Gay Weddings and Marriage Magazine Fall 2015

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FALL 2015




When Your Spouse Changes Gender


A Newlywed




Protect Your Family

Tie Bar Feature

Fit for Two

Get in shape for your wedding together

H AV E LOV E: W I L L T RAV E L A Special Real Wedding Feature From Prague


I am a photographer based out of Michigan, although this year I have been lucky enough to get to travel to Tuscan, Las Vegas and potentially Southern California. I am a photographer that basis all of her work on creating confidence in my models, brides, grooms, or whomever is standing in front of my lens. I am currently enrolled in Graduate school at Kendall University Art & Design, and I teach undergrad courses to help pass on my knowledge. I love what I do. I can’t express that enough. Whether it’s styled, or real weddings, I am so incredibly thankful to make a living capturing moments, and making people happy. Instagram: @apaigephotography

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In this issue Gay Weddings and Marriage Magazine / Fall 2015




13 Top 10

32 DIY Dare

50 Our Family

Honeymooning Travel Tips

How a bet turned into the best DIY project ever

One couples journey to parenthood

14 The Married Life To Have and to hold... hands that is

36 The $ Checklist A must have guide to newlywed finances

16 Guest Gift Guide Share your love for travel by selecting guest gifts from your favorite destinations

17 Confessions of a Wedding Photograprapher

26 Have Love: Will Travel A special real wedding from Prague

46 Destination Home When home is the best location for your wedding

48 Tying the Knot

58 Fit for Two Getting in shape for your wedding

62 DIY Savings Top 10 money saving tips for your wedding budget

70 Identity Shift When your spouse changes gender

Featuring the Tie Bar

83 From Me to You Tips on how to keep the passion alive long after you are married / GWM 5

FROM THE EDITOR ig things are happening here at GWM! We are excited to announce that we can now be found in Barnes and Noble stores along with many other newsstands and bookstores across the nation. We are also making big strides with our website. We plan to have a vendor directory soon and calendars to promote family activities in your area. With the national legalization of same-sex marriage, even more businesses are welcoming our publication into their environment. It’s an exciting time!

ABOUT THE COVER Styled shoot at a private residence in Michigan.

Creating Gay Weddings and Marriage Magazine is similar to raising a child. There is so much joy in every day, but there are also frustrating times that make me want to bang my head against the wall! (I’m imagining the teenage years in this scenario.) All I know is that I love the process and the product. I am excited to wake up every morning and work with vendors, families, and contributors that also want to support our LGBTQ community. I hope you enjoy this Fall edition of GWM, and we look forward to hearing your feedback.


Editor’s pick:

Rachel Curry

Spoonflower is a unique product that allows clients to print their own art on cloth, wrapping paper, and more. They were a perfect match for our ‘DIY DARE” feature this month, and I will be calling them again when I’m ready to face my next project!

Donna Capodelupo


Photography by Apaige Photography

Hillary Bruch

Jen Ekern Jennifer Babbitt Joelle Sirianni Michael Eric Brown Erik Earl Wendy Clancy

Renee Clancy Comments or questions? Contact Renee at:

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See pg 32

GayWeddings We are all in different stages of our relationships. Our site provides tools and tips for success for all of them. before Find LGBTQ experienced vendors and tips for your big day. contributors

During Experience real weddings from real couples and their stories. real-weddings

after Find family planning, adoption stories and marriage counseling advice from the best. marriage---family gayweddingsandmarriage gayweddingsmag

Real Weddings

Robert & Kyle February 28, 2015

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Fine Art Studio Photography / GWM 9


ear the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza in Mexico is the colorful town of Tulum. This is where Robert and Kyle chose to celebrate their love: on the white and sandy beaches at La Zebra. The experienced staff at La Zebra provided everything for the couple’s nuptials. Food, music, cake and flowers were all coordinated on site. Robert and Kyle prepared for their wedding together, and they were most excited to walk down their sandy isle barefoot. Their family and friends were present to follow the instructions of the shaman. They blessed them, threw colorful flowers and overplayed ancient prayers. Reception Venue: La Zebra Hotel Photographer: Fine Art Studio Photography

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Luca, We d d i n g P h o t o g ra p h er in V en i c e ot o g r a p h erv en ice. co m 12 GWM / Fall 2015

TOP 10

H o n e y m o o n i n g Tr a v e l T i p s our big day is over and married life is about to begin. Planning the honeymoon can have its own stressors, especially when you are traveling abroad. Here is a list of the top ten things you will need to make your honeymoon memorable for all the right reasons.



Have your passports well ahead of time. Foreign countries have no sympathy for anyone trying to travel without the required papers. Book your tickets in your legal name to avoid problems at the airport.


Read the rules and laws of the country you are visiting. Nothing will ruin a honeymoon faster than breaking an unknown law and getting a hefty fine. It would also be wise to know where the US Embassy is located for emergencies.


Be polite. Other than courtesy words like “please” and “thank you”, learning to say numbers and asking for assistance in the local language can help you get around a foreign place.


Find out how to spend money. Credit cards are widely accepted in most developed regions, but inform your credit card company that you will be traveling abroad. In more remote locations, cash will be your preferred payment.


Check the exchange rate. Finding out how much your American dollar is worth will help you plan your expenses.


Worst-case scenario: your wallet or bag is stolen. Have photocopies of all your credit and debit cards, as well as the first few pages of your passport, in a separate location. Leave copies with a friend or loved one at home.


Arrange to have your mail held at the post office. Any upcoming bills should be scheduled for payment, and ask for the newspaper to stop delivery until you get home.


Purchase travel insurance. It can be pricey, costing around 10% of your whole trip, but it will cover you for more than medical emergencies.


Leave room in your suitcase for trinkets and souvenirs. By planning room for these items before you leave, you can avoid extra bag charges or shipping costs later.


For the first few months after you get home, keep an eye on your bank and credit card statements. Fraudulent charges, as well as being over charged and double charged are common when dealing with foreign transactions. / GWM 13

Married LIFE

The married life To h a v e a n d t o h o l d … h a n d s , t h a t i s . By Donna Capodelupo “Arthur, take my hand.” “But that would leave you with one.” -Arthur and Susan’s engagement dinner from the 1981 movie, Arthur

gay. Being gay was OK, so long as you were doing it secretly. I imagine that many couples our age have similar experiences. I say this because I don’t notice many middle-aged gay couples walking hand in hand, especially in our suburban hometown.

y wife, Pam, and I have been in love for 32 years, and married for 11.


Yet I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve openly held hands in public. And we’ve never kissed publicly in mixed (mostly straight) company -- even at our own wedding!

And so, in order to keep our jobs and our friends and our reputations and our safety, most of the time we hid and pretended and kept our hands and our lips to ourselves.

Sure, we’ve held hands in dark movie theaters, linked fingers momentarily when we were the only two people in the aisle at the grocery store, and more often than not hold hands in the car.

The problem with that, of course, is that we remain invisible. And if we’re invisible, we don’t exist. And if we don’t exist, we don’t need rights -- not at work or in the hospital or at City Hall where they keep the marriage licenses.

But when it comes to even the most innocent public displays of affection, neither of us is comfortable.

A lot has changed, of course. We are making incremental steps toward full equality. The public seems to be moving toward embracing our differences rather than merely tolerating them. The Supreme Court seems poised to lift the government policy of discrimination that recognizes the validity of some marriages while rejecting others.

Certainly it has more to do with our age than our comfort with being “out.” We’re Baby Boom kids, born in the late 1950s and early ‘60s, when one didn’t discuss being gay, never mind display it for all to see. We became a couple in the early 1980s, when it was OK to be gay, just not in front of everyone else. Most people called it “flaunting” it. In those days, gay PDAs were reserved for gay bars and the annual Gay Pride Day in the nearest big city -- as long as you weren’t being filmed for the TV news. It’s not that we were ashamed; we were cautious. There were no protections in 14 GWM / Fall 2015

those days in the areas of housing or employment. We didn’t yet know how some family members and friends would react. The fear of violence was -- sadly, for many it still is -- very real. The ‘80s and ‘90s were the years of tolerance. Yes, the general public would tolerate you if you were anonymously

And so maybe when a baby born today becomes half of a middleaged married couple, she will feel comfortable holding her spouse’s hand, regardless of her partner’s gender. Pam and I have decided to do our part to ensure that the gay couples of 2060 won’t feel the need to be invisible. We’re going to hold hands in public more often. Why don’t you join us?

Make it your day...


1 2

Tie tulips with twine to keep them tall.

Combine glass candle holders with votives for soft illumination.


Add potpurri to the table for texture.

Wine glasses, $5.95; Pier 1 Imports. Sandlewood Box Potpurri, 14.99; Cost Plus World Market. Ashland Basic Elements Candle Holders, $8.99; Michaels. Tulips, $20; Arizona Flower Market. / GWM 15

guest gift guide Share your love for travel by selecting guest gifts from your favorite destinations.

GEORGIA Honey for Your Tea



Sweet and Tangy Mustard

Dark Salted Caramel


Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

Strawberry Preserves

Cacao Nibs Continued on page 38 16 GWM / Fall 2015


diy Tips Confessions of a Wedding Photographer


s a former wedding photographer, I can tell you there is no right or wrong when planning your wedding. However, I encourage you to lean on the experience and advice of your vendors to help you plan the big day. When meeting a potential client, I do my best to make suggestions to the happy couple. Instead of saying: “This is what you have to do.” I prefer to say: “Here are your options, and this is what will probably happen if you do this.” I want to present you with some of the most common issues and decisions to make on your wedding day and the consequences; both good and bad that can arise.

When do I take my wedding pictures? I like to break up the pictures into smaller increments. I take a few of you, then your fiancé and your wedding parties separately before the ceremony. This gives plenty of time to take the family, the entire wedding party, and then special shots of just you and your new spouse before the reception begins. By breaking up the sessions in this manner, you will not feel rushed after the ceremony. If you simply do not have the time to take the separate images before the ceremony, it’s not a problem to do them after. Just remember that you will not have as many image options or poses due to the time constraint. Or, your cocktail hour will turn into two hours, and your guests may begin to get irritated. Continued on page 24 / GWM 17

Real Weddings

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Izzy & Regina June 9, 2015

Kel Ward Photography / GWM 19

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zzy and Regina traveled from Austin, Texas to Amity, Oregon for their intimate hill top elopement. They exchanged vows near a pond, as the sun was setting behind them. Their venue, which was a private property they rented through Airbnb, was the perfect location for their event. The only people present were a guitarist, their officiant, a personal chef, and the photographer. After the ceremony, they enjoyed a very romantic first dance, followed by a five course meal, prepared on site, and served outdoors.

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How did you meet? We actually met on OkCupid, an online dating site. Regina had never been on OkCupid and spent HOURS answering the questions to be able to view more of Izzy’s profile (Izzy had been off and on OkCupid for a while). (To this day, Regina reiterates the fact that she searched in a 250-mile radius and was only interested in one person--Izzy!). Right off the bat, there were so many things we had in common: love of snowboarding and

board sports/high adrenaline activities in general, being dog moms, having an interest in seeing live music, and being generally curious about the adventures of life. We exchanged messages on OkCupid for a few days until Regina asked Izzy out on a date. We went to a nice restaurant here in Austin and shared a delicious meal, a bottle of red wine, and too many laughs to count! It was absolutely love at first sight. From that moment on, we spent more and more time with each other and realized that we were soul mates, and the universe had finally brought us together!

Describe your wedding day We stayed at this picturesque house situated on 50 acres in Amity, Oregon overlooking the Willamette Valley (wine country!). The day’s cadence was perfect, magical, and beautiful. We spent the day prepping and planning for our wedding, which was pretty low key and perfect! We bought some flowers and picked some wildflowers around the house to add to our bouquets. We wrote our vows together, but did not share them with each other until the ceremony. We got dressed together and both of us felt very excited yet relaxed (Guess that’s when you know it’s right, huh?!?). Besides us, there was our photographer, minister, guitarist, and chef, all of whom are amazingly talented and wonderful people. We decided to have the ceremony on the path in front of the three waterfalls and pond on the property. Once we were ready, Regina walked out of the house first to meet Melissa Coe, our minister, while David Kelley, our guitarist, played some dreamy Spanish guitar style music. When Izzy started walking out of the house, David played Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” The ceremony was short, sweet, and sprinkled with both laughter and tears of joy. After the ceremony, Kel Ward, our photographer, took some more pictures of us around the property as an officially married couple! We had our first dance on the outdoor patio/fireplace area while David played our song from the

gazebo. While all of this was happening, Matt Cottrell, our chef, was busy inside preparing a six-course meal for us. After our first dance and right about sunset, Matt began bringing out tasty dish after dish and also educated us on ingredients, wine, etc. We listened to some music on our portable speaker while finishing dinner and reveled in the fact that we were a married couple! The rest of the night, well...use your imagination. ;)

Were there any surprises? Well, we struggled with getting the waterfalls to turn on right before the ceremony, but Regina got them to cooperate just in time!

If you could change one thing about that day, what would it be? Why? Nothing at all. It was perfect and just how we wanted it! Venue: Private property rented from Airbnb. Photography: Kel Ward Photography Officiant: Melissa Coe Ceremonies Caterer: Palatable Persuasions Dresses: Luxe Apothetique Guitarist: David Elan Kelley / GWM 23

diy Tips continued from page 17

How long should the pictures last? The biggest concern I hear from the couple is you don’t want to take pictures for an endless amount of time. I don’t blame you! I’ve been told that I’m extremely efficient when taking wedding pictures. Actually, the comment I hear the most is: “Wow! We’re done already?” I believe when your photographer knows the venue, and the locations where you will be shooting, and he or she knows what poses they plan on using, then there’s no reason for pictures to take up your entire wedding timeline. Here is a sample breakdown of each ‘session’ and how long it may take: Groom #1 and his wedding party: 15 - 20 minutes Groom #2 and his wedding party: 15 - 20 minutes Both grooms and entire wedding party: 20 minutes Family: 15 minutes Just grooms: 20 minutes

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As you can see, if the grooms are photographed separately before the ceremony, then all other pictures can be done during the cocktail hour.

We want to enjoy cocktail hour with our guests. When should we take our pictures? You have two options in this situation. If you want to walk right into cocktail hour with your guests from the ceremony, then you will need to take all of your pictures before the ceremony - this includes family pictures. Remember you may miss some of those beautiful sunset picture though if you do them before the ceremony. My suggestion is to have a first look and do almost all of your pictures before the ceremony, except for family pictures. No matter how determined you are to have your family there an hour before the ceremony to take pictures, it NEVER happens! Right after the ceremony, take ten minutes to get those family pictures, ten minutes to captures some beautiful soft-light sunset images, then you can join your friends to have a drink.

We want a sunset ceremony. How will this effect our timeline? Sunset is when the sun is half way down the horizon. If sunset is set for 7:30 pm on your wedding day, I know that the last beautiful soft-light pictures I can take without using my flash will happen at 7:25 pm. A good time to start the ceremony would then be 7:00 pm, but only if you know you will not be late. Ceremonies usually start 5 - 10 minutes late, and sometimes a well-meaning officiant can talk longer than expected. Communicate with all of your vendors that the timeline and starting the ceremony at the correct time is crucial. I’ve captured too many ceremonies in the dark of night, because the officiant was long-winded or everything was held up due to some late-arriving guests.

Can we send you a list of pictures I’ve seen online to re-create on our wedding day? My answer to this is yes and no. When you expect your photographer to re-create images you’ve found online, then you take away the chance for that photographer to be creative. I suggest for my clients to send me their entire

Pinterest wedding link. Come on, I know you have one! I can then peruse the images to get a feel for what the couple has in mind on their big day. If most of the pictures are casual, laughing pictures, then I lean towards that style. However, if most of the images are formal and posed, then I will lean towards a more formal style. If there is one image that you absolutely love and must have, then please discuss it with your photographer before the wedding. They will be able to tell you if it is a realistic request and within their abilities. I once had a bride show me 7 pictures she wanted recreated. They were all of a bride in the middle of a grove of trees, posing with the wedding party. They were beautiful images, but I had to point out that she was getting married on a golf course without a tree in site. We were able to discuss that what she liked the most was the casual style in the image, and I reassured her that I would be able to capture similar images. The key here is communication.

Should we have a second photographer? I firmly reply YES. Or, ask if your photographer will come with an assistant. I used to photograph weddings all by myself, and I deeply regret it now. When I have a second photographer or assistant with me, then I’m able to capture more images and cover more ground at the wedding. If my assistant is with me, they are able to carry the equipment so I can concentrate on taking more pictures. If your main photographer does not include an assistant or second photographer, consider paying a little more to include one.

Do we need to do a walk through with my photographer at the venue before the wedding? Not necessarily. I usually arrive 30 to 40 minutes before my designated start time to meet the coordinator and walk the grounds to scout out possible pictures spots. However, if the wedding venue is a particularly large one, and I’m not familiar with the location, then I do suggest to meet with the couple to walk the grounds. Your photographer should not charge you for this. If they live more than 20

minutes away, they may charge a travel fee, but it should be minimal.



If your photographer says you have to do a certain thing, find a new photographer. It’s good to listen to their suggestions, but it’s your day. Don’t let a dominant vendor squash your style.

bring your wedding home DON’T throw away the table decor. DO use them in your home to remember your wedding every day!


There’s no need for your photographer to be there until every last guest leaves. Trust me, all dancing pictures look the same! Unless you are planning a grand exit and want to capture a special exit picture, save some money and say good bye to your photographer after the major reception events have been captured.


Let your photographer eat at the beginning of the reception when you do, instead of waiting until after all of your guests have been served. You will want your photographer ready to get back in the action when toasts and special dances start.


Tip your photographer if you feel that they went above and beyond to make your day amazing. / GWM 25

Real Weddings

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Have love: will travel A special Real Wedding feature from Prague

Pink Wedding Planners - Prague Photography by Kurt Vinion / GWM 27

“ Yo u l e a r n a l o t a b o u t a p e r s o n w h e n y o u ’ r e g o i n g t h r o u g h h a r d t i m e s w i t h t h e m . . . w h e n t h e i r m o b i l i t y r e v o l v e s a r o u n d y o u p u s h i n g t h e m i n a w h e e l c h a i r .”

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ogether forever and never apart, only in distance and never at heart”. And again, they promised to stay true to it. The first few months of Grahams deployment were pretty much the same as before... They emailed nearly everyday and spoke as often as they could. But then, all of a sudden Graham went silent. 1 day, okay, 2 days, kind of worried, 3 days, where is he, 4 days WTF, and then the word... Graham and several other Marines were struck by a string of IED’s while patrolling a particularly volatile area on the outskirts of they’re post. Graham’s left leg was blown off in the initial detonation, but he did survive. That’s all Wayne could think of was he is alive! Thank god he is alive! Upon arriving home there was a long stint (5 months) in the hospital. Wayne was there everyday. He would bring Graham breakfast each morning before he had to go to work. He returned each evening right after work and stayed until visiting hours were over. They would lay in bed together, and when the nurse would say you can’t lay in his bed with him, Wayne would reply “Go away! I need this, and Graham needs this!” It was the hardest time in both of their lives, but they stayed together and kept loving each other. After being discharged from the hospital, unfortunately the struggle was far from over. Graham needed more surgeries before he could get a prosthetic, and because he is a above knee amputee they said it would take him 6 months to a year to learn to walk again. That combined with all the delays one has when dealing with the VA, made it a long struggle in a wheelchair for a year and some change before Graham finally got his prosthetic leg. That year, although incredibly difficult, also brought the two of them as close together as two people could be. “You learn a lot about a person when you’re going through hard times with them... when they’re mobility revolves around you pushing them in a wheelchair.” Wayne did everything and more that he could to keep Graham’s spirits up during this time, including going out and getting him the most beautiful little miniature Yorkshire terrier, Selena, who Graham took everywhere with him, sitting on his lap in the wheelchair. Graham credits Selena, along with / GWM 29

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Wayne for saving his life. It was a year and three months of pushing and struggling and fighting with the VA before Graham finally got his prosthetic leg. And contradictory to what he was told, he literally walked out the day he got it without any physical therapy at all. This was really where they’re life and love took off. Graham, now on his feet and discharged from the Marine Corps got back to work with a high-tech prosthetic company in San Francisco designing new prosthetic devices and testing them out. And Wayne, who had been working tirelessly trying to hold it all together could now just enjoy life and relax a bit! It was in the first several months of being “back to life” that Graham was approached by a model scout who liked his look. Though not giving it much attention at the time Graham gave it a shot and ironically enough has become a rather successful fitness and fashion model which has allowed them to travel a great deal. Unlike the military, now when Graham has to go overseas it is to someplace beautiful and Wayne and Selena always gets to join him. About a year after starting to walk again, while on a long weekend romantic getaway in Seattle, Graham proposed to Wayne over dinner in their beautiful hotel suite overlooking the Seattle Space Needle. Wayne happily accepted, and a little over a month later they flew to New York City and were married in front of there closest friends in a beautiful ceremony at the Belvedere Castle in Central Park. The day was magical. One year after their wedding day, Graham took Wayne and Selena on their most beautiful one year anniversary, celebrating their love and life for two weeks in Prague. Like the city they celebrated in , Graham and Wayne Maleks’ love will go unscathed for many years to come.

About Pink Wedding Planners: Prague As the only American-owned and managed wedding planning agency in Prague, we at Pink are in a unique position to cater to the foreign client at the highest level. Our dynamic team of world class professionals are committed to providing the very best in bespoke wedding planning, as well as specializing in Asian pre wedding photography services. Why Pink? Pink’s mission is simple: to create stunningly elegant bespoke weddings and lifestyle portraits – memories that will last a lifetime! About the photographer: European Wedding Photography & Luxury Lifestyle Portraits American Fine Art Photographer Kurt Vinion is the only Wedding & Portrait Photographer in the Czech Republic selected for membership to both the prestigious British Society of Wedding & Professional Photographers as well as the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers (ISPWP) / GWM 31


DIY DAre How a bet turned into the most amazing DIY project EVER. B y Re n ee C l a n cy hat started out as a bet, turned into a DIY project I will never forget. My original intention was to write a piece about how to incorporate your travel experiences into your wedding day. I envisioned an engaged couple, strolling hand in hand at an art festival. They spot a beautiful tapestry that they immediately purchase, and they begin to plan how it will be the inspirational design at their wedding. They could copy the print onto napkins, or duplicate the design on the tablecloths, or recreate the art on the back of rustic recycled reception menus. But it was quickly brought to my attention that while I may see a final product, creating those special items can be a lot more challenging than first planned.


My friend (Who will remain nameless, because she is still bitter that she lost the bet.) said I couldn’t do it. She bet me a margarita (Yes, we use happy hour as a manipulation tool.) that it would be too hard to find an art piece on my travels and create items for the wedding day from it. Challenge accepted. I left the next day for a weekend getaway in Eugene, Oregon. I’m a big fan of Air B&B, because I love to meet new people, and hotels just don’t give the personal touch I can get from a private home. I stayed with a lovely couple Nate and Amrita. In the morning, while waiting for my ride to arrive, I sat down with Amrita and asked her what she was doing. I could obviously see that she was drawing,

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but her art was so unique. I had to ask about it. Amrita Dutia is a pen and ink artist with a BFA in Fiber Arts from the University of Oregon. She specializes in creating unique, abstract, patterned work. Amrita explained “Since I work exclusively by hand, I use a lot of pens, pencils, colored paper, printed paper, paints, textiles and dyes. I am most comfortable with them as it gives me

collaborating on an art piece that could be used and recreated at an event. Moving into the next phase of this project was much more difficult than the first. I started researching how to copy and print the art image onto cloth from my printer. Let me just tell you, it requires a lot of supplies and a lot of ink. Then I looked into incorporating the art onto paper or card stock. Again, this requires a lot of materials, and I didn’t think the average printer could manage it. But then, it happened. I found Spoonflower. The moment I came across their site, the clouds parted and rays of light fell upon me. (Cue the choir.) Spoonflower could do everything I needed. On their site, customers can upload a design and create fabric for napkins, pocket squares, gift wrapping paper, and so much more. I was giddy with all the possibilities! Their customer service has been amazing, and the quality of their material is the best.

Amrita Dutia Pen and Ink Artist control over the process. Sometimes I also take a leaf from Nature to create my patterns, or the concept of sun dying is also used occasionally in my hand dyed papers.” I smiled broadly, imagining my margarita in hand and rubbing it into Jen that I had just won the bet. (Oops! Did I mention her name? Silly me…) Amrita and I immediately started

In the end, I couldn’t have done it without them. They brought my vision to life, and I raise my margarita glass to them. Okay, it’s my third margarita, but who’s counting?

Top Right: Personalized napkins Right Center: Personalized flag banner Bottom Right: Personalized pocket square Below: Personalized wrapping paper / GWM 33

How does the process work (from someone creating a design all the way to the end)? The process of creating fabric on Spoonflower is fairly simple – customers can upload their own designs, choose how it will repeat on fabric using our preview, and then, when they’re happy with the preview, choose the type and quantity of fabric they’d like to order. If you are creating your own design, you can start with a simple JPG, either a design you’ve created digitally or a digital photo or even a piece of artwork that you’ve scanned with a desktop scanner. Anything that can be turned into a digital file can be uploaded to the site and printed! For people who are not

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designers, Spoonflower offers a Marketplace with hundreds of thousands of different designs to choose from. With Spoonflower Marketplace designs, you can still choose the base fabric you want and the yardage you need, with the added benefit of knowing that the designer will receive a commission for all the fabric you purchase. In fact, when you buy someone else’s design, more often than not you’ll receive a personal thank you note sent from the designer. We print on demand, so as orders come in, we print, then

cut, pack and ship them with a handwritten thank-you note. What would you like designers, artists and paper lovers to know about Spoonflower? Spoonflower is a technology platform for creative people. Our goal in building the business has been to give individuals access to tools that would allow them to create new products and test new ways of expressing themselves. But we’ve also tried hard to create a business that is a community, one that is supportive and experimental and fun to visit even if you never buy anything. Whether or not you’re a designer yourself or even a fabric person, browsing Spoonflower is a feast for the eyes. Looking through our site provides a chance to shop for unusual designs – with options ranging from dachshund fabrics

to steampunk wallpaper – but it’s also fun, and a great way to discover new, independent artists. As much as anything else, Spoonflower is about providing creative inspiration. Another use for digital printing for weddings is creating a hanging fabric backdrop for photos of the couple and their travels. Imagine a large collage or a single scene that guests can take a selfie in front of. Lots of possibilities!

WEdiquette We d d i n g Re g i s t r y D o’s a n d D o n ’ t s

DON’T register at more than 3

DO feel free to register for one

DON’T ask for money. Again… tacky.

locations. It looks greedy. Choosing one, two or three registry locations will give your guests a variety of choices. Also, make sure your registries offer a gift wrapping and shipping option. Guests no longer carry that toaster to the wedding to place on a table. Offer them the convenience of being able to select and send your gift at the click of a button.

unique location such as a camping store or honeymoon. Many couples are already living together, and they do not require the blender or bath towel sets to fill a new home. It is okay to select a more unique theme.

If you’re that desperate for money, make your wedding a smaller event. Family and friends know of your needs, and they may offer to assist in some of the wedding expenses on their own.

DO choose a variety of price options. DON’T give registry information on the invitation. It’s tacky. The invitation should be dedicated to welcoming your guests to share in this momentous occasion. Spread the word by mouth or post a link on your wedding web site to share the details about your registry.

Your guests have different budgets; give them a variety of price points on your registry. Don’t be afraid to choose a variety of smaller items for those guests with smaller budgets. / GWM 35

Family Finance

The $ checklist By Austin Fey side from getting used to your new spouse, there are a lot of other things to adjust to once you return from the honeymoon. While you know about the duplicate wedding gifts to exchange or return, and your mother (or your To Do list) is reminding you to finish writing Thank You notes, you might not remember all the other things you need to do.


Getting married means you are sharing the day-to-day business of life, which includes your finances. While you may or may not decide to completely join your financial lives together, you will certainly need to talk about the logistics of everyday living. Finances are commonly cited as a source of friction in marriages—often partners have different spending and saving personalities. Having one partner who is the “spender” and one who is the “saver” can be frustrating, but taking time to talk through your goals and set boundaries may help alleviate some of the tension. Set aside time to talk about how your money can line up with your goals. It may be difficult at first, but over time, it will get easier (and shorter). Even if you decide to keep separate accounts, you will probably want to set up a household account of some sort, and you need to make sure you know what that money is for. Aside from bank accounts and budgets, a marriage is a major life change that affects all areas. Take this opportunity to review insurance policies and consolidate if needed. Look at your retirement accounts and add your spouse as your beneficiary. Make an appointment to visit an estate attorney and draft wills, trusts, medical directives, and whatever else you may need. Although you may not know exactly what you need, if you think through what you want to happen, a good attorney can turn that desire into legal documents. The list is a little daunting, but take on a few items at a time, and you can get your new life in order without worrying that you are overlooking the essentials. 36 GWM / Fall 2015

Austin Fey is a wealth manager at Marotta Wealth Management in Charlottesville, VA. She contributes to the Marotta Money blog, often giving advice on charitable giving and to those just getting started in finance. When not assisting clients, she enjoys reading and the beautiful central Virginia mountains. Marotta Wealth Management, Inc. is an independent, comprehensive wealth management firm offering a complete range of investment management and financial planning services.

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You’ve tied the knot--now what? Here are some things to tackle once you come back from the honeymoon. First, discuss your long-term goals. What is important to each of you: Saving for a house? Having a family? Travel? Design your finances to fit your priorities.

Review the Budget

Health Insurance

 Review income, refine budget (short and long-term goals)  Decide on 401k/403b contributions (don’t forget to take your employer match!)

 Review options: will one of you join the other’s policy?  HSA contributions

Bank Accounts  Combining? Or keeping separate accounts?  Add accounts/Consolidate accounts  Taxes-filing status and withholding

Estate Planning  Update retirement account beneficiaries Consult a lawyer to make/ update:  Will  Durable Power of Attorney  Advanced Medical Directives

Other Insurance Consider:  Umbrella Insurance  Life Insurance  Disability Insurance

Investing  Discuss preferences  Open accounts or convert individual to joint  Set up auto-transfers to save  Set an Asset Allocation and make an investing plan



 Auto insurance--consolidate  Add spouse to car title?

 Add spouse to lease/title  Add spouse to home/renter’s insurance

Name & Address Changes

Name & Address Changes

 Social Security Administration  DMV -driver’s license & voter card  US Postal Service  Passport  Employer HR department  Financial Institutions such as banks, credit cards, loans, etc.

       


Wealth Management

Utilities (phone, electricity, etc.) Healthcare Professionals Professional Designations Membership/Clubs Online Shopping & Subscriptions Mail subscriptions University alumni association Friends and Family austin fey, 2014 / GWM 37

guest gift guide Share your love for travel by selecting guest gifts from your favorite destinations. Continued from page 16




Long Matches

Vicious Jalapeno Pepper Sauce

ENGLAND Luxury Clotted Cream



Traveler’s Tea Tin

Whiskey Praline Pecans

38 GWM / Fall 2015

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Real Weddings

40 GWM / Fall 2015

kelli & Nichole April 12, 2015

Fairy Tale Photography / GWM 41


elli and Nichole celebrated their wedding in the forest retreat at Ashton Gardens. Here they share the details of their breathtaking day with you...

How did you meet?

As soon as Nichole and I were hand in hand, s h e k i s s e d m e i m m e d i a t e l y.

Kelli and I met at work in October of 2008. I had been working there for a few years before she came. I noticed that she used to stare at me a lot and I would sit at my desk wondering “why is this girl always staring at me?” One day she needed help, and of course I just so happened to be the one she asked for help. I believe the next day she emailed me and asked me if she could buy me lunch or take me out for helping her. I told her she didn’t have to do that, but it opened the lines of communication between the two of us. Being the naive person I was at the time I had no idea Kelli was flirting. After some time of Kelli trying to get to know me a little better (wink wink) I finally gave in and we were inseparable from that day going forward. We hit it off and have been BFF’s ever since.

Describe your wedding day Our wedding day was full of so much love. It was on a Sunday so we spent the weekend with all of our friends and family celebrating the coming union. Kelli wouldn’t let me hang out on Saturday night, so we had an intimate dinner with our loved ones and called it a night pretty early. We didn’t get much sleep looking forward to this long awaited day. We woke up bright and early and headed to the chapel to get ready. Kelli is a person that is always on time, so we arrived two hours early just to get ready. Our children were there with us along with my brother. Having them there to goof around with helped time go by and helped with the calming of our nerves. We were in separate suites that were right next to one another and we were both extremely anxious and ready to be together again. Starting with our ceremony, the chapel had floor to ceiling windows with stunning views of trees. We wanted an inside wedding with an outside feel and Ashton Gardens gave us just that. As I (Nichole) stood outside of the chapel waiting to come in I could hear everyone inside. When I heard the music begin to play my heart started beating so fast. As I held on to my brother he told me to relax as we walked in together. When I saw everyone, all I could do was smile. I had never seen so many camera phones pointed my way. I felt special and deeply loved. 42 GWM / Fall 2015 / GWM 43

When I (Kelli) walked thru those doors and saw the expression on Nichole’s face, it was everything! She was very emotional. Seeing her standing there knowing she was about to be my wife made everything we went through worth it. My son gave me away and kissed us both on the cheek before he took his place behind me. As soon as Nichole and I were hand in hand she kissed me immediately. Nichole’s brother officiated the wedding. He separated us and said “whoa it’s not that time yet” and everyone started laughing. I am not a person of many emotions and Nichole kept saying she had a surprise for me that would surely make me cry. During the ceremony, Nichole had our favorite poet “The Poetry Teacher” recite a poem she had written for us of our story from the beginning up until our day, and that poem indeed brought me to tears. After we said I DO and kissed (again), we danced down the aisle to Anthony Hamilton’s song “Best of Me”. After about 45 minutes of amazing photos taken by Fairy Tale Photography, we entered the reception area as Mrs. & Mrs. Benson where our family and friends cheered us on. The Continued on page 57

44 GWM / Fall 2015 / GWM 45

Advice from the pros

Destination home When Home Is The Perfect Destination By Sarah Glick rom tying the knot in the beautiful idyllic countryside in the south of France to exchanging vows on a gorgeous beach in the Bahamas, musings on the most whimsical wedding locales could go on for days. At one point or another, we all seem to fall in love with the idea of a destination wedding.

Take your “destination” experience to the next step and incorporate elements from your ideal location. Tropical beach destinations are beautiful and no doubt one of the most popular choices for destination weddings. But instead of flying to Bali, get married at a venue near a local beach and spend the weekend having fun in the sun with your guests! Make your wedding weekend a tropical experience with seaside activities and fruity drinks. Farther from the coast or more interested in the backdrop of lush greenery and rolling fields? Rent an estate in the country for a few days or a group of cottages by a lake. With a bit of planning and creativity, there is always a fantastic possibility that’s only a car ride away.


It’s wonderful and dreamy, that is, until we flip the shiny price tag over and see the numbers. It adds up quickly: plane tickets, the hotel suite for three nights (at a minimum!), transportation for guests and vendors…Somehow the stealthy accumulation of travel and living expenses seem to multiply, forcing the destination just that much more out of reach. But if your heart is already set on a destination wedding, there are routes to maintain that “destination” feel without hopping on a plane. After all what is it, exactly, that makes a destination wedding seem so different from one closer to home? It’s not the flights or the airport time. It’s not even necessarily the “destination”. It’s the essential fact that a destination wedding transforms a wedding day into a wedding weekend. Rather than spending half a day with guests, a getaway means the festivities become a mini-vacation. So, the easiest way to infuse a destination feel to your wedding, even if it’s just one or two hours away from home, is to plan a wedding weekend! Invite your family and friends to a 46 GWM / Fall 2015

two to three day getaway full of fun activities. I currently have clients doing this for their New York City Wedding. For many of their guests, going to the Big Apple is the trip of a lifetime. For these clients, it’s their home. So, we’re using this to our advantage and creating a destination wedding in their backyard! Their guests will experience four days of bespoke events and treats to help them discover the city and learn a little bit more about why my clients love it so much. Everyone will be together for the weekend, but my clients didn’t have to book a single flight, except for their honeymoon, of course!

That isn’t to say planning a wedding weekend close to home isn’t without its difficulties. Tickets and travel are cheaper, but expenses for booking an entire weekend can still add up and certainly cost more than if you were to just do one day of celebrations. Additionally, entertaining guests for a weekend may be fun, but it also entails extra time and effort. On the plus side, staying close to home also allows you to keep vendors local and to be confident in your choices. Rather than heavily relying on a single venue or resort, you are much better equipped to outsource and customize your wedding to your tastes. It also means transporting guest gifts and

other essential wedding elements don’t have to be accompanied by the headache of extra luggage or shipping fares. You are the expert in your home and the area around it, which means you’ll have a fuller understanding of how to keep costs down. Jetting off to Europe or somewhere far, far away may seem romantic and ideal, but searching for vendors in unfamiliar territory

isn’t always easy. It often means extra expenditures, or somehow bringing your vendors with you. Sometimes it’s best to leave romantic notions of far, far away for the honeymoon; that means you’ll only have to think for two in the case of travel complications.

Sarah Glick is the Event Planner and Designer for Brilliant Event Planning, which specializes in dream marriage proposals and fantasy weddings. The company is based in New York City, but plans events worldwide. www.

Destination weddings are wonderful, and the best part? Home – or close to it – might just be the destination you wanted after all.


today! / GWM 47

Tying the knot By Hillary Bruch Featuring: The Tie Bar A l l t i e s f e a t u r e d a r e $ 1 9 a n d a v a i l a b l e a t w w w. t h e t i e b a r. c o m hen it comes to wedding fashion, grooms traditionally get shortchanged. Brides-to-be get to pour over a plethora of colors, textures, fabrics, and silhouettes, while grooms are expected to rent a tuxedo and call it a day. However, for a groom who is big on style, a cookie cutter suit just won’t do. A bow tie is a must-have accessory that will enhance his style while he recites his vows.


BOLD AND MODERN - Perhaps the easiest way to incorporate a bow tie into your wedding look is to keep it simple. A classic silk bow tie in a playful pop of color will look polished while still showing a bit of personality. If you choose to go this route, we recommend picking a color that coordinates with the rest of your wedding - shades of pink or yellow match a fun and funky affair, while a deeper hue such as burgundy or hunter green match with a more serious soiree.

FLeur De Dots

Island Floral: Dusty Rose

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Bulletin Dot: Yellow

Madison Arglye: Burgundy

Hip and Unique - If you are a groom that wants to stand out from the crowd, a tie in a quirky print is the perfect solution. Available in a variety of patterns, pick a print that reflects with the overall feel of your wedding. If you are getting married in the great outdoors, a print lifted from elements nature will blend seamlessly. The possibilities are endless; so don’t be afraid to get creative with this incredibly versatile accent piece.

Gibson Check: Green

Scholar Stripe: Navy

PERFECTLY PREPPY - If your wedding is going to be a crisp, classy soiree, there are still ways for your bow tie to match your wedding style. Clean lines (like a rugby stripe) in bold colors are perfect for a nautical, Nantucket-esque feel. If you want to venture further outside the box yet still want to maintain that preppy vibe, choose time-honored prints such as polka dot, gingham, or plaid.

Downtown Solid: Gray

Editor Stripe: Linen

MODERN AND MASCULINE - For the groom with an always on-point sense of style, choosing a bow tie in a non-traditional fabric is both subtle and unexpected. Shy away from silks and instead opt for tweed, leather, or another textured fabric. There’s no need to pair this look with bright colors - it works much better in serious grays or browns to enhance the statuesque style of the man bold enough to wear it.

Grosgain: Titanium

Industry Solid: Black

TRADITIONAL - If your wedding is reading classic and timeless, a bow tie in a monochromatic black or white is the perfect way to top off a tuxedo. A fashion staple for centuries, this ultra-traditional wedding look is reminiscent of old-world elegance while remaining current and fashionable. We would love to see the inspirational pieces you chose for your wedding! Send pictures and a description of your wedding inspirations to to be featured in our next issue. / GWM 49

our family Lana & Mary: One couple’s journey to parenthood.

How did you meet? Oddly, our paths crossed without us knowing it a couple times before we officially met through mutual friends. In high school, though we grew up about 15 miles from one another in North County San Diego, we attended the same journalism convention in high Albuquerque, New Mexico! We also lived a few buildings from one another on campus at UCSD, but didn’t meet until after we both graduated. However, Lana remembers attending Mary’s graduation - her mortarboard was decorated with a spray of crazy decorations- black cats and some funky stuff. She was a memorable and noticeable site! When we finally met, it would still be about 50 GWM / Fall 2015

3 years until we’d make the move to something more than friends.

When did you decide to have children? After living in Alaska while Lana went to graduate school, we decided that our lives needed another adventure. The time we spent during the long, dark Alaskan Winter gave us the space to consider parenthood. We had been foster parents to one of Mary’s students for a few months prior to the Alaskan move. While it was very fulfilling to have a child in our home and as part of our family, it was also the most challenging part of our journey together to date. Our foster son is now nearly 18, he lives across the country and we

keep in touch via Facebook and through texting and Instagram, but we weren’t ready for all of his needs when he lived with us. He helped us realize the maturing we each needed to do before we were truly ready for parenthood...if one can ever be truly ready.

Did you use a surrogate or adoption agency? Why? We used an anonymous sperm donor and Mary carried our son. It was the way that made sense with our individual medical histories. Let’s face it, Mary likes to be the center of attention. So she loved being pregnant and the least until the baby was born!

What advice would you give other parents? There will always be hard parts, but what is hard will change. What seems impossible to deal with today will get easier, but then something new will come along and be the challenge of the moment. That said, the good stuff changes, too. Savor the uniqueness of each stage, and make sure you are in some photos with your baby! Get family photos often, too. We don’t do that nearly enough.

What are some of the biggest challenges you both have faced as a parent? Trying to have a conversation without interruption is a current challenge. Also, trying to have the energy to enjoy the fun stuff after you do all the “must do’s” like laundry, dishes, and taking out the trash. Sometimes you need to put the fun stuff first, just to make sure you do have the energy. Laundry will wait, dishes will wait, the trash will (usually) wait, but your five year old climbing the tree in the backyard-that should not wait! Go climb the tree! Parenting is tiring, especially when you both work outside of the home. Neither of us have help from family, so it is just us. We have a small network of friends with kids that we are now able to share play dates and movie nights with, giving us time to either go out on a date or just clean the house in peace and quiet. In any case, find your village to help you because many hands make for lighter work. Photos by: Amy Millard Design + Photography / GWM 51

Real Weddings

52 GWM / Fall 2015

Jennifer & Rachel May 21, 2015

Photography by: IQphoto Studio / GWM 53

54 GWM / Fall 2015


ennifer and Rachel were married on May 21, 2015 at San Francisco City Hall.

Photogapher: IQphoto Studio / GWM 55


our family F i r s t c o m e s l o v e , t h e n c o m e s m a r r i a g e , t h e n … O H M Y. B y Re n a t a M o r e i r a , A c t i n g E x e c u t i v e D i r e c t o r, O u r F a m i l y Co a l i t i o n doption agencies? Lawyers? Invasive home visits? Fertility clinics? Sperm banks? And how about when our kids reach school age? Will other parents and teachers welcome us to their school community with open arms? Will our kids be bullied or harassed simply because they have same-sex parents? Could we ever be “out and proud soccer moms” if we wanted to?


we hear heartbreaking stories about discrimination and “othering”; we hear how vulnerable parent-kid relationships still are, depending on how your family is formed or on your zip code. Every day, we work with teachers, administrators, and child-serving professionals to create more inclusive schools where our kids are invited and encouraged to be their full selves - regardless of who their moms, dads, guardian, or caretaker may be.

My wife and I “put a ring on it” shortly after DOMA was struck down and Proposition 8 was overturned in California. It was a joyful day celebrated by our families and friends. Neither of us is very traditional, but I confess it felt great knowing we were finally - legally recognized as a family. Despite our new status as a married couple, though, we knew that our lived experience would be very different than for our straight friends navigating family life. Like thousands of loving same-sex couples raising children in the U.S., we knew we still had a long way to go to be seen, respected, and acknowledged as a “real family.”

The reality is that the newly gained nationwide right to marry does little to change the landscape for transgender parents, for example, who remain one of the most vulnerable groups within the LGBTQ family community. Many transgender parents face uphill battles to protect their families in case of separation and often do not receive equitable legal protection. I can’t even begin to share the painful custody cases where accusations are made about a parent’s gender identity being harmful to kids and grounds for them to lose custody or visitation rights when – in fact – the majority of transgender parents have a positive relationship with their child, in spite of facing discrimination.

Over the past 3 years, I have served as the Policy and Communications Director for the largest LGBTQ family organization in California, Our Family Coalition. The agency has been around for almost 20 years, advocating for equity and inclusion for LGBTQ people with kids on a variety of issues that impact us in the workplace, playgrounds, schools, places of worship, and diverse communities. Every day, 56 GWM / Fall 2015

Another major factor to consider is that families headed by LGBTQ parents are also more likely to be in a lower economic bracket than families led by straight parents. This means lower access to high quality housing and healthcare and higher degrees of

isolation, and substance abuse. In addition, LGBTQ people in the U.S. still lack federal protection from being discriminated against in the workplace. This means that in the majority of states, mama-to-be here can still be fired from my job based on my sexual orientation or gender identity. Losing my job would mean losing access to healthcare benefits and family leave, not to mention a stable income that is fundamental for my family’s well-being. It’s not all gloomy news, though. There are amazing organizations across the nation pushing for the rights and recognition of LGBTQ parents. We see allies speaking out for equity for all families within school systems, health care, and housing. Many places of worship are now creating inclusive spaces where we can celebrate our love way past the date when we exchange our wedding vows. You can also impact this massive cultural shift by reaching out and arranging parent-education programs in your community to prep other parents and neighbors to be great allies! There are a number of tools out there to help schools (and beyond) be more welcoming to diverse families, be prepared to address gender disparities, and to encourage allied behavior. Use those tools! My agency has seen thrilling results working with families in different capacities to cultivate a culture of acceptance for the diversity represented

at schools and agencies. Parents are, after all, one of the most integral parts of any community. And if you are – at this moment – still enjoying your wedding bliss and maybe more concerned about honeymoon destinations than planning for kids, save this article for future reference! You never know when you and your spouse will find yourselves asking where, and how. Our Family Coalition advances equity* for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) families with children through support, education, and advocacy.

Continued from page 44

love in the place was overwhelming. I don’t recall us sitting or eating that day at all. We took so many pictures and danced the day away. Everything about our day was exactly how we planned and was beyond perfect. There isn’t anything we would change about the day at all.

Were there any surprises (good or bad) that happened? Even though I was a bride as well the day was truly for Kelli. I had quite a few surprises set up for her. I started with a sweet note along with a Tiffany Atlas Key necklace that I had delivered to her while she was getting ready. (She actually surprised me by wearing it with her beautiful gown) The note just thanked her for loving me and for teaching me how to love myself and for sticking by my side for the past 7 years through our ups and downs and just letting her know how excited I was that I was about to marry my best friend. Her second surprise was during the ceremony. Kelli loves poetry and we would frequent poetry slams on Friday nights to listen to poets speak. So I had one of our favorite poets “The Poetry Teacher” recite a poem that consisted of our story from the first day we met up until our wedding day. I could feel every inch of Kelli’s emotions as we held hands and listened to every word that was spoken reliving every moment together and appreciating one another even more.

Kelli’s final surprise was at the very end of our day when we walked out to greet all of our family and friends. As they were standing on each side of us blowing bubbles, at the end waited a horse and carriage. For the past five years Kelli has begged me to take her on a horse and carriage ride not knowing that I was saving it for this perfect day. In Kelli’s words; “It was an absolutely perfect way to end such a beautiful day.”

If you could change one thing about that day, what would it be? Why? It just seemed as if the day went by so fast we wished that it could have been longer. Photographer – Fairy Tale Photography Ceremony Music – Complete Music Wedding Consultant – Addason Lamb Entertainment/DJ – Complete Music Ceremony Site – Ashton Gardens Linens – BB & J Linens Officiant – Marco Nunerley Photo booth – Love Runs Deep Reception Site – Ashton Gardens Invitations – DIY Caterer – Ashton Gardens Wedding Cake – Elena’s Cake Alterations – A-Plus Tailor Florist – Whitney Dawkins Gown – Justin Alexander Women’s Tuxedo – H&M Rehearsal Dinner – Site Pappadeaux Horse and Carriage Ride- Workhouse Ranch Olde Tyme Carriage Hair – Jaxon Salon and Something to Remember by Chastity Vaughn Makeup – Cheeks by Ronda / GWM 57

Fit for two ou can already hear the wedding bells ringing. Your excitement is growing more and more everyday. One by one, all of the to-dos are being checked off your list. Now it’s time to make that last push to ensure your wedding attire fits exactly how you want it to. And what better way to enjoy this final push than with your future partner for life.


PARTNER PUSH - UP AND PLANK— STRONG CORE AND STRONG UPPER BODY One of you assumes the plank position on the floor with your hands right under your shoulders and your legs extended with your feet all the way together. Maintain a straight spine and keep your core and glutes engaged. Your partner will place one hand right around the back shoulder blade and the other hand right on top of the same side glute muscle and perform a set of 10 pushups. Switch positions and repeat. Do 2 sets of 10, making sure to alternate sides. **At any time, partner in the plank position can drop to their knees into a tabletop position for more stability.

SQUAT AND ROW WITH A RESISTANCE BAND — STRONG LEGS AND STRONG UPPER BACK Wrap a resistance band around the waist of one of you while the other grabs both handles. Step several feet away so that there is some tension in the band. The partner with the band will drop into a low squat position and hold this position while the partner with the handles performs 20 two-arm rows. Be sure to keep your elbows in tight to your sides and maintain a tall posture (knees slightly bent). Perform the reps as fast or slow as you would like, depending upon how long you want your partner holding that squat. ;) Switch positions and repeat for 2 sets each.

58 GWM / Fall 2015

SEATED MEDICINE BALL TWIST— STRONG ABDOMINAL MUSCLES Both of you sit in a boat position about 2-3 feet apart from each other, with both feet on the floor. Maintain a tall spine and be sure to push your chest thru your shoulders (helps maintain great posture). Take a medicine ball (weight can vary from 6-20lbs depending upon strength and experience) and tap it first on the outside hip, then the inside hip (closest to partner) and once again on the outside hip before tossing it across your body to your partner so they can do the same. This counts as 1 rep. Perform 2 sets of 10 reps each. **For more of a challenge, keep both feet up in the air. Just remember posture, posture, posture!

STEP BACK LUNGE WITH RESISTANCE BAND HOLD — STRONG LEGS AND STABLE CORE Both of you grab on to one end of a resistance band with both hands and extend your arms in front of you. Next, while facing the same direction, step away from each other (roughly 4-6 feet) so that there is some tension in the band. At the same time lunge backwards bringing your back knee just above the ground and then return to the starting position. Alternate legs and repeat for 2 sets of 20 total reps. **Be sure to keep your shoulders back and your posture tall thru-out the entire movement.

Incorporate these four exercises 3-4 times per week when you can’t make it to the gym and need a quick total body blast to get ready for your special day! Jeremy Jones is co-founder at Funktional Fitness in Gilbert, Arizona. You can contact Jeremy at for fitness advice. Lily (right) is a Special Education teacher, and Becca (left) is a veteran. They met at a restaurant in Seattle and dated for one year before their wedding in December 2014. / GWM 59

Real Weddings

60 GWM / Fall 2015

Alesha & LIndsey May 23, 2015


lesha & Lindsey were married on May 23, 2015. Their event was set against the beautiful backdrop of Hotel Albuquerque. Lindsey was gifted a bracelet with the actual handwriting of her late father engraved across it.

How did you meet? Alesha saw Lindsey on a friend’s Facebook and thought she was cute. She told her friend to bring her to her birthday party and the rest is history.

Describe your wedding day: It was everything we hoped for. It went by quicker than we could ever imagine, everyone bonded and got along. It was so much fun!

Were there any surprises? I thought we would both cry at our first look, but instead we both were just instantly at peace and overjoyed.

If you could change one thing about that day, what would it be? Why? I wish we could have afforded a videographer, but our photos came out amazing.

Venue: Hotel Albuquerque Photographer: Fizelwink Photography

Design and Decor: American Tent Rentals DJ : Cutmaster Music Floral Designer: Flowers & More Hair Stylist: Jessica Style Hair and

Makeup Design Cake Designer: Nothing Bundt Cakes Event Planner: Sealed With A Kiss Bakery: The Cake Boutique Officiant: Linda Mertz / GWM 61

DIY Savings

TOP 10

lanning a wedding is your time to shine. You can let your personality take center stage as you plan for your big day. However, one thing you shouldn’t do is let the day put you in debt. Believe it or not, there are quite a few ways you can plan an epic wedding, without putting you and your new spouse in the poor house. Use the top 10 DIY, money-saving wedding tips to see how extravagant your day can be – even with a limited budget.


1 2 3

Minimize the guest list

While this may seem a bit harsh, when you reduce the number of guests who attend your wedding you can save big. Be sure to invite the people you want there and don’t feel bad cutting out individuals you haven’t seen or talked to in years.


Before you start planning even the smallest detail of your big day, you should sit down with your future spouse to make a list of the top five things you want. This will help you determine where you should ‘go all out’ and where you can cut a few corners.

Add a 15 minute warning clause to the photographer’s contract

There are a number of photographers and videographers who will charge huge add-on fees if your wedding lasts longer than what you have booked. Prevent this with a ’15 minute warning’ clause.

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4 5 6 7 8

Use recycled and DIY décor.

The Internet is a great place to find cheap and simple projects to do for your wedding day. Make your own centerpieces, invitations and favors and save quite a bit of money along the way.

Get family and friends to help

9 10

There is no need to hire expensive wedding planners when your mom or cousin can do the job. Ask your friends and family for help – chances are they will be excited to be part of your big day.

Consider cutting the cuisine

Food is usually the biggest expense at weddings. Consider your options and host a high tea instead of a full sit down dinner to save some money.


To make your wedding day special choose a unique, affordable location. Use your mom’s or friend’s backyard and take the cash you save along with you on your honeymoon.

Get a tax deduction

If you donate some of the purchased items from your wedding to a charitable organization – that is qualified – you may be eligible for a tax deduction. The key here is to find a ‘qualified’ organization.

Book a business hotel

On the weekend, most business hotels have quite a few vacancies. This means they may offer discounts to fill up the rooms. Take advantage of this for out of town guests.

Marry in the morning

Lunches, brunches and breakfasts are much more affordable than dinners. Having a wedding in the morning can help you save big bucks. The fact is you don’t have to spend endless amounts of money to achieve your happily ever after. With the wedding tips here, you will find easy ways to save money and have a memorable wedding day. / GWM 63

Robert & Daniel May 23, 2015 Real Weddings


obert and Daniel celebrated their wedding at the Wayfarers Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. They followed the touching ceremony with an intimate reception at The Reef in Long Beach.

Photography: Derek Chad Photography

64 GWM / Fall 2015

Ceremony: Wayfarers Chapel

Reception: The Reef

Men’s Attire: Hugo Boss



Dear Joelle,

My fiancé wants to have our bachelor party together, but I think we should have them separately. We have a lot of the same friends, so I know it makes sense to combine the parties. However I am a bit more old fashioned, so I wanted to keep this particular tradition. What do you think? Signed, Joined at the Hip in Miami

Dear Joined,

First and foremost, congratulations on starting the next chapter of your life with your significant other. I am confident that you two will live a long, happy life together! Considering you both have many years ahead of you were the words “I, me, and you” have been replaced with “us, we, and ours” I think it’s only fair to have one more adventure where you are able to be the individual you have become up to the point of meeting that special someone. Having a combined bachelor/bachelorette party is no different from the typical Saturday night wine party with the neighbors. You are both two individuals who are about to spend a lifetime together… Let’s cut that umbilical cord and let loose one last time with your closest friends. Those who know and love you will have to “share” you from your wedding day forward, so give them the attention they deserve and celebrate this momentous event with the people who have been there for you since your single days. Some may argue that a combined bachelor/bachelorette party is a good way to intertwine the two groups of friends. That’s what the wedding is for! And lets’ be honest, one night out on the town is not going to create lifelong friendships between individuals within the two groups. If friendships are going to be made, let them happen at the wedding, better yet, at future gatherings that you and your significant other will now be hosting for the next 30 years. Let each other enjoy one last night with their friends, and maybe meet for breakfast in the morning. :)

Submit your questions for Joelle at: / GWM 65

Real Weddings

Morgan & Nicole September 22, 2012

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Redfern Photography / GWM 67

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organ and Nicole are capable photographers themselves, so I was pretty flattered that they chose me to photograph their day in such an amazing location, during such a stellar time of year. Their reception was at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel (a popular tourist destination in Banff), and the ceremony was on a dock in the Vermillion Lakes area on the fringe of Banff. The ladies had been to Banff scouting in the Spring/Summer, but the water level had dropped significantly since that time. What had previously been a walk-onto dock was now one that they had to be LIFTED down to. Thank goodness for capable family members! There was a lovely reading from The Velveteen Rabbit during the touching ceremony. The lake and mountains as a background were stunning. They did all of the planning and decorating for their small reception themselves, and had a friend bake vegan cupcakes (oreo cookie and lime margarita) for them. Being lesbians and very public and noticeable in two gowns was a bit of a hurdle for the brides. Morgan says “Walking around holding hands in two white dresses in a fully booked hotel, and having to kiss in front of everyone watching was new. People even took pictures of us because they couldn’t believe it was two women getting married. It was such

a beautiful experience to not only marry my best friend but also to become less afraid of being who we are.” Photographer: Redfern Photography Transportation: Alpine Limo Officiant: Banff Lake Louise Weddings Venue: Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Shoes: David’s Bridal Makeup Artist: Perfection Hair and Makeup Tuxedo and Men’s Attire: The Bridal and Tuxedo House / GWM 69


Identity shift W h e n Yo u r S p o u s e C h a n g e s G e n d e r By Michael Eric Brown You’ve been lying to me all these years

ou fell in love with your spouse. They fell in love with you. Marriage was the natural thing to do to celebrate your love for each other. Time goes by, and one day you discover your spouse really wasn’t exactly what he or she had portrayed to you in the beginning. They’ve just announced to you that they’re transgender, and will be pursuing gender transition.

Linda and Diane were a typical lesbian couple. Together for 6 years, joint home owners, and both active in the LGBT community. On the surface, everything about them seems right. But there’s something brewing inside of Diane, something she has known since she was much younger but chose to ignore it in hopes it would “go away”.

Suddenly, you’re presented with an internal dilemma - questions about

Diane always knew she was different than other girls. She was a tomboy,


wasn’t sure how to tell Linda about it. Finally, Diane found the courage to talk to Linda. Linda was shocked. “What do you mean you’re a man? You’re a lesbian!” Diane tried to explain that “lesbian” was a term she had identified with until she found the more appropriate term for her identity. She tried to explain that the term “lesbian” was a sexual identity, but because she was really a transgender man, she could not be a lesbian.

“Our relationship actually grew stronger because she knew that I was finally getting what I had always wanted. She was happy for me.” your own identity surface; you thought you were in a gay or lesbian relationship, and suddenly your spouse says they’re a different gender! It’s not uncommon for couples who began their marriages as two lesbians, gay men, or as a man and a woman to experience a “shift” in the identity realm. The following stories are about real people sharing how their transition affected their marriages.

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and preferred masculine toys, sports, clothing, and she liked other girls. As she got older, she found the LGBT community and realized her inner masculinity was an indication she was a lesbian, so she identified as one from that point on. She met Linda, and life went on for the two of them, only Diane’s sense of self-identity was “off”. She realized she still didn’t feel right about herself. She didn’t really “feel” like a lesbian, she felt more like a man. It didn’t take long for her to put a name to this feeling. She knew she was a transgender man, but

“But that makes me a…a…straight woman?” exclaimed Linda, then states emphatically, “No! I’m a lesbian and I married a lesbian. I like women, not men! Now I find out you’ve been lying to me all these years.” Over the next few weeks, Diane began using the name David and using male pronouns. Most of the couple’s lesbian friends immediately came to Linda’s defense, and ceased communication with David after his announcement. They, too, felt betrayed by someone they thought was “one of their own”.

My Marriage Was a Sham Erin’s (not her real name) life changed dramatically when she transitioned from male to female (MTF). “It has cost me my relationship with my father and brother, (my mother is deceased). I have lost a lot of friends at home”, she explains. She has lost the closeness she once had with her three grown children, all young men. Her marriage suffered irreparably when she came out to her spouse of many years. Her wife is unable to accept Erin’s new gender identity, nor will she use the new pronouns of “she” and “hers”, when she states, “I consider my marriage to have been a sham…I felt like I had been punched in the face [when he told me]. I felt betrayed. My whole marriage to this person was a lie…I have always felt and been straight…he moved to another bedroom, I simply couldn’t stand to be in the same bed with him anymore.” Erin and her wife are now physically separated, and are seeking permanent legal separation.

Our relationship actually grew stronger Not all relationships end because one spouse transitions. For instance, one FTM (female-to-male) whom I’ll call “G” says about his gender transition, “So far I have had nothing but support from all of my family and friends…One big positive change I have noticed since I began my transition is I feel a lot better about myself … I have confidence where I had none before.” His wife talks about her own identity in the marriage “I have been married to a man, and I have had relationships with women, so being with a man is not foreign to me. I also have a daughter. I have decided I

am how I am, I appreciate both sexes, and I am attracted to both.” “G” says about their current relationship of eight years “Our relationship actually grew stronger because she knew that I was finally getting what I had always wanted. She was happy for me.” His wife adds “Things are mostly the same, we have had some issues with anger due to the hormones, and I don’t like man rage. We are working through it as best we can, knowing in the end it will be worth it.”

The Identity Shift An announcement by your loved one that he or she is transgender will likely cause you to look within yourself and question your own identity. “Am I a heterosexual now?” “Am I no longer gay because my husband is now my wife?” Try to remember that your spouse has come to terms with their identity over time, likely even over years. You, on the other hand, have just had this put in front of you. Let’s face it. You’re likely experiencing a myriad of emotions ranging from shock to anger to emptiness and loss. Go ahead and give yourself permission to feel everything you’re feeling. Realize that there are no easy answers to your questions of self-reflection, but there are ways to frame this newest “hiccup” in your marriage, and for those who are experiencing emotional mayhem about personal identity due to a spouse’s gender transition, consider the following words of support:


Just because your spouse transitions, it doesn’t change who you are. You’re still the same person you’ve always been. Whether you

consider yourself a lesbian, or gay man, or a straight person – you still are! Unless, that is, you choose to alter the label you’ve defined yourself as being. Remember, it’s okay to say “I’m a lesbian who’s in love with a man.”


You don’t have to change your sexual attractions. Likely, you’ll have to modify things a bit in your sexual life together, but remember that any physical changes your partner goes through doesn’t change the inner person, the person you’re in love with. They’re simply outer physical changes. Be open to adapting and exploring these changes, and you might just find your attractions evolving.


Don’t feel guilty about having your feelings - explore them, be aware of them, be honest about them, and most of all, communicate them to your loved one.

It’s your choice More often than not, it’s the nontransitioning spouse who makes the final decision on whether the marriage survives or not. Remember and respect that your transgender partner has loved you and entrusted you with their innermost conflicts and truth, because you are the most important person in their life. As you sort through your own identity fears, share these concerns with them as you would any about any other matters of importance in your life. Many marriages can, and do, survive through this difficult period. Keep communicating, and don’t turn your back on your loved one, or on the time you’ve spent together. Be true to yourselves – together. The identity shifts you both experience can be stepping stones to a stronger, happier marriage. / GWM 71

Real Weddings

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Melissa & Berkley October 17, 2014 From the photographer:


elissa and Berkley were so welcoming and such warm, genuine people. It was lovely to see them surrounded by loving and supportive family and friends for their wedding day. They got ready in the same space, but separately -- so that they saw each other for the first time in the chapel immediately before the ceremony. They had their ceremony on the sprawling grounds of the Spring Valley Chapel, just outside Calgary. The reception was at the The Shawnessy Community Center Barn, in Calgary. Usually by mid October, the leaves are off the trees in Calgary, and winter had started. But this fall was beautiful, with colorful leaves still around. It made for a stunning backdrop to an amazing day, that was rounded out by a lively celebration full of touching speeches and laughter.

Photographer: Redfern Photography Ceremony: Spring Valley Chapel Reception Venue: Shawnessy Community Center / GWM 73

Real Weddings

Manuel & Matthew May 7, 2015

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IQ Photo / GWM 75

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anuel and Matthew celebrated their wedding at San Francisco City Hall in California on May 7, 2015.

Photographer: IQ Photo / GWM 77

Real Weddings

Eddie & Lancer February 12, 2015

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Creatrix Photography / GWM 79

A note from Lancer:


ll of my friends already knew Eddie. He was managing the Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas and all of my friends would go to Vegas and he would hook them up. I was supposed to go once, but something else came up, so I never met him and only heard of this ‘Vegas Eddie’. In March of 2010, I went to New Orleans for my friend’s bachelor/bachelorette party. We arrived on Friday, March 19th and started drinking early. We were walking down Bourbon Street and turned the corner at St. Ann when Eddie came around the 80 GWM / Fall 2015

corner. Everyone I was with knew Eddie and saw him and yelled “Eddie!”. I met Eddie for the first time in front of the Bourbon Pub. I just thought he was so handsome. I have a thing for gray hair. We met and hit it off right away. Later that night… ok, within 5 minutes… I was coming onto him. Our friend pulled out his phone and started recording me hit on Eddie. We had our first kiss recorded and our friend in the background said “wouldn’t it be wild if they ended up together”. Eddie was just stopping for the night in New Orleans on his way back to Atlanta, but ended up staying the whole weekend and came with us to

all the weekend party events. He was living in Atlanta at the time and we ended up taking a few trips to get to know each other. We met in Vegas for a weekend and Boston for a weekend. Eddie then got a job in Trinidad, in the Caribbean. He was planning to go for a year, but the job was not what he wanted, so he moved back to Houston, where I was. He was planning to move in with his sister, her husband, 2 kids and their mom until he figured out his next move. I was excited to see him again and suggested that he move in with me since I was living alone in a 4 bedroom house. He didn’t want to be a bother or move too fast, but I insisted. Everything was great after that. So, the proposal

was not that exciting. No random flash mobs or hot air balloons involved. We already bought matching rings. In December 2012, we went on a cruise. While sitting at The Red Frog Pub on the Carnival Magic, we were talking about names. I said that boyfriend seems too juvenile, partner seems too professional, and husband is not accurate until we get married. Eddie took off my ring and said, let’s get married, and put it back on my finger. I said yes, so now we can be called fiancés. We didn’t pick a date or start planning until earlier this year. Photographer: Creatrix Photography Venue: Moana Surfrider Hotel Cake: Tiers of Joy / GWM 81


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Chris & Justin Engagement Session


hris and Justin wanted their engagement session to be fun and playful. They chose downtown Phoenix for the setting, and Roosevelt Row gave them the perfect atmosphere for a colorful shoot. It’s always challenging to recreate some of the unique images you see on Pinterest, but they gave it a shot with powdered dye. Lesson learned: bring lots of dye! Also, be prepared with levels to stand on and a friend to pitch in and toss the colors. It was so much fun!


From me to you W h a t d o y o u d o t o ke e p t h e passion alive in your marraige? From Ray Ceo-Ramirez: My husband and I talk non-stop. Whether it’s when I’m driving home from work or during our lunch break, we chat on the phone whenever we aren’t together and are able to. Micah Parker: Keeping excitement in the relationship. Never living a dull moment. See the world and enjoy life.

Kalona Haleakala Ortiz: My wife and I work on communication together. We make it safe for each other to share what is ever on our minds with no judgements. Jean and Kathy: After nearly 20 years together we still love and adore one another. For us it’s about taking time to express our love to each other- often in little things. Leaving a note for the other to find, a text, coffee in bed, a warm embrace, locking eyes across a crowded room.... Most importantly we laugh and enjoy silly times together. It’s so important to play, dance, sing, laugh and appreciate one another. A theme for us throughout the years has been JOY. In the end you begin to realize the little things we share aren’t quite so little after all. / GWM 83



IQ Photo