Sam and Sun – a Green Wedding Story

Photo by Julianna Damer

What were some of your reasons for going green? 

It’s simple and convenient nowadays to have a low carbon wedding, while not compromising on beauty, meaning and creating something truly singular to celebrate love with your guests.

Tell us about your choice of location, decor, food and/or budget. 

We held our sunrise wedding at Toronto’s Cherry Beach. We began scouting the location 6 months in advance. And began cleaning up the beach 2-weeks in advance. The morning of the wedding, Sun and I had prepared all of the items for setup. But the true heroes were the 12 people who came by at 2am to pick up the materials, before heading down to the space to set up by 5am.

The ceremony was held on the beach. Guests arrived in the wee hours to music and coffee. Children were given paper bags with homemade ribbon sticks, flower petals and bubbles to join the celebration. Waves gently lapping the shore and birds singing their morning songs played background to a majestic sunrise. The ceremony was made memorable by the participation of dear friends and family, a hand-binding ritual and acknowledgement of the symbolism and meaning of the lake and land around us.

Following the ceremony, we lead a parade of guests along the beach to another waterside area where tables for both seating and food were waiting. The centrepieces were made by a dear friend – with stones and moss gathered from and returned to the land afterward. Small potted ferns also decorated the space and were given to guests to take home to plant or green their homes and remember the occasion.

A food truck serving breakfast complimented the spread. They used the biodegradable pressed leaf plates we provided and guests were given bamboo cutlery. As the morning brightened and the day warmed, we toasted with speeches and prosecco among the trees in front of the passing sailboats. Thanks to the generosity of friends and family who helped with so many aspects of the day – lending their time, talents and resources to help us create our perfect wedding, the whole affair cost about $15,000 or $150 per guest.

What was your favourite part of the day? 

The speeches. They’re always my favourite part of weddings. Even the crummy ones are filled with heartfelt humour. For Sun, it was the moments before the ceremony, as we walked along the bike path behind the beach – we could hear friends and family gathering – quiet laughter and music. Everyone just waking and not sure what to expect in the dawning light. It felt really special to know the people we love were waiting, expectantly to begin the new day with us.

Is there anything you would have done differently? 

Probably. But nothing memorable enough to linger.

What advice or tips do you have for couples who want to do the same? 

Be bold. Share your ideal scenarios, regardless of how outlandish, with one another. Don’t only talk about the final product – but principles, feelings, moods, values that are important to you. From there, patiently and lovingly (as much as possible!) collaborate to build an experience that touches on the most important aspects for each of you.

Photo by Julianna Damer