Storybook wedding no tall tale

Space hosts writing society, bookstore and exchange of nuptials

  • Dec. 14, 2012 5:00 p.m.

Marriage Commissioner Cathy Lavoie

On a crisp December afternoon, Yukari Peerless packed up her two kids and headed to the bookstore – to get married.

None of the romance between Peerless and Mark Davidson has been conventional, from the moment the social media-savvy couple connected via Tweetup, to Davidson’s initial Facebook friend request, to their first face-to-face meeting during last year’s BlogWorld conference in Los Angeles. It seems fitting then, that Peerless and Davidson would exchange vows in a rather alternative venue – one that’s also home to a non-profit agency aimed at inspiring children to write their own impassioned stories.

On Dec. 7, Davidson, an online communications strategist from Los Angeles and Peerless, an ESL agent and entrepreneur based in Victoria, held hands in the window of Tall Tales Books on Cadboro Bay Road, and before a handful of friends, became husband and wife.

Of the 83 marriages commissioner Cathy Lavoie has performed, this was the first she conducted in a bookstore.

“When you think about getting married, you want it to be a positive experience,” Davidson said. “You want it to be full of positive feelings and attachments. There’s always been a good vibe there. It just made sense.”

Tall Tales was one of the first Victoria locales Davidson experienced with Peerless and her young son while visiting the city.

“It was a no-brainer,” Peerless agreed. “Why didn’t I think of that?”

While the ceremony took place, store co-owner Drew Lormier stood behind the counter and greeted a customer, business as usual.

“It’s very unique,” said Lormier, who owns Tall Tales with wife Kate. “We’re very flattered. It reaffirms what we are trying to do with our store – to make it a place where families want to come.”

Much of the atmosphere of Tall Tales is a result of the group with which they now share the storefront. Non-profit organization, The Story Studio Writing Society, which offers writing workshops to kids both in the shared studio and in schools, has been based in the space since January, 2012.

Earlier in the week, a group of much smaller people filled the seats where the wedding guests sat, flanked by shelves of brightly coloured books. An after-school group of kids gathered to put the finishing touches on their comic books, a series led by local Magic Teeth cartoonist Gareth Gaudin.

“We take the kids through the process in a very tactile, playful way,” said Paisley Aiken, program founder of The Story Studio.

After three sessions, each student of a Studio course goes home with a bound book of their own work.

“They get to experience success as an author,” Aiken added. “It’s about having an experience where they want to enjoy writing, find their creativity and develop it.”

Courses at The Story Studio – featuring authors across genres – are open to anyone, with registration on a donation basis. Over the last year, the society, which has applied for charitable status, has worked with 300 kids, including some in school programming in the Greater Victoria and Sooke school districts, an aspect of the work Aiken would like to see expand.

The Story Studio partnership and the wedding further Tall Tales’ otherwise uncommon reputation.

In the summer of 2011, facing financial troubles, the Lormiers launched Tall Tales’ “hero” program, a subscription service to the store through which customers register to make automatic monthly payments of $10 that can be used month-to-month or held indefinitely to make larger purchases. Within a month of its launch, more than 300 people had registered for the program, many of whom have decided to continue to subscribe today.

“The only reason why we’re still here is because we put out a call with that program,” Lormier said. “It was a way for people to support us that wasn’t a charity.”

When the Lormiers moved their business from their downtown storefront on Fort Street to The Story Studio building in Oak Bay in September, it cut costs and offered more accessibility to those who wouldn’t otherwise have made the trip downtown, Lormier said. He hopes to see the store and studio collaborate on joint literacy events in the future, including an activity-based pre-school book club. But the doors could very well be open to more matrimonial occasions.

“This is the sort of story my grandparents told,” Davidson said of the international romance. “I just knew. As silly as that sounds, as cliché as that sounds, I just knew.”

And while the sentiment of love stories gone by remains for the lovers who met via Twitter, the details are now written in 140 characters or less.

Just Posted

No charges for three West Shore RCMP officers after woman’s jaw broken while in custody

After IIO investigation, B.C. Prosecution Service determined case did not meet its charge standard

All-female taxi service eyed for the West Shore

The goal is to help women feel comfortable

Elizabeth May arrested at Kinder Morgan protest

Randall Garrison, MP for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, speaks out against pipeline

New Galloping Goose overpass at McKenzie could open next week

Drivers reminded to watch the road in McKenzie construction zone

Capital Region regular gas prices highest since 2008

Greater Victoria prices roughly 10 cents above the B.C. average

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Vancouver Island pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions we received from around the region

MLA Report: Lowering the voting age to 16 in BC

By Andrew Weaver On March 13, I introduced for a third time… Continue reading

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

Comox Valley hospital operating above patient capacity

The new healthcare facility averaged a 110 per cent patient volume between October and February

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

Most Read