Leanne & Rob’s small town playhouse wedding

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The offbeat bride: Leanne, PhD student

Her offbeat partner: Rob, Accountant

Date and location of wedding: Louisbourg Playhouse and fire hall in Louisbourg, NS, Canada — October 10, 2010

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Rob and I only had a few requirements for our wedding: we wanted it to be meaningful, relaxed, and of course, fun! We got married in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, which is where Rob and his family are from. The area is beautiful, and the small town atmosphere and hospitality made everything about our wedding that much better.



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Our ceremony was held in a rustic playhouse, and our reception was at the local fire hall. We saved a ton of money first by having the wedding in a small town rather than in a city, by having the meal catered by the auxiliary ladies (a delicious Thanksgiving turkey dinner), and finally by DIYing almost all of the décor.


Tell us about the ceremony: Since we were having a secular ceremony with a Justice of the Peace, we were able to create a ceremony filled with meaning for both of us. For our vows, we read alternating sections from the poem “Love” by Roy Croft in addition to these vows I found online:

I, ______, take you, ______, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, I will respect your integrity and have faith in your abiding love for me, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us.

______, I take you as my wife/husband, with your faults and your strengths, as I offer myself to you with my faults and my strengths. I will help you when you need help, and turn to you when I need help. I choose you as the person with whom I will spend my life.

We also had two readings by close family members: “Union” by Robert Fulghum and “What is real?” from The Velveteen Rabbit.



Our biggest challenge: Our biggest challenge was definitely determining the guest list and finding a location to fit the number of people we intended to invite. We had the wedding in a very small town, and accommodating 200+ people was actually impossible, there simply weren't any venues that could hold that many people (comfortably). Fortunately, we were able to get the guest list down (mostly just from people who weren't able to make it, which meant we didn't have to really “cut” anyone from our list) so that we were able to squeeze everyone into both venues.


My favorite moment: The most meaningful part of the wedding was when my uncle sang a song during the ceremony that my mother had chosen. The song was “All That Is” by Garnet Rogers, and my uncle sang it while playing the acoustic guitar. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house by the time the song had ended. I had never heard the song before and the combination of the lyrics, the fact that my mother had chosen it for our ceremony, and that my uncle had learned and performed it for us, was incredibly moving.


I will also never forget the feeling I had when the playhouse doors opened for me to make my entrance. Throughout all the planning and prepping, I had never stopped to think about how many people would be at the ceremony — how many people cared about us and wanted to be a part of our wedding. When the doors opened and everyone stood, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I have never in my life felt so much love all at once. It's one of the moments I think about most often when I think back on the day.



My funniest moment: Hearing guests sing out John Prine songs in an attempt to get us to kiss was really funny. Things really got hilarious once the drinks started flowing — men had their shirts off, people were having photo shoots on top of the fire trucks, and there are some amazing photos from our photo booth.


Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? The morning of the wedding, the weather did not look promising. The temperature had dropped from around 20C (68F) down to 4C (39F) and the forecast was calling for rain. We had briefly discussed a back-up plan for pictures, but both of us had our hearts set on having our pictures outdoors along the shore. After the ceremony, it was freezing and raining on and off, but we decided to go for the outdoor pictures anyway. I am sooooo happy we made that decision since the stormy sky made the images more dramatic.


My advice for Offbeat Brides: The day is just another day. The universe doesn't know it's your wedding day, and therefore you won't wake up and have perfect skin or hair or whatever. I found taking that point of view was very helpful. Things will go off-course or not exactly the way you expected, but the point is that you'll be marrying the person you love and be surrounded by people who love you.



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Comments on Leanne & Rob’s small town playhouse wedding

  1. So beautiful! I love the advice that the universe does not know it is your wedding day – very true and important to remember to help keep perspective.

  2. I have been planning on using wheat as bouquets, centre pieces and boutonnieres as well. Thank you – I can now see what it’ll look like in real life, rather than relying on my imagination 🙂 congrats on your fabulous wedding!

  3. yay a cape breton wedding! originally from there and will be getting married there in 5 weeks.. nice to see the pictures and looks like a fun time (as all cape breton weddings are). hope you played the mull river shuffle 😉

  4. Your uncle looks kinda like Harrison Ford in that picture.

    Also, I love the pics bursting through the paper, so cute 🙂

  5. “The day is just another day. The universe doesn’t know it’s your wedding day, and therefore you won’t wake up and have perfect skin or hair or whatever.” Wow. That’s probably the best, most realistic, advice I’ve ever read. Helps me breathe, put things in perspective.

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