The last Library Week wedding features two lovely ladies (one of whom is a Library grad student!) you've seen before. Get ready to get a little teary when you read the poems from their ceremony. – Becca


The offbeat bride: Melissa, library grad student/HR coordinator

Her offbeat partner: Lydia, video game tester

Location & date of wedding: Oddfellows Hall, Orcas Island WA — September 11, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: We both started out pretty skeptical about weddings (and marriage). Since we're a same sex couple, our wedding wouldn't be legal, and we aren't religious, so we had to figure out what would be meaningful to us and build a whole wedding from the ground up. What we decided was most important to us was being married in the eyes of our friends and family, so we focused on that as we made wedding plans.


Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony was pretty simple. We read poems and had a ring warming.


Lydia read the poem, “Valentine” by Carol Ann Duffy:

LM-98Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring,
if you like.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

Melissa read this poem by Pablo Neruda:

Tie your heart at night to mine, love,
and both will defeat the darkness
like twin drums beating in the forest
against the heavy wall of wet leaves.
Night crossing: black coal of dream
that cuts the thread of earthly orbs
with the punctuality of a headlong train
that pulls cold stone and shadow endlessly.

Love, because of it, tie me to a purer movement,
to the grip on life that beats in your breast,
with the wings of a submerged swan,

So that our dream might reply
to the sky's questioning stars
with one key, one door closed to shadow.


LM-257Our biggest challenge: We had no idea what we were doing. Neither of us is very big on event planning, so we hired a planner (Jubilee Event Engineers) to talk us through it. We had a lot of disjointed ideas, and working with someone with experience planning parties helped us bring them together into a cohesive whole.


LM-95My favorite moment: Melissa: During the ceremony, we passed around our rings and invited guests to stand up and say something. All the people who decided to speak were touching, and thoughtful and funny. One friend wished us the patience and perseverance needed to beat a Legend of Zelda water temple.

Lydia: We also read poems to each other as part of our vows. I cried with chin wubbles the whole time, no lie.

(Melissa: I second Lydia's chin wubbles.)

Watching our friends and family pull together to make the food and setup and takedown the decorations was awesome.


LM-253My funniest moment: Dorky dance moves.

During the ring passing, a toddler guest exclaimed “Ooh!” at the rings and tried to take them.

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? We were afraid that the food might not come together, since we didn't hire a caterer and were planning on cooking with our friends. Luckily, the friends who put together our menu did an amazing job, and dinner was perfect.


ShoesMy advice for offbeat brides: My most important advice: make sure you have underwear that isn't visible through your dress. Seriously. Especially if you are 3 hours away from home.

Also, if you're planning on doing a lot yourself on your wedding day, people will not let you. Plan accordingly.

Be picky about your vendors. We only had two vendors actually at our wedding, and they were both the kind of people we could go out for coffee with. This made working with them fun, and helped us feel more comfortable.


Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?modest bakery desserts

Enough talk — show me the wedding inspo!

planners: Jubilee Event Engineers
officiants: Quinn Russell

Meet our fave wedding vendors

Comments on Melissa & Lydia’s intimate island getaway wedding

  1. You guys are awesome! I love your photos, as a fellow library graduate in May I wish you both the best. I’m engaged and getting married in July and my wedding is getting out of hand….

  2. DUDE. Lydia is a video game tester?? I can’t believe jobs that awesome exist.

    Beautiful photos! 🙂

  3. I simply MUST know what the dessert is that sort of looks like a stack of pancakes! Someone please please identify this yummy looking item. I’m drooling and I have to make this thing and eat it very soon or be driven mad with the not knowing how delicious it might be!

    • That’s our wedding cake! It was some ridiculous flavor like blackberry lemonade or something. And yes, it was AMAZING.
      Rather than one large cake, we had an assortment of desserts from local businesses. We had that cake, that lovely pie, and half a dozen huge gooey chocolate cupcakes.
      I wholeheartedly encourage the re-creation of this cake. Its deliciousness would make the world a better place.

      • It’s so unusual, with the pancake looking layers, I thought it might have a special name or something. Thanks for filling me in, although now I’m drooling besides the curiosity.

        Your wedding looked absolutely lovely, btw! And congrats!!

  4. what a pleasure to read! you guys are gorgeous and so was your wedding. You chose terrific poems, too. Very inspiring.

  5. Totally f’ing gorgeous. I HAVE to ask where you guys got your cardigans, because I have been looking for those exact type of freaking sweaters for forever. I thought they would be easy to find!

    • They came from H&M and the Gap. Melissa bought them years ago. I had a lot of trouble finding cardigans too, which is why I ended up borrowing one of hers.

  6. You two are seriously one the most adorable couples I’ve ever seen! Good luck to you both and your wedding looked amazing!

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