Vancouver Winter Wedding in a Tattoo Studio: Jamie & George

Shari and Mike

May 1, 2014


Jamie and George were married on 13.12.13 in Vancouver. Their wedding day kicked off with them getting ready together at home, their legal ceremony was in a tattoo studios where they then got matching ‘Til Death’ tattoos on their ring fingers, and ended with a handfasting ceremony and a big massive party for all their friends and family.

“As a super design nerd our wedding date was actually something I thought about when we were picking it”, Jamie explained. “I knew I could play with the numbers on any of our printed items and make it look fabulous. Also, that it was Friday the 13th and all the vendors were available even on short notice. Because, Friday the 13th. Oh yeah.”


“Our theme was very East-Vancouver, and very us. Mechanic-meets-webdesigner-meets-city-meets-metal-meets-grunge-meets-winter-meets-elegance. Trashy elegance. And we loved every detail.  George is a mechanic and can’t wear rings. I inherited my late grandmother’s (whose portrait I haver on my left arm) wedding ring which she had custom made from a pair of her late mother’s vintage diamond earrings. Even though we were not going to exchange wedding rings, George and I really wanted to do something symbolic to represent our union. So we had the quick, dirty, and official ceremony at Gastown tattoo parlour where Mitch immediately tattooed the words “Til Death” on our ring fingers. SOOOOO enjoyed that!!!”


The reception was held at Heritage Hall, a venue in the heart of Vancouver. “After we made it official and got tattooed, we headed down to Heritage Hall for the hand fasting/spirit stone ceremony in the company of our community”, she continued. “It was such a special time and even though little things (like music timing walking down the aisle) went wrong, it was so super humbling and overwhelming to make the commitment to each other in front of so many people who love the shit outta us. After the ceremony was finished, instead of walking down the aisle, we broke into the first dance: Iggy Pop’s LUST FOR LIFE!!!”


Jamie wore a black Vera Wang bridesmaid dress which she had customised to feel more ‘her’. “I had this strange idea in my head that as a bride there were things that I HAD to do, even though as a couple we are unique and do pretty much everything our own way. I guess I got caught up in Pinterest, and the wedding buzz, and shit like that”, she said. “So I went to wedding dress stores and tried on all these fancy dresses that were (not to mention way more expensive than the total budget of our wedding!!) Still I tried to squish this voluptuously round peg of a personality into a square hole. didn’t work. So I searched and searched and googled and pinned and finally found a cute Vera Wang black bridesmaid’s dress at a bridal store about an hour outside of the city. I drove there with my best friend and tried a version of the dress in a different colour on and for some reason I thought I felt fabulous. Again, probably all the bridal shiny shit around me and the pressure to be that bride or something… but I had lost my way.”


“This dress was definitely not me although I thought it was. So I ordered the dress and waited for it to arrive. Extremely long story later the dress arrived two weeks before my wedding date, a size too big, and definitely did not make me feel “Bridely” (a word my officiant Wendy made up to describe the way I wanted to feel on my wedding day). I freaked out. I shut down. I felt that I would be the frumpiest bride ever. So after two solid days of sulking I put my big girl panties on called Lace Embrace (the most AMAZING corsetiere ever!) and asked if they could help me. I knew this would push us over our budget but I knew it would feel more like me if I had it altered.  In the end, I walked out of Lace Embrace with an entire outfit that so exceeded my expectations – from the handmade stretch lace top to the pencil skirt and corset, to the vintage inspired high-waist panties with stocking straps, to the matching black ribbon laces for my combat boots, Lace Embrace made me feel “Bridely” for the first time. It was THAT moment that I really started getting stoked again for our party!!”


“We really just wanted to celebrate, dance, eat, and drink with all of the friends and family who had supported, loved, and nourished us to this point”. she continued. “Our original plan was to elope, but after speaking to George’s sons (Jonas 17 and Jacob 14), we realised that our commitment wasn’t just to each other, it was to the boys, to our families, and to our super supportive community of friends. THAT is why we didn’t elope. So the wedding, although it was a public declaration of our commitment to each other, was really a huge thank you party to our loved ones. We wanted it to say “THANKS for bringing us to this point in our lives, now let’s CELEBRATE!!!” and celebrate we did.”


“I’m in love with rainy Vancouver winters and the warmth that candles can provide”, she explained when I asked about their reception décor. “I designed the entire décor to enhance the dark, shimmery, sparkly Vancouver raindrops and to reflect our personalities. White linens, white dishes, clear glass, white candles, white babies’ breath, vintage rusted gas cans, clear glass skulls, clear globe lights, large windows with drapes open to reflect raindrops on the windows… it was bliss.”


“We pretty much DIY’d EVERYTHING that we could, and if we couldn’t, we tried to purchase things second hand from flea markets, garage sales, and Craigslist (and then ended up modifying them all a bit). After the wedding we listed a whole bunch of stuff on Craigslist again and sold it. We love the whole idea of consuming as little as possible and re-using or recycling items. It’s one of the reasons that we wanted our outfits to be spectacular but re-wearable. For example, our friend Kristin created the design for George’s t-shirt and I had it ironed at a local t-shirt shop. We were also able to keep our budget really low because we used items that we already had or made a lot of the décor ourselves. For example, I LOVE glass vases and have collected many at garage sales, vintage shops, and flea markets over the years. We were able to use the larger vases to hold all of our candles. It created a beautiful light and satisfied the venue’s insurance requirements. We also purchased bulk baby’s breath and made little arrangements by creating bouquets in various sized smaller vintage glass vases.”


“The other part of the wedding that we really loved was the food! Holy crap, it was out of this world!!!! Handmade fennel sausages over baked beans, not-so mini Poutine, Caesar salad that you could eat with your hands, Mike’s salty nuts; heaven in cardboard carnival food containers. The food was perfect for 80 of our closest friends and family to keep the alcohol at bay.”