I Do, Voodoo
An Austin doughnut shop’s quirky wedding ceremonies resonate with the LGBT community.
It was an otherwise ordinary sunny December afternoon when customers at Austin’s Voodoo Doughnut were suddenly commanded to stop munching on their bacon maple bars and “Ain’t That a Peach” fritters and cast their eyes toward a small stage by the window. “Everybody, shut the fuck up!” yelled an employee, feigning solemnity but barely concealing a smile. “We’re having a wedding!”
Moments later, Blade Berkman, Trey Trentham, and Fernando Rios stepped onto the stage, and officiant Lindsey Keziah Jester began the ceremony, which concluded with all three men leaping over a broomstick and “into our new life of matrimony,” says Berkman.
The beloved Portland, Oregon, bakery, which opened in Austin in 2015, is known for its delightfully irreverent doughnut shapes and flavors (the Bavarian cream–filled “Cock-N-Balls,” with “bite me” written across the shaft, jumps to mind). The shop offers in-house legal weddings starting at $300, with from 9 to more than 100 guests, complete with voodoo doll–inspired grooms and brides, personalized centerpieces, and plenty of confections and coffee.
Many of Voodoo’s weddings have been LGBT. The “throuple”—as the aforementioned trio refers to themselves—chose to marry at the offbeat doughnut shop in part because Voodoo enthusiastically welcomed their nontraditional relationship. “We had to find a venue that was as comfortable with us as we were with them,” says Berkman. “Also, we wanted something low-key, fun, memorable, and inexpensive for our guests.”
Jester, the shop’s staffing manager and ordained wedding officiant, began performing ceremonies three years ago, during her tenure at Voodoo’s Denver location. She appreciates the outside-the-box approach that’s typical of couples she marries. “You can dress up formally or wear PJs,” she says. “One time a couple came dressed as cats, and I wore a black cat costume, too.”
Voodoo Doughnut is open 24–7, and weddings can take place anytime. The shop can also accommodate non-legal ceremonies, as was the case with Berkman, Trentham, and Rios. “Our Voodoo ceremony was symbolic,” says Berkman, who adds that he and Rios, who’ve been together since 2008 and have been with Trentham since 2013, legally married the day the Supreme Court overturned the federal same-sex marriage ban.
The throuple wedding has been Jester’s favorite so far. “It’s the only one where I cried,” she says. “They expressed such emotion on stage, and in front of a room of mostly strangers. You could truly feel the love between all three of them.”