San Diego, CALIFORNIA :: Beautiful In Blush // Daniel & Milton // Real Wedding

Submitted by :: Sabrina of La Dolce Idea {MRSter Approved – La Dolce Idea}

From Daniel (Groom) ::

Love starts with a kiss…. And so the story begins…  April 19, 2014 was the most magical day of our lives.

I would assume most of us have always dreamed of the perfect wedding, the perfect soul mate, and a love that will last for a lifetime. Unfortunately, being a gay man, we could only dream of a fairytale wedding.  At the time, society, religion, and political government forbid marriage between same sex. You can only imagine, the overwhelming joy in our hearts, the day we stood before God, our family and friends, as we exchanged our wedding vows. The love of a beautiful wedding, along with honoring and respecting the traditional meaning of a marriage, is one of life’s greatest gifts.

The love and dedication we have for each other certainly made our wedding special, however, it was the details, the planning, the commitment from others, and the support of many vendors that made our wedding a success. For those who think help isn’t needed to plan a magical wedding, think again. As much as my husband and I, take credit for our beautiful wedding, the reality is… Our wedding planner Sabrina of La Dolce Idea made our dream a magical day. She has a special relationship with the very best vendors in the industry, From wedding cakes,  to white leather diamond custom made  chairs. And let’s not forget, her ability to calmly maintain her professional grace and style, under pressure when she is dealing with a perfectionist with a temper. Sabrina delivered a perfect magical wedding… I wish I could relive our wedding day, everyday.

From Sabrina (planner):

It was truly a wonderful day filled with love and happiness, and I was honored to be part of Daniel and Milton’s wedding. The ceremony took place at the spectacular Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. The two grooms were impeccably dressed with white jacket, black trousers and pink accents (pink was selected in honor of Daniel’s mother who died of breast cancer some years ago, and Daniel had a little silver heart tied to his boutonniere, as pictured). Bridesmaids wore pink dresses and groomsmen wore light grey suits with pink accents. Daniel and Milton’s two dogs (fully dressed!) were also part of the celebration.

For the reception at the US Grant Hotel, the Celestial Ballroom was set with round tabletops embellished with silver crushed taffeta linens, pink satin napkins, and tall glass centerpieces with cascading flowers and crystal gems. Daniel and Milton had fun making some DIY projects such as the table number holders: plain silver sign holders were decorated with a white feather and a pink ribbon bow. They looked great on the tables! Menu cards were personalized with guest names, and favors were placed next to them: they were a box of chocolates and custom imprinted lip balm sticks (what Daniel and Milton exchanged when they first met).

The couple’s impressive square table was custom made with a white fabric pattern and two rhinestone and leather chairs finished the look on stage where their names were projected onto a white chiffon backdrop. Guests were treated to a delicious dinner, and La Dolce Idea also provided a dessert table matching the color palette. Milton’s sister painted a beautiful blossom tree as a wedding gift and we used it as the table backdrop to enhance the display with macarons, cake shots, chocolate pretzels and truffles. The cake was a fabulous 6-tiered creation with buttercream petals and crystal accents, Daniel and Milton were very involved with the design and the results were incredible.

A mariachi band accompanied Milton and his mother, then Daniel joined them during family dances. The dance floor was packed all night thanks to our incredible DJ!


Blush. Wedding Day Dogs. Delicious Desserts.


Photography :: Aaron Willcox Photography
Planning, Coordination & Dessert Table :: MRSter Approved // La Dolce Idea
Ceremony Venue :: Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park
Reception Venue :: US Grant Hotel
Catering & Chocolate Truffles :: US Grant Hotel
Stationery :: Dolldine Designs
Linens :: Sweet Ribbon Events
Floral :: Wholesale Flowers
Grooms’ Custom Table :: Hire Elegance 
Officiant :: A Ceremony Of Elegance – Rev. Deborah Young
Ceremony Music :: Eliana Strings
Cocktail Hour Music :: Sam Hosking
DJ & Lighting :: Beck’s Entertainment
Mariachi Band :: Mariachi Del Mar
Cake :: CAKE
Cake Pops & Cake Shots :: Grove Pastry Shop
Macarons :: La Reine Des Macarons
Chocolate Pretzels :: Anjolie’s Sweet Treats
Transportation :: Epic Limo


San Diego, California


Alternatives to Wedding Cake

Written by wifey to Erika and Advisory Board member :: Shannon

Wedding Cake Alternatives Same Sex Gay Wedding

Our wedding cake was so delicious we almost ran out! I do wish we had been a little more creative like one of my favorite chef’s who recently got hitched and instead of a traditional wedding cake, she opted for a dessert buffet with layer cakes, pies and other sweet treats.

Wedding Cake Alternatives Same Sex Gay Wedding

Another unique idea for those who live free of a sweet tooth – Tiers of fancy cheese that mimic a wedding cake adorned with fruits, nuts, dried fruits, edible flowers and herbs to enhance each cheese.

Lastly, if you want to stay cheesey but still offer something sweet, my favorite option is a Cheese cake tier.

Try topping it with fresh fruit, chocolates or nuts. The flavors are limitless.

What unique wedding cakes have you experienced?

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!

Sian Clark // Social Media Manager

Karen and Nelda :: 57 Years in the Making

Karen and Nelda, one of the very first same-sex couples to obtain a marriage certificate in Arizona, celebrate their union with a wedding event produced by local MRSter vendors.

Karen Bailey and Nelda Majors

The couple met 57 years ago while attending Sam Houston University in Huntsville Texas and they have been together ever since. After making a life together and running a successful business in Texas, the couple moved to Arizona where they raised two daughters. Karen and Nelda were one of the couples to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court arguing that Arizona’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples violated the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Their case, among others, led to the overturning of Arizona’s gay marriage ban on October 17, 2014.

Karen Nelda Rehearsal Kiss

Karen and Nelda at their wedding rehearsal in the moment they realize that their wedding kiss will be their first public kiss.

A wedding ceremony will be held for Karen and Nelda at The Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Phoenix at 2:00pm on Sunday, November 23, 2014. The ceremony is open to the supportive public, and tickets are mandatory. While their ceremony is free of charge to witness, Karen and Nelda are asking guests to donate to One Community Foundation in lieu of giving gifts. For tickets and more information, visit

Many thanks to the following (many of them FABuLIST) vendors who came together to support Karen and Nelda ::

Evening Reception Venue :: MRSter Approved – The Farm at South Mountain
Catering :: MRSter Approved – Santa Barbara Catering Company
Catering :: Aventura Catering
Floral :: MRSter Approved – Butterfly Petals
Event Planner :: MRSter Approved – Life Design Event Planning
Rentals :: MRSter Approved – Kool. Party Rentals
Rentals :: MRSter Approved – Cre8tive Event Rentals
Photography :: MRSter Approved – Cyndi Hardy Photography
Photography :: Keith Pitts Photography
Photography ::  Largo Photography
Photography :: Randy’s Vision Photography
Cinematography :: MRSter Approved – Serendipity Cinematography
Photo Booth :: MRSter Approved – The Traveling Photo Booth
Photo Booth :: Funbooth
Event Production :: Living Energy
DJ :: MRSter Approved – Got You Covered!
Hot Beverages :: MRSter Approved – Cappuccino Subito
Beverages :: Hensley
Beverages :: Alliance Beverages
Decor :: Creative Occasions
PR // Social Media :: Sherry L Butler Communications
Floral Preservation :: MRSter Approved – Floral Keepsakes
Transportation :: Carey Limousine
Transportation :: United Parking Systems
Wedding Cake :: Let Them Eat Cake

A Unique Twist on the Traditional Wedding Speech

I can only imagine how nerve wracking it must be to write a wedding speech. How do you incorporate humor, sentiment, and relevance, while also holding the attention of the attendees?

Why not get creative and do something totally different to the norm? Tom Fletcher set a great example of this…

If you aren’t familiar with Tom Fletcher, he is the lead singer of McFly; a popular band from the UK. He put his own spin on the traditional thank you message, by incorporating two of the bands most popular songs and creating his speech in the tune to them.

His wedding speech was SO unique and SO awesome that it has had over 12 million views (and counting) on YouTube!

Give it a watch and see what you think, but I warn you, grab some tissues before you do!

Did you love it?! How was that for inspiration?

I think expectations of how a wedding speech should be done were raised through the roof after this video went viral! And rightly so, what an epic twist to a wedding speech. I love that he dedicated a line or two of the song to the most vital members of the wedding party. What a memorable wedding speech for all involved.

I know we don’t all sound like Beyonce (try as we might), but I think a song or a poem creates a quirky alternative to the traditional wedding speech.

Kudos Tom Fletcher, you nailed it.

How to Address Invitations to Gay Couples

Many couples planning weddings today have gay couples on their roster of invitees.  We all know how to address envelopes to hetero couples, but how do you properly address an invitation to a gay couple?  {Hint :: There’s really no difference}

Drew Andy

Photo Courtesy Sergio Photographer //

There are some differing opinions, but I suggest the following guidelines ::

If the couple is not married, list them on two separate lines on the outer envelope. 

Mr. Andrew Erickson
Mr. Drew Coleman

If the couple is married (legally recognized or not) and do not share their last name, list them on the same line and use “and” in between their names.

Mr. Andrew Erickson and Mr. Drew Coleman

If they are married and have the same last name, list them on the same line but only use the last name once.

Mr. and Mr. Andrew and Drew Coleman

The inner envelope should be addressed in the same format as the outer envelope, but without the first names. It is also okay to list both names on same line.

Mr. Erickson and Mr. Coleman
Mr. and Mr. Coleman

Note :: Always list the names in alphabetical order by the first name. Also, do not use “Misters” or “Messrs” to address a gay male couple as that is used for a group of two or more brothers.




Real Wedding :: James + Michael

James and Michael live in Chicago, but they wanted to celebrate their union in Arizona’s perfect February weather. They chose Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale to host their destination wedding.

James and Michael hired the following vendor team to create their wedding day ::

Venue + Catering :: MRSter ApprovedHotel Valley Ho
Floral :: Avant Garde Studios
Photography :: Kimberly Jarman Photography
Event Planner :: MRSter Approved – Life Design Event Planning
Wedding Cake :: La Dolce Pesca
Band :: The Hamptons

Alternatives to the Traditional Bouquet and Garter Toss


Some people love tradition, however, wedding planners are regularly hearing “we don’t want to do the whole traditional bouquet/garter toss”, with many couples in today’s society opting out of these traditions altogether and instead, replacing them with quirky alternatives.

In fact, wedding planner Sarah Pease (Huff Post: 2013) stated that less than a quarter of the couples she works with toss the bouquet, with even fewer participating in the garter toss. Furthermore, less that fifteen percent of same-sex couples are said to incorporate wedding traditions such as a garter/bouquet toss (Bernadette Coveney Smith: Huff Post: 2013); which is totally unsurprising considering that the bouquet and garter toss is characteristically hetero-normative. I mean come on, how many gay guys would want to toss a bouquet or remove a garter? These traditions just don’t quite work for them.

However, for couples who feel that they still need an aspect of tradition incorporated into their ceremony, there are now many alternatives out there, with many being inclusive of same-sex couples, ranging from cute to laugh-out-loud funny.

Image provided by Kelsie Pinkerton of Pinkerton Photography

Image provided by Kelsie Pinkerton of Pinkerton Photography


Here are a few of my favorites to get you thinking…

::  The Little Black Book :: Some spouses have tossed a little black book; it doesn’t have to have numbers in it, it could have jokes or lottery tickets inside for example, but just be symbolic of their single life being over and throwing their little black book away now that they have a spouse.

:: Throw Something Else :: If you still want to toss something into your crowd of guests but want to step away from the bouquet and garter toss, you could just toss something else. It could be almost anything! Some people have thrown cuddly toys, for example. Do whatever works for you!

:: The Anniversary Dance :: Have all the married couples come to the dance floor and play a couple of slow songs, slowly removing the couples by when they were married (youngest to oldest). The newlyweds then present the bouquet (and garter sometimes) to the longest married couple. Some get the last couple standing to say how long they have been married and for a piece of advice to a long and happy marriage.

:: Cake Pull :: Several ribbons are placed underneath the cake, one of the ribbons is tied to a charm of some sort (usually a fake ring). All the single attendants pull out the ribbons, and the one who gets the charm is the next to get married! Alternatively, instead of just the one charm, all of the ribbons could have different charms on them, each standing for something different and as a prediction of each attendant’s future. For example, a horseshoe for good luck, a ring for next to be married, a four leaf clover for a year of good luck, etc.


Pretty cool, huh? The wonderful thing is that traditions are now changing, whereby what was classically seen as a tradition is now thrown out of the window and replaced with a quirky alternative. There are no set rules on what both heterosexual and same-sex couples need to incorporate into their wedding ceremonies, giving couples the freedom to be nontraditional and instead form their own traditions.

Ultimately, your wedding should be unique to you and your partner, and for this reason, you could take inspiration from what alternatives others are using, HOWEVER, you should be sure to choose something that works for you as a couple!


With all that Life has to offer,

Sian (pronounced Shawn)

Sian Pill // Apprentice Planner AKA The Intern // Life Design Event Planning // Phoenix + Minneapolis

Same-Sex Couples Using "Mrs."

Last week at work, I was asked by a teacher how I prefer to be addressed, “Is it Ms. Shannon or Mrs.??” This was the first time I actually thought about being a “Mrs” and wished I had said, “It’s Mrs.”…but I didn’t.

 My wife and I celebrated our year anniversary on 2/20/11 and changing our titles has not been discussed. Now I’m thinking, “Why wouldn’t someone address me us Mrs.?” I am married!

I decided to research the appropriate usage of Mrs. in hopes to find a definate answer regarding same-sex couples using the title after marriage. Not much help there…

Wikipedia provided the history and background of Mrs. but no concrete direction. I enlisted the help of a few couples; same sex and opposite. With their feedback, I determined “Mrs.” is a choice. There are no rules, no laws, and most of them decided to stick with Miss or Ms.

I would love to hear feedback from Mrster readers including your decision to use Mrs. or not. I’m listening…