The incredible wedding of Robin and Jeannine took place at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens in August. “As a queer couple (gay, female identified Jeannine and gender/queer, trans identified Robin) we found it important to craft our wedding and the many details on our own so that it didn’t fall into a too traditional event that we ourselves didn’t fit into”, they told me.
“We used and encouraged gender-neutral language, used as many recycled materials as possible, and put our hearts and energy into all the aspects of what turned out to be an incredible day. Jeannine literally took the summer off from teaching for the first time ever and approached wedding planning in the same manner that she might develop curricula for her students. We also asked for support and inspiration in myriad areas of planning and production from our community of talented friends and loved ones.”
Sam and Sarah were married at Hornington Manor Farm, York in August. They hired their venue for five whole days so they could have a week-long celebration with their loved ones. “From the moment Sam asked me to marry her we were adamant that we wanted a really personalised wedding which was about us as a couple”, began Sarah. “We wanted to do all the food, drink and decoration ourselves and to involve our closest family and friends in all of the preparations. We wanted our guests to feel like they were coming to our house for our wedding which we were able to do as we rented the house for five days. A summer fete theme emerged as we planned lots of activities for people to do during the day.”
“We had the legal ceremony on the Thursday before and pondered for ages about what we were going to wear”, she continued. “On a dog walk one day with Sarah’s parents we decided on a Hawaiian theme. So off 10 of us went to the registry office (myself and Sam in an old black beetle) dressed in Hawaiian shirts. When we returned to Hornington Manor we had a big Hawaiian themed BBQ party where all of our guests dressed up too!”
Christina and Tamsen were married at Spring Hills Farm in Dalton, PA last October. They wanted their day to have a laid back, rustic feel and to fit in with the gorgeous, Autumnal nature around them.
“The inspiration for our wedding was nature and romance”, they began. “We put a lot of love into making a great party for us and our family and friends. We got a lot of comments on the animal dance party… masks were hung in the tent by the DJ area and after the reception everyone grabbed a different animal mask and started dancing. It was a riot and everyone had a lot of fun with it.”
“Almost the entire wedding was DIY. At the ceremony site we hung mason jars with twine from tree branches and put tea lights inside for a backdrop. Other decorations included bunting which was made from floral bedsheets that we tea-stained, cut into triangles and sewed together. The paper pouch circles were pages from old books sewed together, and the paper flag bunting was made from wallpaper samples! We thrifted beautiful vintage handkerchiefs, made tiny envelopes for them to go in and set them on a table leading into the ceremony for weepy guests to take.”
After waiting 16 years to be allowed to legally married, Lita and Carol were ready for one hell of a celebration! They wanted to use their wedding to celebrate them, but also love – in all forms.
“We waited so long to be allowed to legally marry!” began the girls. “So we were so excited to finally be able to do it. We love the island of Jura, off the coast of Scotland, and wanted a wedding at dawn on the beach. However our professionals and others were held up because of Hurricane Bertha, so we started in the afternoon rather than the morning, and compressed a full days worth of activities into half a day.”
“We wanted a beautiful rainy weather option for our ceremony which is why we hired the tipis from Highland Tipis, we ended up having the ceremony in them so we’re glad we did! They were very good and ensured that we were safe from the gusting winds.”
“In terms of décor, we had hand painted lots of jars and bottles and put these around with candles and flowers in”, they continued. “We had lots of rustic candle holders dotted around, as well as second-hand saris weaving around the tipi walls. We wanted to recreate an authentic ‘love is happening’ feel to both tipis. We are both nearly 60 years old and so we wanted to share the ‘all you need is love’ experience of the 60s and 70s with our guests, some of whom, were too young to have been there first time around!”
Two brides, two gorgeous dresses and two sides of bridesmaids! Ria and Nicky wanted a wedding that screamed ‘them’! That meant they threw caution to the wind, and tradition out of the window. “I’m friends with Nicky’s sister so we met on a few social occasions, such as parties, concerts and completing a London to Brighton race”, began Ria. “However we finally developed a fancy to each other when a group of us went to Proms in the Park in 2011. I was technically ‘straight’ at the point I met Nicky, so she had no idea I liked her! Since that night we have been inseparable and the rest as they say is history.”
“We wanted our wedding to be relaxed, fun, entertaining and as non-wedding(ey) as possible”, she continued. “It sounds silly saying that, but just because we wanted to get married, didn’t mean we had to sign up to all the traditional and the usual expected activities at a wedding. We basically wanted a massive party with our family and friends where we could all have fun, relax and just enjoy the day.”
Both brides wore dresses; Ria in a long, white number and Nicky rocking a shorter, red one. “Nicky wanted to wear a non-traditional red wedding dress and I went more traditional”, Ria continued. “We also had 10 bridesmaids between us! Being two feminine ladies challenged how it would all work together, so we steered away from dressing everyone in just one colour. We felt it wouldn’t work and wasn’t really us. Instead, our bridesmaids all wore a vintage style swing dress in different colours. We didn’t want bouquets and so we all had fresh gerberas in our hair instead. Nicky carried a parasol that was her mum’s. She had it at her own wedding over 40 years ago!”
There are plenty of wedding inspiration shoots being featured on wedding blogs and in the magazines, but there’s a distinct lack of same sex models for my liking! Which is why when this shoot from Six Hearts Photography came in, I was thrilled!
“We just wanted to put together something groovy and pretty that we designed and were in full control of”, photographer Schellie told me. “The sunflowers come out in July for like two weeks, and they’re so beautiful and fleeting, we jumped at the chance to shoot among them.”