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Year: 2017

Ornamental gardens engagement Ottawa

James and Amy’s ornamental gardens engagement happened almost per accident. They had decided to have their engagement photos taken at the experimental farm and in the Dominion arboretum. Having looked through my work, Amy loved Nick and Haley’s experimental farm engagement.

When we got there, the arboretum was ‘closed’ due to a risky tree falling situation. Hence why we decided to shoot in the ornamental gardens. You would think because it’s late November that there wouldn’t be much to see in the gardens. As a matter of fact, I never found the ornamental gardens to be more beautiful. The muted colours, the succulents and seasonal plants were so stunning. It reminded me of ‘the secret garden‘ I’d watch as a child. Being an Ottawa wedding photographer, this was my first time shooting an ornamental gardens engagement believe it or not.

James and Amy brought their A game. From the props they brought to their carefully selected wardrobe. As a result, it elevated their ornamental gardens engagement photos. They even brought a beautiful hand drawn card a friend made for them. This was a lovely way to incorporate their engagement story. Since spending time with them, I’m reminded how small the world is.

James and Amy were bound to meet each other. They had the same friends and went to the same church. Somehow it took the 2015 Women’s world cup game held in Ottawa for them to meet. After the game, their group of friends went to a nearby pub to celebrate. James sat next to Amy. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Amy’s makeup artist: Saehee Park

Ottawa engagement photos

For their Ottawa engagement photos, Vanessa really wanted nature to be a big part of the shoot. Fall is a stunning season for Ottawa engagement photos and I believe we caught the very last day of it. They decided they wanted their Ottawa engagement photos taken at Théâtre de l’Île. Built in 1886, this gorgeous stone house is a gem in this city. Also, it was one quick walk away from a park with Ottawa’s iconic street lights I love so much. They drove all the way from Montreal to have their engagement photos in Ottawa.

Shawn and Vanessa met ten years ago at a party. However, it was on a beach in Barcelona where Shawn proposed. On a blanket, sipping wine and enjoying the beach. Vanessa found my work through her maid of honour. She is also planning her wedding and had searched online for her own wedding vendors. She passed on her list of potential wedding vendors to Vanessa. Vanessa was looking for bright and soft wedding photography. When she saw my portfolio on my website, she said it was exactly what she had been looking for. Communicating through email after her inquiry, I felt it in my heart that we were a great match.

They are both happy, genuine and positive people as well as world travellers. Beyond wanting to work with couples on their most special day, I also want to work with kind, compassionate and genuine humans. People that prioritize real life moments over the perfect. That’s exactly the kind of connection I found in them. Their wedding will be the first of my 2018 wedding season. Being an Ottawa wedding photographer, I’m always open to travel for weddings. I can’t wait for next April at la distinction in Joliette.

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These Ottawa engagement photos were photographed by Jessi Lauren an Ottawa wedding photographer.

Mill of Kintail engagement Almonte

They travelled to Alberta for a friend’s wedding in July. When in Alberta, Lake Louise is a must. Scott knew it. Chantal knew it. But what she didn’t know was the ring he had in his pocket while they were on the lake. Never mind that they were in the heat of July, the glacier water was still.. well glacier water. But standing in the cold, nothing could beat this feeling.

For them, lakes have a significance. They got engaged on a lake and spends a lot of time on lakes during summer. Chantal grew up with the love of fishing. It was an activity she would do often with her father growing up. Following each other on social media, I’ve loved seeing so many fishing photos.

It was no surprise when Chantal wanted to have fishing and a lake involved in her engagement photos. Together, we found the perfect place. Mill of Kintail in Almonte. This little gem of a place is perfectly rustic looking and intimate feeling.

Scott and Chantal were in their element. We were telling jokes back and forth and I drove home with my cheeks hurting a bit. Which is a really good sign. I couldn’t wait to go home and edit their Mill of Kintail engagement photos. What makes good photographs in my mind is if you feel comfortable and you feel like yourself. Hence, why I always try to have couples personalize their engagement photos. Just like this.

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This Mill of Kintail engagement was photographed by Jessi Lauren, an Ottawa wedding photographer at The Mill of Kintail Conservation in Almonte.

Temple’s sugar bush wedding

It was a gorgeous September afternoon when Haley tapped excitedly. Waiting for the next second, the next word, the next breath where she’d be Nick’s wife. It was hard to keep our tears back as it usually is when you get to witness something so pure. Finally, walking up the aisle as husband and wife felt right as they were both glowing. We drove to Temple’s sugar bush in Lanark county for their wedding photos and their reception.

Temple’s sugar bush wedding

A Temple’s sugar bush wedding had been on my wish list for some time. It is a stunning rustic wedding venue and their gardens were in full bloom. Their wedding party had a lot of familiar faces which always makes me so grateful. I got to see Derrick and Tamika who’s beantown ranch wedding I photographed this past May.

Nick and Haley were such a treat. They’re sweet, loving and in their own little world together. The thing I notice most about Haley is her genuineness. Her natural bridal look beautifully matched her uneven eucalyptus, white rose and lavender bridal bouquet. Nick is a great mix of funny and logic. He’s that guy you go too for life advice.

Sugar shack wedding

From Sydney: ‘To know Nick and Haley as individuals was an honour. To know them as a couple is to be in the presence of true love.’ As the sun went down, many kids decided to play wedding day. Why not? With Temple’s sugar bush many ceremony locations, it only made sense. Being a sugar shack wedding, it was only fitting to have maple syrup as wedding favours and maple ale from Perth brewery.

Nick + Haley, this wedding was one for the books. I can’t say enough how welcoming you and your families were. Your Temple’s sugar bush wedding was filled with people cheering for you guys. Who you are together naturally elicits that reaction in others. And knowing you definitely makes me cheer too.

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The team who brought this Temple’s sugar bush wedding to life.

Venue:  Temple’s Sugar Bush

Florist: Blumenstudio   

Rings: Fantasy Gemart 

Cake: Brandi Saunders

Wedding dress: Dominique Levesque 

Suits: Fine Men’s Clothing (Jimmy the suit guy)

Bridesmaid dresses: David’s Bridal

Hairstylist for the bride: Tamika Richer

Hairstylist of bridesmaids: Kiana Gaudet

Makeup artist of bride:  Beauty by Latisha

Makeup artist for bridesmaids:  Beauty by Latisha  and Kiana Gaudet 

DJ: Quality Entertainment 

Transportation:  AAA Limousine 

Wedding favours: Ennis Maple Syrup 

Second shooter: Jordan Turner

Photographer: Jessi Lauren, Ottawa wedding photographer

 

This Temple’s sugar bush wedding in Lanark county was photographed by Jessi Lauren. An Ottawa wedding photographer.

At home engagement Ottawa

Nathaniel was eighteen years old and out of his parents house for college. He did exactly what most eighteen year olds would do. He threw parties at his apartment. For one of them, his roommate brought her best friend Elysia. After meet her, Nate told his roommate: ‘ I will date that girl.’ Eight years later, Nate planed a proposal.

He had a special breakfast made for the occasion. He was going to ask Elysia to get them plates and she would see the ring he strategically placed in that cupboard. But what would life be if it actually went according to plan ? Elysia’s mother knocked on the door that morning. Just before they were about to set the table and get engaged. She stayed over for coffee while they ate their special breakfast.

 When she left, Nate told Elysia: ‘I had a surprise planed but your mom was there. Could you just go along with it? Could you go get us some plates for breakfast?’ Elysia thought it was candy. She opened the cupboard to find a ring inside. Nate proposed and they both cried. In their kitchen, with breakfast plates for a breakfast they already had. 

At home engagement

Nate is part of the Ottawa music scene. He is in a band called Old rules and Elysia is athletic. Every time I’ve seen Elysia, she never has her ring on. Turns out, a gorgeous engagement ring is not an asset when it comes to sports. For their engagement session, they needed something different. To have an at home engagement was perfect for them since they are self proclaimed homebodies. They walked around their neighbourhood, skateboarded and had a beer chugging contest. In future memory of all the parties they’ll throw in their new Ottawa home.

Nate and Elysia got in contact with me because of a referral from their great friends Gabriel and Ayrin. They were wedding guests at their stonefields heritage farm wedding. Referrals are my favourite way to book weddings. The trust and the appreciation never gets old. When we first met at Canal Ritz in Ottawa on the patio, it felt like I was just getting a beer with old friends. I can’t wait for their Prouxl farm wedding in September. I couldn’t be more excited to be their Ottawa wedding photographer.

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Jessi Lauren is an Ottawa wedding photographer.

Instagram @Jessilaurenphoto
Facebook: Jessi Lauren photo

Signal brewery wedding

Signal brewery wedding

It was at Signal brewery they had their Corbyville sunset engagement session. Even though, the venue was still in deep renovations. That’s how excited they were about their signal brewery wedding in Corbyville. Merryn got ready with her bridesmaids at best western and had the brilliant idea to get ready in one room while another room was getting cleaned before my arrival. As soon as makeup and hair was done, they all got dressed in the clean room. This made a big difference. They opened a bottle of Jacob’s creek rosé and shared a few laughs before heading to the ceremony.

Corbyville wedding

The bride’s father walked her down the aisle as she was holding her tears in. She finally let her emotions go once she was welcomed with a warm embrace from her future husband to be. The officiant asked close members of the their family to hold the rings and pass them along to signify their approval of this marriage. To do whatever is in their power to help them keep their promises. Finally, they were husband and wife. From Scottish decent, Dustin and Merryn’s family arranged for a musician to play the bagpipes.

For the reception, beers were poured and conversation spread like wildfire. The kind that only happens at brewery weddings. The bride and groom decided to make everyone work a little bit to make them kiss. Instead of simply hitting a glass, every table would need to sing together a song and sing it to the happy couple. You’d think this would make it a tad more difficult. But not in this case. Wedding guests sang old classic songs and the bride and groom had no choice but to give to the people what they wanted.

Dustin and Merryn, although your wedding day was at the end of September, it was by far the hottest wedding day I have ever been too. Thank you so much for your trust and patience. The heat didn’t make it easy for photos but you guys were so amazing. Oh and Merryn, you we’re right, Harper has to be the cutest little girl in the world.

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The team who brought this Signal brewery wedding to life.

Venue: Signal Brewing Company

Catering: Wild Hawg Catering 

Wedding dress: Davids bridal 

Hairstylist for the bride: There She Glows 

Hairstylist of bridesmaids: There She Glows and Jocelyn Cooper

Invitations: Vistaprint

Florist: Kawartha Lakes Classic Flowers

Engagement ring: custom designed by Steve Marshman  

Cake: Glazed and confused 

Suits: Moores

Makeup artist of bridesmaids: Jessica Patricia

DJ/band: BJ the DJ

Rentals:  Dewmill Events and Signal Brewing Company

Second shooter: Jordan Turner

Photographer: Jessi Lauren, Ottawa wedding photographer

 

This Signal brewery wedding was photographed by Jessi Lauren an Ottawa wedding Photographer.

Peterborough wedding

James and Kelsey have been sharing their lives together for the past eight years. They got engaged during Christmas and couldn’t wait to spend the rest of their lives together. For them, family is everything. It meant the world to them to share their Peterborough wedding with their loved ones.

Peterborough wedding

Mother nature decided that July would happen in September this year. It was an extremely warm day but the laughter and cold beers made it perfect for this summer weather. The bridesmaids had the groomsmen’s back and got them a mid photo refreshment.

The bride and groom cheered, celebrated and danced the night away. Kelsey + James, thank you so much for having me. You guys braved the heat with me and I’m so grateful of your trust as your Ottawa wedding photographer. I wish you all the best.

 

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The creative team who brought this Peterborough wedding to life.

Venue: Naval association

Florist: Beautiful Dreaming with Emily 

Rings: Twain jewelry 

Cake: Morello

Bridal store: Hanamars 

Groom’s attire: Moores  

Bridesmaid dresses: Davids bridal  

Hairstylist + Makeup artist: Cats eye cosmetology 

DJ/band: Mac music

Photographer: Jessi Lauren, Ottawa wedding photographer

 

Strathmere THE RETREAT

I have an emotional connection to Strathmere and Strathmere weddings. This is where my sister Vanessa got married two years ago. (See photos down below) I think this memory is so vivid because she was the first of us five siblings to get married. When I think of Strathmere, I think of the last time we were just a family. It makes me think of a simpler time when I was annoyed that silence didn’t seem to exist in our household. Now, I leave the tv on because it gets too quiet. Nonetheless, her wedding was perfection and we all danced our heels off in the Strathmere lodge.

THE RETREAT

When I discovered Strathmere was more than just an Ottawa wedding venue, I was curious. Strathmere offers workshops, yoga, date nights, spa… All at the retreat building. When I saw the retreat cafe‘s field to plate dinner series, I knew me and Jordan had to go. A dinner party made of locally grown Ottawa produce, cocktails and an hour tour of the incredible gardens. From the garden house to their green house. Their cherry tomatoes are heaven paired with their cilantro. (You can’t give me a cocktail and expect me not to eat fresh produce while touring in a greenhouse. Just so we’re clear.)

The incredible passion Colin has for growing produce left its mark on me. I found myself day dreaming. What if I gave up my life of consumerism for a life of farming ? Ah fantasy self. Soon enough the dinner was served and my ideals went out the window. We ate until we just couldn’t anymore. I got heavily recommended to try Strathmere’s spa. Oh I will !

We had a magical night. As an Ottawa wedding photographer, I wish nothing more than to return to Strathmere. Perhaps to shoot a wedding or eat more. I’m down for both.

 
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My sister’s wedding
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wedding photos by Jasmine Patel.

I’m Jessi Lauren an Ottawa wedding photographer who loves to share life stories and lifestyles. Let’s connect !

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Romantic Montreal wedding

Romantic Montreal wedding

Sabrina got ready for her big day at her childhood home in Montreal. Giggles of excitement was heard as her best friend was applying her bridal makeup. It was clear from her bridal details that everything about this wedding was going to be romantic with a blush colour scheme. A romantic Montreal wedding for a vivacious and graceful bride. Being in the presence of Sabrina is to feel joy and the same goes with the woman in her life.

The bride got emotional as she walked down the aisle with her father. This had been months in the making and here it was. They had the groom’s brother give a heartfelt talk about marriage, life and God. Many laughs followed as anecdotes of their dating days were revealed. Just like that, the bride and groom exchanged a kiss that sealed the deal.

Parc André-J.-Côté

Going at parc André-J.-Côté for their wedding photos, their entourage followed. The bride reminded herself to slow down and enjoy the moment with the people she loved. The bride and groom shares a special connection. They love each other so much and that love shines through easily. As an Ottawa wedding photographer, it is always a pleasure for me to travel wherever my couples are. Billy + Sabrina, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Just being present for your wedding day was so special to me. I already can’t wait to see you again.

 

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The team who brought this romantic Montreal wedding to life.

Venue: Au fin palais

Invitations: Simon Brisson for Auto griffe 

Florist: À la vie au vert 

Rings: Costco 

Cake: Obsession bakery  

Wedding dress designer: Allure bridals

Bridal store: Vania Spose

Bridesmaid dresses: Bill Levkoff   

Hairstylist for the bride: Veronique Bernard owner of Mon salon

Makeup artist of bride: Audrey Cournoyer 

DJ/band: Pierre Jean Baptiste

This romantic Montreal wedding was photographed by Jessi Lauren an Ottawa wedding Photographer.

Kingston beach engagement

It was suppose to be a family vacation in Mexico. Nothing but the beach and fun. Derek never imagined he would meet a stunning stranger. Nevertheless, life happens when you least expect it too and both their worlds collided. Three years later, Derek took Sasha on a weekend trip to Niagara Falls. He surprised her with a helicopter ride. As they flew above the waterfall, he proposed.

Kingston beach engagement

Since they met on a beach, they decided to have their engagement photos in the same setting. I’m so grateful my couples decides where they want to have their engagement photos done. Most of the time, it’s somewhere I have never been. Grass creek park in Kingston is the most beautiful dog friendly beach I have ever seen. For all I knew, we were in Mexico. Well, almost. A Kingston beach engagement is the next best thing. They were laid back, relaxed and tons of laughs. The perfect combination for a Kingston beach engagement.

Grass creek park

Sasha being 27 weeks pregnant told me they couldn’t be more excited and that their baby’s nursery was already done. I couldn’t be more excited for what’s in store for their family. I can’t wait to see their baby next July for their Prince Edward County winery wedding at waupoos winery.

 

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This Kingston engagement was photographed by Jessi Lauren an Ottawa wedding Photographer.