blended family backyard wedding alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Photos by Jessica Peterson

The Offbeat Bride: Lenore, English Professor

Her offbeat partner: Daniel, Marketing Executive

Date and location of wedding: My backyard, Sugarhouse, Salt Lake City, UT — September 13, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Danny asked me to marry him in August, and we decided to get married on Friday the 13 of September. In order to communicate the rapid approach of our wedding, Danny created a video invitation. It also shows a lot about us: we are hippie, creative artist types who happen to want a white picket fence 1950s family.

We wanted to invite people into our lives for the wedding. We set up a stage where the hammock usually hangs, asked Danny's family for food preparation help, and went on a thrift store blitz to collect decor for the tables. The style of mixing texture, patterns, and rich colors reflect our typical summer evenings: singing along to the guitar while swinging in the hammock under the stars.








Tell us about the ceremony:
LDS wedding ceremonies usually take place in temples. Special paperwork has to be completed to enter the temple for your second wedding. We thought it would be best for the family if we married outside of the temple first and then worried about being sealed for time and all eternity in the LDS temple in a year. This way we get to have two weddings!


At the beginning of this ceremony, my children were sent indoors to bring us out, and our family walked together to Rolling Stone's “Moonlight Mile” where we were married by our LDS Bishop. When it was time for the big kiss, the three little kids ran up for a big family hug.


Our biggest challenge:
Our biggest challenge was not knowing if people would show up, or how many to plan for. We estimated for about 40 and about 110 people showed up! Thankfully, we used ceramic dishes so our amazing family team working in the kitchen was able to re-use them.


My funniest moment:
The funniest moment was our first dance. Danny and I changed back into the bizarre matching outfits we wore in the wedding invite video and danced together in our own weird way. At the last second, Danny demanded that we do the Dirty Dancing lift! Well we had never tried to do it before, but we went for it and NAILED IT.


Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently?
Samuel Johnson wrote, “Second marriages are the triumph of hope over experience.” This marriage was all about our little family rather than all the other families and in-laws and parent's friends. The party was a party for us and for the people we love, none of the extraneous whomevers.


What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
I learned that as a single adult woman and a mother, the decision of whom to marry was absolutely my own without seeking anyone's approval of our union. Rather than asking for permission, as is traditional in Mormon culture, I was my own family unit and I trusted my own judgment.


Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Photography: Jessica Peterson
  • Dress: vintage 1960s dress I found for $70 at my favorite Utah vintage shop, Decades
  • Decor: Deseret Industries and a can of spray paint!
  • Veil, necklaces, and tassle decor: DIY


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Comments on Lenore & Daniel’s Mormon, blended family, backyard wedding

  1. OMG your kids’ faces in that last picture! They’re all so adorable!!!!!

  2. As a fellow Mormon who’s been married twice – asking permission may be a Utah thing not Mormon. I’ve never heard of such a thing and I was raised in the church all my life. But I think it was cute and wonderful that so many people showed up for you!

    • I think they may be referring to a sealing cancellation, which is required to be signed off by the First Presidency in the case of a woman getting re-sealed after a divorce.

  3. I love your pink hair, your wedding, your invite, your leisure suits, your family… All of it. Seeing your happiness makes me happy for you. Now I’m off to check out your blog. Rock on Offbeat Family!

  4. You are radiating happiness, and your wedding invitation made me cry. Love it!

  5. Wow how lovely, I especially like how you involved your children. We are having a uk ceremony and would like to include our children (my eldest boy is from another relationship) so technically we are not a blended family but we would love our officiant to read a poem/reading about it not only being a wedding for us but it being a day our family sets its foundations etc etc but I cant find any help or ideas. Anyone help xx

  6. I can’t believe I didn’t see this until just now. I’m a Mormon too, and a pretty darn quirky one at that (right down to the bold color hair!). No wedding lined up for me, but it’s so uplifting to see people like me – quirky Mormons! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful wedding – hope mine’s that awesome someday!

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