Maddy and Mike had their Chateau Montebello wedding at the beginning of January.

Last year when I met Maddy and Mike, they had a dream. The dream was to have the perfect winter wedding. Mike is from Ottawa and they both worked and lived in Banff so they better love winter!  The thing about winter weddings is that they can be affected by so many things. Driving can be terrible, the cold can make people cranky and can affect camera gear, and at times it can be dull and dreary. The first thing I realized when speaking to them was just how aware of these problems they were and yet how prepared and undeterred they were.  The most important requirement when having a great winter wedding is your location. You need a place that is beautiful inside and out. If the weather is terrible, you don’t want to rely on going outside. Giving people a great place to stay is another big help. This eliminates the need to drive if the weather is bad, and allows people to enjoy every part of the wedding, before and after.

If you had to pick a place in the Outaouais region that most fits the bill for this idea, it’s the Chateau Montebello.  It’s basically a huge log cabin resort with a spa and indoor pool, dog sledding, cross country skiing and lots of great food. Set back, away from any highways, the location on the Ottawa River makes it a bit of a winter wonderland. If you happen to get rain followed by a snow storm, you will also have snow frozen on the trees much like some one would expect in a Disney movie. THEN have a few cold but sunny days and you have the most beautiful possible scene for a winter wedding.

You can have the most beautiful setting on earth, but without the right attitude, winter can get to people and still make it no fun. To be fair, a great attitude will make any wedding fantastic and this is where Maddy and Mike finally come into this story. Maddy is Australian and has the most positive and sunny disposition. Mike is crazy relaxed and funny. Somehow they have managed to find friends who are exactly the same way so the whole day ended up being giddy. When these guys are outside in -14C temperatures, they don’t don’t get snippy and complain; they joke MORE, and have MORE fun. There was no way to not be in a great mood with this crowd so everything was perfect. Having the run of the inside and outside parts of the hotel gave us so many locations and opportunities.

I won’t get into every detail off the day since for me, it was just a wonderful experience from start to finish. This wedding will stand out for a long time as how great things can be when you put in the work and have a great attitude. Thanks to every person that I dealt with at the Chateau Montebello for helping when not even being asked, and bending over backwards to make everyone feel great. I was there for 3 days and this was constant. Thanks to everyone in the wedding party and the families of Maddy and Mike for making them so relaxed and happy. Finally, thank you Maddy and Mike for letting me have the opportunity to capture such a great wedding. You pulled off a perfect day!


Three Australian sisters pull off the most idilic winter scene photo possible, complete with horse drawn sled.