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

   

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.

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!

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Ways To Make Your Wedding Reception Fun!

:: Top 5 Ways To Make Your Wedding Reception Fun! ::

CONGRATS! You and your loved one are getting married and having a celebration with friends and family in order to share the joy. Most weddings have music and dancing. Some wedding parties even perform a dance to entertain the guests. Of course, many celebrations serve alcohol – always a party pleaser, but you two might want to consider some other ideas to make your reception even more fun and bring in some more interest than just the traditional. Here are our top suggestions to make your reception fun (besides what we’ve already mentioned):

1 :: Create a board and/or lawn game area :: Not everyone likes to dance and if kids are coming to your party, you need to plan fun things for them as well. You can supply board games, cards, guessing games, and even a craft area that you’ve supplied with paper, crayons and other craft items for the kiddos… (or others!). For outdoor activities you can supply lawn darts, horseshoes, or even a ping pong table. Try to gear the games to what you can reasonably expect your guests to enjoy, but overall they will appreciate that there is something else to do besides dance, especially if you aren’t a dancer!

 

2 :: Have a contest and a prize :: Ask guests to write their best marriage advice. Gather the papers and have you and your spouse (or ask a couple of wedding party members) to select the top five answers and read these aloud. Ask the guests to vote on the best advice by virtue of applause, and consider offering a prize to the winner. Maybe that prize is a toaster from your wedding registry! 😉

3 :: How about a photo booth? :: Today’s photo booths have fun and interactive props for your guests and create an instant memento. Check out our previously posted blog on these fun additions to your celebration by clicking here.

4 :: Put on a skit :: Engage your friends in creating a skit about the two of you. It can feature stuff like how you met, how the proposal was asked, what will life be like in fifty years. Assuming you have creative friends, this can be a fabulously funny show!

5 :: Schedule an entertainment event :: I recently attended an event that featured Spanish dancers. Not only was it great fun to watch them, but they offered Spanish dancing lessons afterwards. It was really funny to watch some of the guests try the moves and watch a few build some confidence with their Spanish skills! Another event featured a comedy team similar to “Whose LIne is it Anyway?” that was totally entertaining. You can call a local booking agent and find out what talent is available in your area.

Well there it is, dear readers. MRSter would love to hear your ideas on wedding reception fun. What have you seen or have planned for some extra fun at a wedding?

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

 

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Seating Chart Stress? Try These Ideas!

:: Seating Chart Stress? Try These Ideas! ::

Yup. Creating a seating chart can be one of the most, if not THE MOST, stressful part of your wedding. You can’t put Richard next to Sara because they greatly dislike (aka hate) each other, but if you move Richard, then where can you put Aunt Joan and Uncle Sal? Even if you have a wedding planner (and I hope you do), this is something you pretty much have to do on your own because your planner doesn’t know your guests and could wind up putting Richard next to Sara, which could lead to a genuine calamity. So, let’s make this simple and start with you and your partner.

:: Table Placement :: There are quite a few variables that need to be considered and your venue should be able to assist with the table layout. If you are having a sit-down dinner with round or rectangular tables, consider placing your table in the center of the room with your most cherished people at hand, or have a smaller table just for the two of you if you don’t have enough room for all your favorite friends and relatives, and/or the wedding party (which is assumed to be your favorite people).

:: Mix It Up :: With the exception of a small number of wedding guests (say around 50 or so), you should assign guests to specific tables – Table 1, Table 2, and etc. Assigning guests to specific tables should take into consideration their relationship to one another. Also, it can be fun to mix people who know each other with people who don’t for the sake of added interest, instead of for instance, putting all the “old buddies” at a table. Mix it up a little.

Wedding Place Cards

Photography :: Largo Photography

:: An Exception To The Rule :: One exception to the place card rule is if you have one long table for all your guests at a smaller wedding (50 people or so), in which case you will probably want certain people near you or across from you. If that is the case, you will need to be super sensitive to your guests and hope you’ll keep everybody happy. You’ll need to ask yourselves who are truly the most important people in your lives and create a seating chart accordingly, remembering that ALL your guests are important to you, otherwise they wouldn’t have been invited.

:: Get Crafty :: There are seating charts online that can help you plan who goes where if you need one. Otherwise, if you’re assigning  guests to tables, have your guest list handy and some paper and small sticky notes as well. Write the names of your guests on the sticky notes, and label each piece of paper Table One, Table Two, Table Three, and so forth. Get yourselves a bottle of wine (or whatever else helps to relax the two of you) and start thinking who of your guests would be comfortable seated together. If you’re going the “one long table” or “extra formal” way, you can still accomplish the job in a similar way, although it might take a bit more thought. Try to make it a fun thing to do. You’ll feel FABULOUS once you’ve accomplished the task.

Have you discovered an innovative way to create your wedding seating chart?! We would LOVE to hear from you!!