Ottawa Wedding Photographer NAC Fall wedding Samantha Danis Photography

Sara and Fahia: NAC Wedding

As my last official wedding of the season, I was so very happy to end things with Sara and Fahia at the NAC. When Sara contacted me less then two months ago, yes you read that right, less then two months, I wasn’t sure what to expect with such a short notice wedding but honestly, Sara and her sisters planned everything so well.

Sara and I actually had our final chat the week before the wedding and the weather was looking completely horrible. 5-10mm of rain and just, not great. But on the day of the wedding, we got an amazingly beautiful day. Sun, colours and let’s not forget, it was actually warm! I met Fahia at Majors Hill Park where he informed me he was a little stressed. Family everywhere, planning a wedding, the nerves of seeing your bride for the first time and of course the act of getting married, it’s a lot. We hung out and scoped the park looking for colour because he said Sara would like the fall colours in the photos and so we found a beautiful orange tree where they would do their first look. But we needed our bride for the first look but she was nowhere to be found! After a couple calls, and 30 minutes later, Sara and her sister Hager made their way over to the park and we got ready to get things started.
When Sara popped out of the car, I was amazed. She looked absolutely beautiful and the dress, ugh, don’t even get me started on how stunning it was. From the texture tulle skirt, the lace details, the high frill collar, the puff sleeves, THE CROWN. I can’t. And of course, the veil, she looked like a real prin… no not princess, she looked like a queen. With her sisters help, she made her way over to Fahia who was waiting for her very patiently under the tree. Sara called to him and he turned, mouth dropped. He was speechless as he looked at his bride, just in pure awe. Sara was all smiles as she looked at her grooms expression, the nerves melting away as they finally go to hug and feel each other’s hearts.
Ottawa has so many beautiful locations for photos, it truly is a scenic city but Majors Hill Park and surroundings is the most recognized area for sure. And so, we walked around the picturesque downtown to capture Sara and Fahia’s love. People stopped and took photos of them, congratulated them and just stared because of how beautiful these two are. Sara didn’t have her bouquet but we didn’t let that stop us from capturing the perfect portraits. To respect their culutures and religion, Sara and Fahia were not able to kiss during our time together but that didn’t stop us from showing their love and their passion for one another. Oh, and let’s not forget their joy. Even when being serious, you could see their smiles wanting to shine through. We made our way through the crowds and found beautiful sunlight that truly made the fall colours shine and then we got some of that beautiful contrasting light that really made them pop, especially Sara in that gorgeous gown. And so we made our way over to the NAC to get their family photos done prior to the ceremony. Ottawa Wedding Photographer Parliament of Canada Chateau Laurier Ottawa Wedding Rideau Canal Fall Wedding Samantha Danis Photography The NAC balcony was our setting for family photos. I mean who could resist the beautiful setting with the Chateau Laurier in the background. As Sara and her family gathered for photos, we were keeping a track of the time and noticed that, well, the Imam hadn’t arrived yet. They actually hadn’t been able to get a hold of him at all that morning. And so, Sara’s father finally was able to get a hold of him, asking him where he was as the ceremony was in 15mins. Well, turns out there was a miscommunication and he’d thought the ceremony was at 6pm, not 1:30pm. In the rush of getting the Imam here on time, or as close to as possible, Sara’s father and brother set off to go pick him up to assure he could make it. We proceeded with the photos until 2pm when the Imam made it to the NAC and so the ceremony could get started. NAC’S O’born room is a picturesque glass room once again over looking the beautiful downtown architecture Ottawa has to offer. Sara and Fahia’s décor, gold and blush colour scheme with the beautiful florals really filled the room so perfectly. Their ceremony was held at the very front of the room where the Imam, Fahia, Sara, Sara’s father and Fahia’s uncle would sit as they were framed by a beautiful circular arch adorned with flowers and of course the beautiful background. Sara’s bridesmaids entered the room first, followed by Sara and her dad and finally both of their moms doing joyous ululations. The ceremony, or the ‘’ Katb Al-kitaab‘’ is when they discuss the wedding contract and it gets signed by both the bride and groom. Which was then followed by the signing of legal documents. The Imam then said a few prayers and spoke to guests in both Arabic and English which I thought was so lovely of him to have been so inclusive for the guests who did not speak Arabic and it allowed me as a non-speaker, to appreciate a religion I know nothing about. I absolutely love my job because it allows me to really appreciate other cultures and their traditions and all the beauty the world has to offer. Ottawa Wedding Cake Artist Luxury Photography NAC Something I loved throughout the ceremony was that their family would come up and talk as a family with both sides and laugh all together. I may not know what was being said, but you could truly see and feel the joy coming from everyone involved. The smiles I saw come Fahia especially was contagious and had me smiling throughout the entire process. Once the ceremony ended, family and friends came up to hug both Sara and Fahia and congratulate them on this very important and eventually, they made their way to each other to finally wrap their arms around each other as husband and wife. I caught a moment as they let go of each other and their families came to talk to them where they held onto each other’s hands a little hidden from their guests. It’s those little things that are so beautiful to me, just as much as the big moments, truly. Ottawa Indoor Wedding NAC Chateau Laurier Fall Wedding
Before their dinner was to be served, Sara and Fahia had their first dance as husband and wife. And to my surprise, everyone paid attention. I say that because there’s always people talking at weddings during the first dance (I swear, they’re out there) but their families were so attentive, recording every moment they could, sharing with their friends and family around the world. Just very much in love with their love.
Once they finished their dance, we hopped right into the cake cutting. Neighter Sara or Fahia knew they and their guests were treated to a delicious buffet ‘’lupper’’ lunch and supper. The majority of this time was met with lots of talking and laughter as guests mingled and enjoyed each others company. I kept my eyes on Sara and Fahia however throughout the late afternoon light and watched as they smiled and laughed with one another. Finally getting a moment to just be in each others presence and listen to each others voices. Sara and Fahia Ottawa Wedding Fall NAC Luxury Ottawa Wedding Cake NAC Samantha Danis Photography Once dinner was over, Sara’s little sister and their brother invited both our bride and groom to the dance floor for the shoe game. Things got a little confusing right at the beginning though because they were told to take both shoes off but instead of handing one of each shoe to either person, they were each handed the pair of shoe from the other person. Sara’s sisters laughed things off and quickly gave one of each shoe to Sara and Fahia so they could get the game started. The questions they asked were sweet and silly like who is the best cook, who is the clumsiest, etc. What is funny about the shoe game is if the couples answers match up, that’s great. But if they don’t it’s still great because it’s sweet and funny all at the same time. Imagine saying your spouse is the best cook, both ways, that makes you feel so nice! If you each say that the other is the loudest sleeper, then no problem cause you’re both loud :P. After the game, guests were invited on the dance floor to keep celebrating the evening away. And boy did they celebrate. A circle immediately formed around Sara and Fahia as their friends and family danced around them, holding hands and singing. That was the energy for the entirety of the 1.5hrs of dancing all of which the bride NEVER left the dancefloor. She was able to dance with almost every guest that made their way onto the dancefloor including her sweet little flower girl, Fahia’s mom, and of course, her own family. When she danced with her mom, dad, sisters and brother, there was just a different energy about it. It was a different kind of joy, pride even. As the evening went on, things got a little wilder as guests loosened up. We saw a big ole Dabke start and boy they everyone have fun with it. I love participating in Dabke but especially love to watch everyone’s different styles, the boys in particular. The jumps, the footwork, the energy, it’s so awesome to watch. Ottawa Wedding Dabke NAC O'born Room Fall wedding Arabic Somali Egyptian Slowly but surely, guests started to make their way out for the evening and the party dwindled down to Sara, Fahia, their moms, Sara’s dad, and Sarah’s siblings among a few other close family members. Sara and her sisters closed out the night with one last dance to Justin Bieber. That’s right, the Biebs. A special request from Sara’s youngest sister, and so she obliged (happily? I think so). Sara and Fahia said goodbye to their remaining guests and we went to end the evening together. Now we had lost the sun by this point (I didn’t want to finish their dance party) but we did get a little bit of that sun light and blue hour to take advantage of back on the balcony. Things were cooling off and we wanted to play a little with the light and drama that is the NAC. Wandering around the venue, we found beautiful locations to capture the space and our couple so beautifully. We ended our evening with Sara and Fahia tucked under her veil, cuddling and smiling in each others arms and there’s no other way I would have had it. Night Photography Ottawa NAC OCF Nikon Chateau Laurier Sara and Fahia NAC Wedding Ottawa Wedding Photographer Opera Broadway Ottawa Wedding Photographer NAC Fall wedding Samantha Danis Photography Sara and Fahia, thank you. I always thank my clients because it truly is an honour to be the one to capture such an important moment in your lives. But I thank you specifically for ending my wedding season on such a high. For making me smile all day with your love and those amazing smiles of yours. I know it sounds cheesy but you know what, I’m cheesy and I mean every single word. I wish your marriage all the success and love and never stop dancing together, even if it means in the middle of a public park like on your wedding day. Xo Vendors: Makeup: Olivia Foulkes  Flowers: Love in Bloom Cake: Sara Cakes  Decor: Chic + Swell Event Designers  Venue: National Art Center DJ: Quality Entertainment