Kathleen & Lucky's traditional 1950s wedding

Updated Oct 12 2015
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Photos by Lawrence Andrade

The offbeat bride: Kathleen, writer, performer, dog walker

Her offbeat partner: Lucky, psychologist

Date and location of wedding: Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia — May 12, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: My brand-new husband and I are gender-queer, kinky, old-school butch/femme living in a classic 1950s husband/wife dynamic, which we both simply adore and consider to be quite radical given our very non-traditional identities. Our wedding reflected that dynamic to its core.

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The ceremony and vows were a traditional 1950s ceremony — we kept all the wording, including my promise to "obey" him and his promise to "worship" me (yum). I wore a remake of a vintage 1950s cocktail dress, and he a seersucker suit. I carried peonies, the traditional 1950s wedding flower. We did a first look under the arbor where the ceremony took place. We also spent the night before the wedding sleeping apart, so the moment was precious and filled with joy for both of us.

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I walked unaccompanied down the garden pathway, as it was important to my husband to know I was giving myself to him freely and of my own volition. The entire weekend was wonderful and included mani/pedis with the bridal party, a Southern-style rehearsal dinner, and an incredible Sunday morning brunch gifted by our best man.

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Tell us about the ceremony: We are both Irish, and included both bagpipes and a traditional Celtic handfasting in the ceremony. Our officiant sang a beautiful Celtic hymn a capella, and bound our hands together while we exchanged our vows.

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Celtic Blessing:

HYP_2487You are now bound to your betrothed and listen to that which I am about to say. Above you are the stars, below you are the stones. As time doth pass, remember… Like a stone should your love be firm, like a star should your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage. Let the strength of your wills bind you together. Let the power of your love and desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Be close, but not too close. Possess one another, yet be understanding. Have patience with one another, for storms will come, but they will pass quickly. Be free in giving affection and warmth. Have no fear and let not the ways of the unenlightened give you unease, for the spirit of your love is with you always.
By the power of the universe, mayest thou love me.
As the sun follows its course, mayest thou follow me.
As light to the eye, as bread to the hungry, as joy to the heart,
May thou presence be with me, oh one that I love.
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Our biggest challenge: Definitely family. As we are both queer and have strained relationships with our families, only my youngest sister came to the wedding. It meant the world to me to have her, as well as innumerable amazing and dear friends surrounding us. That love and support is what got us both through. We both experienced some grief in the months leading up to the wedding, but by the time that weekend arrived, we were far too moved by the outpouring of love from those who did come that we forgot all traces of sorrow.

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My funniest moment: One hour into our four-hour reception, it began to drizzle. As the coordinators and staff hustled to move our reception indoors, Lucky and I realized we really wanted to be alone and decided to leave the reception immediately. We toasted our guests, cut the cake, had a garter and bouquet toss, then rushed off to our hotel room mere minutes later amid screams and laughter, for our guests know us well and were thrilled we were choosing to go play and leave all that cake to them.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I am a complete and utter control freak and I honestly expected that I would feel great anxiety and the need to micro-manage everyone and everything. I had only one near-bridezilla moment (that I breathed through) over four days of wedding events, much to the shock of myself, my groom, and the friends who know me well. Honestly, I felt so calm, so ready, so deliriously happy to be marrying Lucky, that nothing could touch me. I was like a rock.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

  1. The happy in these photos, it's lovely. I love the fact that you went traditional. Everything looks amazing.

    • OH NO!!!!! I don't remember!!! Maybe weddingmountain.com? Either them or Etsy!!! I googled "vintage cake toppers" to find it!!!!

  2. I love it! It's so queer that you've queered a queer dynamic! YOU ARE BLOWING MY MIND AND I AM ENJOYING IT TO THE EXTREME!

    Infinite years of happiness to you both. <3

  3. That pic with your legs slung around Lucky's waist–too much! On top of everything else being SO gorgeous!! Congratulations!

  4. Very beautiful, and I'm glad that your little sister joined you on your wedding day! Congrats, you two look very happy together! πŸ˜€

  5. Love it!!

    My soon-to-be-husband and I have a similar gender-queer yet classic 1950s dynamic that I absolutely love.

    • YAY I have a shoe obsession and am thrilled to talk about my shoes!!! πŸ™‚
      They are Vince Camuto and are from DSW! A total last-minute substitution. Brides, it is true what everyone says – WEAR YOUR SHOES AROUND THE HOUSE 2 WEEKS BEFORE THE WEDDING!!!! I had a gorgeous pair of "something blue" shoes custom made and never tried them on until a few days before the wedding. I couldn't even walk in them! I tried to rig them a la Macguyver, but ended up running out to DSW the night before the ceremony with 5 minutes until closing….literally!!….Luck of the Irish, I guess, because I actually loved the pair I wore far more than the originals!!!

  6. Where did the groom get his shoes?!?!? I am looking for a pair like those myself for our wedding. Great pics!

    • Thank you!!!
      Lucky's saddleshoes are Florsheim and he got them on Zappos – and I agree, I thought they were SO HOTTT!!!!

    • David's Bridal – both dress AND veil!! They have a line of vintage-remake type dresses and birdcage veils that are just gorgeous and super-affordable!!!!!

  7. such a cool wedding and I love the motorcycle get-away!
    love the sheer happiness – smiling that much would make my face hurt.
    wishing you a lifetime of that happiness!

    • THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!
      I fear my face must be falling off because I am STILL smiling that much!!!!! πŸ™‚

  8. My goodness, what an adorable couple and what a sweet wedding. Everyone looks so happy! I love the idea you have a Ward and June Cleaver relationship. Hope you have a full, beautiful long life together.

  9. Lace, peonies, seersucker, pink leather, motorbike, and queer! Stunningly perfect in every detail, almost unbearably gorgeous, and the irrepressible happiness that radiates from you…Wow! Congratulations!

        • Oh I fear I no longer remember. I googled for MONTHS. Traditional Irish/Celtic blessings/prayers/readings….all I remember is it is actually a vow often used in handfastings…..I'm sorry I don't remember more!

  10. This is absolutely amazing! Definitely emailing it to the tomboi. The dress, the relationship, the yummyness πŸ˜‰ and the smiles!

  11. Lucky's smile in that walking out picture sums it all up! Love that he's owning the very dashing gray streaks in his hair too, as I'm already rockin' the Old Lady White at 32. πŸ™‚

    Cheers to being who you are!

    Sincerest congratulations from myself and my (also gray haired) Chew Toy (unfortunately, not a kinky reference. I hardly ever bite him. πŸ™‚ )

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