Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

VICTORIA — Instead of marching for Earth Day, Green party Leader Elizabeth May marched down the aisle in Victoria’s Christ Church Cathedral on Monday.

May married John Kidder, a retired technology entrepreneur and long-time Green party member, in a ceremony attended by about 500 guests.

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.

May said in a statement that she and Kidder “intend to be gloriously happy — and very Green.”

Kidder will be the federal Green party candidate in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Valley in the October general election.

May said she hopes that during next year’s 50th celebration of Earth Day, they can celebrate by turning away from catastrophic climate breakdown and taking the path to a safer and more loving world.

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.”

She said the dress received a pre-wedding blessing on a recent ferry voyage from Salt Spring Island to Sidney as Earle delivered the dress to May.

Earle said she and a few others held a moment of silence to bless the dress and ensure May has a full day of happiness.

May announced her engagement to Kidder last November. She said she knew Kidder for about five years, but sparks flew at a Green party convention last September.

Kidder, 71, who is from Ashcroft, B.C., popped the question about a month later, May has said.

Kidder has deep roots in the Green party, having run previously for a seat in B.C., and is a founder of the provincial party. May said he is a retired technology entrepreneur who operates a hops farm in Ashcroft, but also spends time in Vancouver.

Kidder is the brother of the late actress Margot Kidder and has three children and four grandchildren. May has a daughter, three stepchildren and seven grandchildren.

Wedding guests were encouraged to arrive by bicycle, bus, train or ferry to minimize their carbon footprint. The newlyweds will then spend their honeymoon on the train from Vancouver to Ottawa.

Elizabeth May

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Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May and her husband John Kidder greet the public following their marriage during Earth Day at the Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, B.C., on Monday.

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