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Lois + Vicko's Whimsical Winter Wedding at The Aquatopia Conservatory

An interview with bride #121

bridesmaids share a celebratory mimosa with the bride

Vicko and I had been together for 12 years, and November was always our anniversary month, so we had hoped to host our wedding at that time of year. We love being outdoors and would have loved to have a forest ceremony, but that time of the year makes it a challenge. Our solution came in the form of a greenhouse venue!

That is how we ended up choosing the Aquatopia Conservatory in Ottawa, despite the fact we are not from there, nor have family there. Our initial concern was that the travel may prevent guests from coming, but it turned out to be one of the best things we did. It felt more intimate, and we were able to see more of our friends and family before, during, and after the wedding!

A bride reads a letter from her fiance before the reception.

As for the wedding, we honestly took this as our excuse to host a party with our favourite people and have an unforgettable and fun night together. We kept a light schedule throughout the evening to focus on spending more time with our friends and family. We are Harry Potter fans as well as a lot of our friends, so we tried to include some subtle hints in our decorations. One of favourite dessert spots in Toronto is Roselle, so we brought a hint of Toronto to Ottawa by choosing their caramels as our wedding favours. Looking back, all the choices represented us as a couple!

The groom puts on his tie.

A groomsmen helps the groom put on his suit jacket.

One of the best moments of the day was the first look prank that I had organized with some of our friends for Vicko. Vicko has always been a prankster, and we are quite silly on a regular basis. I had seen the T-Rex costume previously, which sparked my idea of purchasing a Baymax costume since we are Disney fans! Our friends who have been previously pranked by Vicko were more than excited to take part in this. With our videographers and photographers in on the plan, we had Vicko face the opposite way, as the bridal party and I watched our friend, Alan, bobble his way in the inflated Baymax suit towards Vicko. The laugh that Vicko let out when he turned around was priceless!

A groom is surprised by his friend in a Baymax costume

A bride and groom see each other for the first time before the reception.

For me, my favourite moment that evening was being walked down by both my Mom and Dad. We walked down to "Can't Help Falling in Love" sung by Kina Grannis. Growing up, my Dad and I would always sing along to songs while going on a drive. As we started walking down the aisle, my Dad recognized the song, which is originally by Elvis Presley, and automatically started to sing, which prompted me to follow suit. It came so naturally that I did not even realize we were singing until we reached Vicko at the front. Looking back, this is one of the sweetest moments of the day.

The father and mother of the bride walk her down the aisle.

Our ceremony was also officiated by the father of one of my bridesmaid, Preeya. I have known Preeya and her family since I was in grade six. Our families are close, and aside from them being invited to our wedding, we were excited to ask her Dad to be more involved and be our officiant. We were lucky to have this extra personal touch to start the evening's events!

A wedding inside the Aquatopia Conservatory in Ottawa

The bride and groom kiss.

To cap off and start the fun parts of the evening, aka the dancing, we ended our reception with a game with the guests. We played a scavenger hunt musical chair game that got everyone on their feet, socks and shoes coming off, and just lots of laughter. It got people in a rowdy mood, which translated into an eventful time with glow sticks and sing-a-longs on the dance floor! To include our love for food, we also had a late-night poutine station along with a doughnut wall so everyone can dance, refuel and dance some more!

A wedding party dances and has fun at the wedding reception.

Describe your wedding day in 3 words.
Fun, laidback, and relaxing.

What's one thing that your wedding day HAD TO have.
Good food!

What's one thing you could've done without?
The slideshow that we played in the background. It was a nice extra touch to play a slideshow of photos of our childhood, or with our friends and family through the years, but it could easily have been missed. Most guests were enjoying themselves at the tables chatting with old friends, or when we visited their tables they would be socializing with us.

Tell us about your bridal fashion style.
On a regular basis, I am a hopeless romantic, and while I like traditions, I love trying new things. I also love to dance, which does not translate to "I am a good dancer"! I loved going dancing and singing to songs with the girls. Just put on any 2000s tunes and I will be on that dance floor. I wanted to be comfortable and able to dance, so finding comfortable shoes and a light wedding dress was a priority.

I knew I wanted a long train which can be done with a long veil instead of a train on the dress. I ended up choosing an illusion neckline dress in white, with light pink and blue 3D flowers, which worked well with the greenhouse vibe. The dress is actually a short dress that sits just above the knees, with a tulle outer layer and a slit on the side. My mom (who is a wizard I swear!) found a pair of silver and grey wedges that were super comfortable. This combo allowed me to be on the dance floor until the very end! As for my hair, I had a small floral wired accessory to pin into my half up-do.

A bride puts on her earrings and finishing touches before the ceremony.

A close up of the bride's shoes.

What's your advice for future brides?
Less is more! Prioritize what is most important to you, and stick with it. Pinterest is a great tool for decorations, but also dangerous. Pick the details that resonate with who you are, not what looks best on social media. I made it a priority to budget for two hairstylists and two make-up artists for 7 people so that we can start prep later in the morning and enjoy our coffee and bagels instead of being up at the crack of dawn. If you can budget for that, it is worth it!

Last but not least, just have fun! Guests have fun when they see the couple enjoying themselves. We were lucky enough to have had an amazing and very involved wedding coordinator from the venue. Otherwise, hire a day-of coordinator so you can enjoy your day!

 


 

Vendors

Photographer: Willow & Wander Photography
Videographer: Peaking Zebra Productions
Venue/Food/Florals/Coordinators: Aquatopia Conservatory
DJ: DJ Evan from Fresh Events
Doughnuts: Suzy Q Doughnuts

 

A wedding party stands outside and poses for a picture.

A wedding party poses outside for a picture at sunset.

A bride and her bridal party pose for a sunset picture outside.

The groom and his groomsmen pose for a picture together.

The bride and groom share a kiss outside.

The bride and groom share a laugh together.

The bride and groom walk hand in hand to go to the ceremony.

The bride smiles for a picture.

Details on the groom's jacket.

The bride and groom walk down the aisle happily as newlyweds.

The tableware at the wedding.

The bride gives her mom a kiss on the cheek.