Psyche & Legend's colorful queer Burner campout wedding

August 8 |

We teased this colorful Burner wedding in a recent Monday Montage and knew you wouldn't want to wait long to see it!

Psyche & Legend's Wedding
Photos by friends of the couple, Nicholas and DJ

The offbeat bride: Psyche, Psychotherapist (and Tribesmaid)

Her offbeat partner: Legend, Psychology student

Date and location of wedding: SOAK*, Portland's regional Burning Man event. This year it was held at Prindel Creek Farm in Tidewater, OR — June 23, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Burning Man has played an important role in our relationship since the beginning. It naturally became an important part of our wedding as well. Most of our wedding guests were burners and we met our best man when we camped next to him our first year. We held the ceremony at a regional event and invited everyone to participate in whatever creative way called to them.

Psyche & Legend's Wedding

Psyche & Legend's Wedding

The wedding party was asked to wear whatever they felt best expressed their awesomeness. Our "Madam of Fabulousnesss" (maid of honor) created gift bags with items to represent each of the 10 Principles as favors. Most importantly, our community spent an entire weekend camping in chilly, rainy weather and still had an amazing time bonding with each other. I've already heard several proposals for making it an annual get together. [Personal aside from Ariel: Eight years after our camping wedding, we're still doing our annual camp-out. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.]

Wedding @ SOAK*

Tell us about the ceremony: Each member of our wedding party was invited to read or sing something they chose. I asked our officiant to read "A definition of marriage" from Goodridge Vs. Department of Health by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, and my seven-year-old read "A Lovely Love Story" by Edward Monkton.

Psyche & Legend's Wedding

I read Alyssa's monologue from the movie Chasing Amy:

I've given [it] a lot of thought, you know? And what I've come up with is really simple: I came to this on my terms. I didn't just heed what I was taught, you Psyche & Legend's Weddingknow? Men and women should be together, it's the natural way — that kind of thing. I'm not with you because of what family, society, life tried to instill in me from day one. The way the world is — how seldom you meet that one person who gets you. It's so rare.

My parents didn't really have it. There was no example set for me in the world of male/female relationships. And to cut oneself off from finding that person — to immediately halve your options by eliminating the possibility of finding that one person within your own gender… that just seemed stupid. So I didn't. And by leaving my options open, I was branded "gay," which to me was no big deal — labels are labels, you know? They define what you do, not who you are, I guess. But then you come along. You — the one least likely; I mean, you were a guy. And while I was falling for you, I put a ceiling on that, because you were a guy. Until I remembered why I opened the door to women in the first place: to not limit the likelihood of finding that one person who'd complement me so completely.

And so here we are, I was thorough when I looked for you, and I feel justified lying in your arms — because I got here on my terms, and have no question that there was someplace I didn't look. And that makes all the difference.

Psyche & Legend's Wedding

Legend sang a song he wrote for me after our first date. We included a sand ceremony as a symbol of the four of us coming together as a family, and a handfasting as a way to include our Pagan faith. A broom jumping was included at the last minute when our priestess and officiant surprised us with a handmade broom.

Psyche & Legend's Wedding

IMG_9114Our biggest challenge: I was finishing up grad school when I proposed to Legend. This meant we spent our entire engagement with almost no money to spend on the wedding. We tried to keep our guest list very small in order to keep costs down, but our parents had other ideas. Our solution was to invite anyone who wanted to come, but they had to be willing to spend the weekend camping at a Burning Man event. It's amazing how quickly our guest list shrunk after that — but no one felt left out.

My favorite moment: I'm a queer-identified woman who has based my professional and academic work in the LGBTQ community. My decision to get married involved a lot of introspection beyond, "is this the person I want to spend my life with." Since I married a cisgender man, it would have been really easy for my queer identity to become invisible in the process. This was why I chose to read the monologue from Chasing Amy. I was more nervous about this than probably any other aspect of the wedding because it was a very honest statement about myself, and I wasn't sure how well it would be received by my future in-laws. It turned out to be just fine.

It also gave me one of my favorite pictures: Legend wiping tears from his eyes with two fists, baby-style, as he tried to pull himself together to sing afterward.

Psyche & Legend's Wedding

My funniest moment: My 11-year-old daughter wanted to sing the processional in the ceremony, but we were having difficulty agreeing on a song. She thought all of our suggestions were boring and we weren't interested in having a Katy Perry song as part of our wedding. We finally agreed on one song, and we all walked in to her rendition of Billy Idol's "White Wedding."

Psyche & Legend's WeddingWas there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Our friends and family helped us with almost every aspect of our wedding weekend. Sometimes this meant managing anxiety over how things would turn out because it was completely out of my control. It also meant that we found ourselves without anyone to officiate a month before the wedding. We changed officiants three times because our first two weren't able to afford the trip. But it also meant we ended up with spectacular things we never would have come up with on our own, like our attire and having a dear friend and former housemate marry us.

Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? I was married before and this was Legend's first wedding. My first wedding was a traditional, fancy event and not at all me. This time I wanted to go very small and simple. Legend's vision of the wedding had my maid of honor calling him "the princess bride." What we ended up with was a balance of both and a perfect expression of who we are and what we value most as a couple.

Psyche & Legend's Wedding

Psyche & Legend's Wedding

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Photography: friends of the couple, Nicholas and DJ
  • Bride's dress, groom's attire, bouquets and accesories: Diana McCaul

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. Ok, I have to know, is "Legend" his actual legal name given to him by his parents on his birth certificate? Because my honey's parents named him Legend, and it would be crazy if there were more than one! :)

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    • Wow! Yes, Legend is his actual legal name. I only know one other Legend. He is an acquaintance's baby.

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      • Crazy! :) My Legend (33) would like to know how old your Legend is. I think he wants to know who's the first ;)

        Lovely wedding! I think "The wedding party was asked to wear whatever they felt best expressed their awesomeness" is my favorite part. Also, I can sympathize with the reading from Chasing Amy. I'm bisexual and it's hard to explain to people sometimes that my being attracted to women wasn't just a phase in college, I'm still bi, even if I am with a man.

        If for some reason, you're ever in Toledo, Ohio, my Legend & I will buy your Legend & you dinner. I think my honey is tickled at the idea that there's another one. :)

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        • Does your Legend also get asked if that's his "real" name a lot and/or mistakenly called some variation of Reggie?
          My Legend is 38. I will let him know he has a doppleganger in Toledo and we'll take you up on dinner if we're ever in your neck of the woods. Thanks! :)

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          • Yeah, people seem to need a lot of reassurance that it's his real name and some people think it's his last name and that his last name is his first name (Montgomery). Some people have even demanded to see his license. No one's ever called him Reggie as far as I know.

            Aw, I think my honey will be sad he wasn't the first. ;)

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          • I'm having one more baby when the time is right, and this convo makes me want a boy so I can name him "Legend." That is frikkin' amazeballs!!!

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  2. Love love love this. Love the colours, love the vibe, love the clothes, LOVE THIS COUPLE.

    Whenever I see brides with the faux-red going on, I want to ask what sort of dye they're using. My hair colour is quite similar and I either use Punky Colours 'Vermillion Red' or Special Effects 'Nuclear Red'.

    Aaaanyway, y'all are gorgeous. <3

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    • Aww shucks! Thanks!
      I blend two shades of Manic Panic to get my color: Vampire Red and Pillar Box Red. A true red requires a lot of touching up but the results are definitely worth it.

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  3. Ooo, the Chasing Amy monologue and your story made me cry. I'm also a queer girl (and very very femme to boot) partnered to a male-bodied person. It's so nice to be reminded I'm not alone in my experiences.

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    • Bird, I teared up reading your comment! That monologue gets me every time I watch the movie. It is so nice to be reminded we're not alone and we don't have to be invisible.

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  4. I had a blast shooting this wedding and was very pleased at how well the colors turned out. It was easy to capture the awesomeness with such photogenic participants. The red against the green just popped so beautifully. I'm stoked for you two!

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  5. Oh I love this so much! It's so beautiful and I can tell its an extension of your personality and a true celebration of your love. This is something I've been struggling to find for my own wedding, but I seriously think that by reading this I have a little bit of a better idea.

    I also love the green shrug, it looks like a piece of moss and reminds me on something I fairy or forest nymph would wear :3.

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  6. Psyche and Legend, CONGRATULATIONS!
    Psyche, WOW, first, I too have loved and been loved by both female-bodied and male-bodied persons. I am also a very femme-looking woman whose work (I am a professor and a therapist, as well) has been dedicated to Queer Studies. I am now engaged to a female-born, transitioning to male, person. He is the love of my life and when he asked me to marry him, I immediately struggled with everything you mentioned. I still do! Our wedding is set for 10.13.13. I have never heard of the moving Chasing Amy, but I am going to look for it and I am, most certainly, going to find a way to include that piece in our ceremonies. All the best to you and Legend #1 and thank you again, Ariel for OBB! YOU ROCK!!!

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    • Shari I'm intrigued, where do you teach? Congrats on your future nuptials. I'm glad you're inspired to include the Chasing Amy piece. I'm a big Kevin Smith fan. Its a great movie.

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      • Thanks so much, Psyche! I am in Michigan; Ann Arbor, to be exact. My current teaching assignments are at Eastern Michigan University.

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  7. I am loving the attire on everyone! The bride's dress & fascinator is FABULOUS! I could never pull off that look but it looks like soo much fun!! Beautiful!

    Very unexpectingly, I had an A-ha moment reading the Chasing Amy quote. I'm gay, not bi but reading it gave me a new perspective, or understanding for the position some queer ladies are in. It made me tear up a little!

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  8. YAY! A burner wedding! My honey and I got engaged at Alchemy, the GA burn, and we are having a burner wedding there next fall. I am curious how you incorporated the 10 Principles into your wedding…? Our engagement was an act of Immediacy because he proposed on a whim with no plan and no ring. But it was amazing and we spent the rest of the burn celebrating our love. Thanks for sharing your wedding!

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    • Congrats on your engagement!

      Some examples of how we included the 10 principles were:
      Participation, Radical Inclusion, and Gifting: Anyone who wanted to come to the wedding was welcome and everyone was invited to participate in a way that called to them from the beginning of our engagement. This is how we end up with friend made attire, cakes, readings/poems, invitations, meals and more.

      Which also helped with decommodification in that, other than our rings and the keg we purchased, we did our best to stay out of buying things to make a wedding.

      My wonderful Maid of Honor made favor bags for the guests that included info about the 10 principles as well as things like a reusable cup to use throughout the wedding weekend (which we called Radical Self-Reliance).

      And then of course we ended the weekend by teaching our virgin guests how to do a MOOP check and leave no trace.

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  9. SO much awesome, you all!!!
    My honey and I met and started dating before our first trip to b'man–which was two months after we started dating, and nearly two years after we met. We didn't directly have much stuff related to the Event in our wedding, but definitely had friends we wouldn't have otherwise had there, and my personal style evolution was influenced by the freedom out there. ;)
    Rock on!

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