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

    

Milwaukee, WISCONSIN :: Ken & Jay :: Home Is Where The Heart Is // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Home Is Where The Heart Is ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: {MRSter ApprovedReminisce Studio by Miranda & Adam

Ken & Jay recently got married in Boston, MA, where the two of them live. Having so much love for their family and friends, they decided to have two wedding receptions, one in each of their home states: Wisconsin and Rhode Island. We were lucky enough to be the photographers for their celebration at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the day couldn’t have gone any better!

We met up with the two handsome grooms in Café Calatrava, where some finishing touches were being made to their reception decor, and they helped each other with their bow ties- so sweet! Then we made our way around the stunning, modern museum to capture some portraits of the newlyweds. Windhover Hall, as well as all the other inspiring architectural elements, made the perfect backdrop. They were so sweet with each other, and we could tell what a wonderful pair they are.

Soon they joined their family and friends for some pictures before heading to cocktail hour. The details came together perfectly, including a cleverly illustrated menu, Jeopardy game instructions, custom place settings, etc. They also made donations in honor of their guests to Autism Speaks and the National Kidney Foundation.

Everyone enjoyed taking in the views of the Milwaukee cityscape and lakefront before it was time for dinner. Afterward, some really thoughtful, touching speeches and toasts were made. Then guests were treated to an absolutely amazing video montage that told Ken & Jay’s story, beautifully illustrated their relationship and concluded with their ceremony (cue tears of joy filling the room).

Since the two of them love playing games, they presented a game of Jeopardy for everyone to partake! It was so clever, and we loved capturing their guests having so much fun! Afterward, Ken & Jay were welcomed to the dance floor for their First Dance as newlyweds. And throughout the evening, the talented band kept the dance floor packed! Everyone was having a blast watching the band, decorating themselves with glow-sticks and dancing the night away! What a party!

DISTINCTIONS

Home State Celebrations. Game Night. Architecture.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter ApprovedReminisce Studio by Miranda & Adam
Venue :: Milwaukee Art Museum
Catering :: Café Calatrava
Band :: Chicago Diamond Trio

LOCATION

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

COLORS

  

 

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Things Same-Sex Couples Need to Know When Selecting a Wedding Vendor

:: Top 5 Things Same-Sex Couples Need to Know When Selecting a Wedding Vendor ::

Let’s face it, planning a wedding is stressful, no doubt about it, and for the same-sex couple, you don’t need the hassle of trying to work with wedding vendors who are not savvy about the modern union. We consulted Drew Coleman, professional wedding planner and MRSter co-founder, on the subject of the top 5 things same-sex couples should know when selecting wedding vendors.

Drew Coleman

Drew Coleman

1 :: Experience. How long has the vendor been working with gay couples? It is a good practice to ask the potential vendor about their direct experience and the question may get them to open up about their view on the subject.

2 :: Paperwork: Does the vendor use gender-neutral paperwork and practice neutral processes? Make sure their contracts, forms, and other documentation are properly worded to include your spouse and yourself so you don’t have to cross out “bride” or “groom”. That would be annoying to say the least and is certainly not in keeping with  modern union practices.

Wedding Documentation

3 :: Team Values. Does the entire team share the owner’s’ values? Will the workers on the wedding day be just as gay-friendly? Ask, “What are you doing in your business to make sure your entire team and everybody we come in contact with from your company shares your same values of inclusiveness?”

4 :: Website. When looking at the vendor’s online presence, does it appear that they celebrate diversity and inclusiveness? Ask, “What are you doing in your marketing and social media to show couples that you are open and inclusive?”

MRSter

5 :: Reviews and References. Do the vendors have good reviews in general? Are their any references from gay couples the vendor is willing to share?

Your wedding should be all about the two of you. It is your wedding and you get to make it whatever you want it to be.The bottom line is to make sure you are working with people who respect and honor your right to be together as a couple.

Are you planning your wedding and looking for gay-friendly wedding vendors? Check out our amazing FABuLISTers!!

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

   

Gilbert, ARIZONA :: Jamy & Marvin :: Wine, Food, Friends... And LOVE! // Real LGBTQ Engagement

:: Wine, Food, Friends… And LOVE! ::

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

Meet Jamy {of MRSter Approved Eternal Event Design} and Marvin, a couple of the best guys you will ever meet. Funloving. Silly (and serious). Lovers of good wine, food, friends, and love.

Fourteen years ago in January, these two met at a bar in Chicago, and let’s just say the rest is history. Life has brought them from where they began in Chicago, out to the valley of the sun, where they’ve continued with their love of all that is good (wine, food, and friends). These two know how to put on a party, let me tell you!

Funny thing is, they’re not much for having their photos taken, so we had to come up with a fun way of capturing them. Thankfully, their engagement session was done as their friend and not their photographer, or we probably wouldn’t have been able to capture some of these shots (those of you who are photographers would understand!). So, we took a “walk” one cloudy day through old town Gilbert, and finished things off, with what else, a glass of wine?

Many thanks to the person who had their ADORABLE bike locked up, as this was our million dollar shot of the session! I might have to invest in one of these for future sessions!

I can’t even begin to tell you how honored I was when they asked me to be their wedding photographer! This was going to be my first Mr. & Mr. event, and I was THRILLED! I am looking forward to showing off their wedding images in a future submission, as they won the “2015 Best Wedding Under $50,000” presented by the International Special Event Society, Arizona Chapter. You’re gonna FLIP when you see what they managed to pull off!

DISTINCTIONS

MRSter Approved. LGBTQ Engagement. Time For Wine.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Elizabeth Douglas Photography

LOCATION

Gilbert, Arizona, USA.

Alberta, CANADA :: Mandi & Katherine :: Love In The Canadian Rockies // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Love In The Canadian Rockies ::

Submitted and photographed by :: {MRSter Approved} Lauren Hannah Photography

Thinking back to this beautiful wedding at Jasper Park Lodge makes my heart happy. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect wedding day to photograph: two beautiful brides, mountain landscape and soooo much love in the air!

Katherine and Mandi’s relaxed wedding day brought together rustic DIY elements and the simple elegance of the mountains. They used the setting of the Rockies as their inspiration for the decor as they both have a love for the outdoors and often visit Jasper on vacation.

The Brides had this to say: “We both agree that our favourite moments were when Mandi saw me walking towards her and me seeing Mandi for the first time walking down to her. Then us walking out to James Brown as wives and pretty much the whole day!”

DISTINCTIONS

Breathtaking Views. Beautiful Brides. DIY Décor.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Lauren Hannah Photography
Venue :: Jasper Park Lodge
Cake :: Bear Paw Bakery
Floral :: All About Flowers
Apparel {Mandi} :: Delica Bridal
Apparel {Katherine} :: Pure Bridal
Apparel {Bridesmaids} :: Delica Bridal
Apparel {Suit} :: Tip Top Tailors
DJ :: Jasper’s Alpine Music

LOCATION

Jasper, Alberta, Canada

COLORS

   

Saint Paul, MINNESOTA :: Rachel & Laura :: Nerdy Nuptials // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Nerdy Nuptials ::

Photographed by :: Melissa of Rivets and Roses

Rachel and Laura had a charming St. Paul, Minnesota wedding that took place in Irvine Park, and the reception followed across the street at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

They incorporated all things they love in to their special day, which included; Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter! All of the details they put into their wedding complimented the locations perfectly, and signified their relationship.

It was a perfect day for the two of them, and it felt as if you had just entered the world that they share together. Beautiful.

DISTINCTIONS

Rainbow Converse. Dinosaurs. Two Brides.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Melissa of Rivets and Roses
Venue {Ceremony} :: Irvine Park
Venue {Reception} :: Science Museum of Minnesota

LOCATION

Saint Paul, Minnesota.

COLORS

   

Phoenix, ARIZONA :: Melanie & Laine :: Key To My Heart // Real LGBTQ Engagement

:: Key To My Heart  ::

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

Life is a journey in so many ways. In lives we lead, in the relationships we have, and sometimes, in the bodies we were born with.

I met Melanie {MRSter Advisory Board Member} and Laine last summer, as they had won an engagement session at the Phoenix Pride Silent Auction in June. Before our face to face meeting, Melanie had sent me a link to their website, I think to “prep” me for what I was going to be experiencing during my time with them. Take some time and enjoy the “journey” with them by taking a look at Melanie’s blog here.

Their engagement session ended up being a combination of an engagement and holiday photo session with Melanie’s four kids, who were just a hoot! They weren’t too keen on an actual photo shoot, but by the end, three of them had become my “helpers” and were asking if I’d ever need any models in the future! It was so wonderful to see how excited they were for their mom and Laine, and made the shoot even more fun with some of their antics (as you can see from the images!).

Laine’s transformation from a woman to a man has been quite incredible. They’ve planned their wedding around the time when Laine’s journey would be complete. Their engagement session took place close to the half way point of this journey, as they wanted the process documented through photos as well.

I’m so grateful to have been a part of this “journey” with them, and am so excited to follow their love story as it continues to unfold.

DISTINCTIONS

Engagement. Journey. LGBTQ Transformation. Family Photos.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Elizabeth Douglas Photography

LOCATION

Granada Park, Phoenix, Arizona

Happy Valentine's Day :: Thoughts on Love // Unconditional, Messy, Beautiful Love

Happy Valentine’s Day :: Thoughts on Love // Unconditional, Messy, Beautiful Love

The wisdom of the ages has often tried to define love. What is love, you ask? There are many different types of love: love for a puppy, a piece of art, a special song, a favorite dessert; the love you feel for your parents and siblings; the love you feel for a friend; the love you feel for your child. But on this Valentine’s Day, MRSter would like to offer a short list on the elements of love that happens when two people are drawn to one another and it binds them together.

MRSter-Valentine

Love happens to hetrosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning people. Of this there is no doubt. But why are we drawn to one another? What makes one person special above all others? What is love?

:: Love gives.

:: Love laughs.

:: Love cries.

:: Love is powerful.

:: Love is magical.

:: Love is action.

:: Love is attraction.

:: Love is involuntary.

:: Love is content.

:: Love cannot be bought or sold.

:: Love cares for the other as much as the self.

:: Love when felt, is known.

:: Love is being cared for and wanted.

:: Love begins with intensity and settles into longevity.

No doubt you can add to this list… We would enjoy hearing your ideas on the topic of love!  In the meantime, MRSter wishes you a beautiful Valentine’s Day with the one you LOVE.