Tanya and Braden's wedding is simply beautiful.
They say you shouldn't work with children or animals, but this wedding has plenty of both and it only adds to the charm and whimsy of the day.
An ethical wedding, using fair trade textiles, paperless stationery and vegan eats, Tanya and Braden held their celebration at Piebird Bed & Breakfast.
The pretty farm was the perfect backdrop to an intimate wedding shared with close friends and family, adorable little ones, a very dapper dog, and a scattering of sweet odes to two cool cats who couldn't join the party.
It's so special when couples put a real sense of themselves into their wedding day, and Tanya and Braden's wedding was a true reflection of their style, their values and their life together.
We'll let the gorgeous photographs and Tanya's words tell you the rest, but lets just say, this one-of-a-kind wedding has stolen our hearts!
Wedding Day Snapshot
Words to Describe Our Wedding
Intimate, DYI, eco-conscious, outdoor, and floral.
Braden and I started planning our wedding only five months before the big day and we locked down our venue right away as we knew there was only one place it could be – Piebird Bed & Breakfast in Nipissing Village.
In addition to being a B&B, Piebird is a vegan organic farm and small animal sanctuary. We had taken an organic gardening workshop at Piebird a year before our wedding and fell in love with it.
We found out later both of us had been scoping out the property during the workshop as a possible future wedding venue.
From the cute old house, beautiful grounds, adorable animals, and being a 20 minute drive from Braden's parents', it couldn't be more perfect for us.
We knew from the start that we wanted our wedding to reflect our values so we tried to make purchasing decisions with environmental impact and fair labour practices in mind.
The wedding party attire was made with eco-conscious fabrics such organic cotton, hemp and bamboo. The outfits and accessories were largely handmade in Canada, with a few items made in the U.S. and Europe.
Almost all of the decorations we already had, purchased secondhand or borrowed, or were handmade by family.
We opted for electronic invitations from Paperless Post to avoid paper waste, and the meal and desserts we served were vegan and organic.
In terms of the feel of the day, we wanted our wedding to be intimate and laid back.
We had under 60 guests, with no assigned seating plan and a buffet style meal. We had a variety of lawn and board games for our guests to play while we were busy with photos and after the meal.
Guests were also free to explore the property to meet the animals on the farm (such as goats and turkeys), or relax on a picnic blanket (including the one handmade by my aunt for the kids to sit on during the ceremony).
Processional: An old Celtic song
Recessional: A trumpet solo
Signing: Longer, Dan Fogelberg (sung by Groom's sister)
First Dance: Ho Hey, The Lumineers
I have many favourite moments from the day, but I will focus on three. First, I had the best start to the day when my younger sister and maid of honour brought one of the affectionate farm cats into my bridal suite for some morning cuddles.
Being away from our kitties for the wedding, it put a smile on my face to have a cat purring in my bed first thing in the morning.
Second, hearing my husband say the most wonderful vows he had written just made my heart melt. I said my vows after him and I had a hard time remembering mine because I got so emotional hearing his.
There was a bit of comic relief in the ceremony though when our puppy started digging a hole in between us.
Third, I loved our first dance. We didn't know they were going to do this, but our musicians got the audience involved in the song by shouting “Ho” and “Hey” and everyone really got into it.
I remember looking out and seeing my older brother with a big smile on his face. It was just a great fun moment where everyone at the wedding came together.
Although after watching our wedding I realized perhaps I am not the best dancer.
One of the first and most important wedding decisions we made was picking our photographer/videographer.
I spent a lot of time researching online and we invested a good portion of our total wedding budget on photos and videos since those are the main keepsakes from the day.
We originally debated about whether to get video or just photos, and would definitely recommend getting video if you can swing it.
The day goes by so quickly and the bride in particular misses moments such as the little ones walking down the aisle first.
Although we love the pictures, video just captures a whole other element and I know we will treasure having video of the day in the years to come.
Another element that was important to us was to include our pets in the big day as they are such a big part of our lives.
Our dog Tenley was co-ring bearer with my nephew. He was outfitted with a custom bow tie collar made to match his dad and wore the ring pillow on his back made by my mom.
Since we couldn't include our two shy indoor cats in a way that would be safe and comfortable for them, we had a very talented artist paint realistic life-sized cut-out portraits of them on wood.
Our two dimensional cats got to be part of the ceremony and some of our portraits and was one of my favourite details of the day (the other being the kids' table for my niece and nephews).
The Decor & Details
For decor, two of my favourite things featured prominently – cats and flowers.
I used mason jars and tea pots to house flower arrangements and I collected ceramic cats to use as table decor in the months leading up to the wedding.
Since floral design is a passion of mine, I did all the florals for the wedding (with the help of family and friends who I taught a floral crash course to the day before).
My aunt handmade beautiful pastel bunting flags, my mom made the ring pillow and bean bag game and Braden's mom made the signage and the jam favours.
We also placed old bells collected from family members on the tables for guests to ring whenever they wanted the newlyweds to kiss.
My five year old nephew was pretty enthusiastic about ringing the bells to the point where Braden's grandmother yelled out for us to “save some for the honeymoon”.
Advice for Other Couples
Having recently moved about five hours away from our friends and family and planning everything on a relatively short time-frame, leading up to the wedding I felt at times like I was alone on a planning island.
But when everyone was finally in one place, one of my favourite things about the weekend was seeing our friends and family come together to help out before and after the wedding.
My friends and family were busy helping with flowers the night before while the groomsmen were tying caps onto jam favours, and everyone was super awesome helping with the set up and take down.
It is not only helpful to involve family and friends, but it can be a great bonding experience and chance to create memories.
Such a special wedding, I just love Tanya's description of everyone singing along with their first dance, what a perfect moment.
And of course thanks so much to The Love Studio and Tanya and Braden for sharing their DIY farm wedding day with us!
(P.S. Tanya has recently launched her own flower studio, Presh Studio, be sure to pop over to her website and say hello!)