Hey, I'm CaitlinWedding Coach and self-proclaimed off-beat, non-traditional bride!
When we began our own journey of creating a vision of an authentic Celebration of Love (aka our wedding), I often felt overwhelmed by the expectations and pressures to uphold age-old wedding traditions that just didn’t fit who we are as a couple. Determined to be true to ourselves, I (with my future husband’s participation and full support) resolutely set out to create a celebration that spoke to our identities, our relationship, and what this public celebration meant to us.
It was at times, a grueling, and tearful process. I often second guessed our decisions, struggled to explain our vision to others, and found myself periodically pulled off-course by well-meaning advice.
I learned so much from my experience and do not regret a single choice that made our celebration “Ours”. Once our day was said and done, I realized I have so much knowledge, guidance, and insight to give to others, to not only make their process of creating a vision for their celebration, more intentional, fun, but also ( I hope ) a bit easier.
I’m so looking forward to being your guide, while endlessly supporting Your vision.
Cheers to you both, and huge heart-felt Congratulations!
Create your own vision of an intentional wedding celebration!
Our Celebration of Love
We tied the knot inside a hexagon, on a very special property owned by my cousin and her husband. “Beast” and I are beekeepers and love the symbolism of the hexagon – love, balance, harmony, equality, communication and community. The hexagon was made with grasses and flowers from our loved ones’ gardens and our own.
We quickly realized the typical names for wedding parties didn’t fit our co-ed group. We also chose to not have members of The Hive stand on a specific side during the ceremony, as each person is a dear friend to us both. Calling them”The Hive” was a perfect fit – just like individual bees can’t survive without their hive, we would not be where we are today without this group of people in our lives.
The inspiration for my non-conventional dress...
The only thing I knew for sure, was that I wanted to wear my great grandmother Lydia’s necklace on my wedding day. I had always admired it as a child. My Grandma Lydia was such a special person in my life, she taught me to paint, and as an adult I’m inspired by her tenacity, and courage to go after what she wanted. Having a piece of her with my on my wedding day was so meaningful. Truthfully, I was never set on wearing white on my wedding day and after trying many white dresses on, none seemed to do the necklace justice like this one. I purchased the dress from a small boutique in New Orleans with “Beast”. Having him be part of the dress shopping process is one of my fondest memories.
We walked each other down the isle
“Beast” and I loved the symbolism of entering our ceremony together, just like my parents did more than 30 years ago. We considered our Celebration of Love to be just that, a celebration – of the life we had built together so far, and an opportunity to sharing our intentions, love for one another, and the deepening of our commitment with loved ones. As you can imagine, our sweet pup Elbe stole the show as he dutifully walked between us the whole way.
Our dear friend was our "Kween of Ceremony"
We asked Julia to say the opening words, set the tone for our ceremony, and share her thoughts and perspective of our relationship. We know she “gets us” and had supported our vision every step of the way. Plus she is one of the most genuine people we know, is incredibly articulate, witty-as-hell, and best of all, she wears her heart on her sleeve. She rocked it and had us all laughing and crying simultaneously. Beast and I then self-solemnized or married ourselves, which is legal in Colorado.
Our "Hive" and Guests stood around us
The idea was inspired by a wedding we attended a few years before. We believed, that by having our guests standing with us we would feel not only more supported but less on display. We also hoped our guests feel like they were part of the ceremony not just observing it.
We asked our "Hive" and parents to share their intentions for us
Each of our Hive members and parents were asked to bring a physical object that represented an intention they have for us. They shared the meaning then placed the item in the one open side of the hexagon to ceremoniously close the space for us to share our vows and intentions for our marriage and life together.
We wrote our own vows
Together, decided we wanted them to be one part love letter + one part what this step meant to us + one part intentions for our future.
We did the damn thing.
Then took a little time after the ceremony for a private celebration. Also, I can’t resist pointing out how my dress shows off my sweet 14.5″ scar from my spinal fusion surgery…a part of my life that shaped who I am and I wanted to show it off, not hide it.
And we danced the night away together. . .
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