Orchard View Wedding & Event Centre - Adam & Julia
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started and when did you take over Orchard View?
We were both born and raised in Ottawa, I had a crush on Adam since I can remember. He was very good friends with a relative of mine - so we would see each other on occasion, but I was too shy to say anything to him. When Adam was 21 he got very sick and ended up in the hospital, he had to learn how to talk and walk and move again. I worked as a waitress at the hospital at the time and of course he was admitted to my floor - While in the hospital, I would go and spend time with him, bring him his dinner - years later we saw each other at a wedding where he asked me to dance and soon after that we chatted on MSN (I'm aging myself!) and the rest is history. We were married 10 years ago, at Orchard View of course, and now we have two beautiful children.
Adam started working with his parents at Orchard View as a teenager, first as a waiter and working his way up through every position until taking over in 2003. I joined the Orchard View team shortly before we were married. I learned the ropes while planning our own wedding! I feel I'm able to connect with our couples here because I was an Orchard View bride, I know firsthand what it feels like to be married in front of the lake, to take our first steps as husband and wife crossing the bridge and dance the night away with our friends and family.
As a husband and wife team with children at home how to you balance your work and personal life?
We try our best. Our two children keep us busy. They have come to know Orchard View as their second home, and we're very lucky that we have the support of our parents to help out with the business and our kids - it takes a village! Fran and Gino see our commitment to our business and how hard we work everyday -we hope to instill in them the same work ethic our parents gave to us. We try to leave work at the office, but working from home is something we are both guilty of, but only after the kids go to bed.
What is your favourite thing to do in / about Ottawa?
We are very passionate about food, and Ottawa is an amazing city for foodies! There are so many fantastic restaurants, we love to go out and try new places and tried and true favourites. We also love how much green space there is in Ottawa, we have so many great parks which is great as parents of young kids. We're also really lucky that Orchard View is nestled in the heart of rural Ottawa, the villages nearby have amazing festivals and community events so our kids really get to experience the perks of city life and the best that country living has to offer.
How many events incl. weddings have you hosted since taking over in (year)/ hosted to date?
I've lost count! My best guess would be around 2,000 weddings, and hundreds of other events! Adam makes it a point to be at every wedding possible, and he has a fantastic memory, and can remember every couple, and can tell you some detail about them and their wedding! Every couple has their own love story, and we do our best to make sure that their wedding represents how unique and special they are. It sounds sappy, but sometimes we go through old brochures and photo albums and Adam will have some anecdote about each and every wedding.
What is your favourite type of event and why?
Definitely weddings! Don't get me wrong, every birthday, celebration, Christmas Party, Yoga Retreat, Baptism, etc. is fun and special - but nothing is better than being a part of the most memorable day in a couple's life. My favourite part of the wedding is ceremony, being able to witness two people committing the rest of their lives to each other is such a privilege. Not many people get to be a part of so many happy moments as part of their job. I get to go to work every morning, and help people bring the day they have been fantasizing about to life.
If you could plan an event/ wedding for a Canadian celebrity who would it be?
I'm a huge fan of local Sandra Oh, and we would love if she wanted to get married here. And of course, our doors are always open for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes if they decide to tie the knot! :)
I also would love to have a Royal Baptism! Francesca thinks it would be "so cool" if Princess Meghan celebrated the Royal Baby's christening at Orchard View, because we also celebrated Francesca and Gino's baptisms here. I know Meghan is not "technically" Canadian, but she lived in Toronto for a while, so she's an honorary Canadia in my books! Fran also mentioned Justin Bieber can come visit if he is in town too!
What has been the biggest upgrade you made to Orchard View since taking over?
We improve our facility every year, but our most significant endeavor was a few years ago, when we decided to add a second ceremony site, and it's one of my favourite places on the property. We have a stunning waterfall as a backdrop to our new pergola. It is surrounded by gardens and is a beautiful place to exchange vows, and for friends and family to enjoy a cocktail while the couple has their photos taken. But if you ask Adam this question, he personally hung every crystal on our new chandeliers, so that would be his answer!
What has been the biggest challenge about running a venue that caters mostly to weddings?
Our biggest challenge is getting people to see us as more than a wedding venue. Absolutely, weddings are the vast majority of our bookings, but we have so many wonderful opportunities for other events here as well. We love hosting corporate functions, and we host many charity events because giving back to our community is very important to us as a family and as a local business.
What is your favourite part about your jobs?
Of course working with each other is the best part of our job! Weddings are always happy occasions, so even on tough days (like when the kids were up all night), you're surrounded by so much love and positivitey, you can't help but feed off that energy.
After all those weddings over the years there has to be a funny story you can share?!
We've had a lot of laughs here, and we could probably write a book with all of the funny moments. My all-time favourite is when a bride dropped her phone in the lake. Customer service is our number one priority so Adam jumped in the lake to save the phone! The bride was thrilled, my only regret is that nobody managed to get it on camera!