So if I were a professional wedding organizer, here would be my first piece of advice to the happy couple:
Get a group of family and friends who are (a) unbelievably talented and (b) happy and even eager to share their talent at your wedding. Have friends and family who will sing, dance, play music, help organize, design invitations and programs, arrange flowers and decorations, read their writing, and shamelessly bedeck themselves in imaginatively festive outfits — and who are extraordinarily good at all these things. Do not do this because it will save you money (although it probably will). Do it because it will make your wedding yours. Do it because it will make your wedding a unique reflection of your own life together, at its very best.
My second piece of advice would be: As much as possible, use vendors you have some sort of personal or sentimental attachment to. Have your catering done by a local place where you passionately love to eat. Ditto the cake. Have your bouquets made by a dear friend of yours who’s an assemblage artist. Have your dress/dresses made by a dressmaker with ties to your community (ours were done by a corsetmaker with connections to both the fetish/sex world and the historical recreation/dance world). Hire a band made up of friends of yours who are kick-ass dance musicians that you’ve danced to many times. Have your rings made by a jeweler who made the rings for beloved friends of yours. Get the photographer who took the photos at your same-sex civil-disobedience City Hall wedding (okay, not everyone can do that, but you get the idea). Get your wine and champagne from old friends of the family; get your beer from the brewpub whose festivals you dance at twice a year. Have your officiant be the friend who introduced you. And have the ceremony in a neighborhood where you spend a lot of time and have a strong emotional/political attachment to, in the city you call home.
Here are some pictures.
This is me and Ingrid walking down the aisle, looking demented and ecstatically happy.
The wedding party. From left to right: my brother/best man, Rick, in the medieval troubador outfit; my best friend/best man, Chip, in the vintage suit; me in my corset; Ingrid in her corset; our officiant, Rebecca, in *her* corset; Ingrid’s sister/maid of honor, Cynthia in the vintage dress; and Ingrid’s best friend/maid of honor, Laura, in *her* wedding dress.
The longsword dancing. That’s me in the blue dress.
The Morris dancing. That’s my beautiful bride Ingrid in the green. My God. I could just fall down on the floor with how lucky I am.
Cutting the Cake, or, The Brides and Their Breasts.
My cousin Dennis, his wife Christine, and Mark and Tom of the Fez Family, dancing the Sicilian Circle Waltz.
More pictures to come.