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The offbeat bride: Molly, business owner and teacher

Her offbeat partner: Laurie, business owner/dog adventure guide/writer

Location & date of wedding: Guemes Island, WA overlooking the water and mountains on October 25th, 2008

What made our wedding offbeat: Some details of that made it ours….

Rather than sending STD cards or standard invitations…we put together a CD (I love music) and sent it to our guests. We sent the CDs 10 months ahead of time (and even with no Save The Date) it worked out great – people loved the CD and still talk about it. The CD had our website on it, which was all people needed. It set the tone for fun and expecting the unexpected. (In hindsight, it also served as the ‘favor').

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Guests were asked to participate in many ways. During the ceremony we had a Community Support section where guests were asked to publicly declare their support to our commitment. We also had a Ring Warming during the ceremony where the rings were passed around and guests were asked to take a moment to hold them, infuse them with their physical, emotional, and spiritual warmth. And we had a wedding certificate made that our guests signed with us after the ceremony. We got a lot of response at how much people enjoyed being a part of it all.

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We had a pre-ceremony mingle with food and drink – guests love food & drink! We had to do a lot of planning for about a year before the wedding; however, neither one of us did any work on our wedding day. We got massages and were super relaxed… we totally gave up all control and let our community loose… they set up the tables, the chairs for the ceremony, the flowers, the sound system, did our hair, etc. We literally just showed up… it was awe-some!! We also choreographed a playful first dance to Frank Sinatra's “World on a String.”

Our DJ was a local woman we heard at a club and loved… I emailed her and asked if she did weddings. She said she didn't, but once she knew that it was more party/less wedding music she happily agreed! Neither of us like cake, so no cake… in fact, no hoopla of any kind around the desserts (brownies with ice-cream – yum).

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The wedding was at a rustic resort and many guests slept in the cabins or yurts on Friday and Saturday night, making the event a community one (i.e., set-up, clean-up, breakfast, midnight snacks, fire building, hot tubbing, bonding, etc.).

Our biggest challenge: Sadly, Laurie's parents chose not to come to the wedding. They felt/feel our marriage conflicts with their religious views and they cannot support it. We live in the same city as her parents, and our engagement lasted over a year, which made – and still makes – interactions & holidays tough.

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They pray against our love and actively support bans on marriage equality. They even chose not to see/interact with their multiple family members that flew in for the wedding (including their son/Laurie's brother).

We did/do our best to cope with this by talking about it openly, perusing OBB, trying not to make them wrong and trusting that the greatest gift we can give to family, friends and the community in general, is to be truly authentic, no matter how hard the ‘truth' may be for others.

My favorite moment: The declaration of our marriage by our bad-ass celebrant & dear friend, Roxanne.

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She took a step forward, puffed her chest and powerfully announced:
“By the power unlawfully seized by me in defiance of the State of Washington's laws prohibiting marriage equality, it is my great pleasure to declare you MARRIED!”

It felt like the earth shifted at that moment. It was powerful because of how real the words were to her… it sent a visible wave of chills + joy over the crowd. It literally rocked!

A few of my vendors:

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My offbeat advice: Keep a separate checking account for your wedding spending/saving & use an on-line budgeter! Even my Excel geekiness couldn't outdo the free tools available on-line. I'm sure there are other great budgeters, but I confess, I used the Knot's budgeter. (If you've never heard of the Knot, don't go there, you are a true OBB. Keep your purity! If you've heard of it and I made you gag – sorry.)

Anyway, I clicked past the white cookie-cutter consumerism crap and found that their budgeter kinda rocks. We had to reformat their suggested budget (i.e., subtract: hair & make-up, bridesmaids stuff, bridal bouquet, limo, etc and add: CD envelopes, mason jars from goodwill, port-a-potty, etc.), but from anywhere in the world I could keep track of our payments and budget stuff. Yeah for financial control and ease!

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Click here for more pics from this amazing wedding day!
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Comments on Molly & Laurie’s Island Outdoor Lesbian Yes-We-Can Wedding

  1. I have to admit, I’m pretty sure I’m going to borrow the ring warming idea. It’s amazing!! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear your in laws were being so out and out horrible. How can they support a religion that sets up a barrier between them and their child? But at least you went ahead and expressed your love for each other and celebrated your wedding. It looks like a beautiful ceremony, full of geniuene emotion, love and commitment, plus an awesome party thrown in! Yay!

  3. You go girls! What a beautiful, touching story. I applaud your strength and love for each other in the face of so many odds. May you have all the happiness you both so richly deserve.

  4. Roxanne is a friend of mine…and you’re right, she does rock, but you guys rock harder. 🙂

  5. I am really moved that Laurie emerged so strong and loving from what must have been a really tough coming-out experience.
    It sounds cool that the rest of the family chose to support you-yay to them!
    HOW did you get that rainbow into the pic of you sitting together in the chair?
    Was that just serendipitous?
    Anyway, how incredibly cool and beautiful to have a lovely gay pride rainbow in that pic.

  6. WOW is right – your “favorite moment” brought tears to my eyes! Congratulations to you both!

  7. Congratulations. You are brave. It’s good that you went ahead with the wedding, even though Laurie’s parents weren’t in favour. Let’s hope they learn to accept the marriage over time.

    You may not be able to change their views — and you shouldn’t try, really — but they might one day see how happy you are. *That* should make them reflect on things.

    Once again, congrats.

  8. Your favorite moment gave me chills! I am one half of a lesbian couple getting married in March and i can’t WAIT to see what our officiant/MOH/BFF says at the end. The whole thing is a surprise. And yes, HOW did you get that rainbow in the picture?! Amazing.

  9. Molly & Laurie, absolutely beautiful! I really love that your guests were so involved. The ring warming…I’m with Carrie, I may have to steal that idea and having everyone sign a certificate after the ceremony is such a beautiful idea! May have to steal that too! I also love that you did the CD invitation. I have been thinking about that but haven’t been able to work out the details. You have really inspired me. Thank you! Congratulations and I wish you all the happiness in the world.

    PS Great advice on the budgeter! Will definitely be using that!

  10. Well, I certainly just got chills. My partner’s name is also Laurie (we married in October ’07), and her mother also refused to attend for similar reasons (though we were fortunate that the rest of her immediate family joined us). I even wore a burgundy dress!

    Molly & Laurie, cheers to you both, and thank you for sharing the details of what looks to have been an incredible day. We in MA are pulling for WA and the rest of the country to come to their senses!

    P.S., you’re both adorable, and the dance was fabulous!

  11. All couples should feel the earth move when they are pronounced married, but they shouldn’t be the ones that have to move it! I can’t wait for the day when all loving adult couples can get married without hassle. Your wedding is gorgeous, and I’m so happy for you both!


  12. This wedding is awesome. Beautiful and powerful. I love seeing other lesbian weddings posted!

    We are also doing a ring-warming, as suggested by our minister when we first met. It’s such a great way to include the guests and put a lot of powerful energy into the wedding rings.

    Congrats, women!

  13. I should know better than to read this at work…I’m trying in vain not to cry over the favorite moment. That is so fantastic and powerful and I can only imagine what it much have been like to experience.

    On a separate note, the advice about the wedding account is dead on. I opened one this month for all of our last payments and it is such a relief to see the budgeted funds cover what they should!

  14. She took a step forward, puffed her chest and powerfully announced:
    “By the power unlawfully seized by me in defiance of the State of Washington’s laws prohibiting marriage equality, it is my great pleasure to declare you MARRIED!”

    I totally teared up at this AT WORK.

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

  15. Congratulations! The way you were declared married gave me chills just reading it. I would be interested to hear if Laurie’s parents will even look at photos of the event…I assume if you send them this link, they will ignore it. But try. I have seen people come around and change their minds, so you never know.

  16. WoW. Thanks. And Yikes, now I’m in tears that you all are so moved about our wedding. Jenny, our ridiculously talented photographer will have to answer the rainbow question…she said it just appeared…Feel free to steal any and all that you want from our wedding…our entire ceremony is posted on our wedsite (click on my name). Thanks again…I hug all of you right back!

  17. Ahhh…I think I may have mind-melded with you two brides a bit. As a fellow Wai-Chinger I have to say that I adore the cropped jacket. What a nifty idea on making it winter-white wearable!

    We also had a ring-warming which – despite our concerns about dropping/losing the rings – went off without a hitch. The best part was that it allowed us to accommodate the vastly divergent religious views of our guests in a personal and private way while staying true to our own belief system. We invited them to make a wish, say a prayer or just impart good vibes.

  18. Congratulations! What a truly wonderful and inspiring day. I find that we queerfolk often make up what we lack in governmental/family support with kick-ass communities. Coincidence? I think not!

    One of the (several) reasons my partner and I have not yet announced a ceremony is that we have no idea how my family will react to our queer lives, our queer friends, and the general offbeat tendancy we’re sure to bring to the celebration. Thanks for giving me hope that it will be a happy, beautiful day no matter how they react.

  19. Beautiful day, beautiful photos, beautiful couple, beautiful! Many blessings to you both and may the love that radiates from all the corners of the earth that fully supports and recognizes your marriage be enough to carry you and snuff out any darkness.

  20. What a sweet, wonderful day it must have been!! And I do have to agree that your pronouncement of marriage rocks! Congrats!

  21. I am with Beca! I just teared up at work, and am about to have to host a Conference Call and am still all sniffley!

  22. Best wishes to you!
    I really enjoyed your pictures. Everyone looked so touched and happy and like having a great time.

  23. congratulations, you two. you both look so beautiful. i hope your family will come around in time.

  24. Hi, it’s Jenny the photog for these two incredible, loving ladies (who were the first to find me through Offbeat Bride – thanks Ariel!).

    The rainbow effect was done by the sun coming through the glass of my lens at a particular angle, creating a spectrum of colors. Just like when you a see a tiny rainbow on your floor unexpectedly from the sun shining through your window. I love flare and use it often but I didn’t realize it would give me the rainbow until I checked my LCD. I immediately ran over to show them and did a little happy dance!

  25. “We did/do our best to cope with this by talking about it openly, perusing OBB, trying not to make them wrong and trusting that the greatest gift we can give to family, friends and the community in general, is to be truly authentic, no matter how hard the ‘truth’ may be for others”

    I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Whether you have a traditional or offbeat, gay or straight wedding, the most important thing is to be authentic. There is nothing more important than this. You guys rock!

  26. When I watched the video of the two of you dancing, all I could think was how perfect you two are together. I was thinking, “Lesbians have the BEST weddings!” Then I read further down and my heart just FELL. I am so proud of you for how gracefully you have handled all of this. and your celebrant gave me the chills even via text.

  27. Oh, I would so love to steal your celebrants declaration for our unlawful wedding if you don’t mind. We’re not sure whether my financees mother is coming to ours, Dani’s obviously upset but it is very nice to see that it doesn’t automatically mean the day is ruined (I will be showing her this as soon as she gets home from work!)

    Beautiful wedding, I’m even more excited for mine now. All the best for the rest of your lives!

  28. Molly and Laurie….I love that we are friends. You have inspired me for so many years to “go forward positively and lovingly”. The way you both celebrate life is full and all encompassing. It was a joy to swim around in your joy with you on your wedding! We are all blessed!

  29. WOW. What a story! What your officiant said made me tear up. I love your ring warming idea too. May the rest of your lives be filled with joy and love too!

  30. Out of all of the weddings I’ve read of lately, this is my favorite. Your ceremony, with the ring warming and community support, your choreographed dance, and your wonderful officiant–this is a truly inspirational wedding! It’s sad that Laurie’s parents weren’t supportive, but at least you were able to be surrounded by people that love and support you on your big day. I can only hope that they’ll see, through the strength of your marriage and love for one another, that love and politics have no place with each other.

  31. Congratulations! I am very moved by your story and wish you both all the best in your lives together. Glad you had such a wonderful day. Yay for love!

  32. Congratulations! I love seeing posts on lesbian brides. You two are adorable and that suite is hot. I’m sorry about Laurie’s parents. I have a lot of family like that. You should read Newsweek’s article “The Religious Case for Gay Marriage” if you haven’t already.

  33. I don’t know you guys, but I love you. And, I love LOVE, and you two certainly have that going for you. It’s clear from your expressions and the knowing and supportive looks on the faces of your guests. I totally cried looking at your album. And laughed. And was inspired. And awed. Congratulations!

  34. I’m a celebrant in Australia and I LOVED your post. Beautiful, inspiring and unless photos lie, full of love. I perform what we call commitment ceremonies here and look forward to the day, which will come, when gay couples can be fully legally married here.
    All the best for your future together!

  35. I was laughing and had tears of joy for you until I got to the part about Laurie’s parents. I cried. Hard. I am so, so sorry you both have to deal with that. My fiance is 14 years older than me and we’re of different ethnic backgrounds – I’m pretty sure my father and stepmother won’t be coming to our wedding, though they’ve not told us that flat out yet. They have issues… But still I wonder wtf is wrong with people? Shouldn’t our parents be happy we have found someone to love with all of our hearts and to share our lives with? God bless you – may you and Laurie have a wonderful and adventurous long life filled with love together.

  36. Oooh! I need to know more about your seating at the ceremony. We’ve talked about doing things in a circle, or semi-circle – is that what you did? Your chair setup looks awesome. Share what you did?

  37. What a wonderful wedding. Sorry to hear about the in-laws… brave of you to go ahead. All the best to you in your life together. 🙂

  38. What a gorgeous and heartfelt wedding! I’m so sorry that your wife’s parents were not able to get past their beliefs.

  39. This is my favorite story so far. Your proposal made me tear up and I seriously don't do that. Everything is so thoughtful and wonderful and I imagine thieving several of your great ideas. My last two partners were wonderful xx chromosomed folks who I'm still friends with. A little more than a year ago I started seeing a man who is so great, thoughtful, caring, and our lifestyles mesh well. We've been talking about having a commitment ceremony but not getting married. A lot of the things you did really resonated with my desire to have a ceremony that recognizes our relationship as just one aspect of our wonderful larger community without being heteronormitive. Thank you for sharing!

  40. Oh my word — it looks and sounds like a truly beautiful day. So sad about Laurie’s parents… I hope that someday they see the beauty in the love you share. Also, your officiant’s pronouncement definitely just made me tear up right now. If I would have been there, I’m sure I would have started bawling happy tears.

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