While I've photographed over 400 weddings and been to most everywhere there is to make wedding photographs in and around Ottawa I love going to the Canadian Golf & Country Club. Here I am using photographs from Kayla & Travis' wedding day in September 2012 to show you what I mean.
First it is a golf course that is well maintained. Really well maintained. The grass is always green, the treed areas are clean and the people are always friendly (including the owners, the marshals. the greenskeepers and golfers).
They have also built Tory's Garden for events. Especially for weddings. As you walk from the clubhouse and pass the practice and first tees you'll follow a wooded path to be transported into this intimate manicured area. This is your secret garden. Golfers won't be walking through and the only sounds you'll hear are the sounds of nature and your friends and relatives.
They've also made it so that you will also hear that beautiful silence as you emerge from the wooded path to walk down the aisle.
And everyone has a comfortable view as you walk to your ceremony taking place at the central gazebo.
In the back of Tory's Garden is a ruggedly landscaped area filled with fescue that took years to prepare. I believe they designed it just for photographers like me who want natural feeling photographs.
With a medium sized pond and a grassy knoll you can make large group photographs - and, because the water is calm and cared for, you get great reflections of people and nature.
The photograph above is what you see as you arrive through the woods at Tory's Garden. Spacious but intimate, this area is perfect for spreading your wedding party out for richly detailed environmental portraits.
An important aspect of every wedding is the peace of mind that comes from having vendors you can trust to take care of you - this is what I really appreciate about the Canadian. Every wedding that I have photographed at the Canadian has shown me that Gail and her staff show that they care about the couples, their families and friends. Linens and tables were ready hours before the wedding party and guests had arrived and I've witnessed Gail go to extraordinary lengths to make sure everything is spot on.
When you look at the layout of the upstairs reception room you will notice that the dance floor is ready to go, big enough for a lot of guests, but not so big that if only a few people are dancing it looks empty. The bar is also nice and close to the dance floor, if you want your party to keep going then having the bar close to the dance floor is so important.
There are a lot of other things to love about the Canadian; the quality of the food (delicious), the large parking lots, proximity to Kanata (around 10-15 minutes to the Brookstreet Hotel) but for me it is the combination of intimacy, friendly caring staff and creative possibilities for photographs that put the Canadian Golf & Country Club in my top 10.
Frank Fenn - Ottawa Wedding Photographer