A wedding dress that belongs in the wild

Photos by Kate Hood

My first thought when I saw this photo was, "OMG YES!" Laura and Chris look absolutely stunning. Then I began to read more about these two bare-footed, nature-lovers, who live in the woods of Algonquin Park, Ontario, and boy did I fall in love. But wait until you see Laura's whole outfit made from deer skin, trees, and various animal parts…

Chris and Laura Gilmour - September 25, 2010

Since Laura teaches traditional wilderness skills, wildlife tracking and nature awareness, naturally, she wanted a dress that reflected her lifestyle: eco-friendly, unique and funky! She also knew that her dream dress had to include the color green. Her reasoning, "every good witch wears green on her wedding day."

deer skin wedding dress

Laura had one deerskin that she and her partner had naturally tanned to a super soft, off-white suede-like material. She used the deerskin to make her corset. She then turned to Chrissy Wai ChingThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them to create a matching skirt with green embroidered details. Laura then added green ribbon to tie the corset and skirt together (so to speak). Voila! She had her one of a kind, earthy, chic wedding dress!


Chris and Laura Gilmour - September 25

For accessories, she hand-made a wide cuff braclet out of a piece of birch bark and earrings from porqupine quills. As if Laura couldn't get any more bad-ass, she wore the bear tooth that she had received as her engagement ring along with her wooden wedding ring.


To top it off, she wore a cute pair of handmade hemp shoes from Etsy and a white cotton shrug (due to frigid fall temperatures).


    • As Laura's Mom, I was so very proud of my girl and New Son….they pulled it off with style and a fresh new approach to how fun a wedding should be!!!!!

      11 agree
  1. As someone who grew up in Ontario Canada I just love all the pieces, BTW how fabulous is that dress!!!! I thought the deer skin was fabric, not leather! And Susan Oling you seem like the sweetest mom.

    6 agree
  2. Swoon! Gorgeous! I'm at a loss as to what to do, dress-wise, and seeing color (real, honest-to-God COLOR! GASP!) incorporated into a wedding dress always makes me squee.

    Also, kick pleats. I <3 kick pleats. Kick pleats + me = 2gether 4ever.

  3. Canadian's kick ass. Way to represent honey, and way to have your rockin' wedding in Algonquin, the playland of ontario-ians :)

    1 agrees
  4. I love the deerskin corset! I'm a rennie-hippy and we rennies do love our leather and animal fur PROVIDED that it was obtained fairly (i.e. the animal was actually used for food or had died of natural causes, and it's difficult to find people who still hunt for food). My step-mother-in-law has two beautiful white reindeer fur pelts that were fairly bought/sold from Inuit while traveling, which she used to make a cloak out of (she made it herself and uses it all the time during the winter months). I was just thinking how lovely it would look with the deerskin corset dress!

    2 agree
    • Hello Heidi,
      I an assure you the deer skin came from a good source. Ethically hunted using a handmade bow and stone point. The whole animal was used for sure!

      6 agree

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