Tag: wedding

Colorful summer wedding at Chicago’s Ravenswood Event Center

Colorful summer wedding at Chicago's Ravenswood Event Center

Katie and Natalie’s colorful summer wedding wedding at Chicago’s Ravenswood Event Center took place on all three floors of their venue. Their big day included a gorgeous, light-filled ceremony, an intimate loft-style cocktail hour, and dinner in the showroom with vintage cars and neon signs. The marriers’ goal was a personal, intimate vibe. Natalie’s aunt officiated the ceremony, and the marriers read their own vows to each other. Their wedding party consisted of each of their brothers, along with two ring bearers and a flower girl. Katie and Natalie planned the wedding themselves and included many personal touches, such as invitations designed by Katie and the lily bouquets in memory of Natalie’s late pup, Lily.

NATALIE + KATIE’S LOVE STORY

Where do we begin? It all started in January 2017 over the World Wide Web. Yes, internet dating brought us together. Natalie sent Katie a message, and the rest was history. We instantly bonding over our love for animals, sports, food, and bourbon/whiskey.

Katie instantly fell for Natalie’s six-year-old snaggletooth boxer, Lily. She wiggled her way into her heart. The same couldn’t be said for Natalie and Izzy, Katie’s 13-year-old cat. Natalie had a distinct fear of cats. The first time they met, Natalie stood frozen in the doorway until Katie reassured her that Izzy wasn’t going to attack. Without fail, over time Natalie realized that Izzy only wants three things in life: food (any carbohydrate), quality scratches behind the ears, and a sunny place to slumber. It wasn’t long before Lily and Izzy met. Izzy was quick to see that Lily was a gentle giant, and both realized they would be seeing a lot of each other.

We both grew up playing various sports and both love to attend sporting events. Katie especially loves attending any and all of Northwestern University sporting events, especially NU Softball. We also very much enjoy attending Chicago Cubs games at Wrigley Field and indulging in Old Style and hot dogs. The extended love of sports that runs through both of our families brought us together even more.

We had our first date at Quigley’s Irish pub in Naperville and spent six hours laughing and talking. The second date accidentally coincided with Valentine’s Day, and again, we laughed and talked so long that the waiter had to ask us to leave as chairs were being put up around us. By date number four we knew we had something special. We continued to date, meeting halfway between the far north and far south suburbs of Chicago for over a year.

Natalie proposed to Katie in December of 2017. We planned a weekend getaway in Saugatuck, Michigan, in early December before the holidays. On that Saturday morning as snow was falling outside, Natalie presented Katie with a box…barely before her eyes were open. Katie instantly reminded Natalie that we had promised “no gifts” for our getaway. Natalie reassured her that it wasn’t a Christmas gift. Katie then asked for a cup of coffee first and was quickly denied. Reluctantly, Katie began to open the box to find two coffee mugs displaying our initials N & K. She picked up one of the mugs, which had a ring in it, and the question “will you marry me” written at the very bottom. Katie returned the proposal in the spring. She surprised Natalie with a scavenger hunt that ended with a ring and the same question after all of the clues. We both said YES and our future together forever began.

VENDORS

Photographer: Emma Mullins Photography
Cake Designer: Molly’s Cupcakes
Jewelry: Jared
Jewelry: Karat Jewelry Group
DJ: Cage And Aquarium
Shoes: Nike
Dress Designer: White One Bridal
Dress Designer: Eddy K Italia
Reception Venue: Ravenswood Event Center

 

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

Amanda and Ashley’s New Orleans December church wedding was full of entertainment, including a surprise Usher dance, getting Smirnoff Iced by a friend, and watching everyone have such a great time. The couple’s wedding inspiration was a muted color palette with pops of green and metallic. The two brides wore white—one in a gown and one in a pantsuit, and were attended by bridesmen in blue suits and bridesmaids in lavender gray gowns. Their wedding night was capped with a bubble sendoff while rocking Christmas light necklaces and Santa hats.

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff first look

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

TELL US YOUR LOVE STORY

Ashley and I met through mutual friends on a coed flag football team. We all began hanging out outside of football and eventually started dating. We loved enjoying the City of New Orleans, traveling, cheering on the Saints, good food and good booze. After dating five years, Amanda popped the question in City Park and had a surprise party planned after.

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

TELL US ABOUT THE PROPOSAL(S)

Ashley was under the impression we were going to film additional clips for a film that a friend was submitting to the New Orleans Film Festival. However, Amanda had orchestrated the entire thing and got down on one knee (in white jeans, in the mud 🙂 ). Once Ashley got over the shock, she said yes! We spent the rest of our enGAYgement night with friends and family celebrating.

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff welcome sign

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER?

Amanda knew Ashley was the one when she survived her first family lake vacation. Ashley knew Amanda was the one after our first Christmas together.

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIG DAY

We each stayed at the Hilton Riverside in separate rooms with our wedding party. We used one room for hair and makeup and one for pictures and getting ready. Mandy (our wedding planner) and our wedding party made sure to maneuver us from room to room so we wouldn’t see each other. We headed to The Felicity for our first look and pictures before the ceremony. The ceremony began at 5:30 with a cocktail hour and reception to follow. We enjoyed dancing and celebrating with our friends and family, and added light up Christmas necklaces and Santa hats towards the end. The only thing we wished was different is that we wanted to keep partying long into the next morning.

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

WHAT DID YOU KNOW FOR SURE WHEN STARTING TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING?

We definitely knew we wanted our caterer. Ashley and Walker have known each other for years, so we knew the food would be amazing. We both knew we wanted a New Orleans feel, a venue with character, and for everything to be simple and elegant.

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff oysters

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff personalized koozies

WHAT SURPRISED YOU DURING WEDDING PLANNING?

How much we relied on our wedding planner. She helped guide us on details and constantly reminded us on the smalls things that we likely would have forgotten. Prior to planning a wedding, we didn’t think we needed a planner. But now, we don’t know how we would have done it without her.

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU’D KNOWN WHILE YOU WERE PLANNING YOUR WEDDING?

The details pile up. There are so many small things that have to be taken care of and staying on them week by week helps to stay ahead.

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

ADVICE FOR COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDINGS?

Every detail of a wedding cost money. It’s your day and it’s your wedding. If it’s not important, don’t feel like you need to do it to please someone else. And if it is important, make it happen.

New Orleans December church wedding with bubble sendoff

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR WEDDING DAY?

Our first look and finally getting to party with all of our friends and family.

VENDORS
Event Planner: Amanda Price Events
Photographer: Mateo & Company
Dress Store: Town and Country Bridal
Invitation Designer: Gem Printing Company
Cake Designer: Gambino’s Bakery
Transportation: American Luxury Limo
DJ: Jack Magic Entertainment
Caterer: Black Pearl Catering Co.
Equipment Rentals: True Value Rentals
Floral Designer: Herbivore Floral Designs
Beauty: Monique Munoz Creative Hair
Event Venue: Felicity Church
Beauty: Verde Beauty

LGBTQ+ couples share fond memories and kind words about their Stroudsmoor wedding

LGBTQ+ couples share fond memories and kind words about their

Stroudsmoor Country Inn is nestled in the serene Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. In addition to being host to stunning overlooks and magical scenery, Stroudsmoor Country Inn has six venues for your wedding and reception, as well as a turn-of-the-century boutique hotel to host the couple, wedding party and out-of-town guests. Each venue at Stroudsmoor is dedicated to one couple on their wedding day, featuring its own ceremony site, reception area, execution staff, and services to ensure the utmost privacy.

When asked about the Stroudsmoor experience, Linda Forte, director of event operations at Stroudsmoor Country Inn, says, ““Many things come to mind. Our matriarch, Mrs. “P”irone’s recipes and culinary expertise bring guests from far and wide. The 350-acre mountain property is meticulously manicured by a team of committed nature lovers. Our charming accommodations, our six dedicated event venues, our rejuvenating spa, host to all types of celebrations. Most importantly, the Stroudsmoor team of professionals love to help you make memories. This means providing quality, ensuring value, and supporting the well-being of each and every guest of the Inn. We are honored to read these heartfelt accolades and recommendations offered by our guests. Glimpse the Stroudsmoor experience through their eyes.”

Stroudsmoor Country Inn has hosted many weddings over the years. This article includes reviews written by some of their LGBTQ+ couples. Read on to learn more about their experiences and memories expressed in their own words.

Jacqueline + Mary’s September wedding at Woodsgate

Jacqueline + Mary’s September wedding at Woodsgate

“There are no words to express just how perfect our wedding weekend was at the Stroudsmoor Country Inn! We had been planning our wedding for well over a year and it all was beyond our expectations! I am an extremely particular person and I also am a creative person who had some unique visions for our event. Never once did anyone tell us ‘no.’ They got creative and worked with us to make every detail perfect! They also tended to us and our guests like royalty every second of the weekend.

Every staff member was top notch and friendly! Our Stroudsmoor wedding planner was incredible! The floral/decor team was phenomenal (even when I think I was torturing them a little while working on getting it “just right A”)! In the end it was truly just right!!! The coordinator for the rehearsal BBQ (which we made into a 6-hour party in the pavilion… AMAZING!!) was wonderful. The day of our actual wedding, our floor supervisors were dynamos! They checked in regularly to make sure we didn’t need anything and our personal attendant was magical with her tool belt! She facilitated our wardrobe changes (I had three, my wife had two!), re-did my hair when it was coming out, touched up our makeup, fixed my wife’s shoes, kept a drink in our hands always, etc., etc., etc.!!!!!

There are other staffers that were working behind the scenes who I know I’m forgetting to mention by name, but know that every detail mattered and we thank you!! The food was delicious, the venues (Woodsgate and the pavilion) were beautiful, and our room was comfy. This weekend was nothing short of PERFECT! We are filled with so much love for each other and our family and friends, and we got to celebrate that love without any distractions! I am already scheming to plan a weekend-long five-year anniversary party there! (I just need to get it passed by the budget committee: my wife.)”

Jeffrey + Jason’s summer wedding at Woodsgate

Jeffrey + Jason’s summer wedding at Woodsgate

“The day of the wedding came and it was a whirlwind! There was never a glitch or if there was we didn’t know about it because of the Stroudsmoor Team. The grooms-women went to the spa to have their hair and makeup done and they looked beautiful! The weather was gorgeous and the beautiful autumn day was exactly as we hoped! We had a great wedding manager who really made sure that our day was perfect. Anything we needed he took care of professionally. I wanted him to come and manage our day to day life! The reception was such a blast! The food was fantastic and the cake was a thing of beauty. We highly recommend Stroudsmoor Country Inn to anyone thinking of getting married! We were never treated any differently for being a same-sex couple; they treated us just as they treat everyone . . . like family.”

We highly recommend Stroudsmoor Country Inn to anyone thinking of getting married!

Shanna + Melissa’s fall wedding at Woodsgate

Shanna + Melissa’s fall wedding at Woodsgate

“We could never thank Stroudsmoor enough for all the hours of work put into making our big day exactly what we imagined it would be. We waited so long to be able to get married, then find the perfect place and all the anticipation was well worth it. The Stroudsmoor team of professionals were all so welcoming and willing to do anything to make our day perfect! Every trip up there always felt like visiting family. Thank you for all your hard work putting everything together for us, from favors and food to decorations and details, it was all amazing. We had an extraordinary day that we will always remember. Thank you for making all our dreams come true, (outdoor ceremony and all!) it was all breathtakingly beautiful! With all of our gratitude.”

We had an extraordinary day that we will always remember.

Jessica + Joanna’s fall wedding at Lawnhaven

Jessica + Joanna’s fall wedding at Lawnhaven

“We picked Stroudsmoor because it made us feel like we were fully accepted into everyone’s life like family. Everyone was sweet and caring and made sure our special day was exactly what we dreamed of. We will never forget how beautiful our special day was. From the flowers to the venue. Even the small things like having our family who couldn’t join us in pictures on the mantles. We love how beautiful the Stroudsmoor team made us feel, and how wonderful our day turned out to be. We appreciate everyone who helped us make our day so special. It is definitely a day we won’t forget.”

Katie + Julie’s summer wedding at Lawnhaven

Katie + Julie’s summer wedding at Lawnhaven

“We both wanted to thank you and the Stroudsmoor team so, so much from the bottom of our hearts. You all played a huge role in our wedding day and you honestly made it a dream come true. Julie and I cannot thank everyone enough. You truly do have the kindest of hearts and all made us both feel so welcomed. We hope that we will visit Stroudsmoor again in the near future. Thank you for making everything perfect and for treating us like family!”

You truly do have the kindest of hearts and all made us both feel so welcomed.

Sheila + Lynn’s spring wedding at Auradell

Sheila + Lynn’s spring wedding at Auradell

“Our wedding was so much more than we could have imagined. The Stroudsmoor Team did such an awesome job. Our colleagues who attended the wedding are still talking about how beautiful the Stroudsmoor Inn is and how wonderful the food was at the reception. We could not have been happier. We intend to return for future romantic dinners and a romantic weekend or two. Thank you for everything, Lynne says to stay BUFFED, PUFFED AND POLISHED! It was definitely a GOOOOOD TIME!”

Allyson + Rebecca’s summer wedding at Terraview

Allyson + Rebecca’s summer wedding at Terraview

“The Stroudsmoor team has been such a pleasure to work with. Very helpful, again and again! Thank you so much! We can’t wait to celebrate back at Stroudsmoor!”

Michael + Sean’s summer wedding at Terraview | Stroudsmoor weddings

Michael + Sean’s summer wedding at Terraview

“Sean and I are getting ready to leave for Italy this afternoon, but we wanted to take a moment and thank you again for all of your help making our day so special for us and our guests! Our guests really enjoyed the food, accommodations, and service! I could not have imagined a more perfect day and it was truly the best day of our lives for us. We can’t thank you enough . . . The Stroudsmoor team was so kind and helpful. Words cannot express how happy Sean and I are with how everything played out and we are so grateful that we worked with the team over a year to make all of this happen. Thank you again for everything!”

Victoria + Deirdre’s July wedding at Lawnhaven | Stroudsmoor weddings

Victoria + Deirdre’s July wedding at Lawnhaven

“It was lovely meeting the Stroudsmoor team. You helped us narrow down where we should be with our theme. From start to finish, our vision of ‘Christmas in July’ came through without being cliché. Thank you again for helping us through planning during the pandemic.”

COVID-19 changes

During the 2020 wedding season, Stroudsmoor has worked hard to serve its couples. “This year unlike others was filled with many challenges and changes for our couples,” says Forte. “Throughout the COVID-19 restrictions, we maintained the Stroudsmoor mantra to never cancel a wedding. We continue to see many wonderful couples say their vows in 2020. While their original wedding vision was altered drastically by the pandemic, a new vision on a beautiful day emerged and they were married safely. We are proud to have played a small role in ensuring their happiness.”

Choosing a wedding venue at Stroudsmoor

The six wedding venues at Stroudsmoor are Ridgecrest, Auradell, Woodsgate, Lawnhaven, Terraview and the SCI Pavilion. Ridgecrest is seated at the highest point of the Stroudsmoor Mountain. With breathtaking views for miles, souls can soar to the clouds, and hearts will fill with the magic created by the union of two kindred spirits in marriage. Dedicated to Life, Love and Happily Ever After.

Intimate celebrations are key these days, but while small in size, intimacy plays a key role in every aspect of an Auradell wedding. Its Gallery and Hearthside Suite are filled with the warmth and charm of a century-old Inn, while dancing in its Solarium makes for a GOOD TIME! With five lovely suites on its upper levels, the Auradell couple become the innkeepers on their wedding day.

Woodsgate is the first of our private event venues. More than 200-years-old, this restored barn has seen celebrations that run a gamut of themes, from zombies in the woods, to visions of Arwen and Aragorn in the reunited kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor.

Lawnhaven’s walls of glass look out onto verdant gardens, a water lily–filled pond, and green lawns where couples play cornhole and quoits. Formal and fun come together wonderfully at Lawnhaven. The venue has the added attraction of converting from a closed environment filled with natural light, to an open-air forum providing fresh air and safety.

With two ceremony locations, the Cherry Valley Overlook and Terra Gardens, Terraview is the castle atop the Stroudsmoor Mountain. Couple’s find the breathtaking views and dramatic waterfalls inspirational and calming.

At SCI Pavilion, couples and their guests will enjoy a wedding ceremony under towering black walnut trees, surrounded by the woods and fields of wild flowers. Rustic chic vibes abound in this country setting.

Stroudsmoor invites you and your partner to tour their venues and meet their planners. Call (570) 421-6431 or visit stroudsmoorweddings.com.


This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Stroudsmoor Country Inn. If your business is interested in supporting Equally Wed’s award-winning editorial mission of showcasing gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer and allied couples’ weddings through advertising via sponsored posts, banner ads, other partnerships or you have any other ideas for us, please reach out to advertising@equallywed.com.

Photo credits from top down: Jessica Manna; Stroudsmoor Photography Studio – John Blancato; Stroudsmoor Photography Studio – John Blancato; Stroudsmoor Photography Studio – Kyle Ohocinski; Stroudsmoor Photography Studio – David Coulter; Stroudsmoor Photography Studio – Josh Miller; Stroudsmoor Photography Studio – Kyle Ohocinski; Stroudsmoor Photography Studio – Susie Forrester; Stroudsmoor Photography Studio – Kyle Ohocinski

A Hindu Wedding for Two Brides in New Picture Book

A Hindu Wedding for Two Brides in New Picture Book

A gorgeous new picture book brings us along with the celebration as a Hindu girl attends the wedding of her cousin Ritu to another woman and stands up against those who would stop them.

Ritu Weds Chandni

Ritu Weds Chandni, by Ameya Narvankar (Yali Books), begins as young Ayesha shows her excitement about going to her cousin Ritu’s Hindu wedding and dancing at the traditional baraat procession. Ritu is marrying another woman, though, and some family members stay away because they don’t approve. Some neighbors have also said they will try and stop the wedding. “The are not happy to see Ritu marry her girlfriend,” Ayesha’s chachi (aunt) explains, adding that there is nothing wrong with them getting married, “It’s just that some people do not understand their love.”

Ayesha’s happiness over the wedding is evident, however. Ritu, “radiant in a bright red and gold sari,” causes her to exclaim, “You are the most beautiful bride I have ever seen!”

As the procession winds its way through the neighborhood, though, some neighbors shout angry things at them. Several then ride up on horses and spray cold water on the participants, including Ayesha and the brides. Ayesha, seeing how miserable the brides are, shows her courage and spirit and stands up to the neighbors, loudly encouraging everyone to keep dancing. Ritu and Chandni are grateful, and the wedding ends joyously.

I am often skeptical of new LGBTQ-inclusive picture books that focus on LGBTQ identities being a problem in some way (even if the problem is in the minds of those who are biased). There have already been a lot of books like that over the past few decades, and what we generally need today, I believe, are more books that simply show joys of LGBTQ lives (or that show them encountering problems that have nothing to do with their LGBTQ identities). Having said that, I’m not going to make that judgment for this book. I am not Hindu myself and not in a position assess the type of books that will feel authentic to Hindu communities. Perhaps a book that didn’t mention the bias that a same-sex couple would encounter would be seen as too unrealistic. As Narvankar says in the afterward, when he was growing up, “there were no role models for the kind of happy relationship I wanted to have with my partner.” While this was a burden to him as a man, “these societal expectations carry far more weight for women.” Even now in India, he says, Ritu and Chandni’s marriage would not be recognized.

Given that the book does deal with the problem of bias, I do like the way that Narvankar handles it. The story makes the love of Ayesha for her cousin, and the love of Ritu and Chandni, shine through as the power that overcomes the hate. And while Ayesha is advised by the adults around her about the bias, she then takes action herself to address it—a model for young readers. Obviously, adults need to be aware that scenes of verbal and physical harassment may be disturbing to very young readers and should judge their children’s readiness for reading them accordingly—but Narvankar offers them a way to discuss such matters in a thoughtful way with an empowering and celebratory ending.

Narvankar also offers a glossary at the end with definitions of the Hindi words in the book, and a few suggestions for additional children’s and young adult books featuring South Asian LGBTQ experiences.

The real standouts of the book, though, are Narvankar’s richly colored illustrations, heavy on red, gold, and teal. He depicts a diverse and dynamic South Asian community of young and old, traditional and modern, and of various skin tones. There are lots of wonderful details in the decorations at the wedding, the patterns on the guests’ clothing, and the plates of food they hold. The neighbors’ water hoses curl threateningly like snakes, but the supportive family and friends dance and clap and hug. The book is visually stunning and simply a pleasure to look at and read. No matter your religion or heritage, consider this book for your shelves.

(This and a few other picture book titles coming out in December weren’t in time to make the initial publication of my 2020 Holiday Gift Guide. I’m going to review them this week and update the Gift Guide as I go.)


(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Wild. Brave. Free. Paige and Kerri’s adventure wedding was full of creativity and love.  After a meandering helicopter ride, the couple made their commitments to each other on an Alaskan mountaintop overlooking the glaciers.

In their daily lives, the Salem, Massachusetts, couple juggled an “insane work and travel life.” With varying levels of support from their family, they found the process of a traditional ceremony exhausting. They told Equally Wed: “We wanted to turn our wedding into an adventure, which is what we truly love to do together.”

The couple celebrated their bach party in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, then legally signed the marriage paperwork at a Massachusetts courthouse. But spontaneity and connection defined the ceremony itself.

With nothing but their wedding essentials and some gear, the couple embarked on a helicopter ride across the Knik River and the surrounding mountains. They traveled alone with the photographer and the pilot. “The photographer and pilot didn’t know what they were in for,” they told Equally Wed. “But they ended up being a really special part of the day. It was like being with friends.

“We landed in various locations to hike, go in the glacier lake, and play around until we found THE location. The location we chose was on top of a mountain with a ridge just big enough for the helicopter and our intimate ceremony. It was special because very few people had been there before.

“Once we found ‘the spot’ and figured out how to land the helicopter, we pulled out our bags. We changed our clothes in the wide open landscape, did each others’ hair and makeup, then threw on stilettos (hardly suitable for the outdoors).”

Kerri and Paige said their vows privately, away from even the photographer and the pilot.

“We had so many ‘opinions’ around our wedding—we wanted no one else and nothing else present as we made our commitment to each other. It was symbolic for us: the two of us together could take on the world. We would always be there for each other.”

Following the ceremony, the couple packed up their camper van and headed on an Alaskan road trip for their honeymoon.

“Truly choose what makes you happy,” Paige and Kerri advise other LGBTQ+ couples. “The day was so special and exactly what we wanted together. We are so glad we didn’t guilt ourselves into anything else!”

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Intimate adventure wedding on an Alaskan mountaintop. Photo by Jeff Schultz Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

VENDORS

Photographer: Jeff Schultz Photography 
Wedding Location: Knik Glacier, Alaska
Paige’s Attire: Solace London
Kerri’s Attire: Little Black Tux

Magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Nature and simplicity came together at Aaron and Kaleb’s magical DIY wedding at Elkin Creek Vineyard. Surrounded by trees and nature,  Aaron and Kaleb walked down the aisle together. They said their vows under an arch woven together with branches. The wedding party celebrated under the rustic shelter of the winery’s pavilion. From scenery to details, their wedding showcased nature: DIY wreathes were centered on each table. Ethically sourced antler, ironwood, and titanium are preserved in their exquisite wedding bands from Staghead Designs. The party celebrated with wine crafted on-site, in the very vineyards surrounding them.

Although they live in a typically conservative area, the couple said, “We feel extremely lucky. With all of the resources available today, it was very easy to find LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors.” Like many LGBTQ+ couples, however, they struggled with family relationships. They told Equally Wed: “Kaleb’s family was not very accepting, so they were not part of the planning process. It was only at the last minute that they decided to come at all, which was more difficult to deal with emotionally than we expected. We knew from the beginning they weren’t accepting, but planning a wedding without the support of family and knowing they don’t want to be there really hits the hardest.”

Yet their wedding was ultimately an act of pride, empowerment, and love. “There’s happiness in getting married,” they told us. “Being a trans, gay couple getting married really brings a whole new sense of pride that we’ve gotten to where we are now. You don’t expect it until you feel it.”

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

LGBTQ+ couple celebrates their magical DIY wedding at North Carolina vineyard. Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

VENDORS

Photographer: Brooke Mayo Photography 
Jewelry: Staghead Designs
Wedding Ceremony Venue: Elkin Creek Vineyard
Day-of coordinator: Jennifer White with Elkin Creek Vineyard
Attendant Attire: Groomsmen wore suits from H&M and groomswomen wore dresses from Ivory Bridal
Officiant: Carrie Jeroslow with Elkin Creek Vineyard 

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Chiara and Stefania knew marriage was right for them: they had been together for ten years before choosing to wed. The Italian couple organized a small, intimate Central Park wedding. After a decade of love, they committed to each other forever under The Ladies’ Pavilion against bright blue skies. The two brides wore exquisite, custom-tailored suits in navy and ocean blue. Following the ceremony, friends and family gathered for a picnic with champagne and cake.  “We spent ten years getting to know and understand each other,” the couple told us. “Deciding to get married and be together forever was the most beautiful decision we could make.”  To honor the decision, they tattooed the New York City skyline and their wedding date on their arms.

Chiara and Stefania hail from Geneva, Italy. For many of their guests, the Central Park wedding was their first trip to the United States. Of course, there was some “emotional management” of the family, but the couple tells Equally Wed this was normal. “Conviction and mutual love must prevail over everything,” they said. Their New York wedding only strengthened the family bonds. “It was a dream come true for everyone. We have met a lot of respect from our friends and family. It was a truly emotional ceremony.”

To other LGBTQ+ couples, Stefania and Chiara advise: “Do this with conviction and respect, because values have to be real deep! We suggest that couples marry when the relationship is really strong. No one can know what the future will be like. We have to be convinced that we will do everything to overcome the difficulties of life together.”

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

Italian couple celebrates a Central Park wedding after a decade together. Fotovolida featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and vendor directory.

VENDORS

Photographer: Fotovolida 
Wedding Ceremony Venue  The Ladies Pavilion, Central Park, New York City
Wedding Reception Venue: Cherry Hill, Central Park, New York City
Florist: Artsy Flora 
Planner: Christa DeHuff with A Central Park Wedding
Catering Company: Perfect Picnic
Cake Designer Company: Junior’s 
Officiant: Francesca Manisco 

Unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

JJ and Alex designed their wedding to celebrate their queer experience of love and partnership. “It didn’t feel like the traditional ceremonies accurately depicted our personal queer experiences or the color of our lives,” the couple told Equally Wed. So they invented their own traditions. In collaboration with Priyan Chandraratna of Alfred House Productions, the couple created a Pride Week wedding that was distinct, colorful, and full of joy.

Set in downtown LA, the ceremony featured queer glamor, customized augmented reality features, extensive drag queen performances, and a full Pride store. Instead of the traditional flower arrangements, they opted for bouquets of bright tropical leaves. Mexican churros replaced the traditional cake. Each partner wore exquisite suits in forest green and pearl white.

To other LGBTQ+ couples, they advise: “Figure out the ‘rules.’ Then figure out how to break them. Make your own!”

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

Unique Pride Week wedding downtown Los Angeles -28

Unique Pride Week wedding downtown Los Angeles -28

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

A unique Pride Week wedding in downtown Los Angeles. Photography by Sarah Block. Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine and LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding vendor directory.

VENDORS

Photographer: Sarah Block Photography  
Wedding Ceremony and Reception Venue: Valentine
Florist Company: Alfred House Productions 
Planner: Alfred House Productions 
DJ: Flip Collective
Attire: ASOS 
Catering: Huntington Catering
Photo Booth: Brass Street Photo

LGBTQ+ pride socks for your wedding day

Sock it to me: LGBTQ+ pride socks for your wedding day

Want a comfy sock and not sure what type of rainbow design you might want to sport on your wedding day? Or maybe you want to wear a pair and give your wedding attendants a pair, too. Bombas has a great pride calf sock 4-pack you can snag to give you a few options.

Bombas socks are super comfortable and hold up really well. The calf sock stays nicely in place when pulled up to show the design and with their honeycomb midfoot support, they provide comfort in all the right places. I’m definitely a Bombas fan after I purchased several of the pride socks this year.

And remember, as always with Bombas purchases, one purchased equals one donated to those experiencing homelessness.

Price: $45.60 (Pack of 4)

Bombas.com

Five of the best kitchen appliances to add to your wedding registry

Five of the best kitchen appliances to add to your wedding registry

Creating the wedding registry of your dreams can be great fun or a daunting challenge, depending on the available time in your schedule and your personality. But if you divy it up into sections of your house and focus on each of those one at a time, you’ll have an easier time of it. Be sure, too, to choose items of varying prices—not everyone who’s coming to your wedding can afford a $300 price tag, or is close enough to you to warrant the expense. Consider also adding to your wedding registry lower-priced choices for coworkers, showers, distant relatives and younger gift-givers newer to the workforce. Here are five of the best kitchen appliances to add to your wedding registry—or to gift to yourself right now!

 

Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series Smart Blender

The Vitamix is no ordinary blender. I love the Ascent 2500 Ascent Series Smart Blender model for my and my wife’s morning smoothies. It helps us get in many of our daily nutrients and it’s so easy to use. Unlike other blenders I’ve tried, it whips any ingredient I put in it, from nuts to fruits to leafy greens, into creamy, drinkable goodness in 50 seconds. And it’s so easy to clean! However, it does way more than just blending smoothies. There’s a heated setting so you can make instant hot soup from fresh ingredients, and a cold setting to make frozen desserts. You can make nut butters, dressings and more. Every kitchen needs one of these. $599.95

 

 

Instant Pot Duo Nova Pressure Cooker 7 in 1, 6 Qt 

The Instant Pot trend has taken over our country in all the best ways possible. Who doesn’t need an appliance that can be all these things in one? Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, food warmer and yogurt maker. I like the 6-quart size. It’s the most popular, gives you the capacity to cook for up to six people (hello, dinner parties post-pandemic!), and is beginner-friendly. $99.95

 

Instant Pod Milk Frother

What spells love better than bringing your new spouse a frothy mug of coffee in bed or an iced latte on the patio? It’s easy to be your own barista with this hot and cold frother for coffee shop quality foam at home. Yes, you can now make cold foam at home! I’ve made frothy milk for my espresso drinks with the Instant Pod milk frother with cow’s milk, coconut milk and cashew milk, and have loved the results every time. $29

 

 

LEVO II - Herbal Oil and Butter Infusion Machine

Love rosemary-infused olive oil? Truffle-infused butter? Move over, Ina Garten. We’ve got some infusing to do. This time-saving kitchen appliance allows you to get ultra fancy and creative in the kitchen without the master chef skills. With the LEVO II, you can easily infuse oilsbutterhoneymilk or even beeswax with a variety of botanicals, as well as create salves, soaps, smoothie bowls and salad dressing. $249

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Knife Sharpener with Sharpening Stone

The chances are high that you’re going to receive a set of knives for a wedding gift, even if you don’t register for them. Kitchen knives are essential to every kitchen. But those knives will dull over the years. So plan ahead and register for a knife sharpener to keep those blades ready to cut, chop and dice your way through any food item. The brilliant combination of tungsten steel, diamond sand wheel and aviation ceramic helps to sharpen most any knife and scissors. $18.99

All of our product choices are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Equally Wed may earn commission.