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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
- Venue: Scott and Gwen Bultje, Diamond Oak Events
- Photographer: Jill Lehmann-Bauer
- Videographer: Corey Behrens, Simplistic Views