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Woodsy Winter Wedding

This wedding from Alberta, Canada is quirky and sweet in all the right ways. Brett and Tara are environmental scientists who share a love of — wait for it — taxidermy. Bride Tara wanted to build a makeshift forest into the wedding reception, an idea that was brought to life with the help of Jennifer Bergman Weddings and shot by Diamond Cake Photography. The bride’s wedding bouquet was made of a mix of wooden and real flowers, making it a perfect keepsake for years to come!

bride and groom in snow

From the bride, Tara: Brett and I are both environmental scientists and nature lovers, so to have a nature theme was an easy choice for us. Having a winter wedding was always a dream of ours, but that meant that we had to bring the outdoors indoors to bring our nature wedding to life, including building a forest at our reception. Despite Brett thinking that I was a bit crazy, he went along with this idea, and with the help of friends and family we made a photobooth that incorporated trees, faux snow, taxidermy, and a vintage green loveseat that I found at a thrift store. Our reception venue was the Freemason’s Hall, which had been originally built to be a theatre, so the stage was the perfect setting to create our forest. It turned out amazingly, and our guests had so much fun with it.


woodsy wedding invitations

gray bow tieswhite hanging wedding dress

bridesmaids in robes

woodsy wedding decor

bridal hair ideaspurple wedding jackets

bride in snow

Other nature elements that we had at the wedding were animal themed tables, a forest floor sign-in table, homemade jam guest favors made from native berries, and a cake with a cascade of reclaimed wood flowers. In return for the traditional clinking of the glasses we asked that our guests go up and imitate an animal call; a college friend had the most impressive when she did her infamous elk call.


bridesmaids white coats

bride and groom outside

purple wedding bouquets

groom wearing graybridesmaids in snow

jam wedding favors

bride and groom in hall

For music we chose songs that we held dear from different times of our relationship. Luckily my sister’s boyfriend is an amazing guitar player and was willing to play for our ceremony. The songs we chose were a mix of The Beatles, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Tea Party and The Verve. Our first dance was a duet by Dave Grohl and Nora Jones called Virginia Moon.


nature inspired centerpieces

animal table chartspink brown wedding cakes

forest photobooth ideas

brown wedding cake decor

My advice to any other couples is to make it your own and don’t worry about tradition. Find those things that make you unique as a couple and run with them! It’s like my sister said during her wedding speech, “I’m so glad you two found each other, who else knows another couple that shares a love for taxidermy?”


bride and groom in hall

bride and groom shoes


View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Vendors (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada):

Wedding Ceremony: McKay Avenue School / Wedding Reception: Freemasons’ Hall / Wedding Photographers: Diamond Cake Photography / Event Planning and Design: Jennifer Bergman Weddings / Wedding Flowers: Laurel’s On Whyte / Boutonnieres and Corsages: Erica Cavanagh / Wooden Flowers: Accents and Petals / Wedding Dress: Enzoani “Farlow” / Wedding Jacket: Jessica Halabi Fashion / Wedding Shoes: Sterling / Bride’s Hair Accessories: Tiffani Saxton Designs / Makeup: Anita Gill Makeup Artistry / Ceremony Guitarist: Sean Scobie / Reception Guitarist: Jeff Ramsey / DJ: Baseline Services / Chair Signs: Naturally Chic / Rentals: Special Event Rentals + Elegant Touches / Wedding Cake: Over the Top Cakes / Wedding Stationery: Pinkpolka Wedding Design / Officiant: Robert Ligertwood / Transportation: Esquire Limousines

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