DIY Wedding at Billings Estate

October 28, 2014

Billings estate is another example of an Ottawa landmark that I'd be totally oblivious to if it weren't for my work. Located in Alta Vista, it features Ottawa's oldest wood-framed house--built in the 1820's. Having been sold by the Billings family the estate now serves as a museum, and apparently also as a venue for weddings.

When I arrived at Billings Estate on the morning of the wedding I didn't find the bride getting herself ready for the day to come. Instead I found this diagram (see below) plunked down on one of the tables, and her, the groom, family and friends, buzzing about each with a job to do. Some were hanging decor, others dressing up the tables; the bride was assembling the seating chart. When this wedding couple says DIY, they totally mean it.


DIY planning seating chart diagram


Eventually, though, the bride segued from being wedding decorator and retreated to one of the side-rooms off of the manor to get herself ready for the day.


bride doing up her hair before wedding ceremony


mother of bride pinning veil on bride


bride getting ready at Billings Estate


Inside Billings Estate looking at ceremony through window


Groom waiting for bride to arrive in garden of Billings Estate


wedding processional with garden and estate


emotional photo of bride's mother hugging bride


family joining hands during wedding ceremony


first kiss at Billings Estate wedding


bride and groom post ceremony with backs turned proceeding to house


bride teasing groom


groom's hand on back showing bride's dress


wedding couple holding hands with forest trees in background


family group photo under tree next to Billings Estate house


food preparation at wedding - knife cutting vegetables


cocktail food at wedding


Flatbread Pizza Company oven with pizza cooking


The swirl of fire and wafts of smoke portending some genuinely kick-ass pizza. I love when a wedding couple knows what they want and then actually makes it happen, quirky or not. They met this pizza outfit at the Farmer's Market and knew they found their caterer.


flames in stone oven where pizza is cooking


Pizza at Ottawa wedding


guests at buffet table at Ottawa wedding


bride smiling during speeches at Billings Estate wedding


wedding guests chatting with the bride


The display of multi-generational wedding photos is a decorative touch I've definitely seen more of in the last couple of years. I always stop to have a look not only because I'm curious about the purely photographic aspect, but also because it reminds me about the significance of the day I am a part of. It's a mesmerizing, almost mystical experience seeing these old photos.


Old wedding photos in frames


crazy dancing at wedding


You might think that a Billings Estate wedding--a wedding on the grounds of a dignified historic house--is necessarily tame. But at some point in the evening Eine Kleine Nachtmusik quickly shifted to pulsing electronic beats; and most everyone but for the babies were dancing.

Those concerned with the fate of the gal below should know that she's resilient and was up and dancing again in no time !

funny wedding photo of guest falling while dancing


wedding couple dancing


Billings Estate wedding with wedding reception under tent, leaves in foreground and blue night sky