Alyssa and Torie describe their May 2019 wedding as “a mixture of rustic, bohemian and romantic vibes.” With the ceremony officiated by a friend, the couple married at Cape May, New Jersey’s Willow Creek Winery beneath a gorgeous geometric arch.
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
Not everyone might agree with your ideas, but the wedding is about you and no one else. Create your own traditions and do what feels right to you!
What advice do you have for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?
Make sure that we as an LGBTQ+ couple feel welcome and supported. It makes the planning process much easier and smoother when we feel accepted.
What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
We felt like we found ourselves always asking if the vendor was LGBTQ+ friendly, which is dis-heartening to us, since heterosexual couples don’t have to go through this process. It’s challenging to find a vendor that not only wants to work with you, but that you also feel comfortable working with.
Did you encounter any pleasant surprises as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
We ended up having more people being supportive of our wedding than we thought, and had more people say “yes” to coming to the wedding than we had thought!!
In this July 2019 photo shoot, Jayme Galanos of The Darling Wedding Co wanted to create a romantic, elegant and eclectic vibe for real-life couple Kyle and Steven.
Laurelyn Savannah Photography captured this gorgeous day at the Madison, Wisconsin Museum of Contemporary Art, a day complete with chic suits, purple florals and decor, and a scrumptious-looking donut wall.
“Joanna’s the perfect mix of beautiful, funny, charismatic, sweet and sassy,” says fiancée Amanda.
Joanna proposed to Amanda on the shores of Lake Michigan while the couple was on a trip to Chicago.
“A few of our closest friends tagged along, but I thought nothing of it,” Amanda says. “We travel often. We walked along Lake Michigan and Joanna asked me, ‘Can you take your coat off so we can get an awesome photograph?’ I replied, ‘It’s cold out!’ I proceeded to take of my jacket off though. As her sister and her sister’s boyfriend snapped a gorgeous picture, Joanna got down on one knee. I immediately said yes. Spending the rest of my life with this woman will always and forever be my greatest adventure.”
Amanda and Joanna will marry on April 2, 2022, at Renault Winery in New Jersey.
Welcome to Butt Week, friends! An entire week dedicated to butts and butt-adjacent stuff: how-tos, thoughtful essays, original art, pop culture critiques, music and more! You are absolutely not ready for this and yet it is happening to you, right now. As we wrap up our week, let Shelli treat you to a full spa day for your beautiful ass.
When I read “Take care of yourself!” it usually is talking about exercising and some form of diet, and when I read “Self-care is important!” it’s followed by a “but” and a list of stipulations. Both are imposing limitations on how to care for my body or how to love on it, and that’s not something I care to subscribe to — instead I opt to indulge.
Going above and beyond in caring for and loving my body has been the key to being comfortable in it. Confidence and comfort are not the same, for the most part, confidence in my body has been steady but the latter was what I had to work for. Being extra with it was what helped, adorning my body with lingerie that made me feel gorgeous, wearing oils whose smells trigger sweet thoughts, eating foods that fill my stomach with happiness, touching myself, and feeling sensations and thrills go throughout me from top to toe.
I take myself in and say yes to allowing myself both sumptuous and simple pleasures.
The simplest of ways for me is a slow, hot shower. You know the type — where you close your eyes and just feel the water hit your back while the steam fills the bathroom? Where instead of rapidly drying yourself off when you get out, you wipe down the mirror and look at your body and smile?
The type of shower where you use the special stuff. This time my something special was a scrub and mask, not for my face – but my ass.
I like my ass. I’m not gonna lie and say that I haven’t looked in the mirror and wished for Megan Thee Stallion to give me just a dollop of extra booty, but I like it. Butt Week has made me want to give a little extra TLC to my ass, to prepare it to be extra soft, plump, and ready to bite when I’m pushing it up against a girl under the covers in the near future. So I went for Anese.co and their Booty Duo! You’ve probably seen it splashed across your Instagram Feed and well, it got me!
Think of this photo as a sapphic Where’s Waldo – but with my bum.
Both products — a scrub called That booty tho and a mask named Down with the thickness — tout claims to calm stretch marks and help get rid of asscne. Everyone is always so focused on self-care when it comes to the face and the skin (it’s me, I’m everyone) but they forget the ass. Not me, I made my bathroom into a social media-worthy spa and got started making my ass even more grabbable than it already is.
That booty tho, Booty Scrub $30
I already have perfectly curated lighting in most rooms of my apartment, and that includes the bathroom. I bought in a few plants, opened the window slightly to get a breeze, and even brought in another mirror so I could fully take in my ass when I got going with the duo. I turned the shower on and let the room warm up, I sat on the edge of the tub in my pink silky robe with a glass of wine. I could hear Chloe x Halles’ Ungodly Hour playing at the sweetest volume from the other room.
After the bathroom was the perfect temperature and my skin was softened by the steam, I peeled off my robe. I could see myself in the mirror and I was all about it. It was fogged but not enough as some of the steam was sneaking out of the window. I stepped into the shower and brought That Booty Tho in with me. I untwisted the top, which was now a bit wet, and put two fingers in, and slowly scooped out enough to cover my ass. The scrub isn’t harsh; the granules are fine and the smell isn’t overwhelming at all. For some reason I closed my eyes, I spread the product between my palms, and placed my hands on my ass. Moving in circular motions, grabbing, and even doing a few light smacks. Feeling my own skin, my body, palm to ass — felt euphoric.
When I rinsed off I could feel how much smoother my butt felt. Sometimes when you rinse off body scrub or even a face scrub you feel greasy after, not this tho. It was smooth, my ass felt moisturized and it’s a shame I had no one to call out to and invite them in to feel it and agree. I finished my shower and then stepped out, wrapped myself in my robe to dry.
Down with the thickness, Booty Mask $37
Again, I sat on the edge of the tub and drank a bit more wine while scrolling through my phone. My skin felt dry enough so now it was time for the mask. Again, two fingers inside the pink and fluffy cream that smelled sweet like taffy candy. I put a foot upon the tub’s edge and lifted my robe up to my waist to expose my ass in front of the mirror. Put my palms together and spread the mask over my ass. Glancing in the mirror and seeing the pink cream that matched my robe was beautiful. Again, how sad that no one was around to bask in it with me.
I snapped my photos for the eyes of you lucky readers and then rinsed off.
Afterward, I went to my bedroom where the music was playing and laid down while the cool air from outside caused goosebumps on my skin. I smiled because again I was extra, I’d indulged in something completely unnecessary solely because It made me feel good and I wanted to. As a result, my body that many want me to be unkind to or have hate for was happy and my heart that the world can make heavy was light yet so full.
Having confidence and comfort in your body, especially a marginalized one, is a long and often curvy road. But I truly believe that over indulgent self-care is helpful on that path. Finding simple pleasures that make you feel good and letting the feeling overtake you, holding on to it, and allowing it to bounce around in the corners of your mind to pop back up when you least expect it.
So from my plump and soft ass to yours, Happy Butt Week, Autostraddlers.