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by Susan Hart Hellman

A second challenge arose when their guest list outgrew their home, but the offer of a neighbor’s larger yard proved the solution for both issues: this property had lush tropic-like landscaping. “It was a natural setting for our Hawaiian /outdoor theme,” Harris says.

Photos by Megan Robbins

contributing writer

Hawaiian/Native American/Jewish Although Gilbert, Arizona couple Carey Powell, a Life Coach, and Michele Flamer, a sales consultant, went Hawaiian too, their reason was that Carey had lived in Hawaii. In addition to their main theme, Carey and Michele incorporated two cultures:

Ohio goes Southern Cal Culver City, Californians Chad Sandhas, TV Guide Network Communications Manager, and Maxwell Hessman, manager of Santa Monica’s Fritto Misto, chose an even more unique theme. “We decided to create a wedding experience that was reflective of our life in California,” Chad explains. But when Ohio family couldn’t travel, the couple moved Southern California east. Chad says of their Palm House venue, “We were surrounded by palm trees and plants, which you see everywhere in California.” Their linens were sand and taupe colored, representing Southern California’s mountain terrain and beaches, and florals followed the theme. “We love the smells and colors of the plants that grow naturally on the hiking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, so we chose lavender, rosemary and sage.” Their cuisine was SoCal too. “Our food was inspired by a favorite California Saturday morning pastime… brunch!” Chad triumphs.

This couple faced one more theme-related challenge - how to hand inscribe guests’ names, in both English and Hawaiian, on the front of 75 sand dollars!


Chicagoans Julie Jones, Acupuncture student, and Kate Rickenbacker, violin maker, chose another type of cultural theme: “homespun” farm/family/friends. They wanted to involve family and friends in all aspects of their Kinnickinnick Farm wedding. So they asked one friend to assist with arrangements, another to officiate, and Kate’s brother played the violin. The farmer’s wife donated blue and white check tablecloths. “Very farm like,” Julie says. Kate created centerpieces from wood they collected on hikes. Guests dined on cuisine freshly prepared from the farm’s organic produce, and Kate and her band entertained.

Native American, to honor Carey’s grandfather, and Jewish, Michele’s heritage, so they included readings of selected poems, and Michele’s father performed the Jewish wine blessing. Carey and Michele’s tables featured brightly-colored tropical flowers, and guests dressed “Aloha style.” A Polynesian group danced, and the evening’s signature drink was the “Carey & Michele’s Ke Aloha Cocktail.”

Julie summarizes their day. “We knew we wanted a sense of community, and that is what happened. Everything we did, we did with the help of our friends and family.” ●● cont’d

Vol. 4 Issue 1 Spring 2009 37

Volume 4, Issue 1  

This season's tips for your LGBT Wedding!

Volume 4, Issue 1  

This season's tips for your LGBT Wedding!