A Finally Legal, Kid Friendly Wedding

Which is excellent, since kids were fifty percent of the crowd

Steven, Patent Attorney at IBM & Mike, Stay-At-Home Dad, Former Speech Pathologist for public schools

Photographer: Kenton Waltz

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: Things don’t have to be perfect when kids are involved.

Soundtrack for reading: To be perfectly honest, neither one of us are overly into music. We struggled with whether or not to play music at the ceremony and in the end we didn’t.


Since there were only (including us) eight adults and seven kids, we didn’t need a large cake. But I wanted the cake to look like a “wedding cake.” So only the top layer is real cake. The bottom layer is a piece of foam underneath the frosting. Having to get up on one’s wedding day faced with frozen cake layers and thawed out buttercream is rather nerve-wracking.

We had a very limited budget. We cut out the idea of a photographer from the very beginning. But a few days before the ceremony I was pining for one—not really for a wedding photographer, but just someone to document the ceremony. I was really lucky to find Kenton Waltz on Craigslist as a wedding photographer who also hires out for a fixed hourly rate. That’s the only way we were able to get a photographer.

After the short ceremony in the church, we drove back from Vancouver to Portland and dropped the kids off with our babysitter. After some pesto pasta, the kids spent two hours decorating every inch of our house with streamers and balloons. Meanwhile the adults were having a lovely dinner at Clarklewis. I was really touched to arrive at the restaurant and see that the table was already set with a round of champagne for a wedding toast.

As an attorney, I’ve been interested in all of the marriage equality court cases. Instead of some flowery, non-meaningful poetry reading, the minister used quotes from the court cases, President Obama, and former Washington Governor Christine Gregoire.

We didn’t have much time to plan the wedding. We chose the date because it was our sixteenth anniversary as a couple.

Favorite thing about the wedding

Rev. Patti Pomerantz started the short ceremony by sitting on the floor with the kids (who were fifty percent of the people in attendance). She asked them how they felt when something was not fair. And then explained that the wedding ceremony was a way to overcome something that hadn’t been fair in the past but now was. It was a perfect way to start. The rest of the wedding was interspersed with noise from the kids in the front wriggling around and playing. I am so happy that our sons, Soren and Shepherd, were able to be a big part of our ceremony.


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  • Laura C

    There is nothing about this post that is not sweet and wonderful. Just nothing.

  • Karen

    Wow. This was really beautiful. You can feel the love in both the pictures and the words. Amazing. Yeah, I’m kind of choked up. Just wow.

  • “Rev. Patti Pomerantz started the short ceremony by sitting on the floor
    with the kids (who were fifty percent of the people in attendance). She
    asked them how they felt when something was not fair. And then explained
    that the wedding ceremony was a way to overcome something that hadn’t
    been fair in the past but now was.”

    This made my eyes fill and I choked back a sob when I read this. So powerful, the idea of equality and simply being treated as the same as everyone else. Congratulations times ten!

    • Jennie

      Me too, I don’t usually tear up or cry (even when posts have a warning that they might make one tear up) but this one got me for sure.

  • Beautiful, so happy for you both. And I love your sons’ names! :)

  • Lisa

    Oh yikes. This is fantastic. Pare away all the fluff and this is what you get. Thank you.

  • BreckW

    I love this!! But… can I see this cake?

    • Laura C

      Also, there’s one recipe missing, for the “nutella, dark chocolate, and marshmallow fluff buttercream” filling and I WANTS IT.

      • BreckW

        It may or may not be true that after reading that description I had to go get a spoonful of Nutella.

      • StevenPortland

        Nutella Cloud Filling
        1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
        1 cup powdered sugar
        1/3 cup Nutella
        2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
        2 teaspoons vanilla extract
        4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
        1 ½ cup marshmallow fluff (or use entire 7 ounce jar of fluff)

        In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar and whipping cream and beat until combined. Add melted/cooled chocolate, beat until just combined, scraping bowl as necessary. Add Nutella, vanilla and marshmallow fluff. Beat until smooth and satiny.

        • Elisabeth S.

          Oh you know what’s gluten free?? THIS RECIPE. We should all make this over the weekend and report back.

          So thrilled for you and your family!

  • StevenPortland

    Here’s the cake, which was the most stressful part of the wedding day. :-)

    • Elena

      This is magnificent! Very,very well done.

      Also, your wedding pictures and all the joy therein made me tear up more than a little bit. So there’s that, too.

    • BreckW

      This looks (and sounds) amazing (and delicious)!! Congrats!

    • Wow!!! This is gorgeous!

    • Meg Keene

      Holy moly that’s beautiful.

    • Elisabeth S.

      Please go into business making cakes!!

  • MEM

    i love seeing a Unitarian Universalist wedding here on APW!

    • Karen

      Me too!

      • MC

        Me three! As I was looking at the photos, I thought, “That looks like a UU building…” and then I notice the chalice :)

  • Kat91314

    Love the pic of the kids climbing around in the tree. Perfect :-) Congrats to you and your wonderful family!

  • KW

    I love the boutonnieres. I hope you don’t mind me saying so, but the yellow flower reminds me of dandelions, in the very best way. To me, the bright yellow of dandelions is very cheerful and they remind me of the fun of being a child and picking them for my mom.

  • Amy

    Creating the future, one day at a time: when those kids grow up, they’re going to remember being included in the wedding and how it has “always” been the case that people who love each other are “allowed” to get married. As it should be.

    So much love for everything about this wedding. And I adore that each of your sons will have a ring bearer pillow for his own wedding. Congratulations, Steven and Mike!

  • Shiri

    Because the footnotes made me cry.

    “Ring Bearer Pillows: I sewed them myself. Both of our sons will now have one for their memory box and hopefully will be used as the “something old” in their own weddings.”

  • Fiona

    I love how perfect the event was…you made kids the center of an event that usually shuns kids somewhat or completely. How lovely! Congratulations to your beautiful family.

  • Aubry

    Your son in that tiny vest! *dies*

  • macrain

    I can feel the warmth and love emanating from these photos!
    Congrats to you both!

  • MisterEHolmes

    Your family is beautiful and I just want to hug you for this wonderful wedding!

  • Alison O

    When I saw the third picture (with the window looking out from the church), I was like, “that’s gotta be Oregon [i.e. Pacific Northwest, but Oregon is the best, duh].” Then I scrolled down to see the logistics and saw that the ceremony was in Vancouver. I thought, “okay, same diff”… until I realized, no, not same diff, because Washington allows same sex marriage and Oregon does not. For shame! The November 2004 elections were a serious bummer. Well, 10 years later, it will likely be on the ballot again this November, and I have high hopes that same sex marriage will be legalized, and Oregon will be 100% the best. I don’t live there anymore, but I’ll consider committing voter fraud to do my part (just kidding, government spies).

    Congratulations to the couple and their sons!

    • YOQ

      Alison O (and any other folks with ties to Oregon)–as another person who’ll be having her same-sex wedding in Vancouver and then celebrating in Portland this summer, may I urge you to contact all of the people you know in Oregon about a month before election day (mail-in ballots, dontcha know) and remind them how important it is to vote and finally fix our constitution?

      And Steven: this is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing your joy here! I love the pic of the kids in the tree, and that cake is bee-YOO-ti-ful!!

      • HannahESmith

        As an Oregonian, I definitely plan on doing this.

  • Helen

    The kiss picture at the end with your older son hugging you with his whole body: tears.

  • Harmke

    Being a minister myself, I must say I love yours! That’s great, how she sits down with the kids to talk to them. And that she talks to them about the important stuff, not just the sweet and childish wedding bla.
    Oh, and just for fun: do you have a pic of your decorated house? Supersmart idea by the way to have the kids out of the way and make them feel special at the same time!

  • Ella

    What a GORGEOUS and heartfelt wedding. Many congratulations to the both of you. I love how much the wedding involved your children and your friends’ children…and that photo of the grooms and their sons hugging is my absolute favorite. This is top APW post for me. :)

  • mackenzie

    the only crying i’ve been doing these days is on APW, and I’m very ok with that.

  • EF

    all the things about this are my favourite thing about this. congrats!

  • “She asked them how they felt when something was not fair. And then explained that the wedding ceremony was a way to overcome something that hadn’t been fair in the past but now was. I”

    I’m . . . I’m not crying. I’ve just been chopping onions.

    This looks like a LOVELY wedding. Congratulations!! Also, your photographer did some great work – that photo of the kids in the trees is STUNNING.

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