We got a sneak peek of the flower fairies from this wedding in a recent Monday Montage. Here is the rest of the waterfront wedding.
The offbeat bride: Flora (Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: Kristy, Assistant Manager of Whole Body Dept. at Whole Foods
Date and location of wedding: Celebration on Water, North Vancouver, BC, Canada — August 1, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: I suppose our wedding was offbeat lite. Some people thought that because it was a lesbian wedding, it would be really different. We kept some traditions, and omitted others. We honored our Celtic roots by including a handfasting ritual, a toast from a wooden Irish wedding goblet, and ended with an Irish blessing.
We wrote our own vows, and the ceremony was poetic and personalized. I incorporated my Pagan beliefs by setting up four little vases in a circle around us with coloured glass beads, to represent the four elements/directions. I love fantasy and fairy tales and had to have flower fairies.
Our venue was a renovated ferry boat permanently docked in the Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver. It was gorgeous and we couldn't have been happier to celebrate there.
To save money, we also did a ton of DIY: our invitations, our treasure chest card box, my hair flowers and bouquet, the flower faery crowns, the petal cones, and lots of other venue decor. Our wedding was on a Wednesday evening, and we didn't have a sit-down dinner, just appetizers and desserts. We saved a lot of money with both of those decisions. This way, we were able to celebrate with more people!
Lastly, we tried to be environmentally conscious throughout the entire planning process. Everything we used was recycled, second-hand, biodegradable, or useful post-wedding.
Tell us about the ceremony: One of my favourite lines from the ceremony was, "And so it is with your marriage, from this day forward, you walk together as a powerful force for good, consciously creating a better world with your love."
Here was our explanation of the Celtic elements:
Flora and Kristy have chosen to further honour their Celtic heritage by including the 17th Century tradition of an Irish Wedding Goblet. The goblet and two rings are carved from a single piece of wood in order that the rings remain unbroken. When the newlyweds toast each other on this their special day from the same goblet, the unbroken rings symbolize strength, unity and eternity, and invoke a very powerful bond for their future together.
The final Irish blessing:
May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day;
May song birds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue,
And may happiness fill your heart each day, your whole life through.
Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was budget. We were both in University last year (we both graduated in April 2012) after returning to school as "mature" students. Needless to say, funds were tight.
At first we thought we'd have a very low-key, inexpensive shindig. However, our family got so excited for us, and we soon realized we wanted a big wedding. Figuring out how to pay for it all took work (and a low-interest student line of credit). We were lucky to have our parents contribute, plus we threw a successful dance event as a fundraiser. We also put our tax returns towards it. After everything, our guests' generosity covered the remaining bills. We consider ourselves very, very lucky. We did everything for $12,000, and had just over a hundred guests.
My favorite moment: The ceremony was incredibly special. We asked for a group declaration of support for our union, and our guests responded enthusiastically. We were overcome by all the love. Family and friends had traveled from all over the continent to be there, and it was very humbling.
My other favourite moment of the day was walking towards Kristy before our "first look." My heart was racing and I was trying to be so present. I kept telling myself, "This is it! The moment is now!" The time flew by too quickly, and I wished I had magic to make minutes last hours that day.
My funniest moment: During the reception, the funniest moment had to be the father/daughter dance. My dad and I hadn't practiced or anything (we live a few hours apart) but I had assumed we partner dance. Well, my dad doesn't really do that. After about 10 seconds, he breaks free and starts interpretive dancing. I match him with some air guitar and noodle arms and we're completely goofing off, looking wild compared to Kristy and her dad, quietly two-stepping.
Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I was a bit stressed out that our numbers were fluctuating in the week leading up the wedding, and worried about whether we'd have enough food. But, it all evened out. We had some last-minute cancellations that balanced the last-minute additions. There was enough food to go around.
My advice for Offbeat Brides: Discuss at great length with each other what you envision, and why. That way when you are questioned on your unconventional choices, you can both answer clearly why or how you are doing something. If goes both ways: some people will question it if you are following tradition, others will question you if you aren't.
I didn't prescribe to the "your day, your way" mentality. That's not what we wanted, since we were throwing a wedding so our families could meet and we could all celebrate together. We definitely considered our guests and their comfort. That being said, I acquiesced on a few little things because I didn't want to be too pushy, and I realize now that I could have been assertive without ruffling any feathers.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? That's it's easy to go overboard, even when you're trying to stay modest. I'm glad I waited on certain things that I ended up changing my mind on, or not caring about anymore.
My one shameful secret is that I am a two-dress bride. I bought too early, from online, so I couldn't try it on. I decided to keep it when it arrived, even though I didn't love it, because it was cheap. Months later, I was so sad about it. I ended up finding a different dress, on sale, that I loved. I'm still trying to sell the first dress.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography Martin from Butterfly Photography
- Dress: Tiffany NY Bridal
- Cupcakes: Whole Foods
- Solar lanterns: Soji
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!