Real Couples // Art-Inspired Wedding at The Levine Museum of the New South: Shavonne + Travis

Real Couples // Art-Inspired Wedding at The Levine Museum of the New South: Shavonne + Travis

I (Shavonne) planned a cabin trip in Gatlinburg for Travis' 28th birthday party. We were surrounded by long-time friends and a beautiful mountain scenery. According to Travis, it was the one time I wouldn’t suspect a proposal! 

Travis was praying for what I thought was dinner that night. The prayer quickly changed from the “gathering of family and friends” to words of endearment that shook my entire being, and then he proposed. It was beautiful, it was perfect, it was for us. I remember waking up that next morning feeling like I was in the best dream ever.

Originally we were thinking of a rustic style, but that changed when we picked a more modern venue. I had my gown made Mikaella from J Majors bridal. It wasn’t too fancy or heavy and I fell in love with it at first sight. Travis wore a midnight and navy tux. He was so handsome in it!

As for my favorite memories of the wedding day, I have so many! Turning the corner to see my husband standing at the altar, seeing the emotional bond between Travis and his sister as they danced, seeing our friends and family in fellowship, and my first look with my father.

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Real Bodies // Kaity's Boudoir Session and Her Journey to Self Love

Real Bodies // Kaity's Boudoir Session and Her Journey to Self Love

I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face — if you make one investment in yourself in your lifetime, make it boudoir. Don’t wait until you lose that last 20lbs, or until you get rid of the cellulite on your ass. Don’t do it for your partner. Don’t do it for valentines. Do it for you.

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This Upstate New York Photographer Believes Love is Love and Can't Wait to Capture Your Wedding

This Upstate New York Photographer Believes Love is Love and Can't Wait to Capture Your Wedding

Believe us when we say that having vendors you can trust is the most important decision you can make about your wedding, second only to choosing the right person to spend your life with. Jacqueline Connor Photography is the wedding photographer you can trust to capture the candid moments of your big day, as well as whatever fun adventurous turns that might happen!

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Real Couples // Two Grooms Commit to Forever at the Rialto Theatre: Michael + Nicholas

Real Couples // Two Grooms Commit to Forever at the Rialto Theatre: Michael + Nicholas

Nicholas and I met the way most twenty-somethings meet these days: social media! We went to separate high schools but were both in theatre programs. Through state festivals we met a mutual friend from yet another school and then became friends on Facebook through him. I was living near Daytona Beach, and Nicholas was living in Tampa. After years of being friends online, I decided to drive down and meet him in person. We had a super casual first date at a Red Robin in the mall and we immediately connected so well. I quickly found myself commuting to and from Tampa sometimes two or three times a week to be together. After three short months, we moved in together, and have been together since.

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Real Couples // A Classic Vintage Savannah Wedding: Danielle + Kolby

Real Couples // A Classic Vintage Savannah Wedding: Danielle + Kolby

Ideas of professional collaboration quickly fell away, and they went on their first "date" — she didn't consider it one at the time — on June 29th, wandering through art galleries, grabbing a bite and a beer at Kayak Kafé, spinning records in Hang Fire, and sitting and talking in Ellis Square. At the end of the night, a stranger selling palm roses approached, entreating Kolby to recite a poem and confess his undying love for Danielle, which was surprisingly not awkward at all.

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Meera Graham Photography Is Ready to Love the Sh*t Out of Your Wedding

Meera Graham Photography Is Ready to Love the Sh*t Out of Your Wedding

We love getting to introduce our vendors to our readers, and Meera Graham has been a long-time supporter whose passion for the couples she works with is undeniable. While she's based in Missoula, Montana, she's available to travel and is regularly serving couples throughout the Northwest U.S. Read on to find out why you NEED to consider Meera when picking your wedding photographer.

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Real Couples // Living in London, Married in Ireland: Jon + Donal

Real Couples // Living in London, Married in Ireland: Jon + Donal

Donal and Jon aren’t religious so they opted for a Humanist ceremony. Following a meeting with their chosen celebrant Sally O’Kelly they knew straight away that Sally was the perfect fit for them. She talked them through the process and how best to decide upon the script for the ceremony. 

Keeping it short, including special readings, music, and the inclusion of mothers of the grooms to light the unity candle and as witnesses made the ceremony that extra bit special. 

Donal and Jon decided not to include their own written vows but instead used a slightly more traditional script, not only because otherwise they would have been too emotional to speak, but because they felt the traditional script suited their feelings towards marriage and each other. 

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3 Actions to Take in the Wake of the SCOTUS Decision

3 Actions to Take in the Wake of the SCOTUS Decision

Without a doubt this ruling will be used as precedence for even more discriminatory cases. It is a reminder of the work ahead of us. It is a blow to the spirit and well-being of the LGBTQIA+ community. It is a call to action to those of us who call ourselves allies. So here are three actions to take NOW to respond to this decision.

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Real Couples // A Special Clemson Engagement Session in Columbia: Brent + Cass

Real Couples // A Special Clemson Engagement Session in Columbia: Brent + Cass

I loved being able to document the little looks between these two and learn about their engagement story. When Cass first told me about the way Brent proposed I was ecstatic to hear something as romantic as the story she shared! She told me about how Brent invited her to travel to Paris with him, how they spent a few days in the city as girlfriend and boyfriend, and how he surprised her one morning with the question of a lifetime. Doesn’t that sound dreamy and oh-so-romantic?! Brent and Cass left the country as a couple dating and returned ready to promise each other their forever.

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Real Bodies // Em's Boudoir Shoot for Radical Self Love (NSFW)

Real Bodies // Em's Boudoir Shoot for Radical Self Love (NSFW)

I decided to do a boudoir session for one reason: radical self love.

A few events sparked my motivation to begin this journey, however. I'd just come out of an emotionally abusive relationship that left me feeling unlovable, ugly, and with the lowest self esteem I've ever had. I was frustrated that I wasn't feeling the way I knew I deserved to feel about myself.

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Three Easy Yoga Poses to Erase Wedding Stress! // WedWell

Three Easy Yoga Poses to Erase Wedding Stress! // WedWell

Sometimes the day gets the best of you and you're exhausted, need a nap, or are too stressed to even sit still! Whether the stress is caused by writing your wedding guest list, thinking about the long standing history of inequality in the wedding industry (ugh), or just from looking at too many Pinterest wedding photos and not knowing how to handle yourself, you may need to literally shake out the stress from your body. With this short sequence, you'll be shaking and dancing around spreading that energy elsewhere! Goodbye stress and hello world! 

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: 4 Years In

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: 4 Years In

I teamed up with a few other photographers and we came up with this awesome styled wedding. Using a real couple for models was very important. We wanted their love to be genuine. We wanted to capture the true essence of their love. Elliot and Tywanda Hansen were perfect! They had just celebrated their anniversary — 4 years of marriage! 

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Real Couples // A Lake Michigan Beach Engagement: Emily + Ang

Real Couples // A Lake Michigan Beach Engagement: Emily + Ang

Emily's engagement ring is gold with a small diamond and was made for my great-grandmother in the 1940s by my great-uncle in Melbourne. My great-grandmother was a rabble-rousing Anglican woman who loved me dearly and was always kind. It seemed appropriate to give it to a rabble-rousing Episcopalian woman who loves me dearly and is always kind.

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Styled Shoot // Amber and Jaleesa's Colorful Asheville Glamping Elopement

Styled Shoot // Amber and Jaleesa's Colorful Asheville Glamping Elopement

This glamping styled shoot in Asheville was our way of shooting for us and our portfolios. It was a way for us to have a little fun behind the camera without the pressure of paying attention to clients’ expectations. I was so happy when I found Amber and Jaleesa via a model call I put out in The Queen Photographers on Facebook. They are such a lovely couple who are truly SO in love. It was a pleasure to photograph them for this shoot.

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10 Outfits That Prove Western Brides Don't Need White Wedding Dresses

10 Outfits That Prove Western Brides Don't Need White Wedding Dresses

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that I wore white on my wedding day. It was a pretty awesome dress, but I chose it knowing full well that the idea of wearing white on your wedding day is not some tradition as old as time, just as old as the Victorian Era. White dresses are a little bit about purity and femininity, but also a whole lot about wealth. It wasn't until the last few centuries that the average woman could dream of affording a dress that they would only wear once.

So let's banish this whole idea of the white wedding dress as being a necessity. If you want to wear one, that's awesome! If you don't, that's fine, too! Let's celebrate these 10 AMAZING outfits that prove that you can pretty much do WHATEVER YOU WANT.

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Real Couple // A Fijian-Mexican Engagement Shoot in Oakland: Falisha + Jorge

Real Couple // A Fijian-Mexican Engagement Shoot in Oakland: Falisha + Jorge

We chose to have our engagement photos in Oakland because it's special for both of us. My grandparents migrated from the Fiji islands to Oakland, and his parents from Mexico to Oakland. It was the landing place for both our families – their first taste of a foreign culture where they longed to be and the start of the American dream. 

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How to Capture Your Wedding Genuinely with Corey Torpie Photography

How to Capture Your Wedding Genuinely with Corey Torpie Photography

Corey Torpie Wants Your Wedding Photos to Age Well. She'll tell you that you don't realize right now how precious your photos are; that they'll become increasingly valuable as you grow older; that there are certain images you won't even see the importance of until some time has passed.

And she should know! After six years of marriage, two years of parenthood, and a decade photographing weddings, Corey's experienced it all personally — and with her couples.

These days, she's asking herself the question: what is important, holistically, to document for her clients? And how can you create a wedding environment that fosters being present in the moment?

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Real Wedding // A Brooklyn-Themed Bar Wedding: Abby + Joey

Real Wedding // A Brooklyn-Themed Bar Wedding: Abby + Joey

Joey and I met at The Cove, a dark and dirty bar in Williamsburg. We met on the dance floor... not the place you imagine meeting your husband, but we lucked out! And oddly enough our close friends who married a year before us met on the very same night at the same club! We were sad to see it shut down a few years back. 

Our wedding venue was TBD, which also closed down now. We loved the mixture of indoor and outdoor space and it ranked high for "dance-ability" as well. Aesthetically, I loved the mixture of cement, greenery, metal, and street art; it felt really "Brooklyn" which we both loved!  And since we had a lot of friends and family we wanted to attend, the size really fit our needs.

As some of our photos suggest, we really tried to include "the city," and namely Brooklyn in our wedding photo story.  Street art, hip hop, and the backdrop to our single lives before and now married life after. 

Rima was a huge part of that, including the memories we'll hold onto forever. She came to us with high recommendations and did not disappoint! We also found out that not only did she used to work with my best friend Kat in television, she also photographed a friend's wedding in Wheeling, WV as well. The coincidences felt too significant to ignore!

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