Chandler, ARIZONA :: Jamy & Marvin :: Cultural Traditions // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Cultural Traditions ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: {MRSter Approved} Elizabeth Douglas Photography

East met West in this AMAZING wedding that took place in June 2015 at NOAH’s in Chandler! This was all about fun, food, wine, and the coming together of Marvin’s Chinese family and Jamy’s Midwest Family. These families had just met for the first time the evening before at the rehearsal dinner, and I was taken with the love and joy that oozed throughout the evening! Jamy and Marvin truly wanted their wedding day to be something that folks “oohed” and “aahed” over, as well as talked about for months to come! With careful planning, they did just that…

No one, and I mean not ONE guest was allowed into the ballroom until it was time to be seated for the ceremony. Beforehand, guests were treated by the soothing sounds of the Allegro Quartet, as they sipped on libations provided by A Couple of Bartenders. {MRSter Approved} Elizabeth Douglas Photography provided a “portrait booth” (not a photo booth!) where couples and families could get photos taken and printed out to take home as a remembrance of the day. Straight to the Plate Catering provided white gloved, butler passed appetizers that were most scrumptious!

When the time came, folks were escorted to the main ballroom where their senses were blown away by the breathtaking aroma of the flowers, the exquisite display of lighting, floral design, and high end table settings, as the Allegro Quartet continued with their melodic music. Everyone sat down at their tables, yes, tables, not just seats, as this was going to be a wedding like no other, that flowed like one of Jamy and Marvin’s dinner parties.

The ceremony was conducted by a dear friend, and fellow wine club member, Jacqueline Diaz. She captivated everyone with her “storytelling ways” that brought both families together, as well as a number of tears to people’s eyes. Following the ceremony, we were all brought back to reality by the thunderous drums that preceded the traditional Chinese wedding dragon who followed close behind. This in itself was a cultural blast with everyone’s eyes riveted on the dragon and cell phones capturing every moment of the display. This ended with the traditional presentation of a scroll to Jamy and Marvin, and applause by all.

Jamy and Marvin love a good party. Even though this was their wedding day, they wanted it to be about everyone who had come to celebrate, so they planned everything accordingly and everything flowed perfectly.

As soon as everyone was re-seated, a dinner prayer was said, and Straight to the Plate Catering got the buffet line going. Jamy and Marvin managed to grab a few bites before sneaking out to sign their marriage license, as their guests enjoyed the fare. Following dinner, toasts were given, thanks were said, and Scott Faver of the Party Favers queued the music for the first dance, which was a stage production in itself. Jamy and Marvin “danced in the clouds” for their first dance as a married couple, and it was beyond magical. After their first dance, Jamy and Marvin made their way to the three tiered wedding cake by Sue Jacobs cakes that sat upon a bed of flowers created by Eternal Event Designs. The cake was cut, and the party got started!

The newlyweds remember all too well all the fun weddings they’d gone to, and how the photos just seemed to be repetitious, and sometimes a bit blackmail worthy, so this is where the photography ended….well, until a group “shot” was done to toast the lovebirds.

You may recognize these two handsome grooms from their engagement session feature! Check it out here.

DISTINCTIONS

Cultural Traditions. Family. Perfect Planning.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Elizabeth Douglas Photography
Venue :: NOAH’s Event Venue
Event Planner :: {MRSter Approved} De Atley Events
Design {Floral, Draping, Lighting} :: {MRSter ApprovedEternal Event Design
Officiant :: Jacqueline Diaz
Apparel :: Celebrity Tux & Tails
Catering :: Straight to the Plate Catering
Cake :: Sue Jacobs Cakes
Bar Service :: Couple of Bartenders
Rentals :: YKnot Party Rentals
Musicians :: Allegro Quartet
DJ :: The Party Favers
Lion Dancers :: Arizona Martial Arts Lion Dance Association
Invitations :: Magrith Tsen Keck
Menu & Place Cards :: Pixels & Posies Prints & Printables

LOCATION

Chandler, Arizona, USA

COLORS

    

Top Five Friday :: How To Stay Cool For Your Summer Wedding

:: How To Stay Cool For Your Summer Wedding ::

I don’t know about you, but for me it’s really, really hard to enjoy the sweltering, sticky, mosquito laden, and dripping sweat (ugh) days of summer. But, that’s just me. Nevertheless, there are a multitude of health benefits during the summer season, and nature’s bounty explodes with good things to eat.

If your wedding is scheduled for summertime, as so many weddings are, here are MRSter’s top five recommendations for keeping your cool:

1 :: HYDRATE! :: No matter where you live in these beautiful states of ours, the number one necessity for keeping you cool is hydration. On the days leading up to your wedding, and the day of, you may get so busy and distracted that you may forget to drink plenty of water. But, you must hydrate, or you’ll possibly end up paying serious consequences. So, even if you need to tie a string around your finger, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Also remember to provide plenty of water for your guests and your wedding party. You sure don’t want Auntie Bess to keel over in the middle of dancing the Conga!

2 :: Dress in light fabrics :: That goes for the entire wedding party, especially if you are having an outdoor wedding. Choose breathable, lightweight fabrics in light colors, as darker colors attract heat. In this day and age, there is an enormous selection of wedding apparel to choose from, so this should be a no-brainer.

3 :: Provide shade :: If your wedding is outdoors, consider shielding the party from the glaring sun with the use of tent covers or a large canopy. Alternatively, scope out the shadiest spot at your venue. The venue staff may be able to provide the coverings or suggest the best spot.

4 :: Set up a relief station :: This is an extremely thoughtful gesture for all. You can stock it up with small towels soaking in a bin of ice, sunscreen, chilled misting bottles, paper fans and parasols. Your guests will think of you as amazingly thoughtful and gracious hosts.

5 :: Use appropriate chairs :: You can fry an egg on metal folding chairs if they are subject to strong sunlight! If you have to use metal chairs, make sure you supply pads to deflect the heat. Otherwise, your guests may wind up with red-hot fannies or have to eat standing up. Your venue should have a solution for you, so be sure to discuss available seating with them.

How would you beat the heat at a Summer wedding? If you have a hot weather wedding experience to share, we’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, stay cool!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Focusing On The Wedding Ceremony

:: Focusing On The Wedding Ceremony ::

A wedding is a lot of things. It is a celebration, of course. It is a time to share your commitment not only with each other, but with those friends and relatives who are most important to you. People honor the couple with toasts and gifts. There is usually music, dancing, food and drink, and all manner of merriment. But really, the main focus, the part where you and your love officially become a couple, is the wedding ceremony. Here is a description of the usual and basic components of the actual wedding ceremony:

1 :: The Procession :: This formally marks the beginning of the ceremony and is when the wedding party enters. In most cases, music accompanies the processional, and the wedding party enters in a predetermined order.

2 :: The Invocation :: The officiant welcomes the guests, introduces the couple, and states the reason for the gathering. This is the time when the officiant, and/or others, have the opportunity to have a special reading, share a pertinent story, or present a special song.

3 :: Declaration of Intent :: This is when the officiant asks the couple if they take each other in marriage. It is the verbal declaration of your consent to wed and is a legal requirement in any wedding ceremony.

4 :: Vows and Ring Exchange :: This is when the couple declare their love and commitment one to another. The officiant may guide your words in a “repeat after me” fashion, or you may say your own vows. Rings are exchanged, and other rituals may take place here, like the lighting of a unity candle.

Wedding Ring Exchange

Photography :: Poppy Seed Photography

5 :: Pronouncement :: This is where the marriage of the two is officially announced and is also a legal requirement in any wedding ceremony. You can now think of yourselves as a blending of two people, a new entity that, while retaining your distinct personalities, binds into a distinct persona by way of a union, aka marriage.

6 :: Recessional :: This marks the end of the ceremony. The new couple usually exit first, followed by the wedding party and then the guests. Now it’s time to celebrate!

Just Married

Photography :: Mi Amore Photography

Did, or will, your wedding ceremony differ to the above? We would love to hear from you!!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Religion, Spirituality, & The Modern Union // What They Mean For Your Ceremony

:: Religion, Spirituality, & The Modern Union // What They Mean For Your Ceremony ::

It is indeed a sacred event when two people unite in matrimony. You two are pledging your love, respect and commitment to one another, and desire to share the celebration of your oneness with your family and friends. Whether or not you base your ceremony on a specific religion or your own sense of spirituality is entirely up to you. Or perhaps you want to add an element of sacredness to your ceremony. These days, with many couples already sharing a household, the increase in legal LGBT unions, and with many interfaith marriages, the traditional church wedding is not as popular as it once was. So the question remains on how to interject religion and spirituality into your ceremony if you choose to do so.

It is essential to find the right officiant. You need to connect with an officiant that cares about the two of you, and is sensitive to your desires. She or he can certainly help in large part to create the ceremony that is perfect. And perfectly designed to represent your union. Just be open about your vision with the officiant.

Wedding Officiant

Photography :: Bethany Meister

Consider how the venue will complement the ceremony. A lovely meadow, a woodsy area, a place near a body of water, a chapel, church or garden can all add significantly to the sacredness of the ceremony. You would do well to select a place that has a special meaning to the two of you. I know of a couple who married at a park where they first both expressed their love for one another.

Acknowledge your love as well as the religious or spiritual significance of your union in your vows. Whether you write them yourself or the officiant writes them for you, make sure your vows are sacred to the two of you and represent your belief system. Don’t rush the writing of the vows, and don’t wait until the last minute. The vows you make to one another are perhaps the most important part of the wedding.  

Wedding Vows

Photography :: Melissa of Rivets and Roses

Likewise, the reading you select should celebrate your belief system. This is also true for the music played during the ceremony. Here as well, take your time in selecting the ceremonial readings and music. These can readily and easily accommodate your expression of spirituality and can significantly impact the sacredness of the ceremony.

MRSter would be delighted to hear your stories about how you incorporated religion/spirituality into your wedding ceremony!! Let us know in the comments below!!

St. John, USVI :: Mark & Mike :: Sunset Ceremony // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Sunset Ceremony ::

Submitted by :: Mary Bartolucci of Island Style Weddings
Photographed by :: STJ Creative Photography

Mike and Mark wanted a simple tropical ceremony and they had the beach all to themselves as they exchanged touching vows at sunset. Trunk Bay beach was the perfect backdrop for this memorable ceremony. They were the first lucky couple to legally marry on St. John… Which was a huge honor for Mary Bartolucci who officiated the ceremony. With such breathtaking views, there really was no need for anything other than themselves and simple white boutonnieres.

After their ceremony, the couple and their guests enjoyed a delicious dinner at Asolare, an intimate restaurant overlooking the beautiful Caribbean sea.

DISTINCTIONS

Sunset Ceremony. Making History. Ocean Views.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: STJ Creative Photography
Event Planning :: Island Style Weddings
Officiant :: Mary Bartolucci of Island Style Weddings
Reception :: Asolare
Floral :: Roses Too Flowers

LOCATION

St. John, United States Virgin Islands

COLORS

 

Boulder, COLORADO :: Melissa & Eric :: Vintage Vibe // Real Wedding

:: Vintage Vibe ::

Submitted & photographed by :: Amanda Baker Photography

Melissa & Eric shared an intimate day with close friends and family at the Rembrandt Yard in Boulder, Colorado. Melissa wore her Grandmother’s wedding dress, that had had a few alterations to make it a touch more modern. Her wedding party wore simple lavender dresses and the gentlemen were dressed simply in a nice button-up and slacks.

I would describe the wedding as boho-chic with a flare of a vintage vibe. The art gallery was adorned in vintage place settings, with mismatched plates and glassware for the reception. The gallery served as their ceremony site, and reception site. They had a simple dinner and an AMAZING dessert bar.

While we ran into some weather, their spirits never faltered.They laughed, smiled, and got the party started by taking shots of whiskey and vodka!

I felt like part of the family by the end of the wedding.

DISTINCTIONS

Boho-Chic. Vintage Vibe. Grandmother’s Wedding Dress.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Amanda Baker Photography
Day of Coordinator :: Kimberly Rose Events
Catering :: Greens Point Catering
Venue :: Rembrandt Yard
DJ :: DJ Perry
Apparel :: Re-designed by Donna Beth Creations

LOCATION

Boulder, Colorado, USA.

COLORS

  

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Wedding Traditions You Can Pass Along in Your Family

:: Top 5 Wedding Traditions You Can Pass Along in Your Family ::

Didya ever see Fiddler on the Roof”? It’s a musical that focuses on the importance of tradition, and happens to take place in pre-revolutionary Russia. To me, it’s another reminder that we, as human beings, are more alike than we are different – by a long shot!

What is a tradition in your family? I remember at my aunt’s marriage, one big tradition in our Italian family was the money dance, where people danced with the bride and pinned cash to her veil. If you don’t have a family tradition, why not start one? In the meantime, here are MRSter’s Top Five Wedding Tradition ideas that are updated and easily passed on to your family.

1 :: Something old, something new something borrowed, something blue :: This tradition comes from the Victorian era, with old representing old friends, new representing the creation of a new family, borrowed representing something borrowed from a happily married friend, and blue representing purity and modesty. Make this tradition your own by borrowing a family heirloom to incorporate into your bouquet or wearing blue undies, for example. There are many, many ways you can use this tradition to make it uniquely yours.

2 :: Changing the “Bride’s” name to the last name of the “Groom” :: This tradition started because brides were considered the property of the groom back in the old days. Nowadays, people are often hyphenating names to demonstrate their partnership. Consider creating a brand new surname from the last name of each of you. In this way, you are both fairly represented in your new partnership and your love is reflected in your brand new name.

3 :: Tossing the garter :: Instead of tossing the garter, why not auction it off to the highest bidder with the proceeds going to your favorite charity? You can donate the proceeds in the name of the person who bid the highest. Sweet!

4 :: Throwing rice :: This tradition started because rice was considered to enhance fertility. The problem is getting a rice kernel In your eye! Instead of rice, consider using birdseed, bubbles, flower petals, confetti, glitter, streamers, or whatever other fun and safe throwable item you think of.

5 :: Readings :: Spice up your readings with words that carry special weight in your world. From Dr. Seuss to Shakespeare, from the Bible to the great poets, choose readings that have a special significance for the two of you.

Wedding Reading

Photography :: Berg Photography

Choose new traditions that resonate who you both are. Your wedding is all about the two of you, your love, and the joy you want to share with those that are close to you. Have you made any wedding traditions your own? We would love to hear about them!!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Modern Wedding Trends

 :: Modern Wedding Trends ::

One thing MRSter totally promotes is that your wedding is what YOU want, not somebody else’s idea of what your wedding should be. For the modern couple, we’ve noticed that new trends are cropping up everywhere. We thought we’d share some ideas we really like that you might think is right for you.

:: Consider different entertainment options :: Utilize your musician friends, hire a contemporary choir, use a cabaret singer, entertain with a retro big band orchestra or a rock and roll band or a blues band, or ethnic music of any sort. You can hire a combination of different styles for different parts of the evening. For instance, have a cabaret singer perform during the cocktail hour and a big band orchestra perform for dancing the night away. Find entertainment options by clicking here and searching your location.

Wedding Entertainment

Photography :: Berg Photography

:: A modern take on the wedding party :: How about getting Grandma and Grandpa to act as flower girl and ring bearer? If done right, this can be both dignified and a beautiful, heart warming addition to your ceremony.

:: Create unique centerpieces :: We’ve seen centerpieces of submerged flowers, shimmering jars with candles, desert plant groupings, teacups or wine glasses, fruits and veggies, twigs, paper and marbles, and much more! Virtually anything you can conceive of can be turned into attractive centerpieces. Check out our florists listed on our FABuLIST to connect with a designer.

:: Dance your way back up the aisle :: Hey, it’s a joyous occasion! What better way to express your happiness than dancing all the way back up the aisle as your friends and family are cheering you on? Whoo hoo! This isn’t necessarily a new trend but we believe strongly in the power of music and we’d like this trend to stick around.

:: Food… Glorious food :: Who says you have to keep to the traditional plated chicken dinner? Love hamburgers? Hire a catering truck. Getting married at the beach? Have a clambake. Honeymooning in Italy? Serve spaghetti. Love Mexican food? There are a variety of taco trucks out there… Or have a burrito bar. You can provide munchie stations, dessert stations, cheese and cracker stations, sushi stations… The ideas are only limited to your imagination and your budget.

:: Looking good :: You can be fancy or casual in your wedding clothing, dress up or down, wear sneakers and jeans, show off your western wear, utilize ethnic dress, have a costume party wedding or any kind of themed wedding wear, ask all guests to wear specific colors for a feeling of unity, or just be traditional! It’s all up to you.

What is a trend you are planning or have seen recently that you love?

VENDORS :: If you’d like to become MRSter Approved to be placed on our FABuLIST you can do so by clicking here.

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Wedding Color Trends // 2016

:: Wedding Color Trends // 2016 ::

Personally, my favorite color is green. Green speaks of newness, regeneration and life. Green can come in many shades, from subtle to intense, but you know, I am also personally not the color trend setter. However, I say go with your gut. Choose colors that make YOU happy for your wedding. But, if you’d like to know what the trend setters are saying, here’s the scoop.

Perusing the web on the subject, everyone seems to have something a little different to say. One article promotes metallics and another promotes pastels. Some say pink and blue, while another suggests neutrals. Still, another suggests a concentration of various hues of one color. My conclusion is that there really isn’t a prominent trend. So it’s back to my original idea… Select colors that make you happy!

Wedding Color Trends

Photography :: Berg Photography

There are certain parameters that you should follow, however, and my artistic nature offers these ideas:

Step 1 :: Start by picking the color with which you’d like to work. Consult with your partner and settle on the main color you both love and agree upon.

Step 2 :: Give yourself a mini education on color theory. Think about harmony – how well colors compliment each other. Think in terms of primary colors, which are defined as red, yellow and blue: secondary colors, which are defined as green, orange and purple, which are made by mixing the primary colors; and tertiary colors, which are colors produced by mixing primary and secondary colors. You don’t need to be an expert of course, but it pays to have a basic idea of how colors go together.

Wedding Trends

Photography :: GSquared Weddings

Step 3 :: Consult a color wheel. These are readily available on the net and can give you ideas about parallel, monochromatic, complimentary, and other various shades and hues that are pleasing to the eye and create good vibes.

Step 4 :: Consider harmony. Harmony is found in things that go together, like you and your loved one! Visually, harmony is largely seen by the arrangement of color, creating balance, order and promoting a pleasing sense. A lack of harmony offers either a lack of pleasure due to blandness or on the other extreme, a feeling of disorder. I had a girlfriend years ago who painted her bedroom a super bright orange… I never felt comfortable in that room! Bedrooms are for relaxing, but the bright orange was overly stimulating and made me feel tense and irritable. I like the color orange, but not necessarily on bedroom walls.

Wedding Color Trends

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Molly + Co

Step 5 :: Go with it. You can incorporate your color scheme into your clothing, your flowers, your table decorations and really everything to create a harmonious whole. It doesn’t have to be matchy-matchy, but you want to go for harmony. Harmonious colors will help set the mood for a joyous celebration.

What colors do you have planned for your upcoming wedding? Comb through our Brag Mag for inspiration from real weddings.