The Offbeat Bride: Alicia, herbalist
Her offbeat partner: Jonah, recording engineer
Date and location of wedding: A.M (MAC) Cuddy Garden, Strathroy, Ontario, Canada — June 16, 2012
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our ceremony was a traditional Ojibwa wedding, performed by an Ojibwa elder. Ojibwa is an eastern Canadian Native American tribe which is Jonah's ancestry. Our wedding was held outdoors from ceremony to pictures to dinner to reception. The reception was held at night under a patch of trees. We danced on a grass dance floor.
The wedding was held in a botanical gardens/horse farm run by Fanshawe College with a heritage house on site for the bathrooms. We had a live band with a set list of reggae, Neil Young, Sublime, and other rock music. It was a mix of acoustic and electric instrumentals. We made our bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, and cupcakes ourselves. We also got a lot of our supplies and decor from thrift stores. In fact, my dress was a discounted find that we reconstructed to incorporate some of my aunt's wedding dress.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our Ojibwa ceremony consisted of the following:
- Smudging with sage and cedar
- Fathers and son smoking a tobacco pipe
- Saying our vows with eagle feathers in our left hands
- Tying a piece of our hair together and burying it in a cedar box
- Exchanging of the rings and the kiss
- Gifting all witnesses who partook in the ceremony
- A post-ceremony sweat lodge ceremony to bind our spirits together
The nature-based Ojibwa was a very personal and spiritual experience. These traditions are something we are both trying to practice and learn together, so our ceremony brought a lot of that together.
Our biggest challenge:
Working with a small budget was definitely a challenge. We had to find a nice outdoor location with electricity access for under $1000. Thankfully, we found the gardens that worked out well. The centerpieces were also pretty eclectic and made up of thrift store finds, which saved money. Plus, we planned everything in just two months!
My favorite moment:
Dancing at night to live music and singing with the band to our favorite bands was really amazing. I loved twirling around with all the children. Celebrating with family and friends is so important and not practiced enough. We really enjoyed it.
We also loved running with the horses in the stables located behind the reception area.
My funniest moment:
Trying to speak my vows out loud from memory was funny. I ended up reading them off of the paper located in my bra. And then Jonah's ring wouldn't go on and I had to force it!
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!