Kerry & Kevin's timey-wimey romantic Earthy wedding

June 26 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Ben Devries
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Photos by Ben Devries

The Offbeat Bride: Kerry, Service Coordinator

Her offbeat partner: Kevin, Account Manager

Date and location of wedding: The Overlook Shelter at Arrowhead Park, Neola, IA — May 25, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted a very joyous, colorful, bright ceremony, so I wore a midnight blue corset gown with a peacock feather and flower crown, and Kevin wore a lovely gold brocade vest over a dark green shirt. We had ribbon wands for the kids, and a maypole dance at the beginning of the ceremony.

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Instead of a unity candle, we created a "Chalice Commitment Ceremony" as a way to cement our affirmations to each other. When we finished our affirmations, we each poured a different kind of mead into the chalice. We then offered each other a drink. We found it to be a wonderful way to complete our affirmations prior to the big kiss!

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Our wedding party consisted of a matron of honor, man of honor, best man, and best lady. We loved having our best friends up there with us, and making those roles match the people we really cared about, rather than allowing the roles to dictate who we chose to stand with us.

Neither one of us was particularly excited about a diamond engagement ring. Plus, it didn't make good sense to me to spend a large sum of money on a ring I wouldn't really appreciate. Also, it only seemed fair that Kevin get an engagement ring too, so he found a beautiful sterling silver band with the moon and stars engraved in it, and a lapis stone!

Finally, we decided to pick a completely new name, EarthSoul, as our new last name, which reflected our spirituality and our love of nature.

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Tell us about the ceremony: We are both Earth-Centered or Pagan, and it was really important to us to have a ceremony that reflected those themes. Our officiant, Shawna, is a Unitarian Universalist Minister, and she incorporated the Goddess and God into our ceremony, which I really appreciated. At the same time, we did our best to keep our wedding understandable, since we had people of all different faiths attending.

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Our biggest challenge: Some of our biggest challenges were related to the weather. We were having an outdoor wedding, and the forecast included the possibility of thunderstorms. The last week of the wedding, we decided to go ahead and rent a 20×40 canopy tent, and I'm so glad we did! It gave us peace of mind, and even though it rained mostly in the morning before our ceremony, the canopy tent provided some sunshade during our ceremony when the sun was out.

wedding tree

My favorite moment: I loved having good friends of ours reading poems that mean a lot to us. Our friend Nicole read Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," and our good friends Nathan and Amy read Kahlil Gibran's essay on Marriage from "The Prophet." This was really special because this reading had been at their own wedding, and it felt great giving them that role.

Kevin mentioned that he loved the moment when we were walking down the aisle (or grass in our case), and he saw his mother, crying with joy. He loved reading the affirmations that we wrote ourselves also. My dad, who is not emotional at ALL, got teary and told me it was a beautiful ceremony.

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My funniest moment: We had a Doctor Who photo booth at the reception, complete with life-sized cardboard cutouts of David Tennant and Matt Smith. We called it our "pair o' Docs!" Things got really groovy when friends started dancing with Matt and David out on the dance floor. Our good friend Abby even asked permission to take Matt Smith as her date to another wedding! She plans to dress him up all fancy.

pair o' docs

Kevin said his funniest moment was when all the guys got up and danced to Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" at the reception.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
You really don't have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful wedding if you get creative. Getting married at a county park in Iowa saved a lot of money on a wedding venue. I also learned to let go of control a bit, and not worry so much about things being perfect.

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  1. Touching and Lovely ceremony! <3 Beautiful dress as well. I'm a bit biased about your dressmaker though as she did my dress too! 🙂 Love her work and you make it look gorgeous as well with your radient smile. Best wishes on a long a happy union.

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  2. Thanks, LadyPhae! Tracy Robertson did a wonderful job–she was very easy to work with, and always available to answer any questions I had! I love that this is a dress I could wear again to a special event–we are thinking of heading to the Steampunk Ball here in this area when it happens again! 🙂 I love my dress–I felt gorgeous in it!

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    • Thanks Phaedra! We found that the Maypole went a long way in helping people who might otherwise be a little uncomfortable with the Earth-Centered focus, really enjoy the ceremony. The Maypole dance was so much fun to watch and everyone had a great time! It was a great way to get people laughing and comfortable right before the ceremony!

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  3. This wedding is amazing! It has so many elements I want at mine (earthiness, geekiness, rainbows and even a blue gown).

    I also love that you both changed your last names. My fiance and I are doing that as well (we'll be making the change to "Smoak" – our initials and the tree which has a lot of symbolism for us).

    Did you walk down the aisle together? This is something I'm considering, too!

    I am so in love with this, it shows me that I really can have all the elements I want and have them pull together beautifully! This looks astounding, Kerry! You (and your dress- wow!) look so radiant. Congratulations!

  4. Thanks Sam! We were so happy with how the wedding turned out–it was exactly what we both wanted. Initially, I wanted to walk myself down the aisle (grass), but we talked about it, and I really liked the idea of us walking down the aisle together. Since we are both older, it made sense rather than having our parents walk us down the aisle.

    We loved finding a new last name that fit us so well! We were lucky that Iowa allowed Kevin to change his name also–it sounds like the states that allow same-sex marriage allow that. We discovered that some states, like Nebraska don't–at least not without a court order, which can be an expensive process. That would be my only advice–make sure when you are looking at wedding venues that you know what the marriage licenses are like and if they allow for both parties to change their name. I love the one you guys chose!

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  5. What a beautiful bride. The dress and the flowers are my favorite part. This wedding was simply beautiful. I also love the whimsical aspect of having a Dr. Who reception. Very fun! Good luck to this couple. Your flowers are the best I've seen yet!

  6. Love this! <3
    I'm so happy to see someone else create a beautiful, meaningful ceremony with elements similar to what I envision, without breaking the bank. Thanks for sharing and congratulations!

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