Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

February 3 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Jill Lehmann-Bauer
Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa
Photos by Jill Lehmann-Bauer

The Offbeat Bride: Nicole

Her offbeat partner: Cathy

Date and location of wedding: Diamond Oak Events in Clear Lake, Iowa — October 15, 2016

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

We didn't really have a theme, per se. We are a homosexual couple, but there really wasn't anything with that as a wedding day marker. Obviously it was a Gay Wedding, but more than that, it was just a wedding. We had a foundation of nine+ years of friendship to lay our marriage on, and frankly no one was surprised when we got engaged.

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Tell us about the ceremony:

We had a non-traditional outdoor ceremony, and our friend became an officiant. We were involved with a church, but the support from them dwindled rapidly as we discussed wedding planning with them. We had two songs for the processional, one for my wife and bridesmaids (also VERY nontraditional, in that their song was by Puscifer and is called "Grand Canyon.") I walked down to "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Hailey Reinhart.

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

I'm super organized, and was for the whole wedding planning process. The officiant made a comment about being relaxed with her duties, until I pulled out the "Red Binder of Death." My wife also secretly had our best friends sing "Never Stop" in the middle of the ceremony. Her boys walked her down the aisle, her daughter was the flower girl, and my son walked me down the aisle. Our recessional song was "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus. Everything about the day screamed our personalities.

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Tell us about your reception:

The venue is on 108 acres, so the wedding and reception took place without the hassle of traveling. Speaking of traveling, the venue came with a trolley available to pick people up and drop them off at local hotels, and even took our children home for us as the night progressed!

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Being the middle of October in Iowa, we weren't sure how the weather would cooperate, but we made it without a raindrop! We had a bonfire going and people sat around and got to catch up while warming their hands by the fire. Our main dish was pizza, delivered by Pizza Hut, and the owners of the venue made a KILLER nacho bar that everyone munched on all night.

Our DJ was a friend who kept the party hopping from start to finish (even though he didn't play "You Are My Sunshine" as requested by the only grandparent who attended our wedding). We had wine and beer for the guests, and some Sangria with the apples soaked in Fireball.

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

What was your most important lesson learned?

Our biggest wedding planning challenge was the people who surprised us with their lack of support for our marriage. We had family members drop out of the wedding due to "religious beliefs," our first choice musician could not participate because it could have put his job in jeopardy by "supporting" the gays. So many family members disappointed us in the planning stages. We had roughly 271 people there, and only 41 were family.

We overcame this because the wedding wasn't for them, it was for us. So we stamped our personalities all over this day. It was truly the best, most magical, fairy tale day ever. If there's anything we can impart to the readers it's to be yourself. In the end, we're so proud for financially supporting this day. We didn't give in to any pressure, we were organized, and it really was OUR day.

Ladies in love: a blended family love story wedding in Iowa

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    • Thank you! Songs were oddly the most difficult part of the planning process. We LOVE music, and are unable to nail down our favorite songs. I absolutely LOVE that this song was the recessional! It's our party we can do what we want to! ­čÖé

  1. This was DEFINITELY A good choice! We were very conscious of what would be comfortable for our girls, they were a HUGE part of the success of our wedding! MaryLynn Lockie was a phenomenal choice for a wedding planner, and she saw the vision of these dresses far before we did. We are SO thankful for her wedding detail eye!

    1 agrees
  2. What a beautiful day! And a lovely couple, and everyone looked so sharp. Wishing you the best and glad that the difficulty of others didn't change your course. May you have a life together blessed with all things good.

    1 agrees
    • Thank you so much! The difficulty of others certainly threw a wrench into our hearts, but the end result was clear, and our relationship was made stronger because we had to lean on each other in the excruciating moments. It's so hard when things and people don't match what you had in mind. Hard to accept that we will never understand. But it does eventually become just accepted, rather then forcing ourselves to try and figure out the "whys" of all of it. The truth is, there AREN'T understandable reasons for some things. #lovewins and we hit the jackpot of love. Thank you for your kind words!

  3. What a fantastic event! The atmosphere was on point, and my cousin was a lovely bride…Soul mates for sure!!

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