Traditional Ottawa Ukrainian Catholic Church Wedding

Tblackhe room smelled of nail polish, hairspray and brewed coffee. Two flower girls – dressed in blue floral dresses – touched up their nails with bright blue polish, while raving over their love for the bride and groom. To them, nothing could stop true love, and Ana and Cyril were a match made in heaven. This sentiment was echoed in everyone present that day, and it was clear that they had the full support of their friends, their family, and – importantly –  their congregation.

As students of theology and active members at the the Saint John the Baptist Church in Ottawa, the wedding Ceremony had incredible significance to Ana and Cyril. From the singing that echoed over the domed church room, to the first dance that surprised us all, their wedding was distinctly traditional, yet uniquely their own.

Ana and Cyril, I could yell from the rooftops how thankful I am to have been a part of your day. I am beyond thankful to have been trusted to document such important and beautiful moments. I hope these images do them justice.


The front of Ana’s dress was elegant and traditional, while the back was modern and dramatic. Interestingly, this mix of tradition and surprise is a perfect way to describe the day’s events.


That moment when it all feels real.


The crystal-beaded, illusion back of Ana’s dress was a showstopper, but Ana’s beauty stole the show.


The wedding Ceremony was preceded with the Parental Blessing in the Arboretum.


Having seen each other before the ceremony, we had plenty of time to walk the grounds of the Arboretum for romantic portraits.


The ceremony – known as the ‘Crowning’ in the Byzantine Catholic Church – took place at Saint John the Baptist Church in Ottawa. The building is highly recognizable by it’s golden rooftops, which are visible along the Rideau Canal.


The Crowning Ceremony is rich in tradition and symbolism. Embroidered cloths, laurel crowns, the Common Cup, and a ceremonial walk are all important elements of the Ceremony.


Ana and Cyril entered into the Church together, and were lead down the aisle by the Clergy.


The choir’s Gregorian Chants echoed over the walls of the Church in a way that no other building could replicate.


Ana and Cyril stood on embroidered cloth – the ‘Rushnyky’ – to symbolize their new life together.


Laurel crowns represented the immeasurable self-sacrifice of marriage.


Ana and Cyril blew tradition to the wind with their ‘first dance’, choreographed by Making Moves Dance Studio. They blew us all away too.


The dance was choreographed to a remix of summer songs. When I hear them on the radio, I’m brought right back to this moment and reminded of the excitement in the crowd.


Yes, these two are a match made in Heaven.


Thank you to the the following vendors for helping make this day so wonderful:
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Saint John the Baptist Church
First Dance Choreography: Michelle McKernan of Makin’ Moves Dance Studio
Caterer: Leather Works Catering
Dessert Artist: Joyanne
Florist & Favours: Anastasia
Photographer: Amy Pinder Photography

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  1. hi Amy! Great photos! I choreographed Cyril and Ana’s first wedding dance! If you know of any other couples needing a spectacular first dance, please send them my way!

  2. Hello Amy,

    Your outstanding photos certainly captured the spirit and ethos of the wedding celebration throughout the afternoon and evening. I also compliment you on your discretion, attentiveness and reverence during the church service. I have served at many weddings over the last 37 years and your ability to take fine photos during a solemn church service receives my highest accolades.
    Best regards,
    Protodeacon David

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