Zach and Brittany

Brittany's Proposal in Ottawa, Ontario, woods

how we met

Although Zach and I went to high school together (and even had lockers beside each other for our entire senior year), we weren’t close. He was one of those people that I never expected to see again after graduation, especially as we were going to different universities. Six months later we crossed paths and suddenly it seemed like he was everywhere! He was working out at the gym where I worked; he was having lunch on my university campus with his friend, etc.! Even though it was so long ago, I can still so vividly remember where I was and how I felt when he finally asked me out on a date – the nerves and excitement. It’s crazy to think of how that one moment brought us to where we are today and all the adventures we’ve had in between!

Zach and I have a lot in common while also being very different. Two of the biggest things that made me fall in love with Zach are his personality, which is really laid back and positive (the complete opposite of my own), and his relationship with my family. It was very clear to me early on that he fit really well into our family, which is really important to me. Knowing that my relatives all really liked and respected him spoke volumes to me about him as a person.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Ottawa, Ontario, woods

how he asked

Zach and I have been dating for almost eight years, and we’ve gone through many holidays/birthdays/vacations of people asking the “do you think you’ll get engaged this time?!” question. We knew it would come eventually, but we had discussed it a bit and knew we were in no rush. I really wanted to leave the ball in his court to surprise me!

Where to Propose in Ottawa, Ontario, woods

Zach enlisted the help of the amazingly talented Laura Kelly of Laura Kelly Weddings (who also happens to be one of my closest girlfriends). The two of them schemed over several months and developed a dream scenario. Laura invited me to participate in a styled shoot, knowing that I obsess over her work and that of her wedding industry friends so I wouldn’t be able to say no. Zach was going on a “golf/cottage weekend”, a very believable excuse. Everyone who was in on it played it so cool, so that even my minor suspicions were easily wiped away!

Brittany and Groom's Engagement in Ottawa, Ontario, woods

I went into the day feeling totally nervous and daunted by the thought of a styled shoot resting on my shoulders. The styled shoot team set the scene around me as I was getting my hair and makeup done, and I would never have imagined that they’d put so much effort and detail into something for me! So when Zach showed up to crash the styled shoot (accompanied by a guitarist!), I was blown away! I remember trying to stay present and focus on what he was saying, but in retrospect the moment flew by!

Once Zach showed up and proposed, I feel like everything became a blur, so it was really nice when we got to sit down and enjoy a little private picnic that Laura and the planning team had set up for us! Everyone else cleared out and we were left sitting alone in the little clearing to enjoy some time to soak it all in.

Laura took some pictures of us and then everyone left us alone to enjoy a little picnic that had been set up for the “styled shoot”. It is so incredible to be able to look back at the pictures Laura took for us that day. I can see such a transition from the nerves of the “styled shoot” to the surprise when Zach showed up, and finally the relaxed happiness that really shines through all of the pictures after the proposal. The whole day felt like a fairy tale, and I feel so loved knowing how much thought and care went into planning the proposal!

The whole day was a dream, but my favorite memories are of sharing the news with our loved ones. I will never forget the love and joy that we felt watching our family and friends react to the news of the proposal! Every reaction was so unique and we had the very best time celebrating as we spread the news in person.

Special Thanks