Cottagers from the start
Drew Herring and Taimaz Heshmat were married at Drew's parents' cottage on Jessup Island in Nippissing, Ontario. "It was my idea and Taimaz loved it the moment I mentioned it," says Drew. She and Taimaz first met at a rented cottage in Algonquin—she was 16 years old and he was 19. "How fitting that 10 years later we would be getting married at a place so similar to where we fist met!" says Drew, "It was perfect for us."
"When I first came to my parents with the idea of a cottage wedding, I must say they were very skeptical about how it would all work out," says Drew, and there were some challenges…
Isolated on an island
One of the most obvious challenges was the fact that the cottage is located on an island. But, with some help from neighbours and other friends on the lake, they were able to arrange five different boats to ferry their guests to and from the island.
A team effort
"Anything and everything that was to be set up for the wedding had to be hauled onto boats, transported across the lake and lugged to the set-up location," says Drew. This included the tables, chairs, and two tents they rented for the reception. It wouldn't have happened if not for the support of my family and friends," says Drew. To have a successful cottage wedding, it needs to be a team effort.
They invited about 100 people, but considering the location was more than a three hour drive from their home in Toronto, and they were holding their wedding on a Monday, they expected a 50 percent response rate. "I was pleasantly surprised to know that 95 percent of our guests had accepted our invitation," says Drew. "However, panic began to set in when I realized the largest tent we could fit could only accommodate 60 people." Luckily, they had spectacular weather.
Nice and cozy
"In retrospect, we could have invited way more people because the weather was perfect and we had ample space to accommodate more. However, the intimacy of having a smaller group was special, too," says Drew. "The majority of people who attended were close family members, which made it nice and cozy."
Come as you are
"We said 'Come as you are.' There was no dress code," says Drew. "We wanted our guests to be comfy and we invited everyone to bring their swimwear!"
Throwing out tradition
Although their wedding remained traditional in some respects, the location wasn't the only aspect of this wedding that made it stand out. "We didn't have a bridal party; we had our brothers sign the marriage licence; we also didn't have a first dance," says Drew. "We tweaked it to suit us." As for the bouquet toss off the dock? "It was a spur of the moment decision," she says. "It was a great way to get all of the ladies in the water together and definitely great fun for those watching."
"We had many people say they had never been to a wedding like this before—everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves," says Drew. She poses here with her mother, father, brother and husband, Taimaz.
Click here to see more photos from Drew and Taimaz's wedding day.