brittany + zach | luxury wedding at the horticulture building

She stood under the string lights and held back tears as she addressed the people in the room. This part I had pictured for close to two years. I knew her love for her friends and family through getting to know them over the course of our friendship. It is no secret that everyone who knows Brittany wishes that they were a member of the Dinardo family. Her words were from the heart. And each sentiment held more meaning than perhaps any of us could even understand. 

"It is our relationships that make the world around us significant 
and meaningful. I believe that with my whole heart, that the people 
in this room make my life, make OUR life, what it is. 

We are blessed. We are so loved. 
And it is thanks to all of you." 

I've gotten to know that sentimental side of Brittany over the years. The incredibly kind-hearted, strong person who loves so deeply. And yet for some reason I couldn't imagine the words she would use for Zach. Their relationship is unlike any I've ever known; as strong and consistent as a ten foot wave, but never fluffy, never coated with glitter. She's more likely to roll her eyes rather than swoon...

They are the definition of opposites who make each other better. A yin and yang in perfect harmony. Always improving. Always thriving.

I couldn't picture the moment where she would turn to face her new husband, Zach. And to be honest, I'm glad I never pictured it. Because it was better than anything I could have ever imagined. It was Brittany in a way that we all knew and loved her. It was my favourite moment of the entire day.

"Zach, I am not often nice to you in an obvious way. 

I don't always love you publicly. 

But I truly love you more than I like to say out loud. 
You are a calming force in my hectic life. 
Thank you for building this life with me that I love so much. 
Thank you for always loving me. 

I'll love you forever."

So with that, I am incredibly honoured to share a detailed look into what we are all calling the REAL royal wedding...

And first thing's first, I need to take a moment to address this beautiful gown which has essentially broken my Instagram for the last 10 days. This Hayley Paige long sleeved dress was made for Brittany and was the perfect mix of sparkle and elegance. I can't imagine her wearing anything else -- it was perfect.  

This is the part where I started to tear up. They were my first tears of the day but not my last. 

Those names. Those rings. They all hold so much meaning, and this will remain a favourite detail shot until the end of time.

Kirsty from Topknot was the genius behind the stunning hairstyles featured in this wedding. She always outdoes herself!

And these invitations by LaFabère were making my heart so happy during the detail part of the morning's preparations. The sketch of the cathedral -- the little gold-stitched flag on the top right corner... It's all so lovely.

Naturally Brittany wore a collection of custom accessories by Sarah Walsh Bridal. Her vision was very specific: the pieces had to enhance but not overpower the already detailed gown, and Sarah delivered above and beyond.  

Brittany's sister Kayla is on the left of this photo. You'll be seeing a lot more of her in this post. She is Brittany's other half, the Selena to her Justin, and a model example of a Maid of Honour. 

This crown is a family heirloom that has been passed down and worn for three generations of weddings. The original piece was worn by Brittany's grandmother, Ella. Ella's daughter, and Brittany's mother, Brenda, added a layer of pearls and beading before her own wedding. 

And now, Brittany trusted Sarah Walsh to restore the piece and adorn it with crystals to mark the third generation. Brittany wore this crown, as well as a pair of earrings that were delivered all the way from Italy, for a few special photos prior to the reception.  

Beautiful Brenda. She's such a strong role model for Brittany and Kayla, and she lights up any room she's in. I am so thankful for her for raising my incredible friend to be the person she is. 

Two floors above, the gents were getting themselves dressed and ready to head to the church. I must say they make it very convenient -- just a quick elevator ride between bride prep and groom prep!

Brutus was in the spotlight for their magical at-home engagement session, but would spend the day of the wedding sleeping on his favourite couch cushion. He did make use of the extra bowtie that was in their garment bags though...

Seriously the most stylish groom ever.  

It's a tradition in their families to be married in the Notre Dame Basilica in the heart of downtown.

Ohhhhhhhkay. THE most magical moment, though. I love that you can see Elise, owner of TOAST Events, in the background of this veil action. I think it's the perfect metaphor for having a wedding planner. Their job is to be the wind beneath their clients' wings; to put the Bride and Groom in the spotlight and take care of everything behind the scenes. 

I love this photo so much. 

A few things about this photo:

1. The train of her dress is majestic.

2. Thankful for Brittany Lee as my exceptional second shooter for this occasion, who was able to capture this from the balcony.  

3. There's only one person not looking at the bride, and that's Brent, Brittany's husband and a former LK Groom. Can't blame him, Brittany is pretty freaking good to look at. 

4. If you can find me peeking in from the front you'll get a gold star.

Ughhhh. This face. It is everything.

Swtiched over to her soon-to-be husband, and a teary eyed look for her mama. My heart. 

Please note the woman leaning out of her car to take a photo. If you recognize this vehicle and the back of those hands, shoot me a message. I'd be very curious to see that shot ;)

The dress and the veil and the wind and this newly married love -- it was just a spectacle. Cars honking everywhere we went, sidewalks lined with people taking photos. It was a taste of the Meghan Markle life for my beautiful B. 

We started with family photos in a clearing near the National Gallery of Canada. These little happy faces and those baby toes in sandals!!

In case you were wondering, all of the florals came from Wedecor, who was also tasked with transforming the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne. We'll get to that soon enough!!

These gentlemen looked so dashing. 

The girls were okay.

Jooookes. I was in actual heaven here photographing them in the sunshine with their big beautiful bouquets and stunning Mumu bridesmaids dresses. 

By the way, this is Brittany's brother Derek on the left. He's charming and charismatic and gave a killer speech at the reception. Again, this entire family is goals. 

My girls!! I could cry looking at this photo and knowing how much it meant to them to be celebrating this day together. 

We had one more stop before heading into the reception -- a quick petal toss at Lansdowne. These are legitimately some of my favourites. 

TOAST Events and Wedecor. You girls are a powerhouse and a serious dynamic duo. Please never stop slaying it in the wedding game. 

Isn't it a wonderful thing to be a guest at your own wedding? 

Simply enchanted by every single detail...

First appearance of the crown <3

And it caused a little bit of attention from some of the children playing in the nearby park...

What can we say, she's a Princess of the people. I'm obsessed with this moment where she made a little girl feel like a Queen. 

Shortly after, the guests started arriving for cocktails on the patio at the Horticulture Building. 

Spotted: the other members of our girl-group. Loraleah and Bob on the left (who remembers their wedding from...oh god...2012?!) and Sarah and Tyler on the right! 

Brittany Dinardo was obviously busy being a Bride, I'm on the other side of the camera, and our other Brittany was helping to capture some photos of the reception details. I will never forget this night together!

And this may or may not by my husband's hand. See? We are all represented ;)

After a royal entrance, the newlyweds opened the dance floor to Still Falling for You by Ellie Goulding. I am currently listening to this song and crying and feeling every emotion in the book. 

My favourite photo of the three siblings. 

And the sweetest moment where Brittany and her Dad make the exact same expression: 

Ducking out for a few sunset photos never felt so good. I was playing it cool for the last 18 months that even if it rained, my heart would be fiiiiine. We had the sunset for their engagement and didn't "need" it for the wedding. But inside, I was a 6 year old girl getting a shiny pink bicycle for her birthday when I woke up and saw the sunshine on the morning of June 9th. 

Now it was time to play. 

I don't think there's ever been a photo I've loved more. 

And as the sun set, the music turned up and we danced the night away. 

To my friend Zach,

She may be the realest embodiment of a modern day princess, but it's you who makes her sparkle extra brightly. For being her other half, her shoulder to cry on, her biggest fan, I am so grateful. When I think about the two of you growing old together it gives me peace. I know you will spend the rest of your life trying to find new ways to cherish, surprise, and inspire her.

To my dearest Brittany,

You have the deepest and biggest heart of anyone I've ever known. You somehow manage to dodge hugs and superfluous physical contact while loving the people in your life with your entire being. I actually don't know how those two things go together... 

To see all of those people care about you, as a person who cares so much for others, has been the biggest blessing. The way your family and friends have come together to support this wedding and celebrate every single step along the way, I honestly can't think of anyone more deserving of that love. My hope for you is that for at least this moment, you know what it's like for us to have YOU in our lives.

Love you, B.


Planning and Design: TOAST Events
Hair: Topknot
Makeup: Klava Z
Bridal Crown: Family heirloom restored by Sarah Walsh Bridal Jewellery
Bridesmaids Dresses: Show Me Your MuMu
Menswear: Jimmy Suits
Florals: Wedecor
Event Rentals and Furniture: Wedecor
Invitation Suite: LaFabére
Ring Box: The Mrs. Box
Ceremony Location: Notre Dame Basilica Ottawa
Reception Venue: The Horticulture Building Ottawa
Videographers: Matt & Kat Films
DJ: Brian Oddo

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