Style Radley designed for JLM Couture
H A Y L E Y P A I G E .C O M
Z A R
JAS I G N AT U R E .C O M
CONTENTS POOLSIDE PARADISE Sunny Palm Springs holds special meaning for the duo: It’s where they got engaged. Jaymes: Tux jacket, Dsquared2.com; pants, BrooksBrothers.com; shirt, Versace.com; Jonathan: Tux jacket, Dsquared2.com; pants, Balmain, Fwrd.com; shirt, Armani.com; tie, Versace.com
F E AT U R E S 32
LOUD + PROUD Jonathan Bennett and Jaymes Vaughan dish on how they’re intentionally loving out loud to grow LGBTQ+ visibility.
The couple’s goldendoodle, Bradley, joined his dads by the pool.
SWEPT AWAY Embrace grandeur with a rustic twist at your event.
PRO LOVE Vendors speak from the heart on inclusivity and LGBTQ+ activism in the world of weddings.
AMERICA’S OFF-THEBEATEN -PATH PARKS Lesser-known state and national parks are just waiting for you to visit.
LOUD + PROUD
Add these editorapproved picks to your wishlist right away.
SU SUMMER 2021
REAL LOVE 85
REAL WEDDINGS One-of-a-kind reallife celebrations to inspire every couple.
I N E V E RY I S S U E
Sparkling gender-neutral rings for every to-be-wed.
TREND REPORT Of-the-moment looks from dramatic pantsuits to shorter hemlines.
LOVE IN COLOR
Let bold beauty ideas from real couples inspire your own vibrant look.
WELL SUITED Experts share need-toknow shopping tips for gender-neutral attire.
STYLE + PLANNING 61
CHEERS TO LOVE
EDITOR’S LETTER CONTRIBUTORS ADVICE TR ADITIONS ESSAY NEW + NOW TOOLS LAST LOOK
A peach-and-evergreen palette that wows.
INCLUSIVE WEDDING TIPS 10 ways to plan nuptials where all are welcome.
ON THE COVER Fashion details on pg. 14 PHOTOGRAPHER Easton Schirra FASHION STYLING Lisa Marie Cameron PROP STYLING Courtney de Wet GROOMING Grace Phillips for Save Me From and Kypris/ TraceyMattingly.com
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: COURTESY OF VENDOR (2); MEGAN & KENNETH; COURTESY OF VENDOR (2); GETTY IMAGES; EASTON SCHIRRA; JENNY QUICKSALL; COURTESY OF VENDOR
FA S H I O N + B E AU T Y
20 22 24 26 28 39 82 14 4
E D ITO R IN CHIE F
Kristen Maxwell Cooper
E XECUTIVE E D ITO R
CRE ATIVE D IREC TO R
S E NI O R FA S HI O N & B E AUT Y E D ITO R E D ITO R , RE AL WE D D IN G S VI S UAL S E D ITO R D E S I G NE R CO NTRIB UTIN G CO PY E D ITO R CO NTRIB UTIN G RE S E ARCH E D ITO R CO NTRIB UTIN G PRO D U C TI O N A S S O CIATE
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THE K N OT.CO M , S O CIAL M E D IA & VID EO D IREC TO R , D I G ITAL CO NTE NT S E NI O R E D ITO R , D I G ITAL S E NI O R NE WS E D ITO R S E NI O R MANAG E R , D I G ITAL CO NTE NT S TR ATEGY E D ITO R , E - CO M M E RCE A S S O CIATE E D ITO R , D I G ITAL A S S I S TANT E D ITO RS , D I G ITAL A S S I S TANT E D ITO RS , E - CO M M E RCE D IREC TO R , S O CIAL M E D IA MANAG E R , S O CIAL M E D IA INFLU E N CE R MANAG E R , S O CIAL M E D IA CO M M U NIT Y E D ITO R , S O CIAL M E D IA CO O RD INATO R , S O CIAL M E D IA INFLU E N CE R CO O RD INATO R , S O CIAL M E D IA S E NI O R MANAG E R , VID EO PRO D U C TI O N VID EO PRO D U CE R VID EO E D ITO R A S S O CIATE VID EO PRO D U CE R A S S O CIATE D I G ITAL E D ITO R , PH OTO VID EO PRO D U C TI O N A S S O CIATE
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G LO BAL M E D IA S O LUTI O N S @ THE K N OT WO RLDWID E G E NE R AL MANAG E R , G LO BAL M E D IA S O LUTI O N S D IREC TO R , RE VE N U E O PE R ATI O N S & YIE LD A S S O CIATE D IREC TO R , RE VE N U E O PE R ATI O N S ANALYS T, RE VE N U E O PE R ATI O N S VP, AD SALE S B RIDAL FA S HI O N ACCO U NT D IREC TO R ACCO U NT D IREC TO RS , E A S T ACCO U NT E XECUTIVE S , E A S T
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PU B LI S HE D BY XO G RO U P IN C . 195 Broadway, NY, NY 10007 Phone (212) 219-8555 Fax (212) 219-1929 TheKnot.com The Knot weddings magazine © 2021 XO Group Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is forbidden without written permission from the publisher. The Knot, TheKnot.com and The Knot weddings magazine are trademarks of XO Group Inc. The Knot is not responsible for the return or loss of, or damage to, unsolicited materials. Those submitting manuscripts, photographs, artwork and other materials for consideration should not send originals, unless specifically requested to do so in writing by The Knot. Manuscripts, artwork and other materials must be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.
EDITOR’S NOTE CHESS SET Board games that double as decor are a win-win in my book.
KRISTEN MAXWELL COOPER Editor in Chief @kristenmax email@example.com
NESPRESSO VERTUO NEXT With a new baby at home, my husband and I need all the coffee—on demand.
ESTELLE GLASS I love the happy hues and heirloom quality of this gorgeous stemware.
D AT E N I G H T I’m wishlisting a night out at one of our local haunts.
MY WISHLIST Every year we round up the best registry items from kitchen appliances to cash. After an unforgettable 2020, we added a couple of new categories into the mix, focusing on intention, experience and values. Above are a few things that caught my eye and made my shortlist.
O N T H E C OV E R
JAYMES + JONATHAN Speaking of paving the way: As the star of Hallmark’s first LGBTQ+ holiday movie, The Christmas House, Jonathan Bennett (right) is committed to being a part of the progress being made in today’s society. “I can only imagine what younger Jonathan would have thought watching a Christmas movie with his family and seeing a love that looked like the kind he wanted to have represented on screen.” We spoke to the newly engaged couple about visibility and their 2022 wedding plans.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: SARAH LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY; COURTESY OF VENDOR (2); BLAISE SEWELL/NOUN PROJECT; LNHI/NOUN PROJECT; COURTESY OF VENDOR (5); EASTON SCHIRRA
have written about this here before, but it’s still hard to believe the fact that the Supreme Court’s decision granting the LGBTQ+ community’s right to marry in all 50 states was just six years ago (this June). For context, Instagram launched five years before the legalization of same-sex marriage! And while there’s a lot to do to address the many parts of society that still lag behind regarding equal rights and representation, we want to dedicate this issue to the many brands, vendors and media outlets paving the way in the wedding industry. There are so many trailblazers, allies and beacons of hope that work tirelessly to create an inclusive industry and experience for all people, no matter who they love and want to marry. They deserve to be celebrated and have their stories told. At The Knot, we continue to work on making gender an afterthought (or no thought at all!) in an industry rooted in heteronormative culture, and focus on putting the needs of every couple at the forefront of everything we do. However, we are always pushing to do better, do more and do it right. Which is to say: I want to hear from you about what else we could and should be doing—email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
get lost in the moMent It’s a day you’ll always remember, so make it unforgettable. Set the scene with one of our inspired collections that have been crafted to perfectly complement the breathtaking backdrop of your big moment.
hrhweddings.com | 305.444.5896
CONTRIBUTORS EASTON SCHIRRA PHOTOGRAPHER
C O V E R + L O U D & P R O U D P. 3 2
WH AT WAS IT L IKE TO PH O TO GR A P H TH E M AGAZIN E CO VER? I feel incredibly honored to have shot the first gay couple on the cover of The Knot. It was a beautiful and historic moment to be part of and I feel so special to have been included. As a gay man myself, this cover means so much to me and shows the strides we’re making in society, while reminding me how far we still have to go in regards to LGBTQ+ recognition. I really hope to see more representation of our community in the media moving forward. @eastonschirra
MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS
Do it for the shot. Easton scaled a ladder, perched above the pool, to get the perfect angle.
J E S S I C A P E T T WAY PHOTOGRAPHER
A G R A N D A F F A I R P. 3 9 + R E G I S T R Y A W A R D S P. 6 5
W H E R E C A N C OUPLE S W HO AR E S T UCK AT H OME A MI D T H E PANDE MI C FI ND W E DDI NG I NS P I R A T I ON? Social media is a great place for design and planning inspiration. I love searching for inspiration in DIY videos as well as in old books and magazines. A lot of vintage art and design books can still be found online, at your local library or in the library’s digital picture collection. For me, the pandemic has allowed me to take time for myself and come up with creative ideas and solutions. With more time on my hands at my studio, I have the freedom to experiment with different ideas and just have fun. @jesspettway
LISA MARIE CAMERON WARDROBE STYLIST
C O V E R + L O U D & P R O U D P. 3 2
WH AT M EN SWEAR STYL E TRE ND WO UL D YO U L IKE TO RETIRE ? It is outdated for men to think that the standard black tuxedo look is the only way to go. In the past, men gravitated to plain navy, gray and black. While those three colors often work, it’s become increasingly common for grooms to step outside the box in both style and color. Opting for a bold color choice, textured fabric or even a monochromatic look can instantly elevate his whole look. @styledbylmc
STAFF SPOTLIGHT S A R A H E VA N S
CREATIVE DIRECTOR W HAT AR E S OME UNI QUE W AY S TO SUBTL Y WO RK PERSO N AL IZATIO N IN TO Y OUR W E DDI NG ? For an understated approach, opt for details that carry symbolic meaning or personal significance. It’s also fun to include some “Easter eggs” in your day: details that are secret and special between you as a couple to enjoy privately. Funny memories, relationship milestones and inside jokes are all excellent sources of inspo. For example, when creating A Grand Affair on pg. 39, my childhood travels inspired me. @sarahkristenevans
Sarah’s childhood memories from The Madonna Inn in California informed this snap.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: DANYA MORRISON; SOPHIE ANDREASSEND; COURTESY OF SUBJECT (2); JESSICA PETTWAY; BECCA DELMAN
We asked some of the pros from this issue for the inside scoop on their areas of expertise.
ASK THE KNOT SQUAD You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. We tapped our team—and one of our go-to industry pros—to solve some of your most of-the-moment planning dilemmas.
O U R TA K E
W H AT ’ S O N E W E D D I N G PLA N N I N G DETAIL COUPLES OFTEN OVERLOOK, B U T S H O U LD N ’ T ? SARAH HANLON
Preserved and colored foliage is a practical and versatile design addition.
I’VE B E E N SEEING A L O T O F F LO R AL AR C H E S AT W E D D I N G CE R EM O NIE S B U T WA N T SO M E T H I N G T H AT F E E LS F RE S H AN D U N IQ U E. DO Y OU HA VE A N Y IDE AS F O R A O N E -O F -A-K I N D ALT AR ?
P R O TA K E
BRON HANSBORO Owner, The Flower Guy Bron Bron is a Richmond, Virginia–based floral designer known for his joyful, dramatic designs.
It is important to create a focal point for wedding ceremonies and artfully frame the couple at the altar. Although floral arches will remain a thing of the present, there is a beautiful, out-of-the-box alternative that is taking the floral community by storm. Literally, the phenomenon called “the floral storm” is a creative installation that mimics a tornado with a vibrant ombré of colors, seen above. The focal point doesn’t have to be flowers either. Consider an alternative location, like a sweeping staircase, to anchor the vow exchange. Talk about drama. However, before making any design decisions, reflect on your personal style. Ask yourself, “Who am I? What colors and styles inspire and drive my fashion and decorating choices?” Also think about the overarching emotions and feelings you want your design to evoke, such as how you want to feel when you walk into the room for the first time. Your answers should serve as a jumping-off point for the aesthetic direction of your ceremony. After all, your wedding florals and designs should be an extension of who you are.
Not taking full advantage of their wedding website! This is such an important tool for guests, and it can be a creative outlet for couples during the planning process. Think of your wedding website as a one-stop shop for all of the questions guests might have. It’s the place to share day-of details, travel accommodations and your registry. But beyond that, it’s an extension of your wedding theme. Use your site to represent who you are as a couple. Share your love story, introduce the wedding party members who will stand by you on your day and include photos that capture your relationship. Your attendees will enjoy visiting your website if you’ve taken time to thoughtfully curate it.
I ’ M H AV I N G A M I C R O W E D D IN G AN D W O RRY T H O S E N O T I N V I T E D WI L L F E E L LE F T O U T W H E N T H E Y S E E I MAGES O N LI N E . H O W C AN I B E C E LE B R A T O RY B U T S E N S I T I V E I N M Y S O C I AL S HARI N G? ESTHER LEE Senior Editor
Give yourself a hug. You’re an empathetic friend. One thoughtful way to debut your newlywed status is to send an email or paper announcement to your broader friend group before posting on social media. Include wedding photos and a sentiment like, “We got married! We wish we could’ve celebrated with you in person, but that will come later.” Your loved ones will appreciate the added effort.
Find more advice on THE K N OT WE D D IN G PL ANNE R APP
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: BLUE SKY IMAGES; COURTESY OF SUBJECT; BARRIE TOVAR; SAMIA MINNICKS PHOTOGRAPHY
Assistant Digital Editor
Love on the horizon.
Out of all the people in the world, you somehow found your one true love. Suddenly, that’s looking like the easy part. Here in Islamorada, in The Florida Keys, you’ll ﬁ nd a host of epic venues vying for your affection, from waterfront resorts to barefoot weddings in the sand. And with so many amazing backdrops, there’s no better place to celebrate your love right out in the open. ﬂa-keys.com/islamorada 1.800.322.5397 For the latest protocols on health & safety in The Florida Keys, please visit our website. Morada Bay Florida Keys Stunning sunset views. Ultimate beachfront destination in The Florida Keys. 305-664-3225 moradabaykeys.com/events/weddings
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The perfect oceanfront setting for Four resorts, unlimited possibilities. small to large Florida Keys Weddings. Say “I Do” in Islamorada paradise. 844-489-9664 305-453-4456 cheeca.com/weddings islamoradaresortcollection.com/weddings
LMae, An Event Company Elopements. Beach & Boat Weddings. Microweddings. Destination Wedding Packages. 903-388-4989 lmaeevents.com
I LY S E + K Y L E N E W C I T Y, N E W Y O R K
F R U I T , B U T M A K E I T F A S H I O N When forced to reimagine their nuptials, Ilyse and Kyle made a sour situation sweet with citrusy attire. Ilyse slipped on festive sneakers that complemented the wedding party frocks.
JESSIKA + NICK AUSTIN, TEXAS
Z O O M C A R E P A C K A G E Jessika and Nick had to cut their guest list from 120 to 50 because of the pandemic. They mailed out cookies with stationery conveying updated streaming info.
Whether the pandemic forced you to make lemonade out of a tough situation or you simply love that lemons symbolize longevity, this tangy fruit deserves a spot at your nuptials. BY HANNAH NOWACK
P E T I T F O U R S To minimize contact and ensure their desserts were safe, Brittany and Derrick served guests individual lemon-topped treats. See more from this wedding on pg. 90
B R I T TA N Y + D E R R I C K COACHELLA, CALIFORNIA
A CITRUSY HISTORY While credit for the proverbial phrase generally goes to a 1948 Dale Carnegie book, an even earlier work correlated the fruit with a can-do attitude. A 1915 obituary honoring the actor Marshall Pinckney Wilder read, “He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade stand.”
JUST FOR FUN Lemons don’t need calamity to sweeten an event. This duo celebrated the vibrant fruit just because; a cascade of lemons on the stairs matched the escort cards. CA D E + DAV I D AVA LO N , N E W J E R S E Y
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: OLIVIA CHRISTINA PHOTOGRAPHY(2); JENNY DEMARCO PHOTOGRAPHY; RACHEL PEARLMAN (2); JENNY QUICKSALL
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU
Crafted For Everlasting Love Your wedding ring should symbolize your love and reﬂect life-long strength and beauty. Platinum ever&ever ® rings provide the durability and style you need for a ring that boasts a love that’s everlasting. Shop ever&ever ® platinum styles at everandever.com. Rings featured, top to bottom: 124443, 124444, and HRE
A SIGN OF LOVE DC-based realtor Jennifer Kalis chose to say “I do” in American Sign Language, her first language, as she often feels more at ease communicating in sign. An OHCODA (only hearing child of deaf adults), Jen comes from a deaf family and wanted her vows to honor the signing community. She shares tips from her experience planning a minimony with deaf guests. AS TOLD TO HANNAH NOWACK
The couple took sight lines for both in-person and Zoom attendees into account when they mapped out the ceremony around the memorial.
lthough the DC War Memorial represents many milestones shared between Todd Bissey and me (first date, first kiss, first “I love you” and the spot of our proposal), it wasn’t initially going to work as a wedding venue. However, as we reimagined our nuptials and shrank the guest list due to the pandemic, this spot on the Mall became perfect for our August 27th wedding. It wasn’t only important to Todd and me that the nuptials be safe and follow COVID-19 guidelines. They also needed to accommodate our deaf guests and celebrate the signing community that means so much to me. I have five generations of deafness in my family; it is a big part of who I am and where I come from. My identity is deeply connected to the signing community, a fact I wanted to honor with each step of planning.
ASL COOKIES Upon arrival, all guests received a welcome gift with hand sanitizer, masks, a drink and sweets, including cookies resembling the ASL sign for “I Love You” and cakesicles.
of thumb, since qualified and certified interpreters can be hard to come by.
Markers on the ground instructed guests on where to stand, which had the twofold benefit of helping with social distancing while giving everyone good sight lines. We also switched the setup and had my family standing on Todd’s side so they could see me and watch me sign my vows.
PREP YOUR VENDORS
CONSIDER DEAF VENDORS
We gave the interpreters copies of the ceremony and speeches ahead of time so they had time to prepare, instead of going in cold. Another step we took to ensure everything went smoothly was to instruct the A/V person to hand the microphone to the interpreter during the speeches, not to my parents. This may seem like a small detail, but it’s a component that could easily be overlooked and cause some awkwardness during the wedding.
In addition to making sure all our guests were as comfortable as possible, we wanted to support the deaf community through the vendors we selected. Notably, we hired Debby Elliott, a deaf ASL musical performer I’d seen at a friend’s wedding. I knew I had to have her at my wedding, so she was the first vendor I confirmed. And it was so worth it as my entire family was able to enjoy our first dance, while Debby really brought the meaning and beauty of the song to life.
QUALIFIED INTERPRETERS ARE KEY Communication access was really important to me, so we hired three interpreters. My parents had a dedicated interpreter, allowing them to talk freely to anyone. My best friend from college attended and she was able to catch up with them without needing me to translate, an opportunity she hasn’t previously had. I also wanted my sister, her wife and their two kids to have an interpreter. My niece is an OHCODA like me, as her brother (my nephew) is deaf too. I wanted her to be able to enjoy the day and not be put in a position to potentially interpret. Having a qualified interpreter is crucial and hiring one shouldn’t be an afterthought. Allowing at least one month’s notice is a good rule
PLAN OUT SIGHT LINES
“She conveys the lyrics and music so well,” Jen says of Debby Elliott.
PHOTOGRAPHS: ALICIA LACEY PHOTOGRAPHY; EVENT PLANNING: A. GRIFFIN EVENTS; FLORAL DESIGN: WANDER + WHIMSY; DESSERTS: SUGAR REX, BUTTERCREAM BAKESHOP; I NTERPRETERS: LORIEL DUTTON, DANA MITTELMAN; PERFORMER: DEBBY ELLIOTT; HAIR + MAKEUP: AMIE DECKER BEAUTY; DJ: FREESTYLE BOOKING & EVENTS; DRESS: DAVID’S BRIDAL
A Floral Invitation for Your Beach Wedding. Make It .
SCORE FREE SAMPLES OF SAVE-THE-DATES AND INVITATIONS!
Kir Tuben Photography
From save-the-dates to thank you cards, choose your favorite design and customize it. If a matching website is your thing, you can do that, too.
H E A D OV E R H E E L S
After four years of courtship, Jaymes, left, proposed to Jonathan with a love song. Jaymes: Jacket, DSquared2. com; shirt, Versace.com; pants, BrooksBrothers.com; Jonathan: jacket, DSquared2.com; shirt, GiorgioArmani.com; tie, Versace.com; pants, Balmain, Fwrd.com
BY L AU R E N K AY PHOTOGRAPHY BY EASTON SCHIRRA
MEAN GIRLS AND HALLMARK STAR JONATHAN BENNETT AND HIS CELEBRITY PAGE TV HOST FIANCÉ JAYMES VAUGHAN DISH ON THEIR MOVIE-LIKE MEET-CUTE, THE STORY OF THEIR ENGAGEMENT AND HOW THEY’RE PURPOSELY LOVING OUT LOUD TO BRING MORE VISIBILITY AND REPRESENTATION TO THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY.
think it’s safe to say America fell hard for Jonathan Bennett while watching him as Aaron Samuels in the cult teen classic, Mean Girls. It took his fiancé, Jaymes Vaughan, a few more years, but mere minutes to catch up with the rest of us. When I connected with the engaged couple over Zoom, it was like sitting down with old friends. Basking in the glow of Palm Springs, Jonathan and Jaymes giddily shared their love story and engagement. But their journey hasn’t been all sunshine—the same-sex couple was blindsided by discrimination early on in their wedding planning. And in that moment, the two decided their wedding was not just about them, but about something much bigger.
L AU REN K AY: Epic proposal, amazing wedding plans underway, take us back to the start. I want to hear your meet-cute. JAYM ES VAU G HAN: Wait, what is a meet-cute? J ONATHAN BEN N ET T: It’s that scene in a movie where she’s walking with all the papers and she drops them and that’s when he just knows. JV: Oh okay, okay, I get. Oh, we definitely had one of those. J B: I was on a press tour for Halloween Wars and I walked into The Grove [outdoor mall in Los Angeles] to do an interview with the guy from Celebrity Page. I had never heard of him before, but when I saw him setting up to do the interview, I thought he was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. I ran to
GROOMING: GRACE PHILLIPS FOR SAVE ME FROM AND KYPRIS/TRACEYMATTINGLY.COM; PROP STYLING: COURTNEY DE WET
FASHION STYLING BY LISA MARIE CAMERON
COVER STORY the bathroom to fix my hair. I came out of the bathroom and his producer Jade was standing in front of me. I asked her this exact question: “Am I about to meet my future husband?” And she said, “I think so.” JV: I love how he says it was love at first sight for him. For me, I was just ready to do my interview, get it done and get on with the day. So the producer is counting down 5,4,3, and I’m like, let’s take a picture for social. The minute he leans into me, it’s like electricity. And then the producer calls 2, 1, go. J B: The interview was a complete disaster. You literally watch us fall in love with each other on camera. After it was over, I said, “Can I get your number?” And he said, “I would hope so.” My publicist said, “Jonathan, you came on a little strong, whatever you do, make sure you wait at least three days to call.” JV: Do you think he waited three days? LK: Not. A. Chance. J B: The car dropped me off at home and I immediately called him. Jaymes picked up and said, “Took you long enough.” And I said, “Would it be weird if I came back to The Grove so we could kiss and see if this is the real deal?” And he said “Not at all.” I said good, because I’m already in my car and on the way. JV: I was having lunch in the farmers market at The Grove, and we’re on our phones, looking for each other. There may have been running involved, but we finally found each other.
W E ’ R E B R E A K I N G AWAY F R O M T R A D I T I O N A B I T, B E C A U S E W H AT ’ S T H E P O I N T ? I T ’ S YO U R W E D D I N G . YO U C A N D O W H AT E V E R YO U WA N T. T H E R E A R E N O R U L E S . W E O N LY T H I N K T H E R E A R E R U L E S . J B: I think I just looked at him and I said, “Okay, let’s do this.”
And we just kissed in the parking lot. And immediately it became The Notebook. It started raining out of nowhere, doves were released. I said okay, great, “Dinner tonight?” JV: I was worried—everything about this was magical. I kept thinking, please, if this is meant to be, show me a sign. J B: I showed up at his house with two hoodies and I said, “Do you want to go to the beach and sit and talk?” JV : So if someone asked me what my ideal date was, it would be going to the beach—talk about a sign. We talked for six hours. We both lost our dads to cancer and we really bonded over that. We’ve always kind of felt like they put us together. JV: So we went to Barney’s Beanery to finally get dinner after hours on the beach and the waitress was like, “Oh my god, you guys are so cute together, how long have you been together?” J B: Um, like six hours. LK: That is straight out of a movie. And the proposal? JV: Well, when your significant other is in Hallmark movies and romantic comedies you think, how am I going to make him feel special? We’ve always tried to find our song and we never could. My background is in music, so I thought, why don’t I just write it?
Jonathan will always say to me, “Hey, do you love me?” And I’m like, “Obviously, you know I love you.” One day, he said it to me and it clicked—this is the song. It’s going to be a song that you can put on anytime you need that answer. And just like that, it all came out. Then came the ring. There really isn’t a precedent for two guys. I knew we were both going to want to wear rings to say we’re engaged. But it felt silly to have a ring that we didn’t wear later, so I teamed up with Kay Jewelers and designed one. When you wear the ring diamond-side out, the world sees we’re engaged. When we get married, it flips and the diamonds face us, because my world is more beautiful with you in it forever. J B: NAILED IT! JV: Being an LGBTQ+ person, there are so many times when you don’t know if you’re welcome or safe, especially when it comes
YO U C A N S I T W I T H U S The to-be-weds are skipping a few traditions: They plan to get ready together on their wedding day. Jaymes: Suit, TwistedTailor .com; Jonathan: jacket, DSquared2.com; pocket square, TheTieBar.com; shirt, ASOS.com; pants, Balmain, Fwrd.com
to your engagement. Straight couples get to be excited the whole time, but it’s different when you’re gay. I thought, if I use a small bougie jeweler, I’m not really helping progress anything for our community. Kay Jewelers has stores everywhere—now the community knows that this safe space has been created. LK: That’s incredible. I absolutely love your rings and more importantly, your mission for progress. So what came next? JV: So then I had to get family, because I had to make it special, but we’re in COVID times. I set up a quarantine at a local hotel and had a lab come in and do rapid testing. J B: So my whole family is at our house and my sister comes running into the kitchen and says, “Jonathan, come out here real quick, you’ve got to see this.” I run out the door and Jaymes is standing there holding a sign that says, “We never
did find our song, so I wrote one for you.” When I saw him with the sign, I knew I was being proposed to and began to ugly cry. It was the first time I heard the song and I just blacked out. LK: Wow! It’s like the sequel to the meet-cute. Dare I ask about what’s planned for the wedding? J B: You know, my initial dream was to have our wedding look like something from The Greatest Showman, with a circus tent and aerialists. Jaymes dreamed about getting married in an enchanted forest. We both gave a little and settled on Mexico. JV: I want this moment to be classic and intimate and just about us. We love traveling, we love the beach and the water. J B: We’ll be outside, near the ocean, up on this beautiful platform alongside a tropical jungle. Simple and classic with a masculine vibe. And roses. My mom’s favorite flower was
COVER STORY white roses so we’ll incorporate those too. Our reception will be created these adventures all around the world, from the Greek under this clear tent with string lights—very much “leave your Isles to the Mekong River to Berlin Pride to Amsterdam Pride to shoes at the door and come play in the sand with us.” the Adriatic Sea. We’ll charter an entire ship and fill it with our LK: It sounds amazing. What traditions are you keeping or OUTbounders, LGBTQ + people, members of the community forgoing as you plan? and their friends, family and allies. J B: We’re breaking away from tradition a bit because what is the JV: If there’s anything that our life growing up as gay men has point? It’s your wedding. You can do whatever you want. There taught us—especially now as we’re planning a wedding—is are no rules. We only think there are rules. We’re not going to that there aren’t enough spaces where we all feel safe and have groomsmen or best men. We’re just going to have our best celebrated. We love traveling. Jonathan’s dad’s tag line was... girls and guys in our lives, on each side of us, forming one big J B: It’s all about adventure. wedding party. The other tradition we’re skipping is not seeing JV: We always say that and try to have as much adventure as each other on our wedding day. He’s my best friend. If I don’t possible. It’s exciting to know we’re creating this space where see him before the wedding, who am I going to talk to? As much everyone can go and feel safe to hold their partner’s hand, as we are fiancés, we’re best friends first. or give their partner a kiss at dinner. It’s your chance to be JV: We need each other because we know what the other needs. yourself and see the world. The whole point is to spend so much time together as a family LK: That sounds groundbreaking, kind of like your role in The and then leave as an even bigger family. Christmas House, Jonathan. How did it feel to be the first LK: I love that. A lot of to-be-weds are selecting pros and leading character in a same-sex relationship in a Hallmark film? vendors that align with their values. Is this something you’ve J B: It felt like I was a part of progress and it felt really good. I thought about as you’ve planned your day? can only imagine what younger Jonathan would have thought, J B: This has been the most important watching a movie with his family at the factor in deciding what our wedding holidays and seeing a love that looked like looks like. As a member of the LGBTQ+ the kind he wanted to have represented on community, you don’t just need to feel screen. It was almost therapeutic playing safe—you need to feel celebrated. For this character, because not only was it OR years, we planned to get married at Palace healing a lot of my childhood fears, but I Resorts in Mexico. When we got engaged, knew it was going to help some members of the owner said he couldn’t marry us the LGBTQ+ community feel seen. We asked the to-be-weds because we’re two men and it goes against JV: I’m very proud of him. Any time you take a handful of rapid-fire his morals. That was a sucker punch to on trailblazer stuff like this you’re met with questions. They agreed on the gut. We decided in that moment that praise, but then there’s this other part of it most of the answers. our wedding was bigger than us. It’s our that you tackle as well. wedding, but it isn’t just about us. It’s J B: The pandemic made us step back and about the LGBTQ+ community. We’re really look at what’s important. I want to tell T H E T IDIEST making a point to make this wedding very these types of stories. I want to get married J O NATHAN loud on purpose. to Jaymes and make sure our love is very JV: We knew we could go to the UNICO visible and very loud for everyone to see. T H E BEST LIST ENER Hotel, because on social and in their We’re doing a lot of firsts. I hope by doing marketing, they have shown us that we’re all of this, that it changes some hearts and JAYM E S welcome there. When we first started minds and helps people in our community talking about having our wedding there, feel seen and represented. T H E P LA NNER they were excited for us, which is what JV: Visibility is so doggone important. I everyone’s wedding is supposed to be. always think about what could have saved J O NATHAN J B: We want to make sure that there’s me so much hurt and so much heartache, never a moment during the engagement and it’s just visibility. I make a point to share T H E MO ST RO MA NT IC or wedding planning journey that LGBTQ+ our love a lot on Instagram, to show that JAYM E S people aren’t excited. We’re want to make we have this relationship full of love and sure that they are celebrated every moment support and it’s healthy. People need to T H E BEST CO OK and don’t feel a sense of otherness. The know that healthy love exists out there. And otherness needs to be removed from gay if you see it, you realize you too can have it. J O NATHAN weddings. J B: I want to make sure that through this He published The Burn LK: That’s so important and exactly how it whole process of our love and wedding, and Cookbook after all! should be. Speaking of the journey, tell me building our family, that we are trailblazing about OUTbound, your travel company. for the LGBTQ+ community. I want TH E MOST A DVENT UROUS J B: Well, we are taking the most epic, multieveryone to realize that they are never too J O NATHAN trip honeymoon! We recently launched a much, and they’re always enough. That’s Yep. Even though Jaymes LGBTQ+ travel adventure company. Like my mission in life. You’re never too much. competed on The Amazing our wedding, we wanted a place where our And you’re always enough. You just being Race, both think Jonathan is the fearless one IRL. community feels safe and celebrated. We you is enough.
LOV E W I N S The duo is on a mission to ensure everyone in the LGBTQ+ community feels safe and celebrated.
A ONE-OF-A-KIND ALL -INCLUSIVE HOTEL
S U M M E R 2 0 2 1
N E W +N OW There’s a new design trend taking up residence in Insta feeds and IRL: grandmillennial style. The old-school look is approachable yet formal, rooted in feelings of nostalgia. It’s a modern sense of style that honors the past: think blue-and-white china, wicker details and prints for days. Best of all, it’s homey and centered around entertaining your people. P H OTO G R A P H BY J E S S I C A P E T T WAY P R O P S T Y L I N G BY A L E X S I LVA
It’s all about the layers—pile on the colors and patterns.
NEW + NOW
Pay homage to this trending style in every room of your home. FOR YOU R
FO R YO UR
B E D RO O M
BATH RO O M
LIVI N G RO O M
A Southern phrase with dual meaning is on point.
Rattan and acrylic are a modern-day match.
Perfectly preserved plants for the win!
Needlepoint pillow, $98, FurbishStudio.com
Tissue box, $140, Williams-Sonoma.com
Print, from $21, AThingCreated, Etsy.com
PREVIOUS PAGE (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP): Lacquer twist taper candle, $38, OnlyOnTheAvenue.com; Odisha palm brass candlestick, $92, FurbishStudio.com; Petite floral vines ginger jar, $70, Williams-Sonoma.com; Pretty In Pink napkin, $10, tablecloth, $58, FurbishStudio. com; Jadeite cake stand, $40, Mosser Glass, Amazon.com; Woven loop palm place mat, $48, OnlyOnTheAvenue.com; Butterfly Bloom blue peony teacup and saucer, $60, Wedgwood.com; Basketweave flatware, $35 for 5-piece set, TheEnchantedHome.com; Nathalie Lete Titania dessert plate, $16, Anthropologie.com; Butterfly Bloom blue peony teapot for one, $160, Wedgwood. com; Dominos, $130, SunnyLife, Amazon.com; Japanese Garden salad plate, $60 for set of 4, Williams-Sonoma.com; I Don’t Like To Cook needlepoint canvas, $135, scissors, $116, Lycette.com; Bordallo Pinheiro Cabbage bowl, $56 for set of 4, colored goblet, $37 for set of 6, colored water glass, $25 for set of 6, Amazon.com
A three-stone setting is both timeless and on trend.
While happy hour may look a bit different this year, raising a glass and raising spirits doesn’t have to. A quick online quiz will create a custom seasonal drink recipe to send to friends and family so you can toast to those you love near and far.
Pomp & Whimsy CocktailGram, PompandWhimsy.com
Swap out the message whenever you want a change.
British designer Jenny Packham has debuted a collection of lab-grown diamond engagement rings at Helzberg Diamonds— and the collab is every bit as glam as you’d expect. Inspired by film icons of the 1930s, the collection offers a range of styles, from simple solitaire settings to megawatt sparklers with halos. For an extra-special touch, each ring is named after one of Packham’s wedding gowns and bears her star-anddiamond signature on its gallery.
BY T H E N U M B E R S Peep what weddings look like amid a global pandemic with fresh facts from The Knot 2020 Real Weddings Study
TIED THE KNOT DESPITE NECESSARY MODIFICATIONS
From $699, Helzberg.com
is AGE OF the T0-BE-WEDS
POMP & WHIMSY: T.J. RIVER; MAKEUP: GETTY IMAGES (2); ALL OTHERS COURTESY OF VENDORS
COCK TA I L GR A M
PERIOD DRAMA Old souls and Bridgerton stans alike, prepare your fainting couches: Luxury fashion brand Erdem’s elegant new launch might make you swoon. Called White Collection, the ready-towear bridal line is comprised of six different styles, including delicate broderie-anglaise gowns, embroidered midi dresses, cape dresses, and an assortment of veils and accessories.
No “bride” or “groom” categories here. Below, hear from the founders of our favorite gender-inclusive makeup brands and shop our editor’s picks.
From $1,340, Erdem.com
WE ARE FLUIDE
“Everyone deserves to feel their best and have products available to them,” says founder Loraine Dowdy. “No one should ever feel left out.” Cherry Blossom matte liquid lipstick, $17, ColouredRaine.com
“Makeup can be a powerful tool of transformation and means of self-actualization, especially for gender nonconforming folks,” says cofounder Laura Kraber. Universal Gloss in Roxy, $15, Fluide.us
“You should have a blast with makeup: take risks and dare to do something different,” says founder Rihanna. Pro Filt’r Soft Matte longwear foundation, $36, FentyBeauty.com
“Our motto is ‘Beauty For All,’” says founder Niye Aniekan-Attang. “That’s beauty for everyone, regardless of age, skin color, gender or cultural beliefs.” Classical Paradise palette, $35, AceBeaute.com
“We call our products ‘Genderful.’ It’s masculine and feminine mixed together—it’s all expressions of gender,” says cofounder Matthew Herman. Suede Pony Cologne de Parfum, $98, BoySmells.com
T W I N K LE TOE S
Robin’s egg shoe lining is a subtle “something blue.”
Footwear designer Sarah Flint teamed up with celebrity planner Jung Lee to create über-luxe wedding shoes. The Wedding Fête Shoes feature removable diamond shoe clips, designed by jewelry brand Civil using sustainable stones. The best part? The clips can be converted into earrings or pins after your celebrations are over. Shoe, $545, pin, $3,000, SarahFlint.com
INCLUDED A VIRTUAL COMPONENT
was TOP ADDITION TO the ALL WEDDINGS
NEW + NOW
MORE TO LOVE Online boutique Lulus is adding to its budget-friendly bridal offerings in a major way. The bigger and better selection includes: over 100 wedding dresses, a line of 15 higher-end gowns called Lulus Luxe, new bridesmaid dress colors and fabrics—plus lingerie and accessories. From $75, Lulus.com
Jewelry brand Brilliant Earth, known for its ethical sourcing, is branching out into a new category: size-inclusive rings designed without gender in mind. The Mx Collection consists of four engagement rings and nine wedding bands. The 13 designs offer a range of styles for every to-be-wed, from classic settings with prominent center stones to simple textured metal bands. From $850, BrilliantEarth.com
A N N I V ER SA RY R EC EP T ION:
SNAIL-MAILED THANK YOU NOTES
An event that occurs after an original elopement or minimony that typically honors the couple’s original wedding plans with a celebratory reception-style event, including dinner, drinks and dancing (pending safety measures) with their guest list.
is MOST POPULAR the WEDDING COLOR
THE T HE TOP
Bling that blurs the line between traditionally gendered jewels.
reception venues are
BANQUET HALL, BARN + COUNTRY CLUB
COLOR C R A Z E Like a dreamier version of a standard color wheel, Darroch and Michael Putnam’s latest book uses color theory as inspiration for flower arrangements. The 175 arrangements highlighted within demonstrate monochromatic and triadic designs, and more. Flower Color Theory, $35, PutnamFlowers.com
TA I L O R I N G FOR TOTS
A statement board will jazz up the bites.
ICONS CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: ALEX MURAVEV/NOUN PROJECT; OLGA/NOUN PROJECT (5); ALL OTHERS COURTESY OF VENDORS
Round Acacia board, $100, LynnLiana.com
CHARCUTERIE GOAL S
Knowing the cheese board formula is a must. Whether you’re planning a night in with you partner or a friend’s engagement party, keep this blueprint in mind.
Brie or Camembert. Pro tip: The rind *is* edible.
Gouda, cheddar or manchego.
Think: Toasted baguette or rosemary crackers.
M E AT
F R U IT
A LI L’ SA LT
A charcuterie board’s namesake.
Incorporate both fresh and dried nibbles.
Balance the board’s dairy with salty nuts or olives.
WERE OFFICIATED BY A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER
Not every flower girl dreams of wearing a frilly dress. Enter, Appaman’s Mod Suit. The unisex children’s suit comes in dozens of colors and patterns, has a flexible fit that works for a range of body types—and looks totally adorable in photos. Add a colorful dress shirt, bow tie and pocket square for a perfectly polished effect. Suits in sizes up to children’s 16, from $158, Appaman.com
is MOST POPULAR the STYLE OF WEDDING
Pier 27 Weddings
Say I do with a view
Pier 27, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA Metroevents.com email@example.com|415-298-1913
S U M M E R 2 0 2 1
FA S H I O N + B E A U T Y
BY SHELLEY BROWN P H OTO G R A P H BY J E S S I C A P E T T WAY
Gender-neutral rings aren’t limited to plain bands. From designs dripping in ice to subtle shine, the coolest bling is all about sparkle— no matter how you identify.
A CUT ABOVE A unique, rhombusshaped diamond set in white metal is equal parts sleek and chic. The Diamond Rhombus signet ring, $7,850, EvaFehren.com
NEW CLASSIC Solitaire settings are an old standard, but a unique bezel setting makes this one feel fresh. Cielo diamond ring, from $1,090, BrilliantEarth.com
GOOD VINTAGE This updated signet ring featuring a marquise diamond has instant heirloom quality. Maverick signet ring, $3,500, JadeTrau.com
OBJET D’ART A riff on the Japanese craft of restoring broken ceramics, this dainty ring has abstract lines that give it an artsy vibe. Kintsugi Diamond Ring II, $2,000, en.Milamore Jewelry.com
BLUE NOTES If diamonds aren’t your thing, consider colorful gems. Sapphires make for a beautiful “something blue.” Sapphire ring, $4,620, SimonGJewelry.com
THRICE AS NICE Give a nod to your past, present and future with a symbolic threestone sparkler. Giverny oval diamond ring, $4,900, Ceremony.us
PROP STYLING: ALEX SILVA/BA REPS
THE X FACTOR
MAXIMUM IMPACT One word: Thicc. A wide gold coil topped with a large oval diamond is made to turn heads. The Beth diamond ring, price upon request, AlisonLou.com
Calling all fashionistas. An X-shaped setting plus pear-shaped diamond feels totally of the moment. The Duet diamond ring, from $1,310, Vrai.com
GOLD RUSH A yellow sapphire is an alternative choice that gives off a gorgeous golden glow. Kaya yellow sapphire ring, from $1,130, BruceNYC.com
SPACED OUT Feeling bold? The clawshaped design of this ring is an avant-garde way to show off stunning stones. Three Stone Claw diamond ring, $10,300, AnitaKo.com
FASHION + BEAUTY ALL ABOUT
ICE ICE BABY Bring on the bling. An eternity band with large and in charge stones is bold enough to stand alone. Eternity band, price upon request, ChristopherDesigns.com
RETRO REVIVAL Far from your typical cigar band, this one with negative space and micropavé diamond details is au courant. Grande Cerré ring, $3,880, KatKimFineJewelry.com
WITH A TWIST Inspired by the twisted shape of a helix, this delicate design serves up effortless glamour. Helix diamond ring, from $1,950, BrilliantEarth.com
FLOAT ON Thanks to the open style of this sparkler, its graduated stones appear to hover above your finger. Twist diamond ring, $10,625, AnitaKo.com
Don’t know the difference between platinum and white gold? No problem. Read up on your options before you select a ring setting.
PLATINUM A rare, natural white metal known for its strength and purity, platinum is usually 95 percent pure. Platinum’s density makes it extremely durable, meaning it will keep your center stone protected and secure. It’s also naturally hypoallergenic, so it won’t irritate sensitive skin. While it is the most expensive of the metals, when platinum scratches, there’s very little metal lost, so your ring will withstand years of wear.
YELLOW GOLD Besides the fact that yellow gold is on trend, the pure-gold look has plenty of other appeal too. It’s about as low-maintenance as it gets (it’s easier to clean than white or rose gold) and is a fairly hypoallergenic metal as well, depending on the karat measurement. Not to mention, it’s typically priced lower than other fine jewelry metals like platinum.
Both modern and sentimental, intersecting links symbolize an eternal union. Beloved ring, from $640, Verlas.com
Yellow gold is turned into white gold when the surface is plated with rhodium (a white metal). If you want the look of a white metal setting but don’t want to splurge on platinum, white gold is budget-friendly. Though it has a resemblance to platinum, it’s more widely available and, therefore, less expensive. If you opt for this metal, keep in mind you may need to have your ring replated in the future. The white rhodium coating may eventually wear away and return the ring to its original yellow color.
Interconnected, mixedmetal bands make for a solid ring stack—no additions necessary. Nimbus SG Gris bands, $2,400, SpinelliKilcollin.com
ROSE GOLD SHAPE SHIFTER
Pavé all the way. Five rows of diamonds that wrap all the way around create a luxe effect. Megaband ring, $8,510, CarbonandHyde.com
Alternating round brilliant-cut and fancy-shaped diamonds put a contemporary spin on a classic. Large multi-shape eternity band, $17,050, MaterialGood.com
DARING DRIP Asymmetrically placed oval diamonds add creative flair to this extra-wide band. Demi Globe Plus 3 Ovals ring, $2,880, GraceLee.com
GOING BESPOKE Dreaming of a custom ring? These tips will help streamline the process.
Start early. Give yourself at least three months to get a custom ring.
Choose a reputable jeweler. Do your research and ask family and friends for their recs.
Come prepared. Bring inspiration of rings you love so your jeweler understands your vision.
Ignore gendered sizing. If you want a ring that isn’t available in your size, ask if your jeweler can make your preferred design to fit you.
Plan for your band. If you’re opting for a ring and a band, take that into consideration during the design process.
COURTESY OF VENDORS
Made popular in 19th-century Imperial Russia, this pink-tinted metal is gold with an added copper alloy. The more copper alloy in the metal, the deeper the rosy tones will be. One of rose gold’s most attractive qualities is its underlying meaning. While white gold represents friendship and yellow gold means fidelity, rose gold symbolizes love.
FASHION + BEAUTY
TOP IT OFF Gracy Accad
Ines Di Santo
Perfect for a minimony or otherwise casual affair, these short styles make a big statement.
WRAPPED UP Katharine Polk
The Other White Dress by Morilee Madeline Gardner
HAUTE HALTER Little White Dress by Amsale
SO CLASSIC Allison Webb
T OR I
One of the best things about a flirty
FLIRTY FROCK Viktor&Rolf
hemline? The chance to show off a killer pair of shoes.
VIKTOR&ROLF: MARIJKE AERDEN; ALL OTHERS COURTESY OF DESIGNERS
Little White Dress by Anne Barge
Share Your Love Story … and the After Party Details. Make It .
o u Y
Create a free wedding website and share all the details with your guests. You can even collect RSVPs and share your registry!
FASHION + BEAUTY
Little White Dress by Anne Barge
AMAZING LACE Temperley London
EDIT SQUARED OFF Savannah Miller
T OR I
If you have your heart set on a gown, a suit or jumpsuit is a chic option for
The Other White Dress by Morilee Madeline Gardner
CUT IT OUT GALVAN
No dress? No problem. These tailored alternatives are equal parts polished and badass. BE JEWELED Viktor&Rolf
SHORT + SASSY Rosa Clará
VIKTOR&ROLF: MARIJKE AERDEN; ALL OTHERS COURTESY OF DESIGNERS
FASHION + BEAUTY NEW ROMANTIC
HOT COLLAR Justin Alexander Signature
PETAL PUSHER Jenny Packham
Streamlined doesn’t have to mean expected. These simple silhouettes bring the drama.
PATTERN PLAY Lela Rose
T OR I
Textural details like floral appliqué, pleating and ruffles
TAKE THE PLUNGE
make an unfussy style feel luxe.
GREAT ILLUSION Kelly Faetanini
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF DESIGNERS
Think you have to play it safe with your wedding hair and makeup? Think again. Your glam should reflect your unique style. Here, some of our fave bold beauty looks that to-be-weds pulled off IRL.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: CALLIE BIGGERSTAFF PHOTOGRAPHY; TARA BETH PHOTOGRAPHY; FERN & FEATHER STUDIO; THE LIGHT & GLASS; RACHEL JOY BAREHL; MARY COSTA PHOTOGRAPHY; TANA HELENE PHOTOGRAPHY; NEMUS PHOTOGRAPHY
FASHION + BEAUTY
No Detail Left Behind. Download Our App. Make It .
o u Y
Thanks to the #1 (free!) wedding planning app, you can find vendors, add gifts to your registry, shop invites and more—right from your fingertips.
SUITED Industry experts break down where to find the right gender-neutral wedding attire for you. BY SARAH HANLON
FASHION + BEAUTY
Outfits with matching colors and patterns are a fun way to “twin” with your partner without limiting your attire options.
oss the rules, because nothing can dictate what you wear to your wedding. Today, more folks are opting for gender-neutral attire as an alternative to traditional wedding wear. While you might know exactly how you want to look on your day, it might be hard to know where to start. Conversely, you may not know what you want your outfit to look like, except that a nonbinary look is the best option for you. Here, we’ve gathered the best tips from industry experts to help you find a great look for all of your fashion needs—plus the best places to find gender-neutral wedding attire, both in-stores and online.
The first step to finding gender-neutral wedding attire is setting your budget. Keep in mind that while you can shop online, in-store experiences that allow you to customize your outfit will be more personalized to you—though it will come at a higher cost. “Not all suits and not all stores are created equal,” says Kelly Sanders Moffat, cofounder of Kirrin Finch, a Brooklyn-based clothing company for women and nonbinary folks. “First, figure out what your budget for this outfit is going to be. That will help narrow down if you want to go ready-to-wear or custom.” What goes into the cost of custom suiting, you might wonder? It depends on what you’re looking for—but experienced tailors can work with you to create a look that fits your price range. “Pricing varies depending on fabric choice, style details and other factors, but we always ask clients to provide their desired budget up front,” says Sienna Burnett, showroom manager at Duchess Clothier, a Portlandbased custom suiting company. “This way, we can curate offerings that will work for them. This also ensures there are no surprises when they see their total cost.”
In general, the cost of custom suiting can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more, depending on the fabric and added elements of personalization. Keep in mind that custom suiting isn’t the only option, though. Some nonbinary retailers specialize in affordable ready-towear garments that are specifically designed for people of all body types. Once you have a budget in place, gather ideas for what you want your genderneutral wedding attire to look like. If you want a bespoke outfit, your stylist can help guide your fashion choices. Most clothiers will have tailors available to clients to offer advice and guidance during the entire shopping experience. Even online retailers have adapted the virtual shopping experience. Experts are often available for digital consultations and phone calls to answer questions and make the online experience stress-free. Regardless of where you’re shopping, it can be helpful to have a general idea of what you want your wedding day outfit to look like before you begin. Sanders Moffat
suggests a few tried-and-true websites that can deliver serious inspiration. “Pinterest is always a great place to start planning outfits,” she says. “Just because the person in the photo doesn’t look like you doesn’t mean that you can’t hunt for that style of suit yourself. Pulling these types of images is especially helpful for folks who want to go the custom route. Instagram is another great way to see how women, nonbinary and trans folks are exploring different ways to wear suits.” While gender-neutral wedding attire is typically associated with menswearinspired suits, some shoppers may want to wear something more feminine. If that’s the case, professional seamstresses and clothiers can help guide you to find an outfit that best fits the look you want, whether that’s a dress, a jumpsuit, a suit-and-skirt combination or something completely unique—the sky’s the limit. Once you’ve narrowed down the look you want, it’s time to start shopping online or in a store. Working within your allotted time frame is of the utmost importance. Consider online delivery
FROM LEFT: JESSICA HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY; ELIZABETH ERVIN
HOW TO FIND GENDER-NEUTRAL WEDDING ATTIRE
FASHION + BEAUTY FASHION INSPO
TASTE MAKERS @SHEDOESHIM Allison Graham launched She Does Him, along with a corresponding clothing line, Masculinity is Not a Gender, to break down barriers in the menswear industry.
@_ A LI M E D I N A _ Just starting to build out your wardrobe? Ali Medina, a nonbinary model and activist, offers a wealth of educational resources.
@ DA N I E LLE C O O P E R You might recognize Danielle Cooper from FX’s Pose—but offscreen, the actor is dedicated to bringing awareness to nonbinary style.
P EO P L E A LWAYS LOOK THEIR BEST WHEN THEY FEEL AUTHENTIC. schedules and custom alteration appointments, and start shopping early so you don’t find yourself scrambling to get an outfit finished at the last minute. “One thing to keep in mind is that custom suits are made just for you, so that means you need to allow yourself plenty of lead time to bring it to fruition,” says Sanders Moffat. “Sometimes that means one or two fittings to adjust things to your body after waiting a month or two for the suit to be made. If you decide to go the custom route, be sure to leave yourself some wiggle room so you aren’t stressed about if your outfit will arrive on time.”
HOW TO PERSONALIZE YOUR GENDER-NEUTRAL WEDDING ATTIRE According to the experts, wedding fashion should always reflect who you are. Once you know what to wear, consider all the ways you can personalize your outfit. For
a subtle touch, embroider your monogram or your partner’s initials inside your wrist cuff or under your collar. You can also incorporate part of a family member’s wedding outfit into yours too; ask your tailor to sew part of a handkerchief or veil onto the inside of your jacket. Not only is this a way to honor your family history on your wedding day, but it’ll also make your suit feel extra special. Sanders Moffat often encourages clients to experiment with bold colors and patterns as a way to personalize their look. “At Kirrin Finch, we love to play with fun pops of color and unique details,” she says. “For example, find a funky shirt that will help you stand out and pair it with a more subtle suit jacket to keep it appropriate for a wedding. Bold jacket linings are a great place to experiment with style and show off your unique personality, while still having a suit that can be paired with different shirts for different looks. Plaid suits are another fun way to show off a unique style.” Regardless of your personal style, nonbinary suit designers and retailers are dedicated to helping clients find the perfect outfit in a comfortable environment. “Custom clothing can
DA P P E R Q DapperQ is a digital magazine dedicated to “ungendering” fashion. While it started as a blog, the brand now inspires readers to see queer fashion as art and visual activism.
be a vulnerable pursuit, because it involves the experience of being seen and celebrated for who you really are,” says Burnett. “Because of this, our team puts care into making sure our clients feel safe and assured they can trust us. You don’t need to change yourself or your body to have well-fitting clothes. Our process ensures that the garments shift and orient themselves to the wearer, not the other way around.” Ultimately, the most important thing is that you feel great in the outfit you have. “People always look their best when they feel authentic,” Sanders Moffat says. “Fit can make or break an outfit. Luckily, if you are starting with a suit that is made to fit your body type, a local dry cleaner can help make minor adjustments like hemming the pants so they hit your shoe at the right spot. This minor adjustment will go a long way in the style game.”
FROM LEFT: MIKHAIL GLABETS PHOTOGRAPHY; PHOTOGEN INC.; IRIS MANNINGS
Looking for fit ideas? Follow these Instagram accounts for chic examples of gender-neutral suiting.
WHERE TO GET CUSTOM GENDER-NEUTRAL WEDDING ATTIRE
experience. By using a trademarked formula, the store’s experts can predict custom sizing. However, they also offer basic suiting options for to-be-weds who don’t want to go bespoke or wedding guests looking for more versatile options. If you can’t make it to one of Sharpe Suiting’s physical locations, the brand also has a collection of blazers and trousers online. The site includes fashion tips for each product to guide your styling process. So, even if you’re forgoing the in-person bespoke experience, you can still get expert help.
Whether you shop in a store or online, nonbinary retailers are committed to providing an empowering shopping experience. So, where are the best places to shop for nonbinary wedding attire? We’ve got you covered. BINDLE & KEEP
offers a customized, in-person shopping experience. Clients can visit the brand’s Brooklyn store to meet with clothiers and build a bespoke outfit from scratch, or work it out via Zoom. And in addition to one-on-one time with stylists, the alterations process is highly collaborative. This unique shopping experience gives clients the ability to further customize their outfit so that it fits their exact vision. The store offers a variety of packages to help satisfy every formalwear need—and it can also create suit skirts and feminine suits to fit a range of preferences.
DUCHESS CLOTHIER is a Portland-based company that specializes in custom suits, separates, shoes and accessories. All garments are made-to-order, and fittings take place in its Portland store. A variety of suit collections allows customers to
find a look that best suits them—or they can create their own custom look by piecing together separates and accessories. “We understand that investing in custom clothing can feel daunting, but the benefits of having a small team of experts devoted to your project from day one heavily outweigh the cost of trying to achieve a custom fit with retail garments that weren’t crafted for you,” says Burnett. “We want clients to understand that they don’t have to sacrifice fit anywhere. It’s all made for them.” KIRRIN FINCH was inspired by Sanders Moffat’s own wedding shopping experience. As she and her now-wife, Laura, searched for wedding suits, they found a need for clothing brands that specialize in gender-neutral attire designed for a range of body types. “We started Kirrin Finch to give ourselves and others the opportunity to have a wardrobe that allows them to express themselves,” Sanders Moffat says. The Brooklyn store is a place where shoppers can try on different styles and silhouettes in a safe space. “We have a showroom in our office where folks can come try stuff, see things in person and figure out their size,” Sanders Moffat explains. “It is a place where someone asking you your preferred pronouns is the norm, and that can be really liberating for folks.” In addition to its in-store experience, Kirrin Finch also offers an extensive collection of suiting online. SHARPE SUITING
specializes in wedding attire and has locations in Charlotte, Houston, Los Angeles, Tampa and Chicago. It offers clients a unique bespoke
provides highquality tailoring for the same price as a traditional suit rental. Real talk: Renting a wedding suit isn’t always the best option, especially if you’re looking to build out your collection of formal attire. But if you’re shopping on a budget, finding an affordable retailer can feel like a never-ending task. Enter, The Groomsman Suit. Start by finding your perfect fit online, then test your suit for a week before committing to your purchase. Note: While this site uses gendered language like “men’s suits” and “women’s suits,” it does offer a range of inclusive options. If you need help finding the right fit for you, the sales team can guide you.
THE TAILORY NEW YORK
is an appointment-only brand specializing in genderless fashion that’s designed and fitted for each individual client. Thanks to one-on-one customer service, you’ll get a highly personalized shopping experience. If you’re not able to visit the store’s New York location, you can have an outfit created through a video call. After you place your order, the team will work with you virtually to determine your ideal sizing. With a suit that’s custom fit to your body, you’ll feel as confident as ever on your wedding day.
WILDFANG is an online store specializing in nonbinary clothing that’s both comfortable and fashion-forward. Those shopping for less formal wedding attire can find great options in the brand’s suiting and workwear collections. The Empower line features a variety of suit designs in a wide range of sizes, silhouettes and colors, giving shoppers plenty of options to find their ideal wedding outfit—whether they’re a guest or they’re saying “I do.”
A colorful or printed lining is a subtle way to personalize an otherwise solid jacket.
THE GROOMSMAN SUIT
No One Has to Know the Juicer Is for Cocktails. Make It .
Go ahead, ask for what you really want and let guests shop straight from your wedding website on The Knot.
S U M M E R 2 0 2 1
S T Y LE+PL A N N I NG
A SMALL CELEBRATION, BIG ON DETAILS, DELIVERS AUTHENTICITY AND MEMORABLE MOMENTS.
CHEERS BY L AU R E N K AY
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MEGAN & KENNETH
P L A N N I N G + D E S I G N B Y S I M P LY S T Y L E D E V E N T S
FLORALS BY OLIVIA HOWARD DESIGNS VENUE SOUND RIVER STUDIOS
STYLE + PLANNING
MOODY HUES Copper anchors a rich palette of emerald, coral and blush, while silver and crystal elevate the setting.
INTIMATE SETTING Set a distinguished table with extra-special elements like a signature sip (in this case, a Moscow mule) that doubles as a place card.
CONSIDER FORGOING OLD
ALL IN THE DETAILS A small-scale celebration can still pack an unforgettable punch.
In favor of intimate “I dos”? We’re here for it. You can let your personalities shine in a big way while still incorporating classic wedding moments like a first dance or cake cutting. The key to making it memorable? Authenticity. Plan a one-of-a-kind day, forgoing old traditions that don’t fit who you are as a couple or making them less gendered by including everyone (think: inviting all guests to the dance floor for the bouquet toss). Splurge on the details that mean the most to you both, be it a multi-course meal or a food truck with late-night eats. These personal touches will be remembered long after your event.
TRADITIONS T H AT D O N ’ T F I T WHO YOU ARE AS A COUPLE OR MAKING THEM LESS GENDERED BY INCLUDING EVERYONE
INCLUSIVE INVITES Make guests feel welcome from the start by addressing invites with intention and using preferred pronouns. Ensure all day-of signage represents your friends and family too.
SIMPLY STYLED: COURTESY OF SUBJECTS
GET THE LOOK
‘I DOS’ WITH A VIEW An intimate gathering has its perks, like a waterside ceremony not fit for a crowd. It’s easier to switch up locales too, allowing the day to unfold in an unforgettable way.
TI PS FROM THE PROS Ann Marie Boccuzzi and Emily Mitchell of Simply Styled Events weigh in.
ALIGN ON YOUR VISION Establish your priorities and must-haves and then stick to them. Don’t lose sight of your vision while planning.
MAKE IT PERSONAL Share the story of how you met, a trip you took or what your future holds. Guests will love being in the know.
EXTRA SWEETS Revive danced-out guests with a cold treat, like scoops of coffee chip ice cream.
SPLURGE ON SPECIAL
A WARDROBE CHANGE HELPS
Choose something meaningful to you both and go all out. Love desserts? Opt for an elaborate cart of sweets.
TRANSITION THE EVENING AND KEEPS GUESTS
BE AUTHENTIC Incorporate your culture or family traditions into the day and be intentional about your readings and song choices.
A two-tone lemon cake with raspberry jam filling is perfectly sized for an intimate celebration. Floral embellishments and flecks of copper leaf add a stately finish.
AND INCLUSIVE Accurately represent your friends and family by addressing them properly on invites and signage.
POST-CEREMONY TOAST Kick off cocktail hour immediately following the first kiss. Pass glasses of bubbly to guests ahead of the ceremony or set up a station at the exit.
Production, @MeganBreukelman and @Judson_Rappaport; wardrobe, @LouletteBride; rentals, @PartyRentalLtd; hair, @TheAndyCane; makeup, @ChristinaDelfinoMakeup; models, @SaraandSumaya; cake, @BakedNYC; ice cream, @ALaModeIceCreamShoppe; food truck, @StufdTruck; invites and day-of paper, @MintedWeddings
STYLE + PLANNING
Registry BY L AU R E N K AY
P H OTO G R A P H BY J E S S I C A P E T T WAY P R O P S T Y L I N G BY A L E X S I LVA
Register for an experience, like tickets to a game or a museum membership.
reating a wedding wish list can be equal parts fun and daunting. Coming off a year of a lot of time spent at home, we’re guessing you fall into one of two camps: You need to upgrade everything or you have too much stuff. Or maybe you’re stuck in the middle. We’re here to help with our annual list of expert picks, from valuedriven purchases to memorable experiences.
STYLE + PLANNING
ESTELLE COLORED GLASS Stephanie Summerson Hall founded the glassware company in an effort to add some “jewels” to everyone’s table. Named after her grandmother Estelle, who was affectionately known as “Big Mama,” the hand-blown wares are offered in a mix of jewel tones and pastels. From cake stands to stemware, every piece is made by Polish artisans and is heirloom quality. REGISTER FOR
Colored wine stemware, from $35, EstelleColoredGlass.com
Mestiz plates and bowls, from $175, KneelandCo.com
K N E E L A N D C O. Joanna Williams founded Kneeland Co. in 2010, naming it after her globe-trotting family, as a way to share her discoveries with others. The shop features one-of-a-kind and handmade home goods and jewelry, sourced from Joanna’s extensive travels around the world.
CONTRIBUTE TO CHARITY
If you’re feeling all sorts of grateful that you’ve found your person and want to use your registry for good, ask for charitable donations. Choose a cause close to your heart or your locale and ask friends and family to contribute in your name.
LEAF ICON: CLOCKWISE/NOUN PROJECT; ALL OTHERS COURTESY OF VENDORS
PUT YOUR WISH LIST TO WORK BY SUPPORTING SMALL AND MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES OR THOSE WITH ALLIANCES YOU BACK TOO. YOU’LL BE HELPING TO BUILD ECONOMIC DIVERSITY AND CREATE A LASTING IMPACT IN COMMUNITIES. HERE ARE A FEW STANDOUTS.
Make your mark on the environment by supporting companies and products who are eco-conscious and doing good by Mother Earth.
AVO CAD O REGISTER FOR
Puzzle lumbar pillow, $175, Barragan pillow, $190, Minna-Goods.com
Organic and B Corporation certified, free of toxic chemicals and made in factories powered by renewable energy, this sustainable mattress and bedding brand checks all the boxes. Its green mattress offers cloud-like comfort for the ultimate good night’s sleep. REGISTER FOR Avocado Green mattress,
Minna Goods is a queer-led business founded by Sara Berks with a mission for good. The Hudson Valley, New York–based studio and shop sells products for every room in your home, all ethically made and sourced from artisans around the world. The designs are inspired by feminist art, traditional crafts and vintage textiles. Everything is intended to be layered, mixed and matched—and it’s all amazing.
BLUELAND Wanting to cut back on her use of plastics, Sarah Paiji Yoo launched a green cleaning company. She created a revolutionary system using reusable spray bottles and dissolvable tablets, allowing you to make your own cleaning solutions again and again. Blueland aims to reduce plastic waste and we’re here for it.
from $999, AvocadoGreenMattress.com
PATAGO NI A Eco-friendly practices are a long-standing tradition of this outdoor company. For the last 35 years, it’s donated a portion of its sales to the conservation of the environment and is on track to be completely carbon-neutral by 2025. REGISTER FOR Black Hole wheeled duffel 70L,
The Clean Essentials kit, $39, Blueland.com
W E ST PAW
BONUS: If you register on The Knot, you can choose your favorite charity as part of The Knot Gifts Back program. For every gift purchased from your registry, The Knot donates a portion of the proceeds to the charity of your choosing at no cost.
Based in Bozeman, Montana, West Paw is on a mission to protect pets and the planet. It uses all-sustainable materials for its toys, even creating a material called Zogoflex that can be recycled indefinitely. It has its own recycling company and has kept more than 16 million plastic bottles out of landfills. REGISTER FOR Rumbl, $17, WestPaw.com
upgrades YOU’RE (STILL) SPENDING MORE TIME AT HOME THAN YOU COULD HAVE EVER IMAGINED, RIGHT? THAT PROBABLY MEANS YOU’VE IDENTIFIED A FEW THINGS THAT COULD USE AN UPGRADE. WE’VE GOT A BUNCH OF PRODUCTS THAT ARE SURE TO ENHANCE YOUR HOME LIFE, EVEN AFTER THINGS RETURN TO PRE-PANDEMIC NORMAL.
S U N GL A S S E S Polarized sunglasses with built-in speakers? Yes, please! These lightweight frames will undoubtedly become your favorite accessory. Choose from a few styles for the perfect look. Bose Frames Soprano, $250, Bose.com
This sleek LED 4K flat-panel TV doubles as wall art when not in use. Choose from a robust library of images from established and up-and-coming artists, or display your own photos.
Give your home a boost with the latest trending devices.
SHOW ER HEAD
Frame TV, Samsung, from $600, Samsung.com
This smart shower speaker will take your morning routine to the next level. It’s voice-activated and Alexa enabled, so you can ask for the weather report or the morning’s news. And it has a six-hour battery life, which means you’ll run out of hot water before music. Moxie, from $179, Kohler.com
AIR PU R I F I E R This whisper-quiet purifier can destroy pollutants (think mold and VOCs) in up to 600 square feet of space. It’s chic enough to be on display, plus the company automatically ships filters to you when they need replacing.
Bose home speaker 300, $200, Bose.com
Air, $699, Molekule.com
Bed + Bath Add a dose of luxury to your sleep and shower zone. Relax in comfort with our fave picks.
P I L LOW
S H E E TS
A good pillow is a game changer. This down alternative offers both comfort and support. Don’t just take our word for it: You can sleep on it for 30 nights before committing.
Made from 100 percent organic cotton, these sheets actually get softer over time—trust us. The company is keenly focused on sustainability and pays cotton farmers a living wage.
Casper pillow, $65, Casper.com
Signature Hemmed sheet set, from $160, BollandBranch.com
COURTESY OF VENDORS
SPEAKER Turn the volume way up on this compact speaker with superior sound. Voice assistance (Alexa and Google Home) lets you control the 360-degree beats with just a quick command. Six presets round out the features.
STYLE + PLANNING
L IG HTS
T H E R M O STAT
Set the mood with this color-changing, energy-efficient lighting kit. You can dim the lights or change up the hue for a party-ready atmosphere. The Hue Bridge allows you to control the ambiance with just your voice.
Set your ideal temp and walk away. The Nest learns your habits and adjusts accordingly for maximum comfort— hot or cold. Best of all, you’ll save energy and money with this smart thermostat.
Philips Hue starter kit E26,$200, Philips-Hue.com
Nest thermostat, $130, store.google.com
EC H O S H OW Stream news, podcasts and music on this super-smart speaker. Ask Alexa to assist with your grocery list, or video call a friend. You can even display your favorite photos.
D O OR BE L L See your entire front door—sky to stoop—with this HD video doorbell camera. Get instant motion-alert notifications and easily speak to visitors, all at the push of a button.
Echo Show 10, $250, Amazon.com
Video doorbell wirefree, $200, Arlo.com
Take control of your home—even when you’re away—with these voice-activated gadgets.
W E I GH T E D B L A NK E T An evenly distributed weight stimulates your happy hormones, offering up a better night’s rest. Bonus: It’s machine-washable. Luna cotton weighted blanket, $70, LunaBlanket.com
TOW E LS Bathleisure at it finest! These superabsorbent towels are made in Portugal and are designed with style (chic monogram choices) and function (a built-in hook for drying) in mind. Weezie towels starter set, $230, Weezietowels.com
STYLE + PLANNING
BA K E WA RE
With capsules made from recyclable materials, the new Vertuo is next-level good. You’ll love built-in Wi-Fi (for reordering capsules), a compact footprint and six brew sizes. Best of all, you get a perfect cup of coffee or espresso every time.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this nonstick bake set. Aluminized steel construction gives off even heat distribution for perfectly baked brownies, cakes and more. All-Clad Pro Release bakeware, $200 for set of 10, BedBathandBeyond.com
Nespresso Vertuo Next Premium, $170, Williams-Sonoma.com
DU TC H OV E N Cast iron is a must for any kitchen. This Dutch oven retains heat well and looks insanely good atop a stove. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe. Staub 7-Quart Dutch oven, $360, TheKnot.com/registry
MIXE R The quintessential registry pick, this stalwart appliance is a favorite for a reason. Thanks to 10 attachments, there’s very little it can’t do: bake bread, spiralize vegetables, make pasta—you get the idea. KitchenAid 5-Quart Artisan stand mixer, $400, TheKnot.com/registry
AIR FRY ER We were skeptical, but this two-in-one appliance is indeed a must-have. It toasts to perfection and can cook everything from a 12” pizza to extra-crispy Tater Tots in minutes. Cuisinart AirFryer toaster oven, $200, BedBathandBeyond.com
The gang’s all here! This basic set has all the cutlery you need for everyday tasks, neatly stored in a woodblock with a slim countertop footprint. Wüsthof Gourmet Large Studio 7-piece knife block set, $190, Williams-Sonoma.com
kitchen checklist EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T REACHED MASTER HOME CHEF STATUS, MOST REGISTRIES INCLUDE A COUPLE OF KITCHEN ESSENTIALS. HERE ARE THE TRIED-AND-TRUE CLASSICS, PLUS A FEW NEWCOMERS THAT WILL ACTUALLY MAKE YOU WANT TO SKIP TAKE-OUT.
C O O K WA R E This pan may not replace all of your cookware, but it will come close. And we assure you you’ll reach for it often. Its nonstick ceramic coating makes it easy to both cook and clean, while the built-in steaming basket and pour spouts are genius additions. Always pan, $145, FromOurPlace.com
We asked our couples to choose their favorite registry picks. DI NNE RWA RE The perfect fusion of style and convenience, this dinnerware set is crafted from durable glazed stoneware that’s elegant enough for special occasions, yet practical enough for everyday use. Dansk Haldan dinnerware, $150 for 4-piece set, TheKnot.com/registry
FO OD P RO CE S S OR PRO CES OR Another kitchen workhorse, this food processor is a cook’s best friend. It can dice, chop and mix with the push of a button. Cleanup is a breeze too: All the attachments are dishwasher-safe.
GRILLING TOOLS COOKER Cook meals in an instant— sorry, we had to. Rice or a roast is no match for this six-quart cooker. It has adjustable settings and even a delayed start feature to ensure dinner is ready when you arrive home.
Cuisinart Elemental food processor, $145, TheKnot.com/registry
This 13-piece grilling tool set has everything a grill master needs to get the BBQ started. Plus, you can feel good about the case, which is made from recycled plastic. Cuisinart grilling tools, $29 for 13-piece set, TheKnot.com/registry
Instant Pot Duo 7 in 1, $79, Amazon.com
VAC U U M This bagless robotic vacuum is enabled with Wi-Fi, making it the perfect cleaning companion. Its selfdocking feature ensures it’s always ready when there’s a mess.
BLEN B L E N D ER ER From smoothies to frozen sangria, this 10-speed blender holds up to 48 ounces and mixes and purees with precision.
iRobot Roomba E5, $350, TheKnot.com/registry
Vitamix Explorian blender, $350, TheKnot.com/ registry
FO O D STO RAGE Decanting is a way of life. These containers have a distinctive push-button design, creating an airtight seal that keeps your snacks ultra-fresh.
COURTESY OF VENDORS
TOAST ER Upgrade your morning routine with this insanely smart toaster. Its touch screen, the first of its kind, browns bread to your desired darkness in record time.
OXO Good Grips POP food storage, $100 for 20-piece set, TheKnot.com/registry
Revolution Cooking 2-slice high-speed smart toaster, $300, Williams-Sonoma.com
GL A S S E S These stemless tumblers only look like glass. They’re unbreakable, dishwasher-safe and have vibrant hues that shout party—perfect for indoor/outdoor entertaining. DuraClear Bordeaux glasses, $90 for set of 6, Williams-Sonoma.com
F L AT WA RE Silverware is like jewelry for the table. Add a layer of sophistication to mealtimes with this modern flatware set constructed from durable stamped stainless steel. Godinger Silver Art Co. Atlas Mirror flatware, $65 for 20piece set, TheKnot.com/registry
CAT N I P Real talk: The way to your furry friend’s heart is through this garden in a bag. Cut the top of the bag, add water and within a few weeks’ time, your cat will be putty in your hands. Catnip Garden-in-a-Bag, $21 for 2, Potting Shed Creations, Food52.com
Did you bring home one of the more than three million pets rescued last year? If so, you’ll want to add a few things to the registry for your companion—they are part of the family, after all.
P UZZ L E Puzzle the night away with this 500-piece stunner. Pro tip: It pairs well with a glass of bubbly. Disco Queen puzzle, $26, PieceworkPuzzles.com
EM BAR K There are over 350 dog breeds— do you know your pup’s unique ancestry? Developed by vets, this kit can uncover the DNA breed mix of your rescue or purebred with incredible accuracy. Dog DNA test, $129, Embarkvet.com
FURBO This interactive camera allows you to peep on your pet with built-in motion and sound alerts. Spoil Scout with its treattossing feature while you’re away from home. Furbo dog camera, $170, Amazon.com
BIS SELL PET HAIR ER ASER
TOW E R GA M E Perfect for playing poolside, this rainbow stacking tower requires a steady hand.
Pet Hair Eraser, $37, Bissell.com
Lucite Jumbling Tower, $140, Sunnylife.com
Vesper cat tree, $181, Amazon.com
EXPERIENCES It took a year at home with all your stuff to realize you don’t need more stuff? We hear you. Shift the focus of your registry toward experiences and make the most of married life by creating memories with your other half. Support neighborhood businesses, learn a new skill or plan for your future.
PA RTY OF TWO
DATE N IGH T
Are you an outdoorsy couple? Or maybe more the Netflix-and-chill variety? Wishlist items that will help you live your best couple life, like mountain bikes or a chess set. A date-night box subscription or a wine-of-the-month club are other fun gifts that keep giving.
Let friends and family in on your favorite haunts around town (think independent restaurants, a wine bar, a comedy club). A gift card will create an unforgettable date night and help support a business in your neighborhood.
ALL ICONS NOUN PROJECT, FROM LEFT: HYHYHEHE; VIKTOR OSTROVSKY; KEVIN HIPKE; BLAISE SEWELL; LNHI; GHA ARIZAL; ANTON KALIK; ALL OTHERS COURTESY OF VENDORS
VE S P E R CAT TR EE Even fussy felines will have a hard time resisting this hangout. With hiding spots, scratching posts and memory foam cushions made for napping, what’s not to love?
Thousands of pet parents swear by this lightweight, handheld vacuum. It gets the job done thanks to a rubberized nozzle that attracts pet hair like a magnetic force. Bonus: It’s bagless and easy to empty.
STYLE + PLANNING
CHE S S S E T Netflix darling The Queen’s Gambit has renewed interest in this centuries-old game. Chess set, $48, PrintworksMarket.us.
game on BOARD GAMES ARE A THING AGAIN—YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST. AND THAT’S SAYING NOTHING OF THE PUZZLE SHORTAGE OF 2020. THEY’RE A COST-EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO A NIGHT OUT AND SOMETIMES TWICE THE FUN. HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE CLASSICS. P L AYI N G CA R D S The possibilities are endless with a deck of cards. This set is almost too chic to shuffle.
BACKG AM M ON This poppy beechwood box set is easy to travel with for friendly park play.
BUT WAIT... T H E R E ’S
Backgammon set, $96, Store.Moma.org
G ET S C H O O L E D
C H A- C H IN G
Become a scholar, even if it’s just for a day. Register for a wine-tasting class, perfect your knife skills or take a MasterClass. Or engage in a longtime pursuit, like learning a new language, the art of meditation or the ins and outs of your local museum.
Saving for a home? Or perhaps an epic vacay when travel restrictions are lifted? Let your friends and family help you build your nest egg with cash. Yes, cash—you can ask for it on The Knot Registry. Don’t forget to share how you’ll spend it.
We’ve got even more picks on TheKnot.com. Scan the QR code for our full list of faves.
Playing cards, $46, BedBathandBeyond.com
STYLE + PLANNING
Tips for Hosting an Inclusive Wedding WHETHER YOU IDENTIFY AS PART OF THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY OR JUST WANT TO FORGO HETERONORMATIVE WEDDING T R A D I T I O N S I N S U P P O R T, W E ’ R E H E R E F O R I T. S O M E S M A L L ADJUSTMENTS WILL GO A LONG WAY I N M A K I N G A L L YO U R G U E STS FEEL COMFORTABLE . BONUS: YOU’LL ALSO BE PAVING THE WAY FO R C H A N G E A N D B E T T E R R E P R E S E N T A T I O N . BY L AU R E N K AY
Mx. is a title used for those who do not identify as one gender or for those who don’t want to be identified by gender. Custom invite, Ephemora.com
1 KNOW NO GENDER
3 ‘ B R I DA L’ B E WA R E
In an effort to make all your people feel comfortable, skip the gendered events. There’s no reason (beyond tradition) that prewedding showers and bach parties have to be designated by gender. Invite your VIPs to whatever celebration is being planned. Or link arms with your other half and decide to go all in on the couple treatment.
Bridal party, bridal suite, bridal shower—you get the idea. A lot of wedding events have a “bride” designation. Over it! This language is outdated and says nothing of weddings without brides. Plus, it puts the onus of planning all the things on one half of the couple. Clever renaming (think: wedding party, wedding suite, shower) creates a more balanced approach to the whole celebration.
4 BE A GOOD HOST OF COUPLES HAD A COED WEDDING SHOWER OR COUPLES SHOWER
2 SEND PROPER MAIL Address your invites with the names of the people you’re inviting, making note of their pronouns. If preﬁxes don’t feel right to you, skip them! This is a chance to set a supportive tone from the get-go.
Ensure all of your guests feel welcome. Include correct pronouns on escort cards, skip a “suits for the guys” dress code and make sure your venue has a gender-neutral bathroom.
5 D O N ’ T TA K E S I D E S Your wedding party should include the people who mean the most to you both. Gone are the days of his sister standing on your side— and the terms bridesmaids and groomsmen. Be creative with all roles of honor. Hello, ﬂower child.
Skip gendered terminology and labels with these inclusive alternatives.
BRIDE + GROOM LABELS
8 S C H O O L YO U R DJ Let your DJ or bandleader know that your goal is inclusivity. Skip the “husbands, bring your wives to the dance ﬂoor” in favor of “couples” or “partners.” Pro tip: If you have your heart set on a song, but the lyrics don’t quite represent you, ask your band or DJ if they can tweak them. Chances are they can!
9 A S K W H O M E V E R YO U WA N T TO DA N C E If you want to partake in the traditional parent dance, you do you. But mixing it up is totally okay too. We love a family shuffle or a choreographed sibling (or even couple) dance, and we’re pretty sure your guests will too.
BRIDESMAIDS GROOMSMEN MAID OF HONOR BEST MAN Couples are mixing who stands where, so don’t feel limited by binary titles.
TRY Person of Honor, Bridesman, Groomswoman, Wedding Party Attendant
BRIDAL PARTY This outdated terminology is an easy swap.
TRY Wedding Party, Wedding Crew, Wedding Squad
GROOM’S CAKE We’re here for all the cake! A second cake doesn’t need a label, trust us.
TRY No label, just cake!
6 F LO W E R S A R E F R E S H Can there ever be too many ﬂowers at a wedding? We vote no. Rock a bouquet, a posy, a boutonniere or a corsage, regardless of how you identify. Flowers don’t have a gender so don’t feel limited— you have options!
TRY Nearlyweds, To-Be-Weds or Soon-To-Be-Weds
7 WA L K H O W YO U WA N T There are many ways to arrive at an altar and no right one. Walk down the aisle together, take turns or opt to receive your guests. When it comes to a processional or recessional, do whatever feels right to you both.
Stats are taken from THE KN OT 2 0 2 0 RE AL WE D D IN G S TU DY
10 SUPPORT PROS WHO VA L U E I N C L U S I V I T Y OF INDIVIDUALS IN A LGBTQ+ RELATIONSHIP HAVE EXPERIENCED QUESTIONING OR CRITICISM OF THEIR RELATIONSHIP
Let your purchasing power do good. Hire vendors who champion inclusivity (race, size, sexual orientation, etc.) to be part of your pro squad.
FROM LEFT: COURTESY OF EPHEMORA; MELISSA HABEGGER; HUDSON RIVER PHOTOGRAPHER; EMILY WREN PHOTOGRAPHY; KALEY FROM KANSAS
OF COUPLES HAD A MIXED-GENDER WEDDING PARTY
If you’re a bride and want to rock your status, do it! Same is true for all you groomsto-be. But there are more inclusive ways to talk about your engaged status.
swept away INSPIRED BY TRADITIONAL HOUSEWARMING GIFTS, THIS COUPLE EMBRACED GRANDEUR WITH A RUSTIC TWIST.
BY L AU R E N K AY
P H OTO G R A P H Y BY LAUREN FAIR
P L A N N I N G + D E S I G N BY AMOROLOGY F LO R A L S BY NECTAR + BLO OM
V E N U E SUNSTONE WINERY
STYLE + PLANNING
MODELS: JANAY MARTINEZ (@JANAYMARTINI) AND DAVID COLEMAN
EFFORTLESS ELEGANCE A small gathering or pastoral locale doesn’t mean you can’t pull out the stops when it comes to fashion—it’s a celebration, after all. Wardrobe stylist, @GabrielleHurwitz; hair and makeup, @TeamHairandMakeup
P O L I S H E D PA P E R Classic letterpress, neutral colors and textured paper keep the invites from feeling fussy. Rings, @MarrowFine_; invitation design, @PapiraDesign; calligraphy, @TheLetteredJ
STYLE + PLANNING FEMININE FROCK Floral appliqués pair with swiss dot details for a fashion-forward look. Gown, Liz Martinez from @SpinaBride
B O U T B LO O M S Dried Queen Anne’s lace, rice flowers and yarrow echo her bouquet, while tiny daisies set his blooms apart. Tuxedo, @TheBlackTux
M I N I M O N Y M AG I C A smaller guest list means you can go big on the details, making your guests feel like VIPs. Ceremony rentals, @BackupBackDrops
L AY E R E D L O O K A neutral palette rich with texture gives off luxe vibes. Rentals, @AdoreFolklore and @CatalogAtelier
STYLE + PLANNING TWICE AS SWEET Petite cakes are the perfect pick for intimate celebrations—just the right number of slices and double the flavor choices. Cake, @HeyThereCupcake
A R T I S T I C A LTA R A broom-inspired arch decked out in baby’s breath creates a focal point for “I dos” while allowing the stonework to serve as a beautiful backdrop.
A HAPPY HOME These housewarming gifts stem from cultural traditions that originated in Europe. Each carries meaning.
B RO OM S so your sorrows will be swept away
F LOW E R S so your home may always have life
CA N D L E S so you may you dwell in light and happiness
WO O D so your home will have a foundation of stability
H ON EY so you may always know the sweetness of love
PICTURESQUE POSIES Fresh toffee roses and antique carnations pair with dried yarrow, white rice flowers and Queen Anne’s lace for an equally lush and earthy bouquet.
SA LT so your life may always know flavor
B R EA D so you may never know hunger
A L F R E S C O A F FA I R Set under a stone archway, the intimate table setting marries seamlessly with the natural surroundings. Chic rentals completely elevate the look.
STYLE + PLANNING
WE GOT YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. HERE ARE THE BIG TO-DOS FROM “YES” TO “I DO.” PLUS, THE 411 ON OUR TOOLS (PERSONALIZED CHECKLIST, WEDDING WEBSITE, CASH REGISTRY) THAT WILL HELP GET YOU THERE WITH EASE.
Download our app and get a personalized list of to-dos between now and wedding day.
YOUR ‘I DO’ HOW-TO
N AIL D OWN YO UR
B U D G ET
Envision your wedding and decide how much you want to spend (and if anyone else will be contributing).
FIN D YO UR
WE D D I N G S T YLE
P H OTO G R A P H BY J ES S I CA P E T T WAY
Not sure where to start (totally normal, btw)? Download The Knot Wedding Planner app and take our Style Quiz. Zero in on your vibe—think industrial with bohemian details—and we’ll generate a personalized Wedding Vision you can share with your pro squad.
G AT H E R YOU R
C RE W
Ask your besties to stand by you at the altar and in the months leading up to your day. Celebrate your peeps and your engaged status!
O RG AN I Z E D
Not sure what to do when? Enter: our app’s totally customizable checklist. If you’re asking a friend to officiate, you can cross “find an officiant” off your to-do list. There’s also a budgeter to track spending.
FIN D A
EDITOR TIP It’s okay to go out of order or not tick every item off the list. Ask for help from your wedding VIPs—they want to help, trust us.
VE N U E
Search for the perfect place to celebrate, keeping budget and guest count in mind. Then set the date.
EDITOR TIP Think about what you love as a couple. Are you homebodies or the types to dress up and hit the dance floor? Your wedding should be a true reflection of who you are, so let your personalities define your style. (FYI: Most couples aren’t just one style.)
H IRE YO UR
Research and book pros—anyone you have to have should be locked in ASAP. If you share your info with us (budget, location, guest count), we can recommend vendors and help you assemble a stellar pro squad. You can find tons of talent on The Knot Marketplace and check out reviews from newlyweds who hired them.
G O FOR A
FIT TI N G
Have final attire fittings and arrange for dress and/or suit pickup.
F I NALI Z E OT HE R
PART Y D ETAI L S
EDITOR TIP Get ready to celebrate! From engagement soirees to couples showers and bach weekends, there are lots of ways to party. Be sure to keep your registry stocked with gifts at various price points. And always show your gratitude for the hosts of these fun occasions.
PROP STYLING: ALEX SILVA/BA REPS; MANICURE: SHIRLEY CHENG FOR DIOR VERNIS. BRACELET BY KEMI DESIGNS. ALL ICONS NOUN PROJECT, FROM LEFT: OKSANA LATYSHEVA; DAILYYOUTH, ID; PAVEL N.; MALIKOV; ERIS NATANSA; VASILY GEDZUN; NOCICONIST; OKSANA LATYSHEVA; PIXELICATOM; CHINTUZA, RU; LASTSPARK
Plan your rehearsal dinner and morning-after brunch.
SH O P FO R
C E RE M O NY
Meet with your officiant to discuss the details and attend prewedding counseling, if required.
Try on and purchase your wedding rings—then get insurance. (Now it’s starting to feel really real, right?)
BU Y YOUR
D O SO M E M O RE
Select invites, thank-you notes and other day-of stationery. Need help with the design? No problem. You can get free paper samples and customize all the details of your wedding suite at TheKnot.com/paper.
We meant what we said—we’ve got you. Check out our best planning helpers.
P L A N T HE
S H O PPI N G Find personalized decor, unique party favor ideas and wedding party gifts for all your peeps at TheKnotShop.com.
THE KNOT INVITATIONS We’re here to help with all of your paper needs. Choose from tons of original designs— including our Black and Women’s Artist Collective collections (bonus: you can coordinate with your wedding website)—and save time with guest addressing.
GET YO UR
WE D D I N G WE B S ITE Head to TheKnot.com to start your very own website. Share the link so guests are in on the details, like room blocks and your registry. Include any FAQs or changes due to COVID-19. You can even stay on top of your RSVPs with our built-in tool.
REG I S TRY People will want to shower you with gifts from “we’re engaged” to your wedding day, so a wish list is a musthave. Build yours on The Knot and add items from our expansive catalog or wherever you shop online using our universal registry tool. The Knot Gifts Back makes a donation to a charity of your choice for every gift purchased off your registry!
Shop for your attire and schedule necessary fittings—don’t forget accessories. Choose what your wedding party will wear too.
EDITOR TIP The Knot Registry also lets you ask for cash for things like a down payment on a home or an epic future trip to Bali. Yes, you read that right: It’s okay to ask for $$$.
CH O O SE A
P O I NT PE R S O N If you don’t have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, task an attendant or family member to be the go-to so you can relax and enjoy the day.
PH OTO S Just ahead of the main event, prompt your guests to download The Guest app, so their photos and videos will be shared in real time on your wedding day.
M ET AR
R I E D!
D EC I D E W H AT TO
Head to the state registrar’s office in the county where you’ll wed for this must-have doc.
The planning and hard work are behind you— time to celebrate your new status.
THE KNOT MARKETPLACE Find the most talented pros to bring your day to life. Read reviews from other couples who have hired them. If you’re looking to support businesses owned by underrepresented groups, filters can help you do just that.
THE KNOT REGISTRY Build an epic wish list on The Knot with hand-picked products, experiences, cash and even gift cards. And you can link your registry to a charity of your choice to give back with every purchase made.
MA K E A
C R EAT E A
S U M M E R 2 0 2 1
R E A L L OV E
Our day was so untraditional. We did what we wanted, like order a mini lemon-raspberry cake. It felt great to center ourselves and truly celebrate. To couples feeling overwhelmed about wedding planning: Focus on you and your partner, not others. That’ll alleviate some, if not all, of your stress. -Adrienne PHOTOGRAPH BY ELLIE MCKINNEY PHOTOGRAPHY
nne + Brittany Adrie � � 10 22 20 | CANDLER, NC
M O U N TA I N M A D E PHOTOGRAPHS BY ELLIE MCKINNEY PHOTOGRAPHY EVENT PLANNING BY THE GATHERING CO.
PERSONAL STYLE Adrienne (left) and Brittany describe themselves as “a very modern couple” and wanted their wedding fashion to reflect that.
I DOS In addition to exchanging vows, the couple included a Maya Angelou reading in their ceremony. MEANINGFUL MUSIC Adrienne and Brittany shared their first dance to “Simple Things,” by Miguel—the same song that played during their first kiss many years before. “It meant the world to us to have [our musicians] sing a beautiful acoustic version of it,” Adrienne says. SAVORING THE MOMENTS “One of our favorite moments was the morning of: waking up, having coffee and taking time for the two of us—it was really special,” Adrienne says. “Afterward, we also had a relaxing few days in the mountains with tons of leftover food. We made a whole weekend out of it since we had to cancel our honeymoon to South Africa” because of the pandemic.
ot having loved ones present is one of the main drawbacks couples weigh when planning to elope. However, Adrienne Michelle (33 and a therapist, educator and speaker) and Brittany Glover (33 and a product management executive) found a creative way to have a private ceremony while still involving those closest to them. “We had a ‘Get Ready with Me’ style elopement,” Adrienne says. “Our five closest friends made the trek up the mountains to join us for brunch and help us get ready. We had them all wear jewel-tone silk pajamas, so we could relax and enjoy mimosas.” After starting the day with friends, the couple ended it with dinner for just the two of them. Adrienne and Brittany asked a private chef to make their favorite dishes for their intimate newlywed dinner. — HAN NAH N OWAC K
A D R I E N N E + B R I T TA N Y
GET TH E LO O K
WEDDING STYLE A Minimal twist on mountain Rustic. Exchange vows at a rural Lodge or with an exposed brick backdrop at a Warehouse.
COLOR PALETTE E ARTH TO N ES
A warm combination of caramel, sand and cream with copper and gold accents.
MUST-HAVES AT- H O M E PRO P O SAL After Brittany popped the question, “we talked, laughed and cried all morning and Brittany ran a luxurious bath for me,” Adrienne recalls. O F -TH E- M O M E NT TU N ES The day’s playlist
included hits from Frank Ocean, John Legend and Miguel. TAS T Y M E N U Mimosas, chai lattes and French
toast kicked off the day. For dinner, the newlyweds dined on lobster and filet mignon.
1 Dress in sizes up to 28, from $1,200, MaggieSottero.com 2 Flatware in brass, $40 for 5-piece set, WestElm.com 3 Retro watercolor menu card, $189 for set of 100, TheKnot.com 4 Top in sizes up to 16, $975, pants in sizes up to 16, $975, ClaireLaFaye.com 5 Artificial silver dollar eucalyptus, $16 per stem, Afloral.com 6 Votive candle holder in copper, $25 for set of 6, QuickCandles.com 7 Sneakers in sizes up to 42, $575, YSL.com
Brittany: Leanne Marshall, Gilded Bridal, Raleigh, NC; pants: Clair La Faye S H O ES Adrienne: Manolo Blahnik; Saint Laurent; Brittany: Chloé FAS H I O N S T YLI N G Dustin Byrd E N G AG E M E NT + WE D D I N G R I N G S Booth Custom Jewelers HAI R Taji Natural Hair Styling MAK EU P Tiwa Lawrence R E NTAL S CE Rental CATE R I N G Céline & Company Catering M U S I C Calvin Lockett Music TR AN S P O RTATI O N Blue Ridge Classics
GET THE LOOK: COURTESY OF VENDORS
#MAKETRADITION To celebrate Brittany’s love of classic cars, the couple rented a vintage Mustang and hired a driver to take them on a scenic cruise. To make the post-nuptial drive through the mountains even more special, Adrienne and Brittany brought along cigars and Johnnie Walker Blue Label to toast to their marriage. “We wanted to splurge and get the best of the best,” Adrienne says of their Scotch of choice.
We went on a mountain drive to celebrate the day. We love taking long drives, especially in the scenic mountains, so it was a perfect way to commemorate the day while enjoying the sunset. -Adrienne
Take our style quiz to create your own wedding vision by downloading THE K N OT WE D D IN G PL ANNE R APP
C E R E M O NY + R EC E PTI O N S ITE A private residence, Candler, NC PH OTOG R APHY Ellie McKinney Photography VI D EOG R APHY Tyson & Lenox Films E VE NT PL AN N E R Chelsy Ferguson/The Gathering Co. FLO R AL D ES I G N E R Petal and Fern O FFI CIANT Torri McCullers FAS H I O N Adrienne: Pronovias, Tre Bella, Durham, NC; veil: Lazaro;
Brittany + Derrick
11�6�20 | COACHELLA, CA
CHEERFUL CITRUS PHOTOGRAPHS BY JENNY QUICKSALL EVENT PLANNING BY SUMMER NEWMAN EVENTS
LEMON SQUEEZE The couple introduced a lemon motif in their stationery and threaded it through the rest of the event.
SAFETY FIRST Brittany and Derrick limited their guest list in keeping with pandemic guidelines and had all of their guests (and vendors) virus tested ahead of the vow exchange. They hope to have a larger party with friends on November 6, 2021, so they can “have the same anniversary for our micro-wedding and our big celebration,” Brittany says. FASHION FORWARD Given that she works in fashion, attire was especially important to Brittany. “I loved how different my dress was from the one I am going to wear at our big celebration,” she says. “One of my sisters loaned me a beautiful blue topaz ring—a piece that each of my sisters wore on their own wedding day. It was so special.” HAPPY HUES “We wanted a bright color palette to be the focal point, as this would be the brightest day of a pretty dim year!”
rittany Steinmann (31 and an entrepreneur and clothing business owner) and Derrick Williams (31 and a regional sales executive) returned to the town of Coachella for their wedding since their relationship began at the iconic music festival. But this time, they were joined by only 18 loved ones, instead of thousands of strangers. After going their separate ways following a two-year college romance, “we ran into each other in a sea of 90,000 people and realized our feelings never went away,” Brittany says. In keeping with the laid-back setting, the day’s aesthetic was “inspired by vacation and traveling since it’s something we love to do but were unable to do this year,” she says. “We wanted to bring vacation to us and our guests! We love all things bright with a citrus theme, so we had a ‘Meet Me in Capri’ theme.” — H N
REAL LOVE 2
B R I T TA N Y + D E R R I C K
WEDDING STYLE A Cheerful burst of color with Modern, Earthy accents. Say “I do” at a Vineyard, Resort or on a white-sand Beach.
GET TH E LO O K
COLOR PALETTE CO R N U CO PIA O F CITRU S
Vibrant hues of tangerine and lemon balanced with bright white, sky and cherry.
MUST-HAVES FR ES H FLOWE RS The day’s designs used
peonies, garden roses, muscari, sweet peas, lisianthus, ranunculus and parrot tulips. CAPR I COC K TAI L The signature sip was an Aperol spritz, in keeping with the Italian vibe. D I S TI N CTLY D I FFE R E NT Since Brittany and
Derrick know they want to have a sequel wedding, it was important that this one feel and look different than what they have planned for the future.
1 Gold-rimmed glass charger, $89, CasadePerrin.com 2 Frayed denim napkin, $28 for set of 2, AugustSage.com 3 Earrings, $330, JeanJoaillerie .com 4 Dress in sizes up to 16, $295, BHLDN.com 5 Orange citrus wedding invitation, $199 for set of 100, TheKnot .com 6 Suit, jacket in sizes up to 50, pants in sizes up to 44, $598, Suitsupply.com 7 Wood armchair, $599, Meadowblu .com 8 Wood bead napkin ring, $10 for set of 4, Walmart.com
GET THE LOOK: COURTESY OF VENDORS
#MAKETRADITION Brittany always wanted a “ring that went across my finger rather than vertical, so I expressed early on my interest in an east-west setting.” Derrick proposed with a ring that met those very specifications while on vacation in Costa Rica. After popping the question on the beach, the couple celebrated their engagement with family, “a mariachi band and champagne! It was truly the best day,” Brittany says.
Derrick knew I wanted a simple, dainty gold band, so he had the oval stone set east-west on a slim band. I love how unique and timeless it is! -Brittany
Take our style quiz to create your own wedding vision by downloading THE K N OT WE D D IN G PL ANNE R APP
C E R E M O NY + R EC E PTI O N S ITE A private residence, Coachella, CA PH OTOG R PAHY Jenny Quicksall E VE NT PL AN N I N G Summer Newman Events FLO R AL D ES I G N Enchanted Garden Floral Design O FFI CIANT Father Patrick V. Kirsch GOWN ML Monique Lhuillier x BHLDN S U IT Suitsupply; shirt and tie: Hugo Boss S H O ES Brittany: Stuart Weitzman; Derrick: Magnanni ACC ES SO R I ES Jewelry: Heirloom; hairpiece: BHLDN E N G AG E M E NT + WE DD I N G RI N G S M. Kantor & Associates, Beverly Hills, CA HAI R + MAK EU P Veiled Vanity Artistry S TATI O N E RY Sage & Basil Design Studio R E NTAL S Casa de Perrin; Found Rental Co; Soirée8 CATE R I N G Chris Brugler CAK E Sweet Novelette M U S I C Joseph Eid
Lauren + Tarik
8 � 4 � 2 0 | B A LT I M O R E , M D
THE COLOR OF LOVE PHOTOGRAPHS BY STANLEY BABB OF STANLO PHOTOGRAPHY EVENT PLANNING BY ELLE AUDREY NEW YORK
BESPOKE Both Tarik’s pink tuxedo and Lauren’s beaded off-white gown were custom made for the wedding.
Instead of a floral arch, the couple exchanged vows “surrounded by a hedge of lush flowers and lots of candles.”
FAMILY AFFAIR A shared highlight for the couple was when their youngest son gave his speech. FLOWER FAVES In addition to roses, Lauren’s preferred bloom, the arrangements included orchids, hydrangeas and pops of greenery. GOOD BONES The hotel’s stunning architecture inspired much of the wedding’s design. “This may sound cliché, but our inspiration came from the venue and Pinterest,” Lauren says. Given that the summer event took place in the property’s outdoor courtyard, the couple created programs that doubled as fans. GREETING A floral arch and sign greeted arriving guests at the ceremony. It wasn’t the only warm welcome they received. “We also made custom welcome boxes for our hotel guests that included immunity-boosting tea that Tarik makes,” Lauren says.
auren Beamon (36 and an event planner) and Tarik Dickens’ (46 and a real estate investor) love story is the stuff of rom-coms. “We were walking down the street in Miami, going in two different directions and locked eyes,” Lauren says. “Although it was a magical moment, we unfortunately didn’t get to speak. I figured if it was meant to be, we would find each other again.” As fate would have it, the couple ran into each other again while out on the town. When Lauren and Tarik decided to tie the knot 11 years later, they planned a glamorous “bold, vibrant and lush” wedding worthy of their fairy-tale meet-cute. The event, filled with a spectrum of pink and red hues— plus ample texture from velvet, metal, botanicals and crystal—impressively came together within three short months. — H N
ACRYLIC ACCENTS Much of the day’s stationery—from laser-cut drink stirrers to table numbers— was made from acrylic, adding a modern note to the ornate event. REGAL RECEPTION “At the reception, we had beautiful estate tables with chandeliers, crystals, candles and roses,” Lauren says. “We repurposed the altar decor for our sweetheart table, which included a beautiful runner of flowers and lots of candles. We also adorned the custom dance floor with our logo and the floral design from our invitation.” MASK UP “We asked the hotel staff to check guest temperatures upon arrival,” Lauren says. “We also gave a custom mask and hand sanitizer to every attendee, each of whom sat with family throughout the event.”
REAL LOVE 1
G ET GET TH T HEE OK LO OK
L A U R E N + TA R I K
WEDDING STYLE A Glamorous and Ornate event with plenty of glitz. The venue could be a Rooftop, Ballroom or even a modern Art Gallery.
COLOR PALETTE TH I N K PI N K
Shades of ruby, raspberry, lavender, hot pink and blush with crystal and gold accents.
A glam table doesn’t always need linens to wow.
MUST-HAVES C E R E M O NY R ITUAL S “Tarik and I jumped
the broom, which is a tradition in AfricanAmerican culture,” Lauren says. MAI N CO U RS E Guests chose from three
entrées: trofie alla Genovese, swordfish with broccoli rabe and filet mignon.
1 Chandelier, $260, Wayfair.com 2 Gold charger, $49, Vietri.com 3 Jacket in sizes up to XL, $999, KatharinePolk.com 4 Velvet side chair in Rosewater, $495, Williams-Sonoma.com 5 Round dining table, $1,395, FutureClassicsFurniture.com. au 6 Tuxedo, jacket in sizes up to 52, pants in sizes up to 46, $249, Azarman.com 7 Dress in any size, $3,890, PantoraBridal.com
M E AN I N G FU L TU N ES The couple picked “Kiss of
Life,” by Sade, for their first dance because “of the lyrics and what it means to us.”
GET THE LOOK: COURTESY OF VENDORS
#MAKETRADITION Family was an integral part of Lauren and Tarik’s wedding. To honor their loved ones, Lauren and Tarik printed pictures “in remembrance of our deceased family members and placed them at the ceremony,” Lauren says. She further honored her family with her wedding vows, as she promised “to be faithful and supportive and to always make our family’s love and happiness my priority.”
My favorite memory of the wedding was the double rainbow that appeared after our ceremony. In my opinion, that was our ancestors watching over us and solidifying our union. -Lauren
Take our style quiz to create your own wedding vision by downloading THE K N OT WE D D IN G PL ANNE R APP
C E R E M O NY + R EC E PTI O N S ITE Sagamore Pendry, Baltimore, MD PH OTOG R APHY Stanley Babb/Stanlo Photography VI D EOG R APHY SOK Vision E VE NT PL AN N I N G + D ES I G N Elle Audrey FLO R AL D ES I G N The Floral Guru O FFI CIANT Leona Adams GOWN + VE I L Billionaire New York, New York City TUXE DO Billionaire New York S H O ES Lauren: Sophia Webster; Tarik: Salvatore Ferragamo ACC ES SO R I ES Ilona Rubin; SuReina Bridal FAS H I O N S T YLI N G Vainglorious Brides WE DD I N G RI N G S Quest Jewelers HAI R Shy Watters Hair Studio MAK EU P Lauren Nicely S TATI O N E RY + WE LCO M E BAG Papered Wonders R E NTAL S Glam Party Rentals; The Light Source Company; Shout CATE R I N G Sagamore Pendry CAK E Mon Délice; groom’s cake: Mr. Treats M U S I C Pulse Sounds PH OTO BOOTH Hot Pink Photo Booth HAS TAG #TheDickensSayIDo
Jean + Anamika
10�24�20 | BOLINAS, CA
C O A S TA L F E T E PHOTOGRAPHS BY CAS SIE VALENTE PHOTOGRAPHY
VIRTUAL TOASTS “After dinner, a guest surprised us with some voice recordings from our family and friends,” Jean says.
Jean’s parents customized the menus “by adding some quirky illustrations.”
COMMUNITY FIRST “The planning experience was a testament to the power of our community—many things provided were thanks to the generosity, talent and creativity of our friends,” says Jean. REMOTE TRADITIONS Since the duo opted for a nine-person vow exchange, “the one part of Indian weddings I did really miss was the sangeet night,” Anamika recalls. “But my little sister surprised us by organizing a virtual sangeet.” HUMMINGBIRD CHIC The day’s theme was “California nature meets Indian tradition meets handmade.” It included coastal influences, crane and hummingbird motifs, and nods to the couple’s Indian and Quaker heritage. CAKE Dessert was carrot cake with cardamom buttercream and pistachio mousse filling.
he coastal home where Jean Mason (31 and a textile designer and artist) and Anamika Goyal (30 and an architect) tied the knot wasn’t their first or even second plan. Their vow exchange was actually the third iteration of their celebration the couple came up with. “Our plan A was a large wedding on a blueberry farm in Maine, which didn’t pan out, so plan B was Yosemite,” Jean says. “After the pandemic began, it didn’t make sense to carry on planning a large, uncertain event, so it was back to the drawing board.” Thankfully, Jean and Anamika “are both designers, so creating our vision and putting together our perfect event was a great creative experience to share. Not having a planner meant we had to handle all the little details, but it ensured every element was thoughtful and intentional.” — H N
GOING FOR GOLD “We call the event our ‘gold lining’ wedding,” Jean shares. “We had to make so many changes and compromises, but in exchange we received the most unique and personal jewel of a wedding that wouldn’t have been able to exist without the strange circumstances.” TOGETHER FROM AFAR Though neither set of parents was able to attend the wedding, they were still an integral part of the event. “We spent many hours with Anamika’s mom on Zoom learning how to tie a sari correctly,” Jean says. “The most special part was the dark red chunni that I had draped around my shoulders, which my mother wore during her own wedding 35 years ago,” Anamika adds. STATIONERY Jean’s dad, an amateur calligrapher, made the place cards.
REAL LOVE 3
GGET ET TTHHEE OK LO OK
JEAN + ANAMIKA
WEDDING STYLE A Laid-Back Garden Party with natural, coastal elements. Celebrate at a Restaurant, Nature Reserve or in your own Backyard.
COLOR PALETTE G LO BAL H U ES
A mix of orange, blush, brass and dusty green inspired by California and India.
8 MUST-HAVES H O M E MAD E I NVITES “We sat together in the
garden and created a paper cutout and watercolor interpretation of the environment around us,” says Jean of the DIY invitations. the floral design. “They added a perfect high-impact pop of color,” Anamika recalls. AVIAN FAS H I O N In keeping with the motif, the hummingbird embroidery on Jean’s dress “added to the fun and whimsy of the day.”
INGREDIENTS C E R E M O NY + R EC E PTI O N S ITE A private residence, Bolinas, CA PH OTOG R APHY Cassie Valente Photography FLO R AL D ES I G N Acme Floral Co.; Floral Designs By Rati O FFI CIANT Omar Davis (friend) GOWN S Jean: Needle & Thread; Anamika: Heirloom S H O ES Nordstrom ACC ES SO R I ES Heirloom E N G AG E M E NT + WE D D I N G R I N G S Bario Neal M E H E N D I Ritual By Design S TATI O N E RY Invitations: DIY; menus: Caspari R E NTAL S Archive Rentals CATE R I N G + CAK E Isabelle Smith HAS HTAG #HammersandHenna
#MAKETRADITION Instead of waiting until a first look to see each other, the couple spent their wedding morning getting ready together. “My sari takes a few sets of hands to get on,” Anamika says. “Typically my mother would have helped me get ready, but in this case Jean stepped in and helped me tie that thing on like a pro! I remember feeling totally victorious in having tied a sari without my mom for the first time.”
I had just barely put the last safety pin in my sari when a huge beam of sunlight came in through the window, shining right on me as if to say ‘good job Anamika, you didn’t mess it up.’ -A namika
GET THE LOOK: CAKE STAND: TY MECHAM/FOOD52; PLACEMAT: ROCKY LUTEN/FOOD52; ALL OTHERS COURTESY OF VENDORS
MARVE LO U S MAR I GO LD S Marigolds dominated
1 Dress in sizes up to 14, $829, NeedleandThread.com 2 Velvet ring box in light blue and lilac, $19 each, KoyalWholesale .com 3 Napkin in Melon, $8, CrateandBarrel.com 4 Rattan charger in Honey, $13, CrateandBarrel.com 5 Place mat in Peach, $60 for set of 2, Food52.com 6 Orange marigold flower, $120 for 60 stems, WholeBlossoms.com 7 Cake stand in jadeite, $76, Food52 .com 8 Lehenga in sizes up to XXL, $7,185, AnitaDongre.com
Kirk + Warren
10�3�20 | AUSTIN, TX
SWEET SUCCULENTS PHOTOGRAPHS BY JENNY DEMARCO PHOTOGRAPHY EVENT PLANNING BY BIRD DOG WEDDING
FEATHERED BOUTS Warren (left) and Kirk accented their blue suits with feather boutonnieres.
TWICE AS NICE Since many of Kirk and Warren’s guests were remote as a result of the pandemic, the couple created two invitations: one for in-person guests and the other for virtual attendees, which included video streaming information. BLOOM FREE “We aren’t flower guys so we went the succulent route,” Warren says of the wedding’s decor. Feathers, pampas grass and thistles added another layer of texture to their non-floral designs. ICE CREAM “Since neither of us prefer cake, we skipped a cake cutting and had an ice cream truck instead,” Warren says. FAUX EXIT “We had a sparkler send-off in the courtyard, but it was important to us that we got to say good night to each and every guest, so we snuck back into the lobby to send our guests off one by one as they gradually left.”
oing things their own way has always been paramount for Kirk Garza (38 and a property tax consultant) and Warren McAdams (27 and a physical therapist). So much so that Kirk chose to propose with a compass engraved with the coordinates of where they first met, instead of a ring. Throughout the entire engagement and wedding planning process, “the promotion of elegance, in a traditional sense, wasn’t really a priority for us,” Warren says. “For the vast majority of our attendees, this was their first gay wedding. Heck, it was our first gay wedding to attend as well. It was ours and ours alone, so we were going to include all of the aspects that would make it so. We gathered the people we love to share in the experience of great food, drinks, and music to celebrate the occasion.” — H N
K I R K + WA R R E N
WEDDING STYLE Modern nuptials with a Rustic twist. A Warehouse, Rooftop or contemporary Ballroom are all ideal venues.
2 COLOR PALETTE
GET TH E LO O K
Make PPE a fashion accessory with on-palette masks for guests.
C R I S P AN D R E FR ES H I N G
Cool shades of navy, sky, pistachio, olive and moss with notes of gold.
MUST-HAVES C HAR IT Y R EG I STRY In addition to registering
for a honeymoon fund, the couple encouraged donations to two charities. SAVE TH E L AS T DAN C E “We opted out of the
first dance and instead did a last dance prior to our send-off. The song was ‘I Am Yours’ by Andy Grammer,” says Warren. MAR R IAG E M E M E NTO S “We still have our
1 Suit in sizes up to 42, $160, CombatGent.com 2 Tuxedo in sizes up to 70, $200 to rent, BLACK by Vera Wang, MensWearhouse.com 3 Mask, $5 for set of 3, Gap.com 4 Botanical wedding invitation, $278 for set of 100, Minted.com 5 Glass geometric terrarium, $35 for set of 3, ChantillysBoutique, Etsy.com 6 Feather boutonniere, $49, FloraAndTheFox, Etsy.com 7 Canvas globe, $403, JamieYoung.com
feather-and-succulent boutonnieres and hope to preserve them.” INGREDIENTS
Save-the-dates: Denise Romero; invitations: Minted.com; programs, place cards & menus: Jen Krause Paper Co R E NTAL S Premiere Events CATE R I N G + D ES S E RT South Congress Hotel M U S I C Dart Collective PH OTO BOOTH Vannagram & Co
GET THE LOOK: COURTESY OF VENDORS
#MAKETRADITION After processing into the ceremony with their families, “Kirk and I ascended the stairs hand in hand to our officiant,” to exchange vows, Warren recalls. The duo also put their families front and center by incorporating “a call to action from our attendees, asking them to verbally affirm their support in unison rather than the usual ‘speak now or forever hold your peace.’”
Instead of walking down the aisle separately, Kirk and I had our families walk us out from each side of the ceremony space at the same time. We all met in the middle for family hugs. -Warren
C E R E M O NY + R EC E PTI O N S ITE South Congress Hotel, Austin, TX PH OTOG R APHY Jenny DeMarco Photography VI D EOG R APHY Joshua & Parisa E VE NT PL AN N I N G Bird Dog Wedding FLO R AL D ES I G N Articulture Designs O FFI CIANT Rita Garza (Kirk’s aunt) S U IT S Indochino; ties: Tie Bar S H O ES Kirk: Magnanni; Warren: Cole Haan S TATI O N E RY
SPECIAL F E AT U R E
INDUSTRY-LEADING CHANGEMAKERS ARE CELEBRATING THE STRIDES THE WEDDING INDUSTRY HAS TAKEN WHILE INSPIRING FURTHER ACTIVISM AND SUPPORT OF THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY. lanning an inclusive wedding takes intention. That’s why we tapped some of our favorite wedding vendors who are using their businesses not only to help couples plan epic celebrations, but as platforms of pride. They are championing
inclusivity surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity. These pros are helping couples look at wedding planning as not just a chance to create a memorable event, but also as an opportunity to foster meaningful change in the world.
JOVE MEYER HE / HIM
Founder and event designer at the helm of Jove Meyer Events @jovemeyer
MANIFESTO OF LOVE
INCLUSIVE WEDDINGS 101 Q:
THE WEDDING ARTISTS CO.
H OW CA N CO U P L ES EN SU R E EV ERYO NE F E E L S WEL COM E A T THE IR WEDDI NG? Stop assuming everyone is straight, white and able-bodied. Create a celebration that considers and includes all guests! We put so much thought into picking the space, the decor, the food, the band, so why stop there? Why not put time and energy into ensuring all guests feel welcome and thought of at your
wedding? Weddings, and the events that surround them, have been gendered for a long time, but no longer have to be.
W H AT AR E S O M E W AY S T O R E M O V E G E N D E R F RO M C O M M O N W E D D I N G D E T AI LS ? When it comes to the guest list, rather than assume the gender of your guests, simply ask. You can also ask for their pronouns. Historically, seating charts list males before females in straight couples. Mix it up and do it alphabetically instead. When it comes to getting ready, stop saying bridal suite; say VIP suite instead. As for ﬂowers, do not assume bouquets are for ladies and boutonnieres are for gents, but ask everyone in the wedding party if they want ﬂowers and what kind. This extra step will make everyone in your party feel supported and seen. For special parent dances, do not feel stuck dancing with your opposite-sex parent; dance with one or both of them individually or together. Also consider dancing with a sibling or other family member. Do what makes you happy and honors the person or people who mean the most in your life.
words of wisdom
ALL ABOUT ALLYSHIP Pros weigh in on the steps everyone can take to better serve and support the LGBTQ+ community
In the industry of love we have to make it clear that hate has no place here. We have to stand up, speak out and work daily to prioritize inclusivity and diversity. We can be better if we commit to doing the work every day. We all have to do our part to make our industry one that is welcoming and supportive of all. Each of us has the power to use our platforms for positive change, so let’s do it. Let’s change our words, images and actions to be inclusive. Together we can make a difference that impacts people’s lives in a positive way!
LISTEN It is important for people who want to be allies to truly listen and hear what we have to say. —J A M I E T H R O W E R
H OW C A N COU P L E S P L A N WEDDING S MORE I N CL U SIVEL Y ? Inclusivity is not just an idea or an intention. It needs action. Couples can prioritize working with marginalized communities, including women, people of color and queer people. When looking for your wedding vendors, of course you want to hire the best ﬁt for your style, personality and budget. But take it a step further and be sure your pool of options is as diverse as it is talented. You can look at planning your wedding as just that, planning a party, or you can look at it as your way to change the world. Money is power: How you spend it matters and who you spend it with matters.
Inclusivity is now a trending topic, which is a good thing, but it cannot be a fleeting fad. Consistent effort is needed to effect real change. Every day people are discriminated against for things they cannot control and didn’t choose. People don’t choose the body they’re born in, their gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, abilities or disabilities. We do, however, choose how we treat people.
LOVE GEMS WITHOUT GENDER
J ES S HANN A H R É V ÉSZ + C HELS EA N I CH O LS O N SHE / HER
Los Angeles, CA
Cofounders of Ceremony, an inclusive jewelry brand @ceremony.us
When Jess Hannah Révész and Chelsea Nicholson founded Ceremony, an inclusive jewelry company, their vision was to create timeless designs that left room for “people to imbue our pieces with their own definition of love.” Révész and Nicholson don’t want to stand alone in the jewelry industry. They hope that other brands will realize how inclusive marketing is just as important as creating inclusive products. On its own, a ring or piece of jewelry has no gender. “Brands control the messaging—it’s up to them to be inclusive. Now more than ever, people want to invest in companies that align with their values, and we couldn’t agree more with this mentality. We’re hopeful this is a movement over a trend.”
INCLUSIVE INVITES Q:
H O W C AN C O U PLE S RE W O RD T H E I R W E D D I N G I N V I T AT I O N S T O B E LE S S G E N D E RE D ? Couples often ask if they have to word their stationery like everyone else. And my answer is a resounding, “Hell no!” Your stationery should be an extension of you and your partner’s personality—have fun with it.
W H AT T I PS D O Y O U H AV E RE G AR D I N G AD D R E S S I N G E N V E LO PE S W I T H H O N O RI F I C S ?
MOLLY HICKS SHE / HER
Founder of wedding stationery company Revolution Paper Co. @revolutionpaperco
Bottom line: Feel free to forget the honoriﬁcs and only use the guests’ names. Honoriﬁcs can make people feel excluded. We should never assume we know our guests’ pronouns. Mr. and Mrs. are very gendered and some of your guests may be struggling with their identity. Avoiding gender in your stationery is a supportive way to let your guests determine their pronouns for themselves.
W H AT S T E PS C AN S T AT I O N E R S T AK E T O MAK E T H E I R B U S I N E S S E S M O RE I N C LU S I V E ? One of our jobs as stationers is to educate couples on the subliminal messaging their wedding stationery may be sending. The initial design draft I send to couples incorporates a pronouns line on the RSVP card. By including this as a default design element, it prompts a conversation with my couples about planning inclusively.
AN Y E N C O U RAG I N G W ORD S F O R T O -B E -W E D S AF R A I D O F I N C LU S I V I T Y M I S S T E PS W H I LE W E D D I N G PLAN N I N G ? No one is going to get all of this right 100% of the time. We are all human and mistakes happen. But if we are doing all that we can by acknowledging our shortcomings and encouraging love among all humans, then that’s something.
It’s 2021, so it’s time to lose the bride-centric language that unfortunately still dominates the wedding industry. Weddings are for everybody, not just brides! — M A R I S A S U Á R E Z- O R O Z C O
Instead of just saying you’re LGBTQ+ loving, show it! Make your allyship clear by adding —J OV E M E Y E R a rainbow to your platforms.
KELLY SANDERS MOFFAT + LAURA MOFFAT SHE / HER
Cofounders of nonbinary fashion brand Kirrin Finch
STATIONERY: ASHLEY D PHOTOGRAPHY; HICKS: AMANDA LEISE PHOTOGRAPHY; COUPLE: HEY TAY PHOTOGRAPHY; NELSON: KELSEY DIANE PHOTOGRAPHY; ICONS FROM TOP: NUBAIA KARIM BARSHA/NOUN PROJECT; ANNA NEBBIATI/NOUN PROJECT; DEBI ALPA NUGRAHA/NOUN PROJECT; BEN DAVIS/NOUN PROJECT; ALL OTHER IMAGES COURTESY OF SUBJECTS
ANDROGYNOUS ATTIRE MADE EASY When we couldn’t find wedding attire that matched our inner core, it felt like we couldn’t be ourselves—so we started Kirrin Finch. Below, our tips for finding the perfect fit for you.
SETTING Consider the setting, level of formality and time of year of your wedding. You can wear a more casual look on a farm than at a black-tie penthouse celebration. Similarly, avoid a heavy wool suit in the heat of summer—a linen look is going to be a better option.
BROWSE Brainstorm your ideal suit color and style. Pinterest is a great starting point for inspiration. Also, DapperQ has a directory with many androgynous clothing stores that offer formal wear.
Ahead of the wedding, have a frank conversation about your expectations with attendees. Next, get yourself a right-hand person who isn’t afraid of confrontation, especially if you’re worried some less-than-supportive family members may create drama. At the wedding, have your go-to person keep an eye on anyone you're worried may cause issues—and handle them. There were things I didn't even know happened at my wedding because of the friend I chose and trusted to get things done for me.
FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS: TIMING The ideal shopping timeline depends on if you’re choosing a bespoke look or getting one off the rack. For custom, upwards of three to six months ahead of time is typical. For ready-to-wear, we suggest at least one to three months out to leave time for any alternations.
ACCESSORIZE Adding a fun bow tie can bring a little flair to your outfit. A nice, high-quality pair of shoes makes a big difference. Lastly, although many people may not see your socks, a colorful pair can add a detail that is just for you and makes you feel special.
Don't focus on gender—instead, just pose the couple like two people in love. Let them take turns holding each other, being the dominant person in the photo (if there is one). With business, put your money where your mouth is. Make a list of local vendors you trust and consider "safe vendors." Even just a small list of your own preferred vendors will help people ﬁnd pros who will genuinely love and care about them and their day.
TAYANNA NELSON SHE / HER
Kansas City, MO
Photographer and founder of Hey Tay, a queer-focused wedding photography company @heytayphoto
Partner with LGBTQ+ vendors. Get connected with us authentically, not just —J OV E M E Y E R for show-and-tell.
Don’t make assumptions, ask people their pronouns on intake forms and let your couple self-identify before you label — M A R I S A S U Á R E Z- O R O Z C O them a bride or groom.
LOVE anatomy of an
INCLUSIVE CEREMONY PROCESSIONAL Instead of pairing wedding party participants with members of the opposite sex, each attendant can walk down the aisle one by one. Or they can even go in alternating pairs based on which partner they’re closest to—two of your attendants can walk after two of your partner's do. Also, instead of one nearlywed waiting at the end of the aisle while the other makes a grand entrance, both to-be-weds can arrive at the end of the processional, either together or one by one.
VOWS Wedding ceremonies are a celebration of love and unity. Since love and unity are inherently genderless, the main challenge is reframing our language. After all, couples are more than their gender. They are friends, teammates, partners-inadventure, soul mates and authors of their own story. The simplest way to write less-gendered ceremonies is to open your minds and a thesaurus. Challenge yourselves to swap commonly used terms like ladies and gentlemen with phrases that embody your personalities and are inclusive of everyone. While many of your guests likely won’t notice the intentionally gender-neutral ceremony, you are ensuring that everyone feels warmly welcomed.
a spoken word poem found on YouTube to an excerpt from a monologue in your favorite movie. You can even opt to do a mash-up reading focused on a beloved show or theme, like Doctor Who, Disney-Pixar or 90s R&B.
SHE / HER
OFFICIANT The ideal officiant is someone you trust and vibe with. You’ll need to feel comfortable sharing your love story with your officiant. You’ll need to like them enough to share the pieces of yourselves and your story that aren’t all shiny, pretty and perfect. Because, let’s be real, we are all perfectly ﬂawed human beings and marriage is forged through the trying times. Do your research and trust your instincts. Their ﬁrst email to you will be very telling, as will their responses to any questions you might have. Find someone you want to stand beside you in your ceremony photos, the one you think will do your story justice and make you laugh or cry or both.
Founder of Studio XIII, based in Portland but photographing LGBTQ+ love stories nationwide @studioxiiiphotography
EDUCATION FOR EVERYONE
I WANT OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS TO… look at their websites and ask themselves: If they were a queer couple, would they be able to tell that this business is LGBTQ+ friendly? Reminder: Even if you say you’re LGBTQ+ friendly or you have photos of LGBTQ+ couples in your portfolio, it doesn’t mean that you are fully inclusive. You have to adopt policies and behavior into your life and your business that show with action how you are an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.
I WANT COUPLES TO... throw away the norms of “tradition” that don’t serve us any longer. If there are parts of weddings that you want to keep, get creative in making them non-gendered. When we think beyond a binary definition of gender, our world just gets more expansive and better for everyone. Things like a father-daughter dance can become a parent-child dance or a guest-of-honor dance. Not only does this open up the language for one of the marriers who might not identify with “son” or “daughter,” but it also opens up the possibility for them to dance with someone meaningful to them who might not be a “father” or a “mother.” There’s no formula for a wedding and there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
I WANT ALLIES TO...
DANIELA VILLARAMOS + KARLA VILLAR SHE / HER / ELLA
The best readings are ones that are personal to you as a couple. Modern readings can come from unexpected places—from
Brooklyn, NY + Boston, MA Sisters, bilingual wedding officiants and cofounders of Once Upon a Vow
learn from a diverse group of people in the LGBTQ+ community: not just one person and not just white folks. Be open to feedback and allow your mind to be opened to new knowledge every day. Thank someone when they correct you about their pronouns. Remember to show your love and appreciation for the LGBTQ+ community year round and not just during Pride. Continue to advocate for LGBTQ+ folks when they aren’t in the room.
RELEASE Get rid of all notions of LGBTQ+ couples that you have in your mind, because no one ever fits in one box. —TAYA N N A N E L S O N
SINCERITY It’s important not to tokenize. Often, pros want to feature a same-sex couple in a styled shoot to help book more LGBTQ+ —BRITTNY DRYE clients. That’s tokenizing—people are not props.
ON THE WEB
Double-click on these sites that are celebrating LGBTQ+ love stories and leading the way with inclusivity.
FLOW ER REFRESH VILLARAMOS & VILLAR: DIANA ASCARRUNZ; COUPLE: CASEY BRODLEY; CURSOR ICON: ZAFF STUDIO/NOUN PROJECT; ALL OTHERS COURTESY OF SUBJECTS
H OW CAN COU P L E S DO A WA Y WITH A NARRATIVE THA T SA Y S B OU QU E TS A R E F O R BRI DES AND BO U TO NN IER E S A R E F O R G R O OM S? Bouquets can be for grooms and boutonnieres can be for brides too. My wife opted to wear a boutonniere for our own wedding. Do whatever feels right for you. You can also think outside the box for your personals if bouquets or bouts don’t resonate with you. We once designed fresh orchid ascots for two grooms. The look was androgynous and totally fabulous.
WH AT AR E SOM E NO N- G E NDE R ED F L OWER OPTI ONS COU P L E S COU L D WO R K INTO A CEREMONY? Installations are a fun, non-gendered way to add ﬂowers into your wedding ceremony. We have done installs on everything from stairways and ﬁreplaces to a motorcycle. When an androgynous to-be-wed booked us and didn’t want a bouquet, we added ﬂorals to their motorbike as a fun ﬂourish.
EQUALLY WED equallywed.com
MARISA SUÁREZ-OROZCO SHE / HER
Founder of Tropic of Flowers and a floral, event and stationery designer @tropicofflowers
building the foundation
ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT
RON BEN-ISRAEL HE / HIM
New York, NY
Cofounder of Ron Ben-Israel Treats and a renowned cake baker @rbicakes
After writing for a few wedding outlets, Brittny Drye realized “the majority were either very heteronormative or created content exclusively for LGBTQ+ couples with no in-between. There was a void of truly inclusive content. After all, it’s not a gay wedding—it’s just a wedding. And that’s how Love Inc. was born.”
Ron Ben-Israel’s renowned career began in 1993, over two decades before marriage equality passed in the US. In those years Ben-Israel has seen progress, yet stresses the need to continually build an inclusive industry. “For every two steps forward there is one step back, and the need for tolerance, acceptance and equality is greater than ever,” he says. “We haven’t completely won the battle for equality,” notes BenIsrael, given the headlines about discrimination by cake bakers that have marred the fight for inclusivity in recent years. “I salute the couples that took this important fight for equal rights all the way to the Supreme Court. It could be argued, though, that bakers who refuse to serve the LGBTQ+ community do not deserve our business.”
The negative experiences from Kirsten Palladino’s own wedding planning journey led her to found Equally Wed. From the onset, the lack of representation in wedding media “stirred something up inside of me, and I told my fiancée I wanted to do something about it. Then, as we began researching vendors, I realized I had to come out every single time—and many weren’t returning my emails when they found out I was marrying a woman. For homophobia to come from the industry that centers on love—that hurt like hell.”
BLACK GAY WEDDINGS
After Michael and Lawrence Broughton wed, the lack of LGBTQ+ couples of color in media astounded them. They founded Black Gay Weddings to change that. “Visibility is everything,” says Michael. “How many couples feel alone when they don’t see people like them in media? We created this space to be ourselves and champion representation of LGBTQIA couples of color.”
The US is home to 423 national parks and over 6,700 state parks. Why follow the crowds to the bucket-list names when you can have these lesser-known gems all to yourself? BY JEN MURPHY
WRANGELL-ST. ELIAS NATIONAL PARK The largest national park in the United States, Wrangell-St. Elias spans 13.2 million acres, or the equivalent of Yellowstone, Yosemite and Switzerland combined. Trust us, crowds aren’t an issue here. WHEN TO GO May through September DISH TO TRY Greenhouse-grown produce is featured in every meal, but it’s Eleanor “Granny” Claus’s oatmealand-chocolate-chip cookies that guests go home raving about. WHERE TO STAY A jewel of a stay in the heart of the park, family-run Ultima Thule Lodge has just five cabins. It’s located 100 miles from the closest paved road, so guests arrive by air. The lodge’s fleet of bush planes and team of pilots allow the surrounding wilderness to be your personal playground. From $8,550 per person, including meals and activities; ultimathulelodge.com
Due to COVID-19, reopening times and prices are subject to change.
ROMANTIC MOMENT Have the team at Ultima Thule arrange a picnic with champagne on a deserted stretch of beach. ADVENTURE TO HAVE The lodge’s Super Cub planes have oversized wheels, so they can land almost anywhere, including next to a calving glacier. Collapsible kayaks allow guests and guides to get a closer look at the icebergs while paddling truly pristine waterways.
TR AVEL COLORADO
BLACK CANYON OF THE GUNNISON NATIONAL PARK
WHEN TO GO July through early October WHERE TO STAY Located 50 minutes from the park entrance, family-run Gunnison Farms has six chic cabins and one glamping tent nestled on 1,000 acres of beautiful farmland, vineyards and orchards. The owners can arrange everything from flyfishing float trips to on-property hikes that take in ancient petroglyphs. From $200; gunnisonriverfarms.com DISH TO TRY This region of Colorado is known for its exceptional peaches. In the summer, you can pick them off the trees at Gunnison Farms or enjoy them in the dessert served as the finale of three-course farm dinners.
ADVENTURE TO HAVE Navigate class II and III rapids on a whitewater rafting trip through Gunnison Gorge with outfitter Black Canyon Anglers. From $350; blackcanyonanglers.com
ROMANTIC MOMENT A certified International Dark Sky Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison has exceptional stargazing, particularly from shielded South Rim overlooks like Dragon Point and Chasm View. The Milky Way shines brightest in summer.
N E W YO R K
BUTTERMILK FALLS STATE PARK New York state is home to 180 state parks. Set in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, just southwest of the funky town of Ithaca, 811-acre Buttermilk Falls State Park is a woodland wonderland of gorges and cascades.
hardwood floors and comfy beds, plus a bathhouse with hot water just steps away. Campers can take advantage of foraging hikes, live music and yoga classes. From $189; firelightcamps.com
WHEN TO GO May through October
ADVENTURE TO HAVE Hike the 1.6-mile Gorge and Rim Trail Loop in Buttermilk Falls State Park. The uphill portions are strenuous, but you’re rewarded with spectacular views of the falls.
WHERE TO STAY You could rough it and camp in the park. Or you can glamp in comfort 10 minutes away at Firelight Camps. Safari-inspired tents feature
DISH TO TRY The tasting menu at Hazelnut Kitchen will satisfy both vegetarians (beet tartare with spicy aioli) and carnivores (braised short ribs). ROMANTIC MOMENT Restore hike-weary muscles with a hot stone massage at August Moon Spa, located walking distance from Firelight Camps. From $130 for 60 minutes; augustmoonspa.com
FROM LEFT: THE ADAMS CO.; LIGHTUPDESIGN/THE NOUN PROJECT; SHUTTERSTOCK (2); LAKSHISHA/NOUN PROJECT; AUDREY SPEARS; COURTESY OF BLACK CANYON ANGLERS; CÉDRIC VILLAIN/NOUN PROJECT
The least-visited national park in Colorado is often compared to the Grand Canyon thanks to its steep cliffs carved by the Gunnison River. Hiking, kayaking and fishing are just a handful of ways to take in the dramatic, breathtaking scenery.
CUMBERLAND ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE Located 35 miles north of Jacksonville, Florida, Cumberland is the largest in a chain of barrier islands along the Georgia coast. Its mix of white sand dunes and live oaks draped in Spanish moss provides the perfect backdrop for a beach getaway. WHEN TO GO December to March or May and September
DISH TO TRY Oak-grilled, wild-caught Georgia shrimp appears in the three-course dinners at the Greyfield Inn. ROMANTIC MOMENT Cumberland Island’s 17 miles of beach are less than a mile’s walk or bike ride from the inn. Take a bottle of wine for a sunset toast. ADVENTURE TO HAVE Greyfield Inn’s team of naturalists can customize tours focused on birding, shark tooth hunts or the island’s cultural history.
NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK North Cascades National Park welcomed 38,000 visitors in 2019, while its better-known neighbors, Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park, received 1.5 million and 3.25 million respectively. It’s nicknamed the Alps of America for its spectacular scenery. WHEN TO GO July through mid-September WHERE TO STAY Stehekin, the park’s gateway, is only reachable by boat or plane. Base yourself at Stehekin Lake Cabin, steps from the water. $340 per night, fivenight minimum; silverbayinn.com DISH TO TRY The marionberry, an Oregon-specific fruit similar to a blackberry but with an earthier flavor, tastes best baked in the pies sold at Stehekin Pastry Company. ROMANTIC MOMENT Go winery hopping by boat with Chelan Water-toWine. Custom five-hour tours include visits to up to 10 wineries. $160; chelanwatertowine.com
ADVENTURE TO HAVE Hikers can explore more than 400 miles of trails within the park. Stehekin Outfitters offers a tent-to-tent trekking option with easy access to the popular Cascade Pass Trail. From $95 for two people; stehekinoutfitters.com
FROM LEFT: SHUTTERSTOCK; HUNTER MCCRAE; COURTESY OF GREYFIELD INN; OKSANA LATYSHEVA/NOUN PROJECT; COURTESY OF ASHEVILLE GLAMPING
WHERE TO STAY Pitch a tent at one of the island’s five campgrounds or enjoy the Southern hospitality of the Greyfield Inn. There’s a main house with 15 unique rooms, plus two stand-alone cottages. To encourage guests to disconnect, the inn is blissfully Wi-Fi free. From $625, all-inclusive; greyfieldinn.com
DUPONT STATE RECREATIONAL FOREST Only 45 minutes from the buzzy downtown of Asheville, DuPont State Recreational Forest is an outdoor lover’s dream, with 10,000-plus acres of hiking trails, waterfalls and swimming holes. WHEN TO GO March to May and September to early November DISH TO TRY Of the many delicious tapas offerings at Cúrate, the house-made spicy chorizo wrapped in potato chips should not be missed. ROMANTIC MOMENT Book a couples massage at the Spa at Omni Grove Park Inn and plan to spend the day enjoying the facilities. The 43,000-square-foot subterranean spa features eucalyptus steam rooms, therapeutic waterfalls and an oversized, mountain-view hot tub. $370 for 50 minutes; omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park ADVENTURE TO HAVE Lace up your hiking boots and tackle the Triple Falls loop. The trail takes in the park’s prettiest waterfalls, including High Falls (the tallest); three-tiered Triple Falls, where parts of the Hunger Games was filmed; and Hooker Falls, which spills into a popular swimming hole.
WHERE TO STAY Asheville Glamping sets itself apart from the fancy camping crowd, diversifying beyond safari-style tents and offering yurts, domes, Spartan trailers and a new tree house. From $120; ashevilleglamping.com
WEDDING GOWNS 101 Searching for the one? Study up on everything you need to know before you hit the salon.
A GUIDE TO DRESS SILHOUETTES
Perfect for the bride looking to make a statement, there’s nothing subtle about a ball gown. This classic silhouette has a ﬁtted bodice and a voluminous full skirt.
This universally ﬂattering style hugs the torso and has a skirt that ﬂares out in—you guessed it—an A shape. Consider it a halfway point between a sheath and a ball gown.
Va-va-voom. This sultry silhouette has a ﬁtted bodice, waist and hips, and dramatically ﬂares out at the knee. It’s a great option if you want to show off your curves.
This slim silhouette A toned-down version skims over the body, of the mermaid, the falling straight to skirt of this gown ﬂares the ﬂoor below the out just below the hips, hips. What a sheath creating a semi-full dress lacks in volume, shape (like the bell it makes up for in of a trumpet) without versatility—it works with nearly every fabric. any extra volume.
Empire A dress for the Grecian goddess in us all, the empire style has a ﬁtted bodice ending just below the bust, giving a high-waisted appearance that lengthens the body.
MUST-READ GOWN SHOPPING TIP S S H O P E A R L Y A designer wedding gown will take months to create and a series of alterations to fit your body perfectly. In other words, it’s not the kind of garment you can toss into an online shopping cart and have show up on your doorstep two days later. Book your first appointment 9 to 12 months before your wedding date. If you’re shopping closer to your wedding, you may be limited to samples or off-the-rack gowns. A L W A Y S B O O K A N A P P O I N T M E N T Scheduling an appointment is the only way to ensure you’ll get a full hour of undivided attention. If you’re the type who hates feeling rushed when shopping, make an appointment on a slow weekday morning or afternoon. L I M I T Y O U R E N T O U R A G E Bringing a big group to the salon is a gown shopping don’t. Enlist one or two of your closest friends or family members to help you start your search. This way you can find the gown that best suits your style and not feel pressured by too many opinions.
Shop wedding gowns by style at THE K N OT.CO M/D RE S S E S
H I D D E N C O S T S A D D U P Remember, your wedding gown budget doesn’t just include the dress. Your veil or headpiece, accessories, undergarments and alterations will also add to your bottom line. Factor in these costs before you give the salesperson your shopping budget. T R U S T I S K E Y Even if a gown doesn’t look amazing on the hanger, that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t look amazing on you. Be open to what an experienced consultant thinks will work for your body (after all, they’ve done this before). Bottom line: The dress you end up loving might be different than what you originally pictured, and that’s okay. S A L O N S C A N S O M E T I M E S T A K E R E Q U E S T S Just because a bridal salon carries your favorite designer, doesn’t mean it’ll have the exact wedding dress you’ve been wanting to try on. But, if you phone in advance and ask about a specific style, your consultant may be able to request a loaner sample of that gown especially for you.
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ULTIMATE HONEYMOON & DESTINATION WEDDINGS
Your guide to some of th world’s mo e st beautiful spots
Antigua 131 The Bahamas 132 Barbados 134 Grenada 136 Turks & Caicos 137 St. Lucia 138
Looking for the perfect getaway spot? Search by place, price and amenity to find the ultimate honeymoon for you and your sweetie at THE K N OT.CO M/H O NE YM O O N S
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5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW 1
Antigua sits smack-dab in the center of the Caribbean Islands. 131
The island has more than 350 chalky-white public beaches. Some of the best include Dickenson Bay (for restaurant-hopping and people-watching) and Half Moon Bay (for windsurfing). 3
Clothing is optional at one of Five Islands Peninsula’s beaches! 4
AT A GLANCE LANGUAGE SPOKEN
East Caribbean dollar (EC), US dollar
BEST MONTHS TO GO
December to May
The Antiguan climate is one of the most idyllic in all of the Caribbean, thanks to constant sea breezes and trade winds. The hot season runs from May to November. 5
Don’t leave without spending Sunday afternoon at Shirley Heights Lookout, a restaurant perched on a bluff on the south side of the island. You’ll get a stunning panoramic view of English Harbour and the island of Montserrat, not to mention some lip-smacking barbecue.
Want more info on Antigua? Go to THE K N OT.CO M/H O NE YM O O N S
SANDALS® GRANDE ANTIGUA RESORT & SPA
oted the “Caribbean’s Most Romantic Resort” at the World Travel Awards, Sandals Grande Antigua is located on Antigua’s best beach, Dickenson Bay. The Caribbean Beachfront Village is a garden oasis with quaint island-style cottages, incomparable Rondovals™ (suites in the round) and a Red Lane® Spa. The all-suite, six-star Mediterranean Oceanview Village is a palatial rendition of bold Mediterranean glamour with the island’s largest pool, 877-SANDALS and villas featuring a private pool and whirlpool. There are Sandals.com 11 restaurants, including the exquisite Barefoot by the Sea.
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The Bahamas 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
About 700 islands make up The Bahamas, tossed across the lower Atlantic between Florida and Cuba. Only 30 of them are inhabited.
AT A GLANCE LANGUAGE SPOKEN
Bahamian dollar (BSD), US dollar BEST MONTHS TO GO
December to April
2 The water is so clear in The Bahamas that divers experience visibility of up to 200 feet. 3
The biggest eyefuls of coral are off Andros (home to the world’s third-largest barrier reef, with 140 miles of coral and cathedral-like caves), Bimini (where you can also find dolphins and sea turtles), Eleuthera/Harbour Island and the Exuma Islands. 4 Nassau, the capital city, is extra-crowded during March and April, when spring-breakers invade. It is also one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. 5
Grand Bahama Island, the fourth-largest island in the chain, is only a 50-minute flight from Miami and exudes an airy, spread-out feel compared to busy Nassau. Take diving lessons or browse duty-free bounty at the International Bazaar or the Port Lucaya Marketplace in Freeport.
Want more info on The Bahamas? Go to THE K N OT.CO M/H O NE YM O O N S
Looking for excitement? Don’t miss Junkanoo, a Bahamian costume parade in which people dance to copper cowbells, goombay drums and whistles. The parade goes from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. (yeah, you read that right) on December 26 and January 1. 7 The Abaco islands are famous for sailing and bird-watching, while the Exumas and Pelican Cays feature incredible land and sea parks. 8
Popular cuisine includes locally grown guava, mangoes, papaya and plantains with conch, kingfish, wahoo and grouper—all washed down with pineapple wine from Eleuthera. 9 Boats are available for chartering or group tours, including Sail Nassau’s two multimillion-dollar Racers, where you can take the helm or just sit back and feel the wind in your hair. 10
The Bahamas are just a 75-minute plane ride from Florida, making them a quick trip for destination weddings and honeymoons alike.
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SANDALS EMERALD BAY GOLF, TENNIS & SPA RESORT
SANDALS ROYAL BAHAMIAN SPA RESORT & OFFSHORE ISLAND
he Luxury Included® Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, Bahamas, is an oceanfront resort set along a pristine one-mile beach boasting some of the world’s clearest waters, a Greg Norman–designed golf course and a world-class marina. The resort includes gourmet dining at 11 restaurants, premium liquors, and land and water sports—plus gratuities, taxes and Sandals roundtrip airport transfers. The 16,000-square877-SANDALS foot Red Lane® Spa further enhances this 500-acre resort, Sandals.com set on one of The Bahamas’ most beautiful Out Islands.
t The Bahamas’ most elegant resort, experience a cultured European ambience with island warmth with four pools, a posh Red Lane® Spa and 11 gourmet restaurants. The modernized Windsor Tower accommodations are spacious and luxurious, and includes Sandals iconic Swim-up Suites. The Balmoral Village has luxurious rooms, some with oversized balconies. Just offshore, an exclusive island beach 877-SANDALS club offers two secluded beaches, a pool with swim-up Sandals.com bar, a restaurant and chic bonfire parties during the night.
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BArbAdos 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
AT A GLANCE LANGUAGE SPOKEN
Barbados dollar ($BD) BEST MONTHS TO GO
December to April
With more than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, the weather is almost always sunny and warm, cooled by the constant northeast trade winds. The average daytime temperature is balmy, ranging between 84 and 88 degrees.
The rocky, wind-whipped Atlantic coast is one of the world’s best windsurfing spots, while the tranquil west coast that faces the Caribbean Sea, called the Platinum Coast, is lined with posh resorts.
2 Shorts, T-shirts, wraps and sundresses are your best bet for daytime wear and elegantly casual wear for evenings. Swimwear should be kept for the beach and suitable attire should be worn when shopping or dining out.
7 Indulge your taste buds with spicy FrenchCaribbean cuisine at the patios of Brown Sugar, or grab a seat on the intimate, torch-lit terrace overlooking the Caribbean at The Cliff.
The Barbadian capital city of Bridgetown was originally named “Indian Bridge” for the crude bridge that was constructed over the river by early Indian settlers. 4
First made more than 370 years ago from the sugar cane that populated the island, Barbados rum soon found the favor of many English sailors. 5
Hike along an inland trail or down a coastal pathway, laugh at a mischievous green monkey in the wildlife preserve or unwind in one of the numerous parks. 9 If you want to take to the water, board a catamaran in Bridgetown for lunchtime snorkeling, or set sail for a sunset dinner cruise. 10
Dance the night away in “irie” oblivion to live soca, reggae or calypso at Harbour Lights or hot spot Red Door Lounge. SHUTTERSTOCK
Bajans (as Barbados residents are called) are crazy about cricket and golf.
Want to learn more about Barbados? Head to THE K N OT.CO M/H O NE YM O O N S
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urrender to endless sunshine and calypso rhythms. The first resort in Barbados exclusively for couples, this paradise is an idyllic refuge to reconnect and recharge. Find inner peace at the serene yoga and fitness center. Embrace cool Caribbean waters at three sparkling pools, or for certified divers, by diving into the vibrant coral reefs. With 11 gourmet dining venues and 280 luxurious rooms—all overlooking the exotic gardens and 877-SANDALS ocean, many featuring private Tranquility Soaking TubsTM Sandals.com for two—there’s a magical story just waiting to be told.
SANDALS ROYAL BARBADOS
he royal treatment awaits you at the newest Sandals all-suite resort. It’s the most exclusive, all-inclusive ever. Experience the dramatic SkyPool Suites, magnificent Swim-up Suites, and lavish Millionaire Suites—all with outdoor Tranquility Soaking Tubs for two. Indulge in 5-Star Global GourmetTM dining at six world-class restaurants, innovative bars and pools, and a 15,000-square-foot spa. Ocean views, every land and 877-SANDALS water sport imaginable, and Butler Elite service complete Sandals.com your Luxury Included® experience.
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GrenAdA 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
2 International flights stop at Maurice Bishop International Airport, and visitors who continue have only a short hop by interisland charter to Lauriston Airport in Carriacou. 3
The driest season is between January and May. Even during the rainy season, from June to December, it rarely rains for more than an hour at a time and generally not every day. AT A GLANCE LANGUAGE SPOKEN
English, French CURRENCY
East Caribbean dollar (EC)
4 If you want to drive in Grenada, you must obtain a local driving permit. Most car rental firms issue local permits. Note that driving is on the left. 5
River Antoine Rum Distillery, the oldest functioning distillery in the Caribbean, BEST MONTHS TO GO is a must-see for visitors. Using only January to May locally sourced sugar cane, the rum is handmade by the same process (and on some of the same equipment!) that was used when the distillery first opened in the late 1700s. You can even sample the rum at the end of your tour.
Want more info on Grenada? Go to THE K N OT.CO M/H O NE YM O O N S
SANDALS GRENADA RESORT & SPA
world-class resort in Grenada has finally emerged. Introducing Sandals Grenada, an unsurpassed, 5-Star Luxury Included® experience on the seductive “Spice Island.” Exotic elements of the South Seas are infused with bold, contemporary design resulting in a first-class resort unlike any other. Guests revel in pools that float in the sky, a living room that floats inside a pool and Tranquility Soaking Tubs for two 877-SANDALS that offer endless ocean views from magnificent patios Sandals.com and balconies.
1 The three islands of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique are located in the eastern Caribbean at the southern extremity of the Windward Islands, only 100 miles north of Venezuela.
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Turks & CaiCos 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW 1 Try to catch the “green flash” at sunset. This split-second burst of emerald light can sometimes happen along the horizon on a clear day.
AT A GLANCE LANGUAGE SPOKEN
US dollar BEST MONTHS TO GO
Go horseback riding on Grace Bay beach, one of the highest-rated beaches in the Western Hemisphere. 4 Turks & Caicos is less developed and more upscale than other islands in the Caribbean. 5
Only 8 of the 40 islands are inhabited, which gives it an intimate feel.
December to April
2 Explore historic Cockburn Town on Grand Turk—some say it’s the spot where Columbus first landed in 1492. The quaint Bermudian-style houses will catch your eye, and you may be tempted to take an impromptu walking tour through town.
Want more info on Turks & Caicos? Go to THE K N OT.CO M/H O NE YM O O N S
BEACHES® TURKS & CAICOS RESORT VILLAGES & SPA
enowned for its sparkling turquoise waters and the longest, most coveted stretch of Grace Bay’s 12-mile white-sand beach, “the last of the true exotics” is perfect for romantic getaways and family-friendly escapes. This includes underwater adventures at one of the top diving destinations in the world. Enjoy 5-Star Global Gourmet™ Dining at 21 restaurants, and sip premium liquors at 14 bars. Plus, choose from five spectacular 877-BEACHES villages: French, Caribbean, Italian, Seaside and the Key Beaches.com West Village—all boasting stellar accommodations.
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10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW AT A GLANCE LANGUAGE SPOKEN
East Caribbean dollar (EC), US dollar BEST MONTHS TO GO
December to April
Visit Sulphur Springs, a “drive-in” volcano, which last erupted two centuries ago. 2 Make sure you check out Gros Piton and Petit Piton, rugged mountains located on the island’s southwest coast; they’re among the Caribbean’s most recognizable landmarks. 3
You’ll need a guide to enter the island’s restricted rainforest region, so sign up for a tour to walk through the dense foliage and swim in one of the tropical waterfalls. If you’re lucky, you may see the rare St. Lucian parrot.
The best place to start a scuba dive along the coral walls is the beach at Anse Chastanet, a hotel on the southwest coast. 7 Some of the coral walls plunge 200 feet deep! Keep your eyes peeled for barrel sponges, angel fish, sea horses, spotted eels, stingrays, nurse sharks and sea turtles. 8
Try local favorites like saltfish and green fig and Creole barbecue. While you’re in Castries, try Pink Plantation House, a can’tmiss Creole restaurant.
If you rent a car, make sure you keep to the left side of the road (like you would in the UK). You can also make your way around via ferry, bus or cab.
9 Gros Islet, a small island on the northwest shore of St. Lucia, is known throughout the Caribbean for its Friday night jump-up. Streetside music blares as locals jam to the sounds of reggae, soca and calypso.
5 Visit the hopping Saturday market in Castries, the island’s capital. The vendors sell everything from fruits and local spices to crafts.
10 If you or your partner loves jazz music, plan your trip around the three-day St. Lucia Jazz Festival, held every May.
Want more info on St. Lucia? Go to THE K N OT.CO M/H O NE YM O O N S
YADID LEVY/GETTY IMAGES
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SANDALS GRANDE ST. LUCIAN SPA & BEACH RESORT
anoramic views add to this resort’s grandeur, set on its own spectacular peninsula with the ocean on both sides. Indulgences such as 12 gourmet restaurants, including the signature Barefoot by the Sea and Gordon’s on the Pier Restaurant, will impress the most discerning guests. Five magnificent pools and the Red Lane® Spa invite total relaxation. Accommodations include circular Rondoval Suites with private plunge pools, lagoon Swim877-SANDALS up Suites and Over-the-Water Bungalows. Weddings are Sandals.com magical at the Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapel.
SANDALS HALCYON BEACH
SANDALS REGENCY LA TOC GOLF RESORT & SPA
waken your desires for romantic temptation in the true Garden of Eden. Quintessentially Caribbean with classic island architecture and charm, this intimate seaside oasis is blissfully serene. Enjoy six gourmet restaurants, including Kelly’s Dockside Over-the-Water Restaurant, which extends out over the ocean and offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Laid back and casual, this is Saint Lucia’s ultimate beach resort, with 877-SANDALS Stay at 1, Play at 3 exchange privileges offered among all Sandals.com three Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia.
igh glamour rises to new heights of luxury on the legendary La Toc estate, which includes a half-mile cove beach, a nine-hole golf course, nine impressive gourmet restaurants and a stunning Red Lane® Spa. Dramatic two-story villas atop Sunset Bluff Village, with private pools and butler service, are the pinnacle of indulgence. Exclusive Millionaire Suites with private pools are the summit of 877-SANDALS prestige at the cliff’s peak with 180-degree ocean views, Sandals.com while elevated privileges include personal butler service.
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JAmAicA 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW 1
AT A GLANCE LANGUAGE SPOKEN
English, Patois CURRENCY
Jamaican dollar (J$) BEST MONTHS TO GO
December to April
2 Montego Bay is definitely a must-see. Located near the airport on the northwest side of the island, “MoBay” is perfect for golf getaways and short honeymoon trips. Ever since Sandals opened the first all-inclusive resort there, it’s been the top destination for young newlyweds. 3
Kingston, is perfect for honeymooners seeking their reggae roots or even just a starting point for spa trips and hikes in the beautiful Blue Mountains. 4
Many popular Jamaican destinations are between one and two hours from the Montego Bay airport by car. Make sure you bring Dramamine if you’re at risk for motion sickness, as taxi drivers take the curvy roads at quite a clip.
The Blue Lagoon was filmed in Port Antonio, called the “most exquisite port on Earth.” It’s a less-developed gem on the northeast side of the island. 6 To see Jamaica at its best, go during Carnival, the highlight of the Jamaican year, in Kingston, Ocho Rios and MoBay each April and in Negril each May. 7 Reggae lovers should wait until July for the Reggae Sumfest, held in MoBay. 8
While shopping in Montego Bay, be polite and don’t hesitate to haggle. Sellers are insistent. 9 Coconut water—sold as “ice cold jelly” at roadside stands—and conch soup are said to heighten amour. 10
Take our word that in Negril, dirty dancing is the norm, so don’t be afraid to whip out some moves that have never seen the light of day! SHUTTERSTOCK
The best way to get around is in Jamaican Union of Travelers Association (JUTA)– licensed taxis.
Want to learn more about Jamaica? Head to THE K N OT.CO M/H O NE YM O O N S
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BEACHES NEGRIL RESORT & SPA
BEACHES OCHO RIOS A SPA, GOLF & WATERPARK RESORT
et go and let loose because Negril invented “chill.” Located on the widest and best stretch of Jamaica’s famous Seven Mile Beach, Beaches Negril is an upbeat, family-friendly all-inclusive resort where three shimmering pools, nine gourmet restaurants and an exclusive Red Lane® Spa are a few of the heavenly temptations. Here you’ll sway to the beat of Bob Marley played by an authentic Mento band and stroll 877-BEACHES through lush tropical gardens—a paradise where no Beaches.com building is higher than the tallest palm tree.
ascading down from the lush St. Ann Mountains to the romantic beach of Ocho Rios, this newly renovated family golf and beach resort offers something for everyone. Unwind at one of five pools, or get revved up at the Pirates Island Waterpark and the chic 18-and-over Club Liquid. From beach bonfire parties and a Red Lane® Spa to 5-Star Global Gourmet™ dining at eight world-class restaurants—plus the lavishly 877-BEACHES appointed rooms and suites—Beaches Ocho Rios is for Beaches.com lovers of luxury and sun-kissed fun.
SANDALS MONTEGO BAY
SANDALS NEGRIL BEACH RESORT & SPA
ick back on the best and longest stretch of Jamaica’s famous Seven Mile Beach and experience the very chic and slightly playful side of Negril. Unwind poolside or at the Red Lane® Spa. There are seven gourmet restaurants, including our signature dining experience, Barefoot by the Sea. Breathtaking Swim-up Suites are on the edge of a lagoon pool with the beach in view and exquisite Millionaire Suites include private 877-SANDALS outdoor pools and gardens that wrap you in luxurious Sandals.com seclusion while personal butlers attend to your needs.
he beach goes on and on and the party never stops as the flagship Sandals, set on Jamaica’s best, private white-sand beach in Montego Bay. Twelve gourmet restaurants make you think, it doesn’t get any better than this, and a Red Lane® Spa renews you. Wedding bells ring at the Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapel. For those who prefer glamorous seclusion, the Beachfront Villa Suites with Butler Service provide privilege and specialized butler service along a beautiful stretch of beach. Best of all, when you stay 877-SANDALS Sandals.com here you can play at Sandals Royal Caribbean too!
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SANDALS OCHI BEACH RESORT
SANDALS ROYAL CARIBBEAN RESORT & PRIVATE ISLAND
estled between the St. Ann Mountains and the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica’s hippest resort features three extraordinary destinations in one: the chic Ochi Beach Club and Riviera Seaside, the lively plantation-style Great House, 7 main pools, the exclusive Butler Village with 98 villa pools and romantic Romeo & Juliet Suites. Enjoy 16 restaurants, 11 bars, the region’s only speakeasy—The Rabbit Hole—live entertainment at a cutting-edge amphitheater 877-SANDALS and two Red Lane® Spas. Best of all, your “I do’s” can take Sandals.com center stage at the Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapel.
lassic Georgian architecture welcomes you to a place reminiscent of the grandest British manor houses. At the main resort, the noblest of British refinement blends with Jamaican charm. Feast at nine tantalizing gourmet restaurants including an authentic British pub. Enjoy Jamaica’s only Over-the-Water Villas, with water hammocks and private infinity pools. Then discover an exotic private island—Sandals Island—with a 877-SANDALS Thai restaurant, secluded beach and Red Lane® Spa Escape. Sandals.com Guests who stay here can also play at Sandals Montego Bay!
SANDALS ROYAL PLANTATION
SANDALS SOUTH COAST
uilt in the glamorous 1950s and luxuriously appointed in the 21st century, this serene sanctuary still maintains its stellar reputation as one of Jamaica’s most exquisite resorts. Sandals Royal Plantation sits on a bluff 25 feet above the Caribbean Sea, granting each of its 74 suites heart-stopping views of the ocean and exclusive butler service. Bask blissfully on the spectacular twin beaches where you can spend hours 877-SANDALS sunbathing or partake in exciting water sports including Sandals.com daily scuba diving for certified divers or snorkeling.
andals South Coast has been reimagined. Everything new is all about water: lavish Over-the-Water Bungalows with “sea-through” floors; the first Swim-up Rondoval Suites in the world; a spectacular over-the-water bar; our Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapel; nine restaurants including Sushi on the Sand at water’s edge; and redesigned, all-beachfront rooms and suites with stunning views from beachfront balconies and walk-out patios. Set within a 500- 877-SANDALS acre nature preserve, Sandals South Coast is All Water. All Sandals.com Luxury. All on Jamaica’s South Coast.
You Can Totally Have a Brunch Wedding. Make It .
Kir Tuben Photography
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Being able to finally say ‘I do’ seemed surreal. Growing up in Australia, we thought this day would never happen for us. Although we never felt we needed a piece of paper to validate our love or life together, it gave us a sense of pride to stand in front of family and friends to legally affirm our relationship. We were dressed in tuxedos, drinking champagne and enjoying fried chicken—finally as husbands. The day couldn’t get much better!
Paul + Sam
3�7�20 | MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA PHOTOGRAPH BY BRIARS ATLAS
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