The Offbeat Bride: Tammy, Ranch Boss
Her offbeat partner: Keir, Chief Administration Officer
Date and location of wedding: Broody Rooster Guesthouse, John & Nicole's place, Nanaimo, BC Canada — August 27, 2016
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We had a chic country wedding theme — family-style with a bit of sophistication. Our ceremony was out in a field, the dinner/reception was under a tent in the backyard, and the dance was upstairs in the loft of the barn. The wedding was at our friends John & Nicole's farm (Nicole introduced us and our first date was at their house for dinner). I'm a horse gal and Keir likes fishing and is Ukrainian so that fit our theme.
Under my dress, I wore hand-painted cowboy boots, that depicted all the things I love: all four of my horses, one Doberman to represent all the Dobermans in my life both present and past, Marilyn Monroe, a fly fisherman, and our wedding date.
Tell us about the ceremony:
I drove my horse, Moroko, out to the ceremony site to "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. I had to first learn how to drive a horse and cart, then I had to teach Moroko to pull a cart. We started about eight months before the wedding.
The wedding guests sat on hay bales covered in quilts borrowed from friends. One was a quilt my cousin sent that my grandmother had made in the '70s. "Marry Me" by Train was the wedding march, and I walked up the aisle with my bouquet and the bible that my dad gave my mom on their wedding day in 1956. Both my parents are deceased, so carrying the bible felt like I had both of them with me walking up the aisle.
Keir came down the aisle and met me halfway. Together we walked up to the wooden arbour where the marriage commissioner (also a friend and a horse gal) performed the ceremony. The arbour was made by us and draped in white sheers and wrapped in red and white imitation flowers. Of course we had a red horseshoe for good luck in the centre.
We both read our own vows. Keir stated that he did not expect me to take him in sickness, instead he would go to the spare room and get better himself. The desk we did our official signing was a 1930s oak writing desk that use to belong to my grandfather. After the ceremony, we danced back down the aisle to the song "I'm so excited" by the Pointer Sisters. We got back in the cart and I drove us to the happy hour and reception tent behind the farmhouse.
Tell us about your reception:
We did a lot of the wedding ourselves or had friends volunteer their services. The flowers for the ceremony and reception were mostly dahlia's from a friend's garden, in jars I decorated months in advance. We also scoured garage sales and second-hand stores for country-themed items like the horse-themed ice bucket. We had four wagon wheel chandeliers we made with borrowed wooden wagon wheels with jars hanging on baling twine and battery tea lights inside.
We gave homemade jam wrapped in black and white cellophane bags as gifts to each guest. We also made our own wine, beer, and champagne. Another friend made our bridal bouquets and boutonnieres.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Don't do your seating plan until the very last minute since there are always last-minute cancellations.
We are glad we spent the money on a great photographer and heeded the advise to have someone take video. That was a last-minute decision, and I am so thankful that my friend was able to handle it so well. Now I can watch the whole day over and over again.
* Photography: Karen Mckinnon
* Cake: Bite Me Baking
* Dress: Allure Style 9150 Champagne & Black from Shades Of White
* Bride's Boots: Payton Stud Distressed Grey from American Rebel Boot Company, hand painted by Kathleen Kridler of Gypsy Bluebird Studio
* Men’s Tuxedos: Black and Lee Rentals
* Catering: Coco Cafe (COCO Cafe is a project of Cedar opportunities Co-operative — their mission is to operate a successful social enterprise that provides employment, training, and socialization opportunities for people with developmental disabilities within their community)
* Rentals: Black & White Event Rentals
* Designated driver service: Get A Go Go Designated Driver Service