Last week, my friends Mark and Claire got married in Scotland (with the reception in Wales). The bride and groom are Welsh and English respectively, but have lived in Canada for the past five years. They wanted to represent their new adopted country at their wedding, so they asked me to create place cards depicting the Canadian provinces.

My first instinct was use the official animals of each province, but a bit of research found that some Canadian provinces don’t have an official animal, some are uninspired (picked by a Centennial committee, no doubt), and some are just goofy (I’m looking at you, British Columbia). So I made my own choices from a stockpile of natural history pamphlets.

By all accounts the reception was a hit, though there were more provinces than guests. The maritime provinces ended up sharing a single table, while the mighty animals of the Arctic guarded the desserts.