The Offbeat Bride: Mishy, Freelance writer and cat mom (and Tribesmaid)
Her offbeat partner: DJ, Software engineer
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted to have a wedding that followed Jewish traditions but didn't compromise our own values. We wanted this wedding to really reflect who we are as individuals and as a couple, especially embracing inclusivity. We wanted all our guests to feel included, regardless of their language and cultural background, age, or gender identity.
We wanted to keep it somewhat traditional, but also have fun and show off our nerdy side. We chose the Star Wars Day wedding date, and we incorporated Doctor Who elements in the cake and props. It wouldn't have been our wedding if we hadn't done that.
Tell us about the ceremony:
We chose DJ's hometown of Albany, New York, mainly due to the synagogue. This synagogue is Reform and is very inclusive and felt spiritually close to us, as it is the synagogue that his mother belonged to.
It also gave us a chance to work with their lovely rabbi to truly make our wedding ours. She worked very closely with us to personalize our ketubah (Jewish marital contract) to emphasize our personal values, especially the language used to describe our non-monogamous values. It was really important that we make that piece of paper something we honestly believed in and that reflected our relationship.
Daniel declared this at the ceremony: “You are my wife according to the tradition of Moses and Israel. I shall cherish, honor, and support you as is customary among the sons of Israel who have cherished, honored, and supported their wives with steadfastness and integrity.” I declared: “You are my husband according to the tradition of Moses and Israel. I shall cherish, honor, and support you as is customary among the daughters of Israel who have cherished, honored, and supported their husbands with steadfastness and integrity.”
Then we both declared:
I shall work for our food, clothing and all that we require, insofar as I am able, and make a home with you as husband and wife according to universal custom. What I have, I share with you gladly, and my body and self are yours to know, beyond what is permitted to any other. Let us make our home an example of openness, forgiveness, and understanding. Let us place each other at the forefront of our lives, cherish each other's uniqueness, comfort and challenge each other, and encourage each other to grow and learn. All this we take upon ourselves to uphold to the best of our abilities.
Our rabbi was really awesome and included a few words in Russian, since most of the elderly folks on my side of the family speak Russian.
Our biggest challenge:
I'm disabled and I have chronic illnesses. It occurred to me that I would be “walking” down the aisle and that's not something that comes easily for me. Neither is standing for an entire ceremony. I had to find a dress that would be comfortable to wear for a long period and not weigh me down, as well as something I could easily take off. I also really had to push myself to accept my body and did some hardcore body acceptance and love. This included not letting anyone's words get to me and reminding myself to take care of me. Tip: have someone to remind you to keep hydrated and to remember other important self-care. You'd be surprised how easy it is to forget those things on such an eventful day!
It was also really hard to accept that some people would not be there, due to passing away. I felt really guilty about outliving my friends who passed away so young. Or those who are “supposed” to be there and couldn't. I think we both overcame this by acknowledging that their spirit was with us, and knowing how many people were there. We were surrounded by love and support, and that really helps you through the hard times.
My favorite moment:
In the bridal bouquet, I had added a dragonfly brooch that belonged to my great grandma but also represented DJ's mother and her love of dragonflies. Our rabbi also said a few words in honor of DJ's mother, which made us all burst into tears.
I'm going to get sappy and say walking down the aisle with my father was really meaningful to me. My father and I are really close and he raised me to be the person I am, constantly encouraging me in every way possible. It wasn't even a traditional thing to me; it was the fact that my dad was leading me into a new chapter in my life — that really meant something to me.
My girlfriend and I had our own dance. It was really important for me to have that moment with her. She is a really important part of both our lives and it was a true honor to share our love on this day. Especially surrounded by all the love and support around us.
I chose a Yiddish song that my great-grandmother loved, which really made our family feel connected in ways we hadn't since her passing. Also, my former school nurse, who I had been close to, is now a florist, and did our flowers at the last-minute. She really knows me and put in lots of extra effort. I can't be thankful enough.
My funniest moment:
Oh man, I think I had a total “bride moment” when I had taken my sweet time getting around to the chocolate fountain (that I insisted on) and they were about to turn it off. I pointed and yelled “NOT YET, I HAVEN'T GOTTEN ANY!” The lovely staff immediately turned it back on and brought me even more strawberries and marshmallows. It was pretty fantastic.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Photography: Caroline Alden Photography
- Dress: Grandasia
- Veil: Velvet Owl
- Engagement ring: Octopus Me
- Wedding bands: Diamond Guild
- Groom's suit: Indochino
- Bridesmaid dresses: David's Bridal
- Groom's suits: Men's Wearhouse
- Bouquets: Finesse Florist
- Centerpiece flowers: Price Chopper
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!