Palm Springs + a Motorcycle Engagement Session: Jess + Shane

Palm Springs + a Motorcycle Engagement Session: Jess + Shane

For years our platonic friendship grew, our friends waiting patiently for our love to coalesce, when finally Jess decided enough was enough and said, "We're getting drinks." That night we made out on a dark dance floor in a basement bar, and we've been inseparable ever since.

Read More

Lavender Farm Wedding in Albuquerque, NM: Cara + Qwist

Lavender Farm Wedding in Albuquerque, NM: Cara + Qwist

Some of our loved ones are straight, some gay, some queer, some partnered, some single, and we wanted everyone to feel loved, safe and honored exactly as they are. We encouraged the people in our wedding party to wear whatever they wanted and decide for themselves if they preferred a bouquet, a boutonniere or neither.

Read More

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.

Read More

A Snuggly Couples Session on Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA: Caleb + Eugene "Evgeny"

A Snuggly Couples Session on Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA: Caleb + Eugene "Evgeny"

We met at Dore Alley, Folsom Street fair's smaller, gayer, and more local equivalent. I was experimenting with my exhibitionist side, walking around naked and being the social butterfly that I am. Eugene and I passed by each other from afar a couple times, but we didn't talk until the end when he saw me putting my clothes back on and talking to a friend. He came up to me and asked me a little about myself and asked for my number. We took a selfie together for his contact in my phone, and a couple weeks later, I hit him up for our first date.

Read More

A Farm Wedding at the Circle Oak Ranch in Fallbrook, CA: Casper + Ulises

A Farm Wedding at the Circle Oak Ranch in Fallbrook, CA: Casper + Ulises

The couple told me they were looking for a venue with a rustic ranch theme, and found it in the Circle Oak Ranch. They viewed the photos online, and immediately scheduled a visit. They knew instantly that it was the place they were going to get married. 

Read More

Styled Shoot // Love Out Loud in Parker, CO

Styled Shoot // Love Out Loud in Parker, CO

Candice and Kaitlyn are a real couple who are engaged and preparing to walk down the aisle. They dub themselves "Muscles and Mouse," and as you can see, live up to the playful, loving couple that the nicknames imply. Inspired by the historic school house, we went with an art inspired theme. The shoot is colorful, bright, and abstract to show that you can be bold in expressing yourself while celebrating life and love.

Read More

Want Modern Stackable Wedding Rings That Are Ethically Made? Rebecca Mir Grady Has You Covered

Want Modern Stackable Wedding Rings That Are Ethically Made? Rebecca Mir Grady Has You Covered

We love modern takes on the traditional engagement ring, and we love ring stacks even more, so we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome Rebecca Mir Grady Jewelry to our Catalyst vendor community. Not only are Rebecca's rings stunning, but they are all handmade from reclaimed precious metals and ethically sourced stones in her Santa Fe studio so there's no diamond guilt here. Plus, you can feel awesome rocking your engagement or wedding ring for the rest of your life knowing you supported a LGBTQ+-owned business. It doesn't get better than that!

Read More

Real Wedding // A Tropical-Inspired Wedding San Diego: Janelle + William

Real Wedding // A Tropical-Inspired Wedding San Diego: Janelle + William

Janelle:

William and I met through my aunt at an Olive Garden. We re-connected six days later in San Diego, and in true “US” fashion we met at a favorite taco shop of mine. From there we headed to the Cabrillo monument to soak in the panoramic view overlooking La Jolla/Pacific Beach just as the sun set in the distance. The day flew by as we joined in transparent and authentic conversation about our past, present, and future desires for our lives.

Read More

Real Couples // Joshua Tree Engagement Photos: Eda + Matt

Real Couples // Joshua Tree Engagement Photos: Eda + Matt

Matt had been carrying a ring around for over 4 months and proposed on the last day we were in Copenhagen. We were at a dessert bar and he asked the waitress to hide the ring in my pastry, but they almost brought my dessert to the wrong couple! He told me that this place specifically puts gold in their desserts and when I found the ring, I thought it was part of the tart until he got down on one knee. Good thing I didn't eat it! I was surprised to hear that all our family members already knew except me. He nailed it!

We planned this trip just for leisure and our lovely photographer just so happened to have time to meet us in Joshua Tree for a quick engagement session. It was so nice to have such a different landscape in these shots.

Read More

The Catalyst Wedding Review Podcast // Episode 7: Rachel Getting Married with Diana Ascarrunz

The Catalyst Wedding Review Podcast // Episode 7: Rachel Getting Married with Diana Ascarrunz

This week, Jen is joined by Austin, Texas, photographer Diana Ascarrunz to review the 2008 film, Rachel Getting Married. This movie proves that even joyous occasions like weddings aren't without emotional baggage and family drama, but in fact can sometimes amplify those emotions and make for a more stressful situation for everyone, especially if the wedding is also the first time you are reuniting with your family after a period in rehab. This film showcases a gorgeous, diverse, and musical backyard wedding, but it's not without bumps along the way.

Read More

Real Couple // Fun and Flirty Amusement Park Engagement Session in San Diego: Angela + Jamie

Real Couple // Fun and Flirty Amusement Park Engagement Session in San Diego: Angela + Jamie

Jamie's cousin, Glenn, told me to come to his housewarming. I really didn't want to go because I was already in my pajamas and I knew Glenn didn't have a new place. Our friend Jesus ended up picking me up so I had no other choice. It turned out to be Jamie's housewarming—I met Jamie and thought he was cute and shy. Later after I left, Jamie asked Glenn about me and the rest is history.

I (Jamie) had asked her parents for their blessing a few months back. It was her birthday weekend and she always talked about going to Catalina Island so I wanted to surprise her with a day trip.

Read More

Real Couples // A Joyous Same-Sex Indian Wedding in Denver | Albertine & Monica

Real Couples // A Joyous Same-Sex Indian Wedding in Denver | Albertine & Monica

For the ceremony, I wore all traditional jewelry, except for the finger rings and the nose ring because it was too much jewelry for me. I don't normally wear jewelry and they were a bit uncomfortable. I wore a maang tikka on my forehead, which I loved, a few heavy diamond necklaces and earrings, ankle bracelets, and red and white bangles, which are the traditional wedding colors. We exchanged not only rings but also Mangal Sutras (diamond and black onyx necklaces bought in India) during the ceremony. We also got wedding Henna or Mehndi done before leaving LA on our hands and feet. It took hours to be applied and we had to sit still and sleep without rubbing it off so it would stain as dark as possible, which was so hard! As is the tradition we got each other's first name initial hidden in our Henna and during the first look we had to find it on each other.

Read More

Real Couples // Dreamy Pastels at a Classic Wedding in Dallas, TX: Christina + Mark

Real Couples // Dreamy Pastels at a Classic Wedding in Dallas, TX: Christina + Mark

We met through a mutual friend when we were in college, but were acquaintances for a long time. I was born in Taiwan but grew up in Japan, and Mark is Japanese but was born in America, therefore not as fluent in Japanese. We actually bonded over that fact when we reconnected years later since I speak Japanese better, and that led to where we are today!

Read More

Real Couples // Upscale Castle Wedding in Colorado: Jonathon + Paul

Real Couples // Upscale Castle Wedding in Colorado: Jonathon + Paul

I (Jonathon) am an amalgam of right and left brain—I'm in internal medicine and geriatrics, and I am an actor. I am a Colorado Native. Paul is a cerebral kind of guy with a background in forensic psychology who specialized in army intelligence. He too loves the outdoors and enjoying great times with friends. Between my love of the outdoors and his love of the historical elements of society, the castle was a great backdrop for our wedding.

Read More

Real Couples // An Engagement Session in the Forest: Casper + Ulises

Real Couples // An Engagement Session in the Forest: Casper + Ulises

Casper was the one to propose to me. I had just started my Master's program at SDSU and he was adamant that we take a trip up to Seattle. I was excited, but nervous because of my program. I had a lot of homework that I needed to complete and wasn't too thrilled to be going up North because of my school, but I went up anyway. We strolled around the city for a day. Then he took me on a one-day trip to Bainbridge Island. I was very excited because I had never taken a ferry to the island. We were at a beautiful park sitting on a bench with an amazing view of Seattle when Casper popped the question.

Read More

Real Couples // A Wedding at the San Diego Museum of Art: Kevin + Stefan

Real Couples // A Wedding at the San Diego Museum of Art: Kevin + Stefan

With much trepidation and nervousness, we met up at a local bar in San Diego. After the initial chit-chat (and a tiny bit of liquid courage), we felt a sense of comfort and compatibility that neither of us had expected. We talked for hours, sharing our pasts, and discovering we had quite a bit in common. Before we knew it, the bar was making last call and neither of us wanted the night to end.
 

Read More

Real Couples // UC Botanical Garden Wedding in Berkeley: Laura + Lark

Real Couples // UC Botanical Garden Wedding in Berkeley: Laura + Lark

We didn’t have engagement rings - instead we exchanged engagement kittens! A few months after our engagement, we adopted our kittens Comet and Nova from the SF SPCA. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our commitment than by expanding our family with two furry beasts.
 

Read More

Real Couple // Black Tie LGBTQ City Hall Wedding: David + Michael

Real Couple // Black Tie LGBTQ City Hall Wedding: David + Michael

We are David White and Michael Rawls. We met in January 2011 and were married on June 20, 2016, at San Francisco City Hall. I wanted our proposal story to be special, so we planned a trip to Las Vegas in September of 2015. We saw Celine Deon and Britney Spears in concert two nights back to back, which was pretty awesome. I surprised Michael the second afternoon with a helicopter tour from Vegas out to the Grand Canyon. Michael had never been to the Grand Canyon, and neither of us had been in a helicopter. The helicopter tour we selected was special because we didn't just fly over the canyon. We landed by the Colorado River and had a champagne lunch with the pilot and two other couples. While we were in the belly of the canyon, I asked Michael to be my husband. It was pretty great: he said yes. 

Read More