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WINTER 2017 / GAYWEDDINGSMAG.COM

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G AY W E D D I N G S & M A R R I AG E M AG A Z I N E

Marriage Family Home


WINTER 2018 / GAYWED

GWM

from the editor

DINGSM AG.COM

G AY W E D D I N G S & MARRIAGE MAGAZINE

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Marriage Family Home

your

’ve learned to see trends in weddings and engagement sessions submitted to GWM over the years. In the beginning, almost every wedding incorporated beautiful rainbow colors into their décor to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage. While current wedding trends do not have rainbow colors as the main palette, there is usually some small homage in the form of colorful socks, napkins, or a guest gift. Engagement sessions are definitely becoming more popular. This is why I decided to dedicate an entire section just to engagements in this edition. Some things don’t change though. I read the stories of each couple. Tales of love, laughter, heart-break and joy are always there. It is another reason why I do what I do. Sharing your stories is a way for me to tell the world that we are all the same. We all love, stress, suffer, ache, laugh, cry and celebrate special moments. Thank you for reading my story, and I look forward to reading yours. Feel free to email me at renee@ gayweddingsmag.com to submit your love story to be featured in our next edition.

ON THE COVER

Kenny and Justin’s shoot can be viewed on page 90. Photographer: Katie Brown at Velvet Sage Photography

PUBLISHER/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Renee Clancy

SENIOR DESIGN CONTRIBUTOR TODD RUSSELL

WEBSITE

Scott Rogers

GAY PRIDE BOW TIES It has been an honor to get to know Jorge Santana of Gay Pride Bow Ties. His enthusiam and dedication to create a quality product that will have a true impact on the world is inspiring. Check out his story on page 78.

WRITERS

Donna Capodelupo, Todd Russell

ADVISORS

Wendy Clancy, Erik Earl

COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS? Contact Renee at: renee@gayweddingsmag.com www.gayweddingsandmarriage.com

Gay Weddings & Marriage Magazine is published four times a year. © 2016, all rights reserved. Reproduction or use of content in any manner without permission by the publisher is strictly prohibited. Opinions expressed in columns and articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

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In this issue Gay Weddings & Marriage Magazine / Winter 2017

10 22 30 62 130 38 102 126 gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 3


Real Weddings

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EMILY & EMILY October 14, 2016 / Elizabeth Greve Photography

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Real Weddings

FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Emily and Emily. The fact that both of their names are Emily should have been my first sign that this couple and their wedding story would be anything less than unique. When I first met this sweet duo for coffee, we just sort of CLICKED. I felt like I had known them forever which made wedding talk that much more fun. As I sat there and watched how they interacted with one another, I knew this would be a beautiful couple to photograph. They already seemed as though they had been married for years. Emily A. - “We met officially when we both started working for the same police department in 2014. Although, we had gone to the same school for 4 years before that and had been unofficially introduced once before, we somehow never really knew

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each other until then.� I loved their proposal story! Emily A. “Kind of a long story, but the first time Emily (Rachel) and I (Emily Anne) worked together, we were working the midnight shift on October 20th, 2014. At around 3am she told me to come outside with her. We stood outside under the most beautiful sky full of stars. She told me that the sky was the best part about working midnights. I think this was the first time we both felt that spark. Fast forward to July 30th 2015. Emily (Rachel) planned a day downtown and told me we were going to the Adler Planetarium. When we got there, we looked around for a while and then she told me she bought tickets to see a show about the night sky. After the show was over and everyone was leaving, the lights turned back off and our song started playing. At this point I was very confused and a little scared that we were going to get locked in the theatre. Then a clock came up on the big screen and time rewound back to October 20th and the exact same night sky we stood under was projected across the whole theatre. Emily Rachel gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 7


Real Weddings

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got down on one knee and asked me to be her wife. Seriously, such an amazing day.” I always ask my couples what the most important aspect is when planning out their wedding. Emily and Emily’s was important on so many personal levels. “Being a same-sex couple, we really wanted to make sure all of our vendors were comfortable being involved in a same-sex wedding. That was our number one priority. The first thing we looked at and booked was the venue. Once we had that booked, we immediately started researching photographers. At the end of the day, all that we will have left to look back on is the pictures! All of the vendors we chose were amazing and made the day perfect.” This day was such a privilege to be a part of and I am so honored to call these beauties my friends.

Photographer: Elizabeth Greve Photography Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Men’s Wearhouse Dress Store: David’s Bridal Dress Store: The Crystal Bride Caterer: Buddy’s Special Events Other: Our Wedding Movie: Sounds Abound Entertainment Floral Designer: Katydidit Florist Design and Decor: Joanna Goss Caterer: My Chef Catering Event Venue: Emerson Creek Pottery and Tearoom gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 9


GROOMED to perfection Design When creating a unique decor concept, we have found that it is best to work with what you’ve got! This is important to the personalities of the shoot, as well as building in textures to layer your day with your style. Important design needs include: Seeing what kind of lighting your venue has, what accents does the venue have already and just how are you going to modify the space to give it that vibe you’re going for? Gather up everything you have learned about your venue, brainstorm, and then take that and accentuate it to add your own flare allowing you to tell your story. As far as design concept, a lot of the décor and “vibe” of this styled shoot was actually centered around the tiered grayscale cake! We chose a lot of mixed metals to pick up the Amber lighting on site, and then brought in natural and man-made textures to give depth without having a firm color pallet. Federico and Jose love to dance and sing so we created custom song request cards for their faux guests to fill out, a personalized touch for paperie inspiration. If you have a story to tell and are not sure how to make your uniqueness come across correctly, then be sure to have your very own Fairy Godmother. We begin with you from the very beginning, get to know you and pitch a custom decor concept just for you then make sure that magic comes to life. 10 GWM / Winter 2017


Fairy Godmother a Wedding & Event Company teams up with Left Coast Design Studio and other talented vendors to create this intimate and classically styled shoot.

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Models

FedericoIcon: Janet Jackson, BeyoncÊ, Chris Brown, Marliyn Monroe Favorite movie: Bring It On Favorite interest together: Dancing, traveling, movies Favorite food: Pizza Sweets: cupcakes Hometown: Tulare, CA Full Name: Federico Timothy Rodriguez III Home Decor Vibe: Classic, Sporty JoseIcon: Don’t have one Favorite movie: The Sound Of Music Favorite interest together: Dancing, traveling, movies Favorite food: Mexican food Sweets: peanut butter Hometown: Bakersfield, CA Full name: Jose Reyes Zuniga Jr Home Decor Vibe: Contemporary

Album Info

An elite team of wedding professionals came together to

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spread the message that LOVE WINS!! While photographer, Left Coast By Design, organized the team of creative partners, Fairy Godmother Co. styled and designed the shoot. These elite vendors are business professionals who see the importance of sharing the LOVE WINS message. The mission of this styled shoot was to not only spread love, but to create an ongoing list in our community of vendors and businesses who see love for what it is, LOVE! The motivation behind this styled shoot was to shatter the glass ceiling on the stereotypical norms that tend to cloud judgement when selecting your wedding day team.

and dedication to the cause of equality. The message is simple, but yet has an extremely profound outcome. Modern day couples shouldn’t need bravery or permission to share their love with the world- and that is why we wanted to illustrate just how awesome it is when LOVE WINS! Photographer: Left Coast Design Studio Event Designers: Fairy Godmother a Wedding and Event Company Bakery: Gimme Some Sugar Paperie: Matinae Design Studio Videography: Our Legacy Pro Florals: House of Flowers Catering: Cloud9 Coffee Company Coin Rings: 70 Knots Company Venue: Padre Hotel Tuxedos: Finos Menswear & Tuxedo Rentals: Walker Lewis Rents Ring Box: Those Things by that One Girl Grooming: Blackboard Barber Shop Second Shooter: Lauryn Marette

The design inspiration of this shoot was rooted in deep masculine tones to create an sense of mystery while including soft natural elements such as cotton to juxtapose the concrete, showing the soft and solid sides of love. Utilizing geometric shapes in dĂŠcor, complete with triangular plates, giving us a new outlook from every angle. Complete with a gold embellished grayscale cake that was there to remind us just how sweet love is. Jose and Federico show us a different kind of love, a love that has no boundaries and shares its profound message with just one look. Our advantage to creating a styled shoot with a real couple allows for not only the vision to be perfectly executed, but to exemplify just what love is! With this styled shoot, we are hoping for an outpour of support gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 13


Real Weddings

REED & DANIEL September 24, 2016 / Jerome Pollos Photography

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FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Reed and Daniel walked into the iconic Fox Theater in downtown Spokane and knew they had found the spot to celebrate their union after more than eight years together. The classic art deco was striking. The all-in-one wedding venue provided a central location for the ceremony and reception so guests wouldn’t have to travel between two sites. And they could stay downtown for their hotels, preparations, portraits and the wedding itself. “We stopped looking at other venues as soon as we visited the Fox,” Reed explained about their venue. “We wanted to keep the decorations really simple, since the Fox Theater basically comes “pre-decorated” with the amazing interior design. We ordered bulk flowers from Costco, which was a great idea and turned out really well. “Reed’s sister made simple bouquets of the flowers (white calla lilies), and stuck the remaining loose stems in vases on the tables, submerged them in water, and floated a candle on top. We started the morning with a last-minute engagement session since they never had any professional photos done before. We toured around downtown Spokane enjoy some of the great backdrops the city has to offer. Reed and Daniel kept the morning light after the session and visited Urbana Salon where the girls in the wedding party were getting ready to chat and share some wine. The one thing that threw them a bit of a curve ball was all of the road construction taking place downtown. “Well, we weren’t expecting so much road construction around the venue, leading to most of us having to climb over and around dirt trenches and steamrollers in formalwear,” Reed commented. “Other than that, it wasn’t too much of a disruption though. “Once everyone was at The Fox, the celebration was on. The amazing lines and decor of the theater itself offered an awesome backdrop for their

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ceremony. And as far as celebrations go, this one ran the gamut with great stories that brought about a lot of laughs and emotions. But once the party started, that’s when everyone let loose. The dance floor was packed and when everyone was helping pack up for the night, there was still a pretty big crowd. Weddings can be pretty overwhelming. There is so much to pack into one day. With Reed and Daniel’s wedding day, the packed in an engagement session, scheduled time to share some wine and stories with their wedding party, and had time to visit with their guests during the reception. And they managed to do all of that without a lot of stress or rushing throughout the day. Good job gents. We used AirTable.com - a free online database app - to plan and organize everything that had to do with guests: the invitation list, the guest addresses, the seating chart, the wedding gifts, thank you notes, etc. For example, when we opened a wedding gift, I snapped a picture of the gift and the card, created a new entry in the AirTable app on my phone, and then just tapped one of the already-entered guest or family names. Then when I went to write thank you notes, there was already a list there with names, addresses, and gifts, with a checkbox I could tap when finishing each one. It made everything so much easier. Its super easy to use and so much better than using google docs or paper. Make sure you receive a confirmation, in writing, from each vendor themselves, at least 16 GWM / Winter 2017


a week before the wedding. Have a list of your vendors and their cell phone numbers so you can get a hold of them if there are any issues.

Photographer: Jerome Pollos Photography Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Macy’s Beauty: Urbana Salon Caterer: Beacon Hill Catering and Events DJ: Complete Music Cake Designer: Marsell’s Cakes Floral Designer: Costco Event Venue: Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox

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Real weddings

VERONICA & VANESSA June 11, 2016 / Eder Photo

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Real weddings

HOW DID WE MEET? So a mailman walks into a bar... Enjoying the Halloween festivities in Hillcrest, San Diego, Vanessa began delivering mail (as her postal costume demanded) to fellow party goers when lo and behold she spotted the best costume of the night. It was Roni... dressed as herself. The rest of the debauchery that occurred that night is history and remains up for debate. HOW LONG HAVE YOU TWO BEEN TOGETHER? We have been together for five blissful years. We met in 2012 and 20 GWM / Winter 2017


married in 2015. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE HAD TO OVERCOME AS A COUPLE? Unfortunately, our biggest obstacle as a couple is accepting that not all of our loved ones wish to celebrate our love. We are hopeful that our union teaches them that we aren’t any different from any other married couple. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE? I love that Veronica is a strong, intelligent woman who stands up for us as a family. When we have children, she will be the perfect role model. I love how much Vanessa stands up for what she believes in and loves with her whole heart.

DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING DAY. From getting ready in the morning with our respective bridal parties to dancing the night away with family and friends, our wedding day was everything we dreamed. The setting at Leo Carrillo Ranch fulfilled our country fiesta theme in one of California’s finest cities. Every detail from the Rindge family Malibu tiles decorated on our wedding cake to the customized wedding favors and corn hole bean bags all contributed to the beauty of the day. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART? One of the most memorable moments for us as a couple came during the wedding

procession when we saw each other for the first time that day. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Treat your guests right and have an open bar. Also, treat yourselves right. Hire a wedding planner or day of planner, so you can alleviate the stress leading up to the big day.

Photographer: Eder Photo Reception Venue: Leo Carrillo Ranch DJ: Sage Productions Floral Designer: Tess Fresh Flowers Event Designer: Amy June Weddings and Events

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featured vendor

This wedding is featured on the following pages 26 - 31. Coordinated by Jason Mitchell Kahn and photographed by Laura Marie Duncan.

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featured vendor

LIFESTYLE

Prior to Shiraz Events, Jason worked for several years at Soho House New York as the Event and Banquet Manager and quickly became known as the in-house wedding expert. There he worked with couples on planning their special day in addition to doing freelance wedding planning. While weddings are his favorite type of event, at Soho House Jason also designed, planned, and ran fashion shows, book launches, art festivals, movie premieres, opening nights, gala dinners, and awards shows post parties. The job took him around the world from Oscar parties in L.A. to events held in chateaus in Cannes and even an underground subway station in Toronto. Jason brings to weddings his passion for drama honed from his career and education in theatre. Two of his plays had professional premieres in New York and have since had productions around the world. Jason approaches all weddings with his playwriting background: What is the couple’s version of their most beautiful story to be told? Read more about Jason and his team at www.jasonmitchellkahn.com.

STORIES

Jason is currently the “In-House Expert” for Men’s Vows Magazine and well known in the industry. He is regularly asked to contribute ideas and opinions to various wedding websites and media outlets. Before launching Jason Mitchell Kahn & Co., he served as the resident Wedding Planner for Shiraz Events overseeing the company’s market in New York, Los Angeles and London.

JASON MITCHELL KAHN

Jason began working full time as a wedding planner after the 2014 launch of his new book GETTING GROOMED: THE ULTIMATE WEDDING PLANNER FOR GAY GROOMS, published by Chronicle Books.

EVENTS

J

ason Mitchell Kahn is an expert in the wedding planning business. His experience and talent expand beyond wedding planning and into book writing with the publication of Getting Groomed, the first and only wedding planner for gay grooms. We at GWM want to share his many talents with you. The folowing excerpt about Jason and his amazing team can be found at: www.jasonmitchellkahn.com.

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Real Weddings The following feature can be found on the Jason Mitchell Kahn site at: jasonmitchellkahn.com/ blog

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wo creative grooms and a strong desire to boldly paint their love story for their guests? I couldn’t have asked for a better couple than Ryan and Alek to be the first official wedding of Jason Mitchell Kahn and Co. After touring several venues, we landed at the newly renovated Second Floor in Midtown. With exposed brick, industrial ceilings, a retractable roof and phenomenal in-house catering, it’s only a matter of time before this place develops a waiting list. The design inspiration came from their love of the arts, travel and the era of the Speakeasy. On the long wooden dining tables, we created table runners out of old sheet music, and then topped them with a mix-matched spread of apothecary bottles in varying heights and colors that each held taper candles; arrangements in bud vases by The Arrangement NYC; and a fun mix of all the rental props I could get my hands on such as vintage cameras, trophies and books. Above every table we installed Edison bulbs to dangle at different lengths. The escort card table was composed of individual telegrams informing guests which significant location in Ryan and Alek’s life they’d be sitting at. There was also a vintage typewriter so guests could leave a wish for the grooms. The wall of windows at the venue overlooks a courtyard with a giant screen. When Ryan and Alek recessed after saying “I do,” the screen activated with a firework display and a message of congratulations in both English and Spanish. All of this fun was accentuated by the live music of the Melanie and the Bianco Martinis, the spinning of DJ Steven Paul, and captured by GT Modern Creations on video and one of my favorite photographer Laura Marie Duncan. It was a true joy to see all the planning details

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RYAN & ALEK Simply K Studios

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Real Weddings

come to life. But what was more fulfilling was helping them navigate the emotional journey of this wedding. Alek’s parents are divorced, and not long before the date, his father expressed he would not attend as he doesn’t support same-sex marriage. But his step-mom did come, and we figured out a way to include her alongside Alek’s mom and grandmother in the processional and have a mother-son dance with all three. The ceremony also included a group sing-a-long of The Rainbow Connection. I think all the lovers and dreamers had chills. The best part of night was facilitating the separate surprises they planned for one another. Ryan compiled a video of wishes

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from all of Alek’s relatives in Mexico who couldn’t attend, and after it played he transitioned into a choreographed flash-mob with his groomsmen. Alek led a group number from Ryan’s favorite musical Sunday in the Park with George. As he lined up their closest friends and family with parasols to recreate the famous Seurat painting, I was overcome with how fitting the lyrics represented their wedding journey. “White. A blank page of canvas. His favorite. So many Possibilities.”

Planner: Jason Mitchell Kahn Photographer: Laura Marie Duncan Video: GT Modern Creations Live Music: Melanie and Bianco Martinis DJ: DJ Steven Paul Flowers: The Arrangement NYC

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Real weddings

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Total

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lly&Totally Vintage Doable! Kel Ward of Kel Ward Photography gives the following advice about how to plan your intimate wedding for less than $600. When planning your wedding, always start with a specific item as inspiration. In this case it was the white dress. I loved the retro-boho vibe of it, with the belled sleeves and short hem. The kicker was that it was on clearance for only $7.50! From there I knew I wanted to do something that matched the style of the dress, but also something that was budget and DIY friendly. I hit up my local

event rental shop and found a variety of items, from the table and chairs, to the old typewriter, to the colored glassware and miscellaneous props. I spent $87.50 on those items for a weekend rental (Thursday - Sunday), and it really set the mood for this shoot. Aside from the bowtie, which I found online for $12.50, all of the remaining attire was already in the couple’s closet. A few outings to thrift shops for some retro plates, an old thermos, candles, and a few odds and ends helped fill in the missing pieces for this shoot for about $20.

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A quick perusal on airbnb. com lead us to our location, which was only $75 each night. The great thing about using a vacation property is that you have somewhere to stay after the nuptials. Instead of a traditional wedding cake, I opted for miniature pies, which were only $1.50 each and came in a variety of flavors. The cocktails were simple, made from lemonade and vodka, with blueberries and mint leaves from my own yard. The last piece was the florals. It was our most expensive piece to this inspiration shoot, but well worth every penny. For $350 we got a beautiful wildflower bouquet and enough flowers to decorate the table. When it came time to set things up, I went for a ‘more is more’ approach, filling as much of the table as I could. I knew that once the sun went down and the candles were lit that each little detail would be illuminated in the most romantic way. As is common with many elopements, we had a ‘friend’ officiate the ceremony, free of charge. All in all, I only spent about $560 on this elopement inspiration shoot. Total Cost: Dress (Ross Dress for Less): $7.50 Event rental pieces (table, chairs, colored glassware, props): $87.50 Thrift store pieces (plates, candles, owl glasses, props): $20.00 Bowtie (amazon.com): $12.50 Venue: $75.00 Mini pies: $9.00 ($1.50/each) 32 GWM / Winter 2017

Drinks (vodka/lemonade): $5.00 Flowers (bouquet and table flowers/greens): $350.00 Blueberries & mint: free officiant: free Total: $561.50 Photographer: Kel Ward Photography Equipment Rentals: For The Love of Pete Floral Designer: Morning Glories Floral


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Real Weddings

KEVIN & CHRIS September 26, 2016 / Viera Photographics

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Real Weddings

From the photographer: Kevin and Chris’ De Young museum wedding took place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate park. The architecture of the DeYoung is magnificent and the ceremony site was that of stark contrasts. The ceremony took place in the serenity of the sculpture garden, framed in the background by the massively cantilevered steel roof of the museum. Kevin being an illustrator (most notable for his cover art in the Marvel series, “She Hulk”) he brings two dimensional images to life for a living. This larger-thanlife architectural backdrop; a bit like Mad Max meets Alice in Wonderland, seemed apropos for this special occasion. As your friends often know you better than you know yourselves… why not have them officiate your wedding? The coofficiants, Eric and Scott took

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anecdotal stories from the past and infused them with just the right amount of fiction to keep the crowd completely engaged and glowing.

Photographer: Viera Photographics Cake Designer: Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Bar DJ: Leah Perloff Caterer: Taste Catering and Event Planning Reception Venue: De Young Museum gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 37


Real Weddings

PRINCESS & BRITTANY July 7, 2017 / Aline Marin Photography

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HOW DID YOU MEET? We met on Facebook, while living in two different states. Princess living in Miami, Florida and Brittany living in Nashville, Tennessee. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER? Two years. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME AS A COUPLE? In the beginning we had to deal with the long distance, and Princess moving to Nashville. WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE? Princess – I love Brittany’s kind heart, and her smile. Brittany – I love Princess’ ability to be able to light up an entire room. DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING DAY: Our wedding day was nothing short of pure bliss. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART? Our favorite part of the wedding was saying ‘’ I DO.” WERE THERE ANY SURPRISES (GOOD OR BAD) THAT HAPPENED? We were both shocked with our wedding gifts to one another. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Do not rush and try to plan a wedding, also don’t stress out. PICK A GREAT WEDDING PLANNER! NOW THAT THE WEDDING IS OVER, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS OR FUTURE PLANS AS A MARRIED COUPLE? We are planning to have children, and buy our second home within a few years. Photographer: Aline Marin Wedding Consultant: Alicia Fitch Ceremony Site: Orleangham Event Facility in Tyrone, Ga Reception Site: Orleangham Event Facility in Tyrone, Ga Caterer: Montgomery Foods Wedding Cake: Cakes by Ramona Florist: Orleangham Event Facility Clothing/Gowns/Suits: David’s Bridal and Ambassador Tuxedo Nashville Hair: Tania Illarion Makeup: Tania Illarion Music: Darryl Padgett DJ: Darryl Paddget/ Kouture Photobooth Linens: Orleangham Event Facility Rentals: Orleangham Event Facility Lighting: Orleangham Event Facility Videographer: BEV Weddings

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Real Weddings

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Other: Aline Marin made our wedding day truly special she definitely captured every moment. We love her!! Orleangham Event Facility was a one stop shop and everything was pretty much all inclusive, our wedding coordinator was TRULY AMAZING.


Wedding Prep

GETTING GROOMED The first and only wedding planner for gay grooms.

inally, a fun wedding organizer for gay grooms! Packaged in a sleek two-ring binder that will slip easily into a messenger bag or briefcase, this planner covers every aspect of the event so the big day goes off without a hitch. Focusing on the details of the celebration and steering away from the politics of gay marriage, Getting Groomed offers a refreshing approach to readers planning a wedding. While it’s targeted for grooms there have been many brides who have found it and preferred it to what’s available for them.

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Couples will learn how to set a budget, organize the guest list, design invitations, dress and style for the big day, and much more. With fill-in worksheets, pockets for stashing important forms and contracts, a master timeline, and plenty of wit and charm, this elegant planner is the resource— and perfect gift—for stylish grooms-to-be. You can purchase a copy of Getting Groomed HERE.

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Real Weddings

CHRIS & ANTONIO August 6, 2016 / Carina Photographics

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Real Weddings

Chris and Antonio wanted to pull out all the stops for their wedding day. It had to be gorgeous. It had to be epic. And in every way, it was all that and more. They held their big day at the Landmark Center in St Paul, MN. The Landmark Center is one of the pinnacles of gorgeous wedding venues in Minnesota. The grand columns, five-story glass-covered courtyard, marble details, carved mahogany, and romantic lighting make for such a stunning wedding venue. And Chris and Antonio dressed it up further with beautiful draping, candles, flowers, gold tablecloths, and chair covers. We began their day with preparations in separate rooms of the building. Once Chris and Antonio were ready, we headed over to the wild, rustic Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary for their first look. This hidden gem of a location is a perfect combination of natural beauty and rustic stone and railroad bridges. Chris and Antonio loved that it mirrored the same ambiance as Mill Ruins Park in Minneapolis where we held their engagement session last year. Chris and Antonio’s first look was as epic as their entire wedding day. There were tears, hugs, and kisses - their joy was radiant! Every person present could feel their love and happiness. Afterward, we headed back to Rice Park as well and the James J Hill Center to photograph them with their families and friends. Then it was on to the big ceremony. The cheers from the audience once they were married were thunderous. Next up were cocktails, an amazing dinner and finally toasts. Again, the love between them,

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as well as from their family and friends, was simply glowing. The fun was followed by an amazing dance party. Photographer: Carina Photographics Design and Decor: Dynamic Drape and Lighting DJ: Adagio Djay Entertainment Cake Designer: Queen of Cakes Design and Decor: Festivities | Event Rental, Decor, Floral Floral Designer: Simply Stated Elegance Caterer: Lisa’s Catering Officiant: Positively Charmed Custom Ceremonies Boutique Décor Hair Stylist: Creative Beaute Agency Bridesmaid Dresses: The Wedding Shoppe Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Tip Top Tux Event Planner: J’aime Events Reception Venue: Minnesota Landmarks / Landmark Center gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 45


Real Weddings

ANNE & AMY April 9, 2016 / amelia + dan photography

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Real Weddings

From the photographers: Amy and Anne started dating about 15 years ago and had a commitment ceremony in Hawaii 10 years ago. They are wonderful mothers who are not only patient, but offer up lots of nose kisses and snuggling embraces to their children Phinn and Harper. They decided that when gay marriage became a constitutional right everywhere in America they wanted to have an official wedding to celebrate. Amy and Anne love the beach and hope to eventually make it their home, so Folly Beach seemed like the perfect spot to bring all their 48 GWM / Winter 2017

family and friends to celebrate this momentous occasion. They are best friends, and their faces lit up with joy when they saw each other for the first time in their wedding dresses. Just before walking down the aisle, their son Phinn asked what he was supposed to do. When they told him he just had to walk with them, he sweetly responded, “I can do that.” To complete the picture perfect day, dolphins swam by as they renewed their promises to one another on the beach. All of their guests used custom ‘A’ glasses to cheers the happy couple as they exited down the aisle. After some cocktails and appetizers, everyone

gathered underneath the house for some delicious dinner by Salthouse Catering.

Wedding venue: Charisma by the Sea Photographer: amelia + dan photography Wedding designer: Flourish Bespoke Floral & Event Styling: Bart Krogman Bridal gown: HLDN + J.Crew Bridesmaid dress: Andrea Boninsegna Hair + Makeup: Holly Angel Florist: Flourish Bespoke Floral & Event Styling Officiant: Jennifer Singleton Caterer: Salthouse Catering Cake: Wildflour Pastry DJ: DJ Ted Keyes


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Yountville

THE ESTATE YOUNTVILLE WILL SET THE STANDARD FOR MEETINGS, EVENTS AND EDUCATIONAL VINEYARD EXPERIENCES IN NAPA VALLEY.

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he Estate Yountville, located on 22 acres of some of the most prized real estate in Napa Valley, is poised to become a favorite among meeting and event planners with the opening of The Vineyard in October, and the completion of the renovation to its eleven distinctly different event spaces. In addition to the one-of-a-kind venues, the property is also home to 80-room Vintage House, 112-room Villagio Inn & Spa, The Spa and retail and dining complex V Marketplace. Each of these components is undergoing a major transformation to further enhance The Estate Yountville’s legacy in the community and bring a new luxury vision to life. The outdoor vineyard and unique settings found throughout The Estate will allow guests to make the most of any meeting or special occasion. “The Vineyard is a significant and prominent feature in both the larger community and The Estate Yountville overall, providing a space for locals and guests alike to convene and enjoy the natural beauty of Yountville and world-class wine,” said Kini Sanborn, Director of Sales and Marketing at The Estate Yountville. “The Vineyard will set the stage for visitors eager to celebrate local culture by allowing them to learn about viticulture and Napa Valley’s history in a setting that promises to deliver unforgettable events. All of our event spaces celebrate the Napa Valley experience.” Combined, The Estate Yountville provides more than 50,000 square feet of sculpted terrace gardens, lush outdoor event spaces and state-of-the art meeting venues accommodating events between 10 and 1,200 guests. The on-site private dining and culinary team at The Estate deliver exquisite catering options with curated menus that reflect the region’s gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 51


garden to table philosophy, incorporating local produce and flavors to create fine California cuisine. The team is seasoned in executing themed events, from mobile mixology classes to wine blending seminars alongside celebrity chefs and local winemakers. The Vineyard is a lush open area of 1,125 square feet of flexible event space catering to groups of varying sizes. Different event concepts include rows of chairs divided by a center aisle for the perfect wedding seating a maximum of 80 guests, or with a long table accommodating up to 76 people for a family style meal, or the ability to a host a yoga class for up to 32 guests. An oval lawn is surrounded by flowering

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grape vines climbing on wooden trellises and accessed via a rustic granite path shrouded by olive trees. Subtle water features and floating tea lights are scattered throughout the space, lending a romantic and serene ambiance. All materials utilized are discrete and natural, minimizing disturbance to The Vineyard so guests are afforded an authentic experience. Additional bucolic touches include a bocce court and beautifully groomed lawns across The Estate that are italic for afternoon picnicking. The Estate will offer tours of The Vineyard to educate guests about viticulture, providing a firsthand look at the winemaking process. Education will include learning about the various local AVAs to measuring brix in the fruit during harvest. Tours will be followed by a tasting in The Barrel Room Wine Cellar at the V Marketplace, including wines made from grapes grown at The Vineyard.

Tours will take place once daily on Thursday to Sunday from March to October limited to 12 guests.

The setting features cozy hidden nooks as well as open seating areas, perfect for group gatherings.

A carefully designed layout at Vintage House accommodates up to 100 attendees in The Main House, and features at total of 2,200 square feet of space – complete with a lux Boardroom for up to 12 executives with a glass elevator entrance and a marble table, built-in audio visual capabilities, separate private lounge area, and an adjacent outdoor patio with breath-taking views of the Mayacama and Stag’s Leap Mountain ranges. Complementing the serene experience is the newly rebuilt Main House, complete with twostory windows pouring sunlight onto the solid walnut plank floors. Elegant white Carrera marble accents highlight the white architectural wood details and add texture throughout.

Villagio caters to larger events of up to 1,200 guests with 15,265 square-foot Pavilion. Comprised of two adjoining gardens connected by a brick walkway and Tuscan-style courtyard complete with grotto, this stunning venue boasts natural elegance. The spacious and flexible facility is perfect for weddings or casual business meetings. An adjacent patio provides an ideal setting for breakout or team building sessions, luncheons or intimate gatherings. The Barrel Room is a 2,470 square foot ballroom-style space centrally located between Vintage House and Villagio with glowing warmth from the floorto-beam and rafter ceiling. Its gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 53


rustic character is drawn from the original 1870 Groezinger Winery and juxtaposed with the comfort of a modern event experience enhanced by grand wrought iron chandeliers and state-of-the-art theatrical, task and accent lighting. The Conference Center includes two ballrooms totaling more than 3,100 square feet. With its distinct meeting spaces, breathtaking setting and artfully appointed accommodations, The Estate is a dynamic location to hold events of all varieties. ABOUT THE ESTATE YOUNTVILLE The Estate Yountville is a 22acre authentic Napa experience that is home to two distinctive lifestyle hotels – the serene and stylish Vintage House and the sinfully good and very social Hotel Villagio. The Estate also includes V Marketplace, a retail lifestyle shopping and dining complex housed in the former 147-year-old Groezinger Winery. The property is currently undergoing a transformative change that brings together the best of all worlds – defining a luxe new grownup playground for the senses to redefine wine country hospitality in a modern way that brings together the Villagio spa, the vineyard, and a myriad of dining and lifestyle experiences. This multi-milliondollar renovation will be notable for the site-sensitive, authentic, experiential approach created by a team of the world’s most sought-after interior designers, architects, landscape designers and talent assembled to bring the new luxury vision to life and further enhance the property’s legacy in the community. 54 GWM / Winter 2017


Arriving Fall 2017, Vintage House channels its locale’s coveted, carefree spirit, infused with a sophisticated overtone of the rich flavor of the wine country featured in 80 intimate bungalow-style abodes. Beginning in 2018 Hotel Villagio, a sinfully beautiful and luscious hotel for drinking in Napa, will showcase 112 luxurious guest rooms and 22 suites, spa and executive conference center. This polished retreat offers a standing invitation to explore The Estate’s more spirited side with a bustling lounge for drinks, a pool escape complemented by a sexy soundtrack, and a vibrant atmosphere for a wine country escape. The Estate Yountville featuring Vintage House and Hotel Villagio are located in the center of Napa Valley, on 6541 Washington Street, Yountville, California. The property is 56 miles north of San Francisco. For more information, please visit Hotel Villagio or Vintage House’s websites.

Hotel Villagio Vintage House

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Real Weddings

PATRICIA & ARIELLE April 15, 2016 / Simply K Studios

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Real Weddings

From the photographer: Patricia & Arielle walked into our studio on June 26, 2015, the historic day that our Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. I’m not sure I could have been more excited to hear their story and listen to their wedding plans. From that first day, I knew these two would have an amazing wedding day, and we couldn’t be happier for them. From the brides: Eight years ago, I started my nursing career at a children’s hospital where I met Arielle who had already been a nurse for two years. If you ask her it was love at first sight, but for me, I had just gotten out of a long relationship and was not ready to date again. For two years we became the best of

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friends. We were inseparable from day one, doing everything from baseball games to hiking/ biking to cuddling up watching our favorite movies. I began to wonder why I couldn’t go a day without talking or seeing Arielle; and finally came to my senses realizing my feelings had grown into so much more than a friendship. I’ll never forget that evening when I told her how I felt and the smile on her face .Six years have flown by with ups and downs along the way, but we have always come out stronger than ever. We bought our dream house and dream dog and started our lives together. There were talks of getting married and days of ring shopping but we knew we wanted to keep the proposals a surprise. I proposed to Arielle one night while we were playing Scrabble (her favorite game). She had no idea it was coming since

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Real weddings

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we spent all day doing yard work. I hid the ring in the letter bag while she wasn’t looking, and to my surprise it took almost the entire game for her to pull it out. Before I knew it I was in front of her, asking her to spend her life with me. Lucky for me, she said Yes! Arielle proposed to me two months later after I had gotten back from a trip to Minnesota. She had put together a sign of glow in the dark stars with my family, and cut a Harry Potter book to the chapter “The unbreakable vow”, as the ring box (my favorite series to date). When we lay in bed that night and the lights went out, “Marry Me” was glowing above us, and there she was with the book and ring. It was my idea of the perfect proposal. Wedding planning wasn’t always easy, but our visions were on the same page. We chose a bicycle theme, which fit because of our love of the outdoors and biking, as well as our adventure tandem biking the Golden Gate Bridge. We found a few old bikes at a shop and restored them as decorations, as well as borrowing a vintage bike from our friend for pictures. Our personal touches were on every aspect of the day, from table settings with coffee in handstamped burlap bags as favors to the room lit up with tea lights and mason jar lights, and our Oreo dessert bar (my favorite dessert). We wrote our entire ceremony (with a little help from the internet LOL), performed by one of our best friends, and when we exchanged vows it was that fairytale moment and excitement to start a new chapter in our lives together. Our wedding day was more than we could’ve hoped for, surrounded by everyone we love.

Photographer: Simply K Studios Dress Designer: La Sposa Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero Veils and headpieces: Twigs and Honey Dress Store: Lastrina Girls Dress Store: Stylish Impressions Cake Designer: Mozzicato Bakery Makeup Artist: MAC Cosmetics Event Venue: Farmington Gardens gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 61


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ENGAGEMENTS celebrate beginnings...


JESS AND MEGAN’S ENGAGEMENT SESSION CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 66. HILLARY LEAH PHOTOGRAPHY

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Engagements

EMILY & CANDACE J. Ferrara Photography

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HOW DID YOU MEET? We met in Costa Rica on a fitness retreat. WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE? Emily: I love Candace’s calming nature. She is quick to forgive, easy to be around, and always happy. Candace: Emily is energetic, artistic and lights up a room. I love how she’s able to express emotion and is always ready for an adventure. DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING DAY: Our courthouse wedding was small and perfect with just our family. It was completely focused on our love and no frills and we loved that. Our vows on the beach a month later were intimate, just the two of us. It was a time for us to reflect on our journey and commit to our future together, and be completely focused on each other and our love. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART? The gifts we gave each other while we read our vows, and hearing the beautiful words we both had thoughtfully written for each other. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Not to spend so much money! Remember that it’s about love and that can be simple, sometimes the simpler the more you can focus on what it’s all about. NOW THAT THE WEDDING IS OVER, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS OR FUTURE PLANS AS A MARRIED COUPLE? We are enjoying traveling and life together. We just got a kitten, and next year we want to start a family. Photographer: J. Ferrara Photography (James and Natalie) Ceremony Site: Beach at Azul Fives Resort, Clothing/Gowns/Suits: Free People and Victoria’s Secret Hair: Candace Padilla Makeup: Candace Padilla gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 65


Engagements

CASPER & ULISES Derek Chad Photography

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HOW DID YOU TWO MEET? I saw his profile and decided to message him (Casper) with a cheesy line, that I wasn’t sure would work. I said, “So, What’s your story?” He loved that line so much he immediately responded with a witty comment and I laughed my head off. We continued messaging back-andforth and then eventually set up a date to meet up at local coffee shop. This first date was very awkward because we were both very nervous. He was very shy and kept looking down while I kept trying to make eye contact. We ordered some coffee and sat outside and began talking. He seemed to be more comfortable and began talking, even though he was talking, I could tell he was still nervous. We shared common things such as, where grew up, our interests, a little bit about our family, etc. Then we talked about bands. I told him I love going to local shows because my friend was a promoter and I would do that a lot while I was in Orange County. I still remember he promised he would take me to go see some local bands. I’m still waiting...

tickets, he was so embarrassed. The whole time we were there I kept looking at him and wanting to get close to him he didn’t seem to mind. Eventually at one point in the movie we began to hold hands. My heart was filled with a multitude of emotions. I knew what I felt, but I wasn’t sure what he felt, even though he was holding my hand. Then there were outdoor dates where we would go hiking and talk about our dreams and hopes and experiences with life. Every time I would set up a time to meet with him my heart was skipping a beat because he made me smile and laugh. But this was not the only thing that drew me to this amazing man. One day I came home with a broken pencil sharpener and I asked if he could look at it. He opened that thing up within five minutes and made it work. My heart could

not contain itself. I knew that he was my robot in shining armor. That was the moment I was unequivocally certain he was the one. THE PROPOSAL I had just started my Master’s program at SDSU and he was adamant that we take a trip up to Seattle. I was excited, but nervous, because of my program. I had a lot of homework that I needed to complete and wasn’t too thrilled to be going up North because of my school, but I went up anyway. We strolled around the city for a one day. Then he took me on a day trip to Bain Bridge Island. I was very excited because I had never taken a ferry to the island. We were at a beautiful park sitting on a bench with an amazing view of Seattle when Casper popped the question. Photographer: Derek Chad Photography

From that first day I knew he was the man of my life I came home and shared the news with my roommates and they could tell I was very excited about this Casper. We went on a few more dates which were non-typical in by any means. Our second date we went to ghost hunting. Who take someone on a date to go ghost hunting? Casper does. Our third date was my choice, and being the sap that I am I chose to go watch the re-release of Beauty and the Beast. He didn’t say no, but when we got to the theater he refused to buy gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 67


Engagements

MEGAN & JESS Hillary Leah Photography

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Megan reached out to me in April for help with capturing her proposal to Jess. She knew that she wanted to marry Jess, and she knew that she wanted to propose soon. They had already looked at rings months ago and picked one out tentatively. After much planning, we decided to trick Jess with a “free photo shoot.” I’ve known Megan since middle school and I sent Megan a fake email asking her if she would like to model with her girlfriend, Jess, for some free portraits. Jess quickly said yes, and was so excited to get dressed up for the occasion. Jess started to catch on to the “free photo shoot”, so Megan called the jewelry company and got them to send a fake email as well, stating that Jess’ ring was on backorder and wouldn’t be here till June. Jess and Megan were troopers and drove from Birmingham, AL to Roswell, GA and took pictures early in the morning. We walked around Roswell, snapping pictures and trickled our way down to the Historic Roswell Mill Waterfalls. Megan and I had agreed upon a “code word” that week that was “Megan, make Jess smile.” Jess started giggling and Megan started her proposal speech. Jess’ jaw dropped and Megan got on one knee and asked Jess to marry her. It was a perfect proposal and incredibly romantic with the water in the background.

night, but we never met up. I still checked her out on Instagram and liked her pictures so much so that she slid in a “DM” and said “are you going to keep liking all my pictures or are you going to say something?” We started talking and I got her number. Our talking fizzled out. I met her in person at the beach some time later and I said “hey” to which she replied “I know who you are” (salty), then we both went out one night in Birmingham. Four months after the beach incident, she had a tragic event happen and I was there for her that night, the next day, and we haven’t stopped since.” From Jess: “That weekend we had gone to Georgia for Mother’s Day and what I thought was just a regular photo shoot just to have some pictures of the two of us. Megan’s friend Hilary, had sent me a message on Instagram saying she wanted to expand her portfolio with LGBT couples and that she would do it for free. So I thought why not. That

Sunday morning, we had to be at the location at 7:30 in the morning. I’m not at all a morning person, and getting up at 5:30 that morning... I was not a happy camper. The entire car ride I was complaining about being up that early for these pictures, on top of the fact that it was the ONE weekend where we had a cold spell. And I had chosen a sun dress and sandals for my outfit. When we arrived I kept complaining about the cold and how tired I was, having absolutely no idea what was in store for me. As we walked to the location, I also started complaining about the fact that I didn’t have my ring yet and how the pictures would’ve been so much better with it. I also had received an email from the place we had custom designed a ring, and he said that the ring would not be ready until a lot later. I didn’t find out until after the proposal that both of those

From Megan on how they met: “We met because our mutual friends were telling us we were perfect for each other, but neither of us were ready for anything serious at the time. We were supposed to meet out one gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 69


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emails were fake and everyone possible knew about this plan but myself. Needless to say I was a complete brat that morning. We went through the motions and took a lot of shots, and then we arrived at a water fall for a few pictures. The entire morning, Hilary would tell us to talk to one another throughout the shoot so that she could capture true emotion. Standing in front of the waterfall, Megan starts to talk a lot, and I thought she was doing what we were told to do so I kept telling her to be quiet so that Hilary could tell us how she wanted to pose. At that point Megan grabbed my arms and said “no, listen to me”. Still having no idea, she started giving her speech... it wasn’t until she got emotional and choked up a little that I realized what was about to happen. The moment I had been waiting for. She got down on one knee and time stopped for a minute, there was no one in the world but us. And from that moment on I couldn’t wait until the day I could call her my wife.”

Photographer: Hillary Leah Photography Jewelry: Anthony & Co Other Location: Roswell Mill gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 71


Engagements

JESSICA & ALLYSA Sarah Goldman Photography

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From the photographer: Jess and Aly met at Elon University when they were undergraduates. Aly was a softball player and Jess a basketball player, and they met through mutual friends. In 2015, Jess flew down to Miami (where Aly is from) to visit her during a four day Christmas break. Aly rented a beautiful condo on the beach for the two of them. One evening at sunset, Aly took Jess down to the marina pier and popped the question. Jess’s ring is from Eden Jewelry in Burlington, NC (now closed) and Aly’s ring is from Kay Jewelers. They will exchange wedding bands during the ceremony as well. They haven’t set a date for the wedding since Jess is finishing grad school, but they plan to pick a date by December and start planning. Jess and Aly were vacationing on Folly Beach this month and decided to do their engagement session at the far east end of Folly where there are views of Morris Island Lighthouse. It was a cold blustery day, so after 30 minutes on the beach we went into town to take some shots with Aly’s firefighter uniform.

Photographer: Sarah Goldman Photography Jewelry: Eden Jewelry of Burlington Ring Designer: Kay Jewelers Event Venue: Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 73


Engagements

ADAM & LOGAN Elevate Photography

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Adam and Logan started their engagement session at Sweet Cow Ice Cream. Photographer: Elevate Photography

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Engagements

DANIEL & CAMERON Jessica Hunt Photography

HOW, WHEN AND WHERE DID YOU MEET? “Cameron and I met November 6th, 2014 after weeks of talking…. on Grindr! Cameron spotted me at South Carolina Pride but was too shy to say hello that day, then he found me!!” says Daniel. We had our first date at Cantina 76 in Columbia, where we sat and talked for hours! I knew then that something was special about this! WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOURSELVES OPPOSITES? OR MORE SIMILAR? As much as we are opposite, we are the same. If you would have asked us this when we first met, we both would have said opposites! Over the years together, we have adapted a few traits of one another and I believe that makes our relationship even better! We have always had the same love and appreciation for Broadway, Beyoncé, and Babs but I’m not sure I’ll ever convince Cameron to love college football! WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES YOU HAVE HAD TO OVERCOME IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP? Cameron was accepted to medical school at OUHCOM, so we moved from Columbia, South Carolina to Cleveland, Ohio in June 2017. One year before the wedding and not knowing anyone in the area was definitely a challenge in the beginning; but having each other and a strong support system back home in South Carolina made the transition a lot easier than expected. TELL US ABOUT THE PLANS FOR YOUR WEDDING. WILL IT BE BIG, SMALL? Our wedding is being held at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia, South Carolina. We will be surrounded

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by 175 of our close friends and family from across the country. It’s bound to be an evening for the books with the special things we have planned. We want this to be a party that everyone remembers and leaves with a huge smile on their face and love in their heart! DO YOU PLAN TO START A FAMILY AFTER YOU ARE MARRIED? We plan on starting a family within 4-5 years from now. We want to make sure that we are both able to commit to the challenges that parents face before bringing a child into our lives. Both of us being only children, we are looking forward to having one or two children of our own but until then it will be the furbabies!! WHEN LIFE GETS BUSY, WHAT DO YOU DO TO STAY FOCUSED ON EACH OTHER? Life can get hectic with a first year medical student, but we always take time for date nights. Whether it’s a planned event, or spur of the moment, just enjoying each other’s company outside of home is well deserved!! I also really enjoy cooking, so having dinner together is always a nice way to talk about each other’s day and spend some quality time together. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A COUPLE THAT IS NEWLY ENGAGED? Learn that patience really IS a virtue. Things will get tough, but you will get through it!

Photographer: Jessica Hunt Photography gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 77


hen I think of style, class, and high profile events, I have always thought of bow ties. For some reason, they just give me the feeling and look of sophistication, so I have always included one in my outfits for any major event I attend in the past few years. Recently I met Jorge Santana, President of Gay Pride Bow Ties, and he shared with me that he would like people to think of equality when they see, wear, or think of his ties. The mission of his company is to unify people and make a difference in the world.

W

Gay Pride Bow Ties were recently at Kansas City Pride, the PFLAG National Convention in Portland, and I’m sure quite a few samesex weddings. I am so excited to wear mine this fall and winter for the formal events I know I’ll be attending. The neat thing about these ties is that five dollars from each tie sold is donated to various nonprofits, depending on the style you purchase. This means

you look good and do good at the same time! Gay Pride Bow Ties are made of fine silk and are high quality pieces to add to any dapper guy’s wardrobe. With the various styles, there is sure to be one that fits your personality perfectly and there are even pre-made ties for those of us who just can’t get the hang of tying a perfect looking bow tie. How many of us like to wear something that stands out and makes a statement? I’m sure most of us would love to have a special piece in our collection that will make us look sharp and grab attention wherever we go. Plus in the age of selfies, I must say, Gay Pride Bow Ties make for quite a picture and post! And trust me, they aren’t just for same-sex weddings, you can rock these classy ties at any wedding or event! When I asked Jorge about what he hopes for the future of Gay Pride Bow Ties he responded, “The next step is to create the best bow tie for breast cancer and that for every $400 donated it will help 12 women battling breast cancer to get a wig. If people start purchasing the product and don’t care about the name Gay Pride Bow Ties, then we have done our part. We hope to create more bow ties like this in the future. “ Thomas (Tommy) Geraci writes for www.teeco71.com . (Left: Chris Miller attended his cousin’s wedding wearing his Gay Pride Bow Tie.)

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GAY PRIDE BOW TIES gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 79


GayWeddingsmag.com We are all at different stages of our relationships. GWM provides tools and tips for success during each of them.

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wedding prep

BOARDING YOUR PET WHILE HONEMOONING

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ou did it. You tied the knot and the stress of wedding planning has come to an end. The honeymoon is around the corner and you’re all set to go. But wait! What about your dogs? Will they be taken care of when you’re enjoying a relaxing getaway with your new spouse? Have no fear. Boarding your dogs is a great way to make sure your pets are safe and well cared for while you are out of town. So, how might you prepare your dog for their stay at a boarding facility? When researching boarding facilities, choose one that offers live-stream cameras so you can check in on your dog. You can visit www.onlinedoggy.com to see which facilities offer live stream cameras, and take virtual tours of different facilities in your area. Businesses who offer livestream cameras provide a realtime look into what your dog is up to! Being able to check in on your pet real-time gives peace of mind so you can enjoy your honeymoon without worry. But be careful – watching the dogs play can be very addictive! Always double-check facility reviews online (Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook and other social media platforms). It’s better to bring your dogs to a boarding facility that has more positive reviews than negative reviews. If possible, take your dog to the boarding facility PRIOR to packing. If your dog watches you

pack, they may get stressed out and anxious because they know you are leaving. Pack one extra day of food/ medication just in case travel plans get delayed. Also, dogs who are more active in group play burn more calories and should get a bit more food each meal to compensate for increased activity level. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN PREPARE: Make sure your dog is in good health. Traveling can be stressful for any pet, so it’s better for a dog who may have some health ailments to stay home unless absolutely necessary. Get up to date vaccines and a health certificate from your veterinarian. You never know if you will run into sick or unvaccinated dogs while vacationing. Carrying vaccination records or an official health certificate is good to have in case anyone questions your dog’s health.

with tags that have your updated address and phone number(s). If your dog has a microchip, update that information as well. It can be life-saving if for some reason your dog gets lost. Bring plenty of food, treats and toys. Give your dog lots of treats and praise for being well behaved while you are traveling. Pack extra food in case of travel delays. Toys are important so your dog has something fun to do at your final destination. So go on, have fun and prepare your dog for the honeymoon, whether he/she will be staying with a boarding staff or traveling alongside you and your spouse. Fido will appreciate the hard work that was put in to making them comfortable! Author: Amanda Yantos, owner of Dog Mom Days. Find more valuable information for pet parents at www.dogmomdays.com.

Pack something that smells like home. Whether you are traveling by airplane, car or train, having an item of clothing or a blanket that smells like home will bring your dog comfort. Have proper identification on your dog. Make sure they are wearing a collar gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 81


Real Weddings

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CORINA & CORYNN April 29, 2017 / Images by Amber Robinson

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Real Weddings TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING! WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR DAY? We choose to do a destination wedding because we wanted to spend quality time with all of our family and friends who live in various part of the US. We knew that travel would be involved for almost everyone so why not pick a location that was worth the trip! We hosted 35 of our closest family and friends for a wonderful weekend in Cancun, Mexico. The wedding was inspired by our love for travel and beautiful beaches. The theme for our wedding was beach glam. The Hard Rock Hotel Cancun provided fun for everyone and all the food and drinks on could ever want. We had an amazing Zip line experience with our guest the day before the wedding. It was a trip to remember!

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LET’S TALK WEDDING DECOR. HOW DID YOU DECORATE YOUR SPACE FOR THE CEREMONY AND THE RECEPTION? For our wedding décor I wanted to keep things simple with a focus on the beautiful landscape and the amazing ocean in Cancun. The colors for the wedding were white and gold. I added a reoccurring theme of palms for a pop of a color. For the ceremony we had all white decor with a palm and ivory floral arrangement on the huppah. The reception was decorated with white linens and gold accents. I did a lot of DIY for the wedding reception. My pride and joy though are the gold foiled invitations that I did myself. Our cake was ivory with gold leaf frills...beautiful! We also had a map of Cancun that were our guest could leave us a message. WHAT WERE THE FLORALS LIKE IN YOUR WEDDING? The florals for my wedding were wonderful. We had a large floral arrangement on the huppah for our ceremony. We had large Palm centerpieces. My bouquet along with my bridesmaids were amazing, exactly what I requested. I do think that the fresh florals added to the elegance of the evening. WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PARTS OF YOUR WEDDING? We personalized our wedding in the music we selected. We are both huge music buffs. We spent months perfecting the perfect playlist. I

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Real Weddings

think that in the songs we choose our personality and love for one another was able to really shine. Our favorite part of the wedding was the first dance. It was perfect and we even ended it with fireworks! LET’S TALK FASHION. HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING DAY LOOK? When we first got engaged, I started looking for dresses online. I came across a gorgeous Sophia Tolli gown. After researching and finding out the exact style I went to a bridal shop to try it on and I was in love. It was the first wedding purchase I made. I had a gold crystal head piece with gold and crystal drop earrings. My shoes came from David’s Bridal and were gold and crystal embellished sandals. Corynn was really easy to dress. The heat was a big concern...so we immediately decided no suit, no vests. So we went with Classic black pants and white dress shirt with suspenders. I loved her look and I know we will like it when we look back later. HOW DID YOU MEET? My wife and I met in high school. We were in the same history class. We stayed in touch throughout the years and eventually ended up working at the same place after college. When we realized we worked together we went to lunch and the rest was history. We dated for about two years before our first trip to Cancun. On our first night there before we headed out to dinner, Corynn called me out to the balcony to watch the Sunset. To my surprise she got down on one knee with a custom engagement ring, and asked me to spend my life with her. I was in total shock.

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WHAT WAS THE MOST ANTICIPATED OR SPECIAL MOMENT OF YOUR WEDDING DAY? Saying I do! We had a 14 month engagement so I was just ready to be married after all of the planning and logistics that go along with a destination wedding. I also really enjoyed spending time with all of our guest. Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day? My advice to all brides it to do what you and your fiancé want. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for clarity, or request to make changes. This is your day, don’t forget to enjoy the moment. It is true what they say that it all goes by so quick so make sure that you take a moment during the day to really sit back and take it all in.

Photographer: Images by Amber Robinson Dress Designer: Sophia Tolli Makeup Artist: Mac Cancun Design and Decor: Weddings by Zuñiga Productions Cake Designer: Arte en Pastel DJ: DJ Doremixx Floral Designer: Maya Floral Cinema and Video: Ashton Kelley Photography Event Venue: Hard Rock Cafe Hotel - Cancun gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 87


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ALEX & KATIE July 9, 2016 / Third Eye Photography

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Alex and Katie were married among their closest friends and family in Crested Butte CO. The backdrop of the Rocky Mountains paled in comparison to the love between them. They were married outdoors by a lake with Paradise Divide in the background. Their intimate reception dinner followed at the unique Sunflower Restaurant where family and friends spoke of the perfection of this couple. Photographer: Third Eye Photography Equipment Rentals: Settings Event Rental Musicians: Bill Dowell Music Event Planner: Blue Bird Weddings and Events Restaurant: Sunflower

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on the cover

KENNY & JUSTIN Velvet Sage Photography

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W

e met in high school of all places! It took us about 3 years of friendship before we actually began dating and 13 years later here we are. If it wasn’t for an incredible foundation of trust I don’t think we would be here, together, today. Trust has allowed us to be completely ourselves with each other. There is no doubt or fear, only excitement and adventure. We are best friends! We have our own friends and activities but we always find the most comfort in the company of each other. If you truly enjoy the person you are with and you both have established that trust you have some of the most important qualities of a lasting relationship.

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JACKIE & KIRSTYN May 21, 2016 / BG Productions

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Real Weddings

HOW DID YOU MEET? We met at fox Chase Cancer Center where we both worked as radiation therapists. How long have you been together? We have been together six and a half wonderful years! WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME AS A COUPLE? Being a same sex couple we were really scared to start planning our wedding thinking that most people would not accept our marriage. But everyone we worked with was very open minded and accepting of us. It made the whole experience so much more enjoyable. WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE? Jackie’s Response- Kirstyn is hands down

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the best person I know. The thing I love most about Kirstyn is her willingness to see the good in everything and everyone. She loves life to the fullest in anything she does and I admire that so much. She also sees the best in me and accepts all my flaws with open arms. Having Kirstyn by my side everyday makes this life so much better than I could have ever hoped for. Kirstyn’s response- There really isn’t anything I don’t love about Jackie. She is the funniest, kindest, and most loving woman I’ve ever met. She protects me and cares for me in all aspects of life. I would be completely lost in this world without her. She is my soul mate, my rock, and the peanut butter to my jelly. I guess if I had to pick the thing I love most about her is the feeling I get whenever I’m around her. The world could be crumbling around us, but I know I’m safe in her arms. DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING DAY: The wedding day was absolutely, positively the best day of our lives! After checking the weather for the day of our wedding for days in advance and hoping it would change from rain to sun, it still rained. And when I say rain I mean rain, it poured almost all day. Thankfully it broke for about an hour which was just enough time for Jackie and I to have our first look outside behind the barn where our reception would be held. We even snuck in some pictures around the venue that we thought wouldn’t be possible with all the rain. The ceremony took place in a spectacular white barn complete with rose petals and lanterns down the aisle. We gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 95


Real Weddings

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said our ‘I do’s’ in front of 175 of our amazingly supportive and loving family and friends. We took some more pictures and then we danced! We danced the night away! Because of the rain everyone had to stay inside and had no other choice but to get on the dance floor which remained packed to the max for the entire reception. WERE THERE ANY SURPRISES (GOOD OR BAD) THAT HAPPENED? This venue was so appealing to us because of the huge beautiful barn where the reception was held. The one wall of the barn opens all the way up looking out to this courtyard with a fire pit, yards games and streaming white lights. We pictured everyone hanging out under the lights enjoying this beautiful day. So when we realized it was going to rain, we thought our wedding day would be ruined. It actually ended up being a blessing in disguise because it forced everyone to stay inside and enjoy the dance floor. The wedding coordinator said they


have never seen so many people on the dance floor for that long of a period having so much fun. Also our pictures outside with the umbrellas were absolutely amazing, we couldn’t have asked for anything more. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Planning a wedding can become very stressful but just remember to enjoy every minute of it because it comes and goes way to fast. NOW THAT THE WEDDING IS OVER, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS OR FUTURE PLANS AS A MARRIED COUPLE? After the wedding we wanted to start growing our family right away. In June 2017 we had our beautiful daughter, who is the greatest thing that has ever happened to both of us. Our future plan is to have three or four kids and live every day to the fullest.

Photographer: BG Productions Ceremony & Reception Site: Stoltzfus Homestead and Gardens Caterer: Festive Board Catering Wedding Cake: Inspired Confections Florist: Megan Waltman Hair: Grace Raisch Makeup: Laura Wilson Music: Klock Entertainment Videographer: BG Productions gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 97


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SUMARA & EMILY June 10, 2017 / Nicole Anne Photography

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Real Weddings

FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Sumara was sharing a story to me about the day before the wedding. Her parents sat her down and asked her if she was sure she wanted to marry Emily. It wasn’t that they didn’t agree with her choice, they just wanted to make sure that she knew that Emily was the one for her. Sumara was a bit taken back by this question (not knowing that they posed this question to each of her sisters as well) and responded “Emily is the ONLY thing that I am sure of, about this wedding” The girls decided to do a first look to take some of the pressure off of walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time. Sumara’s reaction was the best I have ever seen! She was floored by the way Emily looked and Emily was speechless, all she could do was smile. The ceremony took place in Emily’s sister’s backyard overlooking Tracadie Bay in Prince Edward Island. After the quick ceremony and family photos, everyone gathered at the PEI Brewing Company for the reception. The decor at the brewery is both rustic and elegant. The large chandeliers and exposed barn wood beams are so gorgeous, that little decor is required to make this venue one to remember. Photographer: Nicole Anne photography Band: Runaway Dawnson Transportation: Eclipse Entertainment Dress Store: The Perfect Pear Bridal Makeup Artist: Amy Barker Cake Designer: Julie MacEachern Hair Stylist: Laura McQuillan Floral Designer: Elizabeth’s Garden Florist Other: Vista Print Reception Venue: PEI Brewing Company

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he creators of Little Black Tux noticed just how difficult of a time women were having finding a tuxedo made for women. Typically women resorted to renting a man’s tuxedo or when finding

T

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a women’s tuxedo it would be priced exorbitantly. Well, look no further ladies! Little Black Tux offers the highest quality product exclusively designed and manufactured for women. We offer sophisticated yet chic tuxedos that are a perfect combination of virility yet feminine that have women feeling possessed with confidence and empowerment for any occasion at a price you cannot contest. Whether you are looking for the more traditional look or for a more modern contemporary look, our collection consists of variety of styles from our jackets to pants fulfilling and achieving the full tuxedo look while complimenting each woman’s personal style. Perfect for every occasion for any woman that is searching for an alternative to a gown. For wedding’s bride’s, bridesmaids, grooms woman, to mother of the bride are wearing our tuxedo leaving them feeling empowered and confident for the very special occasion. From wedding’s, prom’s, birthday’s, black tie affair’s, or even just a GNO our tuxedos achieve the perfect outfit for any event. Our tuxedos are also not just a one time investment. Our designs are timeless. Some of our favorite looks are when our jackets and pants get repurposed to fit back into your personal style. By simply pairing our tuxedo jacket with your favorite jeans ladies can roll and scrunch up their

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sleeves and go street chic. From AM to PM or PM to AM our Little Black Tux will compliment you again and again.

www.littleblacktux.com www.facebook.com/littleblacktux www.instagram.com/littleblacktux

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Real Weddings

STEFAN & KEVIN May 20, 2017 / Derek Chad Photography

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HOW DID YOU TWO MEET? We actually met on line while Stefan was on vacation doing a tour of the entire state of California. It was 2 days before Stefan was to return to The U.K. Although not expected we hit it off and managed to stay in touch and travel around the world to meet up with one another every 6-8 weeks. After about a year of living long distance, Stefan made the plunge to move to San Diego so that we could foster our growing relationship and to take it to the next level.�

Venue: San Diego Museum of Art Photographer: Derek Chad Photography Videographer: ByDesign Films Rentals: Hire Elegance and Hostess Haven Linens/Napkins: La Tavola Event Design and Coordination: Luxe Events Florist: Isari Catering: Vetted Table Bar Service: Blind Lady Ale House Musicians: Lucky Devils Band Transportation: Gold Coast Pianist: Jonathan Coyle Officiate: Jolene Coffee Service: Euro Bar

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR VENUE? After visiting multiple locations, we picked Balboa Park, specifically the SD Museum of art. It was perfect as I the architecture and design resembled that of Europe. Having the beautiful European architecture in San Diego signifies Stefan’s culture moving into mine.

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Real Weddings

AARON & GREG April 30, 2016 / Gillian Claire Photography

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From the photographer: Those that fall in love with their best friend, are the luckiest in love I think. Aaron and Greg were lucky enough to find each other. Spend any amount of time around these two and you can tell that life is just one big basket of fun! Greg is definitely more outspoken, Aaron a little more reserved. Greg is hilarious! I love that he says whatever comes to mind. Aaron, being a lawyer, has everything in order and organized. They are different personalities but they complement each other well. Most importantly they absolutely adore each other. You can’t help but notice the way they look at each other – how comfortable they are. Their wedding day was absolutely beautiful – a little windy – but beautiful. I love that they helped each other prepare for the day. They didn’t want to do anything traditional or typical – I love when clients deviate from the “normal” and just do what works for them. It makes the day extremely personal. Then, surrounded by very close family and friends at their beautiful home, they vowed to stand by each other’s side for the rest of their days.

Photographer: Gillian Claire Floral Designer: Carolina Charm Cake Designer: Coccadots - Myrtle Beach Bakery: Croissants Bistro & Bakery gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 111


Real Weddings

VIOLETTE & LINDA October 29, 2016 / Captured by The Gawnes

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HOW DID YOU MEET? Linda and I first connected on an app called Coffee Meets Bagel. Before we had a chance to go our first date we bumped into each other at a Meetup event. I invited myself on a challenging run Linda had planned for the next morning. I miraculously survived the 8 mile run and must’ve passed some test, because then I made it to the first date and it’s been magical since then! HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER? We have been together since February 2015. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME AS A COUPLE? Going through too many transitions in one year. In one year, Violette graduated from fellowship and started a private practice, we bought a house and moved in together, and then planned an out of state wedding! WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE? Linda loves me for me! Violette loves me for me as well. Plus, she makes me laugh every day! DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING DAY: It was a whirlwind of activity full of dancing and drinks with our closest family and friends. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART: The ceremony. Sharing our vows. It was what I imagine heaven to be like. WERE THERE ANY SURPRISES (GOOD/BAD) THAT HAPPENED? The nieces and nephews loved our activity bags and they had a blast dancing it up on the dance floor. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING

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THEIR WEDDING? Do what feels right for the both of you. This celebration isn’t for your family or friends. It’s for you two! So do what you want, when you want, and with whom you want. NOW THAT THE WEDDING IS OVER, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS OR FUTURE PLANS AS A MARRIED COUPLE? Travel with my best friend!

Photographer: Gawne Designs Wedding day of planner: Mollee Fitzgerald Ceremony/Reception Site: Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Catering/cake also provided by the resort Floral: Alexis Grace Florals Clothing: Linda is wearing a BHLDN dress + Jimmy Choo heels. Violette is wearing a BOSS suit and ECCO boots Hair & Makeup: Ecaterina’s A Touch of Europe

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GIOVANNI & BRIAN February 17, 2017 / Jon Montis Photography

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HOW DID YOU MEET? Brian and I met online in 2008. Our first date was at a coffee shop in Tampa. At the time I was studying for my MBA and he was finishing up residency at USF. We both enjoyed each others company and have been together ever since. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER? Brian and I have been together for 9 and a half years. We decided to get married on Feb. 17, 2017. WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE? What I love most about Brian is his sincerity, love, and appreciation for things. He makes everyone feel important, appreciated, and is very respectful. He is above all a caring individual. He is simply the best! DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING DAY: Our wedding day was very special. We were surrounded by friends and family who have supported us throughout the years. We held the ceremony and reception on a beautiful Friday, afternoon at the Powel Crosley Estate in Sarasota, Florida. The weather was perfect, clear skies, and no rain. We both love being close to the water and decided early on we wanted a location that felt like a destination. We also did not want to impose on our friends and opted for a location that would be convenient for most to travel to and stay for the weekend. The ceremony was held in the pavilion area of the venue by the bay, and we decided to arrive to our ceremony by boat as a surprise to everyone. The wedding party waited for us to arrive at the steps of the dock,

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Real Weddings

and then we proceeded with the processional portion of the ceremony. The ceremony was held right around 6:30pm just in time for sunset. Once the ceremony was over, guests were invited to enjoy cocktails in the Estate. The reception was held on the outside lawn overlooking the bay. Our theme for the evening was Great Gatsby. The area was decorated with hanging chandeliers and string lights. The dance floor was also decorated with a larger chandelier floating in the air. We could not have imagined a more perfect reception. The meal served was a combination of Brian’s southern background and my latin background. Our caterer ensured to serve items that were delicious and representative of our cultures. The cake was a three tier cake. Brian had a “bleeding armadillo grooms cake” in homage to his favorite film Steel Magnolias. Needless to say the evening was perfect and everything felt to go by so fast. We thank our family and friends for making our special day all the better. WERE THERE ANY SURPRISES THAT HAPPENED? Our big surprise was arriving by boat to the ceremony. We also departed by boat. Everyone was surprised. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Our advice is for couples to make sure they take time to enjoy the wedding. Don’t stress over the small things. Make sure your wedding coordinator saves food, and cake topper (for your 1st year anniversary). The evening goes by so fast, and it is important to sit back and enjoy it all.

Photographer: Jon Montis Photography Ceremony/Reception Site: Powel Crosley Estate Caterer: Milan Catering Wedding Cake: Hands On Sweets Cakes Florist: Florals by Giovanny Culi Clothing/Gowns/Suits: Sartoria Rossi, Rome Italy Makeup: Monique McLaughlin Music/DJ: DJ by CJ Linens/Rentals/Lighting: Milan Catering Invitations: Allegra Printing and Design - Tampa, FL Videographer: Dream Reel Video 122 GWM / Winter 2017


Design

10

BEST BUDGET DECORATION IDEAS FOR NEWLYWEDS

Y

ou’ve just tied the knot, paid for the honeymoon and purchase the home of your dreams. You’ve also invested in a home warranty to cover breakdowns of major home systems and appliances. So right now may not seem like the best time to tackle and extensive home decoration project. Or is it? With my top ten easy and inexpensive decorating tips, you can create a beautiful and comfortable living space as you begin your life together.

By Todd Russell Buying inexpensive second hand pieces gives you the latitude to follow the latest design trends. It’s also a way to deal with your ever evolving design sense. Your taste as a couple will likely go through a number of changes before you settle into your desired style.

Update finishes around the house with a fresh coat of paint and a few tweaks. Take that ugly brass chandler and spray it with satin nickel paint. Revive kitchen cabinets from the 60’s by painting them white adding new hard ware and installing glass doors. Cut out the center panel of the cabinet door and replace it with clear or seeded glass inserts. Refresh switch plates and outlet covers. It’s easy to change damaged or dirty on with clean replacements.

SPRUCE UP THE FRONT DOOR Your front door is the first impression guests have of your new house, and you want to make the most of it. Paint the door a very eye-catching high gloss paint. Classic colors include bright red, black, or blue. If you want your door to be distinctive and make a big impression use yellow or orange. These colors have symbolized happiness and hospitality. BUY SECONDHAND Purchasing furniture pieces and accessories from flea markets, yard sales and thrift stores isn’t entirely about saving money.

frames with black and white photos, botanical images from a calendar, or your own creations. Be sure to unify the fames by painting them white, gray, gold or black. UPDATE OUTDATED FINISHES

BRING FABRIC CREATE A GALLERY WALL Purchase an assortment of cheap picture frames from flea markets or local discount stores to create a focal point. The entire wall behind the sofa or up the staircase is a great place for these pictures. Make your gallery even more impressive by pairing the

You don’t need to undertake a major redesign to add style to your home. A little bit of fabric will breathe life into any space. Fabrics are a great wat to bring color and texture into your home. Inexpensive throw pillows on the sofa or new dining chair pads add instant pops of color. Fabric store remnants, clearance bed gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 123


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sheets or table cloths can be fashioned into placemats, shower curtains, window treatments and dinner napkins. If you have an upholstered chair with good bones but tired fabric, consider making a slip cover to highlight its beauty and extent its life. KEEP WALL NEUTRAL If you are choosing colors and painting walls for the first time, stick with neutrals like gray, beige or taupe to maintain a comfortable flow throughout the house. Light, neutral colors allow for flexibility when choosing furniture and accessories. If neither of you is comfortable picking paint colors try this trick: select a paint strip in the color family you like. Go with one of the lighter tones then move up and down a shade or two to create a subtle variation from room to room. EMBRACE THE MINIMAL LOOK When you’re starting out, it’s tempting to buy everything you want at one time to fill up space. You may even be home décor fanatics, but resist the urge to fall into the clutter trap. Keep things

clean and simple. Take your time and purchase items that you love. This way your furnishings will look like a natural extension of your personalities. ADD PLANTS TO YOUR DESIGN Including plants in your interior design adds visual interest to your rooms. Potted plants, floral arrangements or a simple herb garden will add life and fragrance to your home. Indoor plants are also beneficial to your health. They release oxygen, increase humidity levels and help purify the air. CREATE INEXPENSIVE ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS Create architecture where none exists. Use painter’s tape to make painted crown molding or a classic chair frail effect. Employ the same technique to create the illusion of picture frame molding on expansive walls. With faux molding you add a dimension and traditional appeal for very little money. BRIGHTEN ROOMS WITH MIRRORS Mirrors make a space brighter by

reflecting light. Interior designers like me suggest hanging mirrors on wall adjacent to windows rather than directly across from them. Mirrors can also make a cramped room appear larger by doubling what the eye perceives to be additional space. Decorating your first home as newlyweds can be very challenging. My advice is to prioritize the projects. Nothing looks better than a home that has gathered things over time. Believe me it is leaps and bounds over having the furniture showroom deliver the exact matching set up you saw in the showroom. Now it will be even easier to surround yourself in beautiful home décor. Be sure to shop my new home collection at bluedothome market.com Design is everything. EVERYTHING! Todd Russell is a professional Interior Designer with over 20 years experience in helping couples create unique living spaces. He can be found on his Facebook page Blue Dot Interiors. https://www.facebook.com/ bluedotinteriors gayweddingsmag.com / GWM 125


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ISRAEL & SHANE September 29, 2017 / Derek Chad Photography

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Israel and Shane were married on September 29th at Rancho Las Lomas.

Photographer: Derek Chad Photography Event Designer: Queen Tut Events Cinema and Video: Derek Chad Photograph Officiant: Pundit Shukavak Caterer: Nitraj Caterer: 24 Carrots Catering Floral Designer: Not Just in Novels Location: Rancho Las Lomas Equipment Rentals: Signature Party Rentals Linens and Coverings: La tavola Fine Linen Rental Equipment Rentals: Sundrop Vintage Equipment Rentals: Found Rentals Band: Mariachi 3 Generaciones DJ: Legacy DJ - Sound – Lighting

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GREG & VON November 6, 2016 / MNA photography

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING! We wanted a relaxed and comfortable day with love as the focus. We wanted to share the day with very close friends and family and had just 45 guests at the wedding. The theme of the wedding was Fall casual chic and our color palette was gray, navy gold, silver and white. Our officiant was one of our best friends of 25+ years. She specifically got her officiant license to perform our wedding. We had the pleasure of writing all of the ceremony readings vows with her pulling from several traditions, including Christian, Non-Denominational, and non-secular weddings. We even had our groomsman sing “Stand by you” by Rachel Platten during the ceremony which was absolutely beautiful. HOW DID YOU MEET? We met in September of 2010 through one of our dear friends. We started taking rod trips throughout the State of Georgia and quickly formed a deep relationship both as friends and partners in life. After six years together, Marc knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Greg after they both faced a number of personal and family setbacks yet they still preserved and they were always there for one another with their love and support. DO YOU HAVE ANY WEDDING PLANNING OR MARRIAGE ADVICE THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? Our advice to couples planning their wedding is to be realistic with the outcomes of your wedding. Don’t try to focus so much on the extravagance of the wedding. The beauty of your day comes from the simplicity of your experience and the love of your family and friends there. At the end of the day, you want to remember the most special parts of your day not your bridezilla moments!

Photographer: MNA Photography Event Venue: Roswell River Landing

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Broadway WEEKENDS ROADWAY WEEKENDS is the frst musical theater camp experience for adults. All events are conceived, created and led by a group of working Broadway actors, dancers and musicians.

B

BROADWAY WEEKENDS began in January 2017, with the team using grassroots methods to get the word out - even fyering the daily discount ticket lines in Times Square! Word soon spread. 130 GWM / Winter 2017

Participants have travelled from all across America to attend 2017’s events. Some participants have turned BROADWAY WEEKENDS into a mini vacation, attending with loved ones and seeing Broadway shows in the evenings. Other’s have attended to sing and dance with Broadway stars as a ‘once in a lifetime’ bucket list experience. And many have attended as ex theater kids who totally understand the concept

and can’t wait to dive back into their theater training days – if only for a few days. In 2018 BROADWAY WEEKENDS will begin creating and hosting private events for bachelor/ bachelorette parties. The team will work to create an event that suites the abilities, wants and size of the group. Prior to the event the team will send easy to follow audio tracks with solo lines and group singing


lines - bass, tenor, alto and soprano - giving everyone a chance to belt it out in the shower! On the day of the event participants will learn the music, the choreography and fully stage the number. Friends and family are invited to attend the fnal performance and a videographer and photographer will be there to capture the moment for anyone who missed it. All teachers at BROADWAY WEEKENDS share an overwhelming passion and love for performing, and have witnessed frst hand the joy and community created when people perform together. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love. Visit www.broadwayweekends.com for more information or email info@ broadwayweekends.com.

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Ve l v e t S a g e P h o t o g r a p h y

Gay Weddings and Marriage Winter 2017  
Gay Weddings and Marriage Winter 2017  

Gay Weddings and Marriage Magazine goes beyond wedding day tips to address the needs of LGBTQ families and marriage. Advice from wedding coo...