Kathryn Blume - Vermont Wedding Officiant

Funny Wedding Stories

Seriously. Not Psychic. But…

psychic

As has been documented in these pages before, while I, in no way, consider myself psychic, I do happen to have a quirkily uncanny sartorial karma. It manifests in my ability to wear pretty much exactly the right thing to a wedding. Now, when I know what colors the Happy Couple have chosen, then wearing the right thing is essentially a gimme.

But when I’m meeting up with a couple of Elopers, you never know what threads they’re gonna be sporting, and whether I’ll be essentially ok, or a resident of Hard Clash City. Most of the time, though, from orange dresses to fishnet stockings, I manage to match like a champ. How? I dunno. Don’t ask. It’s a gift.

Today’s wedding of Jon and Julie was no exception.

Julie and Jon had driven up from Rhode Island at the last minute with their dog Maggie to find some sweet spot somewhere in Vermont to get hitched. They weren’t sure where they wanted to do the deed; perhaps Burlington or at my house in Charlotte. They finally settled on taking a hike up to a mountain lake outside of Brandon.

photo 4

That would have been fine, but for the fact that I’m suffering from a cold right now and my energy level is down around my ankles. My sinuses and I are NOT really in the mood for a hike.

Fortunately, they were very accommodating and found an Interfaith Nature Path outside of Ripton, complete with a small stone labyrinth. Flat, short walk, shady in the trees…easy peasy.

photo 3

The labyrinth was lovely and heartful, and even had a stone in the center with a basket on it where people make offerings in thanks. It was really perfect. They loved it, the photographer loved it, Maggie the Dog loved it.

photo 2

So it was pretty cosmically perfect anyway, but this is where I also feel the need to note the fact that, with nary a hint of preparation or coordination, I managed to match them pretty darn well.

photo 1 Like I said, it’s a gift.

Party At The Pink Pig

Jules and Bree

Jules and Bree, the latest in a long line of ladies coming up from Florida to wed.

Our plan (after some unintended gender confusion on my part), was to meet in Essex, NY at the ferry dock for the ceremony.

However, in early November, it can be – and yesterday absolutely was – rather brisk at the ferry dock!  Not only was I concerned for these gals who’d just left 80 degrees and sunny behind them, but for ME.  Even with climate change, in my personal experience, the winters somehow just keep getting colder!

Fortunately, I’d arrived in Essex a little early and found myself getting tea at an adorable coffee shop and Cool Stuff Store called The Pink Pig.

Deb, the proprietress extraordinaire (and Manhattan expat), was incredibly friendly and welcoming.  When I told her I was in town for a wedding at the ferry dock, she said she wanted to come and take photos for her blog.  So, I suspected that if we showed up on her doorstep, she would welcome our little wedding party with open arms.

And so she did!

Bree and Jules

She rearranged some of her nifty antiques and other lifestyle ornaments to make room for us to do the ceremony, changed the music playing in the store, and took a heap of photos – including the entire wedding party with their friends Lee Ann and Courtney from Plattsburgh. Deb also gave them a couple of coffee mugs as impromptu wedding gifts!

The Whole Group

If you, dear reader, are ever in Essex, NY, go visit Deb at The Pink Pig.  She’s open year round. Be sure to show her some gleeful and abundant love!

I also got to learn more about Jules and Bree, who met playing pool.  Apparently, Bree’s parents didn’t like the woman she’d been seeing, and so suggested she get out more and join a lesbian pool league.  Definitely a guaranteed bastion of fine, upstanding citizens!

Apparently, Bree’s Dad is also THE biggest redneck in town, and approached Jules at one point, asking if she was dating his daughter.  Fearing getting her butt kicked, but determined to stand up for herself, she acknowledged that she was.  Dad gave a nod and a grunt and walked away.  And all their parents have been on board with the relationship ever since!

This morning, I got the most beautiful email from Jules and Bree which, though a little long for a blog post, I want to share in its entirety because it was so moving:

Kathryn,
Bree and I just wanted to take a few moments to thank you so much for making today a very special day for us.  Bree and I have said for the last couple of years that if and or when getting married would have a legal effect on our lives we would jump at the opportunity.  When the federal government, namely the IRS, made the decision, to recognize same sex couples as married any where in the country as long as you were married in a State where it was legal we could not pass up the opportunity to get married.
Then the enormity of the task at hand began to take shape…what state, how do the laws work, who will marry us, will they marry us?  How long will we have to be gone.  As we had discussed today we have been together for almost 5 years we own a home, have a few pets.  Bree is self employed runs a very successful landscaping business and I am a classically and formally trained Chef who five years ago redirected my career and sought some more education in Clinical Nutrition and I now am a Regional Food Service Director for one of the largest Behavioral Healthcare Organizations in the United States and being away from our jobs is not easy for either of us.   Honestly, it was not until we found you on line that, marry each other became a realistic and reachable goal.
On the outside looking in today may have appeared to be a nice ceremony for two women in a quaint little café, called the Pink Pig, by the water in Essex. Please know, that for Bree, and I, today was a true commitment to each other, based on a culmination events in the last year, that reaffirmed our almost 5 year love affair.  Our Marriage today also provides Bree and I with some basic rights and privileges that without your help, and the State of New York, we would not have, and for that we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
With Warmest Regards,
Jules and Bree Smith

I love my job!

 

Brain Gone Wrong

???

I recently got an email from a couple – Jules and Bree – who were coming to upstate New York from Florida to get married. Having just seen their names, I assumed that they were both men.

When we finally spoke on the phone, Jules, who came across as a totally regular, easygoing guy, kept referring to Bree as “her.” I assumed he was using that pronoun in kind of a campy way. I’ve spent most of my life in the theater, so in the moment that seemed like a reasonable assumption.

Then, I started wondering if maybe Bree was transsexual or transgender, and I wanted to be sure about exactly how she was identifying. So I asked what pronouns and other language they wanted to use in the ceremony.

Jules said, “Oh, yeah, wife and wife will be fine.”

At which point I realized that I was talking to two WOMEN, one of whom just happened to have a rather low voice and casual, dude-like demeanor!

Fortunately, when I confessed and apologized for my confusion, they were both incredibly good natured about it, and sent me a pic so I’d know who was who.

Jules and Bree

The plan was that they’d come drive from Plattsburgh, I’d take the ferry over from Charlotte, and we’d all meet in Essex, NY at the ferry dock.  We’d do the ceremony looking out over the water, and then roll along with our respective days.  An easy and relaxed Friday afternoon.

And how did it go?  Stay tuned for more information…

October Surprise

So the other day, I get this random text:

Txt

Alice and Terri are a couple of gals from Florida who’ve been together for years, and, like so many other women I’ve been working with of late, decided to take advantage of the demise of DOMA and come get married in Vermont.

Alice and Terri

Apparently, they’d been at the Avis counter at the airport, and when they mentioned that they were here to get married, another couple of women in line, Susan and Gwen, said that they were getting married too, and one thing led to another, and they discovered that they were all getting married by me, and that their cakes was being made by my friend, neighbor, and colleague Julie Almond of Caketopia Cakes.  Lucky gals.

This is Julie.  She's a genius.  No, really.  She's a member of MENSA.

This is Julie. She’s a genius. No, really.
She’s a member of MENSA.

So, I go up to the Comstock Inn in Plainfield to marry Alice and Terri first.  I’d spent the morning helping Julie get their cake ready, and boy is it exquisite.  Spice cake with maple buttercream frosting, and then bedecked with this totally gorgeous sugar art!  I painted some of the flowers.  But really, mostly, I washed Julie’s dishes.  It’s still an honor.

cake

The gals dress up, we do the ceremony, and they’re happily hitched:

All 3

And THEN they tell me they’re planning to come to my house a few days later for Susan and Gwen’s wedding.  And so they do.

Photo by Lindsay Raymondjack

Photo by Lindsay Raymondjack

Susan and Gwen are from Tennessee, and are also having a Dumping DOMA Elopement. And what might have been a quiet little wedding at my house did, in fact, turn into a party. A Tea Party! The good kind.

Photo by Lindsay Raymondjack

Photo by Lindsay Raymondjack

Of course no wedding around here is complete without a Julie Almond Cake Bomb of Gustatory Bliss.  This one was a brownie cake with buttercream frosting.  Good God!  Or as Frank Zappa might say, “Great googly moogly!”  The thing was TO DIE FOR!!!!

Photo by Lindsay Raymondjack.  Cake by Caketopia Cakes.

Photo by Lindsay Raymondjack.
Cake by Caketopia Cakes.

It had so much buttery, chocolately goodness that…well… Honestly, this cake could bring about world peace.  Seriously.  If people ate enough of this stuff, they’d be in too much of a happy sugar coma to ever fight with anyone again.  That is, of course, until the cake ran out…

Anyway, welcome to Vermont, where this kind of thing happens all the time.

A Wedding Of Unusual Coincidences

Today was a wedding I was looking forward to: Angela and James from Rhode Island.  They decided to get married in Vermont because they both grew up here and fell in love here; and as much as they enjoy living in Providence, it felt special to come back to the Green Mountains to say The Dos.

When they first contacted me, they said they’d be making a film in an apple orchard for their ceremony.  This sounded nothing but intriguing.  I couldn’t wait.  However, it proved a little too complex for their schedule, so they decided to get married at a coffee shop instead – specifically Muddy Waters, a dark, cozy place with a very handmade feel.  In fact, from the inside, it kind of looks like it grew there, rather than got built.

When I drove into town, I was a little unsure about where I might find parking, even on a quiet Sunday afternoon.  But, much to my surprise, there was one spot available on a very coveted, and usually packed, block of Main Street – right in front of Muddy Waters!

View from car

View Of Surprise From My Car

I walked in and immediately picked out Angela and James, who looked just like they were ready for a funky coffeeshop wedding.  And they really wanted it right there.  In the booth.

James and Angela

James, Sculptor and Angela, Bar Manager

I sat down and we started chatting while waiting for the photographer.  They were hilarious.  I’d love to move to Providence and hang out with them all the time.  Then, another Happy Coincidence occurred.

I am not psychic.  I do not claim to be psychic.  However, when it comes to weddings I do have inexplicably good sartorial karma. While I ask most couples what their wedding colors are, and work hard to wear something that goes with the color scheme, sometimes I don’t ask – and end up picking exactly the right thing anyway.  I showed up once for a wedding of two women at Shelburne Farms.  For no particular reason, I wore a bright orange dress, and it turned out one of the brides was wearing a dress EXACTLY the same color.  This happens a lot.

Today, I did something I would never normally do for a wedding.  I threw on a pair of fishnets.  Over orange tights, no less.  I didn’t even know I had this pair of fishnets until I started digging through my basket of tights.  But I knew that Angela and James were probably pretty non-traditional, and it would likely work well with whatever they had going on.

Turns out Angela was also wearing fishnets.

Fishnets

Legs!

SO!  Then the photographers show up – Monica and Judd from Eve Event Photography.  I worked with them a few years ago at the wedding of Amber and Kara, and the petals banner at the top of this website is a detail from a photo they took of that ceremony:

Petals.  Lots and lots of petals.

Petals. Lots and lots of petals.

It also happens that I use the petals banner at the top of the page when I print out a copy of the ceremony to give to my couples. Monica saw the text of the ceremony and said, “Hey!  I recognize that photo!” I’d completely forgotten the connection until she said it. Thankfully, she was fine with (and kind of tickled by) my using the detail that way.

Judd and Monica

Hey! I recognize that photo!

Finally, after a great deal of beer, we launched into the ceremony. Right there at the table. Hopefully Monica and Judd got some good shots that they’ll pass along.  We used my standard ceremony, with just one little tweak.  They weren’t exchanging rings.  Right after the ceremony, they were going over to Yankee Tattoo to get rings inked onto their fingers instead. Most people intend to get married for life, but I have to say that an ink tattoo is definitely a serious commitment!

The Holy Booth of Matrimony

“It really is a small world! I’m still going to buy lotto tickets…
Thank you so much, yesterday was pretty much perfect.”

Anyway, a memorable afternoon with two really fun couples.  I’d make weddings with these folks any old time!

P.S. I posted about this little event on my Facebook page and a friend wrote in immediately:

fb post

And then I found the original post:

FB status

I love Vermont.

 

These Boots Are Made For Wedding

Sarah and George

I love it when brides like Sarah know what the exact appropriate footwear is for getting married in Vermont!

Speed Record!

Bridget and Kiefer

Bridget and Kiefer

I was driving into Burlington with my husband Mark when I got a call from Bridget and Kiefer.  They were in town and wanting, for numerous reasons, to get married right away. They’d already picked up their license at City Hall and were just looking for someone who could hitch ‘em up ASAP in City Hall Park (despite the frigid temperatures).

I told them I was already on my way in, and that I could meet them in 20 minutes.  Always a fan of Love, Mark hit the gas, and we made it to town in 18 minutes and change.

Bridget and Kiefer were so sweet – like a couple of punky pierced puppies.  They’d met when Kiefer rescued Bridget from his roommate who was hitting on her, he said, “Like a jackhammer on a small animal.”  And they’d been inseparable every since.

I asked if they wanted an actual ceremony or to have me do a “Poof!  You’re married!” sort of thing.  They preferred short and sweet, so I asked them if they were sure they wanted to get married – and married to each other.  They said absolutely yes.  I asked them if they were prepared to stick it out through the hard times, and they said they’d already had plenty of those and yes, they were ready.  So I said, “Ok, I pronounce you united in marriage!” They smooched, and the deed was done!

They definitely win my all-time Contact-To-Kiss speed record!  I’d have to be hanging out right at City Hall and trolling for couples for a ceremony to happen any faster.  I wish I’d had a trophy or t-shirts for them or something…

Smooch

 

Fabulous Fusion

All photos by Lucas DeSousa at lucasdesousa.com

Meet Mala and Colin.  Could they be any cuter?  No, there is no possible way they could be. Along with being a totally connected and copaesthetic couple, they are also a spicy transcontinental blend of Indian and Irish, and as such, had themselves a beautiful Indian Fusion wedding.

As a yoga teacher and someone who has admired Indian culture from afar for years, this was a fun opportunity for me to get to participate a little more closely in a (albeit highly condensed) slice of Indian ceremonial life.

“Love is the same all around the world. Devotion, commitment, family, a desire for connection and intimacy – those are an undeniably universal human experience, and something we all understand, no matter what language we speak or to which deities we pray.”

The way the ceremony worked is that I started out by welcoming everyone to the event – especially those far-flung relatives of Mala’s who’d travelled all the way from India to be there.  Then, Mala’s Aunt, Rajani Singhal, managed to condense what would normally be a 3-day experience down to about 15 minutes.  There was fire, there was rice, and there was a significant quantity of cloth binding these two together.

Rajani found a way to preserve the fundamental essence of the ceremony – an honoring of the alchemical blend of love and duty, commitment and bonding, friendship and love which make up any good and successful marriage.

“Mala, I give you my love, my service, my care, and my devotion. With the beauty of this ring and all the joy in my heart, I take you as my beloved wife.”

Then I stepped back in and concluded with the traditional Western ring-and-vow portion of the program.

Mala, Colin, and their families were a delight to meet and work with.  I was just sorry I couldn’t stick around for the reception, which looked like it was going to be one big blow-out of a party.  But it was #2 of a Three Wedding Day and a roving officiant has got be on her way!  But I wish them all great fortune and happiness – and thanks for getting to be part of the fun!

Frolicking With Amy And Bill

Amy and Bill got married at Grand Summit at Mount Snow in West Dover, VT.  I frequently do small gatherings in demure locations, and it was a remarkble contrast.  Grand Summit is, well, grand!  And impressive!  See for yourself:

But the whole thing was hardly stuffy.  It was lovely, and Amy and Bill included some remarkably whimsical touches.  They had flower petals lining the walkway:

The UVM TopCats singing Kiss The Girl from The Little Mermaid:

Signs indicating Amy’s special status:

And a great deal of jumping and smooching:

Unfortunately, what I can’t show you was the end of the ceremony (I was a little busy). When I originally met with Amy and Bill to talk with them about the ceremony, Amy declared that even though she isn’t Jewish, and it’s hardly usual for a woman, she wanted to stomp on a glass and have everyone shout “Mazel Tov!” just because she thinks it’s a great tradition.  I told her that as long as she wore hard-soled shoes, she could stomp on anything she liked.  And so she did.

The crowd went wild.

Ellie and Ben, Back Again!

I first met Ellie and Ben back in December when I married them in a small kitchen wedding at their house.  Ellie’s mom, sister, and son Keane were there, and Ben’s parents watched on Skype.  The ceremony was brief, and mercifully so, as Ellie was not only 9 months pregnant, but actually in labor, and getting her vows out between contractions.  Seriously. Check her out:

That smile says, “I’m blissfully happy AND in serious pain.”  Her right hand says, “Stay in there, honey, just a little while longer!”  They left for the hospital half and hour later and their daughter Aspen was born that night.

They’d always planned on having a more traditional wedding with their friends and family, and yesterday, on a gloriously crisp October day, they did just that.

Sweet wee Miss Aspen was on the outside this time, and charming everyone with her tiny little Suzy Wong dress and big batty eyes.  Her brothers, Keane and Griffin, were as mini-manly as two little dudes can be.  Ellie and Ben laughed and cried their way through the ceremony as any grateful, loving couple would.  Not to mention that Ellie, for all the world, looked like a Greek Goddess.

The other entertaining part of the ceremony was that after Ben did the traditional stomping on the glass, there was so much smooching and cheering and general joyous mayhem, that I couldn’t get a word in edgewise to officially pronounce them.  So I just waited, and when there was a momentary lull in the chaos, I shouted out, “By the way, you’re married!”

Bountiful blessings on the whole bunch of them.

Closeup of shockingly beautiful decor. Just because.