Pyrénées-Orientales, FRANCE :: Benjamin & Daniel :: Charming Château In France // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Charming Château In France ::

Photographed by :: Lemon Three Photo

After more than 8 years of a long-distance relationship; Daniel living in London, UK and Benjamin in Perpignan, France, we decided to tie the knot in the south of France, close to Benjamin’s home town. The wedding was the coming together of both of our families.

The organisation of the wedding was challenging as Daniel was still living in the UK, and Benjamin in France. This meant that precious weekends were spent meeting suppliers, food tasting, and organizing, well… everything. The rest was done via Skype – and thank goodness for our Wedding Planner, Sarah, who managed this with ease! Another challenge we faced was ensuring that both our English and French families felt at ease. To do this, we made sure that all elements and written communication were done in both languages.

The moment we saw Château Valmy, we knew this was the place we wanted to get married. The castle is set in the beautiful region of the Pyrénées-Orientales; with stunning views of the Mediterranean sea on one side, and the Pyrenees mountains on the other. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and its own vineyard.

With the grand setting we wanted the wedding to reflect this as well. We opted for a Black Tie dress code (which was pretty unusual for our French guests who are not so used to Black Tie events). Preparations took part in the castle itself. The wedding ceremony took place in two parts; the morning at the town hall for the official signing of the papers, and then at 4.30pm in the afternoon in the gardens of the castle. The decor was simple and elegant with white chairs and a large arch of Giposofilia. Bridesmaids bouquets and the groom’s button holes were a mixture of deep red roses and Calla Lily. The ceremony was conducted by the mayor of a local town (the same one from the morning), who is a close family friend. Readings from our nearest and dearest, were mixed between English and French so all guests could understand.

The cocktail reception followed in the castle’s vineyard with magnificent views of the vineyard and the sea, with a jazz band playing softly in the background. Wines were from the vineyard and 16 different canapes were served with chef stations scattered in the garden. The evening dinner then followed indoors. Decoration was elegant and understated, with emphasis put on lighting and candles, with a simple Gipsofilia centerpiece.

Speeches from  Benjamin’s brother and Daniel’s father then led to the champagne toast, entrance of the croque en bouche tower, and then an evening with an open bar and DJ from Ibiza… We partied until 6am!

DISTINCTIONS

Destination Wedding. Long-Distance Love. French Vineyard.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Lemon Three Photo
Wedding Planner :: Label’ Emotion
Venue :: Chateau Valmy
Floral :: Sarah Menager
Catering :: Dolce Vita Traiteur
Apparel {Groom’s Suits} :: Ralph Lauren
Apparel {Bridesmaid Dresses} :: David’s Bridal UK
DJ :: DJ Lady Evelyn

LOCATION

Pyrénées-Orientales, France.

COLORS

  

San Antonio, TEXAS :: Rachel & Nelson :: One Beautiful Summer Day // Real Wedding

:: One Beautiful Summer Day ::

Photographed by :: Parker of The PK Photographs

I was so excited when I pulled up to The Lodge at Country Inn Cottages. Picture hay bales and open fields, surrounding a beautiful stone and wood lodge set near a hillside. The cottages up the hill are where Nelson and his groomsmen were getting ready, while Rachel and her bridesmaids were in the Bridal Suite at the Lodge.  The sky was the brightest of blues, with a few perfectly shaped white clouds, and the wind did a great job of overcoming the heat of an outdoor summer wedding in Texas.

The ceremony was short, sweet, and beautiful. There were a few tears, a few laughs, and Rachel and Nelson couldn’t stop smiling at each other. A few cows even wandered into the field beside their ceremony to watch this beautiful couple tie the knot! After their ceremony, there was a reception with heart-warming toasts and beautiful dances. Such a beautiful event with beautiful, kind families and friends of this beautiful bride and groom, ending with the bride and groom dancing the night away with friends on the dance floor.

DISTINCTIONS

Beautiful. Nature. Let’s Dance.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: The PK Photographs
Venue :: The Lodge Event Center
Live Band :: The Kopy Kats

LOCATION

San Antonio, Texas.

COLORS

  

Gallatin, TENNESSEE :: Laura & Jeremy :: Blessings From Above // Real Wedding

:: Blessings From Above ::

Photographed by :: Anjeanette Illustration Photography

The couple met their sophomore year at University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where Laura was studying for her Architecture degree, and Jeremy for his Sport Management degree. Jeremy planned a surprise Christmas time proposal near a pond and fountain, where he had draped his car in white Christmas lights and “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele was playing over the stereo.

Fast forward to the wedding… They say when it rains on a wedding day, blessings and good fortune are pouring down from above, and in that case Laura & Jeremy were indeed covered! Jeremy and Laura were both so giddy and excited to be getting married that the weather did not phase them! As a photographer, their positive and excited attitudes made all the difference in the world for successful photos.

In my opinion, a happy brides smile makes for the best of photos! Thankfully, we had had a brief dry moment before the storm for an intimate first look, with only a large group of deer to witness! Their wedding day in September was 7 years to the weekend from when they first began dating, and Laura said she was so excited to be marrying her best friend!

One of the most touching parts of this sweet and intimate wedding, was the display table of framed portraits of family members on their wedding days. Also, many of the items were handmade by family in a very chic and charming manner. Their guests signed well wishes into their bible, and several large groupings of soft candle light completed the warm glow.

DISTINCTIONS

Best Friends. Intimate. Blessed.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Anjeanette Illustration Photography
Venue :: The Pick Inn

LOCATION

Gallatin, Tennessee.

COLORS

  

Concord, NORTH CAROLINA :: Little Red Riding Hood & The Huntsman // Justin & Bridgit // Real Wedding

:: Little Red Riding Hood & The Huntsman ::

Submitted and Photographed by :: Ellen of Due West Photography

Both Justin and Bridgit are incredibly creative people, and I knew their wedding was going to be beautiful and unique to their personalities. I love weddings where you can see the love, excitement and effort that the couple have poured into it, and this was the most personalized wedding I’ve ever seen.

They went with a Little Red Riding Hood and the Huntsman theme, and it was beyond anything I could have imagined! The venue was perfect (cozy and in the middle of the woods) and the decorations were out of a fairy tale. This wedding was an accumulation of an absolutely giddy couple who were delighted about their wedding, two incredible families and some seriously amazing bridesmaids and groomsmen who really took the day to the next level.

Everything seemed to cooperate with this wedding, even the weather; the rain held off just long enough for the ceremony and couple shots, and the woods were vibrant green and smelled incredible from the storm the day before. It cooled the temperature down perfectly on what would have otherwise been a typical hot and muggy North Carolina September day. And most importantly, it could not have been more obvious how happy everyone was for Justin and Bridgit. This was one of those weddings that reminds me why I do this, and why this is one of the best jobs in the world.

If you’re thinking this beautiful couple look familiar, you may have spotted their ‘Roadtrip Romance’ engagement shoot on our blog before! Take a peek here.

DISTINCTIONS

Nature. Creativity. Fairytale.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Venue :: Farm at Brusharbor
Photography :: Due West Photography 
Apparel {Bride} :: Nordstrom 
Hair :: Jessica Nicole Myers with Ashleigh P Hair Studio 
Makeup :: Megan Deputy Cooper 
Apparel {Groom} :: Gentleman’s Emporium
DJ :: DJ Marty
Cake :: Ruthie Fernandez at SoDelish

LOCATION

Concord, North Carolina.

COLORS

  

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!

Dallas, TEXAS :: Bright and Beautiful // Michael & Shane // Real LGBT Wedding

:: Bright and Beautiful ::

Submitted and Photographed by :: Berg Photography

From the Grooms’ ::

The morning of the wedding, we slept in and had a relaxing morning before it was time to begin getting prepared for the ceremony that evening. Our photographers and videographers arrived at the hotel and captured every moment from us getting ready to begin our new journey as a married couple. We exchanged gifts with each other; Shane surprised Michael with scales-of-justice cufflinks and an artist to capture the ceremony on canvas. Michael surprised Shane with a pair of custom designed cufflinks with their names and wedding date and a pair of Christian Louboutins just for the wedding night.

The décor and ambiance of the entire space was everything we hoped for. The reception space was filled with bright yellow roses, custom designed topiaries at the altar with over 9,000 rose petals, crystal, and draping oncidium orchids. As guests entered the reception space, they were greeted with a candlelit, swanky lounge space filled with the fragrance of Tyler Candle’s TwentyFourSeven Glam. The guests located their table with a digital, touch-screen interface which guided them to their seat. The room was filled with yellow flowers, black candles, crystals, and draping oncidium orchids.

During the cocktail hour, servers passed hors d’oeuvres which consisted of braised duck breast topped with blackberry chutney, seared ahi tuna atop a wonton crisp, and mini truffle twice-baked potatoes with caviar. The plated dinner started with an Asian salad tossed in a sesame ginger dressing served in black Chinese take-out containers. For the main course, each guest was served with their choice of filet mignon or chicken marsala with teriyaki grilled salmon. The sides included smoked gouda potato au gratin and a display of grilled vegetables. After the cake cutting, each guest was served a slice of cake with a layer of black velvet cake and yellow butter cake filling with cream cheese frosting.

Before we started a night of partying on the dance floor, Michael’s sister and Shane’s best friend gave heartfelt toasts wishing us happiness and success as we begin the rest of our life together.

Immediately after the toasts, the band brought the crowd to their feet for what became a night full of dancing. The band played non-stop music of classic hits as well as hits from today and filled the room with high energy. As the night began to come to close, the band brought us on stage to perform our exit song, “Proud Mary.” We danced on the stage and sang with the band as they made our exit GRAND! The lead singer of the band started a train and led the crowd outside the venue as they lined up for our exit. The guests showered us in yellow rose petals as we exited the reception. We both love our diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Coke, so we drove away in Shane’s white Mercedes convertible with our diet soda cans tied to the back! As they left the reception, each guest was provided with an individually boxed swiss chocolate cupcake.

Our wedding was everything that we could have wanted. All of the details were executed perfectly the night of our wedding. We are extremely grateful for our incredible vendors that made our event a success.

DISTINCTIONS

Bold. Bright. Beautiful.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Berg Photography
Venue {Ceremony & Reception} :: Marc Events – Em the Venue 
Catering :: Marc Events
Cake :: Silver Palate Cake Boutique {Shane’s Business – Groom} 
Event Planner, Event Design & Floral Design :: Mandy Cathey Weddings & Events
Linens :: BBJ Linen
Rentals :: Shag Carpet Productions
Ceremony Entertainment :: European Ensemble Strings
Ceremony Opera Singer :: Nereida Garcia
Reception Entertainment :: TenAcity Band
Invitations :: Royal Panache Weddings & Events
Videographer ::Inspired Effects
Live Painter :: MLB Designs

LOCATION

Dallas, Texas.

COLORS

  

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

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

:: Beautiful In Blush ::

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!

DISTINCTIONS

Blush. Wedding Day Dogs. Delicious Desserts.

THE PROFESSIONALS

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

LOCATION

San Diego, California

COLORS

San Marcos, CALIFORNIA :: Vintage Love // Real Wedding

:: Vintage Love ::

Submitted and Photographed by :: Kristel Collins Photography

With soft white vintage style, filled with blush flowers and gold accents, the reception felt like a romantic getaway; a rose filled place with old world love and vintage lust.

The bride, such a stunning and perfect woman for her handsome groom! As they entered the reception in style with their bridal party rocking to the harlem shake, it was a party for sure!

These two love birds and their baby, Lola the pit bull, became one…something they have dreamt about since high school!

DISTINCTIONS

Vintage. Puppy Love. Fairytale. Blush.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Kristel Collins Photography
Venue :: Green Gables Wedding Estate

LOCATION

San Marcos, California

COLORS