Katlin & Vadim’s Star Trek Jewish wedding in a garden

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 | Photography by Memories By Leah
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The Offbeat Bride: Katlin, Student Midwife

Her offbeat partner: Vadim, High School Biology Teacher

Date and location of wedding: Japanese Friendship Gardens and Irish Cultural Center, Phoenix, AZ — April 29, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Vadim and I are huge Trekkies and met at a dinner party where he announced that he was a Trekkie. We decided that our wedding should be Star Trek-themed. All of the wedding party and even the clergy wore Starfleet uniforms. My mother-in-law even came dressed as Lwaxana Troi!

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We kept our money local and used local small businesses. Our photographer was a family friend who was getting her start. Our florist was a mom and pop shop. Our caterer was a three-woman business. And our baker was a sister pair who ran a small vegan bake shop. We held it in a non-profit garden and a public educational hall, honoring my Japanese step-family and my Irish heritage.

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Tell us about the ceremony:
For our ceremony, though it looked Star Trek-themed, it was actually a traditional Conservadox Jewish ceremony. We included the badeken (veiling), a ketubah (contract), and a chuppah (I made the cover, Vadim built the canopy and our florist decorated it). We circled each other, sang some songs in Hebrew, and it was, for all intents and purposes, a pretty standard Jewish ceremony.

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Our biggest challenge:
Our biggest challenge was that, during the planning process, we were both forced to re-evaluate and re-define our family relationships. I did not invite most of my biological family and the ones I did invite were unable to come. It forced me to take a hard look at what it meant to be a family and to ask my chosen family to be that for me. I was lucky because as soon as I asked them to be my family, they stepped right into the roles and I felt whole again.

For Vadim, it was difficult as his family had insisted prior to the wedding that they were not going to participate at all because our offbeat wedding was an embarrassment to their family. He was forced to rely on previously strained relationships (those of his step-father and step-brother) more than his father and father's family for support, causing those previously strained relationships to start mending.

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My funniest moment:
I would have to say that the funniest moment was when the Rabbi inserted the Stardate of the wedding into the ceremony wording. We had no idea he was doing that and it caused a lot of laughter.

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My favorite moment:
One of the most meaningful moments in the ceremony was my (chosen) dad officiating. He was there to give me the daughter blessings and to walk me down the aisle to my betrothed. I cried every time he spoke to me during the ceremony.

For Vadim, one of the most meaningful moments was holding my hands under the chuppah. For him, it was a moment he could become grounded in and it made him feel like everything was right in the universe.

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Comments on Katlin & Vadim’s Star Trek Jewish wedding in a garden

  1. This is awesome and while it’s unfortunate that your family couldn’t support a fabulous union, the friends/family that came through are the true people who have your back!!

  2. Sorry for the second comment – could you please link where you got the awesome handkerchief and bridal party guzzlers?

  3. I don’t know if it’s possible to love this more! To hell with the naysayers. You guys had a fantastic wedding.

  4. Mother in Law as Lwaxana?!?! That is freaking AWESOME and I am sad there is not photographic evidence of this awesomeness.

  5. Much of my extended family did not come to my wedding as well, and during the course of the planning, I chose to end a relationship with one aunt with whom I had previously been close. It caused sadness during the planning process, but on the day of it felt like everyone who was supposed to be there was. I hope you felt this way as well, it seems as if your chosen family was wonderful! Congrats!

    • I, personally, feel this way.

      However, my FIL keeps making it a point to berate my husband every chance they see each other (which isn’t often anymore) for various wedding crimes ranging from putting them too close to the kitchen (the logistics of the seating chart demands THEY created forced us to put them there because there was literally nowhere else in the room for them to go), to not acknowledging the 10 year old brother (who they ripped out of the wedding 9 days before and kept locked to the step-monster’s hip the whole time), and there’s even some awesomeness about how horrible they had it being forced to watch my very happy MIL be a couple with her husband of 10 years (nevermind that he’s ALSO been married 10 years to another woman… apparently watching her kiss her husband publicly from the other side of the room and dance with him was this HUGE slight against them). There’s really very little we can do to repair the relationship because apparently “our day” was really “their day” and we’re horrible people for not recognizing this fact.

      • This week’s complaint is how they should have been treated as “guests of honor” and sat up near us. But his mom got prime table placement as she paid for the whole wedding and was totally 100% on board from the beginning. So that left putting them in front of the DJ next to the buffet line… which they told us NOT to do when they demanded a seating chart. They wanted to be as far away from the buffet as possible… the only way to do that and keep the in-laws separated was to put him in the back of the room. This is the slight this week.

        Last week it was “HOW DARE YOU ALLOW YOUR MOTHER TO KISS HER HUSBAND AND DANCE WITH HIM IN FRONT OF ME!” Oh I’m sorry. I thought you BOTH were happily remarried. I didn’t realize you still carried a candle for her. Next time I’ll tell her that Jack can come but no PDA and don’t act like you’re married at all because it offends Sam’s delicate sensibilities. (eye roll)

        The week before that was some noise about us not including the little brother, who we TRIED to include (he was supposed to be ring bearer) but THEY yanked out of the wedding (9 DAYS before it happened – and we really worked our butts off to keep him in the wedding. They wanted no part of that.) and instead stated very clearly they wanted ZERO special treatment as they would only be guests because our wedding was going to humiliate them.

        No matter how many times we remind them that their slights are either imagined or self-created, it escalates into a screaming match and my husband gets thrown out of his father’s house. I have stopped going altogether. I just don’t have the patience to keep putting up with this crap. If it were up to me, we’d never talk to them again. But my husband wants to keep trying so I just let him handle it on his own.

  6. This is beautiful. I think it’s great you incorporated what you needed to incorporate in order to make it YOUR wedding. I am doing the same, with some family members not coming (jewish also.)

  7. This is an awesome wedding! I love that you all stayed true to yourselves despite having familial objections. In the end, they are the people that missed out on the union of two totally cool people! I understand how that feels as I will have no actual family members coming to my wedding outside of my immediate (nor am I inviting them), but I will have the people that I have chosen as family and they all mean more to me than anyone blood related.

  8. That’s great! I’m glad that your mother in law didn’t follow betazoid wedding dress to the letter ~_^

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