commitment ceremony inspiration on offbeat bride alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

The offbeat bride: Lith, Pregnancy and Postpartum Doula

Her offbeat partner: Ealesy, Community Corrections Officer

Location & date of wedding: Tecoma Pavilion in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, Australia on February 24th, 2007

What made our wedding offbeat: I planned our wedding in a total of 9 days! Our wedding was not a legally recognised ceremony. We had a friend facilitate the ceremony because we did not want our “marriage” legally recognized as a way to protest that our nation does not currently permit same-sex couples to marry.

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Our facilitator spoke about feminism and why many feminists rightly object to weddings and marriage but why the feminists in this wedding celebrated this particular wedding.

We actually refer to it as a unity celebration rather than a wedding because it was not a legally official or recognised occasion.

We designed our own rings (our engagement rings were $2 mood rings from the reject shop) which are silver and feature one another's birth stone. Mine has zirconias rather than diamonds because my favourite episode of The Simpson's is the one where the world's largest cubic zirconia was stolen from The Springfield Museum.

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Father of the groom made the wedding cake, Aunt of the bride made the wedding invitations and former guitar teacher of the bride played at the ceremony (Bride and Groom's favourite song as the bridal party entered the ceremony).

Our biggest challenge: The bride, groom and first bridesmaid all had gastro on the big day! The bride and bridesmaid took turns vomiting in the hairdresser's bathroom in the morning before driving to a doctors clinic (hair and make up complete) for an emergency shot of an anti-nausea drug. We carried empty waste bags with us all day, just in case they were needed.

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My favorite moment: Walking into the ceremony together and exchanging vows surrounded by a circle of friends and family. So high on oxytocin, joyful tear in my eye, enormous smiles.

My offbeat advice: Do nothing out of obligation!
Keep it small, the intimate feeling of less than 30 people (including bridal party of eight) was awesome.

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Comments on Our Formal Feminist NON-LEGAL commitment ceremony

  1. Yay for non legalized weddings! Mine will be non legal as well. Beautiful and inspiring!

  2. I would LOVE to know where that dress came from…it’s just perfect, as was the rest of your awesome ceremony, from the looks of it.

  3. We actually had the same thing happen with our wedding – the Unitarian minister who married us would not sign our license as a protest to the fact that she is not able to sign the license of same sex couples in New York state. We thought it was a great stance but ended up getting “legal” 6 months later through a justice of peace for the usual reasons (healthcare, etc). It is great that you are standing up for what you believe in and bucking the whole process altogether on your own!

  4. Woohoo! Another couple who refused to sign up to our pathetic governments idea of “what should constitute a marriage”.


  5. Rock on! I love your dedication to those who are not (YET) able to legally wed. You guys are total hotties to boot 😛

  6. I’m getting weddinged this way in September. My brother will be officiating!

  7. I love this idea, and I’ve been thinking about a way to involve my gay best friend in the ceremony without making him feel horrible… now there will be no guilt!

  8. Wow! My fiance suggested we not get legally married when we do our ceremony this fall, and I thought it was the best idea ever, and now this article is up just the very next day.
    If that is not a sign then I do not know what is.

    • Hi, who can I hire to do a real wedding ceremony but not a legal one? I live in Coral Springs, Florida?

  9. […] Offbeat Bride features Lith & Ealesy’s *Not Legal* Wedding. I don’t mean “not legal” like they were breaking the law, I mean that they decided not to become legally married as a personal protest against the laws that keep gay couples from getting married. Our wedding was not a legally recognised ceremony. We had a friend facilitate the ceremony because we did not want our “marriage” recognised because our nation does not permit same sex couples to marry. […]

  10. Wow! I love that you ditched the legal aspect. My fiance and I considered doing the same, but we live in one of the only states in the U.S. that allows same sex marriages (Massachusetts), so we decided to make it legal. Kudos to you — the non-wedding looked amazing!

  11. Due to benefit reasons we want to have a spritual ceremony without the legal aspect of a marriage license. Thanks for giving me food for thought.

  12. Well done for standing by your beliefs and arguing against the ridiculous stance that so many states have taken!

    On a less socially conscious note:
    I have the same dress! Love it!! I’m so happy to see pictures on a real bride in context of an actual wedding! I can’t wait to wear it in two months… I can’t believe you put your wedding together in 9 days. I bow down.

  13. yay for you! i don’t want to legally marry my opposite-sex partner for a whole host of reasons, including wanting to stand in solidarity with same-sex couples. it’s amazing how many people–even out here in san francisco, where we live–don’t understand why we would do that. i’m really happy to be reminded that there are like-minded folks out there… makes me feel less crazy.

  14. Congrads! That’s so awesome. I just ranted about this and thank you because you made me feel better about my perspective. Here’s my rant from my journal if you’re interested. I’ll try to keep it short. Be well!

    “We were considering deferring the ‘legal’ part of our marriage ceremony till the new year as to make taxes and such easier- but my SIL, whom officiated would not do a “wedding” if it wasn’t legal. So I gave in…. and it cost me student aid… My sister is engaged, she lives CA. She cannot legally get married to her fiance right now. I gave into going legal, in a heterosexual marriage, partly because many people can not and why should I be ungrateful or take it for granted right?!

    That was used on me and in hind sight, it was manipulation. (not by my sister- by others) I see it like this… I’m pro-choice right… so does that mean that every time a woman gets pregnant I think they should have an abortion? NO! That means I think they should have a choice… and believe it or not there are woman that WANT to have their babies…
    Same damn thing. We should have held off till January. Period.”

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