Hand in Hand</a

The Offbeat Bride: Morgan

Her offbeat partner: Nicole

Date and location of wedding: Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta, Canada — September 22, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Nicole and I got married in the mountains in Banff, which made for amazing scenery. We booked the famous Fairmont Banff Springs hotel for our reception. We put a lot of our budget into photography. Since it was a budget breaker, we decided to do all the planning and decoration ourselves. We made the wish tree, table hearts, name tags on corks, and bride sign on the back of the chairs. We even had a friend of ours bake vegan cupcakes for our dessert, Oreo cookie and lime margarita flavor!

Face to Face

Banff Springs Hotel




Tell us about the ceremony: We had the ceremony on a dock outside of the hotel with the mountains as the backdrop. Here was our favorite reading from The Velveteen Rabbit:

‘What is REAL?' asked the Rabbit one day… ‘Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?'
‘Real isn't how you are made,' said the Horse. ‘It's a thing that happens to you. When someone loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'
‘Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,” said the Horse. ‘When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, ‘or bit by bit?'
‘It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand… once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.'


The Signing

Window Light Brides

Our biggest challenge: Being a lesbian isn't something with which all of the family members were the most comfortable, especially Nicole's family. She has always had trouble being herself and being gay, especially around family members. This was such an incredible experience for the both of us. It both forced us “out of the closet” even more than we already were. We had to buy two gowns and tell the whole store we were the ones getting married… to each other! Buying wedding bands, booking a limo, booking the reception room… everything was a challenge of talking about being gay.

Hallway Kiss

Hand in Hand

Hand In Hand

Walking around holding hands in two white dresses in a fully booked hotel, and having to kiss in front of everyone watching was new, too. People even took pictures of us because they couldn't believe it was two women getting married. It was amazing, and even Nicole feels more comfortable being herself and holding my hand in public. It was such a beautiful experience to not only marry my best friend but also to become less afraid of being who we are.

Banff Springs Hotel

Lake Minnewanka

My favorite moment: Staying in the honeymoon suite at the Fairmont was incredible. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience at that cost, but so worth it. We even had a spiral staircase up to the bedroom — I felt like a princess.


My funniest moment: We realized that the water level had dropped since we had picked out our ceremony location four months prior. We actually had to be lifted down onto the dock! Then the dock almost went under the water from all the family and friends on it! Thankfully, no one fell in.


My advice for Offbeat Brides: Just remember to breathe on the day of, even though things get stressful and vendors are late, it will be fine as long as you remember why you're there.



What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
You truly realize how much your friends and family love you, and who really loves and supports you for being yourself and no one else. Although there were a few “non-accepting” individuals at the wedding, I couldn't believe the support and love from the rest of our families. It felt like what we had wanted our whole lives, and finally it was okay to be just the way we are.


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Comments on Morgan & Nicole’s dreamy mountain wedding

  1. “It was such a beautiful experience to not only marry my best friend but also to become less afraid of being who we are.”

    This made me tear up and then feel angry.

    Happy tears because its a positive statement. Angry because we live in a world where people feel afraid of who they are because of other people.

    Finally I must say that although the venue looks stunning, it was outdone by two awesome and beautiful brides!

    • Thank you for the lovely comment. And yes, I know exactly what you mean, all we can do is try and continue to educate the world around us so that more and more people can learn to be comfortable in their own skin!

    • Thank you! The dock was such a neat experience… I was so terrified of a) falling in or b) dropping the rings and having them fall in. Haha, at least it all worked out 🙂

      • Hello my name is koos burger my mom and her wife just got married. And it is like now one is seporting them in thayr happynes so what can thay do ? I told them to egnore awery one and think about thayr self for ones . May I gust ad that you wedding was sa buatiful may you be happy for ever.

  2. Okay. I have to comment twice. I love everything about this wedding. You are both so incredibly beautiful and look so incredibly happy.

  3. I gotta say, whatever you spent on your photography was worth every penny and then some because these pictures are GORGEOUS. Also, both of those dresses are total stunners!

    • Everything we spent was worth while, it turned out to be such a beautiful day and something we will always remember! Thank you for the comment.

  4. Um, that “dark, romantic hallway” shot is giving me an eye-gasm. Just… wow. Beauty and old-school and two brides in love all mixed together and FANTASTIC. Yes, spending your whole budget on a photographer was worth it.

  5. So amazingly beautiful, both brides and all the photos! I like to think that some of the random people taking photos, instead of thinking “I can’t believe two women are getting married!” were thinking “What gorgeous brides, I’m so happy for them!”

    • I would like to think that as well! Most of the people we encountered wish us congratulations 🙂

  6. I just pinned the cupcake photo to my Pinterest board. They look so delish!
    And I really really wish we had a hotel like that in my area. *sigh*

    Everything about this wedding looks fabulous! <3 <3

    • Thanks for the pin! Yes, we lucked out living close enough to such an incredible hotel with such gorgeous scenery.

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