Susie and Anadi: Grand Hotel Wedding

When Susie reached out to me to photograph her and Anadi’s wedding day, I realized quickly that this was a short engagement. Their wedding was less then 4 months away! They didn’t have their venue and date set yet, but the wedding was 100% happening. I wanted to help them and make the process as smooth as possible and here we are. Enjoy Susie and Anadi’s wedding day.

Meeting Susie and Anadi for the first time at their engagement shoot gave me an idea of them as a couple, but not as deep as what I was able to witness on their wedding day. Susie, a tall, beautiful, tattooed and metal music loving woman, and Anadi, a fit, always smiling, classic music loving man from India, kinda seem like opposits. And although their taste in music is exactly that, their love for one another is total sparks and I’m so grateful I was privy to witnessing that.

Arriving at the Grand Hotel in Carleton place, I was greeted by Susie, although somewhat stressed, she was doing really well and was even ahead of time with her getting ready. Her hair was done and so was her makeup and holy hell did she ever look amazing. Her eyes were glowing and honestly, I saw a different side of Susie. Her smile was beautiful as you could feel her joy and excitement around what was to come. Anadi, well, we told him when to be ready for and he didn’t exactly follow that plan haha. He ended up being over an hour late to start getting ready which made us all laugh because as you know, women always take longer to get ready on wedding days but Anadi and Arens wanted to take that cake, and so they did.

Considering the guys were still SHOWERING, we opted to get Susie dressed since we knew it was going to take a while. You see, Susie was never going to be a traditional bride and I was excited to see what she’d choose to wear on her wedding day, and I wasn’t disappointed. She opted for a vintage skirt with buttons and lace detailing along the slit at the front paired with a gorgeous white and black lace REAL corset. Yes, that’s right folks, a steel, lace up corset in that gorgeous Victorian style, which fit her personal style so freaking well. The only issue? None of the girls knew how to lace it up. Not only that, none of them knew how to tie up each others dresses. So, the ex-bridal consultant in me went to work. First, putting all the ladies in their gowns, yes, even the mums. And then, onto Susie’s corset. Not only am I a photographer, but I’m pretty skilled at everything dresses and troubleshooting.

Susie wanted it as tight as possible, so with the help of Anadi’s mum, Poornima, we got her in as tight as we could. Her mum, Ruby, then came in with finishing touches and Poornima with the jewelry. Her bridesmaids followed things up with the final touches of the platform, black velvet heels to finish up the look. Susie stood up and omg, she looked like a freaking Dark Glam Goddess. She went to look at herself in the mirror and honestly, I’m not sure she was ready to see how gorgeous she looked. I left her to admire herself while I went to check on our groom.

Anadi was finally out of the shower and partially dressed, and so were his boys. And with that, we freaking got to work to finish up his dapper look because it was time to see his bride. Anadi got to his final touches with his tie, cufflinks and dapper pocket watch with Arens helping him out with his jacket. And with that, off we went down the hall for his first look. Before seeing Susie though, we wanted Poornima to see her son for the first time and so when he walked in the room, there she was waiting to see her baby boy. As soon as she saw him, she was all smiles and holding back tears. You could tell she was so proud of him as she grabbed onto his waist and pulled him in for a hug. After a few moments together, it was time for Susie to make her appearance.

She walked into the space, Anadi’s back turned towards her and she tapped him on the shoulder to let him know he could turn. And when he did, the reaction did not disappoint. His smile was from ear to ear as he looked his soon to be wife up and down. I’m not sure he was expecting her to be so tall but the man embraced it. His face told me ‘’DAMNNNNNN, this is my wife’’. Truly, the luckiest man in the world. Susie held back tears, but just barely as she kept a big smile on her face looking at her soon to be husband.

We opted to stay indoors for photos simply because, although it was August, it was a cool 16 degrees out but no sun and windy actually made it fairly cold. Susie does not do well with the cold so although Anadi wanted an outdoor wedding, he agreed to keep his wife comfortable. We embraced the space and hung out doing couples photos as well as wedding party photos. I couldn’t help but laugh at the wedding party photos because this group just loved to joke around. You could tell they’d been friends for a long time. Although our morning was slow, the rest of the day was hard and fast and it was time for the ceremony!

Samantha Danis Photography Susie and Anadi Ottawa Wedding Photographer

Before heading down though, Susie needed to touch up her lipstick but it was NOWHERE to be found. The room was turned upside down looking for this thing but it wasn’t anywhere. And so, once again, I got to work. I searched and searched but noticed a bag was missing that had been there when I arrived. I asked for the girls to bring it back and of course, the lipstick was in there. Crisis averted! With a quick touch up, it was time.

The guests were already seated and anxiously awaiting for things to start. But alas, a few important guests were still missing so we waited an additional 10mins and they finally made it and we could get this important moment started. Anadi walked in with both his and Susie’s mom in his arms and he was followed up with Satya walking in with the ever important, Blizzard. Blizzard is actually Susie and Anadi’s doggo and he was the star of the show with his mom and dad as the ring bearer. Susie made her way in the room, arm in arm with Anadi’s grand father. Although Anadi had seen her already, he was still all smiles because he knew that this moment, 10 years in the making, was perfect.

Their ceremony went so beautifully with literally everyone in attendance smiling from ear to ear for these two. Blizzard kept his cool the entire ceremony and was such a chill dog, I couldn’t help but take portraits of him too. There were tears to be had during the ceremony as well, mostly by Stuti and Susie which I thought was so sweet that Stuti would cry because her brother was getting married and I truly believe she loves Susie like a sister. Anadi’s aunti, Niru also sang a beautiful Blessing from lord Ganesh to rid their life and love of all obstacles which I thought was the most lovely tradition which I’d never got to witness before. After their personal vows and exchange of the rings, and almost 10 years, Susie and Anadi were finally pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Misra and shared their first kiss as so.

These two, especially Susie, don’t like a ton of attention but they did so well for having all those eyes on them. But, they were done with those eyes for the most part and without warning to us, they walked right on out of the space. We couldn’t help but laugh because we were like, wait, what?!?! Luckily for us, the family photos were taking place in the same space so they walked right back in there to celebrate what just happened with their guests.

Family photos were chaotic and so fun all at the same time. See, although Susie doesn’t have a huge family, Anadi does. And the group photos were especially important to them so we got Anadi’s uncle and Arens to round up our groups to make things flow so much better for the size of groups we had. We even, dare I say, got a photo of EVERYONE together in that smaller space. I didn’t think it was possible, but we did it, even getting baby girl to look our way. Time was running out though, I was about to run away to get details of the reception space but Anadi’s uncle had other plans for me. He had a small list of photos of his own and obviously, I happily obliged to get these happy moments for him as well. And with that, I ran away to check out the reception space.

Ottawa Wedding Photographer Susie and Anadi Samantha Danis Photography

Truly, I love the Grand Hotel. The look of the entire space is so classic, beautiful, and gives such a romantic vibe to any event held in their space. But even more so, it fit with Susie and Anadi’s vision and vibe so perfectly. All of the black, gold, purple and red accents throughout the space made everything look so rich and worked so well with what I call the Dark Glam look. I especially loved the black candles at the head table which believe it or not, are fake! My new favourite thing and I think I’m going to buy it for my own house haha. Our beautiful couple also opted out of having a cake but instead, mini cupcakes with different flavours and décor which also looked so delicious (no, I didn’t get to eat one, sadies).

Guests were quickly seated and mingling throughout the space, enjoying the beautiful décor for themselves. Dinner was a short way’s away but first, our guests of honour had to make their way in. Susie and Anadi walked in hand in hand, big smiles across their faces as guests stood and cheered them on. They arrived at their seats and raised their hands up in triumph and joy. They’d done it and now they’d get to enjoy their evening.

Before starting the festivities though, they wanted to open the night up with their speech. Something I’d learned through the day was that Susie was raised by many people, including her Grand-Father whom she’d spend almost every single day with. He was the most important person in the world to her and unfortunately, he’d passed away about two months before the wedding. Knowing how important he was, they still wanted him to be a part of the day so Anadi went to the hospital prior to his passing and recorded the speech he would have said had he been able to be present on the day. They played that recording to open the evening.

To say it was emotional is an understatement. Anadi rubbed his wife’s back as she cried listening to her Grand-Fathers words. Guests were in tears, including her Grand-Fathers wife. And although I haven’t cried at weddings in a long time, this broke me. I was crying, and I couldn’t contain it. After a few moments, I chose to let the moment be as it was and went to sit at the back of the room to compose myself. It truly was insanely beautiful to witness this moment and I’m thankful for Susie and Anadi for sharing it with not only me, but all of their guests.

The rest of the evening however was definitely more upbeat with fun stories and speeches to be had. But before we got to those, we decided to take a quick drive to the park to get some outdoor photos for Anadi. Susie had eaten and cried at this point so she needed a little touch up on the lipstick and so, she snuck up to the suite to get things done. After a few minutes of her being gone, I decided to go pop my head in the room. There I found, Stuti trying to fix Susie’s lips but it had turned into a bit of a mess. The issue being when you wear such dark lipstick, you have to remove it a specific way or else it just smudges across the skin and you end up looking like the joker. I stepped in to try and save the day once again. Foundation, cover up, lipstick, and some tidying up and we got Susie’s lips back in action. NOW, we could head to the park.

Anadi had graciously ceded the wedding day to be indoors, the least we could do was go take some outdoor photos. It was cold, and even a little wet but Susie did so well handling it all. She was shaking like a leaf but Anadi kept her warm but embracing her, sharing his jacket with her and I even grabbed my wooly sweater from my car so that she could be warm in between shots. We tried to make it quick because I didn’t want her to suffer for the art more than she had to. But on our way back to the car, we spotted a beautiful tunnel of trees and we decided we had to stop real quick to make it our final shot. I know Susie likes the dark moody stuff so, I had the idea to use my can of aerosol fog to try and create this cool moody look and it turned out sooooooo nice. Probably my favourite shot of the day. Susie and Anadi were happy and back off the The Grand we went.

Susie and Anadi Carleton place Wedding
Susie and Anadi Wedding at the Grand Hotel Carleton Place Samantha Danis Photography

As I mentioned, the evening was definitely upbeat from here on out. We heard stories from friends and family about so many things from; When Susie and Anadi first met while skipping class in University (naughty naughty kids). To Susie being an accomplished writer and publishing her first Novel at 14. Her turning her mom into a metal head and even recently going to a Metallica concert together to one of my favourite stories told by Stuti; Anadi believes that dreams can be interpreted in two ways. That they will happen OR, that it’s already happening in a parallel universe. And how he’d had a dream about his father, who had passed away, who was not a fan of dancing. But in the dream, he was dancing with Susie, having made an exception for her. And so, in some parallel Universe, his Papa was alive, dancing with Susie on their wedding day. Showing his approval of their union (well that’s my interpretation of it anyways).

Our evening together was coming to an end, but not before a few games planned by our wedding party. First, a game including all of the guests which had everyone playing and laughing, including our couple. Tables had to come together with who they were sitting with to have a single answer to questions asked by the party. The table with the most right answers would win delicious Cider which was Anadi’s favourite from the East Coast. A tie would have to be broken by the tables answering the fastest which was determined by Susie and Anadi. Guests loved it and it really allowed for people to participate and enjoy themselves in a different way.

Second, was the couples question game. They were each asked questions prior to the night and the spouse had to guess what the other would have answered. Clearly, Susie won and so Anadi had to do the dishes for the week. Finally, they had pictures of each other on popsicle sticks, sort of like the shoe game and had to rapidly answer questions. It had everyone in a tizzy and was so fun to see a little glimpse into their lives.

It was finally time to get the dance floor open, but not before Susie and Anadi’s first dance. Now during their engagement session we discussed their opposite music choice and how they hadn’t figured out what they would be dancing to yet. And to say I was surprised was an understatement. They opted for some Beyoncé and a choreographed dance at that! Anadi was on top of it, guiding Susie throughout and guests were loving it. They kept it short however and after about 1.5 minutes or so, they finished things up with a quick kiss and looked at their guests as they were applauded. The dance floor was finally open and first one on there were Stuti and a friend just swinging around like wild child’s. Eventually, guests made their way over (Stuti was clearly the star of the dance floor) and I ended my night laughing and dancing.

Susie and Anadi, although planned in a short amount of time, your wedding was beautiful and you did an amazing job. I know you’ve both lost people who meant a lot to you but I truly believe those people were there with you, whether it be in spirit, or in a parallel universe. I truly hope your wedding day in India will be as special as this day was in my eyes and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. Sending you all my love xox
– Sam

Let’s not forget Blizzard 😉

Vendors:

Videographer | LongNMedia 

Venue | The Grand Hotel Carleton Place

Officiant | Reverend Bonnie James

DJ | Chris at Midnight Music 

Makeup Artist | @ sp00ky.lady on Isntagram

Hair | @nessbeautymakeover on Instagram

Desserts | Thimble Cakes

Bride Attire | @ Haizea Arranz

Wedding Invitations | Greenvelope