Today is Human Rights Day and I wanted to feature a wedding that illustrated just how absurd it is that two people this in love can’t get married everywhere in the world. – Becca
The offbeat bride: Chanelle, Intermediate English Teacher (and Tribe member)
Her offbeat partner: Julie, Elementary Music Teacher
Location & date of wedding: Friend’s backyard, Vancouver, BC — August 28, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding was a two-bride, two-culture backyard bbq — catered, DJed, officiated, set up, torn down, and otherwise fully centered around our friends and family.
We had a simple ceremony and reception in a friend’s yard and recruited friends and family to help us do everything from the food to the photos to the officiating.
It was a casual affair, and being a somewhat non-traditional pairing, we didn’t feel bound by any of the usual wedding rules that some people get sucked into.
Julie looked stunning in a traditional wedding dress, while Chanelle rocked out in a wedding t-shirt and Vans.
Instead of having a wedding party, we had a posse of our nearest and dearest walk us in to the Muppet’s “Somebody’s Getting Married” and Charles Aznavour’s “For Me Formidale,” with the two of us walking in together at the end of the posse.
During the ceremony, there was homemade lemonade and ice tea to toast the brides as we sipped our unity cocktail (an amaretto sour).
Our first dance was to “Now that we’ve found love” by Heavy D and the Boyz and everyone was invited to hit the dance floor with their spouse, partner, “roommate,” child, friends, or whoever else they had found love with.
Tell us about the ceremony: Even though same-sex marriage is legal in Canada, neither of the churches we attended would officiate our wedding (again with the gay-haters), so our friend Kirk agreed to officiate the ceremony even though he is not ordained. Another friend, Nathan, jumped at the chance to help make the whole thing legal and used his special Pastor Powers to do just that.
Our biggest challenge: Luckily, Julie’s family have always been great supporters of our relationship. They, along with our amazing chosen family, were just brilliant.
Unfortunately, Chanelle’s family is not as supportive. It was a hard burden to bear, but the fact that her aunt made such an effort to fly across the country in a show of support really made up for the absence of the others.
During the ceremony, we invited all the witnesses and supporters of our marriage to leave their fingerprints on a tree, hand-drawn by Chanelle’s sister, signifying the greater community in which our relationship has and will continue to grow. This simple, yet beautiful, act of involving our loved ones really helped us understand that family is what you make it and even with all the heartache associated with our blood family, our chosen family has always been there for us.
My favorite moment: Instead of doing our vows traditionally where one person says their piece, followed by the other, we said our vows together. We took lines from our favorite pieces of children’s literature and scripture along with our own words and wound them into a authentic expression of what we feel for each other.
My funniest moment: Three words: rogue belly dancer. Julie’s step-grandmother’s daughter (who neither of us have seen in decades) decided to surprise us with not one, but two belly dances. One of which was meant to represent the vigorous consummation of the marriage. Words cannot describe it, but if you peruse our pictures, you might catch a glimpse of our faces during the performance.
My advice for offbeat brides: Plan ahead and ask for help if you are planning to do-it-yourself. The “yourself” bit of do-it-yourself should be taken rather loosely. Our friends (even the out-of-town ones) were more than happy to pitch in anywhere they could and it gave our wedding day a real sense of community.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? You can overcome anything if you are just a little patient and if you keep your mind open.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!
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