Real Families // Ethereal Boho Wedding: Mydanh + Alec

Real Families // Ethereal Boho Wedding: Mydanh + Alec

Mydanh Nguyen Tran and Alec Baker met only a year and a half ago, and it was love at first sight. They were both newly divorced with kids in tow and decided to do a very low-key two day event at Alec's farmhouse in Upperco, Maryland, this past June with only close family members invited to the actual ceremony and close friends and other family for the reception the following day. Mydanh's daughter, Laya, and Alec's daughter, Justine, were the flower girls, while Mydanh's son, Liam, walked her down the aisle. The kids stole the show to say the least

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Real Couples // A Mod Minimalist Wedding in LA: Lucy + David

Real Couples // A Mod Minimalist Wedding in LA: Lucy + David

I fell in love with David during a 600-mile road trip when he started singing "It's Just My Imagination,” complete with trademarked dance moves. David says he fell in love with me during a 2-hour lost-wallet-scavenger-hunt in which I demonstrated a keen sense of direction, wit, and adventure all at once. I’m not so sure about all that, but we did find his wallet. And four years later, we decided to get married in LA.

Neither of us grew up in LA, but it’s a place where my family has roots and we both have loved ones. That’s what we wanted most for our wedding: to be with as many loved ones as we could possibly manage. We wanted a ceremony that felt authentically us, recognized the many unknowns of the enormous leap we were about to take, and celebrated the love, commitment, and vulnerability that had gotten us this far. We were lucky enough to get all those things on our wedding day, but nothing could have prepared us for the feeling — the sheer and overwhelming joy — of being surrounded by so much love. It was so much more than I know how to put into words.

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Real Couples // Columbia, South Carolina Jamaican Takeover: Brandan + Nordica

Real Couples // Columbia, South Carolina Jamaican Takeover: Brandan + Nordica

I knew I was in love with Brandan when a few month into us dating I got extremely sick, and he was right there with me. He didn’t leave my side, and the way he looked at me didn’t change. He sat and ate all the pureed foods with me. I knew in that moment he would be there with me through sickness and in health, and I fell hard!

He planned a surprise trip for us to visit the Biltmore in Asheville, which is one of my favorite places to visit, but he kept telling me that we were going to different places. When he finally told me that we were going to the Biltmore, I was excited but expected nothing more than the tour. As we walked around the rose garden, I took pictures just taking it all in, totally unaware of what was happening. My back was turned to him, he called my name, and I turned around to see him on one knee!

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Real Couples // Spontaneous Friday the 13th Elopement: Mariam + Fernando

Real Couples // Spontaneous Friday the 13th Elopement: Mariam + Fernando

I never wanted to plan a wedding, as I think it’s a waste of our time and money. I always believed that the plan would reveal itself when we’re ready. So a week ago, we jokingly talked about getting married before Trump becomes president. We looked at the calendar and saw Friday the 13th and thought it was perfect! Shortly after, we picked what to wear from our closets, we asked friends (and our witnesses) to come over on Friday, and we spent less than $500 in food, drinks, etc. We had no plan. Our only plan was to enjoy each other’s company.

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Real Couples // A Superhero Wedding: Elena + David

Real Couples // A Superhero Wedding: Elena + David

The Bonifays have a unique love story, which began before the two of them even knew it. Both born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Elena Bonifay, born Elena Washington, crossed paths with David Bonifay in various ways before the couple ever met. Both have artists as mothers: Elena’s mom, Vicki Meek, is a visual artist and David’s mom, Elly Lindsay, is an actress. Both women taught at the local Arts Magnet High School and brought their children with them on various occasions to work. With this is mind, David and Elena have technically been acquainted since they were toddlers. The two would meet again in elementary school on the playground when both found each other about as interesting as watching paint dry. But it was the high school meeting that would change everything. The summer after senior year the two began dating for what was intended to be a “summer fling,” but soon grew into something much more. The two became inseparable, attending college together and securing work in the same establishments. They both currently work for Elena’s family business and local newspaper, The Dallas Weekly.

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Real Couples // A Family Affair: Toni + Amy

Real Couples // A Family Affair: Toni + Amy

These brides wanted to spend a night with their closest humans...despite the fact that some of the most important people in their lives didn't approve or show up at the wedding because of the fact that the couple is gay. Toni, our black bride, was married to a white man, and her family was fine with that. But after she divorced, she later fell in love with Amy, and it has caused a rift in her relationship with her parents. Despite this, the couple stayed true to themselves and celebrated the love that they KNOW is right for them.

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Real Couples // Pantsuit Glam at the Courthouse: Chloe + Mike

Real Couples // Pantsuit Glam at the Courthouse: Chloe + Mike

I LOVE SF City Hall! It is hands down one of my favorite venues ever!  So of course I was going to make sure we got to tie the knot there, and since we knew we didn't want to jump through all the hoops needed to legally get married in Mexico, like the blood test, my City Hall Dream worked out perfectly.  

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Real Couples // College Sweethearts: Elena + Frandy

Real Couples // College Sweethearts: Elena + Frandy

"We have been together for five years. We met in college on an Alternative Spring Break trip to Alabama to work with Habitat For Humanity. We spent the week helping to rebuild a house, and during the process we developed a connection. In the summer of 2016 we got married, and since we were college sweethearts we decided to have our wedding on the campus. It was a beautiful day that we will remember always."

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Real Couples // A Garden Wedding & Board Games: Mahsino + Graham

Real Couples // A Garden Wedding & Board Games: Mahsino + Graham

These two bonded online with their shared love of laser tag. They wanted a intimate ceremony with a family-style dinner and games. Being chill and artistic, it was important for them to have their wedding reflect them as a couple. Mahsino designed the invites and baked the cakes. The ceremony was held at Parsons Garden and was short and sweet. The reception at Bastille Cafe was spent laughing under the twinkle lights and passing delicious food around the table. The night ended with fun games like Uno. 

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Real Couples // New York Elopement: Katie + Sylvester

Real Couples // New York Elopement: Katie + Sylvester

Online two years ago, they both swiped right, despite no written profile. They went out for a quick glass of wine on their first date, but Katie had made dinner plans (as an escape option), not that she really needed them as they got on very well and had quite a bit in common. She was headed to the Cayman Islands for the holidays, and then they lost touch a bit as Sylvester’s matches disappeared! Sylvester remembered what Katie did and found her on LinkedIn; she accepted his request to connect, but she was headed away again skiing in the French alps! He wondered who this jet-setting woman was… Date two was again just a drink (as Katie “conveniently” had dinner plans, again), but Sylvester persevered, and they had a lovely third date at Beauty & Essex on the Lower East Side, followed by ‘pint-size’ glasses of red wine in a nearby hotel lobby. They discovered a photo booth in the basement where they had their first kiss (yes we have the photos still) and the rest is history!

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Real Couples // Love Fest at Home: Nina + Josh

Real Couples // Love Fest at Home: Nina + Josh

Josh: In 2014 Nina had just moved to Tampa from Lakeland. Her first weekend in town we met each other out through some mutual friends. Her sarcastic and goofy attitude instantly caught my attention. Over the next few months we learned more about each other, and in June 2014 we decided to make it official. Over the past three years we have spent time doing things we love to do with each other, like traveling, playing sports, attending sporting events, exercising, playing board games, exploring restaurants/bars, and just being our goofy selves together. Seems like every day we learn something new and interesting about each other. What I love about Nina the most is her intelligence, sense of humor, and her big warm heart. Nina would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. (She's always cold which makes this act even more selfless...lol.)

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Kin Aesthetics // Mixed Feels About Mixed Race Love

Kin Aesthetics // Mixed Feels About Mixed Race Love

In my nascent grappling with understanding how white supremacy snakes through everything and everyone, my shock and disgust began to bleed into the way I enacted my relationships. I had been relishing a loving, supportive, monogamous relationship with my white partner for several dreamy months. In one turn, I was plagued by guilt for loving a white person when the arms of white supremacy were gunning down my peaceful black neighbors in the name of white safety. I raged alone, I penned anguished prose, and I drew back emotionally.

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Real Couples // Intercultural Interfaith Wedding Mash-Up: Noreen + Pritesh

Real Couples // Intercultural Interfaith Wedding Mash-Up: Noreen + Pritesh

For anyone who has met Noreen and Pritesh, it is instantly obvious they only have eyes for each other. They met in the UK at Saïd Business School and recently relocated to New York City, where they decided to get married at The Foundry in Long Island City. Staying true to their diverse backgrounds, the couple incorporated their Christian and Hindu family traditions to represent their union—which came together in a very ambitious wedding timeline! 

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Real Couples // High School Sweethearts & Best Friends: Erika + KaShawn

Real Couples // High School Sweethearts & Best Friends: Erika + KaShawn

"So KaShawn and I met when he was just a freshman and I was just a junior, in high school. It started as a usual high school relationship but the longer we lasted...the more I realized that this was different. We are going on four years in April, which will be the longest we've ever been in a relationship point blank period. Growing up, the awkward stages in high school, and going through real life adult struggles with him wasn't what I expected at all, but I'm so glad it turned out to be him. He turned me back to God, changed my life completely... We're literally the best of friends, and I couldn't see it any other way. We know all of our weaknesses and strengths, but we are definitely still learning a lot about each other. He brings out the absolute best in me, and he's the best he can be. It's imperfectly perfect." 

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When We Are Different, We Are Also The Same

When We Are Different, We Are Also The Same

“I grew up in love!” That is a statement I hope a majority of us can say with some degree of certainty. Love as a constant and transforming force in our lives. It might have come from our parent(s), or a friend, a trusted teacher, a like-minded grouping of people, or even the love of your life. Whether it came from all these spaces or just one, we know it. It can sometimes be impossible to describe, but it’s something we feel, and we let it guide us toward what makes life grand.

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