Photos by Yaritza Colon

The offbeat groom: Chad, Third Grade Teacher

His offbeat partner: Matthew, IT School director

Date and location of wedding: Bucksteep Manor, Washington, MA — August 6, 2011

What made our wedding offbeat: First of all, we didn't have a bride! We didn't really have to worry about wedding traditions, so we created our own. A friend sang Michael Jackson's “Will You Be There” during our ceremony. We had activities scheduled the entire weekend, including Jazzercise! A friend did a dramatic reading of a Dolly Parton song. There was a lot going on.

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We also served our guests pie instead of cake. And we did it ourselves!

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We danced until 2:00 a.m. at the reception as well. We turned a traditional barn into a gigantic gay discotheque.

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Tell us about the ceremony: Matt's childhood friend Alison created a beautiful ceremony, with a mix of both gay and Jewish. We signed a Ketubah, stood under a chuppah, and broke the glass. We left the ceremony dancing to Show Me Love by Robyn s (sung by our friend), another friend read We Two Boys Clinging” by Walt Whitman and my brother read the gay marriage ruling. It was a personal and meaningful ceremony. I was surprised at how touched I was by it.

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Our biggest challenge: We have four divorced families, and we had to make sure that each family felt like a part of the process. We were very mindful about our seating arrangements and other wedding events throughout the weekend.

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My favorite moment: This was our first chance to publicly declare our love for each other in a large group. Too often we are nervous to hold hands or kiss in the street, as the general public is not always so accommodating. It was great to have a space filled with accepting and loving friends and family.

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My funniest moment: When we lost electricity in the tent. The wedding was on a mountain and it was pouring rain!

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Despite all of the divorced families, our parents all respected each other and acted wonderfully! However, it did mean that we had six toasts from the parents.

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My advice for offbeat couples: It is really hard when you don't fit in a box. I got annoyed with filling out forms that said “bride” and “groom.” Or telling a stranger you are planning a wedding, and they ask about your fiancé and then you say it is he. I suggest taking everything with a grain of salt, and only do what makes you comfortable.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Relax and enjoy the day. Also if it's going to rain, be sure that you have other options planned. We didn't really have a rain plan with an outdoor ceremony. However, we had to quickly move the ceremony inside. This ended up being just fine since it was beautiful and cozy!

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