The Offbeat Bride: Allie, grad student, therapist
Her offbeat partner: Megan, grad student, tutor coordinator
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Megan and I are fairly traditional, feminist, queer, Episcopalian women and we wanted a wedding to match. Our first date was when Megan came to my campus church in college, so naturally our college chaplain was our officiant. When it came time to pick a location, I wanted somewhere close to where I grew up so my maternal grandparents would be able to come, even though they can't travel very far. There was no better place than the church I converted into as a teenager, Grace Episcopal Church, in my opinion one of the most beautiful churches in the world.
We're also vegetarian and have food allergies, so we insisted on a vegetarian wedding and making sure our vegan friends and friends with food allergies had food and cake. That was interesting because we didn't know we were bucking tradition until it upset people. But everyone seemed to enjoy it in the end.
The traditionalists in us honored our ancestors during the day, too. Our rings were claddaghs, old-fashioned Irish wedding rings. Megan's family is from Ireland and her grandparents wear claddaghs, too. Our table markers contained photos of our parents and grandparents at their weddings as well as vintage photos from other queer weddings.
Tell us about the ceremony:
Our ceremony was very traditional, except for that whole bit where there were two brides. Because we were already wearing our rings, we had no ring bearers, but we had two adorable flower throwers, who were two boys we babysat in college. Although, they were a little disappointed they couldn't throw overhand.
Our music at the ceremony was all traditional, Anglican hymns, including an older version of “Be Thou My Vision,” taken from an old Irish hymnal.
Our mothers walked in to the “Marcia Trionfale” from Aida. It was quite apt, since I think we were all a little triumphant that we had made it that far alive. Planning a wedding is stressful!
One of our readings was as gay as it gets and from the Bible:
Ruth said to Naomi, ‘Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die — there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!
Our whole (long) ceremony was based around that piece. We had a standard Episcopalian wedding with Communion so all told it was well over an hour.
Our biggest challenge:
Since Megan and I are both vegetarian, I never dreamed that having a vegetarian wedding would be a dilemma. Maybe I should have known better, considering we come from predominantly German and Irish people, both cultures not exactly known for their vegetarian fare. The venue seemed a little troubled at first… and our families certainly were… but it all worked out in the end. The Carleton made an absolutely wonderful vegetarian meal for us (with a vegan option for friends) and we got a great, completely vegan cake from West Town Bakery.
My favorite moment:
I'm a music girl, so a lot of mine were music-related. When we started planning the wedding, I thought the tradition was silly at best. Slowly, I realized that my dad would be super disappointed if we didn't dance, and our wedding was not just about Megan and I. My dad and I danced to “Cranberry Lake” by Ari Hest, a beautiful song by an artist he loves who we've seen in concert together twice.
Years before we'd even explicitly agreed to get married, Megan and I attended the ordination of one of our friends to the priesthood. The hymn she played at the end of her service was “Come Away to the Skies.” Megan and I looked at each other and knew we had to have it at our wedding. I remember very few moments of the wedding, but walking out while we sang that, with all our family and friends around us, will stick in my mind forever.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Megan's dress: David's Bridal
- Allie's dress: Tadashi Shoji from Nordstrom
- Allie's veil: Kathleen Gaffey
- Photography: Michelle Lytle
- Reception, food, and hotel: The Carleton Hotel
- Ceremony venue: Grace Episcopal Church
- Bridal party ties and scarves: Cyberoptix Tie Lab
- Cake: West Town Bakery
- Lesbian cake topper: Creative Cellar
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!