Real Couples // Sugarloaf Mountain Wedding: Sally + Sophia

Real Couples // Sugarloaf Mountain Wedding: Sally + Sophia

Sally says, "Ours is a story of stars aligning... which is the moment that only comes when you've finally found the one you were meant to be with. On a gorgeous summer night in 2013, and among mutual friends, we met and spoke for the first time, and a lasting impression was made. Call it love at first sight. Whatever it was, it was enough for us to continue wondering about the other, until we (virtually) ran into each other again a few months later. After months of cyber-stalking, we finally met on an official date and have been inseparable ever since.

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Real Couples // London Jewel Tone Wedding on a Chilly Day: Megan + Sarah

Real Couples // London Jewel Tone Wedding on a Chilly Day: Megan + Sarah

We met in Vegas! (Although not as sensationally as one’s imagination could paint.) We both work for the same company and met at a project Christmas Party nearly five years ago. Needless to say, we hit it off immediately. Unfortunately, it would be another two years before we found ourselves working together again, and our friendship and eventual relationship blossomed from there.

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Queer + Christian // Facing Internalized Oppression While Attending Church

Queer + Christian // Facing Internalized Oppression While Attending Church

For the LGBTQ community, when we internalize this oppression from the Church, it can cause us to act, feel, and think in the ways listed above and much more. Even when we become increasingly aware that the things on the list aren’t true, they can still lurk in the back of our hearts and minds. This is a dangerous and heavy load that we were not meant to carry. It understandably drives many of us out of church for good and sometimes away from God. But when I step back from the earthly powers that be and actually consider God, I remember that Jesus said this:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. ~ Matthew 11:28-30

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Real Couples // Firefighters in Love: K + K

Real Couples // Firefighters in Love: K + K

Kim & Katy’s Livermore wedding was a celebration after my very own heart: chock-full of love, funky, and homemade, the most one-of-a-kind event you can imagine. The pair met volunteering at Pride 2008 in the city, and apparently it was magnetic attraction at first sight! Katy did some shady underhanded redistribution of teams to end up working with Kim, while Kim “lost” her truck to give them more time to talk. They were on the phone the very next day, and the rest is a story that’s just begun!

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Real Couples // Foodie DC Wedding: Jess + Amanda

Real Couples // Foodie DC Wedding: Jess + Amanda

We are Jess and Amanda. After meeting in Istanbul in 2013, we fell for each other over a shared love of cooking and exploring the world. We have settled in D.C. until our work at the State Department takes us overseas. 

Amanda proposed in front of the Capitol Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It was a misty night in September after we dined at an awesome restaurant in the city, Pineapple and Pearls.

We married on a similarly misty day in January. It was so chilly outside as we took our photos in front of the Capitol, but our awesome photographer Shawnee Custalow of A Lovely Photo warmed us with her enthusiasm about our special day.

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Real Couples // Carmel-by-the-Sea: Jess + Karolyn

Real Couples // Carmel-by-the-Sea: Jess + Karolyn

This wedding between two incredibly talented Irish photographers on a cliff in Carmel was fairly unplanned in that they were married the day before they intended, in a city they didn’t plan, on a cliff they hadn’t seen before, but in the end it was perfect. Their home in Northern Ireland is the only place in the UK and Ireland that doesn’t have marriage equality, so they’d been planning their Big Sur ceremony so they could get married somewhere beautiful—to finally have a piece of paper that said they married. But the week of their ceremony, the storms had been brewing in Big Sur and didn’t seem like they weren’t letting up. Warnings of weakened bridges to Big Sur, the intended wedding destination, and pictures of washed away cliffs filled my inbox as I drove from the airport to Carmel-by-the-Sea. Karolyn and Jess realized that I was there an extra day, the one day it was expected to not rain, so they decided Carmel would be the place they would get married. They were married with the sun shining down on them, hands clasped together, over the rushing sounds of waves, while greenery was hanging off cliffs for as far as the eye could see. And this is the story of how they were  finally married. 

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Real Couples // A British-American Wedding: Tammy + Hayley

Real Couples // A British-American Wedding: Tammy + Hayley

"I first clapped eyes on Tammy in Leeds nightclub SinCity in 2013," said Hayley, "She was surrounded by women. When she caught my eye my heart was beating fast, I loved her sparkly eyes and beautiful smile. I didn't think that I would have a chance. On our first holiday together to the USA I knew that I wanted her to be my wife and when we arrived at Miami Beach with it's beautiful views I knew that's where I wanted to propose to her.

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Real Couples // Love Hard, Dance Hard: Crystal + Michaela

Real Couples // Love Hard, Dance Hard: Crystal + Michaela

Crystal and Michaela have been through so much with one another, and they finally got married. They both unknowingly bought really similar dresses, which was super adorable when they finally saw one another. They also “shared" their bridesmaids back and forth, and during prep all of their friends were running from one room to the other. When it came time for the ceremony they walked each other down the aisle in a real show of their love for one another. They partied that night until their feet and the bottoms of their dresses were completely dirty and black. It was such an amazing day for two amazing women. 

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Real Couples // Virginia is for Lovers: Hana + Kaity

Real Couples // Virginia is for Lovers: Hana + Kaity

Sometimes I dream about the kinds of wedding I’d love to shoot. Those in distant places, like Africa or Asia, with simple details and big landscapes. I often think it would make me a better photographer, to have a portfolio with these weddings. But I’ve come to realize the kinds of weddings I want to shoot are the ones like this. 

We met Hana and Kaity a little over a year ago and quickly became friends. Their wedding day was full of genuine, real love. They asked to have their closest friends and family present for their first look. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but afterwards I looked around and saw that we were all crying. It was my favorite part of the day.

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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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Elopement Inspiration // Bommer Canyon Hip Outdoor Wedding

Elopement Inspiration // Bommer Canyon Hip Outdoor Wedding

Molly and Liz are a real couple. We approached them after visiting their super adorable home. We knew right away we loved their style, and they would be perfect as our models. They really went beyond the call of duty and even asked their friend Katy, who is actually going to marry them next year, to be a part of this with us. The laughs are real, and we couldn't have asked for a better couple. Our goal was to showcase a DIY wedding with a ton of style. When we designed the table, we used the couple's dishware and rented a few pieces to make the decor feel special. When we got to deciding what to wear, they both asked if they could make it more personal and wear their favorite jean jackets and fedoras. We wanted to show how you don't have to be traditional to be beautiful.

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Out of the Box Challenge // Rebel Creatives AKA Love Wins!

Out of the Box Challenge // Rebel Creatives AKA Love Wins!

Our shoot, entitled “Love Wins,” is an awesomely eclectic, reimagined concept derived after the 2017 presidential inauguration. Our original shoot concept and date was derailed by the protests and marches that overshadowed the inaugural festivities. But instead of sulking and complaining, we used the current political climate to inspire our finished story.

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Flashback to the First {un}convention

Flashback to the First {un}convention

Before liz and carly were liz+carly, they were just two lone islands in a sea of chevron paper goods. Both otherwise practical people, their soft spot for photographing (carly) and coordinating (liz) lovely events brought them somewhat reluctantly into the dreaded Wedding Industrial Complex. They were surrounded by couples chasing the dragon of The Perfect Wedding (TM) and a vendor culture invested in keeping that carrot dangling. When they found each other, it was love at first sight. Together, they vowed to build a community for like-minded professionals straddling the line between participating in and critiquing weddings: {un}convention was born.

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Real Couples // Dating App Love Story: Marilee + Nicole

Real Couples // Dating App Love Story: Marilee + Nicole

"I met this beautiful woman on a lesbian dating website. On the surface, we had only a few things in common, but we emailed each other for two months before we met—turns out, she absolutely spoke to my heart. I never thought I would get married, let alone meet someone. Things in my life led me to believe that I was meant to be alone and that merely surviving in this world was the best it would ever get. But Marilee completely transformed my world; now we have a beautiful home, a dog, and a bright future ahead."

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Real Couples // We Knew After A Month: Amanda + Lauren

Real Couples // We Knew After A Month: Amanda + Lauren

Our ceremony was, and is, the most meaningful aspect of our wedding for the both of us. Lauren wrote the whole thing. (Amanda: I would love to take even partial credit for it, but I can't. I contributed maybe ten words total. The rest of the time she just read me what she wrote while I cried. Good tears, obviously.) We loved that our vows were written to reflect our lives together—our joys, our struggles, our shared experiences—but it was also important that we each repeated those same vows to one another

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Real Couples // A Genderqueer Vineyard Wedding: Liz + Braz

Real Couples // A Genderqueer Vineyard Wedding: Liz + Braz

I prefer 'they' or 'Braz.'...I would say it was a queer wedding because we are queer, although I would also acknowledge that it was a pretty traditional/normative wedding as far as 'queer weddings' go...I think it's important for queer people to know that they have options. They can have the kind of traditional wedding they've seen in the movies and magazines their entire lives or they can do something totally different that's whatever the hell they want it to be. 

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Real Couples // Sacred Redwoods Ceremony: Carri + Roz

Real Couples // Sacred Redwoods Ceremony: Carri + Roz

Given that our wedding was inherently not traditional in the bride and groom department, we wanted to think outside the box in general and incorporate aspects that really represented each of us, our ancestors, and values. Carri has Jewish heritage on one side of her family, and so we chose to incorporate the breaking the glass tradition at the end of our ceremony. Roz’s family is African American, so we also incorporated the jumping the broom tradition. We wanted to acknowledge our family who had passed and couldn’t be there, as well as those throughout history who fought to make interracial and gay marriage possible.

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Real Couples // Two Humbly Extravagant Weddings: Julie + Christina

Real Couples // Two Humbly Extravagant Weddings: Julie + Christina

Julie and Christina are an interfaith, interracial lesbian couple who enhance, rather than diminish, each facet of their individual lives in their wedding(s!). The pair, who met playing roller derby in Ohio, hosted their first wedding at a gorgeous synagogue in San Francisco followed by an all-out reception at Fire House 8. Their follow-up wedding was held in their home state of Ohio with only their closest friends and family. This is a couple who really knows where their values lie and were able to create the best of all worlds: the extravagant, fun and exciting San Francisco wedding contrasted with a humble, family-oriented celebration in the majestic fall forest of Hocking Hills, Ohio. Their story is beautiful; the pictures speak for themselves. Julie & Christina’s magnetic energy truly comes through in this intoxicating series of photos.

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