Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

Updated Mar 13 2019
 
Photos by: Norm Bowler

You might remember Little Bear from her pink studio apartment, her performances, and her status as a proud bearded lady. And now her wedding? Amazing, inclusive goodness ahead…

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding
Photos by Norm Bowler

Offbeat partner: Little Bear

Offbeat partner: Tobias

Date and location of wedding: Veterans of Foreign Affairs, Tacoma, Washington — February 24, 2019

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: F*ck, where do I even start? I'm a Christian, Mediterranean, Professional Singing Bearded Lady and he's a Satanist, Geeky, Artist Viking, with both of us queer, polyamorous, political, and colorful. We were an offbeat couple from the get-go, so I don't think anyone expected a traditional wedding.

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

Tobias wanted to hone in on his love and connection to all things Viking/Celtic, including a Scottish tartan kilt (sporran included), a sword on his hilt (which we used to cut the cupcake), and a Horn from which to drink our first toast.

I pulled, aesthetically, from many things, including Queen Amidala, Elizabethan coronation wear, Latin American Catholic art, and Sun Deities. Because many years ago I was actually TURNED AWAY from a reception (at a very stuffy, traditional wedding) for being "underdressed," it was my UTMOST PRIORITY to make our intimate gathering feel inclusive, welcoming, affirming, warm, and comfortable.

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

We were also blessed, with me being in the theatre industry, with many connections to emcees, photographers, officiants, and artisans. Lastly, we eschewed the traditional and unnecessarily gendered bridal party setup for me having my brother as my Best Person and he having his bestie from high school as his Best Person.

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

Tell us about the ceremony:
From early in the planning, Tobias and I both wanted our individual beliefs represented, without being pushy OR leaning into the sensationalism of "A CHRISTIAN AND A SATANIST??? WHAAAAT?"

So, after Tobias walked down the aisle (to "The Throne Room" from Star Wars IV: A New Hope), followed by my parents walking me (to Stelvio Cipriani's "Mary's Theme")? We received a blessing from my Pastor, Gabe Molinaro of Sanctuary Church Seattle, followed by a blessing by Tarkus Claypool of The Satanic Temple (Seattle Chapter). Neither contradicted or clashed, with both being short, simple, universal, and sweet. Since our respective faiths never created conflict for us, neither would have our respective blessings.

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

After that, our secular (but somehow still very sacred) ceremony was led by Zac Gandara of podcast Losing Our Religion (where Tobias and I guest starred last year). It was earnest, modern, and practical, stressing the importance of both retaining individuality and leaning on each other for support. It was not without humor, F-bombs, and unlikely wisdom (with quotes from both Yung Pueblo and Biggie Smalls).

We wrote our own vows, where I promised to "ride into battle together in our ever quest to question authority, disturb the normal, and offend the Status Quo." Tobias promised to have coffee with me each morning, watch musicals with me (even Phantom for the 744th time) and continue to make bad jokes.

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

We were pronounced "Viking and Bear," and kissed while The Cure's "Plainsong" crashed in.

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

Tell us about the reception:
We held both the ceremony and reception in the same space, so there was a little transition from one to the other. After procession, paper work, and photos, Dad and I had our dance to "The First Man You Remember" from Aspects of Love (which my dad personally picked out 30 years ago) while Tobias gave both his and my mom each a red rose. Tobias and I then danced to "Storybook Love" from The Princess Bride," one of our favorite films.

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

We had our first toast out of a drinking horn, and cut the [cup]cake (Hazelnut with vanilla buttercream and sesame halva crumble!) with a sword. The speeches from our Best People were incredibly moving with his friend calling me a "dream come true" for making Toby so happy, and my brother saying that he has never before seen me so happy as I am with Tobias. He concluded by pouring three small cups of cider "For Celia, Kurt, and Joe" (our long passed grandparents). Not a dry eye in the house.

As he represented his Viking heritage with the aforementioned, I did so my Mediterranean heritage with catered Greek food, and Sicilian-inspired canapes (like my STELLAR caponata) made by me the night before.

Our emcee, fellow performer Morgue Anne, spun some smooth Synthwave tunes while we and all our guests — circus performers, clowns, wrestlers, singers, burlesquers, and tattoo artists — sat around a square table, chatting, laughing, eating, and getting to know each other. It was the inclusive, welcoming, affirming, warm, and comfortable gathering we worked so hard to cultivate.

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Oof. I'm not gonna lie. I have severe anxiety which manifests in difficulty making decisions, deadlines, and making phone calls/emails, so planning this took a bit of a toll on my mental health. Counter to the stereotype that it's "the bride's day" where the groom just shows up, Tobias was integral in helping me wrangle and sort details. I can't thank him enough for it.

That said, I recommend taking frequent mental health breaks in between planning. Be gentle with yourselves. Shopping for venues, decor, etc. was also harrowing as, sadly, we live in a world that is often NOT receptive or respectful to Women with Beards (I have PCOS, for anyone confused). Almost everywhere we went I had to ignore stares, pointing, laughing, discreet photo taking — even one jerk went out of his way to say to me (a complete stranger), "Jeez, get on some hormones, will ya?" Tobias told him OFF. Tell people off who f*ck with you. If that's not an option, walk away. You deserve better.

Lastly, because I'm a public figure with a decent size following, BOUNDARIES were really important AND difficult to flex. I had fans and friends try to invite themselves into the ceremony, the planning, and even the wedding PARTY. Not all of them took the rejection lightly. I learned the hard way that sometimes people who rally the hardest to be near you do so just to say they were there. Keep your boundaries firm and don't let anyone manipulate you into bending your vision for them.

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

Little Bear & Tobias' interfaith Viking & Bearded Lady super welcoming wedding

Vendors

Photographer: Norm Bowler • Officiant: Zac Gandara • Emcee: Morgue Anne • Christian Blessing: Pastor Gabe Molinaro • Satanic Blessing: Tarkus Claypool • Food: It's Greek To Me • Cupcakes: Kristin O'Dell • My Dress: Torrid • My Headdress: The Burn Girl • Tobias' shirt: Dresslily • Tobias' kilt: UTKilts

Gallery

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  1. Got somewhat of a Cretan/Minoan feel to the proceedings, at least on Little Bear's end. It does feel like a Viking found a Cretan princess and carried her off into the sunset.

    I am happy for you both!

  2. These two crazy kids though! I am so proud to call them friend. They went through so much to get where they are, and they are the most creative, loving, gentle, and happy couple I know. They truly are a storybook couple (they even come with their own slain dragons). Perfectly imperfect for each other. I love them both so much.

  3. Congratulations, Little Bear! I've been following your Facebook page for a while, and I seem to have missed the news you were getting married. Looks like it was a wonderful event!

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