Romantic Luxe Portrait Session by Joel Bedford Photography
Posted by Kate. Filed under Photography

I can’t tell you how in love with this portrait session I am.  The couple?  So gorgeous. The flowers?  Stunning. That Reem Acra gown?  Totally dreamy.  Joel Bedford did such an incredible job with this one.  Mat and Shannon have been together for a very long time (since 1999)!  and they married in a destination wedding a few years back.  After having their first son, Beau, and returning to Ottawa- the city where they met- it was the perfect time to relive the wedding experience. Justyna and Joel took the lead producing a romantic, luxe portrait session for them.  Feast your eyes, friends…

Michelle VandenBosch designed the stunning textured bouquet of orchids, cock’s comb and dahlias. It’s downright one of the most beautiful fall bouquets I’ve ever laid eyes on.   Shannon’s side braid was accented by a few pretty blooms creating a look of relaxed, natural luxury. 

A big thanks to Justyna and Joel… and many congratulations to Shannon and Mat on thirteen years together!

(Read more of their love story down below)…

Photography by Joel Bedford Weddings

Florals by Permanent Petals by Michelle VandenBosch

Bridal Gown by Reem Acra from The White Dress

Hair and Make-up by Danika Gagnon

From the Bride: Once upon a time, in 1999… Mat and I met in summer school, Mat was 14 and I was 16.  I was taking a math course in French so I had to travel to the other side of the city where the classes in French were being offered. I was the only anglophone girl at the school so I didn’t know anyone there; there was one girl who was nice enough to take it upon herself to tell me all about the other students at the school. One lunch hour she pulled out her year book and showed me a picture of Mat. She then continued to tell me that ” you have to be pretty much perfect for him to even look at you.” (which is really funny now that I know Mat so well because he is the most genuinely friendly guy you will ever meet).

A few days later, I was sitting with this same girl having lunch when another girl came over to us and said (while pointing) “those guys over there want to know your name?” Needless to say one of “those guys” was Mat and from then on we were inseparable.   Although I wasn’t very well-liked among the female population at summer school anymore, we ended up being each other’s “perfect.”

In 2004, Mat and I were ready to move out on our own, however we decided to make it a bit of an adventure and move to Victoria BC! Mat’s sister was already living there with her husband so they helped make the transition smooth for us. We created an amazing life there together, meeting new friends and getting to know the West Coast and all it has to offer. In 2007 Mat proposed on his birthday while taking a day boat trip over to Sidney Spit, a small island off of Victoria. I was shocked!! Our birthdays are three days apart and our “anniversary” at the time was right in-between them so I never expected it to happen on his birthday let alone even that year!

After much debate, we decided that a destination wedding would be best since we now had lots of friends and family in both Ottawa and Victoria guests would be travelling no matter what. We chose Cabo San Lucas because both Mat and a few of our guests were after a location with a good wave to catch. It was amazing, everyone who attended had an incredible time, the weather was perfect, it was low stress and all our closest friends and family had a full week to bond!

About a year later, in January 2010, we had our son Beau. We enjoyed another 15 months in Victoria until we decided it was time to move closer to family again and give Beau the grandparents and Aunts he’d been missing. We still long for the island but enjoy watching Beau create irreplaceable relationships with family. Once being back in Ottawa we thought it would be fun to have wedding photos taken in the place where it all began. We are so fortunate to know Joel and Justyna, once we spoke to them about it they jumped right on it and produced the most amazing photo shoot for us! They took complete control and came up with the entire thing, all we did was show up! It was soo much fun to work with them and to be able to live another wedding in a completely different way from our “real” wedding!  I have a real love for so many different styles of weddings; if I could I would have hundreds of them, all with Mat of course! As our love story continues we are currently awaiting the newest addition to our family arriving in late June!

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  • Elyse

    What a beautiful photo shoot and story about Shan and Mat. Shan and I have been friends since grade 1 and I remember the exact time she met Mat and the summer school story like it was yesterday! They are truly an amazing couple and are meant to be! You captured their relationship beautifully and Shan wrote a great story, brought a few tears to my eyes. This will be so special for them to share with Beau and baby to be in the future! Cannot believe it has been 13 years!

  • Those glittery cap sleeves on her dress are incredible! I love the story and think this photo shoot is absolutely amazing. Very well done to the Joel Bedword Wedding photographers!


  • i love this kind of weding:) it’s become so popular!

  • That beaded cap sleeve is to die for – very Regency Era.

  • Wow! Her flowers. Her cap sleeve. His hat. The sunset. So beautiful. Joel Bedword did a great job, and I’m so happy for Shannon and Mat to celebrate after 13 years.

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  • I love the lighting in all pics. Good work.

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  • The pictures have great colors! I love the scenery because it is …natural 🙂
    I am looking for a wedding photographer for a wedding in Greece. Do you know if Joel travels ?

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