Riley and Anei had a lovely backyard ceremony at Riley's childhood home in Madison, WI full of sweet details like an antique bathtub for a cooler, farmer's market flowers, tons of string lights, and a striking bridal pantsuit for which we fell head over heels. And I'm thinking you will, too. Let's see more photos of the outfits and hear about their ceremony and challenges in planning this whole event as a trans/queer couple.
As a queer/trans couple, we felt liberated to create our own ceremony and rituals. We opted to not have a wedding party and had our whole family walk us in instead, to Beyonce's “Halo.”
Our friend Mary was our officiant and did a fantastic job with our last-minute ceremony script. We opted to not read vows since we were both nervous about speaking in front of people. Instead, I adapted a ritual from my Unitarian upbringing, the Water Communion, into a commitment context. Mary read our commitment promises (to be family to one another, to be kind to ourselves and each other), while we each poured water from our hometown lakes into a common vase, in ascent.
I think everyone's favorite part of the ceremony was the end, where we had Mary read, “and now, by the power vested in me by feminism, I pronounce your love on top. You may kiss me.” And we both kissed her on the cheek before kissing each other, to Beyonce's “Love on Top,” obviously.
I remember reading wedding blog posts while planning and feeling sad that our community wouldn't support our celebration. I worried that our friends would judge us for being too heteronormative, or wouldn't come to our party. In the end we received so much help from our community, from our friend who hung the lights and directed parking, to our queerfam who all chipped in to stock our drinks tub (literally, a bathtub full of drinks). Our friends, while many radically oppose the institution of marriage, showed up for us that weekend and were excited to celebrate together.
- Photography: Kate Krause
- Jumpsuit: JCrew
- Suit: Bonobos
- Rentals: Event Essentials
Comments on Riley and Anei’s Wisconsin backyard wedding
I loved reading your thoughts about choosing marriage even when your community has different feelings about it. It’s so heartwarming to read that they celebrated and supported your commitment even so! Congratulations to you both.
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