How and why did you pick your wedding venue?
We actually had the worst luck finding a local venue in the beginning. They either didn’t fit our style, or they were not willing to accommodate a lesbian wedding; the difficulties of being a lesbian couple in the Texas panhandle. We had started looking for venues in Colorado since it was where we met, until a coworker mentioned the Bowery Warehouse. All I knew was that it was an old warehouse in downtown Amarillo, and that the photos on the website looked promising. I also knew how much the history of Amarillo and Canyon area meant to Abby and her dad. He would drive her around when she was young and tell her all about what the old buildings used to be. It was a memory she told me about often, so I was excited for us to see it in person.
We knew it was right for us the second we walked in the door. It was unique and had so much character. The ambience from the warm brick walls, concrete floors, open ceiling, and the Edison bulbs strung across the entire space was exactly what we had been searching for. It was perfectly imperfect. We also adored Parie, the designer and florist, and felt like she would make sure that no detail was overlooked.
What did you wear? Was any of the accessories or jewelry significant? Were you conflicted about wearing or not wearing certain things?
My dress was called “Viola” from Wtoo by Waters that I found at a sweet little bridal shop in Canyon, TX called Ruthettes. I wore earrings that belonged to my dearest friend in the world, Val, who had passed away from a rare cancer a few years before. I also had the most delightfully mad and fabulous pair of heels custom made by Zombie Peep Show.
Abby wore a button-down that belonged to her brother, Brian, who was also taken too soon by cancer. She and her entire bridal party wore Nike Cole Hans, color of their choice. It was a great hodgepodge of color.
What special elements did you include in your wedding day? Were they symbolic in any way?
We had one of our closest friends, Rory, officiate our wedding (as well as cater it). She knows us both better than anyone, and she was born to entertain. It was emotional, hilarious, heartfelt, and so honest. Also, we lit candles in memory of my best friend, Val, and Abby’s brother, Brian. Abby’s flame went out, and we had to scramble for a lighter; she is sure it was because her brother was there is spirit messing with her. We also had two cakes: since it was Abby’s 40th birthday one of the cakes was a birthday cake. The getaway car was Abby’s brother’s orange 1969 Camaro. Such a sexy car!
What did you splurge on?
The entire wedding was a splurge! Abby and I could never have afforded it ourselves, and we are so very grateful that her parents went above and beyond to make sure our day was one for the books. Also, because my parents surprised me and purchased my gown, I was able to splurge on my custom made shoes.
What did you save on?
Even though we didn’t pay for the wedding ourselves, we did try to cut back where we could. I bought a template off of Etsy and made the invitations. Then we had them printed on beautiful paper through a local printing company. The original plan for the flowers, although insanely beautiful, had to be cut to a fraction.
Parie was so easy to work with — she was patient in helping us get to that happy spending spot. We also found a talented young woman that makes cakes out of her home. We saved nearly a thousand dollars by going with her, and I promise, the cakes were not lacking in any way. They were delicious!
I paid to have my bridesmaids hair fixed with my hair stylist and he gave me a fantastic deal.
Thanks to the generosity of friends and family we were fortunate to save in lots of unexpected ways. Rory paid all of the fees to get ordained and didn’t charge us a thing to officiate. Our band gave us a break on adding a brass section. Our photographer, that we became good friends with throughout the wedding planning process, actually stayed beyond the time we paid for to get us some beautiful shots that we would have otherwise missed out on.
What worked out really well, and was totally worth the time/money invested in it?
Every little thing worked out perfectly. If anything went wrong I still don’t know about it. I would say that spending the extra money to have Parie and her team take on all of the last detail stresses a month out was more than worth the expense.
What, in retrospect, could you have skipped?
The only thing that was truly important was that I married the woman of my dreams and love of my life. Everything else was just delicious frosting on the cake.
What is your best planning advice to other couples?
I read it in every article and heard it from anyone that has planned a wedding: don’t sweat the little things. I know it is seriously difficult when you should have had invitations sent out a week ago and are still waiting on your spouse’s part of the guest list…or when you realize that the post office is seriously lacking and not everyone you sent an invitation to received it so you end up calling everyone on your guest list. Every little problem completely disappears when you are walking down the aisle to be joined with the person that holds your heart.
Words by Nick, one of the brides, as told to Amber Marlow. Photos by Bahareh Ritter of the Ritter Collective.
I desire to tell a true narrative with honest and powerful images, where one photo can tell an entire story. I have a passion for personal meaningful relationships, am highly community centered and have a love of people. Inclusivity lives here and I thrive knowing that with my craft, there are no bounds, the sky is the limit and the stories are endless. A photograph can leave one feeling a plethora of emotions, a visual representation of reality. It may be happy, it may be painful but whatever the case, it is real.