Morgan & Nicole's dreamy mountain wedding

March 29 |  
Photos by: Lisa Redfern
Hand in HandPhotos by Lisa Redfern

The Offbeat Bride: Morgan

Her offbeat partner: Nicole

Date and location of wedding: Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta, Canada — September 22, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Nicole and I got married in the mountains in Banff, which made for amazing scenery. We booked the famous Fairmont Banff Springs hotel for our reception. We put a lot of our budget into photography. Since it was a budget breaker, we decided to do all the planning and decoration ourselves. We made the wish tree, table hearts, name tags on corks, and bride sign on the back of the chairs. We even had a friend of ours bake vegan cupcakes for our dessert, Oreo cookie and lime margarita flavor!

Face to Face

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fernish/8379053250

Cupcakes
Dock
Ceremony

Tell us about the ceremony: We had the ceremony on a dock outside of the hotel with the mountains as the backdrop. Here was our favorite reading from The Velveteen Rabbit:

'What is REAL?' asked the Rabbit one day… 'Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?'
'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When someone loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'
'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.
'Sometimes," said the Horse. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'
'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'
'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand… once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.'
Kiss
The Signing
Window Light Brides

Our biggest challenge: Being a lesbian isn't something with which all of the family members were the most comfortable, especially Nicole's family. She has always had trouble being herself and being gay, especially around family members. This was such an incredible experience for the both of us. It both forced us "out of the closet" even more than we already were. We had to buy two gowns and tell the whole store we were the ones getting married… to each other! Buying wedding bands, booking a limo, booking the reception room… everything was a challenge of talking about being gay.

Hallway Kiss
Hand in Hand
Hand In Hand

Walking around holding hands in two white dresses in a fully booked hotel, and having to kiss in front of everyone watching was new, too. People even took pictures of us because they couldn't believe it was two women getting married. It was amazing, and even Nicole feels more comfortable being herself and holding my hand in public. It was such a beautiful experience to not only marry my best friend but also to become less afraid of being who we are.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fernish/8028735075

Lake Minnewanka

My favorite moment: Staying in the honeymoon suite at the Fairmont was incredible. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience at that cost, but so worth it. We even had a spiral staircase up to the bedroom — I felt like a princess.

Dock

My funniest moment: We realized that the water level had dropped since we had picked out our ceremony location four months prior. We actually had to be lifted down onto the dock! Then the dock almost went under the water from all the family and friends on it! Thankfully, no one fell in.

Butterfly

My advice for Offbeat Brides: Just remember to breathe on the day of, even though things get stressful and vendors are late, it will be fine as long as you remember why you're there.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
You truly realize how much your friends and family love you, and who really loves and supports you for being yourself and no one else. Although there were a few "non-accepting" individuals at the wedding, I couldn't believe the support and love from the rest of our families. It felt like what we had wanted our whole lives, and finally it was okay to be just the way we are.

Wheeeee!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. You two are the most gorgeous couple I've EVER seen! I'm seriously in awe.

    56 agree
  2. "It was such a beautiful experience to not only marry my best friend but also to become less afraid of being who we are."

    This made me tear up and then feel angry.

    Happy tears because its a positive statement. Angry because we live in a world where people feel afraid of who they are because of other people.

    Finally I must say that although the venue looks stunning, it was outdone by two awesome and beautiful brides!

    40 agree
    • Thank you for the lovely comment. And yes, I know exactly what you mean, all we can do is try and continue to educate the world around us so that more and more people can learn to be comfortable in their own skin!

      9 agree
  3. Beautiful couple. I love the photo of everyone on the dock. Looks like a lovely wedding.

    3 agree
    • Thank you! The dock was such a neat experience… I was so terrified of a) falling in or b) dropping the rings and having them fall in. Haha, at least it all worked out :)

      1 agrees
      • Hello my name is koos burger my mom and her wife just got married. And it is like now one is seporting them in thayr happynes so what can thay do ? I told them to egnore awery one and think about thayr self for ones . May I gust ad that you wedding was sa buatiful may you be happy for ever.

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  4. Okay. I have to comment twice. I love everything about this wedding. You are both so incredibly beautiful and look so incredibly happy.

    6 agree
  5. You two are gorgeous!!!! Love the lake ceremony and the dresses are very pretty. <3 <3

    3 agree
  6. I gotta say, whatever you spent on your photography was worth every penny and then some because these pictures are GORGEOUS. Also, both of those dresses are total stunners!

    13 agree
    • Everything we spent was worth while, it turned out to be such a beautiful day and something we will always remember! Thank you for the comment.

      0 agree
  7. Um, that "dark, romantic hallway" shot is giving me an eye-gasm. Just… wow. Beauty and old-school and two brides in love all mixed together and FANTASTIC. Yes, spending your whole budget on a photographer was worth it.

    13 agree
    • Hahaha, it is one of our favorite photos as well!

      1 agrees
  8. So amazingly beautiful, both brides and all the photos! I like to think that some of the random people taking photos, instead of thinking "I can't believe two women are getting married!" were thinking "What gorgeous brides, I'm so happy for them!"

    8 agree
    • I would like to think that as well! Most of the people we encountered wish us congratulations :)

      1 agrees
  9. Damnit you two are gorgeous! Love love love everything!

    5 agree
  10. I just pinned the cupcake photo to my Pinterest board. They look so delish!
    And I really really wish we had a hotel like that in my area. *sigh*

    Everything about this wedding looks fabulous! <3 <3

    1 agrees
    • Thanks for the pin! Yes, we lucked out living close enough to such an incredible hotel with such gorgeous scenery.

      0 agree
  11. omg! What a beautiful wedding, with two hot brides! my future wife and I are feminine lesbians, so I love seeing weddings with beautiful ladies both wearing white dresses like we will be :p

    3 agree
    • Thank you so much for the lovely comments…also congrats to you both!!!

      0 agree
  12. Such beauty in everything!

    What caught my eye first was how, in the very first photo, your heads and arms form a heart, and it's all yin and yang-y because of the blonde and black hair :)

    Best wishes for a long and happy life together!

    7 agree
    • Ha! It's because they are beautiful in their dresses… My Guy and I could never make such a wonderful picture as this one! :)

      1 agrees
      • Thank you both so much for the lovely comment :)

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  13. "It was such a beautiful experience to not only marry my best friend but also to become less afraid of being who we are."

    I teared up. Congratulations on all your happiness!

    6 agree
  14. Wow! Wow! Wow!… Two beautiful brides… I love the frocks, the tats, the location ( I used to work at the Hotel but am now back in Australia) so the lovely photo's brought back great memories. Congratulations you two. May you have a wonderful life and marriage together. xoxoxoxox

    2 agree
  15. GORGEOUS! The beautiful brides, the location, the photographs – everything is so gorgeous!! Best wishes to the two of you!!!

    1 agrees
  16. I know my thoughts have been written down many times already, but I also teared up when I "It was such a beautiful experience to not only marry my best friend but also to become less afraid of being who we are." I am so happy for the two of you, and wish you joy and happiness for years to come! Congratulations on the beautiful venue, fantastic weather, and most of all… to each other!
    xx

    3 agree
  17. So beautiful. Actual tears. I wish you both all the love and luck in the world.

    1 agrees
    • Awh, thank you so much for the lovely comment.

      0 agree
  18. I adore Banff. It's so beautiful. I have been for a wander around the Banff Springs hotel and it's gorgeous. I am in awe of your amazing wedding photographs and, indeed, your wedding. You both look stunning – congratulations ladies!

    1 agrees
  19. Stunningly beautiful brides. They look so so happy! Just a perfect wedding. :) Congratulations to two stunning brides and best wishes for your future together.

    2 agree
  20. Oh my goodness. what a stunning set of brides! Love love LOVE how this was about accepting themselves more as well. The pictures are amazing, love your style, you are both SO GORGEOUS! <3

    2 agree
  21. OMG…way too much beauty right here!! I almost teared up at the picture of the two of you in the hallway under the painting. Wow. Congrats to you beautiful ladies! I wish you guys the best!!

    1 agrees
  22. So lovely. This give me courage for the future. I'm working out the same courage/being-myself business, and this is really inspiring. thank you!!

    2 agree
    • That is so wonderful to hear, I'm glad that perhaps we could help and give you the courage to be yourself!

      0 agree
  23. Oh my gosh you guys are such a cute couple. And those dresses! And that backdrop! Amazing.

    1 agrees
  24. My God. You are both so beautiful, and I am an absolute sucker for girls with mohawks. So hot! ;)
    Congratulations!

    1 agrees
  25. Wow. Every cent towards photography was well spent! Amazing photos, amazing location.
    You both are unbelievably photogenic – just gorgeous!! And you said you saved money by doing all the decorating yourselves – you did such an amazing job that it would have been a waste to have someone else do it!!
    Congratulations on your nuptials, and I wish you a happy life together filled with love, laughter and happy tears. Thanks for sharing your day with us all! x

    1 agrees
  26. Beautiful pictures and Gorgeous couple!! year and year of health and happiness!

    1 agrees
  27. I love the tattoos! My BFF is getting married next August, and her sleeve will be done by then. I'm totally showing her these photos! I don't know if it's Morgan or Nicole, but WOW!
    Both dresses are GORGEOUS! You gals look very happy together :)

    1 agrees
  28. OMG you two are absolutely gorgeous! The money on photography was incredibly well spent! And your dresses are truly stunning. Congratulations on your big coming out and commitment to each other! I know first hand that it's not easy explaining to vendors the situation but somehow you find the ones that are worth it and those that are just not right for you. Thank you for sharing this with all of us and I wish you the best!

    1 agrees
  29. BEAUTIFUL LADIES! Congratulations to you both, Excellent choice for venue. So pretty.

    1 agrees
  30. These photographs are amazing. You ladies look so pretty and I love your story. :)

    1 agrees
  31. Thank you so much for sharing your story! My bride-to-be and I are encountering the same issues with being comfortable enough to share our ceremony with not so accepting family members. Also, I'm vegan and want to have vegan cupcakes at our wedding, too! Congrats to both of you beautiful brides and thank you for setting such an example!

    1 agrees
  32. GORGEOUS! What a beautiful wedding and two beautiful brides :) I am also getting married at The Springs, and noticed that all of their promo material was very, how shall we say…."conventional." I'm glad to see the venue was accepting off your offbeat-ness: tats, two brides, and everything!

    I will be in the same boat as you, budget-wise. My Italian heritage means we're maxing the budget out on food and wine and will have to DIY just about everything else to make up for it. I'm even baking my own cupcakes :) I'm worried that DIY will look shabby in such a grand venue, but your décor has given me hope and courage. Fingers crossed mine will look half as nice!

    PS what kind of flowers are those in your bouquets?

    1 agrees
  33. Every inch of this wedding is stunning. Beautiful location, incredible photography, and two of the most lovely brides I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing your day!

    1 agrees
  34. Gorgeous brides – so many beautiful touches to you wedding and amazing photography. Congrats :)

    1 agrees
  35. Your reading from the Velveteen Rabbit made me cry and my heart go all squinchy – it's also in the film "The Christmas Bunny" and that quote makes me well up every time. I think it's so beautiful that you got it into your wonderful wedding.

    1 agrees
  36. Both of you could not be more radiant and beautiful! Your photographer was worth every penny…those pictures are amazing! The Velveteen Rabbit reading is one of my favorites as well and it will be read at our wedding, even though I know I'll cry. Wishing you two a lifetime of laughter together!

    1 agrees
  37. Love this! After 20 years of marriage for myself and 24years of marriage for my partner, we found each other and for the first time in our lives we both feel complete. We have been together for a year and want nothing more than to be married. Most of our family has been so supportive but we are still concerned about how they will feel about our getting married. Your story has given me the inspiration and that little push I think we needed to include our families in our celebration. So inspiring and truly beautiful ladies. Thank you for sharing!

    1 agrees

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