Bethany & Kris’ Fabulously Fall “Extended Dinner Party” Wedding

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The Offbeat Bride: Bethany, Grassroots Director

Her Offbeat Partner: Kris, Lawyer/Financial Advisor

Location & date of wedding: Theodore Wirth Park, Minneapolis, MN — 10-18-2008

What made our wedding offbeat: My partner and I both love the fall and consider it the best season in Minnesota. I also love to throw dinner parties and wanted our ceremony to be an “extended dinner party” with wonderful food and wine. We also wanted to accentuate the beautiful colors of fall, so we found a beautiful “chalet” at a city park. I wore a chocolate brown dress with awesome orange shoes. Kris wore a classic black suit with a golden rust tie. We had no attendants or “wedding party.” Just us.


We had three long tables set up for our “dinner guests.” My mother made beautiful runners and we simply had mums or candles on the tables. We had muted lighting and a fire in the fireplace, to create a warm and inviting space. We held our ceremony and reception in the same space so our guests didn't have to move (and to save time and money and cumbersome logistics).

Our biggest challenge: Because my partner is transgender, we struggled with how to reconcile the traditional parts of weddings (walking down the isle, dances with parents, deciding to legally marry) with how we wanted to share our commitment with our friends and family.


We wanted to involve our families in our ceremony, but not in the traditional way. Since we both have sisters, one part of the ceremony was called “the blessing of the sisters.” At this point our sisters joined us in front of our guests and promised to support our lifelong commitment to each other.

Also, instead of a traditional wedding cake, we made “s'mores.” We roasted “the first marshmallow” and fed each other a s'more. Then our guests roasted marshmallows and made s'mores during the reception.


My favorite moment: Kris and I decided to write our own vows and did not reveal them to each other until we read them at the ceremony. I *loved* hearing these words for the first time that day and periodically re-read them to remind me of that awesome moment!

My advice for other offbeat brides: Don't feel obligated to follow tradition if it is not right for you. We heard so many comments from our guests about how they will never forget our ceremony because it was so remarkable and unique… and so “us.”

Click on the photo below to see more photos from this super romantic fall wedding:

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Comments on Bethany & Kris’ Fabulously Fall “Extended Dinner Party” Wedding

  1. Eee! I love the s’mores! I’ve heard of them as part of a wedding but not in liue of a cake–I love it. 😉


  2. Theodore Wirth Park is one of the venues my fiance and I are considering. Fall would be lovely there, but we’re looking at May. I’d love to read a little more detail on what made it a dinner party instead of just a regular reception, and which caterer you went with.

  3. I LOVE that you had an open fireplace!! And of course, s’mores is a great idea.

    My partner is also transgender, so we have similar challenges with the ceremony. I love your “sister blessings” idea!

  4. Probably one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever seen! Everyone looks so happy & relaxed – as a wedding should be. Congratulations!

  5. That looks absolutely beautiful – really heartwarming! Congratulations to you both 🙂

  6. My fiancee and I looked at Theo Wirth Chalet, and I loved it so, so, so much!! It was well out of our budget, though. Every time I drive by, I am a little sad we weren’t able to use it! It’s so great to see it all set up–it looked gorgeous! Congrats–you look like an amazing couple 🙂

  7. It was so beautiful, even Jess cried….Oh, and I danced with your mom!! What a night 😀

  8. That venue is so beautiful and intimate! Simple, elegant, very warm. You look wonderful together. I love the orange shoes and matching rust tie. It appeals to the subtle matchy-matchy in me.

  9. god, i’ve been thinking about wirth park (i live in mpls) and these pictures pretty much have me sold. beautiful…

  10. Thank you for all the comments! It really was a perfect, wonderful day! Please feel free to contact me directly if you want more information.

    Michelle- we made it a dinner party in a few ways. First, having long tables instead of rounds created the ambiance. Then, we our guests were seated at the tables during our 20 minute ceremony. We also had plenty of wine on the tables to help people relax and have fun. We used Prom Catering….don’t think you are limited to the menu they provide. I basically said what I wanted served and they made that happen (butternut squash ravioli and stuffed portobello mushrooms). They were very flexible and the serive was great! I also let our contact know this wasn’t going to be a typically wedding up front, so she didn’t even ask me any annoying questions about tule and taffeta.

  11. I love absolutely everything you two did. And congrats on having families that are seemingly pretty awesome! Good luck 😀

  12. so, with no attendants what did you do with the rings? I do not have any attendants and I have been trying to think of something to do with the rings….tie them to my bouquet???? Just not sure

  13. I can answer your question myself, Misty: We didn’t have attendants at our wedding — my mother-in-law held on to the rings, and our officiant called her up during the ceremony to present them. It was a wonderful way to have her involved and have her blessing on the marriage.

  14. I love the long tables, and I am thinking of doing them at my wedding at the Chalet in June. How long were your three tables, did it ever feel squished? I’ve gotten a little push back from the caterer on the long tables… but you’re right- they’re so much more dinner party like- thank those dumb round tables.

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