Gay Weddings the ultimate guide to planning gay, lesbian, Bisexual and transgender weddings
expert tips from fashion to etiquette & more
PLUS chic cocktails from
we’ve got pride
Bow ties that support LGBT rights? Read more on p. 18
ince we founded The Knot back in 1996, we’ve been huge supporters of marriage equality. (In fact, the brother of Evan Wolfson, below, was one of our cofounders.) We cheered as each of the 12 states and the District of Columbia made same-sex marriage legal, and we cried when other states didn’t. We’ve always offered content at TheKnot.com/gayweddings to help gay couples plan fantastic weddings, and now we’re thrilled to give you this issue full of the most beautiful and original real weddings, advice from top experts and insider fashion and décor tips.
his issue devoted to same-sex weddings couldn’t come at a more perfect time. The global and national progress we’ve made in the freedom to marry movement is tremendous. So far just this year, we have won three states and three countries, with more to come. And any day now (at press time), the Supreme Court will rule in cases challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which stripped the freedom to marry from same-sex couples in California, and the
@carleyroney Carley Roney Cofounder
federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies thousands of federal protections to legally married same-sex couples. Our momentum is irrefutable. But no matter how the Supreme Court rules, there’s more to do. We know that conversations change hearts and minds, and that growing and broadening public opinion creates the climate that encourages decision-makers—lawmakers, judges and even these and future justices— to do the right thing. Evan wolfson Founder and President Freedom to Marry
Show your support at FreedomtoMarry.org
k #theknot cofounder
editor in chief Rebecca Dolgin Managing editor Kellee Kratzer Art director Meghan Corrigan contributing editor Davida Sidrane Hogan assistant editor, research Lauren Daniels copy editor Maria Bouselli editorial assistant Rita Kokshanian Weddings photo director Rebecca Crumley photo editor Kristin Giametta designer Alice Stevens contributing designer Renata De Oliveira Junior designer Ashley Castro Photo coordinator Gabriella Baetti site director Anja Winikka executive VP, national enterprise group Denise Favorule Vp, Sales & Custom marketing Solutions Carrie S. Reynolds publisher Stephanie Nicolet Home & Lifestyle director Amy Schoenfeld associate director, sales development Erin Benza McKay account strategy associate director Kelsey Pachak account strategists, registry Vincent Penge production manager Abby Baird
PUBLISHED BY XO GROUP INC. 195 Broadway, NY, NY 10007 Phone (212) 219-8555 Fax (212) 219-1929 theknot.com Nothing contained in this guide should be construed as an endorsement by The Knot of any designer, manufacturer or product featured herein. The Knot weddings magazine © 2013 XO Group Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is forbidden without written permission from the publisher. The Knot, TheKnot.com and The Knot weddings magazine are trademarks of XO Group Inc. David Liu, Chief Executive Officer; Carley Roney, Chief Content Officer; Carol Koh Evans, Chief Operating Officer; John Mueller, Chief Financial Officer; Nic Di Iorio, Chief Technology Officer; Jeremy Lechtzin, General Counsel; Rob Fassino, Chief Product Officer. The Knot is not responsible for the return or loss of, or damage to, unsolicited materials. Those submitting manuscripts, photographs, artwork and other materials for consideration should not send originals, unless specifically requested to do so in writing by The Knot. Manuscripts, artwork and other materials must be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Cover: Mademoiselle Fiona Wedding photography. Roney: Daniela stallinger
contents In this issue contributors
The talented pros who made this issue possible.
Experts answer your most-pressing gay wedding questions.
mod meets luxe
Get inspired by David Bromstadâ€™s ideal wedding dĂŠcor and color palette.
tie the knot
Jesse Tyler Ferguson dishes on his upcoming nuptials and how he supports marriage equality.
Industry leaders share their favorite samesex wedding moments.
amy & ana
ashley & shamina
jen & pam
chrissie & jody
october 20, new york city
hayley & johanny july 23, malibu, ca
monica & tory july 4, essex, ct
may 5, houston
aimee & natalie
september 17, plainville, ct
amy & holly
bonnie & michelle
august 9, hamilton, nj
july 9, morristown, nj
betsy & tiffany
august 4, athens, ga
september 22, atlanta
september 1, brooklyn, ny
october 20, new york city
alissa & julie
may 5, houston
lauren & shani
may 25, chicago
laure & natasha
naomi & rachel
charlotte & rachel
april 20, seattle
april 21, queenstown, md
july 20, boston
jenn & jill
october 18, pinos altos, nm
One coupleâ€™s memorable wedding day shot.
heather & jessica
jaymi & kerri
august 16, pacific palisades, ca
amy & megan
june 16, bridgehampton, ny
june 6, boston
Breaking down our wedding planning checklist.
carolina & zoe
mark ingram This fashion icon attributes his passion for design to trips down Fifth Avenue with his stylish grandparents. Today, he owns the upscale, sophisticated bridal salon Mark Ingram Atelier in New York City. After serving celebrity clientele and New York’s top socialites, he recommends that a bride should simply “follow her everyday style.”
david bromsTad Season one of HGTV’s Design Star made David Bromstad a household name. He now hosts his own series, Color Splash, and owns a design firm in Miami. In 2011, he was honored with the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award for living an out and proud lifestyle. He shares his dream wedding color palette—pink and purple—and tips on how to style an elegant affair.
Marcy Blum A self-declared “eventiste,” Marcy Blum is an expert in both the event planning and culinary realms. Elite clientele worldwide rely on her New York City–based event planning company, Marcy Blum Associates. In fact, fellow event designer Preston Bailey turned to Blum when it was time to plan his Empire State Building wedding on Valentine’s Day.
austin scarlett You may remember his famous cornhusk gown from season one of Project Runway. Today, Austin Scarlett’s ingenuity redefines romance as he puts a modern spin on vintage Parisian couture. For grooms looking to differentiate their suits or opt out of tuxes, Scarlett’s tips are genius (like putting your own spin on how you tie your neckwear).
bernadette coveney smith As soon as gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts in 2004, Bernadette Coveney Smith jumped to fill the void in same-sex marriage planning. The success of her company, 14 Stories, has made her the nation’s leading same-sex marriage expert. In this issue, she shares her tips for balancing classic wedding elements with fresh traditions.
from top: Christian Oth Studio; Bradford Rogne; julie skarratt photography; David Shankbone; Kelly Guenther Studio
Diane Anderson-Minshall’s award-winning LGBT journalism proves she is more than qualified to answer any of your same-sex wedding questions, including how to address a non-supportive family and if you should change your name. Anderson-Minshall, editor at large at The Advocate, routinely interviews celebrities and also coauthors the Blind Eye Mystery series.
PRODUIT DE FRANCE
CLICK HERE for a colletion of enchanting recipes Please drink responsibly. ©2013. St-Germain, Delice De Sureau and the man & bicycle device are trademarks. Imported by Maison 6ème Arr., Philadelphia, PA. Liqueur - 20% Alc. by Vol.
the big questions
You might have about a Gay wedding Answered by our favorite experts. By Davida Hogan
If we bought each other rings, can we just use them to get married even though we’ve been wearing them for months? If you had an engagement or commitment ring for a number of years and wanted to do something to commemorate your day, designer Austin Scarlett suggests having the date engraved or adding an extra stone. Exchanging some form of jewelry at your wedding is such a wonderful, symbolic gesture. And remember—there’s nothing wrong with having a wedding band and engagement ring. But if you do want to use your existing rings during the ceremony, take them off and place them on each other’s hand when saying your vows.
What are some ideas for what to wear if both of us don’t want to wear gowns? Follow your everyday style—there are as many options in bridal today as there are in fashion. “Brides should never wear something that feels uncomfortable to them,” says Mark Ingram, owner of Mark Ingram Atelier. “I would tell any bride that if she is tailored in her everyday clothes, your wedding day is not the day to all of a sudden wear ruffles and bows.” Conversely, for women who are frilly in their everyday life, your wedding isn’t the time to choose something severe, he advises. If you’re not comfortable wearing a gown, a good option is a soft pantsuit. Ingram suggests fabrics such as lace, which is a sexy and romantic play on a traditional suit that still feels bridal. If you want to wear a dress but just not a wedding gown, look for an evening dress in a light color. Most importantly, Ingram notes, your outfits should complement each other.
What are some attire options if both of us don’t want to wear tuxes? “What’s wonderful about same-sex weddings,” says Scarlett, “is that you can come up with your own traditions since there are no set traditions yet to follow.” If you’re a formal person, Scarlett says to go with the tuxedo. Or take this chance to play up your cultural background. “I always love the idea of celebrating your national heritage with your attire—it’s interesting and a way to honor your family and to join the two families,” he adds. If you’re having an informal wedding, a beautiful shirt can create a special look. As Scarlett puts it: The playing field is wide open—just make sure to wear something that reflects your life.
We’re both wearing suits—any ideas for differentiating them while still keeping a unified look? Celebrating with flowers is lovely whether it’s a boutonniere, a lei or a bouquet. Scarlett says there are infinite ways to accessorize a suit with jewelry, such as adding a pin or necklace. If you’re wearing the exact same suit, the shirt style (either how you wear it or choosing different shirts) can differentiate your ensembles. For tuxedos, Scarlett recommends playing around with different suspenders, ascots or cravats. Or, come up with a unique way to tie your bow tie.
We’ve been living together for years—should we really not see each other before the ceremony? “A lot of people think that because it’s a same-sex wedding, everything has to change and be tailored to fit the same-sex theme,” says Joseph Alexander, event planner and founder of GayEverAfter.com, “but there are some things that remain constant.” Naturally, it comes down to the couple’s preference, but Alexander is a stickler for this tradition. “I’ve always loved the idea of seeing the other person for the first time on the ceremony day as you will, from then on, [see him/her] as your life partner,” he explains.
“People think that because it’s a same-sex wedding, everything has to change and be tailored to fit the same-sex theme,” -Joseph Alex ander
Is it weird for us to have a first look? “First looks provide an excellent opportunity for photographers,” says Thea Dodds, photographer and coauthor of Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography. “It’s a time that is full of excitement and joy and that makes for great pictures,” she adds. That said, your wedding day is not all about the photographs, so find a balance that best suits your comfort level, your vision for your wedding and the practical realities of the time you have to prepare. If you are doing a first look, the photographer should arrive roughly two hours before the ceremony.
Preetika Rajgariah photography
the big questions
Is it weird to have a wedding website for a commitment ceremony? Not at all! “These days, it’s almost weird to not have a wedding website for any wedding,” says Kirsten Ott Palladino, editor in chief of EquallyWed.com.
Are any same-sex couples starting new traditions? We’re definitely not doing a garter or bouquet toss! Often guests at weddings are greeted with champagne or a cocktail and that breaks the ice and sets the tone. Bernadette Coveney Smith, founder of 14 Stories, has often seen that drink used as a welcoming toast. “It lets guests know that they are at a celebration, and it lets the couple know that everyone is there to celebrate them,” she explains. Another aspect that has worked its way into tradition is the use of two aisles. “Gay weddings try to avoid gender roles and also try to eliminate any assumptions that might be made by the guests. So, it has become a bit of a tradition for same-sex couples to walk down two aisles simultaneously. Or if there isn’t space for two aisles, they walk down the aisle together holding hands—it’s a metaphor for two becoming one,” Coveney Smith says.
Sweet Monday Photography
For the couple hosting a formal affair: The honor of your presence is requested at the marriage of Derek Ryan Baker to Charles Robert Jacobson Saturday, the twentieth of July two thousand and thirteen at half past four in the afternoon OR The pleasure of your company is requested at the marriage of Derek Ryan Baker to Charles Robert Jacobson Saturday, the twentieth of July two thousand and thirteen at half past four in the afternoon
Should we have a wedding party—bridesmaids, groomsmen? If you want to—the decision is entirely up to you. While some same-sex couples skip this tradition, about two-thirds still have attendants, Coveney Smith says.
Who should we include in the wedding party? Anyone you want—your closest friends and family are obvious choices. Traditionally, the maid of honor and best man are “witnesses” who sign the legal marriage document (though not all states require witnesses). If you’re not getting married in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, you could create your own marriage contract (or ask an artistic friend to help design one) and have two of your nearest and dearest sign, along with the two of you and your officiant. And if you want to have an all-female or all-male bridal party, go for it. Perhaps they can wear two slightly different styles of dresses or suits with differing bouquets or boutonnieres—or, if you wish, keep the attire similar for a coordinated look.
The couple hosting a more casual affair: Derek Ryan Baker & Charles Robert Jacobson invite you to their wedding Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 4:30 in the afternoon OR Derek Ryan Baker & Charles Robert Jacobson invite you to share and celebrate at their wedding Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 4:30 in the afternoon
Who pays for what? Many couples pay for their own celebrations with some help from their parents. In the traditional bride-groom arrangement, there are long-standing billsplitting guidelines, but even these are just a starting point and are altered by most. The best way to deal with the bottom line is to figure out who is contributing to your cash flow. Are you two footing the entire bill? Are parents or relatives willing to contribute? Once you calculate how much money you have to play with, you can choose how to spend it. >>
Who should we tell about our engagement? There’s no wrong way to announce your engagement. First, tell those who are supportive of the two of you as a couple. Doing so should help build up the confidence you may need when it’s time to tell the not-so-supportive folks.
How do we word the invitations? The person paying for the wedding is generally, but not always, recognized as the event’s host on the invite. So if you two are footing the bill for the wedding, then your names should be at the top of the invitation. Whether you’re having a religious or nondenominational ceremony, the request line can say anything you wish, as long as you are welcoming guests to the event.
What are some good ideas for engagement photos? Do most same-sex couples take them? Engagement sessions are the simplest thing a couple can do to ensure better wedding photos. It’s a chance for the photographer to get acquainted with the couple and the rhythm of their relationship. “A photographer is better able to capture more meaningful moments at a wedding when they’ve had the opportunity to get to know a couple through an engagement session. And most couples can use the practice of being in front of the camera as well,” Dodds explains.
the big questions
Where can I find a cake topper with two grooms (brides)? Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of groom-groom or bride-bride cake toppers. It’s still largely a new market but offerings should be popping up in droves over the coming years. You can find a samesex wedding cake topper on TheKnotShop .com, as well as a variety of other options including ones featuring the names of the couple and the phrase “just married.”
If our wedding is low-key, should we still have a traditional cake? Throw tradition out the window and do whatever you want to, and go with what represents you the most. “If you love Cocoa Pebbles and want them incorporated into your cake, don’t be afraid to say so,” says Anthony Leberto, a caterer and cake baker. Let your imagination and creativity go wild.
How can we find gay-friendly wedding vendors? The best way to find good vendors is by word of mouth—ask other recently married gay couples for recommendations and references. Once you find a vendor you like, ask her to suggest others. For a start, peruse the vendors on RainbowWeddingNetwork.com and GayWeddings.com.
Should we register for gifts? Absolutely! Guests want to give you a gift, and if you don’t register, you’ll get duplicate items of things you might not even need. Even if you’ve been together a long time, use this as your chance to upgrade your household items.
Anything special we should put in the ceremony program? You always want to include full names, the ceremony date and the city and state where the ceremony is taking place. You may also want to include your musical selections or special quotes that are meaningful to you as a couple. “The program should be a reflection of you and your partner,” Alexander says. You can get creative and write a bio of your relationship or a bio of your attendants. Have fun and include humorous and playfully embarrassing anecdotes about your wedding attendants, Alexander suggests— it will make for a more unique experience and keepsake. And, of course, include the name of the officiant and special thank-yous where thank-yous are due!
Where can we go for a destination wedding? There are 12 states plus the District of Columbia that have legalized same-sex marriage. Try looking into places in these states. “New York is a great location for a destination wedding, especially since residency is not required for a marriage license,” Alexander says. There are amazing package deals for same-sex couples offered through Hôtel Plaza Athénée in New York City. Provincetown in Massachusetts is also another great destination wedding spot.
Where are some gay-friendly honeymoon destinations? The main thing is to choose a destination that will allow you to be yourself on- and off-resort. Certainly there are gay-friendly destinations—Hawaii, Napa Valley, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are a few—but check GayDestinationWeddings.com before booking anything. “All of the properties are screened, so you can be sure they are gay friendly, and [you can] read reviews by other gay travelers as well,” Coveney Smith says.
We already had a civil union ceremony—is it okay to still have a big party for our wedding? We don’t want friends to feel obligated to buy us more gifts. It depends on what you may have done before, Coveney Smith says. If you already had a commitment ceremony that was a big party, don’t have another big to-do. On the other hand, if you just had something small years ago, then go ahead and have a party. There are many ways to communicate that you don’t want gifts. Coveney Smith’s favorite is a charity donation. Say something like: “We already have all the pots and pans we could ever ask for. If you insist on a gift, we’d like donations to ....” and then choose a charity that’s working to further gay marriage.
What are some fun songs for our first dance? While it comes down to taste and personal preference, many couples are opting for an upbeat, faster tempo selection to liven up the first dance. Depending on the song and the mood you’re trying to create, Alexander says these are some fun ones:
My Baby Just Cares for Me by Nina Simone I’ll Be Your Lover Too by Van Morrison Jump (for My Love) by the Pointer Sisters It Had to Be You by Harry Connick Jr.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole Got to Get You Into My Life by The Beatles Halo by Beyoncé
I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston
Do we invite family members who haven’t been supportive of our union to the wedding? The answer to this depends on how you feel about that person. “Sometimes the formal commitment that a wedding reflects— especially in states where it’s a legally binding action—can be enough to change how people see your partnership,” says Diane Anderson-Minshall, editor at large for The Advocate. “I’ve heard time and again from couples whose parents suddenly accepted and respected their partnership as soon as it was a legal marriage,” she explains. But if someone is really nasty, having them at your wedding will just sully the day, she says. “Some people decide not to invite unsupportive parents so that they don’t have to deal with the rejection they expect will come; others send an invite feeling like even though it may be rejected, it still shows them how important (and permanent) their relationship is,” Anderson-Minshall notes. Either way, expect some surprises, she adds. At her own wedding she was thrilled and surprised when most of her family members “showed up, teared up and treated us like we were just like every other couple.”
How do most gay couples set up their ceremony seating? “There are so many variations of seating arrangements at same-sex weddings, and these arrangements can have a big impact on the photographer,” Dodds says. Two brides coming down two aisles at the same time is challenging, if not impossible, for a single photographer to capture, she explains. Dodds has seen one aisle, two aisles and no aisle at all, where the couple waits with the officiant as guests come in. In all cases, Dodds advises the couple and photographer to think about how the seating impacts the ceremony and also the ability to capture it in pictures. If you’re thinking about two aisles, hiring two photographers or a photographer with a shooting assistant is advisable in order to effectively capture each bride or groom.
What are some new ideas to replace walking down the aisle? Many gay couples decide that they’re more comfortable walking down the aisle together instead of one waiting for the other at the altar. If your ceremony space has three aisles, think about walking up opposite side aisles and meeting at the altar. Then afterward, you can walk down the middle aisle together for the recessional. This also works well if you’re each having a family member
(mother, father, sister, brother) or close friend escort you down the aisle. As for your wedding party, your attendants can come in from each side or walk up the center aisle before you both enter. And when it comes to seating guests, your respective families can sit on either side of you (figure out which side each of you will stand at the altar), while mutual friends can simply sit wherever they please. Another idea: Create an aisle or separator between guests and have everyone sit in a U-shape around your altar or huppah. Remember that it’s your day and you should do what works for the two of you.
How do we include our children in the ceremony? How you involve your children in the wedding ceremony might depend on their ages and abilities. “Some couples actually start out with the invitations,” Anderson-Minshall notes. “When two of my lesbian friends married, the invitation read ‘Sir D’Artgan James Haase and Sir Darius William Haase request the honor of your presence at the royal celebration of the matrimony of their mothers.’ Then the boys, who were in grade school and middle school at the time, were integrated into the ceremony by walking their birth mom down the aisle,” she recalls. There are plenty of traditional ways to incorporate children (think flower girls or ring bearers for younger kids and junior bridesmaids and groomsmen for older kids), and if they’re over 18, they can even be witnesses. And don’t forget your pets! “Ring bearer is a perfect job for a welltrained dog,” Anderson-Minshall says. >>
Brian Hatton Photography
Instead of a typical banquet hall wedding, we want to throw the most awesome dinner party ever. How do we make sure it still feels like a wedding celebration? If you don’t want the typical cake cutting, first dance or roasting best man toasts, it’s important that you add in other forms of entertainment, says Coveney Smith. The last thing you want is to have a boring wedding, and if you eliminate all of the typical wedding traditions, you certainly risk it. “The entertainment can be anything from drag queens to a tango performance, but typically it is a surprise for your guests,” she explains. Think of it as a conversation starter, and while many guests can dance all night, lots of people need the structure that entertainment provides.
What advice should we give to our straight friends about coming to our ceremony? If you’re throwing a traditional wedding with rings and vows, there isn’t much to explain. “Today, straight people understand that a wedding is a wedding,” Anderson-Minshall says. “But with that said, one of the delights of being in the LGBT community is that we’re able to really buck convention and upend tradition, defy gender roles and integrate our full selves in our weddings in a way many of our straight friends haven’t seen,” she says. Don’t underestimate your straight friends; just because it’s different doesn’t mean they won’t love it. “If there’s something very different about your nuptials, let your friends know,” Anderson-Minshall recommends. “If all your bridesmaids are drag queens, if your seven dogs are part of the wedding party, if the theme is Game of Thrones or if the reception is clothing optional, then by all means give them a tip-off.”
the big questions
What are some fitting readings for same-sex ceremonies? “It’s great to honor how far we as a community have come in terms of marriage equality by having a person do a reading from the decision of the Massachusetts court case, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which made it the first state in the country to offer full marriage equality,” Ott Palladino says. The portion that many people use as a reading is: “Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity and family … Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.” Some other readings Anderson-Minshall finds appropriate are: the Apache Marriage Blessing, “Blessings For a Marriage” by James Dillet Freeman, “What is Love” by Susan Polis Schutz, Song of Songs 4: 1-16, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, “Touched by an Angel” by Maya Angelou, “Love” by Roy Croft and Unconditional Love by Father John Powell.
How do we find the right officiant for us? A civil servant’s primary role is to legalize the marriage. A judge or justice of the peace can do this as well as a religious leader. If you’re not affiliated with a church or temple, look into an Ethical Humanist officiant (American Ethical Union has local societies) or an officiant from the Unitarian Universalist Association, Universal Life Church or Metropolitan Community Church. These groups support gay marriages and will officiate them. If you’d like a religious ceremony, look for an officiant from a religion that leaves the decision up to individual clergy members (Buddhist, some Protestant, some Quaker and Reform Jewish). Many religious denominations also bless gay unions even if they won’t officiate these unions. Search online for local officiants who will help create a personalized ceremony.
If you choose a religious officiant or another person affiliated with a group (such as an Ethical Humanist), he may give you sample ceremony wording to work from as a starting point. The more secular the officiant, the more creative license you will likely have over what is said, read, sung or played during the ceremony. In order for the marriage to be legal, your officiant has to include the Declaration of Intent, or the “Do you take... I do” vows portion of the ceremony. As for the rest of the ceremony, sit down together ahead of time and come up with a ceremony to fit your personalities. A typical ceremony often includes a processional, welcome, declaration of intent, readings, vows, ring exchange, pronouncement and recessional.
Can we have a friend officiate and how do they get ordained? If you live in a state where gay civil ceremonies or gay marriage is legal and you’re looking for an officiant, you may find that a close friend or family member is the best fit for the job. To get ordained, look to online ministries. Many are nondenominational or interfaith, while others are for certain religions. Just make sure you double-check the affiliation before going through the process. Some ministries require applications to convey your intentions, while others ask for simple paperwork. There are a few large organizations that will ordain you via the Internet. Some of the most common online ministries are: American Fellowship Church, Universal Life Church, Universal Ministries and Rose Ministries. Once you find one that seems to suit you, make sure it’s legit by contacting your Secretary of State’s office to check if it is registered as a nonprofit organization.
What does it cost to get ordained? In terms of cost, organizations, like the Universal Life Church, ordain for free but charge for certificates of credentials ($5 for a certificate). Others, like the American Fellowship Church, charge $30 or a comparable price for the ordination. A quick tip: Before getting ordained, find out whether the ordination will be for life or for a limited time. If it’s limited, find out if it costs anything to renew the ordination.
What if we get married in a state where same-sex weddings are legal but live in a state where gay marriage is not yet legal? “Currently there are 12 states, plus the District of Columbia, with marriage equality and eight states that provide all of the benefits and responsibilities of marriage but identify the relationship as either a domestic partnership or a civil union,” explains LGBT law expert Bettina D. Hindin. “Of the 37 states that do not have marriage equality, only five respect out-of-state same-sex marriages (California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and New Mexico)—but treat the outof-state same-sex marriages as civil unions.” If you live in any of the remaining states, a married gay couple will effectively be treated as legal strangers. That means that all of the rights, responsibilities, obligations and benefits of marriage that are conferred by the state to opposite-sex married couples will be withheld and denied to same-sex married couples. Hindin recommends that gay married couples who reside in any of the states with constitutional amendments restricting marriage speak with an in-state attorney specializing in representing LGBT clients. You want an attorney with experience regarding issues such as inheritance and estate planning, support and custody matters, medical decision-making, retirement and pension rights and health benefits as they relate to gay couples. If necessary, Hindin explains, an attorney can craft documents to closely mirror the rights, privileges and obligations of marriage.
tara mcmullen photography; right: left of center photography
The big questions
What do other couples do about their last name? Should we change ours? In her experience, Anderson-Minshall finds that same-sex couples often think long and hard about what to do with their last names after marriage. Some decide to hyphenate their names so that both of spouses have the same name, which shows the rest of the world they are indeed a family. This is particularly common in marriages where there are or will be children, she notes. In other cases, one spouse adopts the other’s name completely or hyphenates while the other keeps his or her maiden name (just as many heterosexual couples do). An even larger number of couples, especially those raised with the ideals of feminism, decide not to make any changes to their names. And for people who already have established careers under their given names, changing them isn’t an attractive option. The bottom line: Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. If you need some guidance, “it can help to talk to friends and family as well as your partner about what the name change (or lack of such) would mean,” AndersonMinshall adds.
How to Get Married State-by-State Connecticut
There’s no waiting period for a marriage license, and that license is valid for 65 days. Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: varies
Legal as of August 1, 2013. There’s a five-day waiting period for a license— valid for six months. You must have two witnesses at the ceremony. Fee: $115; can be reduced to $40 with a premarital counseling class
Delaware Legal as of July 1, 2013. There is a 24-hour waiting period for a marriage license and that license is valid for 30 days. Two witnesses are required at the ceremony. Fee: $50 application fee for residents and $100 fee for nonresidents
Maryland There is a 48-hour waiting period required for the license. Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: $35 and up
Massachusetts There’s a three-day waiting period for a marriage license. Licenses are valid for 60 days. Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: varies
Rhode Island Legal as of August 1, 2013. The license is valid for 90 days. You must have two witnesses at the ceremony. Fee: $24
Vermont No waiting period is required for a license (valid for 60 days). Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: $45
Washington There is a strict three-day waiting period for the license. Two witnesses are required at the ceremony. Fee: $35 and up
Washington, DC There’s a three-day waiting period for a license, which has no expiration date. Witnesses aren’t required. Fee: $45
No blood tests are required in any of these locations.
Maine There’s no waiting period for a marriage license. Licenses are valid for 90 days. Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: varies, but averages $40
New York There’s a 24-hour waiting period and the license is valid for 60 days. One witness must be at the ceremony. Fee: New York City, $35; New York state, $40
There’s a strict waiting period of three days for a marriage license, which is valid for six months. It’s necessary to have two witnesses at the ceremony (only one in some counties). Fee: $35
New Hampshire There’s no waiting period required for a marriage license, which is valid for 90 days. Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: varies, but averages $45
Ever wonder how a top designer would style his own wedding? We did too, and so we asked David Bromstad of HGTV’s Color Splash. He happily shared his inspired and colorful dream décor.
the table Soft flowers, elegant calligraphy, modern furniture and gold accents create a romantic table setting that’s rich but not too fussy. >>
By sarah newell PHOTOGRAPHY By philip ficks event and floral design by DM events styling by martha bernabe
previous spread: Table: LuxeEventRentals.com; Flower vessels: JamaliGarden.com; Chairs: TaylorCreativeInc.com; tabletop rentals: ClassicPartyRentals.com; calligraphy: lovejennacalligraphy.com. Opposite: Cake: ninecakes.com
k st yle
A bouquet like thisâ€”made of tightly clustered garden roses, ranunculus and carnations in varying shades of pink and purpleâ€”is a fresh departure from the typical monochromatic design.
the cake This ruffled sugar design shows off one of our favorite cake styles: ombrĂŠ. Add a delicate flower as a whimsical accent. >>
the place setting
A sleek black table offsets the romantic pink tones, giving the tablescape an edgier look. Square chargers are layered with a plum napkin and topped with a lace-wrapped place card.
See more wedding dĂŠcor ideas at TheKnot.com/style
CLICK HERE for a colletion of enchanting recipes Please drink responsibly. ©2013. St-Germain is a trademark. Imported by Maison 6ème Arr., Philadelphia, PA. Liqueur - 20% Alc. by Vol.
bow tie 101
tie the knot
with jesse tyler ferguson The Modern Family star’s line of fun bow ties makes a pretty good case for giving the preppy tie a try. Find out how he’s using his neckwear designs to fight for marriage equality— plus, what the funnyman learned while planning his own nuptials. By Kristin Koch
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, right, and his fiancé, Justin Mikita, wear their own designs. Proceeds from their bow ties (available at TheTieBar.com) support their foundation, Tie the Knot.
Okay, we’re super excited to talk to you about your amazing foundation Tie The Knot (TieTheKnot.org), which supports marriage equality. But first, we have to know—why bow ties? What made you decide to design your own bow tie line? I was talking with some friends of mine about an easy, low-pressure way to dip my toes into the fashion industry. I was like, “What’s the smallest point of real estate on the male body that I can design for?” Bow ties seemed like a good fit.
Is it safe to assume that bow ties are your signature accessory? I love bow ties. I have a vast collection of them that I’ve accumulated over the years, and I do wear them often.
And your bow ties aren’t just about helping men (including grooms!) look stylish—they’re also a way to raise awareness for a cause close to your heart. Tell us a little bit about how they tie into (no pun intended) your foundation, Tie The Knot?
Your bow ties have made guest appearances on Modern Family and even costarred with you in Shakespeare in the Park’s The Comedy of Errors in New York City this summer. Are they famous? The bow ties have made a few appearances on Modern Family. I wore one in the episode that Elizabeth Banks gets married and we [Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, who plays his partner on the show,] were best men, and in two other episodes. It’s fun to incorporate them into the show. Sofía Vergara is always wearing something from her line on the show or asking them to switch the bedsheets to ones from her line, so why not? And then you can tweet a photo of it and say, “Hey, look, my sheets!” I also wore one from the spring line [while performing] in Shakespeare in the Park over the summer and we sold them at the theater’s concession stands as well. All the bow ties in the spring collection were named after landmarks in New York City that we love and one was named Delacorte after the theater where Shakespeare in the Park is held.
We love how you explain Tie The Knot’s mission statement on its website: “The goal of Tie The Knot is clear: to advocate for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans throughout the United States and to look damn good while doing it.” How have you turned neckwear into a tool for raising awareness and garnering support for marriage equality?
It’s a lighthearted, low-pressure and fun way for people to show their support for marriage equality. My MO has always been I love being politically active and having a voice, but I think people are best changed through humor, not by being yelled at through a bullhorn. I’ll never be that guy with the bullhorn on the corner. That’s been the mission statement of our foundation—do it in a fun, lighthearted way. We’ve been able to use our bow ties to lobby for a gay marriage bill. We actually had a bow tie lobby day in Illinois and people came out to support the bill wearing bow ties. There have also been lots of straight couples who
From our experience, it seems most grooms fall into one of two categories: You’re either a necktie guy or a bow tie guy. How have you been able to reach beyond the standard bowtie-wearing crowd?
We’re still reaching people and finding ways to [speak to] a new audience. We have great guest designers on board who are showing their support and reaching whole new groups of people. Isaac Mizrahi was our first one, and he helped us tap into the fashion world. We also had George Takei [from the Star Trek television series], who has a ridiculous social following with like a bazillion Twitter followers, so he reached a whole other group, including all those Trekkies, and his bow ties sold out in record time. We have a really exciting guest designer for the fall line that’s going to help us tap into a whole other arena. It’s really exciting for us.
We’re big fans of bow ties, but some grooms are apprehensive about wearing them. Are they like pink shirts—only some men can pull them off? Any guy can wear a bow tie; it’s a fun way of expressing yourself. Eric Stonestreet will say he doesn’t have the neck for it, but every time he wears a bow tie, he gets so many compliments. Listen, I get it. At first I thought [bow ties] were a little constricting, but now I love wearing them. It takes a little bit of bravery—it’s not quite as traditional as a long tie. Sure, some men shouldn’t wear a bright bow tie, but there are different levels of conservative and wacky. >>
“I think people are best changed through humor and lightheartedness.”
My fiancé, Justin [Mikita], had the idea to make this into a more philanthropic venture, so it was the meeting of two really good ideas. The proceeds from the bow ties go to our foundation, Tie The Knot, and we farm it out to the organizations on the frontlines fighting for marriage equality. But the other thing about connecting [my bow ties] to a philanthropic venture was that I didn’t know if I was going to be any good at designing, so it was a safe way to try it. At the end of the day, if they sucked, I could always say, “Well, it’s for marriage equality.” Fortunately, they look good, and it turns out I can say I have a bit of an eye for design.
have told us that they bought one of the bow ties for their wedding because they wanted to support the organization, and we have parents who have bought our kids’ bow ties to tell their kids about marriage equality.
bow tie 101
How about your attire? A lot of questions we get about samesex weddings are about what the couple should wear—like if the grooms or brides should dress alike. How did you and Justin decide what to wear?
All of the ties have a signature owl logo. We’ve been dying to ask—what’s the meaning behind Tie The Knot’s mascot? We were looking for a Lacoste-type symbol that represented our brand. We landed on an owl because the fight for marriage equality requires deep-seated qualities that owls possess: You have to be patient, wise, have foresight and focus on the future. It seemed like a proper logo.
We have made the mistake before of wearing similar sweaters and it has only escalated the paparazzi. The idea of us wearing the same thing makes me a little nauseous. We are very different people and have different styles—our eyes just naturally go to different places. We’re not wearing traditional black, and we’re going to go very casual with it. We’re wearing different-colored tuxes that we had made for the day, so it has a fun, casual vibe. But it’s important to us that we don’t look like the Bobbsey Twins. I can’t imagine two brides in white dresses—that’s a lot of crinoline. A lot of crinoline.
What has been the best part about planning your wedding? Is there a particular bow tie from your line that you love for grooms? We have a black bow tie with our subtle gray owl logo on it that’s our “wedding bow tie.” But any of our ties would look great for a wedding. Black tie has stretched to mean so many things.
Speaking of weddings, you just finished planning your own wedding—congrats! What surprised you the most about wedding planning?
The planning has been really exciting. Picking out our wedding rings was something we were really stressed about, but once we were there with the jeweler, looking in the mirror with the bands on was a very special moment. And when we finally purchased the wedding rings, that was an insane moment—like, “We just bought our wedding rings!” Seeing our invitations for the first time was really exciting too. Hearing the excitement and all the support from our family and friends has been really gratifying, and just talking to Justin about how that day will go has been special. We’re just trying to absorb every moment as it comes. It’s been stressful at times, but overall, very special.
“It’s your day—it shouldn’t be dictated by anyone else.”
That each decision is like a Pandora’s box. Whatever item it is—a fork on the table or the structure of the ceremony—there’s always a billion more questions about that one item. That’s been really interesting. We had to use a wedding planner since we’ve been so busy, so fortunately we had someone micromanaging everything.
Did either of you get really into the planning and details, or were you both pretty good about keeping things in perspective? We both err on the side of wanting it to be perfect but we’re not crazy groomzillas. We haven’t had ideas about our wedding since we were kids, so we’re discovering as we go along and trying to be true to ourselves but without a template to go off of. But, it’s also really exciting to start from scratch and do what we want to do, which is what everyone’s wedding should be. It’s your day—it shouldn’t be dictated by anyone else. We just care about having our friends and family under one roof and having the best party we can.
Were there any other details you were really into? We loved the look of one metal chair we saw, and our planner’s assistant was like, “Just so you know, these are a little more expensive than the others.” So we asked, “Okay, how much?” and she goes, “Actually, they’re a lot more expensive—like $40 each.” $40! We were like, “We don’t want to own the chairs—just use them for the night. Is each guest taking a chair home at the end of the night? We’ll be fine with whatever we had before.”
Any plans to expand the line and design an accessory for the ladies? We get Twitter questions all the time about designing for women. I always want to say, “Did you see Diane Keaton? She brought the bow tie for women!” And we just did a fun segment with Cat Deeley on E! wearing our bow ties. It’s an accessory for both men and women.
Okay, so before we let you go, we have to ask you for your bow tying tips. How do you tie one on so it’s not crooked or uneven? I’m still trying to figure it out. Every time I tie my bow tie it ends up tilting to one side over the course of the evening. That’s the joy of a self-tied bow tie. When it’s a little skewed, it says it’s hand-tied and it’s meant to be a little unkempt. I’m a fan of double-stick tape on the collar.
So are clip-ons a faux pas? No—not a faux pas. Before I started the line, I didn’t know how to tie a bow tie, so all my bow ties were the pre-tied ones. Now, I can tell that they’re not hand-tied—they’re too perfect—but I still love them. I mean, I have clip-on suspenders. Larry King told me that’s horrible, but I don’t have time to button suspenders onto my pants.
The Best Thing I've Seen at a Gay Wedding As told to us by top tastemakers, Trendsetters and Activists
My most powerful wedding experience to date was with a transgender woman; she asked me to help her become the bride she always wanted to be. The most amazing thing was seeing these two ladies dancing together to ‘A Love That Will Never Grow Old’ from the Brokeback Mountain sound track, performed by the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. It was an amazing moment.” —Bernadette Coveney Smith, Founder 14 Stories
One of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen at a same-sex wedding was a marriage between two women. One of the brides had recently lost her father, and the other bride was very worried about doing a father-daughter dance with her dad when her new wife couldn’t. So the dad danced half the song with his daughter and the second half of the song with his new daughter-in-law. Not a dry eye in the room.” —Kirsten Ott Palladino, EquallyWed.com
While weddings can come in many shapes and sizes, all are special in their own unique way. And whether couples are following long-standing traditions or starting new ones of their own, there is one common theme that has stood the test of time: love.” —Charles Joughin,
We were all in one big circle on the beach—the grooms, the rabbi and the guests. It was one continuous ring and we all felt like we were part of the commitment that was being made. And, of course, everyone was wearing white knots.” —Frank Voci, White Knot for Equality
this spread, clockwise from top left: Preetika Rajgariah photography; next exit photography; once like a spark photography; photo Chen creditPhotography; next exit photography; Marie Labbancz Photography; next spread, clockwise from top left: tara mcmulShang len photography; authentic eye photography; leisa cole; 5th avenue digital; next exit photography; Brian Hatton Photography
Human Rights Campaign
Couples formerly denied marriage now being pronounced married under the law.” —Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry
tktk slug tastemakers tips
The best thing I have seen at a same-sex wedding was the legally valid marriage license!” —Austin Scarlett, designer
I recently attended the legal wedding ceremony of two grooms—one of whom is a high school friend—in a park in New York City. Our 5-year-old son joined us. It was his very first wedding and it set a beautiful example for him. I’m also certain that my next favorite memory will be the one of our son walking with us down the aisle (if there is one!) the day my partner and I can be legally married in our home state. We’ve been together for 20 years and had a memorable ceremony in 1999, but have not yet legally married because we live in Virginia, which does not currently recognize same-sex marriage.” —Kathryn Hamm, GayWeddings.com, coauthor of Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography
At Preston Bailey and his partner Theo Bleckmann’s wedding, there was a gallery of photos you walked through after the ceremony. It was photos of the weddings of many of the guests as well as shots of Preston and Theo with some of the guests. It was a clever and subtle way of imparting that they are just another couple in love.” —Marcy Blum, event planner
At Emily and Kristen Keenan’s Vermont wedding, they rented an old red pickup truck to function as their lemonade stand during the cocktail hour. The truck became a fantastic and memorable prop for photos as the sun went down.” —Thea Dodds, photographer and coauthor of Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography
Shawn Rabideau Events & Design
At one wedding, the couple challenged each other to come up with surprises. One groom, Alan, surprised the other, John, with a flashmob-style act of Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ and then a performance of ‘Ring Them Bells.’ John surprised Alan with 12 members of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus.” —Shawn Rabideau,
—Christopher Confero, event designer
As I stood at the back of the aisle watching my two grooms say their vows in Birmingham, Alabama, I knew that things were finally changing. No, it’s not legal in the Southern states just yet, but we’ll get there. It was quite moving to know they were surrounded by 150 of their closest friends and family, the majority of whom were Southern born and raised, but all loved them unconditionally and supported their marriage. I couldn’t help but shed a few tears, savoring the moment where I was able to look into the future and project myself standing in that spot one day with the love of my life.”
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jen & pam October 20 • New York City photography by Kimberly Salem Photography
big city festive
It was a chance meeting at a children’s soccer class that first brought Jen Reed (the director of sports & fitness at the Jewish Community Center of Austin; right) and Pam Greenstone (a psychotherapist) together, but it wasn’t until eight years later that they started dating. Although both were born and bred in Texas, Jen and Pam chose to have an outdoor wedding in New York City because they knew it would “feel better to get married in a state that protects and acknowledges the LGBT community.”—Davida Hogan
Ceremony Site The Pond, Central Park, New York City Reception Site Opia, New York City Photography Kimberly Salem/Kimberly Salem Photography Officiant Mark Horowitz Gown David’s Bridal Suit Calvin Klein, Macy’s Shoes Jen: Steve Madden; Pam: David’s Bridal Wedding Rings Eliza Page Jewelry Necklace: Eliza Page Attendants David’s Bridal; J. Crew Invitations Vintage postcards: Uncommon Objects; custom stamp: JL Mould, Etsy.com Flowers Maison De LaCroix, Etsy.com Catering Opia Music Ceremony: Clan MacLeod Cake Nine Cakes Favors DIY Accommodations The Bentley Hotel Honeymoon Montreal, Canada Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the ceremony Jen and Pam married under a huppah they made with several close friends. During the ceremony each pole was held by a family member. the cake Jen used leftover fabric from the
huppah and yellow embroidery thread to make the topper for the three-tier buttercream cake. the rings Delicate filigree rings were exchanged during the ceremony. the bouquets Both Jen and Pam carried bouquets made of preserved craspedia, hydrangeas, yarrow, thistles, ammobium and silver brunia. The stems were wrapped in chevron fabric with decorative pins. the couple’s style Pam wore a short jacket over her strapless dress for the ceremony. Jen chose an ivory suit and gray silk blouse, which coordinated with the bridesmaid dresses. Each attendant carried a bouquet of craspedia wrapped in gray-and-white chevron.
hayley & johanny July 23 • Malibu, CA photography by Next Exit Photography
feminine & romantic
Hayley Macon (an attorney; opposite, left) and Johanny Salcedo (a legal assistant) met while they were both working at the same law firm. After four years of dating, they realized the natural next step in their relationship was to get married. Hayley grew up in Michigan and Johanny is from New York, so they decided to throw their wedding in the Los Angeles area, where they had both lived for a number of years. They spent a year planning their pink, romantic and shabby chic wedding. As Hayley puts it: “It was a real girly girl wedding.” —DH
the location Hayley and Johanny fell in love with Calamigos Ranch when they had lunch one
day at its restaurant. They liked that the venue had history (it was established in 1947) and were touched by the idea that they would one day be able to go back and visit the location with their children. the couple’s style Hayley found her fitted lace trumpet dress first and sent a picture of it to Johanny so that she could choose a style that coordinated. Johanny’s flowing strapless gown looked equally as dreamy and romantic. the details A shabby chic crystal chandelier hung above the sweetheart table. the signage Vintage-looking wooden signs led guests to the ceremony. the reception de cor Also at the sweetheart table, initial mugs—filled with roses, hydrangeas and dusty miller—spelled out the word “love.”
the guest book Instead of a traditional sign-in book, Hayley and Johanny put out a vintage typewriter (a pink one, of course) and guests typed their well-wishes. the tables Table numbers were displayed in fabric-backed frames and placed on silver trays. the bouquets The brides carried bouquets of hydrangeas, cabbage roses, dahlias and dusty miller. the ceremony Hayley and Johanny exchanged vows, which they wrote themselves, on an outdoor patio. They kept decorations to a minimum, lining the aisle with pink tissue-paper puffs. the cake Fresh roses adorned the red velvet cake that was decorated with fondant. the escort cards Hangtags displayed on a fabric-covered board replaced traditional escort cards.
Ceremony and Reception Site Calamigos Ranch, Malibu Photography Next Exit Photography Event Design Tabitha Johnson/Glitter & Ganache Day-Of Coordinator Alia Brown Officiant Carmen Navarro Margaziotis Gowns Hayley: Jim Hjelm, The White Dress, Corona Del Mar; Johanny: Wtoo, Lovely, New York City Hair Drybar Makeup Rosa Lopez Shoes Hayley: Christian Louboutin; Johanny: Badgley Mischka Stationery WeddingPaperDivas .com Flowers The Enchanted Florist Catering Calamigos Ranch Music Ceremony: Jeff Goodkind; reception: DJ Tendaji Lathan Cake Hotcakes Bakes Other Desserts The Blue Cupcake Honeymoon Athens and Crete; Paris Donâ€™t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
monica & tory July 4 • Essex, CT photography by Marie Labbancz Photography
laid-back new england
The way Monica Dedet (left) tells it, she and Victoria (Tory) Winkelman spotted each other across a smoke-filled room, and they couldn’t take their eyes off one another. Tory says after a year as friends, their relationship blossomed into a romance. They decided to get married on Tory’s family estate in Connecticut, where the couple created a Miami-Beachmeets-New-England vibe with lots of multicultural accents. Think: Latin salsas on the menu and Adirondack chairs at the reception. —DH
Ceremony and Reception Site Tory’s parents’ home at Hayden’s Point, Essex Photography Marie Labbancz/ Marie Labbancz Photography Consultant Joe Marini Gowns Claire Pettibone, Kleinfeld Bridal, New York City Hair and Makeup KerryLou Brehm Attendants J. Crew Invitations Bella Figura; stationery stickers: Erin Fiore, Petite Alma Flowers Joe Marini Music Ceremony: Dave Giardina; reception: Darrell Martin Music Cake Blair Cruickshank (Tory’s aunt) Favors Connecticut Cigar Company Transportation Jolly Red Trolley Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style Both brides decided on delicate lace detailing for their wedding day attire—
Monica wore an Empire-waist gown with lace sleeves and Tory donned a V-neck dress that flaunted a geometric pattern. the bouquets Monica carried a romantic, deep red mix of peonies and roses while Tory opted for a lush bouquet of white peonies and lavender roses. the details Following the barefoot ceremony, Monica and Tory slipped on their cowboy boots for dinner and dancing. the stationery Custom-made stickers, designed by a friend of the couple, topped the inner envelopes of the invitations. Larger signs of the same image led guests down the road to the wedding site. the ceremony After walking down two separate aisles, the couple exchanged vows on the front lawn of Tory’s family estate, overlooking the Connecticut River.
aimee & natalie May 5 • Houston photography by Preetika Rajgariah Photography
soft & lovely
When Aimee Kennedy (a doctor; opposite, left) and Natalie Gwilliam (a doctor) got engaged, they decided to wed in the city in which they met and both attended medical school. The couple chose a location where they could have an intimate courtyard ceremony followed by an elegant ballroom reception. Aimee surprised Natalie with purple touches (Natalie’s favorite color), which appeared throughout the ceremony and reception as bold accents for the flowers, cake and other decorations. —DH
Ceremony and Reception Site Courtyard on St. James Place, Houston Photography Preetika Rajgariah and John Huntington/Preetika Rajgariah Photography Consultant Kyle Lowry and Hedi Shankleton/Courtyard on St. James Officiant Marty & Jeff Holmes/ We do...I dos Gowns Aimee: Manuel Mota; Natalie: White One, Ventura’s Bridal, Houston Hair Hair by Liz Shoes Aimee: Antonio Melani; Natalie: Ann Taylor Wedding Rings Moissanite & Co. Jewelry Aimee: necklace, Ron Stevens Jeweller; earrings and bracelet, family heirlooms. Natalie: necklace, family heirloom Attendants On women: Alfred Angelo; on men: Men’s Wearhouse Invitations DIY; paper: PaperandMore.com Flowers Lexis Florist Music Ceremony: Mark Pedersen; reception: John De Leon/DJ Sounds Cake Cakes by Gina Favors DIY Registries Amazon.com; Crate & Barrel Honeymoon Aruba Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the cake The buttercream cake was topped with silk hydrangeas that Aimee embellished with Swarovski crystals. the couple’s style Both Aimee and Natalie chose fit-and-flare dresses. Aimee accessorized her lace gown with a necklace made from a diamond her father had given to her mother years earlier. Natalie wore a strand of pearls, a gift from her dad. the details Aimee represented her deceased father by attaching a locket containing his picture to her bouquet. the reception de cor Bunches of purple flowers and cream hydrangeas lined the aisle. the rings The brides secretly purchased rings and proposed separately.
carolina & zoe June 6 • Boston photography by Melissa Robotti Photography
indoor elegance Carolina Ventura (an attorney; left) and Zoe Rosenbaum (a doctor) met when they were hallmates during their freshman year of college. After nine years of dating, Carolina popped the question at home on Zoe’s birthday. The two spent 16 months planning a wedding that incorporated both Latin and Jewish traditions. They chose to wed in Boston—a city to which they both have strong ties. Not only is it Zoe’s hometown, but it’s also the city in which the two attended school. —DH
Ceremony and Reception Site The Colonnade Hotel, Boston Photography Melissa Robotti/Melissa Robotti Photography Officiants Rabbi Moshe Waldoks and Rabbi Susan Harris Gowns Carolina: Liv Harris, VOWS Bridal Outlet, Watertown; Zoe: Alvina Valenta, Wedding Atelier, New York City Hair Kristen Ball/Dellaria Salon Makeup Robin Osborne and Sam Osborne Christensen/Girly Junk Shoes Carolina: Kate Spade; Zoe: Dolce & Gabbana Attendants Lela Rose, Bella Bridesmaid Invitations Angela Liguori/Studio Carta Escort Cards Pier Gustafson Menu Cards Cover calligraphy: Pier Gustafson Flowers Datura, A Modern Garden Rentals Linens: BBJ Linens Catering The Colonnade Hotel Music New Boston Kleztet; Grupo Fantasia Cake The Icing on the Cake Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style Carolina and Zoe both wanted a classic look. Zoe chose
a fitted mermaid-style gown while Carolina wore a beaded dress with a flared skirt. The brides accessorized with pearl necklaces that were gifts from Zoe’s mother. the cake The four white-on-white tiers of the cake were decorated with sugar flowers and fresh orchids. the details Zoe wore glamorous gold patent leather pumps with her gown. Carolina opted for vibrant purple peep toes. the ceremony de cor Vivid orchids were tied to the seats along the aisle leading to the huppah. the stationery The custom-designed invitations included details in English, Spanish and Hebrew.
amy & ana October 18 • Pinos Altos, NM photography by Leigh Miller Photography
Amy Foote (a film editor) was living in Brooklyn, NY, when Ana Egge (a singer-songwriter) moved into an apartment next door. They were instantly drawn to each other. Three years later Ana proposed. The couple held their wedding in New Mexico, where Ana grew up, because they wanted to share the beauty of the desert with their friends and family. A white palette with plenty of candles highlighted the landscape’s natural beauty and rustic charm. —DH
peach-rum jams served as both escort cards and favors.
the reception deâ€Šcor To focus attention on the stunning location, the couple opted for minimal dĂŠcor. the programs A diamond-patterned background gave the program cover a vintage feel. the flowers Potted orchids were placed on the reception tables instead of elaborate centerpieces. the venue The couple chose the space for its southwestern details, including red chili wreaths strung from ceiling. the details Chairs made of locally-sourced saguaro cactus ribs and bright red leather provided bold pops of color. the favors Jars of homemade pear-ginger and
Ceremony Site Buckhorn Saloon & Opera House, Pinos Altos Reception Site Gallery 400, Silver City Photography Leigh Miller/Leigh Miller Photography Gown Nicole Miller Suit Ann Taylor Stationery Shannon Curren Flowers Ceremony: Broadway Boutique; reception: Trader Joe’s Rentals Garcia’s Tents & Events Favors DIY Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the location The cozy reception space had several airy rooms for the night’s various events— one for the cocktail hour, another for the buffet and a third area for dancing. the ceremony To dress up the rustic Pinos Altos Opera House, Ana (opposite, left) and Amy added a white aisle runner, vases of white calla lilies, white tealights and large red candles. the bouquet Amy carried a bouquet of cream-colored roses and white daisies accented with red berries, which complemented the desert setting. the details Guests accessorized their outfits with Western cowboy boots—a perfect casual style for the laid-back location. the stationery Vintage postcards from the area set the tone for the invitations, and the designer used fonts inspired by both New Mexico and New York. The “Go West” save-the-dates prepared guests for their trek to the Southwest.
ashley & shamina April 21 â€˘ Queenstown, MD photography by Lisa NYC Pix
vivid & soulful Ashley Bell (founder of Ashley Bell Consulting) and Shamina Singh (a vice president at MasterCard) met on a busy campaign trail working for the same senate candidate. It took Shamina the entire campaign to get the nerve to ask Ashley out, but after their first date, the two became inseparable. Shamina proposed three years later with a ring their sisters helped design. The brides held their Sikh-meets-Southern-belle wedding just outside Washington, DC. â€”DH
Ceremony and Reception Site Aspen Wye River Conference Center, Queenstown Photography Lisa NYC Pix Consultants Kathryn Hamm and Parag Mehta Gowns Rohini Singh, New York City Hair Ashley: Canalé Salon; Shamina: A.R. Hair Salon Wedding Rings Tiffany & Co. Invitations IndianWeddingCards .com Flowers Ceremony: Flowers by Bhanu; reception: Brad Ford I.D. Rentals Party Rental Ltd.; tent and chairs: Sangeeta International Catering Chef Mukesh Music Ceremony: GuruGanesha Singh Khalsa; cocktails: Thokchom Prasanna Singh; reception: DJ Jatin Registry ABC Carpet & Home Honeymoon Dominican Republic Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style After moving to New York City, Ashley and Shamina
fell in love with the traditional saris made by Rohini Singh in Queens, New York. the transportation The brides were escorted to the ceremony in a rickshaw. the ceremony de cor The commitment ceremony took place under cherry trees beneath a tent made in India. the details The traditional Mehndi (henna tattoos) took five hours to apply. the ceremony Before the commitment ceremony, several other Indian celebrations took place, including an exchange of bridal jewelry in the morning and the Milni—an organized meeting of family and friends.
charlotte & rachel September 17 • Plainville, CT photography by Kerrigan Studios
Charlotte Lambert (a retail adviser at Aveda Institute; opposite, right) and Rachel Jolley (a local-news editor at AOL) met through a mutual friend at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Sparks immediately flew, and within a matter of days Charlotte and Rachel were a serious couple. After Charlotte’s grandparents offered to host the wedding in their backyard, the pair began what turned into a three-year planning process. With a lot of creative DIY, the brides created their dream fall wedding. —DH
Ceremony and Reception Site Charlotte’s grandparents’ home, Plainville Photography Leigh Barnes/ Kerrigan Studios Videography Daniel Jones/Salt Media Group Officiant Rev. Ronald B. Brown Gowns Alfred Angelo Hair and Makeup Charlotte: DIY; Rachel: Jaimee Scala (friend of Charlotte) Shoes Toms Wedding Rings Kay Jewelers Invitations BeaconLane, Etsy.com Other Stationery DIY Flowers Charlotte’s grandparents Rentals Superior Rental Catering Gloria Lambert (Charlotte’s grandmother) Music DJ S.A. Cake Maxine McCarthy (Charlotte’s aunt) Other Desserts Baked by Melissa Favors DIY; coffee beans: Bad Ass Coffee Accommodations Fairfield Inn & Suites Plainville Registries Macy’s; Target Honeymoon Costa Rica Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the location Charlotte and Rachel had a formal wedding and reception in Connecticut as well as a more casual party for friends and family in Florida, where the brides live. the couple’s style Although they didn’t plan it, both brides selected similar style gowns from Alfred Angelo. the cake A DIY project, the cake topper was created from fabric and letter forms from Michaels. the details Pumpkins with handmade cards served as the table numbers. the reception de cor Charlotte and Rachel decorated the tent themselves with string lights and lanterns.
amy & holly May 25 • Chicago photography by Leah Moyers Photography
warm & welcoming
It was love at first sight for Amy Ferguson (an editor at Tighe; left) when she spotted Holly Gitlin-Ferguson (an executive assistant at BPI Group) at a restaurant near the university they were both attending. They didn’t talk that day, but after another chance encounter a few weeks later, Amy was quick to introduce herself. Although originally from St. Louis, Amy and Holly chose a church and reception venue within walking distance from their home in Chicago to celebrate with family and friends. —DH
Ceremony Site Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Chicago Reception Site Firehouse Studios, Chicago Photography Leah Moyers/Leah Moyers Photography Consultant David Hopkins Officiant Rev. Michael D. Fick Gowns Mignonette, Mignonette, Chicago Hair and Makeup XO Studio Veil Amy: Mignonette, Mignonette, Chicago Shoes Amy: David Tutera; Holly: Anne Klein Weddings Rings Amy: David Kodner; Holly: family heirloom Stationery Invited Design, Etsy.com Flowers Bouquets and boutonnieres: Fleur; reception flowers: David Hopkins Rentals Hall’s Rental; Tablescapes Party Rentals; Crosstown Scenic; Nimble Well Catering Yo Soy; food truck: La Adelita Music Just Press Play Cake and Other Desserts Swedish Bakery Registries Amazon.com; Crate & Barrel; Macy’s Honeymoon Germany and Italy Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style Amy and Holly’s custom-made dresses were designed to coordinate but still
reflect each bride’s individual style. Amy’s full-length gown was inspired by vintage Lanvin pieces and Holly’s knee-length dress was influenced by Grecian-style drapery. the cake Olive leaves and lavender flowers decorated the white buttercream cake. The layers were two different flavors: lemon with raspberry filling and chocolate fudge with hazelnut filling. the details Amy wore her hair in a low chignon, accented with a floral and crystal hairpiece. She decided to add a birdcage veil to her look as a last-minute touch. the bouquets The brides carried bouquets of hydrangeas, ranunculus, peonies, feverfew, chamomile and lavender. the reception de cor Wooden whiskey barrels were used as cocktail tables at the reception.
bonnie & michelle October 20 â€˘ New York City photography by Casey Fatchett Photography
spiritual in the city For five years, Bonnie Lawrence (a cognitive neuroscientist at New York University; right) and Michelle Munson (an associate professor at New York University) proposed to each other for
fun, before they could legally marry in New York. Once the Marriage Equality Act passed, Michelle planned a trip to Mexico and proposed to Bonnie on a beach in Manzanillo. Family and friends would have to travel from the Midwest to New York City for the wedding, so Bonnie and Michelle chose to wed in the fallâ€”one of the best times to visit the city. â€”DH
Ceremony Site Middle Collegiate Church, New York City Reception Site Pylos, New York City Photography Casey Fatchett/Casey Fatchett Photography Officiant Rev. Adriene Thorne Attire Bonnie: J. Crew; Michelle: Macy’s Hair and Makeup Selene Anderson Shoes Bonnie: Coach Wedding Rings Greenwich Jewelers Stationery DIY Menu Cards Pylos Flowers Friend of couple, Chelsea Flower Market Music Ceremony: Dionne McClain-Freeney/Middle Collegiate Church; reception: Marcus (friend of brides) Catering and Other Desserts Pylos Cake A Simple Cake Favors Malley’s Chocolates Accommodations The Standard East Village; W New York; The Jane Registries Crate & Barrel; TravelersJoy.com Honeymoon Paris Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the location The brides exchanged vows at their church. The gospel
ensemble’s rendition of “Spend My Life With You” brought Michelle to tears.
the couple’s style Simple and comfortable was the look that both brides
were going for on their wedding day. Bonnie chose a flowing satin gown while Michelle wore an elegant silk blouse and skirt. the cake The threetier chocolate cake was covered with white buttercream frosting. the centerpieces A good friend of the brides created the petite ranunculus arrangements for the reception tables. the ceremony The brides lit a unity candle and walked down the aisle as an Irish blessing was read.
laure & natasha August 9 • Hamilton, NJ photography by Love Me Do Photography
When Laure Biron (self-employed; opposite, left) and Natasha Mtshali (restaurant manager) visited the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, their plans for a private ceremony and small party quickly went out the window. “As soon as we saw where they held ceremonies, we knew we wanted the whole thing—a ceremony and reception,” Laure explains. Because of their catering backgrounds, the brides were able to pull off their wedding celebration in less than a year.—DH
the cake Layers of vanilla and raspberry cake were decorated with buttercream and fresh flowers. the couple’s style Although Natasha initially thought she would wear a suit, she fell in love with a strapless dress after trying on gowns at Laure’s insistence. Both brides chose dresses from the same collection. the details Pins and pieces of vintage jewelry adorned the wrapped stems of the brides’ bouquets. the decorations Rustic signs guided guests to the festivities. the bouquets Natasha’s bouquet contained protea, a nod to the national flower of her native South Africa, and Laure’s consisted of dinner plate dahlias. the reception de cor Laure purchased more than 200 votive candles that were used as lighting during the reception.
Ceremony Site Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton Reception Site Rat’s Restaurant at Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton Photography Carina Romano and Amanda Jaffe/Love Me Do Photography Videography Lovesick Inc. Officiant Phyllis Taylor Gowns White by Vera Wang, David’s Bridal Hair Sean Korban/Snip Veil Laure: One Stop Wedding Shoppe, Willow Grove, PA Wedding Rings Ilsa Loves Rick Jewelry Crystal hair comb: Tacori; silk flower: Modern Bridal Attendants J. Crew Invitations The Paper Umbrella Flowers Viburnum Designs Rentals Party Rental Ltd.; lighting: Fennelli Design Catering Rat’s Restaurant at Grounds for Sculpture Music Lovesick Inc. Cake Cedric Barbaret Favors Tillandsia International Registry Bloomingdale’s Honeymoon Matunuck, RI Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
as a nod to the birds that roam the grounds of the sculpture garden.
the ceremony The Jewish ceremony took place under a huppah made from Laure’s mother’s veil. the favors Laure and Natasha made their own favors by placing air plants inside small terrariums. the centerpieces The flowers on the reception tables were arranged in vases that had belonged to Laure’s grandmother. the invitations A peacock motif was incorporated into the invitations
alissa & julie July 9 • Morristown, NJ photography by Lily Kesselman Photography
simple & classic
A teacher training course brought Julie Wood (a teacher; right) and Alissa Ginsberg (a director for NYC Teaching Fellows) together. After a rocky first date, their mutual love of Alissa’s dog, Gus, solidified their relationship and the couple became inseparable. Alissa surprised Julie with an at-home proposal and the two spent a year and a half planning their wedding. Knowing they wanted their friend and pastor to marry them, they wed at a New Jersey church where they also celebrated after the ceremony. —DH
Ceremony and Reception Site St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Morristown Photography Lily Kesselman/Lily Kesselman Photography Officiant Rev. Janet Broderick Gown Tara Keely, Wedding Atelier, New York City Suit J. Crew; shirt: Banana Republic Hair and Makeup Bloom Studio Shoes Dolce Vita; Cole Haan Wedding Rings Greenwich Jewelers Attendants On women: After Six, Here Comes the Bridesmaid, New York City; on men: JoS. A. Bank Invitations WeddingPaperDivas.com Programs DIY Flowers The Grower’s Box Rentals All County Rental Music Self-made playlist Cake Momofuku Milk Bar Accommodations Hyatt Morristown at Headquarters Plaza Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style Alissa accessorized her strapless A-line gown with a silk flower in her hair. Julie chose a gabardine suit and a blouse with detailing that mimicked the fabric of Alissa’s dress. the ceremony The historic St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and its parish hall are connected by a short walkway, making the transition from ceremony to reception seamless. the stationery An abstract yellow-and-orange floral motif was the perfect mix of simple and modern. the details The couple used the same cake topper from Julie’s maternal grandparents’ wedding cake. the bouquets
Alissa and Julie both carried bright bouquets of orange and yellow gerber daisies.
betsy & tiffany August 4 â€˘ Athens, GA photography by Anne Almasy
colorful & exuberant
When Betsy Beasley (a PhD candidate in American Studies; opposite, left) and Tiffany Holder (a registered nurse) got engaged, they knew they wanted a wedding that would reflect their artsy personalities. Once they decided to marry in the town where they met, they realized that the studio at which Tiffany studied aerial arts would be the perfect backdrop for their wedding day. Friends and family members lent creativity and expertise to help Betsy and Tiffany pull together their turquoise- and red-hued celebration. â€”DH
the entertainment Aerial artists as well as fire spinners, all of whom were friends of the couple, performed during the reception. the coupleâ€™s style Betsy and Tiffany both chose dresses with a 1940s vibe. Betsy wore a
dramatic black halter dress with a turquoise cummerbund and Tiffany chose an ivory taffeta gown. the cake topper One of the two wedding cakes was accented with a cute unicorn topper. the details Festive drink flags dressed up the iced teas and lemonades served after the ceremony. the favors The couple gave guests coffee from the cafĂŠ where they met.
Ceremony and Reception Site Canopy Studio, Athens Photography Anne and Dan Almasy/Anne Almasy Gowns Tiffany: Sincerity Bridal, Yes to the Dress, Huntingdon Valley, PA; Betsy: Vivien of Holloway, London Hair Tiffany: Shenanigans Salon Makeup Melissa Roberts (friend of Tiffany) Veil Tiffany: Yes to the Dress, Huntingdon Valley, PA; Betsy: Tattered Petals, Etsy.com Wedding Rings Jewelry by CJ McKay, Etsy.com Stationery Faith Hutchinson (friend of couple) Sign-In Book Kissy Kissy Katie, Etsy.com Flowers Flowers Inc. Rentals Tables, chairs: Barrons Rental Center Catering Five Star Day Café Favors Jittery Joe’s Coffee Accommodations Foundry Park Inn & Spa Registries Amazon.com; Bed Bath & Beyond; REI Honeymoon Finland Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the bridal party Betsy and Tiffany sent swatches of the wedding colors to the attendants and let them choose their own dresses or ties in one of the shades. the cake The gluten-free wedding cake was made by friends of the couple and topped with decorations made by Tiffany. the programs Handmade programs and fans were placed at each seat for the ceremony. the reception de cor The studio where Tiffany studied trapeze was draped in aerial silks to create the wedding backdrop. the details Tiffany wanted her curly hair to look natural, so the stylist weaved braids throughout her updo. the rings After reciting their vows, the couple exchanged matching rings.
heather & jessica July 20 • Boston photography by Kelly Prizel Photography
vintage travel Heather Sarver (an asylum officer with the US Department of Homeland Security; left) and Jessica Mullan (a project supervisor at the Garden City Group) met on the last night of a conference in Chicago that they each attended for their respective law schools. After spending so much of their relationship traveling to see each other, the couple knew a vintage travel theme would be perfect for their wedding. Their colors—green and purple—were used in their accessories to give each bride an individual look. —DH
Ceremony and Reception Site The Exchange Conference Center, Boston Photography Kelly Prizel/ Kelly Prizel Photography Consultant Bernadette Coveney Smith/14 Stories Officiant Kezia Bacon Gowns Heather: Alfred Angelo, The Bridal House, Roanoke, VA; Jessica: The Wedding Shoppe, St. Paul, MN Hair and Makeup The Bride Beautiful Shoes Heather: Nine West; Jessica: RSVP Wedding Rings BlueNile.com Attendants On women: J. Crew; on men: Paul Fredrick Stationery Megan Gilshire Florist Spruce Inc. Catering East Meets West Music Mocha DJ Productions Cake Melita Fiore Cakes Accommodations Boston Marriott Copely Place Registry Honeyfund .com Honeymoon European cruise Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style Since the couple didn’t want to see one another’s gowns before the wedding,
Jessica’s sister made sure that Jessica’s lace mermaid gown and Heather’s crystal-encrusted ball gown complemented each other. the centerpieces Images of vintage postcards from places that hold a significant meaning for the pair were used in place of table numbers. the cake To incorporate Heather’s Australian roots, they chose a traditional lamington cake. the details Green and purple flowers decorated the reception tables and room. the ceremony Large green and purple lanterns made the vast space feel more intimate.
jenn & jill April 20 • Seattle photography by Tara McMullen Photography
Although they had been committed to each other for six years, Jenn Steff (an account manager at Microsoft; left) and Jill Killen (owner of Cloud City Coffee and El Diablo Coffee Company) chose to make it legal once Washington passed the marriage equality bill. After deciding to host the event at Jill’s Cuban-themed coffee shop, El Diablo, the couple set out on a mission to renovate and beautify the space for their wedding. The result was a Latin affair complete with bright yellow accents and Cuban cuisine. —Rita Kokshanian
Ceremony and Reception Site El Diablo Coffee Company, Seattle Photography Tara McMullen/Tara McMullen Photography Officiant Claudia Morales Attire Jenn: custom, I Do Bridal, Seattle; Jill: J. Crew Hair Lisa Pekar/Haven Salon Makeup Julia Steff Shoes Jenn: Joan & David; Jill: Converse Wedding Rings Jamie Joseph Jewelry Earrings: Judith Jack; Jenn’s necklace: borrowed; Jill’s bracelet: borrowed Invitations Christi Williford/Elemental Studio Sign-In Board Define Design 11, Etsy.com Flowers Maxine’s Floral & Gift Catering El Diablo Coffee Company Music Cinco Gringos Cake Bonnie Lyons/New Renaissance Cakes Other Desserts Cloud City Coffee Favors My Mercado, Etsy.com Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style Jill wore a white dress, which she topped with a denim
jacket for much of the day, while Jenn chose a vintage-inspired beaded lavender dress. the cake “We wanted a simple, almost traditional looking wedding cake,” Jenn says of the three-tier white confection with yellow flowers. the details Vibrant matchbooks with Mexican Lotería cards served as favors. the menu In addition to cake, the brides served marshmallow treats, white-chocolate-dipped pretzels and gluten-free cupcakes. the reception de cor A custom poster featuring an outline of Washington state along with the couple’s names and wedding date was used as a sign-in board.
naomi & rachel May 5 • Houston photography by Jen Huang Photography
When Naomi Lofton (a homemaker; opposite, right) and Rachel Dvoretsky (a geologist) got engaged, Naomi knew she wanted a romantic, dramatic and elegant wedding with lots of candlelight. The outdoor space at the Houston Zoo, with its breathtaking fountains and gorgeous oak trees, was the perfect venue for the pair’s vision. It was important to Naomi that the decorations complement the zoo’s natural beauty, so the couple went with soft shades of blush, ivory and gray as their color scheme. —DH
the reception deâ€Šcor Naomi and Rachel seated all of their guests at one long table, decorated
with a gray lace-edged runner and several floral centerpieces in milk glass vessels. The couple sat at the head of the table so they were able to see all of their loved ones together. the location Both the ceremony and reception were held at the Reflection Pool. During the cocktail hour, guests were able to interact with and learn about the animals from zookeepers. the details Initial signs marked the Naomi and Rachelâ€™s seats. the bouquets Attendants carried arrangements of peonies, roses and dusty miller. the boutonnieres The men wore boutonnieres made from spray roses, babyâ€™s breath and dusty miller.
Ceremony and Reception Site Houston Zoo, Houston Photography Jen Huang/Jen Huang Photography Officiant Heather Ehlinger (friend of Naomi) Gown Ines Di Santo, Belle Mariée Bridal, Houston Suit Alfani, Macy’s Hair Jessica Watkins Makeup Jessica Garza Veil Sara Gabriel, Belle Mariée Bridal, Houston Shoes Naomi: Glint Wedding Rings Naomi: Mark Broumand; Rachel: Robbins Brothers Accessories Hair flower: Tessa Kim Attendants Eden Bridesmaids, BellaDeur Bridal, Houston Stationery DIY Flowers The Nouveau Romantics Rentals Aztec Events & Tents Catering Ouisie’s Table Music DJ Nick Arcia Cake Cakes by Gina Favors DIY Honeymoon Paris and Santorini, Greece Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style Naomi’s favorite part of her blush strapless mermaid
gown was the crystal detail at the hip. Rachel accessorized her suit with a custom-made tie from an Etsy vendor. the cake The vanilla fondant cake was finished with a topper made to look like the couple. the signature drink Blush-colored palomas made from grapefruit juice, soda, lime and tequila were served at the cocktail hour. the details A photo booth kept guests busy all night. the send-off Naomi changed into a shorter dress for their sparkler-filled getaway. the sign-in book Guests signed rocks instead of a guest book as a nod to Rachel’s profession as a geologist. the centerpieces The combination of peonies, roses, ranunculus, scabiosa, dusty miller and Queen Anne’s lace gave the arrangements a romantic feel.
chrissie & jody September 22 • Atlanta photography by The Studio B Photography
art deco glamour When Chrissie Price (a tennis professional; left) and Jody Baker (a controller at GE Oil & Gas) got engaged after three years of dating, they knew they wanted to have their ceremony and reception in a historic building in Atlanta. They immediately fell in love with the Egyptian Ballroom at the Fox Theatre, and its 1930s décor set the scene for the entire day. The couple spent the following year and a half planning their dream wedding bash: an art deco theme with old Southern charm. —DH
Ceremony and Reception Site Egyptian Ballroom, Fox Theatre, Atlanta Photography Rebecca Enslein/The Studio B Photography Event and Floral Design Adorned Event Design Gowns Chrissie: Martina Liana, La Raine’s Bridal Boutique, Atlanta; Jody: Jenny Packham, Kelly’s Closet, Atlanta Hair and Makeup Raney O’Keefe Shoes Chrissie: Dessy; Jody: Badgley Mischka Wedding Rings Solomon Brothers Jewelry Necklace: Jam Jewelry Shop, Etsy.com; earrings: Tati’s Hotties and Sweet Briar Bridal, Etsy.com; hairpins, headband: Color Me Missy, Etsy.com Attendants Badgley Mischka; Amsale Invitations Bella Figura, Paces Papers Programs Avie Designs Rentals Affairs to Remember; chairs: Peachtree Tents & Events Catering Affairs to Remember Music Yvonne Monet Desserts Alon’s Bakery & Market Honeymoon Hawaii Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style Chrissie and Jody both chose gowns that made them
feel glamorous: Jody’s had dramatic embellishments while Chrissie’s was a unique color with luxe draping. the centerpieces Gold linen set the head table apart from the others at the reception. In a nod to prohibition, wine bottles covered in chalkboard paint were incorporated into the tablescapes. the details The bridesmaids wore peacock feather fascinators in their hair. the invitations Peacock-blue accents appeared throughout the wedding, including on the invitations. the reception de cor Antiques on loan from a local shop decorated the ballroom.
lauren & shani September 1 • Brooklyn, NY photography by Erika Layne Photography
colorful & casual
When Lauren Dawson (a performing artist and yoga instructor; right) popped the question, she took Shani Foster (a performing artist and music teacher) by surprise—Shani thought she would propose first. When a whirlwind trip to Paris sparked an unexpected elopement, the couple decided to have their union blessed and legalized in a second ceremony about a month later. They exchanged vows in Prospect Park and then hosted a small brunch for family and friends. —DH
Ceremony Site Prospect Park, Brooklyn Reception Site 606 R&D, Brooklyn Photography Erika and Carlos Salazar/ Erika Layne Photography Officiant Rev. Lissa Gundlach Attire Lauren: Nanette Lepore, Saks Fifth Avenue; Shani: Ya Los Angeles, O.N.A, Brooklyn Hair Lauren: Joanne Barreto Shoes Lauren: vintage; Shani: Zara Wedding Rings Catbird Jewelry Shani: Bracelet: Catbird Place Cards Moo.com Flowers DIY Catering 606 R&D Cake Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery Favors Moo.com Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the reception de cor Postcards with the couple’s photo, the date of
their elopement and a favorite quote served as favors and place cards at the reception table. the couple’s style Lauren and Shani decided to complement each other’s dresses rather than coordinate looks. the location The ceremony was held on a wooden platform overlooking the pond in Prospect Park. Prior to the ceremony, the couple took pictures at various spots in Brooklyn. the shoes To accessorize her lace dress, Lauren wore vintage shoes she inherited from her grandmother. Shani’s brightly colored shoes were the inspiration for her wedding outfit.
jaymi & kerri August 16 • Pacific Palisades, CA photography by Next Exit Photography
relaxed country Jaymi Lee Smith (a lighting designer; left) and Kerri Stoughton-Jackson (a senior director at Outfest) grew up 15 miles from each other in Indiana but met in Los Angeles. They felt chemistry from the second they saw each other and started dating a month later. Jaymi asked Kerri to marry her on the last day of a trip to Washington, at sunset on Mount Constitution. Kerri then proposed to Jaymi on a surprise trip to Las Vegas. Their wedding had a simple theme: “a lemonade stand in a meadow.”—DH
Ceremony and Reception Site Temescal Gateway Park, Pacific Palisades Photography Next Exit Photography Day-Of Coordinator Tim Owen Gowns Jaymi: Elda de la Rosa Couture, Chicago; Kerri: MaxMara Programs DIY Flowers Century City Flower Market Rentals Partyline Events Catering The Kitchen for Exploring Foods Desserts Dots Cupcakes Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style Neither bride is really into dresses, so choosing ones to wear for their wedding posed a challenge. Jaymi searched for weeks and finally found her dress in Chicago a month before the wedding. Kerri wore a navy blue knee-length dress. the dessert Instead of a wedding cake, Jaymi and Kerri ordered mini cupcakes in 10 different flavors. the details Kerri’s dog Scott served as ring bearer for the ceremony. the ceremony Jaymi and Kerri organized the ceremony chairs to create two aisles, which were wide enough for each set of parents to escort their daughter. the signature drink Three flavors of lemonade were served while guests waited for the ceremony to begin.
amy & megan June 16 • Bridgehampton, NY photography by Mademoiselle Fiona Wedding Photography
Three years into their relationship, Megan (opposite, right) surprised Amy with a holiday to Greece. Little did Amy know that the trip wasn’t the only thing Megan had up her sleeve. One evening at sunset while the couple was staying in Santorini, Megan proposed to Amy. Since friends and family members would be coming from 15 states and five countries, Amy and Megan decided to host their wedding weekend in the Hamptons, just outside of their home in New York City. Aqua, red and chevron stripes accented their day. —DH
Ceremony Site Bridge Gardens, Bridgehampton Reception Site Bridgehampton Community House, Bridgehampton Photography Fiona Conrad/Mademoiselle Fiona Wedding Photography Officiant Judith Steinhart Gowns Amy: J. Crew, New York City; Megan: Anjolique, RK Bridal, New York City Makeup Sami Helmer Shoes Amy: TOMS; Megan: Christian Louboutin, Ralph Lauren Wedding Rings family heirlooms Attendants Alfred Sung Invitations Smitten on Paper Programs DIY Other Stationery DIY, template: Wedding Chicks Flowers DIY Rentals Party Rental Ltd. Catering Russ Moran Custom Catering Cake Leanne’s Specialty Cakes Registries Bloomingdale’s; WilliamsSonoma Honeymoon St. Lucia Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the reception de cor Amy and Megan bought blue-and-white chevron
fabric and sewed the tablecloths themselves to match their wedding motif.
the couple’s style The brides decided to distinguish their looks by wearing
different gown silhouettes—Amy chose a halter neckline and Megan went with a strapless dress. the cake The fondant-covered lemon cake had raspberry filling with lemon buttercream. the ring bearers Instead of the rings, Megan’s nephews carried a banner that read “Here Come the Brides.” the centerpieces Each table had an image of a woman the brides admire as well as clusters of flowers and candles. the attendants The bridesmaids carried red tea roses.
wedding timeline 12 + months
Interview and book a cake baker.
Choose a wedding date and time. For a list of dates to avoid, go to
If you are wearing a gown and veil, order them.
TheKnot.com/justengaged . Then, go to TheKnot.com/planner and
Think about what you want the attendants’ attire to look like. If any
enter your wedding date to get a free personalized to-do list. Settle on your budget with help from your parents (or other contributors) and enter it into the budgeter at TheKnot.com/budget . Start outlining the initial guest list and enter it into the guest list manager at TheKnot.com/guestlist . Create your wedding website (get a free customizable site at TheKnot.com/pwp ). Interview candidates and book a full-service wedding planner (if you’re using one).
of your attendants are wearing dresses, choose the dresses you want. Then, let the attendants know so they can order the dresses and schedule fittings. Set aside blocks of rooms at nearby hotels for out-of-town guests. Send out save-the-dates. Work with the hosts to start planning the rehearsal dinner. Finalize and order your invitations. Order thank-you notes now too. Reserve venues for the welcome party, after-party and next-day brunch. Interview and book a day-of coordinator (if you’re having one). Research and purchase wedding insurance (if you’re using it).
9 to 11 months
Book your ceremony and reception locations.
4 to 5 months
Choose and book an officiant.
Finalize your flower proposal with your florist.
Work with hosts to set a date for the engagement party, draft a
Decide on formalwear for anyone in your wedding party who is
guest list and send out invitations. Register for gifts beforehand. Choose your wedding party (if you decide to have one), including attendants, flower girl and ring bearer. Also consider roles for other
wearing it. Finalize your rental list (tables, chairs, extras) for the reception. Book honeymoon flights and rooms. Make sure
key people (ceremony readers, guest book attendants).
your passports are up-to-date if traveling internationally.
If your venue doesn’t have an in-house caterer, interview
Address invitations or drop them off with the calligrapher,
candidates and select one. Hash out a rough price per head; then start thinking about the reception menu. Start shopping for your attire. Finalize your guest list. Research stationers and choose one.
so they’re ready to send at the six-to-eight-week mark. Work with the hosts to choose the rehearsal dinner site, finalize the menu and order the invitations. Arrange for day-of transportation for you, your wedding party and guests (if needed).
Choose and order your save-the-dates. 2 to 3 months 6 to 8 months Plan out the ceremony with your officiant and discuss any requirements. Research and book your florist, lighting designer, photographer, videographer and reception band or DJ. Research and book ceremony musicians.
Buy or rent any ceremony decorations that aren’t included in your flower proposal (aisle runner, program basket). Shop for and buy your wedding rings. Decide on wedding favors and order them. If you’re wearing a gown, schedule your fittings and confirm the delivery date of your dress.
Purchase all under-the-dress essentials and any special lingerie in time for your first fitting. Finalize the reception playlist with your band or DJ (including the must-play and do-not-play lists).
Confirm the day-of schedule and contact list (with phone numbers for all vendors) and distribute to all parents, attendants and vendors. Put final payments and cash tips for vendors in envelopes and give to an attendant (or your planner) to distribute on the wedding day. Compile a must-take photo list for the photographer, including
2 months Send out wedding invitations at the six-to-eight-week mark.
who should be in formal portraits. Deliver your list of special song requests to your DJ or bandleader.
Work on your ceremony vows (if you’re writing them). Buy your wedding accessories in time for your final fitting. Decide on your “something old, new, borrowed and blue.” Order or start assembling the ceremony programs. Order your guest book and any supplies for your escort card display. Confirm room blocks for out-of-town guests. Attend food tastings and finalize the reception menu.
2 to 3 days Arrange transportation to the airport for your honeymoon. In preparation for the rehearsal, determine the order of attendants in the processional and recessional. If the caterer or planner will be arranging escort cards, place cards, menu cards, favors and the guest book, hand them off. Reconfirm that the florist received your (correct) flower order and
1 month Finalize the ceremony lineup and details. Schedule a follow-up
knows where and when the flowers should be delivered (e.g., should the personal flowers go to the ceremony site or to your home?).
meeting with your officiant to go over final details the week before. Finish putting together (or pick up) your ceremony programs.
didn’t include them in your regular invitations). Create a day-of schedule to time out all of the details (hour by hour).
1 to 2 weeks Follow up with guests who have not yet returned their response cards. Work on your escort cards (or send them to your calligrapher).
Rehearse the ceremony. Present attendants with their gifts at the rehearsal dinner or earlier (especially if they’re accessories to be worn at the wedding).
day of Present parents (and each other) with gifts. Give an attendant an envelope with the officiant’s fee, to be handed off after the ceremony.
Put the seating chart together and give it to your caterer, site manager, planner and photographer. Give your caterer, cake baker and site manager the final head count. Include vendors, such as band members and the
after the wedding Send your vendors a thank-you note and submit online reviews. Send out thank-you notes as soon as possible.
photographer, who will expect a meal. Supply the site manager with a list of requests from other vendors (table for the DJ, fridge for the cake). Confirm all final payment amounts, details, and delivery and location times with all your vendors.
Get a more complete and customizable checklist at TheKnot.com/checklist
Order or prepare welcome baskets for out-of-town guests’ rooms.
Bring all ceremony accessories and décor to the site.
Make sure the host has sent out rehearsal dinner invitations (if you
It was a “ moment
pure and simple joy
Aimee & Natalie; Houston; May 5; photography by Preetika Rajgariah Photography
gay weddings from invitation etiquette to planning the procession,
has everything you need to make your own traditions. For more information, go to: www.theknot.com/gayweddings
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