An intimate rustic Christmas wedding with a baby reveal #Real Weddings: Northeast US#barn#birdcage veil#christmas#connecticut#pregnant bride#rustic wedding#short dress#short hair#winter December 24 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photos by: OhKarina Photography Photos by OhKarina Photography The Offbeat Bride: Julie, Environmental Scientist Her offbeat partner: Ryan, Underwriter Date and location of wedding: Pavilion on Crystal Lake, Middletown, CT — December 6, 2014 Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Ryan and I had been together for 12 years and always planned to get married. However, when I found out I was pregnant, we decided we wanted to do it before the baby arrived which gave us about three months. We wanted a wedding without pomp and circumstance where we could spend as much time with our guests as possible, especially since many were traveling from out-of-town. We quickly found a venue that fit the bill, a converted barn where the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception were all in one room. Because we wanted as much time with our guests as possible, in addition to the wedding, we hosted a welcome dinner the Friday before the wedding at the Ryan's parents' house (catered with some of the best BBQ in the Northeast), an after-party at the hotel bar (with New Haven-style pizza from MONDO Pizza), and a Sunday morning brunch catered by the Inn at Middletown. We didn't have a bridal party, and wanted to be present at the cocktail hour, so we opted to take all of our pictures before the ceremony (we even helped each other get ready). We included our immediate families in the pre-ceremony photos, and took extended family group shots at the cocktail hour. Since the wedding would be in December, we opted for a Christmas-themed wedding. We opted to not use a florist. Instead we decorated the space with three live Christmas trees and made our centerpieces from pine and cedar roping, birch logs, antique jars (which we already had from various tag/estate sales), fresh cranberries, and candles. I made the bouquet and boutonniere from leftover greenery from the centerpieces and flowers purchased at Whole Foods the day before. We are big into craft beer and consider ourselves foodies, so having good beer and food options was important to us (even though I couldn't drink!). Luckily, our venue allowed us to bring some of our own beer. Ryan's brother and parents drove up to Vermont the week before to get the rare and highly coveted Heady Topper (four cases, a very difficult task) and we were able to acquire a keg of another rare beer, Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout, which we served in growlers. The venue served many locally sourced foods, and our cupcakes were made by our favorite cupcake truck/store NoRa Cupcakes. We found out the gender of our baby three days before the wedding, so we decided to keep it a secret until the wedding and tell everyone all at once. Ryan's sister offered to help us with the surprise "gender reveal" and filled a big box with balloons corresponding to the sex. Instead of doing a cake cutting ceremony, we gave a toast to our guests, and opened up the box. It was great to see the look on our parents faces when they found out we were having a girl! Tell us about the ceremony: We had quick non-religious ceremony, officiated by Ryan's best friend growing up, Lee. It was short, sweet, and personal, done with very little planning. Neither Lee nor Ryan and I knew what he was going to say until the day before. Lee cleared the final draft with me five minutes before the ceremony started. My favorite moment: I really wanted to be present at our wedding and experience each moment. I wasn't thinking about what was wrong or what was right, or what was happening next, I was enjoying the party and the people. For me there wasn't one most moment that was the most meaningful, but a combination of small moments: dancing with a cousin I haven't seen in two years, hugging my mom and dad after they found out I was having a baby girl, eating dinner with new husband, listening to Ryan's sister's impromptu toast, and enjoying time with all the people who came out to celebrate. Vendors Dress: Catherine Deane via BHLDN Headpiece: Batcakes Couture Shoes: ModCloth Hair/Makeup: Andrea DiLieto Photographer: OhKarina Photography Cake: NoRA Cupcakes Venue/Planner: CT Wedding Group Transportation: DATTCO Lodging: Inn at Middletown Welcome dinner Caterer: Bear's BBQ Suit: Joseph Abboud via Men's Warehouse 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 10 offbeat and useful things to add to your wedding registry NEXT How weddings & masturbation are more related than you think Show/Hide comments [ 10 ] I know OBB publishes the bride's words (and am definitely not bashing on her because embracing their baby at their wedding is super cute!), but the balloons revealed the sex, not the gender. Nobody will know the gender of the baby until they're old enough to tell everyone. Considering how inclusive the site is to varying gender identities I guess I was just surprised to something like that go unquestioned. 14 agree Reply There's a time to nitpick like Sheldon Cooper & there's a time to just say "congrats & I'm happy for you about your wedding & new baby." 18 agree Reply I would argue this is a very real concern in the trans community, and to dismiss it as "nitpick like Sheldon Cooper" is bordering on the No Drama policy. 4 agree Reply TL;DR – It's a reasonable mistake for someone to make, and I agree with you. Maybe an editor could contact the bride and ask for permission to rephrase. The long version: I agree with you regarding the correct usages of the words "gender" and "sex". I also think it's an understandable mistake on the bride's part considering how prevalent "gender reveals" have become recently, further cementing the incorrect word into our vocabulary. It also seems as though America's dysfunctional attitude toward sex in general makes people feel uncomfortable using the word in its correct sense. We feel more comfortable with the word "gender" and a lot of people mistakenly believe the two words are synonyms. I agree that correcting these mistakes seems appropriate in a forum like OBB that strives to be on the forefront of such issues. Being able to accurately articulate new concepts improves comprehension, so by encouraging members of our community to use the right words, we are increasing recognition of these fundamental ideas about identity. 5 agree Reply Thank you guys so much for flagging this wording. I agree with everything Juliana said… this is one of those editorial issues where the word "gender" isn't accurate, but it's also the word that's become commonly used with these kinds of reveals. While having "Baby sex reveal" is more accurate and inclusive, it's clearly awkward for its own reasons. We've contacted the bride to see if we can change her wording in the post itself, and in the meantime we've removed the word "gender" from our title. As always, what I most appreciate here is that we have readers who will call out this stuff! Inclusive language is important to us, and this is a post where we could have done better. 1 agrees Reply The gender reveal is so sweet and you can just feel the happiness from the photos! What a great idea to include the baby and add another little celebration. The bride and groom look amazing! 3 agree Reply I love how sweet this wedding is – it's festive but not super christmassy, and it just makes me feel so happy looking at it! Reply what a lovely looking celebration and what a exciting announcement to be able to make at ones wedding! Reply "Gender reveal" parties make me really uncomfortable, both the notion that you can tell a person's gender from the shape of their genitals AND the rigid binary blue=boy, pink=girl colour-coding. I kind of expect better from Offbeat than to celebrate this kind of thing. It feels like a big step backwards. Let kids be kids, dress them in all the colours, let them play with all the toys; don't start pigeonholing them before they're even born. Reply We're pretty big into gender-neutrality in these parts: http://offbeathome.com/tag/gender-neutral/ …but we're also pretty big on letting folks express their own values. This felt like a fit for this couple, and I'm not into policing other people's values, even when they're different from mine. 1 agrees Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment 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. 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