Becca & Tara's Autumn lesbian historic inn wedding

November 3 |
Walking down the aisle
Photos by Chelsea Kyle

The offbeat bride: Becca, Writer

Her offbeat partner: Tara, Carpenter

Date and location of wedding: The Publick House Historic Inn, Sturbridge, MA — September 25, 2011

What made our wedding offbeat: Starting with the obvious, we're two women. Neither of us wore a white dress. Tara wore black and I wore red. In fact, we asked the bridal party to wear white! I thought it was a fun play on tradition, plus white matched both of our dresses.

We skimped on flowers. Every member of the wedding party got a DIYed calla lily boutonniere and I had a DIYed bouquet. Other than that, there were no flowers to be seen.

Placecards

Reception Hall

We also didn't have a specific theme. Our venue was an early-American inn, some bridesmaids donned 1940s style victory roll hairdos, I wore a birdcage veil, and we had music from 1950 to 2011. Pumpkins, fall leaves, and acorns sat beside oil lanterns for decorations. Our ceremony was a patchwork of old and new. Our ceremony music was indie rock and we were announced at the reception to "Super Bass" by Nicki Minaj (I think that might have scared my grandparents).

Becca and Tara

Tell us about the ceremony: We created our ceremony from scratch with help from our officiant. We didn't have any specific format to play on, since we are both atheists. I knew I wanted a handfasting ceremony incorporated, and Tara wanted us to write our own vows. We did both, and then some.

Handfasting ceremony

We walked down the aisle together, as equals. We originally wanted to walk down with all our parents, but the aisle wasn't wide enough for three people at once. We both felt uncomfortable deciding between a parent to walk us down, so we walked in together instead.

Ceremony reading

We had three readings: "Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog" by Taylor Mali, "somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond" by e.e. cummings, and a reading our officiant crafted herself, about our relationship and how it works. She had everyone laughing and crying.

Along with our handfasting ceremony and handwritten vows, we included a wine box ceremony at the end. Our bridesmaid Christen got us a bottle of wine that will peak on our fifth anniversary, and Tara built a box for it to rest in. The night before the wedding, we wrote letters to one another to remind us in five years of why we fell in love. We chose this specific ceremony because it incorporated a strength of Tara's (carpentry in constructing the box), a strength of mine (writing the letter), and something we both enjoy (wine).

Bridesmaids

Our biggest challenge: RSVPs were a struggle for us from the start. There were many cases of people RSVPing yes, then not showing, or never RSVPing at all, then assuming they could just show up for a plated dinner. The only thing we could really do about that was take a deep breath and forget about it.

The week before the wedding, I had a bridesmaid tell me that not only was she pulling herself from the wedding, but she wouldn't be attending at all. We took the same action as before (deep breaths), but this time we had to make some changes. We had to rearrange the wedding party order, both for the ceremony and being announced at the reception, and remove her from the head tables. Not a lot of work, but there were a lot of individual people we had to notify, which was emotionally taxing and stressful. The 80 programs we had made the week before remained with her name in them.

Ceremony

My favorite moment: The ceremony, even though I was painfully anxious the entire time, was wonderful. I surprised myself by holding it together (not crying) the entire time! However, I almost lost it when Tara read her vows to me. I had heard them before, even helped her write them, but hearing her read them with everyone rapt, her voice shaking a little, her eyes a little glassy… yeah, it got me.

Caramel apple favors

My funniest moment: We had a homemade photobooth we made using a room divider, a table, a chair, and Sparkbooth software. Quite a few unlikely people ventured in there — including my grandparents! The photos were adorable and hilarious, but we didn't get to see those until after the reception when we took my computer home.

Dancing

People also got really into the dancing — just what I wanted! This was the only time when our families really interacted at all, so it was really great to have people go from not speaking to shouting Lady Gaga lyrics at one another.

Dancing

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Besides the typical guest list drama (which we astoundingly avoided — everyone was on their best behavior), someone stepped on my dress about fifteen minutes into dancing and completely ripped off the bustle. My train was pretty long and there's no way I could dance with it hanging out all night (without further rips). My cousin tried to repair the bustle right on the dance floor, but my bridesmaid Christen came running up and shoved my train into the back of my dress. It looked ridiculous, but it worked. I danced for the rest of the night with my dress tucked into itself.

First Dance

My advice for offbeat brides: Amidst all the planning craziness, block out one day a week where you can be with your partner alone. Don't talk about wedding stuff. Don't talk about money. Enjoy one another, because this is the reason you're throwing this big party in this first place: because of how awesome you are. Don't forget that.

Shoes again

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Ignore everyone else. No, really. Some people really like drama. Some people really like tradition. Some people really don't like your friends, the color they have to wear, or where you're having your wedding. Ignore everyone. You know what you want and so does your partner (hopefully the ideas don't conflict).

Cake Topper

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Ohhh what a cute custom cake topper!! Where did they get it??

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  2. I love the idea of putting the bridesmaids in white. I'm wearing a blue wedding dress and my bridesmaids will be in ivory with a blue sash. Also love the venue it looks gorgeous. Congratulations!

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  3. Thanks guys!
    A bridesmaid actually made the cake topper for us as a gift!

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  4. Love the dresses, especially the dainty shoes ;)

    The venue is breathtaking, exposed beams, yum and I also love the super cute cake topper.

    I love the attitude you both had towards your wedding! You're so right about that, people will either like or not, in the end it's your wedding.

    Have a wonderful married life.

    Sid

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  5. ZOMG…the shoes. ZOMG…the wedding party in white! ZOMG…beautiful smiling faces. What a great wedding this seems to have been ^_^

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  6. What a beautiful wedding! I LOVE the red dress, also did the white bridal party myself and think it looks amazing in photos. It was hard for us to forget about the guest drama, too (my youngest brother caused a lot a few days before and didn't end up coming). But for all brides, that's the best advice! Just forget it, forget it all! Be happy together, do your own thang, be happy together. Again, beautiful wedding and congratulations.

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  7. It was a great wedding ! I only wish I could have been up there dancing!

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  8. love it! the matching boots and cake topper really make it for me :D

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  9. Thank you both for sharing your wedding day. Lots of great stuff going on there and great ideas and confirmations on what my girlfriend and I are planning for our wedding!

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  10. Beautiful wedding! I adore your dresses and having everyone else in white.

    BTW, the story about the train and tucking it in the dress sounds so much like my best friend and I, whom will be bridesmaids in each others wedding.

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