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

Cupcakes

Dock

Ceremony

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.'

Kiss

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.

Dock

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.

Butterfly

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.

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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.

Wheeeee!

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

Comments on Morgan & Nicole’s dreamy mountain wedding

  1. BEAUTIFUL LADIES! Congratulations to you both, Excellent choice for venue. So pretty.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story! My bride-to-be and I are encountering the same issues with being comfortable enough to share our ceremony with not so accepting family members. Also, I’m vegan and want to have vegan cupcakes at our wedding, too! Congrats to both of you beautiful brides and thank you for setting such an example!

  3. GORGEOUS! What a beautiful wedding and two beautiful brides 🙂 I am also getting married at The Springs, and noticed that all of their promo material was very, how shall we say….”conventional.” I’m glad to see the venue was accepting off your offbeat-ness: tats, two brides, and everything!

    I will be in the same boat as you, budget-wise. My Italian heritage means we’re maxing the budget out on food and wine and will have to DIY just about everything else to make up for it. I’m even baking my own cupcakes 🙂 I’m worried that DIY will look shabby in such a grand venue, but your décor has given me hope and courage. Fingers crossed mine will look half as nice!

    PS what kind of flowers are those in your bouquets?

  4. Every inch of this wedding is stunning. Beautiful location, incredible photography, and two of the most lovely brides I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing your day!

  5. Your reading from the Velveteen Rabbit made me cry and my heart go all squinchy – it’s also in the film “The Christmas Bunny” and that quote makes me well up every time. I think it’s so beautiful that you got it into your wonderful wedding.

  6. Both of you could not be more radiant and beautiful! Your photographer was worth every penny…those pictures are amazing! The Velveteen Rabbit reading is one of my favorites as well and it will be read at our wedding, even though I know I’ll cry. Wishing you two a lifetime of laughter together!

  7. Love this! After 20 years of marriage for myself and 24years of marriage for my partner, we found each other and for the first time in our lives we both feel complete. We have been together for a year and want nothing more than to be married. Most of our family has been so supportive but we are still concerned about how they will feel about our getting married. Your story has given me the inspiration and that little push I think we needed to include our families in our celebration. So inspiring and truly beautiful ladies. Thank you for sharing!

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