Rebecca & Aelish's bluegrass, mismatched, vintage-y par-tay wedding

Updated Mar 15 2021
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Photos by Raph Nogal

The offbeat bride: Rebecca, Teacher

Her offbeat partner: Aelish, Paramedic

Location & date of wedding: Berkeley Field House in Toronto, Ontario — 10/8/2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We had no wedding colours. Our bridal parties picked the flowers with us from the market the morning of the wedding. We baked our favours. Our friends baked dessert. All of our decor came from garage sales and Value Village. Oh yeah, we're both girls.

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Tell us about the ceremony: We wrote the ceremony ourselves and wanted to keep it short and sweet. My stepmother read a piece by Kahlil Gibran, one that I read at her wedding to my father.

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Our biggest challenge: We really wanted to do everything ourselves. It didn't take long to realize that all of our friends and family really wanted to help. The moment we decided to take them up on their offer was the moment our wedding became truly ours.

DSC_2667My favorite moment: Getting ready with all of our friends and family before our wedding was beautiful. It was such a wonderful time, and we basked in the support of our loved ones. Our wedding really was a community affair and we were honoured to be a part of that community. We wrote our own vows, and reading them to each other was a very meaningful experience. We really went with the flow. We were careful not to create a schedule that was too strict or hard to follow, which made the evening really fun — no stress at all. We made our table numbers out of important numbers from our lives. We spent the months before taking road trips to snap the shots of things like my first apartment number or the house that my wife grew up in. It was a great pre-wedding honeymoon and a beautiful opportunity to know each other even better.

DSC_6303My funniest moment: My wife and I made our rings for each other. She carved mine out of wood and I crafted hers out of silver. When we were writing our ceremony we wanted to write something special about the process of creating our rings for each other. We accidentally gave our officiant the first draft of our ceremony, one where we held the spot for our meaningful lines about our rings with the now infamous line: "I made this ring so awesome, because you are so awesome." When my wife started saying what she had written, she was quickly corrected by our very on-the-ball officiant and directed to say, "I made this ring so awesome, because you are so awesome." When it was my turn I had to follow suit. It was… awesome.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We created a photobooth with lots of props and a couple of chalkboards. It turns out our camera didn't work. When we left the venue to get ready for the night, our friends got together and made it happen. We were pleasantly surprised to see a roll of film at the end of a remarkable evening.

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My advice for offbeat brides: Have fun! Take a minute after the ceremony to enjoy each others' company. We cut back on our guest list and at the last minute re-invited everyone. Money is tight, it's always going to be tight, but we didn't want to regret not having someone there. It was absolutely worth it. Call in favours. We saved so much money and had so much fun spending the time with our friends as musicians, make-up artist, hair stylist, wardrobe designer, denturist. We didn't actually need the denturist, but he was totally ready to help.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. "We made our table numbers out of important numbers from our lives. We spent the months before taking road trips to snap the shots of things like my first apartment number or the house that my wife grew up in. It was a great pre-wedding honeymoon and a beautiful opportunity to know each other even better." – What an amazing idea and way to make something so special out of what normally is such a small detail. Beautiful brides and beautiful wedding.

  2. "…we didnt actually need the denturist, but he was totally ready to help." LOVE THAT! what a fab wedding, love the carved rings too, beautiful idea.

  3. "I made this ring so awesome, because you are so awesome"

    Holy cow, did this ever make tears jump to my eyes. What a beautiful sentiment. What a beautiful wedding. =)

  4. I love both of your dresses! And since I am a fellow Toronto bride, I will have to check out that store!

  5. This looks like an amazing party. I have been looking at this venue for our wedding and your photos make the place look fantastic. Did they treat you well?

    Congrats!!!

  6. This was the most fun wedding ever. Every attendee was a participant. We all took away incredible memories. Everyone should be so fortunate to have such wonderfully supportive friends and family.

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