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Michelle & Deborah's Perfect Wedding/Astin Mansion

Friday, March 25, 2011





French fragrance- Chanel of course!

Etsy Bride's mates gifts!

First look!

Viva la Macarons

Best wedding cake ever- croquembouche!

This was by far THE FUNNIEST & MOST MOVING wedding we have ever done- kind of ironic in seeing how some people believe that a union like this shouldn't be legal.

Michelle and Deborah met from their love of the theater , books and everything Etsy.  They  met during a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie at a local community theater.
Michelle's a guest blogger for Your So Engayged and has chronicalled every step of the way from choosing the right traditions to decorating. She enjoyed the planning so much she started her own wedding coordinating business Crafted Weddings. ( we're lucky enough to work with her this weekend!)

First they choose the perfect location- the elegant Astin Mansion- they have did the table flowers and catering. Michelle said Deborah thinks spending money on bouquets is silly when they just die a few days after so she  told her she could make her a bouquet that would never wilt  and thus her fabric/book flower project began - the newspaper flowers she got on Etsy and mixed with her own. 
They also used Etsy for their bridal party gifts- each attendant got a cool vintage pinup flask and the cute cloth love brides  are from The Girl in Yellow.
The main wedding cakes looked like a stack of books- from Shakespeare to the Merry Wifes of Windsor.
Instead of favors for their guests the couple made a donation to the Pride Community Center. It  is their area's first LGBT community gathering place and is providing a much needed resource to youth and adults in our area. At first they thought they we were going to donate to the Human Rights Campaign, but realized it was more important to give locally, and see their donation help within their own community.

The wedding certificate was also from an Etsy store called OrleansPaperie. Michelle  researched the wording on different ketubahs and Quaker wedding certificates to create what was used on their own. They chose the quote because it really embodied how we felt about love and what marriage means to both of them.  Read about it here on So your engay-ged!

What really made this wedding so special and emotionally beautiful was the readings! They chose one of their readings from Shakespeare- it was read by their friend Will who is also a writer and playwright:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved. 

They also chose a children's book  called "I Like You" by Sandol Stoddard they happened to stumble on them  early on in their planning process.  It  reminded them of how they  are when they are together, and how our relationship works. Michelle said "We adore the honesty of it most of all".  This is a slightly shortened version read by their  all bridesmates:

I like you and I know why.
I like you because you are a good person to like.
I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it's special
And you remember it a long, long time.
You say, "Remember when you told me something special?"
And both of us remember

To include the  fight for equality they read the Massachusetts ruling on marriage- they thought it was so simple and basic-- it just spelled it out in a perfect way.

Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. Without question, civil marriage enhances the “welfare of the community.” It is a “social institution of the highest importance.” Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family…. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition….It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a “civil right.”

For their vows they choose " i carry your heart with me (e.e. cummings) with it's call and resonse

i carry your heart with me

(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it

(anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate

(for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart

(i carry it in my heart)

Their  last reading was one their awesome  officiant Spike Gillespie suggested.

~ By: Mari Nichols-Haining ~

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body...

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me...

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold...

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship...

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements...

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole...

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage...

Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.

Michelle had seen the passing of the rings on "A Practical Wedding" they both loved the idea of having friends & family 'bless' their rings before they were exchanged. Michele thought "Even though our bands were more than just metal circles before they were passed around, I feel like they are more than just wedding bands now. They are a constant reminder of our commitment, and all of those that support us in our marriage."

This is what they said as they exchanged rings:

You are my friend, and you tell me the truth. Even when the world is falling apart, you are my constant, my touchstone. When I look at you, I'm Home.

and they also choice HANDFASTING as a part of the ceremony, their friend Jenny wrote this:
 Michelle and Deborah,

May your love be like the fire of two flames, beginning separately but joining together to reflect
the light and warmth you create together into the lives of others

May your wisdom be like a river flowing into a sea, so you may give truth and knowledge freely
to each other

May your honesty be like the meeting of winds, sometimes moving storms and sometimes
creating them, but ending always in peace

May your strength be like the slow meeting of two mountains, pushing each other past all
obstacles up into the sky

By the grace of the goddess, blessed be 

Michelle said 
"We just really liked the definitions of marriage. Again, we chose our readings because they all held a significance in what marriage should be regardless of legal status (Strong and steadfast, childlike at times, a basic human right, always honest, the beauty of partnership)."

Since both Deborah and Michelle speak French and have been lucky to spend time in Paris.  they said they thought that the French do romance right. The croquembouche was a nod to their love of French culture and flamboyant presentation! It's traditional to  cut  with a sword! You can read her blogpost on their cake choices here!  (it was sooo delicious it was GONE in minutes!)

After dinner, toasts and  dancing to show tunes and exited to sparklers.
Congratulations Michelle & Deborah-for creating their own family -we wish you both  all the  joys life brings you.

Venue, Reception Flowers/Linens, Catering: The Astin Mansion 
Officiant: Spike Gillespie 
Ceremony Musician/DJ: Acoustic Production

Ceremony Bouquets: Michelle
she is  planning on opening an etsy store  if someone is interested they can email her at
Michelle used Etsy seller Danamazing for the paper flowers in the bouquets.
Macaroons: Sparkle's Kitchen on Etsy
Bridesmate Gifts: DNA Creations on Etsy
Cake Toppers (custom): The Girl in Yellow on Etsy
Hair Pieces (Both me and Deborah): Hems and Bustles on Etsy
Wedding Certificate: Orleans Paperie on Etsy
Brides Dresses: VIP Bridal and Davids Bridal
Michelle's red bolero was from the etsy shop Crimson Empress 
both Hair pieces were from hemsandbustles
Makeup: Stephanie Drew
Hair: Ann/ Cutler 2 Salon & Spa