Mark & Ali’s Wedding at Azuridge

Mark & Ali’s Wedding at Azuridge.
Mark and Ali finally did it—and holy fuck did they do it!

What you’re about to witness, in the photos below, is a celebration of something so much bigger than just the love and commitment between two beautiful humans (and their dogs). Rest assured, you’ll see that—and feel it. But you’re also gonna see and feel something else—because Mark and Ali (and everyone present) were celebrating more than a just a wedding. They were celebrating a victory.

Geographically speaking, this celebration took place at Azuridge, a spectacular estate in the rolling foothills of Priddis, Alberta. It’s seriously one of the most extravagant wedding venues we’ve seen anywhere on Earth (and we’ve seen a lot). But metaphorically speaking, it took place on the summit of a seemingly insurmountable mountain that Mark and Ali have been climbing together for more than a decade.

Mark and Ali’s desire to marry each other has faced obstacle after obstacle—from legislative battles, to global pandemics. There’s really no better way to describe it, than with the words shared by their inspirational friend, John Kriesel, during their ceremony.

I met Mark 11 years ago when we were working on the campaign to defeat an amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman.

When I was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives the year before, I was naive enough to think the legislative would not waste time attacking individual freedoms. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Despite our best efforts, the bill passed, and was placed on the ballot for voters to decide.

Mark and I met often during the campaign to defeat the ballot measure. Mark often talked about Ali, his love for him, and it struck me how unjust, unfair, and un-American it was that this loving and devoted couple were not allowed to be legally married.

Mark was relentless in his effort to ensure the ballot measure was defeated, and Ali was steadfast in his support of Mark’s efforts. Finally, Minnesota voters made the correct decision and defeated the measure.

Life is not easy, and happiness can be tough to find. For far too many people, when they finally found the person who is their soulmate, archaic laws stood in their way, preventing them from becoming married.

The good news is this story has a happy ending. Think back to the tough times, and it makes this day even more special. Love prevails. Love always wins. The story has come full circle and you both FINALLY get to marry each other.

John Kriesel (Mark & Ali’s Officiant)

Needless to say, for those who know me (Lanny), my camera was dripping with snot and tears by the end of that ceremony.

At long last, Mark and Ali were finally able to tie the knot legally, and throw the wedding celebration of their dreams. And guess what they cared about more than anything else at their wedding?

Giving their guests the experience of a lifetime. And that’s exactly what they did. For Mark and Ali, nothing was too awesome for the friends and family who mean the world to them.

We’re talking, drag queen karaoke with Rosé from RuPaul’s Drag Race.

We’re talking, a 10-piece band, flown all the way in from the across the continent.

We’re talking, grand piano out on the lawn, with this total bad ass, belting it out.

We’re talking floral master-creations from another world.

We’re talking, exit from the ceremony on a muthafuckin helicopter.

We’re talking, 7-course dinner to die for, top-shelf whiskey bar, luxury barista, private casino games with custom chips, and too many other tiny details and grand gestures to mention.

But mostly, we’re talking about two of the most gracious, appreciative souls, giving their loved ones the time of their lives.

Mark and Ali, you did it your way. And your way, was outa this world. Seriously! We’ve seen some doozies, but yours takes the cake. Legendary through and through!

Pulling off an extravaganza of this proportion, with this many details, logistics and moving pieces, all coming together this elegantly, can only have been achieved by the one and only, Lynn Fletcher Weddings. Lynn, Breanne and the LFW team poured their hearts and souls into this event, like the fate of the universe depended on it. And they brought in a dream team to make it happen (check out the incredible list of pros at the bottom of this post).

Mark and Ali, what can we say? You could have chosen anyone—and you chose us! Thank you for your trust. Thank you for your graciousness. Thank you for fighting the good fight for love.

Being a part of your monumental celebration was a true honour. We will never forget it. We will never forget you.

Mark & Ali’s Dream Team

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