Melissa + Dari


“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wedding with more soul. And after years of unraveling gorgeous weddings, that’s really saying something. But this wedding struck a cord with me, and it’s too special to not do the same to you. Hosted on this talented couple’s farm, there isn’t a detail they didn’t have their hands on or that wasn’t swimming in meaning. Not only did they create a wedding compound of sorts on their gorgeous farm land, but they also weaved in too many thoughtful touches to list to make sure their nearest and dearest had the best weekend ever. The only thing I would change? Being able to put myself into the gorgeous pictures from James Looker Photography, because being a guest at this wedding would have been simply epic.” – by A. Blaire, Style Me Pretty Canada

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From the Bride…Our wedding was so epic that it’s difficult to choose favourite moments. We live in a big old farm-house on 11 acres of land, and we worked ourselves to the bone preparing for the wedding. We cut down fields for a trailer park and campground for our guests, we dug a biodynamic pond and installed a filtration system so our guests could swim, and we planted a massive sunflower circle (BY HAND!) to have our ceremony in. One of our best friends (and our amazing photographer) even helped to finish the outdoor shower we built out of reclaimed wood so our guests could shower. We really wanted to create a lavish yet rustic experience for our guests that would last all weekend. Our wedding happened in the first weekend in September, after a drought and heat wave that had lasted nearly 100 days (which made keeping our sunflower circle alive REALLY fun). Of course, on the night before the wedding an Armageddon storm hit – insane lighting, gale force winds and sideways rain. Our whole wedding was to take place outdoors, and although we had 2 tents set up, all of our closest friends and family were staying in a trailer park that we’d created on our land. Imagine waking up the night before your wedding to lighting and thunder and thinking of all of your loved ones in metal trailers in the middle of an open field!

The ceremony was scheduled for 3 pm, and the whole morning of the wedding an actual tornado touched down! Our friends were wearing full wet suits and holding down tents to they wouldn’t blow away. Even my mother in law was in huge rubber boots an hour before the ceremony tying down tents and laying down straw on the pathways we’d made so people wouldn’t sink into the mud. I arrived to our farm house at about 2:45 and the rain had only just stopped. We literally saw the biggest and nastiest storm cloud of them all heading our way, but as soon as I arrived we watched in amazement as the cloud literally went around our property! The rain stopped and the ceremony procession continued as planned – the sun even came out when we said our vows! The ceremony itself was incredibly special. My husband and I are both musicians, ( so we planned to have a massive parade/band bring me into the ceremony space. Walking alongside all my closest friends/family and musicians when moments before we were all in the middle of a tornado, was pretty incredible. The ceremony space was so beautiful – the sunflowers were perfect, and our BFF/photographer James Looker had even built us the most astonishing altar out of old metal and tree stumps. We held a special moment for our daughters, and presented them with tokens of family, honoring a new level of commitment. My husband and I wrote a song for our vows, and getting to finally sing our words was definitely a highlight of the day.

I wasn’t sure how the inside of the tent would look after the storm, but walking in after the ceremony was really incredible. Everything looked so beautiful, thanks to our incredible friends (Becky Lane!) who set up during the apocalypse. I had made a huge preserve bar as part of the appetizers and it was nice to see all that hard work get devoured so quickly. The whole wedding party threw on my collection of vintage aprons to serve the meal, most of which was grown in my garden, or raised by friends on their farms. The speeches were insanely funny – from my best girlfriends getting into costume and putting on a skit, to other friends writing a rap about us, to unearthed videos of my husband break dancing, to my Dad’s tears.

The dance party that followed was truly the most insane part of the day. I had put my famous tickle trunk in the dance tent, and our wonderful friends that run a theatre troupe in Prince Edward County had set up a massive lighting rig and dancing stage. I didn’t expect the tickle trunk to go off like it did, but walking in and seeing my Dad wearing a do-rag and a Ninja coat, and my brother in a neon onesie was pretty special. Finally, sitting around the campfire, writing impromptu songs with my most cherished friends at 5:30 am, I decided it was time for bed. Our ‘honeymoon suite’ was a ridiculous trailer that we bought second hand. It truly was everything I ever could have asked for. Every part of the day was co-created with our closest friends and family – my best friend made my dress out of a bedspread from 1910, my goldsmith friend at Kvell & Co. in Toronto made our rings, my mother made all the desserts, I hand printed our invites with my amazing friends at SparkBox Print Studio in PEC, I grew all the food in the ‘farmers market’ for wedding favours…the list goes on and on! All these little details made the day so insanely special.

Photographer: James Looker Photography | Location: Fish Lake Rd Farmhouse, Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada | Dress: Handmade dress by Kym Chambers | Brides Shoes: Random thrift store | Bride’s Jewelry: my great, great grandmother | Groom’s Shirt: H&M | Groom’s Tie: Random thrift store | Groom’s Shoes: ALDO | Bridesmaid Dresses: Thrift Store finds | Hairstylist: Suzie from Glow Studios in Bloomfield, ON | Makeup Artist: My lovely sister in law, Stephanie Larkin | Flowers: Planted by the bride, grown & harvested at Vickie’s Veggies | Invitations & Stationery: Hand-printed and illustrated by the Bride and Spark Box Studios | Event Design: The Bride & her crew of insane friends | Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Bride & Groom‘s farm  | Ceremony Celebrant: Pat Hacker & Ros Bell | Reception Band: A mish mash of the bride & grooms excellent friends (Matt York, Brian Macmillan, Sheesham & Lotus, DJ Catalist) | Catering: Friends at Bethel Organics raised all the meat, which was prepared by friends at Just Cook Catering, a small catering company called Desert Lake provided the salads, all desserts were made by the Bride’s mother | Wedding Rings: Kvell & Co | Wedding Ring Box: Handmade by Of Light + Grain

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