Pine Grove Trail, you do not disappoint, like ever. I started 2021 in my happy place, at a wedding! One we weren’t even sure was going to happen given the newly imposed lockdown on December 26th.
Originally Tyler and Jeff were going to elope, just them and witnesses. But in the fall they decided they wanted their immediately there with them. So here we were looking for a venue that could accommodate such a request. Well when it came down to it, they wanted outdoors, woodsy scenery with snow. Well, I suggested Pine Grove Trail and it turned out to be the perfect location!
They surprised their families with a gift announcing their wedding on Christmas day, what a surprise that was! I know because day of, the moms were talking about how they thought it was going to be a pregnancy announcement haha.
Back to covid though… Planning a wedding with ever changing restrictions isn’t easy, I understand that completely because I too am in the process of planning my own April wedding! So when Mr. Ford imposed the new lockdown, we were scared of what it would mean for this New Years Day Wedding. Tyler reached out to me immediately and I did some digging. Well after reading the official Ontario Documents and an email from head of Ottawa By-Law, it was confirmed that the small outdoor wedding could still take place. So on we went!
New Years Day was fairly mild and we’d gotten some snow a few days before so we were lucky to not have a ‘’green’ new years like we did Christmas. Everyone arrived at Pine Grove, Tyler and their son Griffin being the last to arrive, and we got the ball rolling almost immediately. The bride and groom tried to avoid seeing each other as they took turns signing their wedding license on the trunk bed of the officiants car (pretty casual and standard covid me thinks). We walked over to the main portion of the trail the happy couple had chosen a few days before and started the ceremony.
Parents remained near by, flanking the couple while their siblings and niece hung back giving them space. Most people were so kind and respectful and either watched from afar or went off trail so they wouldn’t interfere with the photos (THANK YOU TO THOSE PEOPLE).
Keith from Exceptional Ceremonies officiated the ceremony beautifully as he made sure to turn and include those present, especially little Griffin of course. The vows were short and sweet with lots of laughter to be had by all, especially Jeff. He just couldn’t stop smiling from the moment he saw Tyler. When Griffin walked over to hand over the rings, he decided he wanted to stick with mom and dad, and so he did! Through the ring exchange, and first kiss! He was just cuddled up to mom while holding her bouquet.
After some quick family photos, we opted to pop one of two bottles of champagne. Well Jeff had never popped one before so he didn’t shake it and just popped the cork off directly. When he realized it didn’t pop, he threw it in the air making it seem like it popped but Jeff, I got it on camera, I see your arm reaching, that bottle did not pop sir! But he made up for it by shaking it and making it spray which got everyone in a cheering and laughing mood! A quick toast with those they love, a good bye to their son as he spent the night at Grand-ma and Grand-pa’s and off we were for some portraits.
The parking for Pine Grove was so busy that cars were parked on both sides of the streets so I thought the trails would be much busier than they were ultimately. We wandered down the main trail looking for openings, light, greenery, and we found it all. Just like any couple, we started portraits simple and ‘’prom’’ like but within minutes, these two warmed up and their personalities came out. My favourite moment was probably when they spun together in the snow and skipped along while walking. It was completely sweet to see.
Half way through, Tyler shook things up by putting on this super cute pink sweater and her ivory mittens making this winter wedding, extra winter! We snuck off trail and sat on a log for some cute cuddling shots and when I asked Jeff to straddle the log… well he literally fell over! It wasn’t like a dramatic fall either, he was trying to squat down but the log was slightly angled and it happened in slow mo as he fell over. Luckily no one was hurt and we all laughed about it.
We wandered around a little more, making our way over to the cars where we finished things off by popping that last bottle of champagne. Which I am proud to say, Jeff actually popped this one! His facial expression progressing as it happened is the cutest thing and Tyler was initially scared but then just cheered him on as it sprayed once more. Thankfully we saved this for last because her dress had so many water spots on it haha. I actually wanted to end things by taking photos of their rings with their engraved glasses but alas, the cold made all of our fingers swell and those rings were not coming off no time soon. So we opted to end things with a nice passionate kiss ;).