clapped and in came our happy bride and groom. Yelling, cheering, basking in the moment with all of their friends and family. They even had signature drinks which Irka was more than happy to indulge in because, who doesn’t love a good espresso martini after they just got married?

The evening went without a hitch. With various speeches by of course, our lovely parents. Which to be honest, were so good. Especially Jake’s parents because they actually wiped out a book Jake wrote once upon a time. It had everyone laughing including our groom who also looked at his parents with tears in his eyes through it all. A sweet moment to witness. One of my favourite speeches personally was that of Irena’s friend. She talked about their friendship in such a beautiful way that brought Irka to tears and she got up to hug her with her JUMPING into Irka’s arms as she spun her around in the cutest hug. Irka and Jake then spoke to their guests, thanking them for all they’ve done in not only their lives and making them who they are today, but what they’ve done for them in their relationship. They cheers’d to each other and their guests before heading outside for their first dance.

What I like about Irka and Jake is that they do things a little different than most. Their first dance was on the little island, as is customary at Beantown. However, they wanted to be able to watch the fireworks display and so, they did their whole dance under the stars, where they then sat in the white Adirondack chairs, held hands, and watched the display together while their guests watched from a little ways away. It was sweet and true to nature to both Irka and Jake.

Beantown Receptions Irena and Jacob Spring Wedding First Dance Fireworks

Once their display was over, Tom took his daughter in the hall and they did a little dance. What I loved is that they did it their way, the most playful dance! They made faces, laughed, swung around, danced arm in arm, completely their way and so stinking cute to watch. After that, all bets were off and it was time to PARTY! Jake was quick to grab a drink and get on the dance floor. Irka even joined us for a little but she wanted to be comfy so she actually went and switched into her second dress which is the one she wore for her engagement! The night was beautiful and so freaking fun. I loved watching the parents get rowdy on the dance floor, and everyone just having such a blast. I left that night with a full heart and a big smile.

Irena and Jacob, Irka and Jake, thank you. Thank you for being the coolest, most loving, and funnest couple. You’re beautiful day will stay with me for a very long time and I can’t wait for you to relive the day over and over again through these photos. Love you both xo.

Vendor Love:
Flowers: Alta Vista Flowers
Venue: Beantown Receptions
Photographer: Samantha Danis Photography