The offbeat bride: Emily, Biologist (and Tribe member)

Her offbeat partner: Kevin, Biologist

Location & date of wedding: Essex Golf & Country Club in LaSalle, Ontario, Canada — August 29, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: I wore pants. No white dress for me.

Bird place cardsIt was really hard to find pants, so I decided to make them with the help of (i.e. total reliance on!) my mother-in-law. Once I had pants, I realized that I needed a top, so we made that too.

Since Kevin and I both study birds, we had a bird theme: birds instead of table numbers (with a field guide for help), nests of candy almonds, and bird check-lists for the local area.

Bagpiper JessicaWe made the peacock feather boutonnieres, bouquets, and centerpieces, which were thrift-store vases with peacock feathers and flowers.

My parents grew the beautiful red dahlias in their garden.

We threw out a lot of “traditional” things, because each time we were told we were supposed to do something, we thought, “well, why?” We focused on what we were comfortable with and wanted, like having a bagpiper (who is also a great friend, talented photographer, and molecular oncologist!), having all of our little cousins/nieces there, and dancing A LOT!

Ceremony - funny

Good thing I remembered to take off that sports watch…Tell us about the ceremony: We had a non-denominational minister marry us, but we removed all religious references from the ceremony, since we are both atheists.

Kevin and I walked “down the aisle” together. I love my Dad, and he totally understood why I didn’t want to be given away. The ceremony was less than fifteen minutes, but it was perfect — simple, but heartfelt. The rest of the night is just a blur of dancing — everyone totally let loose!

A little bit windy!

Emily and Kevin first danceOur biggest challenge: Figuring out what we DID want! It seems weird, but neither of us had thought a lot about weddings before. We knew that we didn’t want “traditional,” but we didn’t know what we did want.

I kept thinking, is it too traditional if I wear white? Do we really need a first dance? I started stressing that our wedding wasn’t offbeat-enough!

Reflecting on the day (while relaxing on our honeymoon canoe trip), we realized that our wedding was totally different than most weddings people go to, but more importantly, it was totally us — almost without us realizing it at the time. I think the best advice I could have given us back in the planning days is: relax, have fun, it will be great!!

First dance with flower petal bombardment!

Nest favoursMy favorite moment: Walking into the dance hall when the DJ was playing “Rock Lobster” by The B-52s and watching the whole dance floor (including Kevin) go “down… down… dowwwwnnn” until everyone spontaneously laid on the ground.

Having a congo-line battle with Kevin throughout the entire venue to see which one of us could pick up the most people in their line was a favorite moment also.


Centrepieces with our bird table signs, and check-list favoursMy advice for offbeat brides: If you don’t sweat the small stuff, you will be much more relaxed and have a much more fun time.

I ran out of ribbon three times making those candy nest favours, and I couldn’t find the right colour ribbon… so I just did a different colour.

The dahlias weren’t all in bloom for our centrepieces, so we bought some mums at the grocery store to fill in. People were surprised that stuff like that didn’t send me over the edge, but I think it’s better for your sanity to not worry about the details — just focus on having a good time!

Bridal party + kiss

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Comments on Emily & Kevin’s bird-themed, dance-fest wedding

  1. Congratulations!
    Having your guests use a field guide to learn which table is darling.
    Also Rock Lobster is a very fun song and I’m delighted by your using it as your entrance song.

  2. You are an absolutely stunning couple.

    Also: when I saw that you came in to “Rock Lobster” I had several moments of sheer joy freak-out.

  3. Emily! So strange (and awesome) to find your wedding in here! I love the fact that you two walked down the isle together. It really makes so much more sense that way. Your wedding was beautiful.

    P.S. It`s Nicole Vallance.

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