Think I’m Gonna Change Up My Style Just To Fit In?

The second time we were married, we were across the Golden Gate Bridge, in the green of the Marin Headlands, with our friends and family.

Our City Hall wedding was so satisfying that I’d wondered, briefly, if maybe that’s all we really needed. Maybe those months we spent choosing a location, designing invitations and deciding what wines to serve weren’t necessary after all.

0903zach_and_phaedra_wedding541Photo by Jacob Bauch

But while City Hall was refreshingly simple, it wasn’t personal. It wasn’t really about us. Our wedding in the Marin Headlands was truly ours. We chose the music, wrote our ceremony, and made decorations.

We didn’t have wedding colors or any particular theme. We aren’t religious people, so we didn’t have any traditional hoops to jump through. We tried to simply include what felt meaningful and fun to us. That meant that we had a reading from the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that allowed gay and lesbian couples to marry, and also a reading from Suzanne Somers little known book of poetry, Touch Me.

It meant that we included our families in our ceremony — our dads MC’d and our moms each did a reading — and passed on the traditional father-daughter or mother-son dances.

0903zach_and_phaedra_wedding602Photo by Jacob Bauch

Our caterer shared our love of locally grown food and served a gorgeous spring meal (fava beans! asparagus! artichokes! lamb that even lamb-haters loved!), all sourced from Marin farms and ranches. Our guests are still talking about the food, and many guests told us later that they tried to recreate some of the food at home.

Instead of a tiered wedding cake, we had a selection of cakes from Miette for dessert. (I love that I can go eat our wedding cake any time I’m down at the Ferry Building.) Two of my aunts who were hungry to be involved in the wedding contributed family favorite desserts — Janet’s famous chocolate chip cookies and Mary Jo made her chocolate-peanut butter balls.

Anyone who knows Mr. WholeHog knows how much he loves coffee, so we had Blue Bottle Coffee come in and serve French press with dessert.

Friends who married 10 years ago said our wedding made them wonder, “What would our wedding have been like if we’d waited until we had personalities?” And, ultimately, that was our goal — not to worry about meeting someone else’s expectation of what a wedding is, but to have a party that felt like us, that reflected our values, and to share it with our favorite people.


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