Gus & Joey's super budget vegan queer love-fest wedding #Real Weddings: Midwest US#economical wedding#gay#genderqueer#interfaith#plus size#queer#short dress#short hair#tattoo#the princess bride#transgender#vintage weddings#wisconsin September 28 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photos by Brian Walbergh The offbeat bride: Gus, activist Her offbeat partner: Joey, activist Date and location of wedding: Milwaukee, WI — August 13, 2011 What made our wedding offbeat: My partner and I decided when we got engaged a year ago that we would try to keep the budget to be less than or equal to one month's rent (550 dollars). We went over by 200 dollars, but that's okay, because literally everything from the venue to the rings to the outfits to the party favors to the food was all included in that number. Furthermore, we're a queer and genderqueer couple who wanted to honor our different cultures' traditions (I'm Irish and Italian, he's Jewish) while also bucking the gender norms that a wedding ritual often entails. So this is how a Southern genderqueer trans guy and a femmebear get married. Tell us about the ceremony: It was supposed to be outside in a local park, but it rained. So we had to move it inside to the reception area, and the tables created our aisle. The guests sat on the built-in benches on the wall. Our friends played guitar and singing saw during the wedding procession. I walked down, escorted by my mother, to an acoustic version of Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is." Our officiant read the non-gendered, very consent-orientated ceremony out of a copy of Darwin's Origin of Species. She also did the entire speech from The Princess Bride. My vows included a traditional Celtic prayer which honored my Irish heritage: You cannot possess me for I belong to myself. But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give. You cannot command me, for I am a free person. But I shall serve you in those ways you require, And the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand. …I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night, And the eyes into which I smile in the morning. I pledge to you the first bite of my meat and the first drink from my cup. I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care. I shall be a shield for your back and you for mine. I shall not slander you, nor you me. I shall honor you above all others, and when we quarrel we shall do so in Private and tell no strangers our grievances. This is my wedding vow to you This is the marriage of equals. We also had our friend, a very brilliant Jewish scholar, recite some readings from the Torah in both Hebrew and English to honor Joey's culture. Our biggest challenge: The budget wasn't that difficult, to be honest, despite trying to spend only 550 dollars. The hardest part was balancing our radical anarchist ideals and the cultural traditions and rituals we both loved. The response from other queer anarchists made it difficult. My favorite moment: We wrote our own vows, and just hearing what we had to say to each other was so amazing and heart-expanding. Joey hates public speaking, but his vows were so genuine and heartfelt. At one point, our best friend Robyn (and my maid of honor) broke down during their toast and had to grasp the hand of their boyfriend, while their best friend held on to them, just so they could make it through their speech. After they finished, both my husband and I went to their side and hugged them and cried. My funniest moment: My brother, the photographer, brought one of his friends from art school to help photograph the wedding. He was this white, straight, cis guy, and we thought for sure he'd be uncomfortable and squicked by everything. Turns out he was the most enthusiastic, happy-go-luckiest human on the planet who never stopped dancing or photobombing everyone. Colin, you were a joy. Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I actually preferred having the ceremony inside, when all was said and done, because the music was so incredible and beautiful that it would have been a shame to have not been able to hear it. My advice for offbeat brides: Dresses that happen to be white are far, far less expensive than wedding dresses. Your friends want to help you and are also broke. Their wedding gift to you can be their talent. Our friends gifted us everything from 140 vegan cupcakes to their musical talents to video recording the whole thing. Let the experts do their job! What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? When it came down to the wire, nothing actually mattered more than our promises to each other. Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Value Village forever! Dress: Dorothy Perkins for $25 Photographer: Brian Walbergh Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS One-of-a-kind wedding ceremonies & handfastings from WorldTree Community NEXT Seven rice tossing and send-off alternatives for a very dramatic exit Show/Hide comments [ 15 ] Absolutely beautiful wedding for only $750. That's amazing! You are an inspiration to me (just beginning to plan). I hope that I look as beautiful on my wedding day as you did. Your dress was stunning. Best wishes for a happy future for you and your partner! Reply What a beautiful wedding! Just goes to show you dont need to spend lots of cash to have an amazing day!! Reply Fantastic!I love the old timey photos of the relatives and that shot of the two girls hugging the bride. So sweet! Many congratulations! Reply Is that a musical saw? That is awesome! Reply Absolutely beautiful! Congratulations! Reply Congratulations! You two look so happy. I echo everything everyone else has said, but just slightly off-topic, I really appreciated the links within the text to definitions of everyone's identities. You both rock for doing exactly what you as a couple wanted and not caving to either traditional politics or even queer anarchist politics. It's hard no matter what, so congrats again, and all the good health, love, and happiness you can possibly handle! 2 agree Reply it was great moment for those that love music. a great heart shape music cake. Reply Congratulations! I'm so impressed by the wonderful, customized wedding you crafted on such a tight budget. I love the Celtic prayer and the bride's dress. As HungryGrad said, way to go for having the wedding YOU wanted! Also, thank you for including a link to explain cisgender. I learned something today! 1 agrees Reply The Celtic prayer gave me shivers!! You both look beautiful! Reply I was at this wedding and it was truly one of the most beautiful and heartfelt events that I have ever been to. On top of that, Gus and Joey are two of the most wonderful human beings on the planet, and their ceremony reflected that perfectly. Reply I love everything about this! Congrats, and best wishes on your new life together =) Reply I second everything that others have said: Congratulations! Y'all look fabulous! What a beautiful and touching event this clearly was! And thanks for the education about "cisgender" – I too learned something new today Now I'm hoping that you'll be willing to educate me a little further about the use of the words "their" and "them" to refer to a single individual (your friend Robyn). I understand that transsexual people are to be referred to by the gender pronouns that correspond to the gender they identify with, but I've never encountered a person who identifies as "they" (or "we" in the first person, yes?). Does this tend to indicate a person who identifies as both male and female, or perhaps neither? I hope I'm not coming across as nosy or anything. As someone with a background in psychology, I just find it fascinating how many "flavors" people come in 1 agrees Reply I would also like to hear more about your MOH and the use of "they" and "them", etc… even more clicky links on the other gender-queer terms would be great! I love learning about all the "flavors" as well. I find it fascinating, beautiful, and inspiring. Reply That Celtic prayer is so beautiful! And I'm surprised that it put so much emphasis on equality. I'd love to know more about its background. Reply Beautiful wedding! Just wondering where in Milwaukee this was held… Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Participate in this conversation via email No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.