Irvine Regional Park Engagement Session: Danielle + David

Irvine Regional Park Engagement Session: Danielle + David

We met through mutual friends, but we didn't date right away because David was in a relationship at the time. We were friends for two years before we decided to go on our first date in August 2018. That first date was a country concert at the Orange County fair. We danced and laughed the whole night, bonding over the similarities and values we had in common.

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A Just Because Couple's Session in Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia: Jen + Cameron

A Just Because Couple's Session in Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia: Jen + Cameron

Even though I’m the Editor-in-Chief of Catalyst and I deeply believe in the importance of having photographs to remember the moments of joy throughout your life, not just photos of your wedding day, we had not managed to take any real photos of us together in the last four years. So when friend and photographer Ayesha Ahmad said she wanted to add more photos of Charlottesville to her portfolio, we were thrilled to get to spend time in front of her camera!

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A Colorful Warrenwood Manor Wedding with a Chinese Tea Ceremony: Janice + Quentin

A Colorful Warrenwood Manor Wedding with a Chinese Tea Ceremony: Janice + Quentin

We performed a tea ceremony with our close family and friends before the main wedding ceremony. My grandmother painted calligraphy just for the occasion and it was very special to have that part of her there when she was unable to travel from China for the wedding.

We spent maybe a bit more than we should have on bourbon . . . but it is Kentucky after all.

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A Beach Elopement in San Juan, Puerto Rico: Ruby + Sheila

A Beach Elopement in San Juan, Puerto Rico: Ruby + Sheila

We met less than a year before we got married. Our connection was almost instantaneous and grew quickly. We share a background of struggle and resilience, and a passion for our Black identities and social justice. We knew we wanted to get married on a beach, and finding an LGBTQ+ friendly island in the Caribbean narrowed down our options substantially. Puerto Rico fit, however, and our desire to support the island after the hurricane of 2017 sealed the deal.

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A Rainy Elopement in Downtown Portland: Linda + Moreno

A Rainy Elopement in Downtown Portland: Linda + Moreno

The ceremony took place inside of Portland’s City Hall with the backdrop of a spiraled staircase, historic vault, and city employees who peeked from around the corners of their office doors to catch a glance as we strolled the marbled interior halls and staircase before and after the ceremony.

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A Relaxed, Intimate Wedding in Richmond, VA: Erin + Stephan

A Relaxed, Intimate Wedding in Richmond, VA: Erin + Stephan

We were both a little nervous – there were certain moments we didn’t have an exact script for, and so were awkward for a moment – but knowing that everyone there was thrilled for us, we felt comfortable to be a little informal and come up with things on the fly.

So much pressure is put on people to have the perfect wedding with every last detail planned, but in the end, simply having a fun day with the people we loved most was what made the wedding special.

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Spectacular Two Day Multicultural Wedding in Hong Kong : James + Mita

Spectacular Two Day Multicultural Wedding in Hong Kong : James + Mita

In some Indian weddings, brides walk down the aisle with their close family and friends under a “bed of flowers.” This is something I envisioned for my own wedding, however, it was hard to find such a frame in Hong Kong. Therefore, James did a bit of research on how it looks, picked up blocks of wood, hard string, and an array of flowers, and constructed the frame from scratch.

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A Gold and Wine Lutheran Wedding in Los Altos, CA: Alexis + Tasha

A Gold and Wine Lutheran Wedding in Los Altos, CA: Alexis + Tasha

We got married at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Los Altos, California. We choose this location because of its beautiful sanctuary and the love we were shown by the day-of coordinator. We both have a strong relationship with God, and know that a lot of Christian churches are not as willing or open to support same-sex marriages, but Immanuel Lutheran opened their doors to us with the upmost respect and love.

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A Romantic, Intimate-Feeling Wedding in Charlottesville, VA: Caroline + Jon

A Romantic, Intimate-Feeling Wedding in Charlottesville, VA:  Caroline + Jon

Our first date was at the best pizza place in Arlington. I was skeptical of Jon because his profile was explicit that he "didn't get dogs." Jon was skeptical of dating someone who lived in Virginia, as he had been living in DC for a decade and was only temporarily displaced to the Commonwealth due to a house fire (everyone was fine). There was an immediate spark, though, and by the third date (an afternoon cruise up and down the Potomac) we both knew that this could be special.

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Alysse + Gio's Valentine's Day Boudoir Shoot

Alysse + Gio's Valentine's Day Boudoir Shoot

We wanted to do a couple's boudoir shoot to show not only our vulnerability but also our deep love for each other. There's something very vulnerable about having the person who knows you intimately be there with you. There's nowhere to hide but also, I had my safe person there so it felt comfortable to be more vulnerable.

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A Lively New Orleans Destination Wedding: Darius + Jessica

A Lively New Orleans Destination Wedding: Darius + Jessica

Not too long after we started dating, I went outside to see that my car had been hit in the middle of the night. I was working on a film set that morning, and couldn't be late for work to deal with it. I called Darius crying, and without skipping a beat, he asked me for the set address and told me that he would meet me there. He showed up, picked up my keys, and I came home to find out that he had handled absolutely everything for me that day. New tires, insurance called...everything. I knew right then that he was a keeper!

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Best Day Ever at a Brewery in Washington D.C.: Maggie + Whitney

Best Day Ever at a Brewery in Washington D.C.: Maggie + Whitney

Whitney and I love a good craft beer, so when she threw out the idea of getting married in a brewery, I didn’t even ask her which one, I just told her that was the best idea I’d ever heard. Right Proper Brewing Co. was the only venue we visited, because their great Belgian style beers and the industrial-yet-intimate brew house provided us with the perfect wedding vibe we were looking for.

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African American, Christian, and Muslim Traditions Meet in Minneapolis, MN: Glenn + Taara

African American, Christian, and Muslim Traditions Meet in Minneapolis, MN: Glenn + Taara

When I dreamt of a wedding, it looked a lot like the royal wedding from one of my favorite movies: “Coming to America.” My dress came pretty close to that “dramatic” and classic effect. Glenn wanted a classic and sharp look in his black tux — and he nailed it!

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