For creative couple Ky Dickens and Kaisa Dille (Dickens is a filmmaker and Dille a landscape and furniture designer), a barn in Michigan was the perfect place to celebrate their civil union last fall. The barn setting was particularly meaningful for the pair — one year earlier, during a visit to the Dille family sheep farm in Minnesota, Dickens popped the question to Dille. The dress code for the nuptials was open to interpretation: The couple encouraged guests to showcase their individuality, and many donned cowboy hats, boots and bandanas. “You’re recreating this new territory as a gay wedding. People don’t know what to expect, so we played on that,” says Dickens. In lieu of a traditional ceremony and wedding party, Dille and Dickens invited a group of friends to act as their “circle of accountability,” responsible for keeping them true to each other. During the ceremony, each member of the circle read a passage or told a story that was important to Dickens and Dille, driving their 170 guests to both laughter and tears. The rest of the evening included a buffet-style menu of seasonal, locally grown food, a hoedown on the dance floor and speeches from both women’s fathers, which were met with cheers. “I think it was very healing. We’re lucky and blessed to have such loving and affirmative parents,” says Dille.