Claire and Jason were first brought together by their shared love of supporting local eco-friendly initiatives, as well as a few mutual friends. "We met volunteering for a local food non-profit at an annual seed exchange called 'Seedy Saturday.' When we found out that we had some mutual friends, it seemed like those friends immediately started conspiring to get us together," Claire says. As part of their plan, the couple's friends planned a road trip to Montreal for the whole group, ditching Claire and Jason at the last minute to bring them closer together. "Five and a half years later we are still enjoying the journey and our mutual friends now do join us once in a while to come along for the ride," she laughs.
Jason proposed at the pair's favourite restaurant in Ottawa, Havana Cafe, by writing "will you marry me?" in Spanish on the wall. "Finally, after we had eaten dessert, the server brought over some markers and suggested that I write on the wall. It was then that I finally saw the proposal on the wall, written in Spanish! Jason then pulled the ring out from his jacket pocket and got down on one knee and said 'I was wondering if you would marry me?'" Claire remembers.
The couple's wedding theme echoed the way they met, with plenty of natural touches, local vendors and DIY charm. "Two values that are important to us in our daily lives are community and protecting the environment. We wanted to take advantage of the amazing talents and products that are available in the region and highlight them at our wedding for our out-of-town guests," Claire explains. The goal was to minimize their greenhouse gas emissions while creating something beautiful and unique for their big day. "Purchasing from vendors that supply local and organic products like Café 349 and Roots and Shoots Organic Flowers, was also very important to us as it corresponded with our value of protecting the environment from toxic chemicals and harmful practices."
In keeping with the natural theme, the couple chose a colour scheme of grassy green, buttercup yellow, ivory, grey and touches of coral. The wedding was truly a group effort, with the bride's friend creating the cake, the groom and his parents making the favours and the maid of honour's husband deejaying the reception. "We chose to do a lot of the decorating, favours and music ourselves in order to save on costs and make things creative," Claire explains.
Claire and Jason's vision of a local, down-to-earth event turned out even better than they had expected. "Everyone was excited for our big day, and they worked together to help make it special. The local blacksmith, Luc, offered to chauffeur us from the church to Coronation Hall in his horse carriage, and neighbours went out of their way to make our out-of-town relatives and friends feel welcome," she reminisces.
Claire Sales and Jason Garlough, July 4, 2015, Norway Bay, Quebec.
Photography courtesy of Anna Jones Photography.
Ceremony location: Norway Bay Community Church Reception location: Coronation Hall
Wedding planner: Laura Olsen Events
Day of coordinator: Tegan Patmore from Events by Tegan
Flowers: Roots and Shoots Organic Flowers
Caterer: Cafe 349
Cake: Made by a friend of the bride Cake topper: Third Son Laser Works
Favours: Horseradish and jam made by the groom and parents, labels by Botanical Paperworks
Hair: Done by a friend of the bride Makeup: DIY Rings: Matsu Jewellery from Magpie Jewellery
Music: DJ Byron Bridal gown: Yen's Bridals
Groom's suit: Tristan Luxe
Guestbook and invitations: The Papery
Calligraphy: Plume Calligraphy
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