September 9, 2022

Renée and Mark: Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm

A rustic dream is what I would call Renée and Mark’s wedding at Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm. We hadn’t talked about the wedding all too much since their engagement session last year so I wasn’t sure what to expect but what came to be was so beautiful.

Leading up to the day, the weather was looking absolutely horrid. 15mm of rain, thunderstorms, just a no go for any couple on their wedding day. Renée was so worried about it too. Mark woke up to see pouring rain and immediately thought of calling his fiancée to calm her nerves. However, when I arrived to the girls getting ready location, the weather had completely shifted and we had an overcast day with the rain far behind us.

The home, which was her maid of honour’s home, was so beautiful and had fun decorations all over the place to celebrate her bestie and her soon to be husband. Best part had to be the Buzz Lightyear toy greeting us at the door. As Renée sat in the chair to get her hair done and the girls mingled about in their robes, I grabbed her dress and details and went to work as I always do. The invites were so cute, a format I’d never seen before. They were accordion invites with all the info on each panel and done so beautifully at that. The ring box was also a lovely surprise. Mark works with wood and likes to make things, and he made the box that housed both of their wedding bands. Which by the way, the bands were soooo pretty. I mean, duh, Renée’s was going to be beautiful but Mark’s was *chef’s kiss*. Black band with 5 black diamonds at the centre, very classy indeed and not what I expected of Mark.

Ottawa Wedding Photographer Samantha Danis Photography Summer Wedding at Stanley's
During the entire detail process, an adorable fluffball of a cat kept coming to see what was up, his favourite spot just so happened to be directly on Renée’s dress. I mean, I can understand why, it was beautiful and the softest tulle. I couldn’t wait to see it on her. Although we had loads of time, that quickly wasn’t true anymore and it was time to get our girls dressed and ready to go. Everyone hustled as Renée and her mom hid in the primary bedroom to get her in her GORGEOUS gown. Seriously though, when it was all done up I just looked at Renée in awe. She looked absolutely stunning. Her mom couldn’t help but smile and hold back tears as she looked at her daughter.
Renée made her way out of the room to surprise her bridal party and the girls just couldn’t believe their eyes, just like me. Her daughter made her way over to her and looked at her the same way Renée’s mom looked at her. It was a sweet parallel to have side by side in photos. The excitement kept the smiles on and tears at bay, until Renée gave the girls their gifts. Hand written notes to each of them with their own colour selected fluffy UGG sandals. They all teared up but the best reaction had to be Steph’s. She cried so much that she actually hid her face from me in the hoped that I’d leave her alone haha. Sorry Steph, love you. The luxury car had arrived and it was time to load up and head out to Stanley’s to meet the boys and get everyone down the aisle.

Stanley’s has so many beautiful locations to get married but this was actually my first on the stone steps. I arrived to find the boys hanging out at the top of the steps area while the guests made their way down to the ceremony space. They were greeted by beautiful wooden signs and lanterns and their seats were old church pews (so cute). Mark looked extra handsome in his attire as he walked down the aisle to await his beautiful bride. Renée made her way down, arm in arm with her dad and she held her breath, let it out and looked up to the sky in nerves, joy, anticipation, everything one feels under the sun when about to be married. Mark just watched her with the sweetest smile as she made her way into his arms and up the steps they went together.

Their ceremony was short and sweet as their Officiant, Brigitte greeted their guests and spoke of their love. They said their vows to each other and exchanged rings with big smiles on their faces. Renée even struggling to get Marks ring on (there are photos with some funny faces in their final album I swear). But my favourite part was the vows to their kids and their kids to them. Mark has two children and Renée one making them a blended family. They promised to always be there for each other and I thought it was the sweetest moment for all of them to share. And of course with the signing of the official documents and their magical kiss as husband and wife, the De Grandpré’s were official!

Family photos were a breeze and we went through them so quickly and efficiently. Now typically, I proceed with wedding party photos but I felt like giving our happy couple a little break from all the craziness of the day and sent everyone off to enjoy cocktail while they took a moment. And so they did, each got a drink and even were brought over so delicious hors d’oeuvres from the wonderful staff at Stanley’s (Erin, you’re a rockstar). We stayed around the ceremony space and did some bridal portraits slowly and let them enjoy their time together. My favourite had to be when Renée went back up the steps and we fluffed her dress out fully. Just, UGH, sooooooo freaking beautiful.

Renée and Mark Stanley's Olde Maple Lane Farm Wedding Samantha Danis Photography Ottawa Wedding Photographer Stanley's Olde Maple Lane Farm Summer Wedding Summer Ottawa Wedding Renée and Mark Samantha Danis Photography
The Wedding party then made their way down to hang out with their besties while enjoying drinks and trying to manoeuver my difficult prompts (I’m kidding, I promise it’s not hard, you just have to smile and be pretty). Although, the ladies in heels certainly didn’t like me when I made them walk, potentially even run through the wet grass, hihi. They even humoured me in a more Vogue style wedding party shoot and I gotta say, it’s one of my faves. Everyone looks so darn good, how can you not love it. We then sent them back off to cocktail while Renée, Mark and I finished things off with a few more portraits, wine and beer included.

Their reception was held under the tent on Stanley’s property. A blank space that’s great for couples to add their own personal touches, which Renée and Mark certainly did. When you walk in, you’re first greeted by their seating chart, blankets to keep them warm if the night proved to be a little cold, a wooden pallet with photos of their life together and of course, the guest book table. They had more photos of them spread throughout, a booth with their photos from their engagement session and my favourite, their ‘’guestbook’’ which was a big wooden sign with their last name. The room was super cute with round table and white linens throughout. Beautiful floral centrepieces and French cursive table numbers in gold. Guests even had their seats marked by wooden names, like the table numbers. And let’s not forget the delicious guests favours that were his and hers favourite candies. The head table had beautiful fairy lights draped down the wooden wall and beside them was the cake table. An amazing cake with a wooden last name topper and a tower of cupcakes for guests to take until the cake was served. All in all, it was the perfect rustic décor with a pop of colour and a ton of Mark’s skills.

Surprise, surprise, the wedding party all came in to different songs and doing different dance moves none the less. My favourite being the maid of honour and best man’s bouquet i.e football toss and an epic catch to boot. And then of course we have Renée and Mark coming in shaking their little booties off. Well Renée danced but Mark, he just bowed down to his wife. Good job Mark, good start to married life.

The evening was filled with A LOT of laughter as all the guests mingled and had dinner. There were speeches had by a few people including both dads, best man and of course the fabulous maid of honour. They were told to keep it short, which they did, mostly. Liza (the MOH) didn’t keep it short but I’m grateful she didn’t. She gave some intel into their relationship, little things I didn’t know about that just made everything that much sweeter. My favourite of course was when she told us that Mark would leave flowers on Renée’s car every day. Nothing crazy, something so simple yet so beautiful and sweet. Talk about a great guy, right?

Liz made Renée cry, happy tears, grateful tears as she recounted their life as friends and how they met (Liz apparently thought Renée was super cool at the bakery they both worked at and so she made it her mission to become her friend). And all the wonderful moment they’ve shared together and now that Renée gets to share with Mark and their beautiful family. I knew she was gonna have a great speech and I was right.

In between the end of speeches and the first dance, I took our couple out for some end of day photos and got these beauties below.

I ended my night on the dance floor as I always do. Starting things off with Renée and Marks first dance which was to Tennessee Whiskey, a personal favourite country song of mine. They swayed and laughed and sung in each others arms while their guests watched, just totally enamoured by them. Then they followed things up with a father-daughter dance to which Renée’s dad smiled and laughed all the way through as they talked about all the things I’ll never know. And of course, then the party got started! The stars of the show had to be the kids though. They never left the dance floor once and boy did they have moves. Showing those adults how it’s done FOR SURE.

All in all, the day was fantastic. Better than we could have hoped especially given the weather we were originally going to get. Renée and Mark, thank you for being you, for being so cool and wonderful to work with. Your group of friends and family definitely made the day a fun one on top of you both. I wish you and your family a beautiful future and who knows, maybe I’ll see you at one of their weddings some day ;). Xo

Hair: Hair by Carm
Makeup: Beauty by Nat
Flowers: Beaudry Flowers
Venue: Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm
Wedding Dress : La Maison Bridal boutique
Officiant: Brigitte Samson
Cake: The Iced Crown Cakery

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