A WEDDING AT THE HERB GARDEN

AMANDA + OWEN

Perhaps the most defining thing about us, both as individuals and as a couple, is our sense of humour. Not to put too fine a point on it, but we’re hams. Big, weird, hams who spend a lot of our time together making silly, somewhat annoying inside jokes. Perhaps our penchant for scenery chewing comes from our shared background as drama nerds, meeting on the first day of our theatre class and becoming a couple years later while playing old pirate flames at the Ottawa Fringe Festival.

The idea of having a completely traditional wedding didn’t make sense to us – but then again, we didn’t necessarily want to dispose of the whole Wedding Industrial Complex in one fell swoop, either. Our compromise was to have a wedding that still had traditional elements but that felt like an expression of our personalities and incorporated a lot of laughter. From our Simpsons-inspired cake and cufflinks (we’re big fans - Owen’s proposal was based around one of our favourite episodes of The Simpsons) to our custom Viewmaster with embarrassing photos of us as children; to our dog, Lily, in a tutu, to the trivia competition, people remarked that it was one of the most unique weddings they’d been to – which we’re taking as a compliment!

We wrote our wedding vows together along with the help of one of our favourite people, Amanda’s best friend Jackie, who acted as unofficial officiant. After 10 years together as a couple, we wanted to combine the idea of “new beginnings” (we moved to Washington DC 3 months after the wedding) with a celebration of a love that had already endured a lot of life’s highs and lows. The result was a pretty funny (we like to think) ceremony that was thoughtful and honest without being cheesy or generic. We were so lucky to find the Capital Blend quartet to sing our processional and recessional for the day. They learned barbershop versions of two songs just for our wedding – God Only Knows by the Beach Boys and Africa by Toto - and did a fantastic job with both. They were one of our favourite elements of the day.

Brittany was our photographer and from day one, cliché as it might sound, she felt like a friend. She “got us” completely, never thinking an idea we had was too “out there” or “strange”. When we talked about our engagement photos incorporating our love of tv shows like Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey she rolled with it immediately, organizing a shoot that made us feel instantly at ease, even as we were traipsing across the city in Hazmat suits and servant uniforms. We were unsure of how we’d feel being photographed the day of our wedding – we had done our fair share of performances over the years but this was different; we weren’t playing characters, we were just being us. Brittany understood completely, and got some beautiful, heartfelt shots of us together as well as a slew of pictures of us laughing, enjoying time with family and friends, and dancing our hearts out on the dancefloor. As a result, our photos feel completely genuine. Everyone was universal in their praise of her skills – she was a photo ninja, getting the perfect shot while remaining inconspicuous enough that we weren’t nervous.

Any wedding advice column will always tell you to slow down and take a moment or two to enjoy everything since it all goes by so fast – and we’d totally agree with that. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of table settings or transportation and decorations, but in the end, your day will be imperfectly perfect, and you’ll really only remember how you felt, not whether your cake had fondant or buttercream. It really is the simple things-Some of our favourite moments of the day were spent looking around at everyone interacting, watching people chat and chuckle like old friends when some of them had just met. We felt so surrounded by love and laughter and it was an amazing way to start on our next adventure.

-Amanda & Owen. 

 

Photography by Brittany Fleming