Chandler, ARIZONA :: Cody & Sian :: Long Distance Love // Real Wedding

:: Long Distance Love ::

Submitted by :: The Bride
Photographed by :: Poppy Seed Photography

Cody and I have a love story like no other.

The both of us actually met when we were toddlers; I was two years old and Cody was three years old. His dad was in the American Air Force and they were stationed in Oxfordshire in the UK (where I am originally from). Our siblings went to school together, and our families became friends because of this. After a while, Cody and his family moved back to the USA, and after that, our families unfortunately lost touch.

We had never forgotten about the Clark family, and in fact, my sister spent hours tirelessly searching the internet years later, trying to find them… Unfortunately not having any luck!

Almost twenty years later, totally out of the blue, Cody’s dad John, found my mum on Facebook… Pretty crazy! From there, Cody and I reconnected, and over time, both felt an undeniable connection that neither of us had experienced before. After almost a couple of years of doing the (extremely) long distance thing, travelling back and forth between Arizona and England to see each other (that’s over 5,000 miles away!), Cody proposed to me on Thousand Steps Beach in California on the 15th of March 2014.

I relocated to Arizona at the end of August 2014, so Cody and I could begin our life together. We then got married on the 26th of October that year! We chose to get married in an air hangar, and to have a vintage 1940’s theme; both symbolising our long distance love journey, and how we originally met by his dad being in the American Air Force. The smaller details were a fusion of British and American culture.

We had a very intimate ceremony with just our close family in attendance; some who had travelled from the UK to be there. We were also able to Skype in some of my other close family members from home who were unable to make it! The wonders of technology! Some of Cody’s closest friends joined us for the evening reception, which was nice and laid back; drinks flowing and a taco truck serving some delicious food!

It was a perfect day for the both of us, and a huge step in our crazy journey of life together!

“It might take a year, it might take a day, but what’s meant to be will always find its way.” Unknown Author

PSSTT :: If you missed their engagement session, click here to take a peek!

DISTINCTIONS

Long Distance Love. American & British. Journey of Life.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Poppy Seed Photography
Venue {Ceremony & Reception} :: Chandler Air Service
Apparel {Bride} :: Beau Belles
Apparel {Groom} :: Rose Tuxedo
Apparel {Bridesmaids} :: JCPenney
Hair :: Hair By Rubi King {HRK}
Rentals {Tea Crockery} :: Tea Crockery
Rentals {Vintage Decor} :: Modern Revival
Rentals {Vintage Car} :: Roscoe & Louie
Floral :: {MRSter Approved} Butterfly Petals

LOCATION

Chandler, Arizona, USA.

COLORS

  

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: How To Minimize Last-Minute Emergencies On Your Wedding Day

:: How To Minimize Last-Minute Emergencies On Your Wedding Day ::

Yippee! Hooray! Your big day is almost here! It’s perfectly natural to have a case of the jitters. You’ve been planning (with or without help) to have a perfect day, but you know that things can go awry. To reduce worry, there are ways to minimize last-minute emergencies. Here are MRSter’s suggestions to help you address problems that may come up.

:: Prepare an emergency kit :: This kit should contain such items as needle and thread, tape, safety pins, breath mints, brush, comb, hairpins, hairspray, nausea tablets, bottle of water, aspirin or other pain reliever,  spot remover, chapstick, twine, matches or lighter, hosiery, earring backs, tissues, wet wipes, scissors, makeup, small lint brush, tampons, band aids, nail polish, and glue. You may think of some other items, specific to your situation. These items should minimize difficulties for you and your wedding party, and is actually a good kit to carry with you anytime you travel. Place all items in a plastic container or tote bag and you are good to go.

Wedding Day Emergency Kit

Wedding Day Emergency Kit‘ by Emily is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

:: Bring an extension cord and a variety of batteries :: It would be a shame if no one can hear your music because your PA system was too far away from the outlet or your officiant had to practically scream because the mic went dead.

:: Flash drive and computer :: Bring a flash drive with all your important documents such as your vows, schedules, vendor phone numbers, song lists, and speeches. In this way, if anyone forgets their hard copies, presto! You have them at the ready. A computer can also substitute in a pinch for a failed music system if you can rig up speakers.

:: Prepare for rain :: If you’re having an outdoor wedding, make arrangements with a tent vendor ahead of time to deliver to your location in the event of rain.

:: Double-check with all your vendors :: This should be done a few days before your big day. Make sure they are on top of their tasks. If you have hired a reputable wedding planning firm, all of the above falls to them to accomplish and will relieve your stress level immensely! We happen to know a bunch of professional experts in the field. Check our FABuLIST for MRSter approved vendors who are LGBT and straight friendly.

Did you have any emergencies on your big day?!

Atlanta, GEORGIA :: Cara & Wes :: A Perfect Cup Of Coffee // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: A Perfect Cup Of Coffee  ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: High Gravity Photography

Cara and Wes have a truly infectious love for one another. One that is filled with laughter, a lot of love, and a good cup of coffee. Seemingly simple, that cup of coffee symbolizes Wes and Cara’s love story. The time and patience it takes to find and grow a beautiful relationship is so similar to articulately crafting that perfect cup of coffee.

That morning contained just the right amount of friends and family. Getting ready together made all the difference that day. Robyn the make up artist from Haus of Fluff was set and started with the brides.The artistry of the room was not defined by the make up artist or hair stylist that day, but by the beauty of the glances they shared across the room or the simple touch of each others hand. The laughter, the love, and the support encased the beauty in that room that morning. The little moments throughout the day were shared together. And trust me, there was not a dull moment that day.

As the door opened, Cara took her first step towards her love, her sugar to her spice, her everything, her life. Wes waited patiently, anxiously, nervously. The moment had finally come, the straws were aligned, the morning had gone by so fast, and was now ground to a halt. Here she was, just a girl waiting on a girl. Just like the first sip of coffee in the morning, Wes held onto this moment. Turning around, she smiled and through that smile she whispered “oh God, you are do BEAUTIFUL!” They froze for just a second; breathing in the same aroma of pure, unwavering, love that was in the air.

From a coffee shop to their first look, Cara and Wes’s Love Story was like Ambrosia for the soul. The wedding party watched through tear soaked windows panes. With each smile they wiped away tears, and with every laugh they giggled. Their movements unposed, blended perfectly with each angle, as we focused in, their love brewed with every kiss and I love you.

Ashton Gardens is set beautifully on the outskirts of Atlanta Georiga, tucked into a corner of heaven. The chapel adorned with glass windows from floor to ceiling. Displaying the sunset and trees that were to be the back drop of Cara and Wes’s wedding day. The candles were lit and placed down the aisle. The sun was setting, the guests had arrived, the music started to play, and Wes steadied her mom as they opened the great wooden doors.

The ceremony was witnessed by friends, family and enough Baristas to fill a Starbucks! Each person had shared in a part of their love story. From the people who taught them the art and craft of a perfect cup of coffee, to the lifelong friends that had watched them become this perfect partnership of love. So with all the love and laughter they could fit in that little chapel, Cara and Wes vowed to one another that they “were enough and would always be so enough” for one another. With rings and vows, they sealed their love with a kiss as the music softly started to play an unmistakably recognizable tune. Every head in the room turned to Cara and Wes as the chorus sang out, and everyone sang along to ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack song, “I’ve had the time of my life”. Through smiles, applause, and tears, Wes and Cara fittingly danced their way down the aisle as wives! They stopped in the middle for a sweet kiss, and their dancing wedding party followed.

Wes and Cara personally embraced and thanked each person for coming. Hugs, thank you’s, and “I love you’s” filled the room. After speeches, the couple was called to the dance floor to get the party started. Every step, every dance move, every laugh, and every voice that sang along to every song played was a tribute to Wes and Cara’s beautiful day.

DISTINCTIONS

Two Brides. Baristas. Unwavering Love.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: High Gravity Photography
Venue :: Ashton Gardens
Make-up :: The Haus of Fluff
DJ :: K-Cal Entertainment
Floral :: Frank Stevens
Cake Pops :: Brown Sugar Gourmet Desserts
Apparel {Dress} :: Davids Bridal
Apparel {Suit} :: Express

LOCATION

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

COLORS

   

Chandler, ARIZONA :: Stephanie & Jessica :: A Love Story // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: A Love Story  ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: {MRSter Approved} Mi Amore Photography

Stephanie & Jessica shared their wedding vows in February, amongst their closest family and friends. The venue they chose for their big day was Noahs Event Venue in Chandler, Arizona. They decorated the event center with their favorite books, and guests were given coloring book marks to doodle on! The dessert table was filled with delicious cupcakes and their cheescake wedding cake that had the cutest little toppers!

Their love for each other is truly special.

DISTINCTIONS

Bookworms. Desert Landscape. Cute Cupcakes.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter ApprovedMi Amore Photography
Venue ::NOAH’S Event Venue

LOCATION

Chandler, Arizona, USA.

COLORS

    

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: How To Deal With Rain On Your Wedding Day

:: How To Deal With Rain On Your Wedding Day ::

Your wedding day has arrived! You wake up, luxuriously stretch with a big smile on your face, look out the window and gasp! Oh no! Fast dark clouds are approaching… It’s going to rain! Even though you checked the weather forecast, sometimes Mother Nature does not cooperate. It happens. But, you planned an outdoor wedding! So now what do you do?

:: Round up your wedding party and enlist their ad in calling/texting guests to bring umbrellas… And extra umbrellas.

Red Riding Hood Wedding

Photography :: Due West Photography

:: Consult with your photographer, who will likely be excited about taking advantage of the mystic light that a rainy day provides. We asked professional photographer of {MRSter Approved} Alyssa Campbell Photography for her take on a rainy day shoot. Alyssa says:

“Rain isn’t actually a bad thing. Clouds diffuse the sun, giving everything a softer light, not to mention give the sky a dramatic, moodier look. Umbrellas can be fun props to incorporate into portraits. And rain, especially at night, give wonderful ambiance to portraits when you place a light behind the couple and ‘backlight’ the rain. I think it makes things look wonderfully romantic and cool, and not many couples get portraits in the rain! These portraits can be done under umbrellas as well, so you won’t get your clothes and hair wet.”

:: Trust that your venue will help with a contingency plan. Contact them right away. Most venues have indoor space that can be utilized in a pinch. If it’s a little crowded, so what! Afterall, everyone is there to support the two of you and a crowded spot may cause some additional merriment.

:: If you’ve hired a wedding planning firm, contact them. They are professionals who will know how to make everything work. They may choose to utilize plastic tarps to protect ceremony chairs, which can be removed right before the ceremony. They will know how to contact a tent vendor, if it is necessary. They are experts who are used to engaging a backup plan.

:: Make the most out of your rainy day wedding. Rain can add beauty and intensify the romance. Dance in the rain. Play “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head”. Keep smiling. A little wet weather cannot dampen your love, and if you maintain your happiness, your guests will keep smiling too.

Did it rain on your wedding day? We would love to hear from you!

Phoenix, ARIZONA :: Kishia & Jen :: Colorful Farm Wedding // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Colorful Farm Wedding ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: {MRSter ApprovedAlyssa Campbell Photography

Kishia and Jen wanted a beautiful outdoor casual morning celebration of their love and {MRSter Approved} The Farm at South Mountain couldn’t have been a better backdrop to their day. They had musician friends playing guitar and singing throughout the day, including a special song sung during the ceremony. Both Kishia and Jen’s daughters were in the ceremony, and two friends married them and did a fabulous job with the ceremony.

I could see Kishia and Jen’s love for their tribe throughout the wedding. I loved the moment right before the kiss where the officiant made the two wait for the big moment, causing hearty laughs from Kishia, Jen and their guests before he finally let them have their kiss to seal the deal!

It was such an honor to document their joy-filled, colorful wedding and Jen and Kishia were so open and warm and joyful.

DISTINCTIONS

Colorful. Friends & Family. Beautiful Brides.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Alyssa Campbell Photography
Venue :: {MRSter ApprovedThe Farm at South Mountain
Catering :: {MRSter Approved} Santa Barbara Catering
Floral :: Crazy Daisies Flowers

LOCATION

Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

COLORS

   

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Ways To Deal With A Windy Wedding

:: Top 5 Ways To Deal With A Windy Wedding ::

Mother Nature as we all know, can be fickle. No matter how many times you consult an almanac or the weather forecast for your wedding day, Mother Nature can sometimes sneak up on you and completely change her mind about what kind of day she has in store for us. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, there are a few things you need to consider…

1 :: Create a Plan for Inclement Weather :: We consulted with expert event planner Jillian Smith of {MRSter Approved} One Touch Events who advises, “When planning any outdoor portion of your event, consider your weather factors and create an inclement weather plan. This can be wind, rain, sleet, lighting, etc. If your venue has an indoor option, this is an easier solution. Watch your weather map at least 48 hours prior to the event to gauge what Mother Nature has in store for you. For windy days specifically, items that can topple over easily such as aisle treatments, pedestals, vases, etc. should be weighted down. Work with your Wedding Planner and Designer to develop creative ways to “sand bag” or strongly tie items that could easily blow away.”

Photography Via :: {MRSter Approved} OneTouch Events

Photography Via :: {MRSter Approved} OneTouch Events // Jillian Smith

2 :: Windy Day Attire :: If you plan on being married on a beautiful beach, you can almost count on some wind, or if you are reasonably sure the day will be windy, give some consideration to “wind proof” attire. Jillian states, “Wedding attire for a beach wedding should be light and airy. If you are most certain that you will have a moderate to severe windy ceremony, brides should consider a birdcage veil or hair piece as longer veils will be sure to blow unflatteringly all over the place. Same would go for dresses that could cause a Marilyn Monroe affect. Not cute! When it comes to hair, consider more structured hairstyles that are pinned so that your long tresses aren’t turned into a very bad hair day for photos, during and after the ceremony.”

3 :: Tent It :: Consider renting a canopy or tent in order to provide protection from the wind. Tents are available with sidewalls that can function as a wind barrier. This may eliminate many windy day problems and lessen the stress of your wedding day.

4 :: Music, Video and PA Systems :: Wind has absolutely no respect for sound systems. Wind screens are available, however, and can be quite useful in cutting back wind noise. Discuss the potential sound issue with your videographer and sound system person. They should also be able to assist with little tricks like placing speakers upwind.

5 :: Emergency Kit :: Every wedding should have an emergency kit, but if you are expecting wind, include such items as zip ties, glue, velcro, clamps and string.

Did you experience a windy wedding day and have some tips of your own to share with us? We would love to hear from you!

San Antonio, TEXAS :: The Look Of Love :: Cassie & Jovie // Real Wedding

:: The Look Of Love ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: Parker of {MRSter Approved} The PK Photographs

When I found out Cassie and Jovie were tying the knot at The Gardens of Cranesbury View I couldn’t contain my excitement. Not only is this venue stunning, with so many different locations for photography, but the staff are the finest I have ever worked with. All the beautiful flowers you see were courtesy of the venue, which is located a short ways out of San Antonio.

The ceremony location had a beautiful gazebo with white chairs on either side of an aisle, and overlooked a beautiful tree filled valley. The gazebo was decorated beautifully, and as the guests filled in a nervous excitement filled the air. The wedding party and ring bearer made their way up the aisle, and when Cassie finally was in view, tears sprung to Jovie‘s eyes. Her proud father walked her up the aisle to her husband. As they said their handwritten vows to each other and put wedding bands on each other’s fingers, there was no doubt that these two were made for each other.

Guests enjoyed cocktail hour as we did some portraits of Cassie and Jovie in the beautiful gardens, and then the reception got underway! Everything was perfectly decorated, the cake table was so beautiful, and the night was full of laughter, dancing, and love. Cassie and Jovie were sent off to a sparkler exit to enjoy the rest of their lives as husband and wife.

DISTINCTIONS

Emotional. Handwritten Vows. Sparkler Exit.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} The PK Photographs
Venue :: The Gardens of Cranesbury View
Floral :: The Gardens of Cranesbury View

LOCATION

San Antonio, Texas, USA.

COLORS

  

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Ways to Deal With An Uninvited Wedding Guest

:: Top 5 Ways to Deal With An Uninvited Wedding Guest ::

“Who is that person?”

“Did you invite her (or him) (or them)?”

“No! Did you?”

“NO!”

It happens. Party harty people sometimes crash weddings for free eats and booze and fun. Or someone brings a “surprise” plus one. Or someone invites him/herself that you didn’t intend to invite… But what do you do about it? And how do you handle it gracefully? Here are MRSter’s top five tips for dealing with an uninvited guest.

1 :: Stranger :: This one is relatively easy to handle. You don’t know this person or persons. Ask your wedding planner, venue manager, or member of your wedding party to discretely walk this person to the door.

2 :: Surprise Plus One :: An invited guest may assume it’s okay to bring a friend to your wedding, even though your invitation/RSVP did not say so. In this case, the best thing to do is to squeeze in another chair. There is simply no other gracious way to handle it.

3 :: Surprise Attendee :: Maybe you work with someone for example, who knows all about your wedding; knows when and where it will take place and just figures on showing up. Maybe this person just doesn’t understand that a person needs an invitation in order to go to a wedding. (Duh.) If the subject comes up before the wedding day, you will have the opportunity to explain that you you have a limited guest list. Otherwise here again, there is no other way to gracefully handle the situation except by squeezing in another chair.

4 :: Surprise Child :: Your cousin arrives with her 3 year old in tow even though the invitation stated “adults only.” Your cousin is probably embarrassed anyway when she notices that there are no other children present. As long as the child is well-behaved, say nothing. But if the kid is a terror, assign someone to discreetly intercede. The parent may need to be asked to leave with the child or at least take the disruptive child out of range of the festivities until s/he gets under control.

Photography ::

Photography :: Derek Chad Photography

5 :: Vendor :: You notice that the DJ or photographers or band members on break are noshing or helping themselves to your hosted bar. Unless you gave them permission to do so ahead of time, this is unprofessional behavior. Ask your wedding planner, venue manager, or member of your wedding party to tell them the food and drink are for invited guests only. It’s probably not a good idea for the wedding professional to be drinking at your event anyway. They are, after all, working.

The key word for handling uninvited guests is discretion. If any of these scenarios happen at your wedding, ask others to handle it… With discretion, of course. It’s your job to enjoy your special day!