Melissa's rainy rural wedding with the biggest bonfire evar!

Updated Oct 17 2019

I'm trying to get caught up on my backlog of bride profiles — so this week it's wall-to-wall wedding porn for y'all. Enjoy!

entrance.jpgThe offbeat bride: Melissa, Student

My offbeat groom: Jon, Student/Retail

Location & date of wedding: Jon's Parent's HUGE yard in rural Manitoba, Canada. June 23, 2007

What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding was unique in that we both wanted to save money (because we both feel the same way about overpriced wedding crap) and wanted to have an outdoor celebration that was not limited by who could join us. So we chose Jon's parents home as a location that would not limit our needs.

tipis.jpgHere's what our wedding came down to:

  • Our invites were fairly open ("bring friends!!")
  • Our ceremony involved our two families emerging from two separate tipis carrying standards, ushered behind our bagpipe player through the meadow to the arbor.
  • Potluck dinner, whole roasted organic pig, homemade wine, beer and a byob bar.
  • Torrential downpours, thunderstorms and tornado warnings. (and luckily, huge wall tent)
  • Hula hooping in the rain, homemade music, family standards ("Standards" are big poles that bare a flag, or art display of the group, everyone was allowed to make one, and we displayed them in the meadow.)
  • fire1.jpg

  • The grand evening events: The 30 minute bonfire display, followed by the lighting of the Solstice Fire, a 30' bonfire lit by my husband and I. Oh yeah, and the fire-dancers.
  • Around 1 AM, the honky tonk band started, and we danced until sunrise… sitting before the last embers of the solstice fire before heading to the tipi for some sleep. Champagne Breakfast, after all, would start in a few hours.

Our biggest challenge: Our day was amazing, and everything went well thanks to Jon's mom, Amy. She and her husband, Rick went out of their way to ensure that everything was really awesome and unique. They couldn't, however, stop the rain from coming.

The whole day (apart for the brief few hours of sun we graciously received for our ceremony) was rain and clouds. As I mentioned above, TORNADO WARNINGS, THUNDERSTORMS, GALE-FORCE WINDS.

We stuck it out by hiding in the tent during dinner (hey, the rain kept everyone inside for the speeches) and running from the tent to the barn for more booze and food.

hooping.jpgWhen the rain let up for any amount of time, you can bet our awesome friends were back in the hula hoops, dancing in the field. Our guests were amazing. We made the best of it, all nature could bring that day. However, I developed a twitch from hearing people say "Don't worry, it's good luck if it rains on your wedding day!" *twitch*

My favorite moment: Nearly midnight, standing in the field by the tipis, pulling our torches out of the pail of Naptha. Cody started to play a beat on his djembe drum. We walked down the meadow, our lit torches held high behind our drummer, towards the Solstice Fire.

fire2.jpgThe drumming, walking hand in hand to the huge tower of dead and felled trees standing tall in the field was only made COOLER by the fire dancers, who emerged from the bush spinning fire to the beat of the drum. Watching the fire burn high into the sky, our friends dancing and spinning fire for all of our guests, was the most amazing moment.

tipi2.jpgMy offbeat advice: Do what is going to make you laugh, sing out and have the most sexy fun you possibly can on your special day. If it feels right for you, then make it possible. Don't be afraid of offending anyone — chances are, your guests will leave telling you it was the most unique, interesting and exciting wedding they've ever been to.

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Over 300 photos of fun, flames, rain, and happy guests!

Tell me all about your offbeat wedding!

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