Umbria, ITALY :: Craig & Dario :: Italian Romance // Real Wedding

Submitted and Photographed by :: Amaneraphoto

After a small family ceremony in London, Craig and Dario chose Borgo San Biagio in Umbria as the location for their wedding in Italy.  This venue was the perfect match for the relaxed and fun villa-style wedding with the blessing, aperitivo, dinner and dancing all happening in different parts of the grounds of this beautiful setting in the Umbrian hills.  The vibrant colours of the Italian spring filled each scene and every photo.

Food and music were hugely important to the grooms.  The location served as an inspiration also to the chef from Cortona who added his own creative twists to the traditional Tuscan cuisine, which the guests enjoyed throughout the day. Craig and Dario coordinated a huge musical programme to accompany every moment of the day – from the string trio to the jazz quartet and the operatic intermezzos performed during dinner by both opera singers and even the guests.

The day was filled with sunshine, laughter, friendship, family and love.  The photographers, Paolo and Giacomo from Amaneraphoto, captured all of this beautifully. They created an incredibly honest reportage of the wedding, with each picture giving Craig and Dario a truly vivid portrait of such an unforgettable day.


Umbrian Hills. Vibrant Colors. Love and Laughter.

The Professionals

Photographer :: Amaneraphoto


San Leo Bastia, Umbria, Italy.


Trend Tuesday :: Creative Wedding Confetti Alternatives // Wedding Trends

It’s trend Tuesday, and this week we are talking… wedding confetti alternatives!

The tradition of throwing wedding confetti dates back to Roman times, whereby confetti being tossed over the newlyweds at a wedding was seen to symbolize fertility. Confetti throwing is still a tradition adopted by many, but couples are now looking outside the box for alternatives to the traditional paper or rice confetti.  And you know that at MRSter, we LOVE out of the box ideas!

There are so many creative alternatives around today, I’m sure you’ve seen MANY on Pinterest, so we are going to share a few of our favorites with you…

1 :: Glitter

This is a great, yet simple, twist on traditional confetti, that your guests are sure to love. Of course, you will be covered in sparkles for the rest of the day, but who doesn’t love a little bit of added glitter and sparkle?!

Michael James Glitter

Check out James & Michael’s wedding here.

2 :: Paper Planes

Technically this one is still paper confetti, but with a modern make-over! This is a great alternative to traditional confetti, and one that children and older guests alike are sure to love. Paper planes are easy to personalize with messages, as well as making for easy clean up, therefore this alternative is a win-win all around – and perfect for aviation themed weddings!

3 :: Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is a super fun and quirky idea, and can also make for some beautiful pictures! Not only that, but they are very inexpensive and can also double up as a cute little wedding favor for your guests. These days, bubbles have become a very popular alternative, and you are now able to find the bottles in a variety of shapes and colors, such as wedding cakes and champagne glasses – so cute!

4 :: Sparklers

This is definitely one of our favorite alternatives for evening or night time weddings, as sparklers make for some amazing exit photographs! They certainly add some fun and magic to the moment – beautiful!

5 :: Mini Flags

A great way to minimize all of the clean up that you get with paper or rice confetti, is to give your guests mini flags that they can wave around as you leave the ceremony! Not only is this a cute favor, but it also makes a great photo prop if you are having a photobooth! These are a great option if you wanted something that you can personalize, and they can even be a DIY project to help you keep costs down if you are feeling creative!


Flags” by Natalia Wilson is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

6 :: Balloons

Balloons are another great alternative to traditional confetti, and as they are available in a huge variety of colors, it would be easy to find some that match your wedding color palette! In addition to simply releasing the balloons after the ceremony, you could also have your guests personalize them with messages and well wishes for the new couple before they let them go!

7 :: Leaves

This is a very economical, very fun, and best of all FREE idea… One that is particularly perfect for a fall wedding! Simply gather up some leaves, and dry them in advance of the big day. Then place a couple of handfuls into some cute cones or little bags and hand them out to your guests to throw at you after tying the knot!

Sadie and Nora

Photography by Melissa Hesse of Rivets and Roses.

8 :: A Shred Of Decency

Last but certainly not least… this is personally our FAVORITE alternative! This awesome company from Ireland, called Daintree Paper came up with the most wonderful idea for wedding confetti, called ‘A Shred of Deceny’.

The company take papers, pamphlets, leaflets etc that are anti-gay, anti-marriage equality, and simply used to spread ugly lies and hate about marriage equality, and they recycle 100% of it into confetti, in support of marriage equality! All of the profits from sales of the confetti go to Yes Equality, and Daintree Paper has raised thousands of Euros for them since initiating this AMAZING idea! They then encourage you to take a photo of you celebrating with your confetti and post it on your social media platforms with the hashtag #shredofdecency to show your support for this amazing cause! Check it out here


Which of these traditional confetti alternatives is your favorite? We would love to hear some of your ideas if we haven’t listed them already!

Scottsdale, ARIZONA :: Oscar & Gary :: Modern Desert // Styled Shoot

Photographed by :: Chadwick of Mod Wed

We had an amazing day being part of this ‘Modern Desert’ styled shoot together with some awesome MRSter Approved vendors!! As always, Oscar and Gary were wonderful to work with, and Chadwick of Mod Wed captured some amazing images of the day…

MRSter :: Almost a year after your wedding in California, what was it like to walk into another ceremony space made for you both?
O + G :: It is hard to describe, since it is really a feeling that lives independent of the design, décor and flowers and beautiful creations. And that is not meant to diminish every amazing design and production on that day – which truly surprised us at every turn – but based on our three ‘wedding’ events now, we have seen firsthand that any space created for an event built exclusively on the foundation of love is simply elevated to a new level of wonderful. The creations are the groundwork and the love at the event takes it to a different level. It was beautiful.

MRSter :: What do you think of what The Four Seasons is doing reaching our to gain exposure within the LGBT market?
O + G :: Well, in all candor, our first reaction was guarded. The gay community is fiercely loyal, yet somewhat cautious of seemingly opportunistic companies. The community builds a relationship with a brand, looking for brands that truly support the community and are not just making a quick ploy for some easy sales. But as we worked with MRSter and The Four Seasons, it was clear that they were doing this out of commitment to the LGBT community and their stance for equality, while also allowing us to see their genuine pledge to the human experience. As one of the premier resorts in the world, to be one of the first to reach out directly to the LGBT market shows strong and principled leadership. Taking a stand in an often rigid and closed world is a risk for any business, and for that, they have our respect and gratitude.

MRSter :: How was your experience working with the vendors involved with the styled shoot?
O + G :: We were meeting our generous and talented team for the first time, but it felt like we had known them for years. Their ‘almost-psychic’ understanding of our personal style, the way they connected every aspect of the design for the shoot – not to mention, their smiles – made us feel right at home and we naturally settled into their surroundings. In true MRSter style, every person involved was perfectly in tune, and the resulting experience with the team was music.

MRSter :: Why did you both decide to model for this shoot?
O + G :: The story of our wedding had an affect on so many people, which we had never expected or planned. We simply told our story. It started with the unfortunate happening at our original wedding, and suddenly, the story reached and touched so many people, and it all culminated in the outpouring of support and love from Coronado and all over. Given that a story of love and support – not gay marriage, but just marriage – reached so many hearts, we wanted to provide something in return. If doing the shoot could share our story and help any other couples looking to make their marriage commitment to find a welcoming and supportive group of people like those at The Four Seasons and MRSter, then we were in.

MRSter :: Tell us about why it was important to include Hugo in the shoot…
O + G :: How could you not want to photograph that mug? He is a ham. Hugo is part of our family! We believe that in life you choose your family. Family is not only relatives, but also those people (and pugs) that are there with you through anything. They are the people that you know you can truly rely on – not due to blood-ties, but due to love-ties. Our wedding embodied this belief, and included those people in our lives that we consider to be our family. The definition of family does not fall within a narrow definition from outside groups – it is ours. And yes, that includes a pug.

MRSter :: Do you have any suggestions for other venues that would like to set up a same sex styled shoot?
O + G :: Our experience has been that many venues tend to get hung up on standard bride/groom traditions, and get flustered when dealing with a same-sex marriage. With marriage equality now law of the land, those traditions and what are often considered hard-and- fast rules in weddings may or may not apply. A planner cannot just replace the bride or groom with a groom or bride. Bride side and groom side? Tossing the bouquet? Best man toast? Giving away the bride? Both genders may want them all. We don’t suggest that venues or planners throw out the standards and anticipated rules for weddings, but simply eliminate the gender category from their list of rituals. Open up any and all traditions for any gender or party to consider. A photo shoot taking new standards, or no standards into account should get plenty of attention of those same-sex couples or any couples who are not keen on the long-time customs of marriage.

MRSter :: What was your favorite part of the experience?
O + G :: Our favorite moment was seeing each other in our tuxes and recalling that moment when we first faced each other at our first wedding. There was an undeniable glow in our faces as we both relived at the same time how that specific act of commitment in marriage changed our perspective on life – and was something neither of expected.

MRSter :: Any last thoughts?
O + G :: A same sex wedding, as any wedding, requires time in preparation and as we experienced, the best first step of any couple to just do it. Set a date (conscious of weather), a time, and a location. Those three factors will help you to unravel the rest of the story.  It does not matter if your ceremony/ritual is one that is formal or informal, the recollection of that day should be one to remember your entire adulthood life, and you should be prepared for it. That day should be one full of joy and happiness. After all, you are requesting from the universe, a “wedding bliss”.


Styled Shoot. Modern Desert. Photogenic Pug.


Floral + Design :: Butterfly Petals
Paper Products + Details :: Life Design Event Planning
Photography :: Mod Wed
Venue :: The Four Seasons, Scottsdale at Troon North

Models :: Mr. Oscar De las salas and Mr. Gary Jackson


Scottsdale, Arizona.


Chandler, ARIZONA :: Scott & Daryl :: Love & Laughter // Real Wedding

Submitted and Photographed by :: Derek Chad Photography

First of all, Daryl and Scott are a blast and I now consider them two of my newest friends. I live in San Diego and they live in Phoenix so we weren’t able to meet in person until the wedding day, but I knew from our conversations over the phone that I was going to be a good fit for them after hearing their story and plans for the big day. Congratulations you guys!!! I am so honored to have been your photographer on your big day!

Funny story… Daryl, Scott and I were just hanging out taking photos against a really building/wall. All of a sudden, a bird decides to poo right above Daryl and catches him on the sleeve of his shirt! You maybe had to be there to know how absolutely hilarious it was that along this GIANT wall, there was only one tiny bird that managed to pull it off. I was fortunate to capture the moment, check it out above! HAHA! It was pretty funny!

I had so much fun documenting this wedding and I hope you all enjoy the video/photos too! Thank you again for choosing Derek Chad Photography!


Perfect Match. Love & Laughter. Photo Booth Fun.

The Professionals

Photographer :: Derek Chad Photography
Venue :: MRSter Approved Soho63 // SoHo63
Catering :: Atlasta Catering and Events 
DJ :: Apollo Productions


Chandler, Arizona.


Coming to Phoenix :: Gay Wedding Institute Certificate Program by 14 Stories // This Is Not To Be Missed!

Advisory board member of MRSter and founder of the Gay Wedding Institute, Bernadette Smith, is coming to Phoenix to certify!

14 Stories Gay Wedding Institute certificate program is coming to Phoenix on Wednesday, August 26th! The workshop will be taking place from 9.30AM until 4.00PM at MRSter Approved venue the Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix!

14 stories

The U.S. became the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide back in June! Fantastic news for us all, as not only are LGBT weddings good for society, but they are also very good for business! Despite the marriage equality ruling, however, wedding planning can be a very daunting experience for many same-sex couples. With unfortunate stories of businesses being shown to discriminate against same-sex couples being commonplace in the media, it is difficult for LGBT couples to know which vendors they can turn to and trust.

“Same-sex couples are a lucrative, emerging market that can help grow your wedding business. To reach this powerful market, you must be ready.  You don’t want to lose business or risk offending potential clients!” [14 Stories].

14stories2Kate McElwee Photography via 14 Stories

Would you like to become more open and knowledgeable about working with LGBT couples when planning their wedding day? We want all wedding professionals to be knowledgeable, confident and excited about this newer market, and now is the perfect opportunity!

“Earn the trust of the loyal LGBT wedding market by learning from the experts at the Gay Wedding Institute” [14 Stories].

:: What Is The Gay Wedding Institute Certificate Program? ::

The Gay Wedding Institute Certificate Program is “the world’s only wedding certificate program that focuses on the LGBT market” [14 Stories]. The course will inspire you, energize you and put you in a position to attract loyal customers. It will allow you to “master the skills and strategies to reach the loyal same-sex wedding market” [14 Stories]. Since the Gay Wedding Institute launched in 2009, “over 700 people have completed this program, representing 14 countries around the world”. [14 Stories]. The Gay Wedding Institute continues to be “a national thought leader, researcher and educator on gay and lesbian weddings” [14 Stories].

14stories3Kelly Prizel Photography via 14 Stories

:: What Will You Learn? ::

This course covers a variety of topics, including;

  • The financial impact of the gay and lesbian wedding market
  • Differences between straight and gay weddings
  • Language and terminology
  • Marketing to engaged same-sex couples
  • Law and policies affecting same-sex couples
  • Same-sex wedding traditions
  • LGBT wedding data and trends

And much, much more…

“This intensive and interactive workshop will [also] include lunch, a packet of materials and tons of great ideas to reach this powerful market” [14 Stories].

14stories4Photography by Antonio del Valle Studio via 14 Stories

:: What Is The Benefit Of Doing The Course? ::

“Besides a projected increase in business, participants who attend this all day session will receive a 14 Stories Gay Wedding Institute certificate badge you can proudly display on your website, a copy of the book The Business of Gay Weddings, a certificate of completion and resource materials. Graduates will also be listed on the Gay Wedding Institute website” [14 Stories]! Not only this, but you will also receive a FREE FABuLIST listing on MRSter for one year!!

MRSter Icons-10

:: Who Are 14 Stories? ::

14 Stories is a MRSter Approved boutique wedding planning firm based in Massachusetts! Their vision is for “a wedding industry fully inclusive of all couples, including LGBTQ couples” [14 Stories]. This is something that they have been working on since they opened their doors in 2004; making them the first firm in the country to specialize in planning legal same-sex weddings!

14 stories

Find out all about this rad company by heading to our Wedding Vendor Wednesday highlight blog all about 14 Stories here!

You can check out their website here, and of course, don’t forget to check out their FABuLIST listing here!

:: Interested In Signing Up? ::

If you are a wedding professional looking to become more open, knowledgeable and confident about working with the LGBT market, then you seriously do not want to miss this!

14stories1Photography by Kevin Day Photography via 14 Stories

Date :: Wednesday, August 26

Time :: 9:30 AM- 4:00 PM

Location :: (MRSter Approved) Hotel Palomar in Phoenix

To register for the workshop, simply head to this link to complete the application form!

Early bird registration cost $309, and expires on August 12th, so hurry to take advantage of this great deal! After August 12th, the price goes up to $349!

Will we see you there?!

Jamul, CALIFORNIA :: Freedom To Love // Real Wedding

Submitted and Photographed by :: Creative Weddings by Amy

It doesn’t rain in southern California often (especially in the past few years), but when it does – we embrace it as best we know how.

We spent several months working on the details for the Freedom to Love photo shoot and when the gray skies and rain clouds rolled in, it surprisingly gave us an element of enchantment that we weren’t expecting.

See how these two brides embraced not only the weather this day, but each other. You’ll also see a beautifully denim decorated sweetheart table, featuring specialty flatware, a unique ladder alter with love and touch in every detail and a one of a kind dress from Archive Bridal.


Beautiful Brides. Enchantment. Freedom to Love.

The Professionals

Photography :: Creative Weddings by Amy
Apparel (Denim striped gown and white lace fit/flare) :: Archive Bridal 
Apparel (Blue dress and white dress) :: D’Marie Couture
Tablescape & Coordination of Shoot :: Simply Elegant Weddings
Rentals :: Lauren Sharon Vintage Rentals & Design
Rentals (Marquee Letters) :: SociaLights
Venue :: The Bradford Ranch
Beauty :: The Doll Service


Jamul, California.



Wedding Vendor Wednesday :: Hotel Valley Ho // 10 Reasons to Get Married at Hotel Valley Ho

:: 10 Reasons to Get Married at Hotel Valley Ho ::

If you’re looking for a unique and stylish wedding venue, MRSter Approved vendor Hotel Valley Ho could be the perfect place for your special day! Check out the 10 reasons why you should get married at this beautiful venue, below…

1 :: Hello, Style!

This hotel oozes cool. It was originally built in 1956 and underwent a full restoration to its original mid-century modern architecture. If you’re looking for a blend of vintage and modern, this is the perfect setting for your big day.


2 :: Fabulous Venues

Hotel Valley Ho has one-of-a-kind spaces like the lush Palm Court lawn, SoHo Ballroom (with glass that can slide open to an adjoining courtyard), Sands (a private, indoor-outdoor space like nothing you’ve seen before), and the panoramic Sky Line Rooftop set atop the seven-story Tower (with amazing views of Camelback Mountain and Downtown Scottsdale). Whether your wedding is indoors or under the stars, with 10 guests or 250, you’ve got options that are far from ordinary.

Sky Line Rooftop

3 :: Downtown Scottsdale Digs

Your out-of-town guests will love this hotel. It’s a short drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Downtown Scottsdale, and the hotel is walking distance from the area’s fantastic restaurants, shopping, and art galleries. And while it’s centrally located, it’s set on eight verdant acres, so it feels like a boutique hideaway.

Mark Boisclair Photography, Inc.

4 :: Amazing F&B

No boring food here! Renowned Chef Charles Wiley serves up dishes that will wow your guests, whether it’s a plated dinner or a buffet like “California Fresh” or “The New Yorker”. Finish with something sweet like a retro candy station, gourmet ice cream cart, or old-fashioned float station.

Wedding FoodKimberly Jarman Photography

5 :: De-Stress at VH Spa

Take a break from planning, for a day of beauty and rest at VH Spa for Vitality + Health. Ideal treatments include the HydroPeptide Anti-Stress Facial, LomiLomi Relaxation Massage, and Hi/Lo Deluxe Nail Service.

Female Massage

6 :: Gorgeous Backdrops

Photographers love Hotel Valley Ho, with its unique architecture, modern furnishings, abundant natural light, and lush grounds. Lights, camera, action.

View More: Kokes Photography

7 :: Pup-Friendly

Pets stay free at this hip spot! Your dog is welcome to be part of the ceremony and will receive a special pet amenity kit in the room.

Sky the Pomeranian

8 :: Sweet Suites

After the festivities, unwind in one of the hotel’s hip rooms, which all feature floor-to-ceiling glass and private patios or balconies. The Tower has the most luxe suites around, featuring full kitchens, walk-in closets, and washer dryers. You may never want to leave.

Loft Suite East Bedroom

9 :: Day-After Brunch at ZuZu

Enjoy an intimate gathering after the big day, with a day-after brunch at ZuZu. Dine inside or on the shaded courtyard patio and choose from favorites like the Red Velvet Waffle and California Eggs Benedict. It’s a fun way to end your memorable wedding weekend with family and close friends.


10 :: Swell Service

Hotel Valley Ho consistently ranks in the top 10 hotels in Scottsdale on TripAdvisor, and is a AAA Four-Diamond ranked property. You’ll feel welcome from the minute you arrive.

Original Staff

If this seems like the perfect venue for your wedding, click here to view their website for more information.

Don’t forget to check out their FABuLIST listing by clicking here!



Chicago, ILLINOIS :: Mark & Shawn :: Rooftop Romance // Real Wedding

Submitted and Photographed by :: Jodi Schlosser Photography

I have never seen so much love and emotion at a wedding. You could see how much this day meant to both guys, and every friend and family member that attended.

The stylish grooms wore blue bow ties that matched beautifully with the wedding party attire. The sunglasses and bold pops of color from the sunflowers simply added to the happiness of the day!


Bow Ties. Sunflowers. Sunglasses. Rooftop.

The Professionals

Photographer :: Jodi Schlosser Photography
Venue :: Ravenswood Event Center


Chicago, Illinois.



Marriage Equality For All :: Love Wins // SCOTUS Decision

Today is a freaking GREAT DAY!!!

We are beyond ecstatic that today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of same-sex marriage NATIONWIDE… something that SO many of us have been waiting such a long time for!!

Marriage-Equality---USA (2)

 “The U.S. is now the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, including territories. Married same-sex couples will now enjoy the same legal rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples nationwide and will be recognized on official documents such as birth and death certificates.”

[CNN, 2015]

mrster kickin itWe also want to say a huge thank you to everyone sharing and supporting our Kickstarter campaign, we have seen a huge amount of support today! We have 11 days to go to reach our target, so please check it out here, spread the word, and consider supporting. MRSter has a big heartfelt goal to be in every state and in every community to help every LGBTQ couple find vendors who celebrate them, and with your help we will be able to do just that.

Congratulations to everyone!! It really is SO wonderful to see so much positivity being shared all over social media today, LOVE is most definitely in the air!!

How are you celebrating today’s decision?!