A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

October 23 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Jenny GG
A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion
Photos by Jenny GG

Offbeat partner: Molly, Software Designer

Offbeat partner: Caleb, Nonprofit Executive Admin

Date and location of wedding: Washington Hall, Seattle, WA — September 3, 2017

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

It was important to both of us to represent both of our faith traditions, and to incorporate our vibrant, polyamorous, queer, trans communities as much as possible. We had a huge wedding party (14 people!) because there are so many people who are incredibly dear to us.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion
Molly's boyfriend and ex-girlfriends getting her corset laced up

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion
Molly: "It was a really hot day, so I made good friends with our AC unit. I came close to marrying it that day."

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion
Molly handmade all of the bouquets out of paper. Her bouquet had her grandmother's class ring wound around it.

We DIYed almost EVERYTHING. I'm a huge crafter, but this was ambitious even for me. Caleb's mom helped us make giant paper flowers as decorations, Caleb's dad helped us make our light up marquee "LOVE" letters, I quilted our chuppah (wedding canopy), and we made all of the flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces out of paper.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion
Their giant paper flowers for their photobooth backdrop, in progress

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion
They called their wedding party The Order of the Phoenix because "they're all people who fight the evil of the world with us."

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

Our wedding was reflective of our DIY mentality, our incredibly supportive queer/trans/polyamorous communities and families, our different faith backgrounds, and our feminist values. We asked our guests to share their pronouns with us so that we could print them on their nametags for the day.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

My partner is a bearded, genderqueer, transfeminine person, and it was really important to us to be visible and proud about our relationship because so many people think that people like us can't (or don't deserve) to find love and happiness. Caleb rocked a gorgeous wine-colored wedding dress, while I went with a more traditional white gown, and we did our damndest to show the world that love like this will not be hidden.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

One of the ways we honored our feminist values was that neither of us took the other's surname. Instead, we created a whole new name. It was important to both of us to avoid wedding traditions that are historically rooted in property transfer. The tradition of a woman taking her husband’s name is an emblem of her ceasing to be her father’s property and becoming her husband’s property. Caleb taking my name would retain the symbolism of ownership and property transfer, but just in reverse. Neither of us wanted to engage in any wedding ritual implying that one of us is acquiring the other. We didn't want to keep our separate names because we wanted to honor the new family we are making together, and possibly pass the name down to kids (should we choose to have them). We didn't want to hyphenate because we think that just passes the problem down to the next generation. We wanted our new name to speak to our shared feminist values and honor the fact that we are creating something new with our partnership, while still having roots in that which shaped us. We each picked names from our matrilineal lines, and merged them into a whole new name.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

Tell us about the ceremony:

Caleb and I are from different faith backgrounds; Caleb is Episcopalian, and I am Jewish. It was important to us to represent both of our traditions, while not trying to flatten them into just their overlapping similarities. Our ceremony was officiated by Caleb's (queer femme) priest, and my rabbi, and we spent many months examining all of the wedding traditions from both of our faiths so that we could understand the meaning behind the rituals. We eliminated pieces that were about property exchange, or modified them with modern adaptations.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

I heavily referenced Engendering Judaism (Rachel Adler) and the Open Siddur Project while putting together the Jewish aspects of our ceremony. Because we are polyamorous, we also removed any references to exclusivity of our love and affection. Our vows included a commitment to support the love we give to others.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

My vows also included some of Anya's lines from her (ill-fated) wedding to Xander, because I'm a huge Buffy nerd:

"I, Molly, promise to love you, Caleb, to cherish you, to honor you, ah, but NOT to obey you, of course, because that's anachronistic and misogynistic and who you do you think you are, like a sea captain or something?"

For the ceremony, we stood under the chuppah (wedding canopy, representing home and community) that I quilted from fabrics donated from our friends and family. I also made our ketubah (Jewish wedding document) myself on my papercutting machine, and the Hebrew text at the top translates as, "To love is not to possess," which was a line from one of the readings we had during our ceremony.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion
Molly: "I had clearly been enjoying some of the whiskey from our tasting bar." HA!

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

Tell us about your reception:

Our reception was super fun! Caleb and I initially connected over a mutual love of whiskey, so we spent the last year touring local whiskey distilleries. We collected a sampling of our favorites and had the bartender hold whiskey tastings for our guests during the cocktail hour while we enjoyed our yichud (the Jewish practice of giving the couple some time alone after the wedding ceremony).

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

We have a big, supportive community of friends, chosen family, and relatives who came out to celebrate our day. My favorite aspect was how queer it was! We explicitly told our guests to wear whatever clothing was most gender-affirming for them, and it was wonderful to see so many of our loved ones (who often don't get to be themselves at big family events like weddings) get to rock their genders on our wedding day.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion
Molly and her girlfriend!

Our other partners were also incredibly supportive all day long, and made sure we got time to eat, breathe, and drink lots of that whiskey.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion
Molly and her boyfriend!
A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion
Molly's boyfriend and her new spouse dancing together!

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

Favorite activity was "the shoe game": we had our partners and wedding party come up with questions that our emcee asked us in front of everyone after we'd each had a bit to drink.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

We traded shoes, and sat back-to-back, and each held up the shoe of the person we thought the statement/question applied to. ("Who is better at puns?"…we both agreed that Caleb's partner Heath is better than EITHER of us at puns!)

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

What was your most important lesson learned?

I recommend a receiving line for large weddings. We didn't plan to have one, but one happened accidentally as our guests came back into the ballroom, and I'm SO glad that it did. Otherwise, there would have been so many people I didn't get to even say hello to that day. This way, I got to hug and say hello to pretty much everyone. I hadn't planned to have one (because honestly I thought the idea sounded forced and boring), but it was one of the best parts of the day to see how joyful everyone was about celebrating our relationship with us and connect individually with people even if it was brief.

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion

Vendors

A queer femme/transfeminine interfaith feminist celeGAYtion
"The chuppah (wedding canopy) that I quilted for us. It will end up being a quilt on our bed once I finish the back of it!"

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  1. Such an amazing, gorgeous couple! Love the entire look of the wedding and all the sheer joy in the photos!

    3 agree
  2. This is so beautiful and affirming…and those paper flowers. WOW. Just. Wow. This was a wonderful wedding to read about! Mazel Tov, Molly and Caleb!

    2 agree
  3. This is absolutely perfect. =) Congratulations to the couple and all their partners, and thanks so much for sharing it here!!

    2 agree
  4. So much joy and beauty shining in all of your pictures! I wish I could have been there to share it with you. So Much Happy!

    1 agrees
  5. I flipped out like a ninja at this. ALL of it! The love, the quirk, the cheek, the queer, the trad, the EVERYTHING. The dresses, srsly that red one Caleb's rocking is… oh my. OH my.

    But best of all… telling their guests to wear whatever gender-affirming clothing they felt most comfortable in, and then, oh, I LOVE this one: NAME CARDS with PRONOUNS! (And table placement too).
    Not only does it put in cracks in the gender binary-thing, but also, how many of us didn't meet a staggering amount of people during various weddings, and wish we could remember at the very least their names? Or remember them for more than about five seconds after greeting them. Brilliant. Brrrrilliant.

    Congrats, Molly and Caleb, and your partners too!

    2 agree
  6. gah! They are freakin' cutest! What a rad, wonderful way to include their community and to find that balance between traditions that mean something to them and creating new ones. <3

    2 agree
  7. Love getting to see the pics and read all about your celebration! Love to you both!

    1 agrees
  8. I want to be friends with these people. They seem like my kind of people. Sincerely, a cantor who hangs out in queer/trans/poly spaces a LOT. P.S. Mazel tov!

  9. I'm so excited you used that Buffy line! I'm planning on opening my vows with it too (shh! It's a surprise for my fiance). Love your wedding. <3

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