Incredible Queer Wedding at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Tara Beth Photography

January 20, 2015

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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.

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“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.”

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“Our wedding venue played an integral part in creating a unique, magical atmosphere”, they continued. “Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a 3,000 square foot indoor gallery and mosaic sculpture garden created by the artist, Isaiah Zagar. Every inch of the venue is part of a vast mosaic installation, adorned with hand-made tiles, as well as found-materials, such as colorful glass bottles, bicycle tires and glittering mirrors.”

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Jeannine looked utterly beautiful in her blush pink Vera Wang gown with her matching dip dyed baby pink hair. Her ombre veil was also dip dyed and homemade. “We knew that we wanted our wedding to really represent us as a couple, so we planned to DIY it up”, they explained. “Some of the themes that helped us envision the event were: Mexican folk art, especially Day of the Dead; Buddhist practices, as well as Americana textures and vibrant colors such as turquoise and magenta. Jeannine’s Vera Wang dress was one of the first items purchased and had a life of it’s own, so it led to dreaming up various elements that would highlight it’s grandeur and beauty.”

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They outside ceremony was officiated by a Jeannine’s sister, Daniella and they had a friend perform their first dance song. “One of our favorite parts of the wedding was having our friend, Ryan Cassata, perform our first dance song. Having a close friend cover a song that is meaningful to us, made the experience even more personal and deeply satisfyinig. Also, it helped us feel at ease to have someone close to us guide us through those awkward first moments of the first dance.”

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“Our biggest expense was the catering”, they said, “but it was well worth it. With a taco bar, fresh guacamole and chips, and frozen margaritas, we fed our happy guests well on a magical summer evening. We saved money through thoughtful, personal planning of the event and DYIing all of our wedding décor with recycled materials, including hand-picking and drying our own floral arrangements. Our friends and family also offered assistance in many areas of their expertise.”

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“In all of the excitement at the beginning of the ceremony, we forgot to hand out wedding programs”, they concluded, “So that’s maybe one thing we’d change. But honestly…it was the best day of our lives, and that little mishap did not take away from the substance and the meaning of the event. Also, we would have enlisted the help of many more family and friends, early on, to help with the wedding decorations. It took us all summer to make those decorations and although they came out beautifully, we could have saved ourselves a lot of time and stress if we had thrown a couple crafting parties and had more people pitch in.”

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