Offbeat partner: Natty (They/Them)
Offbeat partner: Morgan (he/him)
Date and location of wedding: Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, NYC — October 1, 2018
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: There were nine people in total: the two of us, our pastor, and we each chose three friends to stand by our side. It was small and reminded us that our chosen family, our community, may be small but it is so strong, so willing to put in the work and to hold us up in times of need.
We all met up at a hotel where the elevators happened to be not working. I had planned a secret first look at the hotel rooftop balcony before we all met in the lobby to head to the park. This meant running up and down 40 flights of stairs. It was flustering but we made it happen. We were all caffeinated and in good spirits. White Dresses and bow ties were not our style, so we opted for sequins and collar jewels. We choose coffee over alcohol and adventures over dancing, so it only made sense to curate our own offbeat microwedding that fit what we wanted.
Tell us about the ceremony:
I wanted a sunrise wedding, but my now husband is nothing close to a morning person. We settled on a 10am wedding which probably ended up closer to a noon ceremony on a Monday. We chose our ceremony spot on a whim once we got there and picked out a quiet corner under the terrace. A busker happened to be playing a spread of love songs on his acoustic guitar under the terrace, which set the tone for our intimate affair.
Our pastor from North Carolina came in to officiate our ceremony. It was so personal and lovely. Two of our friends did readings for us, “The Privileged Lovers” by Rumi and a passage from “The Irrational Season” by Madeleine L’Engle. There was a ring warming ceremony and a laying of hands before we were pronounced. Our vows were cheerful but meaningful. I promised to always love his butt and to always have snacks, and he promised to always leave some coffee in the pot and to always fix my hair before we went out into public. It was as unconventional as we are.
Tell us about the reception:
After the ceremony we walked over to a spot in the park for our first dance and some champagne toasts. Our friends chose this location but failed to realize we were on a hill that lead to a pond. Most of the dance Morgan and I were nervous about falling in the water but as soon as it ended, our friends surprised us with a fun dance party that ended in a train.
We then walked through the park to the subway. While waiting on the platform, our friends made up songs about our wedding and marriage. We then headed to Mom's Diner in Hells Kitchen. We had a monster milkshake for a wedding cake and odd concoctions like their mac and cheese pancakes and pancake burrito. There was coffee and laughter.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
We originally were planning a large wedding for all of our friends and family. We were really stressing out over money and location. I grew up on the West Coast, went to college in the Midwest, Morgan and I met in the South, and now we live in New England. We had friends and family all over the US and it was a struggle to figure out what was most central to all. In the end we decided that buying a house, having a small wedding, and saving to start a family was more important. We carefully chose the community and chosen family with whom we wanted to celebrate, and planned from there. It was fun and stress-free — exactly how we wanted it to be.