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Prime Minister Stephen Harper at a wedding photo shoot in Ottawa.Laura Kelly

When you're the prime minister there is no need to put on a suit and necktie and try to blend in if you want to crash a wedding party.

It was a memorable occasion for Ottawa-area newlyweds Patrick Sullivan and Jocelyne Potvin, who were getting their wedding formals photos snapped near the Rockcliffe Parkway Saturday afternoon when Stephen Harper, who was passing by, joined the session.

The couple and their party of bridesmaids and groomsmen had spotted three large black luxury cars in the parking lot along the parkway.

The prime minister's 24 Sussex Drive residence is a few hundred metres away.

"I bet you it's the prime minister or something!" someone in the wedding party said, according to a blog post by the photographer, Laura Kelly.

"And wouldn't you know it, Mr. Stephen Harper himself came over to wish the Bride & Groom a happy wedding day!" Ms. Kelly wrote.

With his RCMP security detail standing nearby, a smiling Mr. Harper, who wore a pale blue windbreaker, shook hands and posed with the beaming couple and their wedding party.

Ms. Kelly wrote that Mr. Harper asked the couple "So, have you already done it?"

The prime minister was asking if the couple had already exchanged vows but, misunderstanding him, Mr. Sullivan replied: "Nope, first time!"