The epic medical marijuana cake from this wedding was recently highlighted in our groom's cake post, so it's no surprise the rest of this music fest wedding is amazing. Check it out!
The offbeat bride: Theresa, Computer Geek (and Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Anderson, Glass Artist
Location & date of wedding: 53 beautiful acres of outdoor fun in Northern Michigan — July 31, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: Most people who know us know how much we are in love and all of our personal struggles we've endured this past year. I am a breast cancer survivor (cancer-free one whole year, YAY). We relocated to Michigan from the Washington, DC area after I was diagnosed with cancer, mostly because my body doesn't process pharmaceuticals properly, so we knew I would be needing Mother Nature's medicine to help me get through chemo. Michigan is a legal medical marijuana state where I am a patient and a caregiver and very active in the “green movement.”
We are hippies at heart and are music lovers and well. It's all about the love. That's how we came up with “LuvFest 2010.” We just wanted all of our friends and family to help us share in all of the love and in our commitment to one another. Plus it was an excuse to have our own music festival.
We asked that our guests dress comfortably and to be prepared to enjoy the day outside, to camp with us if they could, and share in the love. We asked our guests not to give us gifts as the best gift ever would be to have all of our loved ones together having a great time.
We didn't stray too far from traditions at the ceremony. We wrote our own vows and it was a good thing it rained because all of the manly men swore it was rain on their faces, not tears! I'm half Japanese so I made 1,000 origami cranes for luck. They were placed all around our ceremony site and around the tent and “LuvLounge.”
After the ceremony, we all played outside: horseshoes, corn hole, hayrides (in between rain showers), photobooth until dusk, and then the music began. We had a folk singer start things off for us. Then we had a national touring band from Washington, DC send us into the wee hours of the morning. Anderson is a glass artist and he is fascinated with the flame. So, the best wedding gift ever? FIRE DANCERS! They performed for about 45 minutes and all the LuvFesties were in awe.
Almost all of our guests camped with us the night before and a couple of nights after the actual wedding date. This was awesome because it gave us time to visit with everyone who came from near and far.
Tell us about the ceremony: We called all of our guests to the ceremony site by playing “All You Need is Love” from the movie soundtrack Across the Universe. This put everyone in the mood. They actually started to dance to the music. I walked to Adele's “Make You Feel My Love.” This is where the crying started. Our very good friend married us and invoked the spirit of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Anderson's Mom read “The Art of Marriage” by Wilferd A. Peterson:
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things…
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best.
We then read our vows to each other and exchanged rings. It was like we were the only two out there in the woods, by the river, in the rain. I was a blubbering mess at this point! The kiss! The kiss! The kiss! Unforgettable. We were then pronounced husband and wife and we were swept away by a golf cart.
Our biggest challenge: I would say the weather since it rained. It poured right before the ceremony and there really wasn't an alternative other than getting wet. We made sure we warned our guests that this is an outdoor event, rain or shine, and to dress appropriately. We encouraged all of our guests to get out and do something fun. The sun did come out and shine after the ceremony, though.
Other than that, our challenge was to bring together groups of people from our lives that were so very different. We had both sides of the medical marijuana issue in attendance. But everyone was awesome!
My funniest moment: We had a huge bonfire. The fire dancers were kind enough to light it for me. I bought all of the goodies needed for a heavily decked out s'mores bar, except I forgot sticks. It was a good thing we were in the woods. I sent some LuvFesties out looking for marshmallow roasting sticks. Check. Then the fire was so huge, it was too hot to get close enough to roast the marshmallows! I'm not sure how many actual s'mores were made, but all of the candy was gone by morning.
My advice for offbeat brides: My best advice is to have a vision in your head of what your wedding day should look like and then do it. If you can dream it, you can make it happen. This is the day you will remember for the rest of your life. Make it memorable for you. We never thought we could pull off a multiple day camping music festival, but we did! And we're planning on doing it again: LuvFest 2011!
Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? Yes, I was married before and the wedding was not me at all. It was for my parents and their friends. In fact, I can hardly remember it at all. I didn't pick out the ceremony site, the reception site, the food. Nada. It was all my family or his family paying the bills, making the decisions. That's why it was so much fun building LuvFest.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? The most important lesson is to have fun. Have fun preparing if you can (oh, how my fingers ached from folding all of those darned cranes). Have fun with the details.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Wedding Site: Betsie River Canoe and Campground
- LuvFest 2010 Headliners: Buster Brown and the Get Down
- Glass flowers on the cake: Anderson!
- Custom guitar picks: Steve Clayton
- Save-the-Date numbered tickets and custom VIP credentials: Admit One Products
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!