Ontario, CANADA :: Tama Lynn & Amanda :: Spark Of My Heart // Real LGBTQ Engagement

:: Spark Of My Heart::

Photographed & Submitted by :: {MRSter Approved} Oren & Jones Photography

Local to Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada, these two lovely ladies met online and fell in love in 2007. There was an instant spark, and they’ve have been absolutely inseparable ever since.

With a love for family, friends, and baseball, there’s never a dull moment.

In May of 2015, Tama Lynn, in front of family and friends, played a short video she had put together about their relationship. Chronicling their first date, family vacations, their dog Lacey and cat Sebastian. She then got down on one knee and presented Amanda with a ring. A ring she had specially made out of Ammonite; a rare Canadian gem which radiates a brilliant rainbow.

She was thrilled when she heard Amanda say ‘yes!’

DISTINCTIONS

Same Sex Engagement. Fireworks. Niagara Falls.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter ApprovedOren & Jones Photography

LOCATION

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Portland, OREGON :: David & Spencer :: It's All In The Details // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: It’s All In The Details ::

Photography :: Steele Photography

You always hear other couples say their wedding was ‘the best day ever”, but our wedding really was the BEST day ever! Everything was perfectly masculine with touches of glam throughout… What more could two grooms ask for? From custom furniture, lighting, napkins and matchbooks to signature cocktails, photobooth and a live band – no detail went unnoticed.

We each had our must have list during the planning process. Delegation and teamwork is a must! David was all about the food (oh the food!) and booze. Spencer was all about the ambiance. Really take the time to make your wedding specific to you as a couple. Don’t be scared to ask for things out of the norm! And don’t feel like you have to do something because it “is normal”. After all, you only get this day once!

We wouldn’t have been able to make our wedding day dreams come to life without the expertise of our planner and coordination team who worked closely with our long list of rock star vendors. Choose these people wisely – you will spend a lot of time with them.

We’ll never forget the feeling of walking into our venue the day of seeing everything come to life and taking a moment to truly appreciate each and every detail. No one ever tells you how fast wedding day goes. Be careful to not blink or it might be over 😉 Don’t stress about the small stuff (small stuff will happen that no one will ever even notice) and take every second of amazingness in.

DISTINCTIONS

Two Grooms. Masculine Glam. Best Day Ever.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Steele Photography
Venue :: West End Ballroom
Styling & Design :: Luxe Event Productions
Videography :: Watt Films
Catering :: To Dine For
Liquid Catering :: My Bartender
Dessert :: Rosycakes
Rentals :: Classic Vintage
Rentals :: LaTavola Linen
Rentals :: Barclay
Lighting :: Greenlight Creative
Drape :: West Coast Drape
Floral :: Spencer’s Sister

LOCATION

Portland, Oregon, USA.

COLORS

    

Puebla, MEXICO :: Ana & Paula :: Industrial Intimacy // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Industrial Intimacy ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: Marcos Valdés Wedding Photographer

The day we met Ana and Paula, thanks to Erick (their wedding planner), it was immediately a perfect match! Over a cup of coffee, we chatted like old friends! They told us all about their love story; confirming that their is one true love for us all, and regardless of distance or time, love always prevails.

The day of the wedding was a rainy one, but this certainly did not put a dampener on anyone’s spirits! They shared their special day in the company of the relatives and closest friends. The day was full of wonderful details, surprises, hugs and happy tears rolling down every guests cheek.

Ex-Fábrica la Carolina was the perfect place for this wedding, framed with the eclectic-industrial decor! The lighting enhanced the old structure, allowing us to get some incredible pictures.

Love and happiness was the feeling of this entire day. Everyone had such a great time, and with the help of my friend, Memo Marquez, we were able to capture all those moments of love.

DISTINCTIONS

Two Brides. Industrial. Happiness.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Marcos Valdés Wedding Photographer
Venue :: Ex Fábrica La Carolina
Event Planner :: Bieri Occasion Design

LOCATION

Atlixco, Puebla, MEXICO

COLORS

   

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Ways to Announce your Engagement

:: Ways to Announce your Engagement ::

So you two have decided to make it official, and one of you popped the question! Congratulations, that’s great news!

Of course, you probably want to shout it from the rooftops and share your exciting news with friends and family. Here are some of our favorite ideas as to how you can make your big announcement:

1 :: Go Hi-Tech :: Create a Wedding Website. You can start with announcing your engagement with photos and text, and then use the website to keep friends and family updated as you go through the planning process. You can include stories about how you met, a pictorial of your life together so far; details about your wedding registry; who will be in your wedding party, and so on.

2 :: Send a photo postcard :: I know putting something in the mail may seem outdated to some people, but if you have a really cute photo of the two of you, I’d bet that the receivers will be delighted to get it. Besides, it makes a great keepsake for your family and friends. You can get creative with the photo in lots of fun ways. Alternatively, you can simply send a Save the Date postcard with your wedding date and venue on it.

3 :: Throw a big party :: Don’t let anyone know why, and at the end of the evening make your big announcement. You don’t need to spend tons of money; have a backyard BBQ, a lakeside picnic where you assign different people to bring different items, or make it super simple by hosting a potluck.

4 :: Hire a flash mob :: For a truly memorable announcement, and if you’re in a big city where flash mobs are available for hire, this is a truly exciting way to get the word out. You just need to get your friends and family in one place under a pretext like a fake birthday party and go for it! See the video below for an amazing example… It’s still one of our favorites!

4 :: Make a video :: Just a short one – you could make it funny, or sentimental. Then simply send it via text, email, or post it on your social media platforms.

How are you planning to announce your engagement?! Let us know!

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 :: Top Five Menu Items For Summer Weddings

:: Menu Items For Summer Weddings ::

Whether indoors or out, summertime weddings will have more of an appeal for your guests if you plan out a refreshing Summer menu. Here are MRSter’s Top Five Menu items for Summer Weddings:

1 :: Cool Appetizers :: If you are serving an appetizer, consider refreshing servings of summer melons, shrimp on ice, or a cool gazpacho. Ceviche is another cool option, as are prosciutto and cheese wraps.  

2 :: Summer salads :: Have you ever tasted a watermelon salad? Super yummy. Tomato, mozzarella and basil drizzled with a vinaigrette (Caprese) is equally delicious. A tropical salad with fruit and lettuce, or a cold pasta salad are also good choices.

Summer Sald

Photography via {MRSter Approved} Fabulous Food

3 :: Think Skewers :: For your main course, skewers are an excellent option. They can be made from many different ingredients, from simple to complex, with various meat and veggie combinations. If you have any vegetarian guests, skewers are easily made to accommodate.

4 :: Delectable Desserts :: If you choose to serve a dessert in addition to your wedding cake, consider a light sorbet or Italian Ice. Berries with a light cream topping is also a good choice.

5 :: Best Beverages :: The old standby ice tea, is of course a great option. Lemonade (without excessive sugar) is also a refreshing summer drink. Consider also serving iced coffee and practically any kind of spritzer. Consult your bartender to create your traditional signature cocktail too.

What are some of your favorite Summer foods? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

PSST :: Be sure to check out the amazing list of catering companies we have on our FABuLIST here.

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Secrets To A Successful Marriage

:: Secrets To A Successful Marriage ::

We are all imperfect human beings, and as such we squabble, disagree and occasionally fight with our life partner… That’s only natural. If it weren’t so, we’d get really bored because we would all be alike – no surprises. So what makes a marriage endure? LOVE of course, and commitment, patience and understanding all contribute to a good marriage. Here are a few specific things you can do to help make your marriage a long and successful one:

:: Have a date night at least once a month, preferably once each week. Pick a night to do this and stick with it. Each partner should contribute ideas as to where to go, so make sure no one says, “We always go where YOU want to go.” Wherever your destination is, allocate some time for talking and be prepared with questions to ask your spouse. You can discuss news items, your respective jobs, deep feelings – whatever. Just talk!

Date Night

Photography :: KCD Photography

:: Be a champion for your spouse. Be their encourager, defender, and number one fan. Don’t ever put him or her down in public or in private. Be respectful. If you have a disagreement, address it in a non-combative tone. You married this person for love. Never forget your admiration for your spouse, even in times of anger.

:: A little goes a long way. Do little things to serve each other… Make a special meal. Bring your spouse a nice cold drink when he or she is hard at work. Write little love notes. Speak your language of love. Bring your spouse flowers. Give a back massage. Run a candlelit bath. There are countless ways to make your spouse feel special. Employ them.

Love Note

Love Notes” by Jinx! is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

:: If you screw up in some way, don’t hesitate to admit it. Apologize, and move on. If you are being apologized to, be gracious about accepting the sincere apology. I’m not talking about repeated apologies for the same issue that happens over and over again. If that is the case, seek professional counseling. But, always own up to your mistakes sincerely, learn a lesson, and then move on.

:: Laugh together. Shared laughter is cathartic; it brings you closer, it lifts your spirits, it reduces stress, it personifies your oneness, warms your relationship and tunes you in to each other. But don’t laugh at the expense of your partner. That has the opposite effect. Find things that make you both laugh, but the best laughter usually comes spontaneously.

Happy Marriage

Photography :: Bethany Meister

:: Never, ever keep secrets from one another. True intimacy has no room for secrets. You two became one when you got married. You should trust your partner to the extent that it is not necessary to keep secrets. How would you feel if you found out your partner was keeping something from you? You would feel betrayed, I suspect, unless your partner was planning a surprise birthday bash! So, make every effort to be open, honest, forthright and truthful with your partner.

Do you have any relationship tips to share with us? We would love to hear your best advice for a good marriage!

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!!