It was a nice day for a Green wedding.
Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May tied the knot with retired tech entrepreneur John Kidder in Victoria on Monday afternoon.
Around 600 guests packed the Christ Church Cathedral for the Earth Day wedding.
As church bells tolled, May and Kidder emerged smiling from the church, kissing for the crowd and greeting onlookers before getting into the back of a Tesla where they were shuttled to a reception.
“It was kind of amazing,” May said on her way out the church. “Beautiful and lots of different themes and traditions woven in.”
Kidder will be the federal Green party candidate in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Valley in the October general election.
The Earth Day wedding was billed as a low carbon-affair including a motorcade of electric vehicles, re-used flowers, a potluck reception, and a cross-Canada train trip as the honeymoon.
The programs for the wedding were printed on 100 per cent post-consumer recycled paper. The pair read out traditional vows before the gathered crowd burst out into cheers.
The Canadian Orca Rescue Society surprised May be greeting her outside the church with four massive, inflatable orca whales.
The Green leader wore a cropped white jacket and long matching gown adorned with greenery, while Kidder work a bone-coloured suit without a tie.
Sue Earle of Salt Spring Island designed the dress after May sketched out the idea for her.
“She wanted it to feel like spring. She said she would like to have some greenery on the bottom of it so it looked like she just walked through a garden,” Earle said in an interview.
Earle said she got to work on the dress over the winter, using old bed sheets for a pattern for a fitting. The dress was also appliqued with tulips, peonies and ferns along the hemline.
Earle, a long-time Green party supporter, said May was pleased with her seasonally-themed wedding dress.
“She was very happy with it, which made me very happy with it,” said Earle. “You want the person to feel like a million bucks, and that it embodies everything she is in terms of a goddess in the spring, celebrating love. That’s what I was aiming for.”
In attendance were many friends from environmental movements as well as politicians from all levels of government.
Vancouver Green Party city councillors Adriane Carr and Michael Wiebe came to Victoria to celebrate, along with Green Party MLAs Andrew Weaver, Adam Olsen, and Sonia Furstenau.
“It was a great celebration. You could see on their faces they were so delighted,” Weaver said.
“We have known Elizabeth so long as the busiest person. I don’t know how she found time to get off Twitter and have a wedding.”
Former federal ministers David Anderson and Pat Carney came to support Kidder and May. NDP MP Gord Johns was also in attendance.
But it was Vancouver-Granville MP Jody Wilson-Raybould who drew a crowd, posing for pictures following the ceremony.
Wilson-Raybould has still not made a decision about her political future. She says she has spoken to May numerous times about running for the Greens in October.
“I have said I am keeping my options open. I have had several conversations with Elizabeth, no decision has been made yet,” she said.
“I am here simply because I believe in love and I’m happy to celebrate with the two of them. We will see what happens in the future. I am wanting to take my time and making sure I make the right decision for my family and myself.”
The Vancouver-Granville MP was thrown out of the Liberal caucus earlier this month and was told she could not run for the Liberals in the upcoming federal election.
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May is currently the only Green MP in the House of Commons. She says she was delighted to see Wilson-Raybould at the wedding because the two are friends.
“She is a friend and I wasn’t sure she was going to be able to make it,” May said. “I have a lot of friends in this cathedral from all over the place.”
The Green brand could get a big boost on Tuesday. The Greens are leading the polls in the Prince Edward Island provincial election and are expected to form government for the first time.
Leader Peter Bevan Baker would become Canada’s first Green premier if his party is able to secure the most seats on the island.
“I think the voters of Prince Edward Island are lovely and thoughtful and kind and it would be the very nicest wedding present anyone could give us would be a Green government in Prince Edward Island,” May said.
— With files from Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press