Amanda & Kaleb's tattooed lakeside wedding #Real Weddings: Northeast US#couples of color#DIY#economical wedding#first look#lake#lesbian weddings#LGBTQ#logs#outdoor#pennsylvania#plus size#short hair#taller bride#tattooed bride#transgender#vow examples#wedding boots November 26 2012 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photos by Katie Vee Photography The Offbeat Bride: Amanda, wedding planner Her offbeat partner: Kaleb, pipe technician Date and location of wedding: Conneaut Lake Hotel, Conneaut Lake, PA — August 18, 2012 Our offbeat wedding at a glance: When planning our wedding as a transgender couple, we knew that we wanted it to be as personal as possible. Not having the legal right to marry in Pennsylvania was not going to stop us from having a day to celebrate us. We kept a few traditional elements: my stepfather walking me down the aisle, a first dance, and a licensed officiant. We did pay for the wedding on our own, so DIY projects were life savers. We made our own invitations, programs, all the yummy treats, and customized all the signing. We were very grateful for our dearest families' support and a beautiful wedding on the lake. Tell us about the ceremony: I had my stepfather and a childhood friend walk me down the aisle, and it meant so much to me to have both of them there. Our vows were really important to us as well. The bride: Nearly six years ago I fell in love with the most beautiful person that I have ever known. I remember the instant comfort and happiness that you made me feel when we met, and I was very soon certain that I wanted to spend the rest of my days feeling that way. So today is the day that we take the step towards our forever, and I wouldn't want to be standing next to anyone but you. To stand here today and try to tell you all the reasons why I love would take a lifetime. So here are just a few: I love you because you teach me something new every day. Even if it's while sitting through fight night or watching a show about trucks. I love you because you have an infectious laugh, one that will light up an entire room and make any day a better one. I love you because you are so caring and thoughtful, tucking small notes into everything I own just to show me how much you care. I love you because we can always create an adventure together, whether it's on purpose or by accident, and I love the way you can sing your way to my heart on every road trip. Because you've always loved me for who I am, and sometime for who I'm not, never judging me and always making me feel wanted and appreciated. You've loved me from close by and far away, never doubting the love that we have and always striving to make sure I felt your love even when you couldn't be there. You're my best friend. I feel most like myself when I'm with you and my hand always feels most comfortable in yours. When we face challenges together, I promise to focus on our love so that it may become stronger. As we grow old together, I promise to not let time dull my love and appreciation for you. The time I've spent with you has been the best time of my life, and I'm thrilled to spend the rest of my days as your wife. The groom: Late night texting, that very first phone call, your voice sounding so perfect. You were on a trampoline and I was beside one. Feeling the pterodactyls in my stomach on the way to the bus station. Instantly feeling better when I saw your face after that long, nauseating Greyhound ride. You are my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage. I vow to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sadness and struggle. I promise to sleep on the very edge of the bed with the smallest amount of blanket possible, even if I go to bed before you, so you have plenty of space to get comfy. I promise to paint your toenails for you when you want me to, and I'll even take off the old nail polish sometimes. I vow to love you in good times and in bad, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I vow to cherish you every second of every day. These words I will honor you with today, and all the days of our life. Our biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was having everything we wanted and still being smart with our money. My abilities as a wedding planner absolutely came in handy since I knew what I could skimp on and what I wanted to splurge on. Our pictures, videography, and the food were very important to us. We chose a cash bar over an open bar, my dress cost $100, and we ditched real flowers in favor of dried ones. We were pleased with everything, even if it seemed so stressful during the planning. My favorite moment: We loved being able to write our owns vows. It focused on us and what we pushed through to get to that day. When Kaleb told me the word "nauseating" was in his vows, I have to say I was a bit nervous. But the vows were full of tears and laughs and made the day have such a bigger meaning to us. In addition, the fact that all of our family stood behind us as a couple, even if we aren't the "traditional" type, made it so we couldn't have felt more love and support. My advice for Offbeat Brides: My number one tip is to be yourself. Let your wedding fully reflect you and your partner. If you want to spend $10 on your wedding and have it in your living room, do it! Never let anyone tell you that your day is not good enough — you don't need those people in your lives. You can marry whoever, whenever. From personal experience, the people who were against my relationship or who didn't approve aren't in my life anymore. Care to share a few vendor/shopping links? Photography: Katie Vee Photography Cinematographer: Jonathan Ryan Films (teaser video!) Venue: Conneaut Lake Hotel Dress: David's Bridal Flowers: Etsy seller Lawhale1 Boutonnieres: Etsy seller ReflectGlamour Enough talk — show me the wedding porn! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS 3 ways StickyGrams can use your Instagram feed to personalize your wedding NEXT Unicorns, dragonflies, and an awesome skull stein Show/Hide comments [ 22 ] Beautiful! Reply Your vows made my eyes well up. Also, I have some friends who have a house up on Conneaut Lake – it's a gorgeous location. Reply Thank you ladies! Heather, you are right! We vacation there frequently and is absolutely beautiful! Reply Absolutely stunning story, vows, and wedding!! Congratulations! Wishing you both a lifetime of love! Reply huzzah for taller brides! and those are the most elegant cupcakes I have ever seen 🙂 Reply Just making sure you know about our taller bride archive: http://offbeatbride.com/tag/taller-bride 🙂 Reply Those look like Funfetti cupcakes! FTW! Reply Those are homemade funfetti cupcakes with cream cheese icing! My favorite and I didn't want anything else! LOL Thank you! Reply So cute!! 🙂 Reply Wow! What a fabulous wedding! And a beautiful location!!! Thanks for sharing your vows! They were so beautiful! Just wondering about the blindfolding of Kalyb. Is this a PA tradition, or can I do the same to my groom here in Massachusets? Have a beautiful life together!!! <3 Suzi Q Reply Thank you SO much! You're sweet! This is not a Pennsylvania thing, actually. I wanted a first look because I didn't want to hyperventilate while I was saying my vows but Kaleb didn't want to see me in my wedding dress before I walked down the isle. This was the compromise! Go for it!! Reply You can see more blindfolded first looks in our archive! 🙂 Reply Conneaut Lake Hotel! My prom was there! Great looking cookie table too, complete with pizelles – a western PA tradition! What a beautiful wedding and a beautiful couple. Reply Thank you so much!! I'm surprised for so many people to even know where Conneaut Lake is! Also, I had never even had a pizelle before I met kaleb ( I'm not from PA). When we were wedding planning his whole family stressed about the cookie table and said that it was NEEDED! I'm glad we had it and they were so yummy! Reply Hey, your wedding was looks beautiful! I was wondering, how were the reps at the venue? My gf just mentioned conneaut as a halfway point between pgh and Cleveland for us, & I was wondering if they were cool about it or if the locals gave you any gruff? Reply Yes, they were absolutely wonderful! The lake is a beautiful back drop for a ceremony, it is rather budget friendly, Joyce is the coordinator and she is SO beyond wonderful, the ballroom is breath taking and we had no trouble with any of locals at all! Reply How did you do your programs? They look great! Reply I actually made them on Word. I'd be happy to share the template if I knew where to share it! Reply Absolutely lovely!!! Your vows made me tear up, and I adore your programs! Just beautiful. Reply Thank you, Thank you!!! Our vows made me BAWL! LOL Thank you again! Reply Holy crow! You were right up the road. You both look fantastic,I LOVE the blindfold, your dress, the hotel and everything at your wedding just looked utterly amazing. A million congratulations from another offbeater in NW PA! Reply Thank you SO much! You are too sweet! We would have invited you had we know! We went to the beach club after the reception was over! Reply Leave a Reply to Amanda Gilbert Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.