Gay Weddings and Marriage Magazine Summer 2018

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Marriage Family Home



from the editor




Marriage Family Home


t feels cliché to say that I can’t believe the year is flying by so quickly, but it’s true. School is out; the kids are home; and we are diving into our summer plans. What to look forward to? So much! We are headed to Boston to experience all that it has to offer. (Watch for a special Boston Wedding Venue feature in the Winter Edition.) A trip to Denver to visit friends is on the horizon as well, and some much needed nights-out with friends will be on the to-do list. Many of you are gearing up for your wedding this summer. Don’t forget the main bit of advice that our couples and planners all agree on: take some time for you. Couples will get overwhelmed working to make their special day enjoyable for guests, but they often forget to slow down and take a much-needed break. Breath. Visit a day-spa. Plan a date night. Don’t let the chaos take over your life. (I’m aware this is much easier said than done!) Whatever your plans are for this summer; whether they include a wedding or not, take some time for you.

ON THE COVER Erica and Maidel’s wedding can be viewed on page 98. Photographer: mle pictures




Scott Rogers

KNACK Knack is a modern gift giving company created by Laura Jennings, an entrepreneur who has great advice on both holiday gifting and entertaining. Her company has created a highly personalized gift selection technique on their website. Knack is the next big idea that will change the way you shop for all of your gift giving needs.


Donna Capodelupo, Todd Russell


Wendy Clancy, Erik Earl


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 / Summer 2018

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Real Weddings

JENNIFER & JACQUELINE July 1, 2017 / KPC + Co. Photography

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Real Weddings

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING! The inspiration for our wedding day was girly and lots of sparkle! We wanted to make sure that we thought of every detail and made our venue our own. Our colors were soft pink, gray, and white. Jackie and I wanted our guests to be entertained and to transform the space into something beautiful and different. Making sure that everything was done with tiny details in mind and that we created a romantic day full of love with family and friends. DID YOU PERSONALIZE THE DAY IN ANY WAY? Our wedding had a lot of personal touches and that was our goal all along to make sure that the wedding had details that reminded our friends and family of Jackie and I. We both love popcorn and cheese! So we included a popcorn bar in our wedding reception that was a hit, as well as cheese plates for our appetizer that our guests enjoyed. Our cupcakes were also a very personal touch that had many different details and designs Jackie and I discussed We had 200 cupcakes as well as a cutting cakes with glitter and different pinks and grays, as well as three different flavors we loved. We also included baseball aspects into our wedding day, as that is how Jackie and I met, and is something we both adore. Our wedding ceremony included a coin flip with a personalized coin as well as being married over home plate. HOW DID YOU MEET? Jackie and I met through coaching and our matchmaker Andy, who actually performed the coin flip at our ceremony. One night Andy, my old superintendent, called me up randomly to help coach a softball team his daughter was on. I

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ended up becoming the assistant coach to this team that Jackie and her dad coached. We all three made the perfect team and loved coaching these amazing kids. After many practices and games Jackie and I became best friends and soon after that we realized our friendship was much more. We ended up coaching together for 5 years and loved every moment! Jackie actually proposed to me on a family trip to Hawaii! She surprised me after an amazing beach side dinner on Christmas Eve. She gave me a gift on the beach with a ring inside! I melted and cried a ton, and then called my family at home to tell them all about it. Little did Jackie know I had been waiting for this moment and also had a ring to give her. The next morning, Christmas morning, I walked her out onto the beach to give her the ring I had picked out for her. She was ecstatic and so surprised.

Photographer: KPC + Co. Photography Dress Store: I Do Bridal Floral Designer: Urban Floral Design Caterer: Budd Bay Cafe Catering DJ: Landmark DJ Cake Designer: Whimsey Cakes Event Venue: The Aerie Ballroom / GWM 7

Real Weddings

ANTHONY & BRUNO July 15, 2017 / D2 Photography

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HOW DID YOU MEET? We met grocery shopping in NYC.

Real Weddings

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER? 5 years WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME AS A COUPLE? We were fortunate to meet at the right time in our lives. Relationships require work but we have been lucky enough not to have to face any major obstacles. WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE? Anthony’s answer about Bruno: Bruno has a huge heart and an enormous appetite for life. He always brings incredible, positive energy with him wherever he goes. - Bruno’s answer about Anthony: Anthony is so thoughtful about

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how he approaches the world and people around him. Family is important to him, as it is to me and that’s something I admire and value. DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING DAY: Our wedding day literally felt like a dream. It was surreal to be in Tuscany, such a beautiful part of the world, and have all of our closest friends and family with us in one place. WERE THERE ANY SURPRISES THAT HAPPENED? There was some music playing at a neighboring farm that interrupted our ceremony, but / GWM 11

Real Weddings

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every-one had a good laugh and things moved on. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? We only invited our closest friends and family. We made a conscious decision not to invite any-one out of obligation. It made the celebration even more special. NOW THAT THE WEDDING IS OVER, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS OR FUTURE PLANS AS A MARRIED COUPLE? To grow as a family and always be adventurous, no matter how old.

Photographer: D2 Photography: Damiano Salvadori & Donatella Barbera Wedding Consultant: Your Special Happening Ceremony Site: Tenuta di Cinciano Reception Site: Tenuta di Cinciano Caterer/Wedding Cake/Florist/Hair/Makeup/Music & Light: Your Special Happening / GWM 13

Real Weddings

JESSICA & JENNIFER September 17, 2016 / Stacy Story Photography

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able to have our favorite local bar serve cocktails at our reception.

Real Weddings

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING! We both are prolific readers. We wanted to incorporate our love of books into our special day, so we came up with the theme of an old library. LET’S TALK WEDDING DECOR. HOW DID YOU DECORATE YOUR SPACE FOR THE CEREMONY AND THE RECEPTION? We used hundreds of old hardback books and literary quotes in our décor. Our good friend Amber (Jessica’s “Best Girl”) handmade our 10 foot tall wedding arch from hundreds of books that we sourced from second hand stores. We used library cards stamped with our wedding date and signed by our guests instead of a guest book. In 16 GWM / Summer 2018

HOW DID YOU MEET? TELL US ABOUT THE PROPOSAL. We are both nurses in the same hospital and like many couples today we met at work. Our proposal is one of our favorite stories to tell! Jess proposed during a trip to the Mayan Riviera. She booked a romantic dinner on the beach right beside the ocean. Jen didn’t know it, but Jess had stolen her commitment ring and sent it away to be engraved with the date and the question “Will you marry me?” Jen thought she had lost her ring for two months before the vacation! She was frantic and even wanted to tear the baseboards out of the bathroom, where she thought she had lost it. She took a good look at the ring, realized it was the very same one she thought was lost, and then hit her and said “yes!”

lieu of gifts we asked our friends and family to bring a copy of their favorite books to add to our personal library. DID YOU PERSONALIZE THE DAY IN ANY WAY? Some of our first dates involved food trucks and our love for them continued throughout our 10 year relationship leading up to our marriage. It was only natural that we would incorporate them into our wedding. We were able to have our two favorite food trucks there for our special night. One of the highlights for our guests was our cigar bar. We had personalized matchboxes for our friends to take home and we were

WHAT WAS THE MOST ANTICIPATED OR SPECIAL MOMENT OF YOUR WEDDING DAY? For Jen it was a quiet moment before stepping out of the changing room. She took a deep breath and thought “This is it... I never have to go another day without her as long as we are alive.” I married my best friend and the love of my life. Not only are we proclaiming our devotion, we are safe with the knowledge that we are equal and protected under the laws of our country and state. I never have to look at our children and think “what would happen if...” For Jess it was our wedding dance. Neither of us are dancers but it was beautiful and meaningful to have our first dance as newlyweds. Everyone in the room seemed to melt away

and it was just us. DO YOU HAVE ANY WEDDING PLANNING ADVICE THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER COUPLES? Incorporate what you love and makes you unique as a couple. Give yourself plenty of time to plan and make a point of really listening to each other throughout the whole process. Planning can be stressful and hard as a couple, it can seem like it takes over your life! Remember why you are doing this in the first place. Make time for each other and enjoy the process. This is a celebration of your life together!

Photographer: Stacy Story Photography Caterer: Rollin’ Retro Caterer: The Toasted Traveler Floral Designer: MarketStreet Bakery: MarketStreet Event Venue: T & P Event Center / GWM 17

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W Bellevue


For couples who have vineyard, rustic barn, and wilderness wedding fatigue, W Bellevue – the next PNW venue hotspot – offers a refreshingly modern aesthetic. With design elements such as a threestory floating staircase and colorful floor-to-ceiling murals by famous street artists, W Bellevue is the perfect backdrop for the special day. Hold a large wedding in the hotel’s ballroom or say ‘I do’ on the intimate open-air Porch overlooking the city. Retire to the Living Room Bar for your reception where black-and-white chic meets traditional lake house, with welcoming fireplaces, porch swings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Other venue possibilities include Chef Jason Wilson’s farm-to-table concept restaurant, The Lakehouse, and his ultra-modern speakeasy, Civility & Unrest, hidden in W Bellevue’s ground floor. When the party’s over, large glass showers located next to the bed in each room promise to make the night steamy. Can’t let go of the Pinterest board? Situated between the wilderness/ wine country and bustle of Seattle, W Bellevue is the perfect place to host the bachelor/ette party or stay and get ready for the big day. Inspired by yesterday’s weekender lake house, W Bellevue is where nature and new urban design collide. Cozy up in a swing with your fiancé on the open-air Porch, meet the entire wedding party for drinks in the Living Room bar or gather with your friends for cocktails in The Library while perusing tawdry romance novels, W Bellevue has the perfect spot for your pre-wedding urban escape. For your wedding / GWM 19

reception, the 4,400-squarefoot Great Room is a dynamic venue filled with vibrant modern dÊcor with stylish lake house finishes where you can soak in the night. Lastly, you and your guests can escape to one of the 220 guest rooms or 25 suites with W Bellevue’s iconic showers and contemporary amenities so you can detox, retox and repeat.


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featured vendor

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featured vendor

Hannah Ollichon founded the company in 2015 after her own Town Hall wedding, “A big dress seemed too fussy for Islington Town Hall and then the pub afterwards but I still wanted something special. There was nothing out there for the ‘chilled’ bride that bridged the gap between high street and big bridal.” As Hannah experienced herself, bridal trends are changing rapidly; we want to feel relaxed and comfortable without compromising on feeling incredibly special, being able to dance like crazy and not spend a fortune on one outfit for one day. From Hannah: The majority of our appointments start with brides telling me ‘I’m just not a fan of the big dress’, ‘I just want to feel like myself’ or ‘I’m a jeans and trainers kind of girl’. Although bridal trends have come a long way in recent years, we’re still scarred by the stereotypical expectation to wear a big white meringue! Two-pieces have been hot for a couple of years but we have really seen the jumpsuit take off in the last six months which, obviously we are thrilled about! I feel like finally, brides to be are proud to break the mould and be themselves. Our mantra at House of Ollichon is ‘be a special version of your normal self’. That’s all our brides want! We are honoured to have lots of same-sex couples come to House of Ollichon, it’s such fun to style a couple together and it’s the biggest honour as a designer to dress both brides. It’s crucial for couples to be on the same page when it comes to what level of bridal they go for. Our clients often end up going for one jumpsuit and one two piece between them, they’re matching but not the same and there’s no guessing game on who wears the dress and who wears the suit!


Using beautiful French laces and British embellishments the House of Ollichon bridal collection promises to offer something for all those who feel a dress is simply too much fuss on their wedding day.

w w w . h o u s e o f o l l i c h o n . c o . u k


he awarded House of Ollichon is the only dress-less bridal collection offering brides and bridesmaids a range of luxury bridal jumpsuits and two-pieces all handmade in London. / GWM

Best sellers and what works well for…

BIG BUST? Many people think big boobs are minimised by high necklines: FALSE! Go low, go soft and slightly more open like a gentle V with plenty of collarbone on show as this adds a new dimension to the chest area. The Lowry would be a wonderful choice for those ‘blessed with a chest’ and is super flattering.

BOYISH / ATHLETIC FIGURES? Go for a design that nips you in at the waist to create a silhouette. Pleats and peplums are also great as they add a touch of curve to the hip area. The Kay is great for creating a curve or the Quirke works well to give those a touch more shape around the hips.

PETITE WOMEN? Long skirts can often elongate the most petite of frames, go high-waisted to really stretch out your bottom half. The Hammond works wonders for adding the illusion of height.

TALL WOMEN? Jumpsuits looks fab on tall women but, the key is proportion. So, find a good balance between the top half and bottom half to ensure you’re making the best of your height. The Bouilly is a very elegant design and the train adds a regal touch which always looks incredible on taller frames. You literally feel like Beyoncé in this piece! Overall, it’s YOUR special day. Be proud and confident that you’re carrying through who YOU are on your big day. We hope to see you at our showroom soon!!

House of Ollichon

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en-dez-vous – noun- a meeting at an agreed time and place, typically between two people. There’s nothing greater than the union of love, especially when we live in a world where LOVE WINS. This styled shoot is set to emphasize the love that exists, the power of collaboration and the power of LOVE. Shattering the glass ceiling was just one of the motives behind this new age shoot. This pop up wedding was set perfectly in the loft of an antique store in the heart of downtown. Vintage vibes illustrated with dark, deep maroons and touches of gold were juxtaposed by the natural light from the industrial windows and bright colored stones handcrafted into the décor. Mix-matched candlesticks, antique dishes and sugar crystal name cards completed the tablescape. Handmadecoin rings symbolize the labor of lasting love and soft, airy touches remind us of true love’s kiss.

Photographer: Left Coast Design Studio Cinema and Video: Our Legacy Photo & Cinema Equipment Rentals: 20th Street Cottage DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: 70 Knots Cake Designer: Gimme Some Sugar Floral Designer: House of Flowers Bakersfield Design and Decor: Right Coast Design Studio Invitation Designer: Matinae Design Studio Apparel: Fino’s Menswear and Tuxedo Dress Store: Ladies and Gents Bridal Beauty: Atomic Kitten Linens and Coverings: Walker Lewis Rents Event Venue: In Your Wildest Dreams Consignment Event Designer: Fairy Godmother a Wedding & Event Company / GWM 27

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Real Weddings

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ALYSSA & ASHLEY October 14, 2017 / Aline Marin Photography / GWM 31

Real Weddings

Our paths first crossed in 2012. We were living in two completely different parts of the country (Philadelphia and Atlanta), but we had a lot of similar interests and actually stumbled across each other’s blogs online. We exchanged a few messages, but nothing ever really came of it. We continued to follow one another’s blogs, and several years went by. We moved, had ups and downs, and grew up a little. In early 2015, we messaged each other again, exchanged numbers, and before you know it, we were talking every day. However, the distance was definitely a problem, but with the help of the internet, we found ways to get around the miles and spend time together. We would have Netflix movie nights, Skype dates, play games together, and sometimes sushi dinner nights. Flash forward a few months, we booked flights to see one another in person for the first time. That moment our eyes met initially was like a scene out of a movie. Time literally stopped as the escalator slowly brought us together for

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the first time in the baggage claim area of the Boston airport. Our first weekend of ACTUAL dates was spent in Boston and Salem and we couldn’t have picked a better location to fall in love. We spent the next few months taking trips back and forth, but ultimately decided that living in two places just wasn’t going to work for us. Our first apartment together was a tiny studio in the eclectic Atlanta neighborhood of Little Five Points. If you can live in 423 square feet with two cats and a dog and still get along, you’re definitely meant to be. We got engaged while living there, and it’s a really special place for us. Even though we have since moved, it will always be our “home”. Speaking of engagements, February 27th, 2016 started out as your typical exciting day at Disney. We were touring Epcot that particular day, and had a morning full of photos with characters, attractions, and a delicious breakfast. We worked our way back to World Showcase shortly after noon, and found ourselves in the Italy pavilion. (Fitting… Alyssa’s family is Italian) We had a few coins and made some wishes in the fountain. We got to talking about what we wished for. Alyssa wouldn’t say / GWM 33

Real Weddings

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what her wish was, but at this point, I had pulled the ring from my bag, and held it enclosed in my hand. I then proceeded to tell her that I had wished to spend the rest of my life with her and opened my hand to reveal the ring. She of course said yes, and my wish came true.

Photography: Aline Marin Photography Wedding Venue: Roswell River Landing Wedding Day Coordinator : Callie Mulcrone Videography: Perpetuo Studio Rentals: Robot Booth Music/Band/DJ: DJ Cuttlefish Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal & LaRaine’s Bridal MUAH: Three 13 Salon Caterer: Mac The Cheese / GWM 35

Real Weddings

MARK & KADEN October 10, 2017 / Sugar Rush Photography

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HOW DID YOU MEET? We had coffee together for the first time at a small coffee shop in the Salt Lake City avenues, after connecting on Facebook. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER? 5 years WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME AS A COUPLE? Remodeling a home, no bathroom or kitchen for 60 days. WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE? Kaden has the biggest heart of any human on the planet. Mark is the hardest work person, period. DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING DAY: Perfection, it was a gorgeous, sunny, October day in the Utah Mountains on a ranch with scenic Redrock in one corner and yellow Aspens in the other. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART? Our wedding was one, giant, party and everyone had a blast. We wouldn’t have it any other way. WERE THERE ANY SURPRISES (GOOD OR BAD) THAT HAPPENED? One of our maids of honor went missing right in time for her speech. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Budget twice what you think you’ll spend, then decide if you’re going to tackle it on your own or hire someone to do parts of it for you, stick to that decision. NOW THAT THE WEDDING IS OVER, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS OR FUTURE PLANS AS A MARRIED COUPLE? We’re currently in the process of building an addition to our home, in the hopes of growing our family in the near future. Photographer: Sugar Rush Photography Wedding Consultant: Self Ceremony /Reception Site: Red Cliff Ranch, Park City, Utah Caterer: Lori Tolbert Catering Florist: Connor Nesbit Clothing/Gowns/Suits: Suits: True Gentleman DJ: Chris Bagshaw Linens: Diamond Rental Rentals: Diamond Rental Invitations: Minted Bar Tender: Cheers & Swizzles / GWM 37

Real weddings

CAITLYN & CIARA October 21, 2017 / 1 of 13 Photography

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Real weddings

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING! I wanted our special day to represent us as a couple and what was important to us to celebrate our union. The farm in itself held special meaning to us because the cows and donkey who now live there were originally mine. The gracious couple who own the farm, Tom and Kaia Mates, who are now family friends bought the original 3 cows and donkey from me and now have grown it to a herd of 25+. Ciara and myself both being huge animal lovers couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else than on 40 GWM / Summer 2018

this beautiful farm, which was so close to my heart! LET’S TALK WEDDING DECOR. HOW DID YOU DECORATE YOUR SPACE FOR THE CEREMONY AND THE RECEPTION? Everything was DIY! Literally everything was made by myself or loving family members, except for our gorgeous flower bouquets. Everything was DIY from the table numbers, name cards, and center pieces to the floral archway over the alter, my flower crown and all the handwritten chalkboards. I love crafting so it was so much fun to collect all the silk flowers to make the floral decorations and make our vision come to life. Both our moms and Meme helped to bring to life all the items we made and helped customize our wedding.

WHAT WERE THE FLORALS LIKE IN YOUR WEDDING? A friend of ours, Judy of Surf City Florist, did an amazing job on Ciara and my bridal bouquets as well as our bridesmaid’s bouquets. We chose our colors of Marsala wine, blush and eucalyptus green very early on and that really inspired the decor and flower choices. DID YOU PERSONALIZE THE DAY IN ANY WAY (FOOD TRUCKS, GUEST ENTERTAINMENT ETC.)? I think one of our favorite parts of the day was getting to marry each other and the ceremony! Two of our really good friends, Noel and Laura Dawn, who are also married and got ordained just to marry us performed the ceremony. They really captured our love for each other and the

meaning of our relationship in words for the ceremony service. We also really love dancing and so does the rest of our family and friends. LET’S TALK FASHION. HOW DID YOU BOTH CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING DAY LOOK? Well what’s better then one wedding dress? Two wedding dresses! My wife and I both wore dresses that fit our style and personality. Ciaras was a low back, form fitting silhouette dress that was lacey and covered in crystals. Mine was a raw silk ball gown with crystal beaded straps that I added myself for a little extra bling! What was also special was that we didn’t see each other’s dresses until we walked down the isle on our wedding day! The suspense and / GWM 41

Real Weddings

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surprise of the dresses reveal was totally worth the wait! HOW DID YOU MEET? TELL US ABOUT THE PROPOSAL. We were lucky enough to have been one of those couples that met online, but had a few mutual friends who helped usher the process along. Having two brides meant two amazing proposals, each one surprising the other in their own way. I asked Ciara first to marry me surrounded by her favorite animal, a large colony of Africa Penguins at the Pittsburgh Aviary where all our friends and family could watch live on the penguin cam. Ciara surprised me a few months later and proposed to me on our trip to New Orleans. We were walking through Audubon Park and she got down on one knee under a huge live oak and got my turn to say YES! DO YOU HAVE ANY WEDDING PLANNING OR MARRIAGE ADVICE THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR DAY? We were lucky enough to have a good friend of ours, Lia Capito, be our day of wedding planner and we could NOT have done it without her. She helped set up, make sure events flowed throughout the day and seriously helped the big picture come together! Our advice would be to make sure your marrying your best friend because the stress and organization that comes into planning your own wedding is all worth it when you finally get to say ‘I Do’!

Photographer: 1 of 13 photography Caterer: Funky Fresh Food Truck / GWM 43

Real Weddings

HEIDI & TERESA October 14, 2017 / Michael Segal Photography

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HOW DID YOU MEET? We met while at work.

Real Weddings

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER? We have been together for four years. WHERE THERE ANY SURPRISES? Heidi surprised Theresa with custom ordering a skyline of New Your City as the back drop of the photo booth.
Theresa surprised Heidi with hiring Synchronized Swimmers called the “Aqualillies” to perform during the reception. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER COUPLES? Hire a wedding coordinator! We hired Jacquelyn Mavrookas, owner of EVJ Wedding Co, and she made our lives so much easier. She handled all things big and little that we didn’t think of. She

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actually became a dear friend and we all cried when it was over. Stop and take a moment to enjoy and breathe it all in.
Do whatever makes you happy as a couple and not worry about upsetting anybody else.
Get food for your guests at the after party of your wedding. This saved our lives the next day!

Photographer: Michael Segal Photography Photo Booth Equipment: Classic Photo Booths DJ: Classy Fun DJ Entertainment Hair Stylist:K ristina Tabb Floral Designer: Artisan Events Event Planner: EVJ Wedding Co. Makeup Artist: Tiffany Briggs Event Venue: Ace Hotel & Swim Bridesmaid dresses: Show Me Your Mumu
 Invitations: Meghan Shaughnessy of Lace and Belle Videographer: Grimace Films Synchronized Swimmers-Aqualillies / GWM 47

celebrate beginnings...


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BRANDON & JULIAN serena genovese Photography

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To meet at a coffee shop. How 2010, right? That is how the love story Julian and Brandon began. Back on a gloomy Thursday in October 2016, around 3:45 in the afternoon these two human beings met for the first time to share some hot chocolate and a three hour long conversation about life. After that they went on three consecutive dates the following days, and have been inseparable ever since. A textbook definition of the rule “opposites attract�, they support each other, growing together and learning from one another every day as they get ready to take the next step in their lives: moving in together. / GWM 51


CALEB & JAMIE Morgan Caddell Photography

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Caleb and Jamie decided to do their engagement session on the UNC campus and around Chapel Hill and hitting up their favorite wine bar. / GWM 53


MEGAN & ALEXIS Jasmine Norris Photography

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From the photographer: Meet the super adorable Alexis and Megan. These two have been together for one year. They ended up getting engaged in September in New York City! Alexis decided to take a road trip to New York with Megan and when they got in to the city she asked Megan for her hand in marriage. These two are newly engaged but can not wait for their wedding. Their wedding will be on September 9th which is the one year anniversary of their proposal! We met up at the Tippecanoe Battlefield Park for their engagement session and it was perfect for them. They both wanted their session to be filled with nature and the park was the perfect backdrop. They also made sure to incorporate their wedding colors in by wearing red and black! You can really see the love that these two have for each other and it’s amazing. / GWM 55

Real Weddings

CASPER & ULISES October 14, 2017 / Derek Chad Photography

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Real Weddings 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-and-forth 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 seem 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

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was in Orange County. I still remember he promised he would take me to go see some local bands. I’m still waiting... 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 by any means. Our second date we went ghost hunting. Who takes someone on a date to go ghost hunting? Casper does. Our third date was my choice. 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 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 / GWM 59

Real Weddings

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. WHAT WAS YOUR PROPOSAL LIKE? Casper proposed. 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 one day trip to BainBridge 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. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR VENUE? We were looking for a rustic ranch theme venue. We found Circle Oak Ranch online and immediately scheduled a visit. Once we were there there was no doubt that it was the place we were going to get married. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST ABOUT YOUR WEDDING DAY? Sharing this moment with friends and family”

Photographer: Derek Chad Photography Cinema and Video: Derek Chad Photography Event Planner: Project Perfection Events Caterer: A MIHO EXPERIENCE Photo Booth Equipment: Union Booth Reception Venue: Circle Oak Ranch Events 60 GWM / Summer 2018 / GWM 61

Real Weddings

JILL & FARRAH October 6, 2016 / STUDIO 27

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING! Our wedding was what we called “boho rustic�. We incorporated fall colors such as burnt orange, forest green, and navy blue with hints of brighter/bolder colors such a yellows, purples, and gold. Overall, we wanted the day to feel bright, rustic, and not too formal. Being that we are an interfaith couple, we incorporated the signing of the Ketubah and the breaking of the Chuappah glass into our ceremony as well as doing the Hora and being lifted in the chairs during our reception! DID YOU PERSONALIZE THE DAY IN ANY WAY? We have a really fun group of friends, so we put out buckets with sunglasses in them during the reception.

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Everyone loved them! We also had a sparkler send-off at the end of the reception. We weren’t sure how it would play out, but it was so fun to see all of our guests all together holding sparklers while we twirled and posed! Some of our favorite parts of our wedding were our first look at the windmill, taking pictures while riding on the carousel, hearing each other’s personalized vows, and getting a huge crowd on the dance floor singing along to Celine Dion! HOW DID YOU MEET? TELL US ABOUT THE PROPOSAL. We met in high school through our mutual friend Jackie. We lost touch for a few years and reconnected when in college. We were both home from school and met up with each other at a bar on Thanksgiving Eve. We exchanged numbers and never stopped speaking from that day on! On July 11th 2015, we took a group trip with our friends to New Orleans. On our first day there, we all went for a walk along the Mississippi River. Farrah got down on her knee and asked Jill to marry her. When she opened the box, the ring popped out and fell on the floor! Jill was so surprised and excited! Their friends took them out to dinner that night to celebrate and of course out to Bourbon Street after to party! DO YOU HAVE ANY WEDDING PLANNING OR MARRIAGE ADVICE THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR DAY? Enjoy the planning process! We had so much fun going to vendors, tastings, shopping together, and sharing our thoughts and ideas together. Don’t get caught up in the stress or feel pressure from / GWM 65

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outside people. It’s the only day that is all about you and your love for each other, so make it yours, and do what makes your happy on your big day!

Photographer: STUDIO 27 DJ: Studio 27 Entertainment Cinema and Video: Studio 27 Transportation: All Star Limousine Invitation Designer: Jessica Leigh Paperie Ltd Makeup Artist: Perfectly Blended makeup Hair Stylist: Fire Monkey Hair Design Officiant: Sarah Gutmann Floral Designer: Wick’s Florist Apparel: Bindle & Keep Dress Store: David’s Bridal Reception Venue: East Wind Long Island

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Home & Family JUST BREATHE When you can’t send someone on a tropical getaway, send the tropical getaway to them. Just Breathe is the ultimate care package for relaxation and rejuvenation. Stress and tension are no match for Herbivore Botanical’s Coconut Milk Bath Soak, which is handmade with organic coconut milk and vanilla to soothe inflammation and hydrate skin. Add ambiance with a Paddywax Urban Concrete Amber & Smoke soy wax candle (mini matches included), and a spaworthy natural sea sponge loofah. Follow a coconut-scented soak in the tub with Herbivore’s Sea Mist, a nourishing hair mist formulated with sea salt, essential oils, and aloe to give locks a breezy, fresh-from-the-beach look. Ahh, bliss. ($76.50)

A RESTFUL PAUSE The items in this gift set were picked to provide a touch of comfort and relaxation for anyone going through treatment or in the recovery phase of their journey. ($121)

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All of these featured items are available at

Home & Family THE CHEESE COURSE The only thing better than cheese is, well, more cheese. We didn’t give you four cheese knives in this gift for nothing--go ahead, set out a spread of your favorite fromage and indulge. ($75) / GWM 69

Home & Family THROUGH THE ROSE GARDEN All luxury, no thorns. This gift set gets its sippable, soakable lushness from nature herself, with botanical spa products and a bottle of thoughtfully crafted Fabre en Provence’s Cru Classé. This collection is beloved by bathing beauties everywhere. It includes Herbivore Botanical’s Coco Rose Body Polish, a gently exfoliating blend of raw sugar, coconut oil, and delicately floral Bulgarian Rose Absolute essence, and Calm Dead Sea Salt soak with Himalayan pink salt crystals, ylang ylang, and natural vanilla oil. While you’re pampering your skin, pour yourself a glass of lush rosé from Fabre en Provence and enjoy it from HOST’s easy-to-chill, tub-friendly stemless tumbler. With notes of cherry pie, strawberry, spice, and umami, it’s a playful, pretty wine that’s drinkable any time. ($112.50) CHARDONNAY STAYCATION Turn off the phone, turn on the tap, and pop the cork--time to relax like it’s your job. This collection is designed to help you unwind and find your happy place where, conveniently enough, there’s a bottle of fine Oregon Chardonnay ready and waiting. Add a shatterproof stemless wineglass, an Aspen Bay Candle in a refreshing citrus scent, mineral bath soak, and a natural sea sponge loofah, and you’ll be blissed out in no time. ($123) Gift set contains: The Eyrie Vineyards Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2016, 750 ml Aspen Bay Metal Austin Cup Candle, 3.7” h (including lid) x 3.6” d, 9.5 oz with 50 hours burn time Aydry & Co. Rose Mineral Bath Soak, 8.5 ozBaudelaire Natural Sea Sponge GOVINO Shatterproof Wine Glass, shatterproof BPA/BPS free tritan polymer, 16 oz

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Home & Family GOLDEN TOUCH COCKTAIL SET You’re just a few shakes away from glamorous cocktails at home. This gleaming collection of happy hour accessories includes a gold-plated cocktail shaker and double-sided cocktail jigger, along with 4 metallic leather coasters in gold, copper, platinum, and pewter decorated with laser-cut geometric patterns. Please note, it is recommended to hand wash the shaker and jigger, and the leather coasters are not intended to be fully water-resistant. ($120)

CONNOISSEUR’S EDITION If you weren’t a whiskey connoisseur before, this is the gift that will make you want to become one. This collection features an exquisite handblown glass whiskey decanter with 4 matching glasses, all with an elegant, smoky gray-green tinge--the perfect vessels for showing off your top shelf selection. Seattle glassblower Greg Clark from DECICIO Artisan Glass uses traditional Italian techniques to create stunning works of functional art. ($347)

All of these featured items are available at / GWM 71

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MARY & FELICIA April 17, 2015 / Kenneth Smith Photography

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FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER: This wedding was definitely a memorable one. For most of the planning process Mary and Felicia were unsure if their marriage would be legally recognized in the state of Florida, the thought of being considered “other” or “less than” everyone else scared them. But they didn’t let that deter them, they plowed forward with their wedding plans. In January of 2015 samesex weddings became legal in the state of Florida, Mary and Felicia wed in April 2015, and on June 26th, 2015 same-sex marriages were made legal in all of the U.S.. #equalitywins! Their wedding could be described as traditional with a flare. Their tables were adorned with glitz and glamour, and also highlighted their favorite love quotes from their favorite author’s and novels. This marriage is a celebration of equality, but most importantly their everlasting love!

Photographer: Kenneth Smith Photography Cinema and Video: Love Squared Weddings DJ: Visions DJ DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: I Thee Decor Bakery: Pastry is Art Reception Venue:The Newport Beachside Resort and Hotel Event Planner: The Planning Company 74 GWM / Summer 2018 / GWM 75

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San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa



an Antonio destination weddings are our specialty. Experience genuine Hill Country hospitality in our resort setting encompassing 600 picturesque acres of statuesque oak groves and rolling hills. When you are ready to say “I do,” say it in the midst of breathtaking beauty. A Taste for Local Flavor Planning a reception, rehearsal dinner or a post-wedding brunch has never been easier. Book a San Antonio wedding package through our resort and let us accommodate you and your guests at our casually elegant Cibolo Moon, our esteemed 18 Oaks Steakhouse and Replenish Spa Bistro. You’ll find these dining locations provide Southwestern flavors that fill our menus with dishes to fire and inspire the palate. Our chefs tap into trusted local farmers and ranchers to provide food that is not only fresh and delicious but sustainable and true to its roots. A Deeper Shade of Green For those who think elegance and nature cannot coexist, it takes a resort of rare character to prove otherwise. The elements of authentic roots, haciendainspired style, beautiful views and healing water serve as the inspiration in bringing this magnificent San Antonio destination wedding venue to life. Lantana Spa The San Antonio wedding experience doesn’t begin and end with the exchange of vows. All members of the wedding party can find peace and relaxation before or after the nuptials with a visit to the 26,000-square-foot Lantana Spa. Rooted in the healing culture and indigenous rituals that have surrounded the Hill Country for centuries, Lantana Spa offers 30 treatment rooms. Feel completely at ease as the luxurious treatments bring out the harmony within. / GWM 77

On Par with the Best San Antonio destination wedding guests can hit the links at the Tournament Players Club (TPC). The course features 36 holes designed by two of golf’s most respected and innovative architects and World Golf Hall of Fame members, Pete Dye and Greg Norman. TPC San Antonio’s magnificent pair of championship courses, AT&T Canyons and AT&T Oaks, offer epic golf in a pristine, natural setting. JW Marriott San Antonio will create a wedding packages taylored to your needs. Packages include a variety of gifts to the couples including; discounted room blocks, two complimentary nights in the Honeymoon Suite, Marriott certified wedding planner to assist the bridal couple throughout the planning stages and during the wedding, discounted golf & spa packages, personalized amenities for wedding couples and much more.

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa

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CHEN & SHAF January 20, 2017 / f27 Photography / GWM 81

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GIVE US A FEW OFFBEAT HIGHLIGHTS FROM YOUR WEDDING: We decided to marry on Election Day. A few weeks after, Chen proposed to me hilariously right before a wedding photoshoot we were modeling in. Our wedding ceremony was on Jan 20th, Inauguration Day. We wanted that day to be a positive memory and the beautiful and historic San Francisco City Hall was a perfect location. A note on the gorgeous photography: all the lovely photos were taken by our good friend Leah of f27 Photography. We met her and her husband Isaac at an anime convention a few years ago. Her skills are incredible, and she was the perfect choice to capture the romantic and magical atmosphere of our special day. Both Chen and I are very into lolita fashion. It’s an often misunderstood street fashion style, mainly due to the Japanese name, that merges Victorian and Rococo elements with a shorter modern silhouette. We wanted our elopement to incorporate our fashion tastes with other aspects of our cultural backgrounds. I wanted to have hints of red, the color of weddings in South Asia, and a slightly masculine element to my silhouette. I was lucky enough to find a secondhand dress online that, with a few alterations, was perfect. I’ve always loved Vivienne Westwood shoes and was lucky to find the pair of Melissas I’ve always wanted. I discovered the brand through the Japanese comic Nana, and I’ve loved it since. I

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opted for a boutonniere with hints of red and a custom fascinator instead of a traditional veil and bouquet. I incorporated red into my makeup as well - Sugarpill had a lip color and false lashes perfect for the occasion! Chen wore a dress from a Japanese brand we have both modeled for in the past: Baby the Stars Shine Bright. It was from a recent wedding collection and suited her perfectly. Her veil was hand trimmed by our friend Andrea, who is a fashion designer. She was in attendance at the ceremony and also made all the flower crowns for our wedding squad. Chen wore flowery eyelashes handmade by a Japanese designer and 3D fake nails that matched them. Her bouquet matched her color palette perfectly. Thank you to Farmgirl Flowers for the perfect custom boutonniere and bouquet! Chen and I wore matching Vivienne Westwood necklaces, and our matching wedding rings were from Baby the Stars Shine Bright. We were not able to indulge in many of the wedding traditions common to our respective ethnic backgrounds due to the haste of the ceremony, but I managed to find a mehndi artist willing to work with us. Jasneet from Mehendi Zone was excellent, she did our hands on a very rainy night right before the ceremony! Tradition says that the strength of love in the marriage is shown by the color of mehndi on the bride’s hands. The darker the stain, the deeper the love. We both had a very deep color on our hands, so I suppose that’s twice the love of an ordinary marriage! Our small wedding party prepared at The Inn San Francisco, which is where we spent our first Valentine’s Day together. It’s a lovely Victorian bed and breakfast that is very LGBT friendly. The decor is lush and their breakfasts are quite a large spread, the biggest I’ve seen! They make their quiche fresh every morning, along with pie. We decided on having a non-religious ceremony at SF City hall for multiple reasons, the main one being that it is simply a gorgeous building full of history, rich detail, and a perfect match for our aesthetics. Each of us wrote our own vows. Our officiant Tom was so charming! He managed to strike a beautiful balance between levity and gravity. / GWM 85

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Given our love for Japanese fashion, and the fact that we met our photographer at an anime convention, it’s no surprise that both of us are anime fans. We had lunch afterwards with our small wedding party at the Palace Hotel. The venue is gorgeous and again, was a perfect match for our tastes. WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED? Rely on your friends and loved ones! Chen and I are blessed to have very talented and generous friends! The photography, alterations, my hat, my hair color, my boutonierre, her bouquet, her shoes, our squad’s flower crowns, and her dream dress were all thanks to the combined effort and recommendations of friends. Decide what your non negotiable elements are, your budget, and the amount of time you want to sink into the planning process. I wanted to look nice and not spend a lot of time planning.

Photography: f27 Photography Officiant: Judge Tom from SF City Hall Bed and Breakfast: The Inn San Francisco Lunch: The Palace Hotel Chen’s Dress/Socks/Shoes: Baby the Stars Shine Bright Chen’s Eyelashes: Miyuki’s Eyelashes Chen’s Veil: Custom Shaf’s Dress: Lapin Agill Shaf’s Shoes: Vivienne Westwood Shaf’s Alterations and Fascinator: A Midnight Affair Mehndi: Mehndi Zone Rings: Baby the Stars Shine Bright Flowers: Farmgirl Flowers 86 GWM / Summer 2018 / GWM 87

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LAWRENCE & MICHAEL October 14, 2017 / Lisa Defler, Moxie Studio

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Lawrence and Michael’s day began in their custom designed monogrammed robes from EmbellishThisLLC. As they were getting ready with their adorable Shih Tzu fur babies, Joy and Troy, in the Mega Suite at The W Hotel Las Vegas, their photographer and filmmakers began capturing every moment of their big day on film. The grooms were attired in custom tailored Tuxedos designed by Groom Studio LA. Accompanying the customized tuxedos, they wore personalized Christian Louboutin shoes inscribed with “Lawrence and Michael Est. 10/14/2017” The Grooms’ accessorized further with matching Rolex watches and matching blue sapphire David Yurman Cufflinks. Joy and Troy also had custom attire designed by Barbara Klubek of Nina’s Couture of Poland; a fabulous midnight blue gown for Joy with a flowing train scattered with crystals and an adorable tuxedo vest for Troy. In addition, Ms. LTA Designs of Detroit, MI designed custom Swarovski crystal shoes for the pups. The Wedding Cake was a masterpiece itself. The pastry chef at the SLS, Christina Roed, worked closely with the grooms to create a work of art that not only catered to the grooms’ taste but also their aesthetics and fit in flawlessly with the overall look of the wedding. The couples’ favorites flavors of Red Velvet, Lemon, and Vanilla were featured in the layers of the seventiered cake and were a hit among the guests. Photographer: Lisa Defler, Moxie Studio Wedding Consultant: Emily Reno, Coordinator, Weddings & Events by Emily Ceremony/Reception Site: SLS Las Vegas Luxury Hotel, Albert Room Caterer: Catering Team SLS Las Vegas Wedding Cake: SLS Pastry Chef, Christina Roed Florist: Randi Garrett, Naakiti Floral Company Clothing/Gowns/Suits: Grooms Custom Tuxedos; Groom Studio LA, Groomsmaids Dresses Adrianna Papell, Grooms Shoes; Christian Loubutin Groomsman Tuxedo Private Label Hair: Fade LA Barbershop Makeup: ICandy Make Up Artistry, Jamita Lott & Neil Taffe Makeup Artist Music: Maestro Anthony McQueen, Pianist DJ: D.J. Mike Fox, Linens: Broughton Group, Inc Lighting: Broughton Group, Inc Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas now (Shutterfly) Videographer: Cinematography, Impreza Films Jim Swinson / GWM 89




n the interest of sharing ‘half and half’ and starting a marriage on the right foot, equality in marriage means equal everything, including closet space. To get two closets worth of clothes and shoes to fit into one, perhaps bigger but nonetheless single closet, the key is to triage. It’s time to go through each closet and decide what stays, what goes and what might need to go into storage for a little while. The dress you wore to your high school prom? You might want to toss or store that. The suit that you wore to a wedding last month? Keep. The jeans you were hoping would fit again one day? Toss. Your lucky espadrilles? Keep. It’s a long process that you have to be willing to endure without too much in the way of emotion: if you think with your heart, instead of your head, you’ll end up keeping everything. Once you’ve done the triage, it’s time to design a closet that works. Take inventory of what needs to go into the closet Look over everything from shirts and shoes, to handbags and ties. Do you need several drawers for socks, underwear and lingerie or will two do the trick (one each)? Do you need high rods for suits or is the bulk of what both of you wear more in the jeans and khakis department? Take stock to decide what you need. It’s a good time to look at other storage in the house to see where less frequently worn items could go. For example, a basement storage area could be modified into a closet, using modular closet pieces, to create a space for seasonal clothes. No need to have your lined jeans and parkas in your everyday closet, in July! Measure, measure, measure Modular closets are perfect for enhancing any closet

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space, whether with a pre-designed system or something custom to suit an oddly shaped space. You can mix and match, depending on your inventory results, to get the closet that works for both of you, and that gives you more evenly distributed space. Does he have more shirts than shoes? Do you have more shoes than slacks? Allocate space fairly so each of you has access to all of your favorite pieces Then take the time to measure it accurately so that you are buying a system that will fit and can be put together, easily and quickly. Choosing the design that suits you both! An easy to assemble system that is designed to measure is the most cost effective solution to avoid arguing over space!

other places where finding a way to organize and store all your items will keep arguments at bay. After all, a newly married couple can find a lot of things to argue about: closets shouldn’t be one of them. Home organization expert for, Marty Basher, offers these tips to get organized after the big “I do’s”. Modular Closets are high quality and easy to design closet systems that you can order, assemble and install yourself, in no time at all. Visit the website at

More than one closet? If you’re really lucky, you might even have more than one closet. At that point, it often comes down to deciding who gets the bigger one, or the walk in versus the standard closet. Basically, it will come down to who has the most shoes! (No, not really.) Even with separate spaces, the important factor is efficiency. A well designed closet system will allow even a smaller space to be highly efficient for storing, finding and keeping track of all your clothes and accessories. No more searching for your favorite sunglasses because they’re right where you left them, in your accessories drawer. And once you’re done with the bedroom closet or walk-in, start looking at your other storage needs: from the laundry room, entry hall closet, kid’s bedroom or your home office, there are probably a lot of / GWM 91

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ibrant Firs is a new wedding venue in Auburn, WA. It has a charming Colonial structure right by the lake, dock access, barn, gazebo, and 50 acres of land. Its exterior paint and front door design left a great impression on our first visit. As soon as we pull in the roundabout driveway, at the end of the brick path is the tiffany blue and white painted, column entrance. Along with the lake view, we immediately decide that we will be setting up a reception style table on the dock and some lounge pieces outdoor. Along with its exterior paint and the romantic storybook setting vibe, we put together the color palette in the range of cream, periwinkle, French blue, Tiffany blue, and moss, agate green. Our design concept focus heavily on vintage, antique items, layers of fabrics, and accessorize with gold. Thus, we name our theme Colonial Fairytale. The advantage of choosing Vibrant Firs as a wedding venue is that it is very versatile. Couples can design their weddings more rustic, boho, or elegant and Vibrant Firs would be perfect in any of these settings. It also provides plenty of indoor space inside the barn in case the weather changes. While putting together the reception table, we made the floral centerpieces smaller to showcase and blend into the gorgeous nature surrounding. We also fan out the flatwares a bit to make the place setting less formal and more homey. We layered two different type of lighter fabrics on top of the deep blue velvet table cloth and to make them jump out visually, the reception chairs are also clothed in Parchment Linette. At this point, we simple add more textures with taper candles and votives. Our favorite part of the table is definitely the spools of ribbons that double as place cards and add a really personalized, special finishing touches. The delicate Robin Egg Blue silk ribbons are from Stella Wolfe, the width is 0.5â , skinny enough to leave lots of blank space on the plates. Our stationery designer worked wonders on the ribbons and wrote beautiful names in calligraphy. / GWM 93

FLOWERS We like to incorporate floral design when composing for the overall concept since they are so intimately tied together. For this design, we used lots of feathery, soft texture. Our centerpieces are composed of field grown roses, Queen Anne lace, nigella, delphinium, yarrow cottage, eryngium, astilbe, and purple feather acacia. We also create two different style of bouquets, one more tender and aerial with cotton and another more exquisite with more blue floral pieces. The floral installations are set up indoor to feature the venue’s gorgeous fireplace and stairway. With our theme, we add Jasmine vines and Virginia creeper vines to build the installation structure.

CATERING Olive is inspired by the nature and utilizes her home grown herbs such as rosemary to dazzle the gourmet hors d’oeuvres. Its lemony tang counterbalances a mild ricotta cheese on a floral olive oil polenta coins. For the other much crunchier bites she creates a roast beef rainbow carrots tartlet to pair with ceremonial champagne toast. Blue and pale purple hues are her personal favorite. It creates a sense of elegance and turns the romantic elements more sensual. Blackberry and purple carrots were used as accent pieces to complements meat dishes.

 Jan creates a two-tier wedding cake featuring a smooth color block design with a blue watercolor toptier and a center cascade of pure, hand-piped buttercream flowers inspired by the lake setting. Every aspect of the cake focuses on the simplicity of a traditional wedding cake while also capturing the unique detail and placements present in the buttercream flowers. 94 GWM / Summer 2018 / GWM 95

STATIONARY The gorgeous Vibrant Firs venue and the Colonial Fairytale theme both played an equal part in my design process for the calligraphy and paper pieces of this shoot. Soft blues, long calligraphy strokes, and an illustration of the venue’s iconic front door brought the suite pieces to life. For the menu design, I drew inspiration from reading by candlelight in the colonial era; the wax remnants of a romantic, soft white wax seal are suspended in time alongside delicate calligraphy paired with a classic typeface. Finally, a love note and dusty blue vow book: perfect heirloom pieces for the romantic bride.

Photographer:Â B. Jones Photography DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: The Copper Pine Model: Cristina Bologan Jewelry: Heidi Hull Designs Model: Tierney Jones Model DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: Stella WolfeHand dyed silk ribbons Bakery: Jan Kim Grumbles: Cake Design Linens and Coverings: Choice Linens Equipment Rentals: CORT Party Rental// Equipment Rentals: Wander Event Rentals Dress Store: The Dress Theory - Seattle Invitation Designer: Sablewood Paper Co Floral Designer: Oh Miss Chic Design and Decor: Oh Miss Chic Caterer: Cooking Dolls Makeup Artist: Christy K Makeup & Hair Event Venue: Vibrant Firs

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ERICA & MAIDEL August 8, 2017 / mle pictures

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HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER? We’ve been together since October 2012. Miami has a funny way of bringing people together when they least expect it. Erica and Maidel didn’t know each other despite working a block away from each other, having mutual friends, being in the same social circles and Erica even knowing Maidel’s sister. Their paths simply never crossed It was a typical Friday night and Maidel’s friend insisted that she accompany her to a birthday party. Maidel was reluctant but finally agreed. Somewhere across town, Erica’s friend insisted that she too accompany her to the same birthday party. As if fate had a fair play, they both ended up at the same Sports Bar Restaurant in celebration of the friend that would ultimately be responsible for bringing them together. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME AS A COUPLE? Erica and Maidel grew up very differently. While Erica’s parents have been married since they are teenagers and she grew up in a stable loving home with supportive parents, Maidel did not have that experience. Maidel grew up with a single mother of two. Her relationship with her mom was strained and difficult. As a result she moved out at a very young age and experienced her late teens as a self-sufficient adult. Erica enjoyed college and fewer responsibilities. These childhood experiences molded them into different adults, with very different views about many things in life. Bringing these two sets of ideals into one cohesive direction moving forward has not always been easy. Together we have learned to accept and

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understand our views and communicate our feelings. These days things are a lot more natural and easy. WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE? Erica’s love and dedication to me and our relationship is relentless, it never weakens even through the most trying of times in our relationship. I love how she loves me without restrictions or limitations. I always feel like I’m the most important person in the world to her. True love is a choice we make every day. She enthusiastically chooses me every day. Maidel encourages me to be a better person every day. I have grown into a much better version of me because of her. I have been blessed with a wife who believes in me, and that makes it so much easier to succeed and stay focused. Her sincere willingness to make our lives beautiful is awe-inspiring. My wife is my and our greatest cheerleader! DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING DAY: I may be one of the few brides that can say that their wedding was perfect. Besides an unforeseen strong trade wind that evening, everything else went according to plan and then some. Some things had to be placed facing down on the Welcome Table to prevent the wind from knocking them down, but that was the worst of it. As soon as the ceremony started the winds died down and it was picture perfect. We even had the good luck sprinkle of rain during the ceremony that lasted about 15 seconds and then rewarded us with a beautiful rainbow. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART? Asking me to pick the favorite part of our wedding, I would imagine being like asking a mom to pick her favorite child. This wedding was my baby for over 2 years. I spent countless hours on every single detail that went into our special day. Endless nights of worrying and hoping were invested into this production. My favorite part is a complete unified favoritism towards the entire day. My favorite part is that I pulled it off, that it was all there and happening and that it was everything and so much more than I ever dreamed or imagined. My favorite part was having some of my closest friends and family / GWM 103

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witness all my hard work and love for Erica. My favorite part was marrying my best friend who for so many months supported all my dreams and wishes to make this wedding be everything it was. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? The problem is you think you have time. Start Early! Even with almost two years we felt rushed. We were so fortunate to have extra time to really research what we wanted and not have to settle based on the need to book right away. Planning ahead also tremendously made picking vendors and items that fit our budget a lot easier. Yes, you need a wedding coordinator and at the very least if you’re an excellent planner like me, you still need a day off wedding coordinator. After planning this wedding I cannot even begin to express the work that Wedding Coordinators do. They are the true heroes of the wedding world.

Photographer: mle pictures

Wedding Consultant/Reception/Ceremony/ Caterer/: Merriman’s Maui Wedding Cake: Maui Wedding Cakes Florist: Dellables Clothing/Gowns/Suits: Maidel: Kleinfeld Bridal Lazaro Gown Erica: Brides of Florida Gown Hair/Make up: Soleil Luna Music: Marvin Tevaga Invitations: Invitations by Jill Videographer: All Time Media 104 GWM / Summer 2018 / GWM 105

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CHRIS & JIM November 11, 2017 / Morgan Caddell Photography

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HOW DID YOU MEET? We met in Raleigh during a street festival called Out! Raleigh. We were both at Legends Nightclub for a local sports league charity fundraiser. This wasn’t just any fundraiser though, athletes dressed in drag for a lip-sync battle. Chris was out with my friends and Jim was with his cousin, her wife, and their friends. Jim was new to Raleigh so his cousin was unsuccessfully taking him around Raleigh to meet guys. By chance, our eyes connected in a crowd at the event and I walked up to him and offered to buy him a beer. The very next day we went to Lake Johnson to go canoeing on our first date. WHEN DID YOU KNOW HE WAS THE ONE? It did not take long to figure out that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Jim. After we have been dating for a few months he quickly became my best friend. TELL IS ABOUT YOUR WEDDING INSPIRATION. We were very relaxed with planning our wedding. There was literally no “bridezilla.” The most important things to us were the venue, cater and photographer. It helped a lot that our photographer, Morgan Caddell, is a great friend of mine. We taught together for a year and quickly became close. It didn’t take long to discover the venue, Rand-Bryan House, which is less than 10 minutes from our home. The old farm house sits on a hill in rural NC with a quaint cozy feel. The cater, Rocky Top Catering, was fantastic! They exceeded our expectations with unique food quality/quantity and service (mini chicken and waffles / GWM 107

were mouthwatering). Everything else just fell into place. ANY SPECIAL DETAILS OR FUN MEMORIES FROM YOUR WEDDING DAY YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? One of our most cherished memories from the wedding was when we all sang along to Hallelujah by Pentatonix. I fell in love with this song when I saw Kate McKinnon (as Hillary) on SNL after loosing the election. This was an idea that I had to pay tribute to all those that have dedicated their lives to make it possible to get married. Jim and I both spoke about human rights and equality before we played the song. We then all formed a circle and swayed back and forth. After a little while Jim and I danced in the center and later joined by our moms. There were many happy tears!

Photographer:Â Morgan Caddell Photography Accomodations: Rand Bryan House 108 GWM / Summer 2018 We are all at different stages of our relationships. GWM provides tools and tips for success during each of them.





Marriage Family Home




Find LGBTQ experienced vendors and tips for your big day.

Experience real weddings from real couples and their stories.

Find family planning, adoption stores and marriage counseling advice from the best. vendors real-weddings marriage---family / GWM 109


Choosing gifts for your wedding party can be difficult. With so many different interests, styles and hobbies, it can be hard to please everyone with just one gift. But, luckily, monthly subscription boxes are booming, so you can please all of your groomsmen with an exciting gift that they will actually want to keep! A FEW TIPS BEFORE WE START 1. Depending on your budget, you can opt for a 2 or 3 month subscription to give your groomsmen something to look forward to long after your big day.


2. If you’re gifting the same subscription box for every guy in your party, plan a few months ahead and grab a couple different boxes from the brand. There will be a variety for your groomsmen to choose from! 3. You can get a different subscription box for everyone that best fits their interests! Here we’re naming our top three, but there’s many out there to choose from. SPREZZABOX First up for the fashion lovers in your life, SprezzaBox. Stylists will hand select 5-6 different products, including ties, socks, pocket squares, grooming products & more. SprezzaBox is a fun way to add exciting accessories to anyone’s wardrobe. Whether you have a friend that’s a fashionista or someone who needs a little help in that department, this monthly subscription will be sure to peak their interest! Plus, SprezzaBox offers a groomsmen subscription

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that can be filled with items the guys can wear on or after your wedding. HARRY’S If you want your groomsmen to be clean shaven on your wedding day, then Harry’s is what you want to gift them. Harry’s provides you with a box of quality shaving products to ensure you and your crew have a close, clean shave in all of your photos. The initial trial box will last your party 2 weeks after the wedding; if you decide you want to splurge, you can stock your guys up with new, sharp razors long after that with the recurring, monthly subscription. Plus, if the photographer gets you and your groomsmen all shaving with the same razor, it will offer you great photos for years to come. CRAFT BEER CLUB Do you have some selfproclaimed beer connoisseurs in your group? Gift them with a monthly, Craft Beer Club box. Getting a box of 12 different beers, will transport your friends to breweries all over the USA, that they may have otherwise not been able to try out. Each box has beers from micro-breweries that craft beer by combining traditional brewing ingredients with creative techniques. Also, each box comes with a “Monthly Beer Club Newsletter”; the story behind the beer, where it originated and what pairs with it. This is the perfect gift to kick off a day of fun for you and your wedding party. / GWM 111

Real Weddings

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SABRINA & CHE April 4, 2015 / Love Tree Photography / GWM 113

Real Weddings

HOW DID YOU MEET? Sabrina Che and I met on an online dating site. I found Che’s profile and not only was she cute and funny, I could see she also worked with children and it was a total draw. Not a lot of people are that interested in hearing about your day when you work with children so I was excited to meet someone whose eyes wouldn’t glaze over when the topic came up. I think one of the really special things about our relationship is neither of us felt those instant sparks but there was an ember that glowed stronger and stronger every time we were together and one day there was just no denying the really strong and solid fire that we had built up together. Che - A friend of mine convinced me to give online dating another try and Sabrina was the first person to message me. It took awhile before we had a chance to go out and when we did it was a quick coffee date between two jobs I had. We sat outside in the freezing cold and were so bundled up the main thing I could see was her eyes. I got super nervous and pretty much talked non stop for an hour before it was time to go. I walked away thinking I had totally blown it but apparently I didn’t! Sabrina - Che proposed at home in front of our Christmas tree, on December 20th. I had no idea it was coming, and had actually spent about 10 minutes complaining that our tree had died, but she nervously persevered and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. Christmas is our favourite holiday and I’ll never forget just how much more magic

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Real Weddings

and happiness she brought to it that year. I don’t think I was able to wipe the silly smile off my face for weeks. WHAT WERE THE REASONS THAT YOU CHOSE TO HAVE YOUR WEDDING AT THAT PARTICULAR VENUE? Sabrina - We really wanted to find a venue that had a coziness to it and it was important to us to find someplace that showcased some East Van personality. We actually had to change venues a couple months before the wedding and we’re really so glad we did. The Anza Club had just the right blend of grit and charm that we didn’t know we needed until we found it! Che - It was actually our second choice after our first venue fell through a few months before the wedding. It was a bit of a scramble to find it but it had everything we were looking for and ended up being so much better than what we had originally planned. WHAT ONE DETAIL WERE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT ON YOUR WEDDING DAY? Sabrina - I was most excited to see the mis-matched chairs our event rental company, Bespoke Decor, painted in rainbow colours for the front row for our guests. I really felt it was the detail that would pull our whole theme together and I wasn’t wrong! Che - I think I was most excited about the confetti balloons. All of the details were amazing but I couldn’t wait to pop them at the end of the night. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY OF THE WEDDING DAY? Sabrina - My favourite memory of the day was standing with Che in front of our amazing community and sharing the vows we had come up with for each other. I couldn’t wait to promise her the special words I had written for her and hear her words back. We wrote our vows together but secretly and it was so hard not to share them with each other before our big day! Che - I have so many favourite memories but the one that jumps to mind is at the end of the night when we were drinking champagne and trying to get all the bobby pins out of Sabrina’s hair. All the stress was gone and we were so relaxed and there were literally hundreds of bobby pins. I’m

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pretty sure she still has a few in there. YOU DECIDED TO CHANGE YOUR NAME TO A UNIQUE NAME TOGETHER AFTER THE WEDDING, WHAT PROMPTED THAT DECISION? Sabrina - It was really important for us to share a family name once we were married but when it came down to deciding between hers or mine neither of the options felt right, so we decided to just pick a whole new one! It was really hard to come up with something that represented our connection and history, and that seemed intergral in picking whole new name. We went round and round for ages until a friend jokingly suggested Poppins. The minute we heard it though it just clicked into place and we knew we had it! Che - Neither one of us felt a strong connection to our last names and we really wanted something that was just ours and summed us as a couple up. We went through quite a few different ideas but when we thought of Poppins it just fit us so well that we decided that was it.

Photographer:Â Love Tree Photography Reception Venue: Anza Club Invitation Designer: Pickle Punch Prints Dress Designer: Happy Yellow Dress Design and Decor: Bespoke Decor / GWM 117

Our Family

ALANA, HOLLY & FAMILY Velvet Sage Photography

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lana and Holly we have been together for 8 months. Their kids are AJ, Caleb, Georgianna, Charlie, and Hannah. As a family they love to do Sunday family dinner together, go to parks, family game night and play video games together. They met through their oldest sons who became best friends. They were both going through bad break ups and instantly became best friends. Somewhere along the way they fell in love, and in December Alana proposed and they are planning on getting married in spring of 2019.

Photographer:Â Lacy Matusek Photography Location: LaFayette Village / GWM 119

GWM Summer


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