A quote by Edgar Allen Poe was the starting point for Joann & Jacqueline’s wedding plans. ‘We loved with a love that was more than love’ made them realise that really, their love was at that mattered. Luckily for these two beautiful women, they were surrounded by the stuff on their big day.
“No matter how much planning that went into that day, we were both blown away by the amount of love we received from our family and friends,” they explained. “We can’t fully explain or describe how it felt, but hopefully the love and laughter in the atmosphere of our wedding day had everyone just as thrilled and excited as we were. Our wedding was held at Penn Park, in Whittier, CA. The greenery was vivid and lovely just the way fairytales usually are, except this time there were two princesses.”
“Joann looked beautiful in her dress,” gushed Jacqueline. “I told myself I wouldn’t cry, but when we got to the front of the aisle and I looked at how gorgeous my bride was, and felt the amount of support we had from our family, we both couldn’t help but let the water works run wild.”
After a touching ‘sand ceremony’ (where each partner takes a different coloured sand and pours it into one vessel to symbolise the joining of their two families) they hosted a reception at Memories Dance Hall in Uptown Whitter. “The Ceremony was romantic and simplistic,”" Jacqueline continued. “We used white, ivory and hints of black to show our softer, feminine side. An outdoor wedding with the greenery of the earth and a commitment of love between two people. We expressed our commitment through a sand ceremony to symbolize the joining of our families, while we read our vows said from personal feelings and poems by Edgar Allen Poe.”
“Our Reception was the complete opposite – fun and flamboyant. We both love black, so the theme and colors completely changed to black with hints of red and gold, showing our Rock n Roll side. We never would have expected the decorations and everything to look as beautiful as it did. It captured the very essence of us and we couldn’t be happier. Our friends and family are not shy when it comes to having a good time, and that was fine by us. The Curse and Cure cover band started off the night. Our first song was a cover by Adele ‘Promise This’, we both had left feet and had never slow danced before, but in that moment it was just right and everything fell into place. The DJ was up after the speeches and from that point the love, laughs, booty drops and kisses were endless.”
Agnese & Iveta’s DIY shoot was set up with the help of Jaye from Tux & Tales Photography. Jaye has been doing a DIY inspiration shoot series, to show brides that they don’t have to spend a fortune to have a beautiful wedding (I featured one of her first ones here).
“For this shoot we decided to focus on a civil partnership. We decided early on to go for a ‘rustic’ theme that focused on the colours and tones of late summer,” Jaye told me. “Each of our DIY shoots was styled (including the dresses!) on less than £250. This shoot was particularly fun because we got to recycle and upcycle a lot of items which is really a great way to save some cash. Plus, we scavenged for items from ‘the wild’ to help create our top table.”
“I am an absolute nut for using fruit and veg as part of a design (c’mon, beautiful and edible!) and so we loaded the table with fresh fruit from our local green grocers. The confectionery and baked goods were all top shelf varieties from local supermarkets and just looked amazing mounded up with the fruit. A little macaroon to go with your cold grapes? Yummy!”
“We decided that we would use a same-sex couple for this shoot because we couldn’t think of any civil partnership inspiration shoots that we had seen before. There are so many considerations that go into a civil partnership that are different from those of a traditional wedding (such as clothing choices and who gets a bouquet!) that we think they deserve a little separate attention. That said, we really hope that brides and grooms of all makes and varieties find a little rustic inspiration in our images.”
Shavonda & Naomi both wore white for their elegant but funky wedding in Sacramento, CA. Shavonda actually wore two dresses – the first, a customised gown from WToo (loving the short front!) and for the reception a sexy short number from BCBG Max Azria. Naomi’s suit was a mix of trousers from New York & Co, a vest from Bebe and a shirt from Express.
The wedding was held at Beatnik Studios, an amazing studio space in downtown Sacramento.
“Our wedding was completely and utterly ‘us’,” Shavonda wrote. “The things we agreed upon when we first began the planning process was that we had to have the following criteria: 1. Our wedding must be reflective who we are as a couple. 2. No churches, chapels or traditional wedding venues such as country clubs, ballrooms, etc. 3. We wanted our guests to have a different experience and didnt want them to feel like they’ve already been to our wedding a thousand times before. 4. We wanted to honor and incooperate our support for the LBGT community in as many ways as possible. 5. No weekend wedding. 6. No seating arrangements, sit-down meals, or buffets. 7. It had to be FUN!!”
“I think we did a really good job of making sure all of those criteria were met. We ended up with a purely Shavonda & Naomi experience. Every detail that went into planning our wedding kept our guests in mind. We asked everyone what their favorite and least favorite parts of weddings are and then we made sure to include and avoid those things. We took all of our photos prior to the ceremony so that there was no awkward time in between the ceremony and reception. This also allowed people to start eating right away. We also made sure that guests were greeted with wine and champagne as they arrived so they could unwind after work since our wedding was on a Thursday night. We didn’t have seating arrangements so guests were welcome to wonder and mingle among themselves. We also included them in our ceremony by have a ring warming so they could bless our rings and feel as if they are a tangible part of our marriage.”
“We live in California so having a taco truck was a must! Plus everyone loves street tacos and they were a huge hit with our guests. We made sure to have plenty of alcohol so there was beer, wine and 3 different cocktail options. As an interior design student, the decor and aesthetic of wedding was incredibly important to me. We wanted things to be very streamlined and modern so we only used one type of flower throughout the venue other than the florals in my bouquet. I wanted my girls in cute cocktail dresses and awesome accessories. I gave them 7 dress options to choose from and though they all live in different cities and states, they all chose the exact same dress! I didnt want them to carry bouquets because its too expected so we went with clutches instead.”
“My dress was my design as well. I found a style that I liked from WToo and edited to my specifications with the help of the designers at the bridal shop. I wanted to wear designer jewelry, but knew I could never afford it, so I borrowed it at a fraction of the cost, only $40 for the week from Bag Borrow or Steal! My wife’s ensemble was much more difficult because she didnt want to wear a man’s suit so it took us a while to piece together her wedding day garb. In the end our wedding day was full of love, beauty and creativity. From the venue, to the taco truck, to the attire, to the photography, I’d say our wedding was a breath of fresh air when compared to your traditional wedding. I’d say that’s pretty darned Rock n Roll!”
Lara & Thilde were married in Copenhagen City Hall, Denmark followed by a laid-back reception on their own roof terrace. “We bypassed the usual registry office and managed to get married in the council chamber, where we were married by the Mayor of Environmental and Technical Affairs, Ayfer Baykal,” the couple explained.
“Choosing her over the registry office meant that we could be married anywhere in the City Hall, and that we had more time for the ceremony, making it more personal and intimate. We had always wanted an different day and to avoid the usual wedding clichés. We really wanted the day to reflect us, and who we are, so we had decided to hold the reception at our home. That way, we could really relax, and our guests could feel at home. Of course, the spectacular view over Copenhagen didn’t hurt!”
Lara is English, so the following week the couple headed to England to have a party at her parent’s house. “It was a real English country garden party;” they continued, “this time with more bunting, vintage china, festoon lighting, sweet peas on the table, and an oil drum BBQ.”
Christina & Sybrina were married in their own back garden in Vegas. Christina wore a beautiful dress by Ouma Clothing and Sybrina wore a sharp suit. The couple are pretty active in their local LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community and so wanted to use their connections to do it ‘right’ and create a wedding that was perfect for them and their friends.
“We worked very hard in making it a comfortable environment to accommodate our diverse attendees,” the couple explained. “Most of the vendors we used were close friends. We wanted to integrate them throughout the wedding while supporting local small and new businesses. Our close friend, Jeff Hames, even did a mural on our backway that matched the wedding invitations.”
“We tried to stay as true to our queer feminist roots as possible. We made our wedding our own by only using things we felt comfortable with.”
Quay & Jory were married under a giant tree, on the beach in Maui, Hawaii. “The wedding was very non traditional,” photographer Molly Marie told me. ”It was a gay wedding, almost everything was DIY, both girls love tattoos, and planned the entire wedding themselves. The wedding was not for anyone else but them, pure love. However they knew family wouldn’t be able to attend easily as they are from Eau Claire, WI, so photography was a very important part of the wedding to them.”