The Offbeat Bride: Katherine, Public Speaking Coach & Minister
Her offbeat partner: Yomna, IT Security Manager
Our offbeat wedding at a glance:
We had a travel theme! We both loved to travel before we met and have loved traveling together. The invitations were train tickets (all aboard!) and the table assignments were a country scavenger hunt of the places we’ve been or want to go together (know your geography)!
As an officiant myself, I always encourage couples to decide what traditions work for them. One of the great things about a queer wedding is that you have to do that work. There's no traditional order or distinct bride/groom roles, so we got to figure everything out, from who proposed to whom (first) to who danced with whose parents at the reception. It was amazing.
Tell us about the ceremony:
I'm a wedding officiant too, so the ceremony was really important to me. We also wanted to be authentic to our religious understandings — I’m Christian, while Yomna grew up Muslim and isn’t practicing.
My nephews were acolytes (lighting the candles) instead of flower boys, because we were a little concerned they would just chuck the flowers everywhere. In the photo of us coming out of the church, you will see that concern was justified (look for a tiny evil grin).
Live music was important, so one amazingly talented friend played our processionals and recessional on the piano (“God Bless the Broken Road” for her, “How Great Thou Art” for me, some amazing thing we've now forgotten for both us). And another amazing talented friend played “The Book of Love” during our “Reverse Unity Ceremony.” Lighting the candles for all our friends and family was incredibly powerful.
Tell us about your reception:
I love wine country, but all the wine country wedding venues cost orders of magnitude more than our budget. By browsing around Google Maps, I found a winery that was near a friend's church, and literally nothing else. It turned out to be perfect. The wine is DELICIOUS, and the scenery is exactly what I had imagined in my winery wedding dreams.
Our food came from a food truck and included such amazing noms as Triwizard Slaw (little yummy salad cups) and Dirty Balls (fried brussels sprouts with cheese and some kind of amazing sauce). And in lieu of cake, we had ice cream sandwiched between grilled, glazed donuts. Yes.
What was your most important lesson learned?
Throughout the wedding planning process, my now-wife and I would say, “It's a party. It's a worship service, and then a party to celebrate our love. If it stops being fun, let's stop doing it.” Whenever we got cranky about invitation folding or wedding guest numbers or party favors or whatever nonsense, one of us would say, “It's a party. Let's wait until we're having fun again,” and set it aside. I think it was a useful test, and one I want to try to take into our marriage.
Our first dance was one of my favorite parts; she gave me ballroom dance lessons as a gift for our first dating anniversary, and I loved bringing that into our wedding. The wedding dance with my dad was as awkward as I knew it would be (“if by dancing you mean slowly revolving, yes” is what my dad said when I asked), but I’m so glad I did it because it was an amazing moment.
Also: I fell down in the vineyard in my wedding dress and it was hilarious, because whatever, I was married!
Bridesmaids' dresses: Alfred Sung via Brideside • Bride's and bridesmen's suits: Indochino (great about fitting a masculine suit for a female body) • Bride's dress: Paloma Blanca from Your Dream Bridal • Katie’s hair and makeup: Toni Cisneros at Allure Salon • Photographer: Heather Selzer (wonderful to work with for boudoir and wedding) • Pianist: Kevin Barlowski • Guitarist: Joey Mascola • Ceremony written by: Reverend Katherine, Reverendkatherine.com • Caterer: Culinerdy Food Truck (delicious food) • Ice Cream: The Parlor Ice Cream Puffs • DJ: DJ Barnett Entertainment