Atlanta, GEORGIA :: Cara & Wes :: A Perfect Cup Of Coffee // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: A Perfect Cup Of Coffee  ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: High Gravity Photography

Cara and Wes have a truly infectious love for one another. One that is filled with laughter, a lot of love, and a good cup of coffee. Seemingly simple, that cup of coffee symbolizes Wes and Cara’s love story. The time and patience it takes to find and grow a beautiful relationship is so similar to articulately crafting that perfect cup of coffee.

That morning contained just the right amount of friends and family. Getting ready together made all the difference that day. Robyn the make up artist from Haus of Fluff was set and started with the brides.The artistry of the room was not defined by the make up artist or hair stylist that day, but by the beauty of the glances they shared across the room or the simple touch of each others hand. The laughter, the love, and the support encased the beauty in that room that morning. The little moments throughout the day were shared together. And trust me, there was not a dull moment that day.

As the door opened, Cara took her first step towards her love, her sugar to her spice, her everything, her life. Wes waited patiently, anxiously, nervously. The moment had finally come, the straws were aligned, the morning had gone by so fast, and was now ground to a halt. Here she was, just a girl waiting on a girl. Just like the first sip of coffee in the morning, Wes held onto this moment. Turning around, she smiled and through that smile she whispered “oh God, you are do BEAUTIFUL!” They froze for just a second; breathing in the same aroma of pure, unwavering, love that was in the air.

From a coffee shop to their first look, Cara and Wes’s Love Story was like Ambrosia for the soul. The wedding party watched through tear soaked windows panes. With each smile they wiped away tears, and with every laugh they giggled. Their movements unposed, blended perfectly with each angle, as we focused in, their love brewed with every kiss and I love you.

Ashton Gardens is set beautifully on the outskirts of Atlanta Georiga, tucked into a corner of heaven. The chapel adorned with glass windows from floor to ceiling. Displaying the sunset and trees that were to be the back drop of Cara and Wes’s wedding day. The candles were lit and placed down the aisle. The sun was setting, the guests had arrived, the music started to play, and Wes steadied her mom as they opened the great wooden doors.

The ceremony was witnessed by friends, family and enough Baristas to fill a Starbucks! Each person had shared in a part of their love story. From the people who taught them the art and craft of a perfect cup of coffee, to the lifelong friends that had watched them become this perfect partnership of love. So with all the love and laughter they could fit in that little chapel, Cara and Wes vowed to one another that they “were enough and would always be so enough” for one another. With rings and vows, they sealed their love with a kiss as the music softly started to play an unmistakably recognizable tune. Every head in the room turned to Cara and Wes as the chorus sang out, and everyone sang along to ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack song, “I’ve had the time of my life”. Through smiles, applause, and tears, Wes and Cara fittingly danced their way down the aisle as wives! They stopped in the middle for a sweet kiss, and their dancing wedding party followed.

Wes and Cara personally embraced and thanked each person for coming. Hugs, thank you’s, and “I love you’s” filled the room. After speeches, the couple was called to the dance floor to get the party started. Every step, every dance move, every laugh, and every voice that sang along to every song played was a tribute to Wes and Cara’s beautiful day.

DISTINCTIONS

Two Brides. Baristas. Unwavering Love.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: High Gravity Photography
Venue :: Ashton Gardens
Make-up :: The Haus of Fluff
DJ :: K-Cal Entertainment
Floral :: Frank Stevens
Cake Pops :: Brown Sugar Gourmet Desserts
Apparel {Dress} :: Davids Bridal
Apparel {Suit} :: Express

LOCATION

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

COLORS

   

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

    

Wapwallopen, PENNYSYLVANIA :: Caitlyn & Connor :: Oh Christmas Tree! // Real Engagement

:: Oh Christmas Tree!  ::

Submitted & Photographed by :: Kim Spath Photography

Caitlyn and Connor are one of my 2016 couples! Since their wedding is in the fall, we decided to go for a different feel to their engagement shoot. The shoot happened in November, so it was the perfect time to enjoy the Christmas tree farm! When I told them about my idea they were totally open to it and came perfectly prepared for a cold and wintry shoot! We all froze a little bit that day, but even so, this is one of my favorite engagement shoots of all time! The colors are muted but warm, and the couple were absolute perfection in front of the camera!

DISTINCTIONS

Christmas Tree Farm. Winter. Perfection.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Kim Spath Photography

LOCATION

Helen and Ed’s Tree Farm, Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania.

Scottsdale, ARIZONA :: Erika & Roberta :: Proposal Picnic // Real LGBT Engagement

:: Proposal Picnic ::

Submitted by :: Maria of Elizabeth Douglas Photography

Erika and Roberta (Robbi) were in from Harvard visiting Erika’s family for the holidays. Erika is a true Zonie (aka unicorn…born and raised in AZ), where Roberta is an East Coast gal. They took a day trip down to Southern Arizona where Erika LOVES to hike and explore. Roberta had something else in mind, so they stopped to pick up some wine, cheese and crackers, and turned it into a proposal picnic! I was completely taken in by the lovely ring, as I noticed a hint of blue in it…sure enough, it’s an aquamarine! What a wonderful choice for a beautiful bride to be (hey, and she’s already got her “something blue” for their wedding day!).

Needless to say, Erika said, “YES!” and we had the pleasure of capturing their Engagement Session, along with family portraits for Erika’s family. Keeping our fingers crossed that we’ll be meeting back up with them, either in Sedona or Hawaii for their wedding day as well!

CONGRATULATIONS, you two! Oh, and Erika, you still owe me a slice of Egg Nog Pie! LOL! (Erika is an AVID baker, and her goods look and sound scrumptious!).

DISTINCTIONS

Surprise. Proposal Picnic. Something Blue.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Elizabeth Douglas Photography

LOCATION

Scottsdale, Arizona.

Happy Holidays!! Christmas Wishes From MRSter...

:: Happy Holidays ::

Holiday Cheer

It doesn’t seem to matter which holidays you or I celebrate at the end of the year, but most people tend to take some time off during this season. Hopefully you are going to be able to slow down and spend a little time reflecting on the good things and people in your life.

Sometimes, in our busyness we tend to forget the things that are truly import in our lives. I get that way too. But truly now is a great opportunity to be in tune with the time of year, to appreciate those precious people in our lives who give meaning to our existence, and to measure our worth not by our bank account, but by the love we share in our everyday encounters.

MRSter wishes you love, prosperity, joy and health during this holiday season and throughout the year.

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”      – Hamilton Wright  Mabie

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Cold Weather Cocktails!

:: Top 5 Cold Weather Cocktails ::

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but

Here are 5 cold weather cocktails to help you stay warm (and stay happy); and they are just fabulous to serve at a winter engagement party or wedding reception (…or, you know, whenever!).

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} The R2 Studio

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} The R2 Studio

1 :: Irish Coffee

  • 1 ½ oz of Irish Whisky
  • ½ to ¾ cup hot and strong black coffee
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar or the equivalent sugar substitute
  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream

Pour coffee into mug; add whiskey and sugar and stir. Add whipped cream by gently sliding over a spoon to float over coffee. Caution: this drink may bring out the Irish in you.

2 :: Hot Toddy

  • 1 1/1 oz dark rum, brandy, bourbon, rye or scotch
  • Boiling water to nearly fill a 6 oz glass
  • 1 slice of lemon stuck with 3-4 cloves
  • 1/4 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or the equivalent sugar substitute

Pour liquor and seasonings into a heavy glass. (An old-fashioned glass works nicely.) Note:  I treat myself to a couple of these when I have a cold. It may not help heal me, but boy do I feel better!

Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy” by Dinah Pena is licensed under CC BY 2.0

3 :: Hot Buttered Rum

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar or the equivalent sugar substitute
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 strip orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Boiling water to nearly fill an 8 oz mug

Pour liquor in the mug; add sugar, cloves and orange peel. Add butter and  boiling water. Stir with cinnamon stick. Yummm!

4 :: Grog

  • 2 oz dark rum or brandy
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Boiling water to nearly fill an 8 oz mug
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or the equivalent sugar substitute
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 2-3 cloves

Pour rum or brandy into an 8 oz mug; add lemon juice and seasonings, fill with boiling water, stir and serve. Umm…this might be good for a cold too, (cough, cough).

5 :: Hot Apple Cider (For a Crowd)

Makes 2 quarts, or enough for around 8 servings

  • 1 apple
  • 10-12 cloves
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • cinnamon sticks

Insert the cloves into the apple. In a medium pot, combine the apple with all the ingredients except the rum and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a simmer over low heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the rum, ladle into mugs and stir with the cinnamon sticks. Enjoy!

Cocktails

winter drink” by  aya padron is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Well, geeze, I think I’ll go make myself a cocktail. Salud!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: How To Look Photo-Ready When It's Cold Outside

:: How To Look Photo-Ready When It’s Cold Outside ::

Brrrr, it’s sooo cold outside and you’re due to meet with your photographer for an outside photo shoot. The wind is blowing, your cheeks are red, and your teeth are chattering… So what can you do to look your best while braving the cold? Here are a few tips that may help you survive a cold weather shoot:

Photography :: Thea Volk of Rivets & Roses

Photography :: Thea Volk of Rivets & Roses

1 :: Think underwear. Hopefully your outer outfit will accommodate thermal underwear, aka long johns. There are a variety of styles on the market that are close fitting under your clothing and will help you keep nice and warm. Just make sure to try them on under your outerwear to make sure your thermals can’t be seen.

2 :: If the wind is blowing, this can actually be a good thing for your hair as captured by a professional photographer. A windblown hairstyle can be quite attractive. Just make sure to let your hairdresser know so that a product conducive to the weather can be used. Make sure however, that you bring styling products with you, including a brush and a comb, to facilitate quick touch ups between shots.

Photography :: Rhonda Lewis Photography

Photography :: Rhonda Lewis Photography

3 :: To tone down bright red checks, carry a compact and mirror with you. A bit of powder should do the trick.

4 :: If at all possible, have an indoor place available close to the shoot to take a quick break, even if it’s just an automobile. You’d be a surprised at how quickly you can warm up and be ready to brave the cold again.

5 :: If you’re not worried about camouflaging the cold weather in your photos, consider playing up the cold theme by wearing really cute coats, scarfs, hats and boots. This way, you can have all sorts of fun and still stay nice and warm. Besides, you know you’ll be looking good, even with those extra layers.

Always, in any photo shoot, in any weather, just be uniquely you! You’ll be helping your photographer get the very best shots by relaxing and having fun! 

Do you have any tips as to how to look photo-ready during a cold outdoor shoot? We would love to hear your ideas!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: How To Stay Warm At An Outdoor Winter Wedding

:: How To Stay Warm At An Outdoor Winter Wedding ::

So, you’ve secured an absolutely amazing outdoor venue for your winter wedding (and perhaps got an equally amazing off-season discount), but how are you and your guests going to stay warm? We have a few ideas for you, and would love you to share some of yours with us…

:: Appropriate Apparel :: 

For the couple, consider non-traditional wedding wear; maybe even throw a themed wedding so you can wear a beautiful cloak or long coat. But, if you are opting for traditional, you can certainly wear a nice warm wrap in a color coordinated with your apparel or with your flowers. Leggings or even long underwear will help keep the chill away, and socks and/or boots will also help to keep you nice and cozy. For the tux wearer, a handsome overcoat and coordinated scarf would look absolutely snazzy.

5325265064_464200726a_z

NYE Wedding – Downtown Boston” by Amie Fedora is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

:: Adorning Accessories :: 

Be sure to let the guests know that the wedding will be outdoors and encourage them to dress accordingly. Plan to have a few throws, shawls and/or afghans on hand for those guests who come unprepared. For weddings on a budget, second-hand stores generally have an abundant supply of these (launder first).

:: Keep It Toasty ::

Outdoor heaters and fire pits are readily available for rent which will keep the wedding party and guests nice and toasty. Your venue may have a supply of these or you can ask for permission to bring some in. Just make sure to assign someone to ensure these are being used properly.

11697548605_70782a932e_z

Firepit_12_31_13-7” by Tiny House Brewing & Farmstead is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

:: Warming Winter Beverages ::

For non-alcoholic beverages, consider serving hot apple cider, tea coffee, or cocoa as ways to warm your guests. Egg nog, hot buttered rum, Irish coffee, Peppermint Patties, mulled wine, and Hot Toddies are excellent choices for alcoholic drinks that will warm guests from their head to their toes. These beverages are delicious and will add lots of fun to the festivities. Mmmmm!

:: Comfort Food ::

If you are serving a meal outdoors hearty soups and stews would be good choices. The varieties are endless and can be chosen to blend with your wedding theme. How about serving several varieties of chili or chowders? Plus, these are all comfort foods and will add to the comradery at your celebration.

:: Party On ::

Get the party started! Whether you have a band or canned music, get your guests involved with a few participative style group dances… The Macarena, the Hokey Pokey, the Bunny Hop, the Chicken Dance, the Cupid Shuffle are just a few examples! These tunes will not only guarantee laughter, but will keep the party ‘jumping’…

7510408426_03824a3c86_z

Winter Wedding” by Krista Guenin is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Have fun and stay warm!

Phoenix, ARIZONA :: Happy Anniversary to Karen & Nelda - Arizona's First Same Sex Couple To Marry // Flashback Friday // Real LGBT Wedding

:: Happy Anniversary to Karen & Nelda ::

Photographed by :: Largo Photography

On November 23rd, 2014, the most historical wedding in the history of Arizona took place. The wedding of Karen and Nelda. Today, we hope you will join us in wishing them a very happy anniversary, and enjoy the incredible images from their day.

Though just over a year has passed since the wedding of these wonderful ladies, the whole day still stands out vividly in my mind. Karen and Nelda were one of the very first same-sex couples to obtain a marriage certificate in Arizona, and it was incredible to celebrate their union with a wedding event produced by local MRSter vendors.

The day started at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix; the perfect venue for Karen and Nelda’s wedding ceremony. What a stage! The team did an incredible job with ensuring the lighting was perfect, and Butterfly Petals {MRSter Approved} blew everyone away with the floral wall that they designed and executed for the big day. It. Is. Rad!

After the moving ceremony, the guests made their way to the reception venue – The Farm at South Mountain {MRSter Approved}. The whole evening was full of love, laughter, and plenty of dancing! It was so wonderful to see such a huge number of guests there to celebrate the love that Karen and Nelda share. Later in the evening, Serendipity Cinematography {MRSter Approved} surprised Karen and Nelda with a same day edit, and I can assure you that there was not a dry eye in the house!

Thank you to all of those involved for making this the most epic wedding. After almost a 57 year engagement, Karen and Nelda needed a wedding with a wow factor… Something I think you can all agree was achieved thanks to all of the incredibly talented vendors involved. Thank you for being a part of Karen and Nelda’s journey.

You can find out more about Karen and Nelda’s love story here.

DISTINCTIONS

Making History. A Day To Remember. 57 Years In The Making.

THE PROFESSIONALS

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

Ceremony Venue :: Orpheum Theatre Phoenix
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

LOCATION

Phoenix, Arizona.

COLORS