Erin & Jeff's Scottish tartan and balloon animal wedding #Real Weddings: Canada#canada#handfasting#kilts#musical theater wedding#ottawa#plus size#rainy#red dress January 4 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photos by Jessica Blaine Smith The offbeat bride: Erin, Project Officer Her offbeat partner: Jeff, Computer Systems Technician Date and location of wedding: University of Ottawa, Tabaret Chapel, Ottawa, Ontario Canada — June 3, 2006 Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I worked hard to keep my dress a secret and had my sister wear white. My husband and the groomsmen would be wearing kilts, and none of them matched. In a traditional Scottish wedding, everyone would be wearing their own tartans, so I wanted to make sure that was the case with our friends as well. We also had a bagpiper play while guests were arriving and to pipe us out of the chapel. It was really handy to have her there as there was a fine mist and it helped guests find the ceremony. My DJ happened also to be a professional balloon artist, and he did some really cool animals for us. I was also able to take advantage of using a site for pictures that usually doesn't allow wedding photos. Tell us about the ceremony: We were very lucky and had an officiant that had also been an actor (like me!). He had a fabulous British accent and was very eloquent. During our ceremony we did a handfasting and Jeff's parents presented me with their tartan to wear. Our biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was the rain, but I didn't care. I had a beautiful venue in which to take pictures, and a good friend offered to get us into Parliament Hill for pictures inside Center Block, which is usually no longer allowing wedding photos. We were very lucky! The other challenge was to find a black limo since I didn't want many white elements. Most places in Ottawa carried white ones, but no black ones. I almost resorted to calling funeral homes, but found one at the last minute. My grandparents couldn't come at the last minute. My grandfather went into the hospital two days before, so he was really upset he could not be at the wedding. My husband and I set up a video camera for the ceremony, and played it back to them once he was out of the hospital. My favorite moment: The handfasting that we did in the middle of our ceremony. I also loved that everyone learned to line dance! My funniest moment: The Orange Octopus, courtesy of our DJ, that keep surfacing in pictures! My advice for offbeat brides: I looked at my wedding as the ultimate performance, so I made sure that everyone would be entertained at every step (including us), and it paid off. There were people who were dancing that I never thought I would see dancing! Also the key is to be yourselves. Even if you think it might be over-the-top, most of your guests know you, so they will roll with it. What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? It pays to be prepared and always count on your friends to come up with other options. Otherwise we would never have had a great wedding picture venue beside our wedding site. Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Dress: Oui! Je le voeux! Amazing photographer: Jessica Blaine Smith Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS A special interview and offbeat discount on amazing fascinators from daniAWESOME accessories NEXT Downloadable fingerprint tree guestbook Show/Hide comments [ 15 ] Ottawa Wedding FTW! 😀 Loved your dress! and OMg I can't believe you got to take pics in parliament 😀 Awesome stuff! 1 agrees Reply Gorgeous red dress- so elegant!!!!! Reply That red dress is to die for! I also really love the top photo (in the chapel?) It's very romantic. 1 agrees Reply The top photo was taken in the Center Block of the Canadian Parliament. I used to be a tour guide there, it's a stunning space! Not gonna lie, I'm jealous of her pics Reply Oh. My. GOD – that dress is absolutely STUNNING!!! You look absolutely amazing. Wow, girl – gorgeous wedding! Well done, and congratulations!! 2 agree Reply That dress is gorgeous! Reply Gorgeous Dress! I love me a big stunning red dress! Is it just me or are some posts with embedded pics looking funny lately? The picture of the bag piper is off to the right of the page under the site ads, etc when I view it, and I saw it on another post the other day… 1 agrees Reply Yep, it is for me too. Reply I'm breaking my stalker-esque-ness (ie. never commented) to say: I. Love. That. Dress. Love. Love. Love. … Love. That is all. Reply YOUR DRESS YOUR DRESS YOUR DRESS Also, the tartans!! My manfriend is a Buchanan, and I've been getting a serious education in tartans lately. I love that his parents presented you with their tartan to wear– what a great symbol! Reply What are the odds of the first wedding website I look at, this is the first story I see??? Maybe soon I will be posting a story of this same balloon guy's wedding You and Jeff sure do have a lot of style – Stacey and Brad Reply Amazing wedding! When I was a student at UO I used to dream of getting married in Tabaret. It's such an awesome building. Reply FAB, what a venue and what a dress! looks wet enough to be Scotland but it doesn't look like any spirits where dampened. Erin looks stunning and so happy, beautiful pictures thank you for sharing your story x Reply I love weddings with tartans! When I was a groomschick a few years ago, I made MadCat wear a tartan for the first time in his life, like the rest of the men in the wedding party. Nothing looks as cool as a set of men in different tartans, all striving to look as Highlander as possible. And that dress! One of the most beautiful I've ever seen. You're both stunning! Reply Oh my goodness, it never even occurred to me to ask about having a ceremony at Tabaret! Do you have a contact name? I checked the website and didn't see anything. I'm an alumna, so that would be a super location. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Participate in this conversation via email No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.