Musician Tyler Shaw and Alex Karolczyk met by chance at a bar in Quebec City while both were on separate weekend getaways with friends. “I was travelling from P.E.I., and Alex from Ottawa,” Tyler shares. “We happened to go out to the same bar on Saturday evening and saw each other across the dance floor. It must have been our equally terrible dance moves that drew us to each other and we ended up spending the entire evening on that dance floor together. We each travelled back home the following day knowing we had met someone so special, despite the impossible distance that separated us. Less than a year later, our careers happened to bring us both to Toronto and allowed our relationship to blossom from there.”
At the beginning of the reception, the couple was greeted by Alex’s parents with a traditional Polish wedding blessing. “In Polish custom, the parents welcome the newlyweds with bread, salt and vodka,” the couple explains. “The bread symbolizes prosperity for the couple, while the salt represents the bitterness of life that the newlyweds will have to face together. The couple finishes by choosing one of the shot glasses—one filled with water, and the other with vodka. Tradition says whoever ends up with the shot of vodka will be the head of the household—Tyler was happy to end up with that one.”
The couple’s celebration at the Westin Ottawa was a romantic, relaxed yet sophisticated affair with a palette of pinks, soft whites, greens and greys with a light and airy vibe. The venue was a highlight of the day, as guests were treated to a panoramic view of the sun setting over Ottawa on the rooftop of the Westin. “Many of our friends and family hadn’t visited Ottawa before, so they got a bird’s eye view of the nation’s capital,” Tyler says.
Fireworks exploded over Parliament Hill as the couple shared their first dance to a cover of Howie Day’s “Collide” by Boyce Avenue. “Days after we met, Alex mentioned to me that one of her favourite songs was Collide—so I picked up my guitar and learned it and surprised her with a cover of it over Skype, as we were dating long distance at the time. Every since that day, it’s been our song and often dance to it in our living room when it comes up on our Spotify playlist.”
Alexandra Karolczyk and Tyler Shaw, August 18, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario.
Photography courtesy of Rubicon Photography.
Ceremony venue: St. Patrick Basilica
Reception venue: Venue on TwentyTwo at the Westin Ottawa
Bridal gown and bridesmaid gowns: Alliance Bridal
Groom’s tux: King & Bay Custom Clothing
Groomsmen’s attire: Zara
Wedding planner: Kennedy Event Planning
Flowers: Capital Florist
Cake: Thimble Cakes
Makeup: One Fine Beauty
Hair: Top Knot Hair Stylist
Invitations: Maison Maquette
Music: DJ Ray Ray
Videography: Mocha Tree Studios