Kara & Nicki's Woodsy Weekend Wedding

The Offbeat Bride: Kara, Nanny, soon to be grad student and OBT member Kara48.

Her Offbeat Partner: Nicki, Law Student

Location & date of wedding: Log Cabin in Saugatuck, Michigan — March 21, 2009

What made our wedding offbeat: Where to begin? Well, there is the obvious – two brides!

The brides, the man of honor & the bridesmaid/officiant.
The brides, the "man of honor" & the bridesmaid/officiant.
But also there was a black dress, non-matching attendants including a "Man of Honor" and a bridesmaid in slacks. Cocktail hour before the ceremony, we served pizza right out of the box, and pie instead of cake. Origami flowers made from maps. I did my own hair and we both did our own make up. We walked each other down the aisle. Eco-friendly paper plates and thrift store cocktail glasses. Our DJ was an iPod. No bouquet toss or father-daughter dances (we did have a first dance which was one of my favorite moments). A best friend officiant. And it all took place in a log cabin in the middle of the woods.

During the reception some friends gathered around the keyboard and played us a "toast" — they had altered the words to "Come What May" from Moulin Rogue and instead sang "You are Gay, and we love you, on your wedding day…" Another notable lyric — "The christmas lights perfectly light your face, and we won't let all this beer go to waste, we're all here for you…" It was amazing.

The coolest bouquet made out of maps EVAR.
The coolest bouquet made out of maps EVAR.

Another pretty offbeat tidbit is that our entire ceremony was a surprise. To the readers we said pick something that reminds you of us. The singers, same thing. Our officiant (and my maid of honor) wrote the entire ceremony herself and we heard it for the first time along with everyone else. Nicki's mom ended up writing us a song! The whole thing was incredible.

Our biggest challenge: Getting everyone to fit in the cabin! And just guest list in general. Once we decided to have the wedding in Michigan, instead of Chicago where we live, we had to cut the guest list dramatically. It ended up working out great — until about mid afternoon on the day when I had a minor panic attack thinking there was no way everyone was going to fit in the room for the ceremony. But cooler heads prevailed, more chairs were brought in and it ended up being super intimate and perfect.

My favorite moment: The whole ceremony was amazing. The surprise factor was just so cool since nothing was expected. Everyone in the room was captivated the entire time — people were vocal, enthralled, grinning, sitting on the edge of their seats.

A delicious twist on the wedding cake.
A delicious twist on the wedding cake.
The moment when Amber (officiant/maid of honor) asked those in attendance, "Upon hearing the vows that these two women will pledge to one another today, will you promise to respect and honor their commitment, and to uphold their marriage with the same validity and recognition that you would for any other consenting, adult human being? If so, please respond 'We will.'" The response that followed was so loud and so full of energy and love that I immediately just broke down into tears. It was unbelievable. Everyone was so invested. It was awesome.

My advice for other offbeat brides: Try to remember that, when it comes down to it, no one is going to remember most of the little details that you probably spent hours agonizing over — and that's okay! What they will remember is the love and happiness, the grins and hugs and tears of joy.

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?:
Dress – www.bluevelvetvintage.com
Rings – Etsy
Headband – Etsy

Enough talk — here's the wedding porn & some really amazing photos taken in the woods:

this way to gay

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  1. I LOVE the surprise ceremony!! That takes a lot of trust and faith in your friends, and I think that is truly beautiful thing!
    The paper and feather bouquet is fantastic too!
    Looked like a glorious day, way to go ladies!!!

  2. It's so beautiful!!! I love, love, love the fact that LOVE seemed to be completely the focus of this wedding. Not to mention the pretty twinkle lights everywhere, the fantastic clothes, and pie! It sounds like you have some wonderful people in your lives which says a lot about you. My SINCEREST congratulations to you both!

  3. Such a gorgeous wedding! I love the overall feeling of love in every picture.

    Congrats and best of luck!

  4. I am so happy for you both, and the fact that your family and friends were so happy and energetic for your marriage — that is super awesome!

  5. It looks like you had a beautiful and unique ceremony. Congratulations!!
    I loved the bouquet, also. Take Care
    and Best of Luck in the future!!

  6. Yay Miss Kara! I love this lady and her amazing wife Nicki, who spent a day driving to pick up my orphan puppy and give him a happy, loving, open-minded home. Her wedding was beautiful, she was beautiful! Huge congratulations my dear 🙂 I hope you, Nicki, Lola and Louis are doing fantastically!

    <33

  7. I teared up reading the following. Perfect!!

    "Upon hearing the vows that these two women will pledge to one another today, will you promise to respect and honor their commitment, and to uphold their marriage with the same validity and recognition that you would for any other consenting, adult human being? If so, please respond 'We will.'" The response that followed was so loud and so full of energy and love that I immediately just broke down into tears. It was unbelievable. Everyone was so invested. It was awesome."

  8. you guys are just gorgeous!
    hat bouquet is to die for, and i am so happy that you have such wonderful supportive friends and family (i just teared up a little at the "we will!!" bit!).
    congratulations!

  9. I love you girls!! I cried during the wedding and cried reading this! Iowa better ready for us all!

  10. Congratulations you two! That is really amazing – your friends and family sound like a special bunch! I loved reading about the keyboard toast – how funny and touching. Plus of course the "we will" tugs on the heartstrings something fierce. I am so happy for you!!!

  11. Kara! Congrats on your amazing day. I'm absolutley thrilled for you and Nicki — your pictures are amazing! All of the best to you both.

  12. I was there!!!! WEEEEEE I loved it! Im nicki's (and kara's) brother. I HEART MY SISTERS SOOOO MUCH. Me and a loooong time friend sang "I'll Cover You" from "Rent" This day was…something unable to put into words.

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