Haley + Moses’ Riverside Wedding and Handfasting Ceremony – Edmonton Wedding Inspiration

This hella stylish Edmonton couple celebrated their marriage with not one but two beautiful weddings. First, they held a small, traditional wedding along the banks of the North Saskatchewan river, where Haley wore a stunning dress and carried a big, beautiful bouquet. Then, just when you think that this bride couldn’t get more beautiful, she knocks it out of the park at wedding number two in a killer tulle ballerina skirt, a lace crop top and a flower crown. Their second wedding included a pagan handfasting, where 250 guests spontaneously got involved in the ceremony to give their blessing to the newlyweds. Read on for more about their love story, their two weddings, and gorgeous images by Megan Kemshead Photography.

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how did you meet?

The story version goes like this: We met at Fort Edmonton Park. It was a Orientation Day for their jobs with The City of Edmonton and Haley, who was put on a work crew with Megan, Moses’ step-sister, was not looking for love. Megan, seeing an opportunity to finally introduce them, insisted that Haley and Moses meet because she was convinced they were meant to be together.

Haley and Moses shook hands and parted ways. Unbeknownst to Haley, Moses had already looked her up on Myspace.

Moses was smitten.

Haley, enjoying her newfound single life, went out to a gig with Megan at her local neighbourhood pub where Moses was playing. It was stumbling distance from her home. She joined him on stage, played a song and then on break she slapped his bum.

Moses was really smitten.

Then, after months of not seeing one another, Moses was walking en route to see friends in the beer tent at The Edmonton Folk Music Festival when Haley, sitting with her family and bouncing her little cousins Lucy and Carter on her lap, called out his name.
They chatted, and then bravely, Moses did something he had never done before: he asked for her number.

Moses was proud and smitten.

One Saturday afternoon, Haley invited Moses over for homemade iced cappuccinos and music jams at her and Bonnie’s basement suite where they clumsily fell into heartfelt grooves, song after song, after song, after song…

The next month was filled with entrancingly spun music, reaching late, late into the nights.
Haley looking only for friendship didn’t see the cartoon hearts in Moses’ eyes until…

One weekend, Emma, one of Haley’s best friends in the whole world visited…

“He’s pretty cute,” she said “and he’s obviously head over heals for you. You should go for him!”

And just like that, later that evening after the clock struck twelve, Haley leaned over and kissed his lips. POOF! Her prince appeared!

Haley was finally smitten. And boy, Moses was too.

(——applause—–)

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what was the proposal like?

It was North Country Fair, 2014. After we finished playing a show for the afternoon, Moses insisted that he take me on a walk. We walked along the river until we reached a green wide open meadow. In the distance we saw an old, dilapidated gazebo that looked like a nice place to sit and talk. On the way over was a labyrinth that I found my way through while Moses ‘patiently’ waited. Once we reached the fallen gazebo, he said the most amazing things to me about me and about us that I had ever heard. I was a puddle. He then said “I want to marry you…” and I said, “so ask me!” and he did and I said yes.

 

NORTH COUNTRY FOREVERS

Up the dirt road
Past all the languid lovers
Along the rusty river speckled with bathers
A waltz into green
And swaying meadow
Through a rocky labyrinth
On love high we tip toe
And then laid on the ramp
Of a fallen gazebo
It’s always been true, life’s best spent together
Sun streaming in
We agreed on forever

-Haley

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tell us about the planning process! was there anything you were worried wouldn’t work, but turned out awesome?

We really wanted to get married on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River right in front of his mom’s house. Just days before the ceremony was set to take place we had heard that we wouldn’t be allowed to do the ceremony there without a permit and the permit could takes weeks to get. We looked into it and it turns out that if we had less than 50 people is was ok and we only had 40 so we were set! Then we just had the weather to contend with and luckily enough the rain stayed away and we were able to say I do under a canopy of trees along the banks of the river where Moses had grown up.

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what was the best moment of the day?

There were so many but one of the coolest unexpected things that happened that day was when as we were arriving to the reception after getting our pictures taken, a bagpiper that was playing for a baseball game at the Telus Field Stadium saw us walking across a field and piped us in. We think it was a little serendipitous nod from Moses’ Irish/Scottish grandparents.

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got any advice for someone planning an edmonton wedding?

I had never dreamed of having a wedding so the planning process was a challenge in which I had to start from scratch. Luckily I had a fiancé who was so supportive in helping unfold it layer by layer. The whole event is symbolic process, one which I took very seriously. If I have any advice for someone having a wedding in Edmonton it would be the same for anyone anywhere else. Make it your own, and be creative.

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vendor shoutouts – what vendors made your day awesome?

Megan Kemshead of Megan Kemshead Photography, gave us more then we ever asked for! She has this relaxed energy that made us feel so comfortable when we were feeling less than comfortable about going in front of the camera and the pictures that she took turned out more beautiful than we could’ve ever imagined. Moses and I spent a whole night on the couch with wine going through them while laughing and crying. I’d like to give another shout out to our good friends at Koutouki. They have since moved down to California to start a restaurant there but if you’re ever in the Palm Desert area you have to try their food!

 

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is there anything else about your wedding that you’d like to share with us?

After much deliberating and threatening to elope we ended up having two weddings. The first was our formal/mostly traditional wedding with 40 of our nearest relatives in which we were legally married on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. The reception was held at the old tiny school Rossdale Community Hall. The second wedding was our Pagan wedding held at Moses’ family cabin one hour west of Edmonton near Seba Beach. Moses’ cousin performed a hand tying ceremony in which she asked the guests to come up and tie our hands together as a symbolic gesture. We were expecting only a few brave folks but all 250 guests got up and tied us together. It was the perfect surprise! And as it turns out it was a great opportunity to welcome everyone one on one as a receiving line. All in all, we’re glad we listened to our parents and didn’t elope because after all, our love is strong and wedding or not, nothing was going to change that. The weddings for us were a way of announcing to our families that my love for Moses and him for me is strong and real and determined and that our love for our families is the same. So they should eat and celebrate and welcome Moses and me into there hearts the way we have welcomed all of them into ours.

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