Intimate LGBTQ Wedding in Benton Harbor, Michigan
Updated: Jan 15
Alix and Becca's intimate wedding day and unique and personalized ceremony has me getting all mushy and squishy inside still...and probably will for a while.
Their wedding will stay with me for a longtime to come and continue to inspire me. It was such an intimate wedding complete with unique details and elements. While the day itself was not the way that they had originally planned to get married (hello, COVID!), these two brides chose to get married no matter what. If they couldn't travel, they'd get married at the courthouse. But luckily travel restrictions didn't come into play until a week later (phew!) The smaller, more intimate wedding allowed them to have one-on-one time with their guests, something that would not have happened to the same extent with 150 people. Honestly, this is one of the reasons I prefer elopements and intimate weddings and get excited when my couples value time with family and friends as well.
How these two lovers met
Becca and Alix met while attending grad school at the Yale School of Drama. Both were students in the Technical Design and Production MFA program. They flirted for months as their friendship grew. And then the inevitable happened. These two wonderful women fell in love.
The Proposal and Engagement
A few years later, Becca knew that she wanted to propose to Alix. Both Alix and Becca live by their values, and try to buy local and from small women-owned businesses as much as possible. Becca found a gorgeous, eco-conscious ring on Etsy and ordered it to propose to Alix. But things never go to plan, and the engagement ring that Becca received was not the one she bought. After going back and forth with the seller, the seller said that they would send the correct ring. But the ring would not get there in time for the proposal.
Both Becca and Alix love Weinachtsmarkts, or Christmas Markets. Becca planned to propose to Alix during their upcoming date, but Alix had a cold and wasn't feeling well. Somehow Becca managed to talk Alix to still go out on the date, runny nose and all. While sitting down to enjoy some treats, Becca offered Alix a tissue. But Alix said she didn't need a tissue. Becca, crestfallen and determined, told Alix "I really think you need a tissue anyways" and handed Alix the ring wrapped in tissue. Tears and happiness ensued as Alix said yes! And while they still have that ring, it was eventually replaced with the original engagement ring that Becca had ordered.
Planning Their Wedding During COVID
While COVID threw many wrenches into Alix and Becca's wedding plans, one wonderful thing about having time was the opportunity to build their own tear drop trailer that they would use for their honeymoon on a roadtrip through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Color me INCREDIBLY IMPRESSED and check out the photos in the gallery of their trailer because it is truly an amazing teardrop trailer, literally built from sweat, happy tears, and a whole lot of love (all in 3 weeks!)
The wedding itself took place at the Blue Dress Barn in Benton Harbor Michigan outside of the beautiful beach town of St. Joseph, Michigan. St. Joseph is full of activities and outdoor opportunities to explore, which made my time up there so much more fun!
The ceremony included so many personal elements and included family and friends. Becca and Alix's grad school colleague and friend officiated the ceremony. One of the bridesmaids has a beautiful voice and performed the processional. Alix's close friend and Becca's sister both conducted readings, including an excerpt from Justice Anthony Kennedy's moving statement on the US Supreme Court same sex marriage ruling. And, most intimate of all, their vows to each other. I'm not gonna lie, I definitely shed a tear listening to the both of them talk about why they love the other person. And another tear as they recited their vows and made promises to each other.
And then it was ready to party with their loved ones! Read below to hear some of Alix and Becca's thoughts about their wedding in their own words.
Thank you to all of the vendors for creating such a beautiful day for Alix and Becca!
Venue: Blue Dress Barn
Planning: 1928 Planning Co.
Catering: Gilmore Catering
Rentals: Taylor Rental Party Plus
Dress and Suit Jacket: Local dressmaker
Flowers: Becca's Grandmother (OMG, totally to die for - but, like, don't die. Swooning is ok though.) DJ: Alix's Father
Ceremony Officiant: Friend of the couple
In The Brides' Own Words
What was the inspiration behind your intimate wedding?
We wanted it to feel really informal and casual, but not to the detriment of the specialness and gravity of the occasion. We’re not formal or fussy people, so we wanted our wedding to reflect the joy, fun, and appreciation for good food and wine. Becca also spent the majority of her formative years thinking she would not be able to marry the person of her choice, so making sure to own & celebrate that legal ruling was really important to us.
What was your favorite moment of the wedding day?
Oh man, it was all so wonderful! Just in general having a room full of people that we love and who love & support us was really affirming in a way we hadn’t expected. I guess I really did love the cocktail hour because it was the start of the true-celebration portion of the day. The weather was glorious, the cocktails were heavenly, and I got to really relax and say hello to all of the people who had traveled to help us celebrate. The rest of the day was really on autopilot— which was a good thing!!
If you could do your wedding all over again, would you do anything differently?
I don't think so. I’m so, so glad we opted not to cancel the wedding, but also that we were super clear about our COVID safety expectations from vendors and guests. We wanted everyone to feel safe, but being able to celebrate with a group was balm for the soul. In hind sight, the size of our wedding was perfect. We really missed a few people who couldn’t come, but the smaller size (about 1/3 of what we’d initially anticipated pre-COVID) allowed us to spend more quality time with folks, AND save some money!
Any wedding advice for other couples?
Choose your vendors wisely, and don’t get suckered into "wedding capitalism". Definitely allow yourself to deviate from the norm! We skipped a handful of things that are very traditional (gifts, DJ/band, a cake, extravagant decor...) and didn’t miss any of them one bit! On the flip side, having vendors who GET you— caterers you trust & like, a florist or other decor-folks you don't need to micromanage, (a photographer you are comfortable with!) is what makes the day feel fun & celebratory, rather than stressful and over-the-top. You’re getting married because you want to— it shouldn’t be a drag to plan or execute
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