Sarisa & Saeed’s wedding was truly a fairytale (#issafairytale2018). This wonderful, unique couple came to us with a specific vision for their special day, and we were thrilled to be able to work with them to bring their dream wedding to life. When they began their wedding venue search over four and a half years ago, we were surprised to learn that they were uninspired and couldn’t find a venue that fit the criteria they were seeking. Finally, they discovered Aquatopia Conservatory! Each detail was so well thought out, from the all black dress code to the rustic, chic, garden-themed details. Keep reading below to find out how all of this came together for Sarisa & Seed's big day in our lush, tropical setting!
A: What made you choose Aquatopia as your wedding venue?
S&S: With our lengthy engagement, we knew that we didn't want the standard banquet hall wedding. As Ottawa natives, we searched venues in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto for 4+ years with no success. When we came across Aquatopia we didn’t need time to think and weed out options, we knew we had our venue. The beautiful architecture immediately caught our attention. The initial walk through the venue felt ethereal.
A: Once you had your venue selected, how did you determine your theme?
S&S: Our theme actually dictated our venue. Let me explain, we went on a life changing trip to Australia in 2016. One in which, we considered tieing the knot but we knew our parents would kill us if they weren't a part of our special day. If we couldn't take all our friends and family to Australia then we wanted to bring those 'vibes' and 'feels' to Ottawa. The theme was this rustic but chic, The Starks with a dash of the Lannisters vibe. This dark and gloomy aura, one in which a Fairytale would start with; “Once upon a time, in a land far far away…”.
A: What was high up on your priority list in the beginning planning stages?
S&S: The food was definitely at the top of our priority list. As two foodies, we couldn't have had people come to our wedding and not be blown away with the food. We have been to numerous weddings over the years and have had the misfortune of eating a lot of mediocre food - that was not an option at our wedding. Chef Reshad was a true professional throughout the process. His food was thoughtful and adventurous. It was great to have our guests take a food journey they wouldn't conventionally indulge in at a wedding.
A: How would you describe your wedding planning experience?
S&S: Pure magic. The Aquatopia team and us were in sync from the first conversation we had. We knew that we wanted our wedding to be like nothing experienced at Aquatopia as we are very specific types of people, they delivered. We put a lot of pressure on them to push the envelope, they didn't even blink. Everyone speaks of how hard their wedding planning was - we can’t relate.
A: What was your favourite part about the evening?
S&S: Walking into the venue before the guests arrived and seeing our vision come to life was a surreal experience for us, a 'we did it' moment. Even greater than that was watching the reactions, the sheer joy and happiness from our family and friends throughout the evening, it's something we still talk about.
A: What was your favourite design aspect?
S&S: Our wedding had a lot of highlights as we pushed the envelope in a number of different designs aspects. If we had to pick one, it would have to be the floral. To tell our event planning team during our mock floral trial “It looks great but we want more. When you think it looks like enough floral, do more. And oh yeah, we want it put together messily and chaotic." We wanted the floral to be our version of perfect.
A: Describe the entertainers and outside vendors you chose. How did they impact your wedding day and the overall guest experience?
S&S: We wanted to give our guests an experience they had never been a part of. With seven different forms of entertainment, we knew that we had to be careful to make our night tasteful and not a circus act. The night began with our solo musician setting the ambience with some classic Beatles during cocktail hour.
Transitioning to our reception, our Aerialists performed a memorable breathtaking show that had our guests in awe.
Our violinist and drummer then took front stage playing the hottest hip hop and r&b, the excitement from our guests was incredible.
To cap off dinner with a cutting of the cake that led into a surprise firework show, was a very special moment.
Our caricature artist added to the evening with hilarious drawings of our guests as our bomboniere.
Closing the night off as any Ottawan would, we served our guests Beavertails. The impact was worth the abundant amount of vendors we decided to go with.
A: When you found out you were going to be featured on Where To I Do, how (if) did this change your planning and vision for your wedding?
S&S: The WTID experience was very special, one which we will never forget. We are grateful that our Aquatopia team brought the opportunity forward to us. The show didn't change what we wanted to accomplish at Aquatopia but it added that extra added pressure to not only deliver something speculator for our guests but now we were sharing the experience with viewers across Canada, it needed to be perfect. To have the producer tell us this was the best wedding of the season, we knew that we had accomplished something magical at Aquatopia.
The Wedding Team:
Photography: Sage & Sea Co.
Videography: Where To I Do
Planning: Aquatopia Conservatory
Florals: Aquatopia Conservatory
Catering: Aquatopia Conservatory
DJ: DJ Ariyan
Makeup: The bride herself!
Hair: Shelby from Showpony
Dress: Martina Liana
Caricature: Caricature Creators
Aerialists: Le Cirque Carpe Diem
Musicians: Skin N Strings
Fireworks: Hands Fireworks