Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Our "Eco" Venue!!!

As frivolous as this may sound but: The Knot has announced that I have 12 months until our wedding. Sigh. Why did I sign up for The Knot in the first place?? (right, to help a colleague who wanted the silly lists they have on that site). (the view from the balcony)

Andrew and I went to our *new* venue with my parents last weekend. And as per my experience on Thursday, a migraine was my added bonus. Yay! Thank goodness the drive was beautiful and I only became mildly angry at slow tourist drivers and buses (not one fist shake!). Peggy's Cove truly is phenomenal and although I muttered at the tourists stopped at the edge of the road in my head, I really should have stopped to take some pictures. The view wasn't the lighthouse, but the funky glacier dropped boulders, peppering the landscape. Alli over at Ocean's Treasures has FANTASTIC pictures from her August hike- go on over to see!

Finding Oceanstone was a little bit less straightforward than I expected. We had previously google mapped it (which of course off-estimated the time by at least 20 minutes) and didn't bother printing off the directions. You go on the old highway until you get there. It's past Peggy's Cove, check. Seems that every single bed and breakfast and Inn was named "ocean+something". Turn the bend and OMG/ess, TURN!!!! Needless to say I was took several swigs of my coffee from my mug in the car, wishing it wasn't rude to bring it along the tour with us.

The place is gorgeous. All the cabins are close to the main property and nestled within the maritime forest. All we could hear were birds and the ocean. We could smell the ocean as well, good thing I think it smells like home as I could see that at low tide it would be a little stinky... (the reception area set up for a wedding that day! the ceilings are vaulted)

The main hall is so perfect, round tables and big windows facing the ocean. The conversation with the on site planner was a friendly reminder that we will have to clearly explain our "eco" wedding from the very beginning. She was friendly and sweet and didn't seem to understand that when asked about colours, we really didn't have any. No really, we don't have a theme. "So you'll just tell me about your colours, probably reds and oranges, and we'll set it up just for you!" Umm.... lol. How do I explain that even her, although well-meaning, comment of putting up candles for a "minimalist" type decor makes me cringe? I will have to start collecting some beeswax candles for the following year!

When she finally seemed to have an inkling of what I was implying (she didn't really acknowledge that I said I was successfully growing succulents at home- "so the reds and oranges?" said succulents waiting to be propagated) she informed me that "at least!" we need to have a gift table. I didn't have the heart to tell her that we were going to encourage guests to donate to a charity and try to decrease actual gifts (the wrapping paper!!! ack). I've already begun created a list of "eco" questions which will probably scare the poo out of her, but she's sweet I'm sure she will manage.

Our ceremony will take place right on the ocean- the grounds meet the stony beach one foot from where we will be standing. Of course, fisherman's daughter that I am, my first thought was we'd have to look up when high tide would occur and plan accordingly (Currently tides in that area reach 7.2 feet in height). (the twig-trellis which we can take down and the shore at mid-tide)

My absolute favourite part of the venue though is the fire-pit. YAY for having a place to roast marshmallows and spider weiners while drinking some beer!! The perfect way to spend the pre-wedding night with immediate family members and friends. The cottages allow for easy stumbling to bed access after! This also decreases driving under the influence (which is a common occurrence in rural Nova Scotia) and emissions between ceremony and reception.

Although we are currently on "frugal-mode" as I will currently be unemployed come January (cross my fingers that it won't actually happen!), I am excited that we found this as our *new* venue! The fact that it has space for yoga, the ocean AND a fire pit seems like FATE. As you might remember, our previous venue fell through in August and after crazy traveling + fighting with the in-laws over our co-name change we decided on Oceanstone based solely on....gasp... the internet. (the chairs are all around the fire-pit!!!)

**Update on the in-law- we can't believe our son will hyphenate his last name with yours- situation. After our venue fell through we asked that they stop calling to "discuss" the situation as we were stressed and didn't want to handle one other thing. Since then, I still haven't spoken to them over the phone, and they haven't officially apologized, but they have completely dropped the issue from all conversations. I know it will come up again, but at least they are letting it be for now and hopefully they will become more comfortable with the idea in time. Hopefully. :)


Article and photo copyrighted by EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com


  1. We tried asking people for donations instead of gifts, but it was a bit of a fail. Only two people actually went through with it - the rest bought us something, although they were all great things we can use around the apartment.

    One thing that we found that was a great was that the Canadian Cancer Society has a wedding program where you can donate money and instead of having silly little trinkets as favours, you have cards (which double as place cards) that say that a donation has been made in the person's name to the Canadian Cancer Society. I know this might not fit your eco-wedding theme (because of the cards) but I liked it so much that I thought I would mention it anyway!

  2. About the name hyphenisation thing...


    I have the mother-in-law from HELL. I really do. I was evil and nasty enough (in her eyes) to marry the firstborn son in a religious Jewish family (I'm not Jewish), and I was Evil Incarnate, and hated the moment I walked in the door.

    Since then (13 years ago), my husband has been the only one of the four kids to produce grandkids, and is now looking like he'll be the only one ever to do so.

    So Savta (as she calls herself) is finding things a little awkward. From being rude, imperious, and just plain racist to me, she's now in a situation where she's lucky I let her see the kids at all, she is not allowed in our home, and I refuse to even see her.

    Parents need to learn that we are not their little clones. We make choices that they sometimes don't like. Sometimes they are good decisions, sometimes not, but that is part of what being human is all about.

    You seem like a pretty decent person to me. And if you make each other happy, and all your prospective in-laws can manage to find to whinge about is the name issue, I'd say they're a pretty pitiful example of in-law. I mean, as if this is an important issue in the scheme of things!

    Maybe I've said too much, but I think, as a parent myself now, what I will want for my children is for them to find someone who is not a drinker, gambler or druggie.

    Apart from that, I don't care whether the partner is rich or poor, their race, colour, gender or religion. All I would care is the most important question of all - do they enrich my child's life, and is my child happier and fulfilled by knowing and being with them?

    If the answers are yes and yes, then nothing, NOTHING else matters!

    I hope your wedding is beautiful, and you have a wonderful life together, full of blessings and richness, in every way possible.

    Sorry for being so long-winded!

    (Mum of two, one of whom has autism)

  3. wow that sounds perfect! ocean, cabins, firepit! you will have the time of your lives! since the wedding is a whole year away i'm sure your site planner will get the eco-ness of it in time.

  4. Your venue sounds amazing! I would have loved something like that, but we got married on the quick-and-cheap (basically a planned elopement with DIY reception months later). Enjoy everything!

    If I may offer one small bit of bride advice, though: have a gift table. We too asked for donations and ended up with more tangible gifts. Even if your guests pay attention and make donations in your honor, they will still want a safe place to drop off cards. Our gift table also held a laptop running a photo slideshow of our wedding and our guest book, so there were other things to do there aside from leave presents. :)

    YAY for your hyphenated names! That's beautiful. We both kept our names, which has confused many people, but oh well. I don't know what changing your name is like in Canada, but everyone I know in the US who's changed her name says it's a colossal pain.

  5. I am so excited for you! What a beautiful place! And I love the firepit.

    Keep us posted on your eco-requests. I'm eager to see how people handle them!

    And keep your chin up with the in-laws!

  6. Congrats! It sounds like things are starting to come along. It is a beautiful setting. Best of luck to you and our hubby-to-be!

  7. Annabellie and Vegan Burnout: I think you are right- we'll have to figure something out... lol.
    I love the idea of the Canadian Cancer Society!! Thanks so much for that :) We could definitely do a larger type poster or something that informs guests about that instead of the small cards!

    daharja: ohhh, wow what a terrible family in-law situation. It sounds like you are the one in control now though... which seems like a nice change.
    You're right though- if the whole name issue is the worse thing in their lives right now, they must have it pretty darn good.
    Thankfully my family is 100% supportive and even were angry for me (in their mild way). So I know there will be no ganging up!

    Julia: aww thanks :) I think so too- the venue falling through (winery) was actually a blessing, which I think was mentioned in a comment section previously. So right!

    Vegan Burnout: Sigh- I wish eloping was a non-getting family mad-option. oh well. You're right though, we do have this family tree with painted thumb print leaves for a guest book we'll be doing... so that could go on the table as well. it could be the guest book table officially, and unofficially the "gift" table.
    Changing your name in Nova Scotia is different than in other provinces- you basically "keep" your maiden name and can always change back without paying the name change stuff. I actually don't think you have to legally forever change your name here...
    In Quebec though you have to legally change your name forever, pay the ridiculous amounts of money. so women there often keep their maiden name- it's easier, whereas here it's very very strange to do anything other than take your husband's name....

    Greenspell: hehe, thanks! :) I'm excited about YOUR new move and romance!! :)

    Over coffee: Thank you!! so weird to think of Andrew as my future husband... WEIRD. lol.

    As a side note: was talking to a friend in Montreal the other day who is married and she (in english) referred to him as her boyfriend. which I commented on- guess in French they rarely refer to their married spouses as husband and wife (except in official situations) and just continue to refer to them as boyfriend girlfriend (copain-copine I would guess).

  8. An eco-wedding! That sounds amazing! (Don't you love how, as soon as you announce to any wedding vendor that you are The Bride, they immediately treat you as though your IQ has dropped about 20 points?) I wish such had even been on my personal radar 8 years ago when I got married...

    And ditto what everyone's saying about the in-laws...but I totally get how incredibly difficult that can be! And they're not necessarily bad people, it sounds like they are just completely unselfexamined--like they've been surrounded by people who think exactly like them all their lives, and now here's this new batch of ideas and paradigms and IT'S GOING TO BE PART OF THEIR FAMILY AND ITS CHANGING THEIR SON. (Because they probably have been able to completely ignore the reality that your Andrew hasn't been like them for some time, until now.) It's very threatening for the unexamined to be faced with something like that.

    For us it was my in-laws insisting that we "wanted" (I hate it when people say, "No, what you want is XXX") the full wedding with head table and dinner and all that crap, because "people are going to bring their envelopes and they are going to expect something in return!" (No, seriously, that's what they said. They actually sat me down to try to explain why going into debt for our wedding would be a good thing.)

    We did it our way, which was a nice little hors d'oevre and dessert thing in the church hall after the ceremony. A fabulous party, without spending an arm and a leg. They were mad until 9 months later when I produced the first grandson. Now I walk on water.

    This too shall pass.

    Being married is WAY better than getting married. And I say that as a person who had a great wedding :-)

  9. We also thought about putting cards on the tables to let guests know that we had made donations in their honor instead of doing favors. But then we bought picture frames, and placed a framed note on each table explaining our decision and the non-profits we chose. Now we can put pictures in the frames and either keep them or give them as gifts!


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