a peek inside the fishbowl

23 Aug, 2011

Project Priceless

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Oh! Things!|Ottawa

Last night was a first for me. I was invited to attend the wedding of a couple I’d never met before. Julie and I were invited to be official bloggers and tweeters at the Project Priceless wedding. You may or may not have heard about this endeavour but there’s been quite a lot of buzz about it in the blogosphere this past while. One gal (Jordan) and one guy (Brian) decide to harness the energy of their friends and family – and the power of social media – to help plan their wedding.

It was a major social experiment (and you know how much I like social experiments, right?), one that hung upon one big question: Can a community come together and create a priceless wedding? It’s pretty bold, isn’t it? But think I can safely say yes, yes it can.

It took months of planning, some degree of worry, and the wrangling of many little details. I read the blog and followed their adventure on Twitter (@prjectpriceless) but to witness the culmination of their hopes, dreams, and hard work in person, well, it was pretty awesome.

It was an honour to be invited, truly. I can’t even remember when I last attended a wedding, but it was probably ten years ago. It was a delight to see how the, ahem, young folks get hitched nowadays … although I realize that this wedding was as non-traditional as it gets.

I have a few standout things I wanted to mention here.

  • The setting: the wedding was held at Stanley’s Olde Maple Farm. Why haven’t I been here before?? It’s a great venue.
  • The wedding dress: I have no words to describe how pretty it was. Each flower on the skirt had buttons for the centre, hand sewn on there by Jordan and donated by many. She wore it with cowboy boots and it all looked amazing.
  • The bridesmaids dresses. Were incredibly pretty, and here’s a shocker, they are actually dresses they could wear again. They are made by a company called So Fine; reversible tube dress AND skirt all in one. I COVET THE SCUBE. (Shown here in teal and black.)
  • Bouquets were from the Flower Factory. They were beyond perfect.
  • The food was pot-luck, and it worked! I thought this was a great idea.
  • The cake. It was edible art made by Isabelle Crowe. See photo below.
  • And speaking of treats, there were macarons by Geek Sweets and cupcakes by Little Cakes. Both were amazing.
  • As if that wasn’t enough, there was a Candy bar (a.k.a. Candy buffet) donated by Fishbowl patron The Candy Store. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

Here are a few little snaps I took with my iPhone.

Jordan and her dad, walking up the aisle. Not shown, her peacock-feather fascinator (!), also of note, her totally gorgeous necklace from textile artist Morganna the White.

Walking down the aisle

Cue the sunshine:

My partner in crime, uber-tweeter Julie Harrison:

Before I knew it, it was time for the first dance. I only teared up twice. This was the second time. It’s not a great snap, but you get the picture.

I wondered aloud if we could find a way to harness this moment, because it could have powered a city.

Ah love.

I would like thank Jordan and Brian for letting me share this wonderful day with them. It was truly priceless.

9 Responses to "Project Priceless"

1 | Stefania

August 23rd, 2011 at 3:11 pm


Cool idea. :-)
You went to a wedding in 2004. Not quite 10 years.

3 | coffee with julie

August 23rd, 2011 at 3:21 pm


I love your words and photos of this event. It truly was priceless … very hard to describe how personal and beautiful all the little touches were! Had such a wonderful time catching up with you, and wiping a few tears together :)

4 | kev

August 23rd, 2011 at 10:01 pm


“A deal’s a deal”

I would love to know the back-story behind that. I had a friend who had it engraved on their ring, and I’m going to bet the story behind this one is much happier.

Love the candy bar, and the idea of a pot luck dinner. Lots of smiles all around, and the tweets last night were great.

5 | kev

August 23rd, 2011 at 10:03 pm


Oh! I just went through the project site. I get it now. Awesome.

6 | andrea

August 24th, 2011 at 8:38 am


Stefania – you’re right! I think that was the last one. ;)

julie – I just finished reading your first post. What a hoot!

kev – I wondered about that too, but I assumed it had something do with the way they pulled the wedding together. :)

7 | Mary V.

August 24th, 2011 at 10:21 am


Wonderful! But what I’m really wondering is – WHERE did Julie get those amazing shoes!?!

8 | coffeewithjulie

August 24th, 2011 at 11:02 am


Hi Mary – I bought those shoes 3 years ago in Sydney, Australia :)

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  • andrea tomkins: I'm glad you find it restful Bonnie! I didn't on that day. :)
  • Bonnie Upton: I have a true love of this place. I drive to and from Ottawa from the NewmArket area to visit my sister snd now my son who attended uOttawa and has c
  • Amy: That sounds fantastic! As with most travelling, parts are much more comfortable when you're telling them afterwards, but they make a good story.
  • andrea tomkins: If I had to pick, Grundy wins! :)
  • Shawn: What did u like more, Restoule or Grundy? Thank you Shawn
  • andrea tomkins: Yes! I've seen the boiling water method! I never really bothered with it because I am a lazy baker. :) It is worth finding a recipe that uses less ye
  • Amy: I made a no-knead version that didn't use a Dutch oven (I don't have one and didn't feel like investing in one just for that). You put a small contai

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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