November 12, 2021

Morgan and Jasen: The Grand Hotel Wedding

Ottawa Wedding Photographer couple Morgan and Jasen in Carleton Place during their Fall Wedding

When your old co-worker and friend reaches out to you and asks you to shoot your wedding, you say yes! When I first spoke to Morgan and Jasen, they were so excited about their wedding and Morgan had all of these witchy ideas that I couldn’t help but dream about with her. And then covid hit. After a couple postponements and even a venue change, things were looking up for these two and for the better. My final consult with Morgan was sooooo mellow and she had told me she was being calm and cool about things because she didn’t want to get her hopes up just in case. Covid couple problems, keep the hope low is a new and sad thing. We tried not to look at the weather but we did have to be prepared just in case because after all, they were calling for 20mm’s of rain. And so the day came… no rain in sight.
I arrived at the Grand Hotel in Carleton Place to a pleasant surprise. This place, just WOW! Morgan wasn’t kidding when she spoke of how beautiful the space was. The girls were all up in the Emperial suite just hanging out. Their hair and makeup had been done for a little and they were having some mimosas in their awesome Till Death T-shirts. I saw Morgan’s dress and was like woah. I had no idea what she was going to wear but this, this was gorgeous. Her flowers were also stunning, seriously I don’t know what else to say but that everything was beautiful. Morgan’s nephew’s came in to get ready but first they had to open some toys so auntie Morgan helped them out with their diggers, and backhoe (I do not know what they are called, apologies lol) and then she helped them get into their suits. Soon enough though, it was time for her to get in her dress.

Her mum and sister helped her in the lounge area. She gave me a good laugh as she was getting into her dress because well, ya gotta be almost naked to get into it and there is a gas station right below the hotel so she was like ‘’enjoy the free show’’! Obviously it was a joke and no one could see anything but it gave me a good laugh. Her mum had a moment and hugged her daughter, pure love. And then we got the girls out of their cave… The Cave was the Master bedroom and bathroom which is huge and regal and not a cave at all. They all lined up, opened their eyes and jaws dropped as they saw Morgan as a bride for the first time. Lots of hugs and tears but I had to basically kick em out to get Jasen in for his and Morgan’s first look.

As Morgan waited, her nephew came in to show her his Toothless toy but also that he’d painted his nails just for her wedding. It was a super sweet moment.

Jasen took his place and Morgan walked up to him to tap his shoulder. When he turned, his reaction was actually very subdued. He looked at his soon to be wife up and down with a simple smile on his face. But once he hugged her, he just lit up and teared up. It’s like touching her made the whole moment an actual reality and he was able to let loose. Morgan also cried and they hugged some more. Right before the first look, Jasen tells me he spilled red wine on his white dress shirt. I was like oh God no, don’t tell me that (lots of photoshop work ya know). And he didn’t want Morgan to know so she wouldn’t stress. But luckily, someone had brought a tide to go pen and were able to get the stain out. Those things are magic, I carry one on me at all weddings, everyone should! Anywho, we rallied the troops into the cars and drove down the road for some portraits.

Nearby was a lovely park that still somehow had some colourful leaves left on the trees so we used those and the beautiful afternoon light to create some magic. As with any wedding, not everyone trusts the process, especially when I make the wedding party walk or run towards me, but they seriously always turn out so well. But something about this particular wedding made me smile because when I look back on that specific picture, the Friends theme song just plays in my head and it just makes me happy. I hope it makes you happy to and that you feel the joy. Things were a little chilly so me thinks the wedding party was happy when I dismissed them back to the hotel while I focused on Morgan and Jasen for the last little bit. Jasen was also happy with this because who likes to be mushy around all of their friends, Am I right?

We spent the rest of our time laughing and honestly just hanging out together while I so happened to be taking pictures. Jasen even brought a little flask with some Red Wine and ‘’fed’’ his wife carefully so she wouldn’t drop any on her beautiful gown. I even wanted to spend more time there, telling Jasen we had another 30-40minutes only to realize nope, we only had like 10-15mins much to his joy. However, when we arrived back at the Grand Hotel, as guests were taking their seats, we had a few moments where I stole them once again to do a final round of portraits in the bridal suite. And just like that, I made my way downstairs to get things ready for the ceremony.

the Grand Hotel Carleton Plate Wedding Ottawa Photographer Morgan and Jasen

The ceremony space was beautiful, vintage and regal with gold chiavary chairs lining either sides of the aisle and candles all over the space to add even more romance to the space. Jasen awaited his bride down the aisle and when he first saw her, his eyes lit up. That moment, no matter if you’ve seen each other before the ceremony, that moment never goes away. It’s a moment of wow. We’re about to be married. It’s like your future flashes before your eyes. It’s joy, excitement, the nerves are gone. You just are with your significant other and the people you love around you. Morgan was all smiles and tears as she made her way down the aisle. During their vows, Jasen fumbled his words a little, but I think it’s more so cause he was trying to not to cry and when doing that and focusing can be difficult. Am I right or am I wrong Jasen?!? Don’t tell me if I’m wrong mmmmmk. As for Morgan, she couldn’t hold her tears back but she smiled through it all and held it together. And after what felt like a century, Morgan and Jasen were finally husband and wife. Their guests applauded and cheered as they walked down the aisle for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Ericksen.

Before sneaking off for a quiet moment together and family photos, we snuck Morgan and Jasen into the Grand Hotel’s ballroom where the reception was being held for them to see the décor, untouched and perfect. Morgan once again just couldn’t contain herself and burst into tears. The space was so freaking beautifully decorated. Gold accents everywhere, white and black candles, black and rose linens, stunning floral centerpieces and of course the awesome head table featuring a Neon Tube The Ericksen’s sign. Some beautiful personal touches were the super cool Ceasar bar where guests could create their own Ceasar’s and of course the Doggy bag gift bar. Where they had photos of their two doggos and bagged treats guests could take home to their own dogs. After a hug with her wedding Planner, Stephanie, and family photos it was time for cocktail hour.

Cocktail hour was super easy going and mellow. Guests hung about with their ceasars and devouring some delicious hors d’oeuvres. I’m not gonna lie, I always have some of the food during cocktail (girl needs sustenance) and I will admit, these were freaking delicious. Jasen was pretty much obsessed with the mini burgers, or sliders, and had I think 3 in the span of 2 minutes. Before the reception was set to start, I stole the happy couple and brought them to the Gran Hotel’s rooftop for a couple quick photos before their grand entrance. Why not when the sky is beautiful and so is your couple.

In true Morgan and Jasen fashion, they walked into their reception space hand in hand, drink in the other and making funny faces that proved how much joy they felt in that moment. The evening was honestly absolutely perfect. There was speeches had by Brothers, sisters, and dads and literally all of them made the room erupt in laughter and some tears here and there as well. Morgan’s dad was even able to make his daughter have a moment of embarrassment as she bent her head down and cradled it in her hand. Jasen laughed on and she smiled through it all. You truly felt the love by everyone. Morgan and Jasen, you really are loved by so many. A great moment during the dinner was when the DJ spun some Sweet Caroline and all the tables burst out into song and even danced in their chairs. You could tell they were gonna be a good bunch on the dance floor.

Morgan and Jasen did their rounds, chatting with guests, slowly making their way over to the Brownie Bar. Yes you heard me, a Brownie Bar. Jasen’s aunt made 100’s of bite sized brownies in several different flavours for guests to enjoy and I have to say, I LOVED the cream cheese brownies. Morgan and Jasen, if ever you feel so kind, I’ll happily take a box of brownies mmmmkkk, thanks haha. They served each other their favourite brownie and quickly hopped into their first dance. They spun on the dance floor to John Legends; Conversations in the Dark, talked and laughed through the entire thing. You could feel that the weight of the world was gone from their shoulders and they were just a puddle of joy. When the song ended, they even lifted their hands in triumph and gave a bow. They quickly followed things up by doing a dual parents dance. Morgan and her dad smiled and laughed through it all which is something I expected after hearing his speech. Jasen and his mum also talked through it all but near the end she let go of her son and started dancing with her arms out, singing to him and pointing at him. It was so sweet to watch her let loose and show her son that kind of love.

Before the party got truly started, I snuck Morgan and Jasen out one last night for night shots in the Grand staircase and of course in the courtyard with her Till Death leather jacket. I ended my night on the dance floor as I always do, enjoying my time with the guests and letting loose. Apparently, one gentleman had some pretty awesome moves and he decided to grace us all with them. The tie came un done, he slipped it between his legs and whipped it around like it wasn’t anybody’s business. The guests loved it and joined in on the circle to cheer him on. It was a fantastic way to end my night, on a true high.

Morgan and Jasen, what more can I say than wow. You two definitely a) know how to put on a wedding and b)know how to put on a party. Your vision was beautiful, you both were stunning and as often as I say it, I am grateful to have been a part of it. I hope your Honeymoon in Liverpool (well I mean England in general but we all know it was for Liverpool FC) is amazing and I can’t wait to see you again. Xox

Hair: Katie O’Dacre
Makeup: Paige Woods Makeup
Wedding Dress: Renewed with Love, designer Essence of Australia
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Stefano’s
Planner, Flowers and Decor: Sinclair & Co Design 
Cake and Desserts: Brownie bar by Aunt Jackie
Stationary: Greenvelope
Officiant: Dave Corkery
Venue: The Grand Hotel, cc Steve Moodie
DJ: Matt Ferguson


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