A colorful Wisconsin campground wedding filled with love and gender inclusivity
“We brought together families of choice and origin to create a very tender, loving, thoughtful ceremony and three-day celebration. A true vintage, lakeside campground, complete with a Manifesto of Low Expectations and a rebellious history surrounded by forest, a treehouse and a rare bourbon bar.”
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
Ask a lot of questions. Just because there might be a rainbow flag somewhere doesn’t mean they are knowledgeable. There are a lot of traditions around weddings and marriage that can make it hard for people to think outside the box. Be conscious about using the word ceremony instead of wedding because a wedding is an industry and a ceremony is about your relationship.
There are vendors out there who want to celebrate you instead of just making another transaction. Be patient and gentle with yourself in the process and really focus on what is important to you. We also put information about pronouns with links to videos and what to do when you mess up on our website and in our field guide. The feedback we got seemed evident that people actually read them, and my (Cassie) uncle said he left our ceremony a better person.
What advice do you have for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?
Ask for people’s pronouns, use non-gendered language when talking and in your paperwork, have all-gender bathrooms, and when a mistake is made, keep it moving[…]Don’t make assumptions about who is the “man” in the relationship and who is the “women” in the relationship and then attach those things to the roles typically performed by either the “bride” or the “groom”; some couples will want it and some won’t.
What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
Finding vendors, specifically vendors owned by people of color who are also knowledgeable of queer and trans clients. From Cassie: Going to look at dresses or suits was challenging and super gendered and no one understood/affirmed my gender or knew how to help me find what I was looking for, which is a shame because I love fashion and getting dressed up. I found it most helpful to take someone who I felt saw me I how I see me. Being a femmeboy, it’s hard for people to see femme and not think woman.
Did you encounter any pleasant surprises as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
We really love all our vendors. It was a long and discouraging search to find vendors who reflected us and our values. So, we were really surprised at how loving and open all the vendors were. FIG, our caterer, added in the contract that staff were to use non-gendered language when addressing our guests. Our venue took down century old signage for the gendered restrooms. In the end, we had the most perfect ceremony and celebration and we left with new friends.
Search our directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors.
Photographer: Tuan B and Co,
Venue: Camp Wandawega
Florist: Eco Wilde Flower Co.
Planner: Naturally Yours Events, Carlene Hartline
DJ: Ang Garcia
Caterer: FIG Catering