Real Couples // A Simple San Francisco Elopement: Christine + Lee

Real Couples // A Simple San Francisco Elopement: Christine + Lee

Christine shared with us that their relationship was a bit of a roller coaster ride with highs and lows. They were even apart for a stretch. Through that she learned that when you lose something you once had, it’s an opportunity to realize how important that something — that someone — is. When they got back together, she knew that he was the one and she wanted to share all of life’s blessings and challenges with him.

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Real Couples // New Year's Eve Family Wedding: Matt + Ashley

Real Couples // New Year's Eve Family Wedding: Matt + Ashley

Family is extremely important to us as a couple and we wanted to find different ways to honor family members who have passed. While having a memorial table is a fantastic and obvious way to honor lost loved ones, I wanted to take it a step further. Matt's grandfather was an artist and while going through some of his work, we came across a sketch of a dancing man and woman. I loved the sketch as soon as I saw it and knew we had to integrate it into the wedding somehow. We ended up using a modified version of the sketch on the invitations and cannot be more pleased with the way they turned out. Our amazing florist Nancy Liu Chin came up with the idea of integrating butterflies into the overall decor and we ran with it. There were touches of butterflies everywhere — the escort cards, in certain bridesmaid's bouquets, the seating chart, signage and even on menus. They added a fun, romantic and whimsical element to the wedding.

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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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The Avowed Podcast // Episode 04: This Glorious Mess

The Avowed Podcast // Episode 04: This Glorious Mess

The wildly in love photographers behind Kindred Wedding Co., Elle Wildhagen and Zach Domes, open up about rejoicing in the dark, messy moments of love, gendered narratives, silent discos, the evolving language of “we” and how familial sagas of love and divorce help shape our contemporary perspectives on love.

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Real Couples // Dreamy Redwoods Engagement: Nausheen + Husam

Real Couples // Dreamy Redwoods Engagement: Nausheen + Husam

Nausheen, a marketer from San Jose, and Husam, a consultant from Chicago, were introduced to each other by a mutual friend. They first met in San Francisco and spent countless weekends exploring the city together — which is why they chose San Francisco staples for their engagement shoot locations. They wanted a rustic backdrop focusing on the natural beauty of San Francisco so they picked the redwoods of the Presidio.

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Wedding Inspiration // Lace and Quartz: A Vibrant Urban Elopement

Wedding Inspiration // Lace and Quartz: A Vibrant Urban Elopement

For this shoot, we sought a unique and unexplored space. The interior of the recently opened Cambria Gallery in the SoMa neighborhood just south of City Hall was an inspiring discovery. We fell in love with the combination of colors and textures and the urban, modern décor. Marble, quartz, and exposed brick give the showroom a very dramatic and industrial look, particularly when paired with a bold, graphic print. The space inspired an urban, yet feminine vibe and a chic, modern, yet approachable look for our shoot.

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Real Couples // Married on a Helicopter Pad: Thea + Maylin

Thea and Maylin were cosmically thrown together one fateful night in the Lower West Side of Manhattan in 2011. Maylin was the romantic and sensitive Pisces while Thea the pragmatic, brutally honest Aquarius. They fell deeper in love during their five years of being together and decided to show their friends and family that they were intent on this being forever.

Their ceremony was held at the haven & heaven that is Malibu Rocky Oaks Vineyard in Malibu California. The ceremony took place on a helipad suspended in the clouds with Thea & Maylin literally surrounded by their family and friends circling them. During the last moments of their ceremony as guest left the site, the couple danced their first dance alone to Adele’s “A Lovesong”. Perhaps the most romantic thing was their looks. You know the look. The entire night they gazed lovingly at each other, never leaving the other's side for the rest of the evening.

They opted for tons of arguably some of the best appetizers one can have at a wedding instead of a sit-down dinner with the logic that “finger food is better when you want people to be dancing the whole night.” Even the cake was in the form of cake pops. A-Freaking-Dorable.

Both ladies wore black suits, each accentuating their particular style and even further diminishing the gender roles they had discarded in their relationship, poignantly pointing out the equality between them.

Congrats to this couple and their unwavering love, the kind of love that inspires.

Words and photos by Christy Kendall

LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall
LGBTQ Helicopter pad wedding in Malibu California photographed by Christy Kendall

Christy Kendall is a Los Angeles wedding photographer specializing in the magic of outdoor weddings. After shooting for 10 years Kendall is just as in love with her niche as she was the day she started on her first "stumbled upon" wedding. "The world has plenty of sex, drugs and rock n roll in it. I'm just here to even the playing field and put more of an emphasis on connection. That magical, un-encompassing, beautiful thing that makes us try the sex, drugs and rock n roll in the first place."

Real Couples // High School Sweethearts: Sarah + Zack

Real Couples // High School Sweethearts: Sarah + Zack

Zack and I don't remember when we met for the first time, but it was probably sometime in the third grade. As freshmen, we were on a youth football/cheer team, and we won king and queen at the homecoming game. But it wasn't until our junior year of high school when we actually started dating. We grew up together, graduated together, had a two-year long distance relationship, and have been experiencing life's highs and lows together. One day before the two-year anniversary of my mom's passing, Zack proposed to me at AT&T park after a Giants game. The date and the place were both extremely close to my heart. We also chose to get married on my mom's birthday, May 7. We are best friends and are so happy we get to live life loving each other. 

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Wedding Inspiration // Joshua Tree Modern Geometric Lesbian Elopement

Wedding Inspiration // Joshua Tree Modern Geometric Lesbian Elopement

The idea for this shoot was to capture the natural beauty of the desert in Joshua Tree alongside the natural beauty of these two gorgeous brides for elopement inspiration. To accentuate the minimal, modern appeal of eloping, we chose dramatic, modern copper geometric accents for the decor contrasted with loose organic florals and plants, and minimally adorned but beautifully draped gowns in black and white. Our models are a real-life couple, Bridget and Kristi, who were planning their own elopement at the time of our shoot!

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Real Couples // Heritage + Hometown Richmond Virginia Wedding: Vanessa + Ed

Real Couples // Heritage + Hometown Richmond Virginia Wedding: Vanessa + Ed

Ed and Vanessa are a queer couple that are activists for social justice in the Richmond area. Their wedding was DIY and cost less than $500 including Vanessa's traditional West African wedding dress, jewelry and headpiece. The food was catered by potluck through friends. Vanessa made the gluten-free red velvet wedding cake with cream cheese buttercream frosting with a friend's help with the frosting and decorating with the flowers! A true celebration of love and community! 

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