By Kellee Khalil, Lover.ly
Florals for spring—what else is new, right? Spring weddings are usually filled with flowery details, but lately we've seen more brides opting to wear floral-printed wedding gowns.
We love that they're taking blooms to the next level with these bold prints. If you're thinking about trying this trend, here are a few tips:
Keep the rest of your wedding look simple. Your dress will make a major statement, so stick to neutrals or a muted color palette for decor and design. And, don't forget to consider the rest of your bridal look. We suggest wearing natural looking makeup and minimizing jewelry and accessories.
Consider your bouquet. To make sure your personal flowers don't compete with your dress, consider an on-trend simple wedding bouquet. If you're unsure about how your bouquet will look, bring faux flowers to hold while trying on the dress (or ask your bridal salon if they have some; many do).
Coordinate with your fiancé and the wedding party. Your fiancé and your wedding party may look better in muted colors or subtle patterns if you're wearing a printed gown.
Sally, a real bride on her wedding day in a Bernice Sara gown
Published by Polka Dot Bride | Photographed by Snappatronik Photography
Consult with your photographer. If you're on the fence about how a printed gown will look in photos, get your photographer's professional opinion on the dress you have in mind.
Have it both ways! Try wearing a traditional gown to your ceremony, and then change into a floral gown for the reception. Still too bold? Your shower or rehearsal dinner are great opportunities to bring out the blooms.
This article was first published on Lover.ly, the gorgeous tech-savvy wedding search engine, and is republished with written permission.
Residents of Chicago, get ready. On Thursday, April 10th, 2014, the Chicago History Museum is hosting a same-sex wedding event called One Love. In conjunction with Heather Vickery of Greatest Expectations event planning, One Love will be an elegant celebratory event where couples planning their wedding can mingle with an intimate collection of wedding vendors. Every guest will be welcomed with open arms.
As a guest, you'll be able to taste samples from four exclusive caterers, and beverages and cocktails from fantastic LGBT-focused sponsors (like Halsted Vodka and Egalite Wine). You'll also be able to meet and network with vendors like planners, photographers, officiants and more.
With music, drinks and the city of Chicago's top wedding vendors, One Love will be the perfect place to sip on a fancy cocktail, sample delicious food and plan the modern wedding of your dreams.
The Chicago History Museum is the perfect place for a historic wedding featuring the elegant Chicago room, beautiful cocktail spaces, and an outdoor Plaza with a spectacular view of Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast. It's beautiful, historic and the perfect place to be inspired when it comes to your wedding.
Photos courtesy of One Love and the Chicago History Museum
This afternoon, GetEQUAL Mississippi (a grassroots organization devoted to bringing equality to all LGBT Mississippians) issued a "travel alert" for any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person who may be traveling to or within the state. Mississippi is on the cusp of passing its version of the "religious freedom" act (and we've seen this before, in other states), and although nothing has been made official, the bill is progressing at a very rapid pace, and there's concern about the safety of anyone who may be perceived as "different."
GetEQUAL issued the following statement, effective immediately:
GetEQUAL Mississippi alerts those traveling to the state of a continued risk of discrimination based upon sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The State of Mississippi does not currently protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender ("LGBT") people from being legally ejected from their hotel rooms or other places of public accommodation, and is on the cusp of passing legislation that would give business owners even more latitude to legally discriminate against minority groups.
Those who are required to travel to Mississippi are encouraged to take the following precautions:
GetEQUAL Mississippi will continue to monitor this situation and update travelers as needed.
Christians are in the news again. This is almost never good. I mean, I love my people. Really! I am one of my people! But we are idiots sometimes. Once again, we are taking a stand against "immorality" and "godlessness." We have refused to make a cake for a gay wedding, we drew a line in the sand for Jesus by only photographing lesbians on non-matrimonial occasions, and we have tried (and will continue to try) to enshrine our self-righteousness into law.
On second thought, that was rude, we are not idiots. It's more like we have the spiritual equivalent of Attention Deficit Disorder (I have ADD, so it is totally okay for me to draw that comparison). When we haven't been railing against gays, we've attacked everything from art to Girl Scout cookies. (Correction: Our war on the Girl Scouts is also a war on gays by proxy.) And what have we got to show for all our efforts? Not very much! The only casualties of the culture war have been our children. This is not the fault of gays or a godless society. This is our fault. Yes, Church, I'm pointing the finger at us.
I understand why some Christians want to refuse service to gay people. Honestly, I do! It is not (necessarily) that they hate gay people. Maybe they are a little scared of gay people or need more gay friends, but their real concern is in being implicated in something they see as sinful. Even if you don't agree with their view on gay people, the concern itself makes sense. Most of us would not want to sell a car to a woman with a lot of DUI arrests or a table saw to a man missing a lot of fingers. We don't want to be implicated in what we feel is a bad act or outcome.
But here's the thing: We are implicated in bad acts and outcomes. We have spent decades voting a global economy into existence, and we cannot just remove ourselves from it. Maybe we can fill our cupboards with Fair Trade produce and drink our coffee from locally owned shops. In fact, I think we should do these things, but we also need to be realistic. Purity is impossible. If we gas up our cars, we are propping up oppressive dictators. When we buy most things, somewhere along the supply chain, our money is supporting child labor and ecological rape. I am not saying that we should just give up. I am not that cynical. I am saying that we should work within the realm of the possible.
I assume that businesses that refuse service to gay people will be consistent and refuse service to people who curse, commit adultery, or talk at the theater. And let's not forget about gluttony! If a morbidly obese couple walks into your bakery to buy a wedding cake, you either must refuse them service, or show them your specialty line of low-calorie desert offerings. Otherwise, you are supporting one of the so-called "Seven Deadly Sins." Photographers should also insist on dressing down their clients, lest they promote "vainglory." For greater consistency, Christians who do not want to support sin should also throw out their televisions and computers. After all, Hollywood is a major promoter of godlessness in America. Anytime we buy a product that also funds a show whose message we don't agree with, we are giving our money to support that message. If we want to make sure others do not think we are condoning their "lifestyle choices," we pretty much need to remove ourselves from society.
Or maybe we could just stop acting like jerks. Why don't we try that instead? The problem with purity is that it is an impossible standard. We can never be pure. The world is fallen, and as long as we live in a fallen world, some of our money and our actions will go toward sin. We will support sin, and in a way, that is kind of okay. Christians sometimes say that we should hate the sin but love the sinner. But we cannot separate the sinner from the sin. There is not a difference between a person and what that person does, where she goes, what she buys, and whom she loves. So if we are going to love people, then we cannot carve out parts to hate. There is no such thing as, "I love you, but..."
When it comes to purity, Jesus cared more about the way that we treat others than the "life choices" we seem to support. Consider his first miracle (see John 2). He was at a wedding reception when his mother called upon him to address a crisis: the hosts had run out of wine! The guests drank all of it. Basically, they were snockered! So what did Jesus do? He made 120 gallons more wine. He gave the guests the means to get even more snockered! I'm pretty sure that if they had run out of cake, Jesus would have made more of that too. He would not have checked to make sure there were no fat people present.
Some teetotaling Protestants insist that Christians should not drink at all, but don't get distracted! Churches that allow drinking still insist on moderation. The Bible is pretty clear about drunkenness (Rom. 13:13), but Jesus didn't care. He made wine! One-hundred-and-twenty gallons of wine! After all, it was a wedding! Hospitality matters. Compassion matters. Treating other people with dignity is how we let them know that they are made in God's image, that they are loved by God, and by us.
If we have to decide between purity and dignity, I say we opt for dignity. As I once heard someone say, being a Christian does not mean we have to tell other people how wrong they are. People do not come to love Jesus because we insist on our own moral purity. Our global economic system stretches its tentacles everywhere, intermingling the good with the evil, the just with the unjust. There is almost no way we can refuse to participate in sin. (Lord have mercy!) Not making a cake for a gay wedding is the real sin because it is something we can actually control. It is the sin of coming across as self-righteous pigs. It is unloving. It sours the couple to the love of Jesus. A lesbian couple is not likely to sit in sackcloth and ashes on the bakery floor. They will get married, and they will scorn us. In this age of media scrutiny, many will scorn us. For decades we have blamed the media for this scorn, but the media is not going away. It is time to blame ourselves.
The culture wars are over. Please stop trying to kamikaze the church into holy oblivion. Sell gay people cakes, and take their pictures. Do business with them. Purity be damned! We don't need a church of the pure. We need a church of the compassionate, a church known more for the people we love than the sins we condemn.
With an expertise in political theology and theology of economy, David J. Dunn writes on intersections of church and culture from an Orthodox theological perspective. His writings appear in scholarly books and journals, and he writes extensively on his blog at www.davidjdunn.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DrDavidJDunn.
Editor's note: This piece was first published in The Huffington Post, and it's reprinted here with full permission from the author.
Once your wedding day is all said and done—the guests have left, the gifts have been opened, the honeymoon has been taken—what do you have left as a keepsake? Of course you have your memories, and the gifts that you were given, and maybe the wedding dress is locked away in an airtight bag somewhere for a future daughter or granddaughter … but really, what you have—and what most couples care most about—are the photos.
Lover.ly is a one-stop-shop that's revolutionizing the way that couples plan their weddings. This past Valentine's Day, Lover.ly introduced "Real Weddings," a digital keepsake where brides and grooms can easily save and share their wedding day memories—and it's all online.
Couples can create their very own profile and submit their real wedding story to Lover.ly. You're welcome to include how you met, your engagement story, your wedding planning story (come on—we know you have some stories), tips and advice learned along the way, and you can tag your vendors, too. After submission, Lover.ly will profile your wedding for all to see!
As well as serving as a digital keepsake, Lover.ly is also an incredibly innovative wedding planning tool. Kellee Khalil, the CEO and Founder of Lover.ly, realized that wedding planning wasn't exactly the easiest thing in the world. When her sister got married and she served as the maid of honor, Khalil found herself overwhelmed by the sheer volume of wedding-related things were being thrown at her and her sister. Once the wedding was over, she realized that there was a serious need for an all-inclusive wedding planning resource where brides who had actually been through the experience could help others.
“By the time a bride is done planning a wedding, she’s become an expert on the subject matter,” says Khalil. “In the past, most of that knowledge would go to a bride's newly engaged friend via a three ring binder. With Lover.ly's new Real Weddings feature, that wealth of knowledge—tips, advice, ideas, vendors, etc.—can now live in the cloud and be shared with the world.”
Not only is Lover.ly a great way to keep track of your wedding memories, but it also serves as an excellent planning tool for couples who are in the midst of preparing for their wedding. This is why Lover.ly is asking all couples to submit their real wedding. The first 100 real weddings to be submitted and profiled will also receive a free Lock-N-Key Key Chain set from Lover.ly launch sponsor, Things Remembered.
Things Remembered is the nation's leading retailer of personalized gifts. With a long legacy of helping people celebrate and memorialize their most treasured milestones in life, the company aims to be the resource for couples who want to create a special keepsake.
“For more than 40 years, we have worked with brides and grooms to help them find the perfect products and sentiments to make their wedding days one-of-a-kind,” says Catalina Maddox-Wagers, Senior Vice President and Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer for Things Remembered. “This exciting new venture is the perfect marriage of our wedding personalization expertise and Lover.ly’s cutting-edge technology and exceptional ability to provide couples with an unparalleled, curated experience as they plan their wedding or showcase weddings from years past.”
The joint powers of Lover.ly (especially with its new Real Weddings section) and Things Remembered definitely create a force to be reckoned with. Submit your real wedding today and be eligible to receive an extraordinarily special Lock-N-Key Key Chain—and continue to celebrate your wedding day in style.
Emily Gable is the associate editor at Equally Wed, the world's leading gay and lesbian wedding magazine. For more wedding inspiration and marriage equality news, follow Equally Wed on Twitter and Facebook.
Editor's Note: Equally Wed and Lover.ly have a business partnership and this is a sponsored post.
Photo: Things Remembered
Arizona has been in the news quite a bit lately. When Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the "religious freedom" bill the other week, gay rights activists were thrilled. Arizona had been one of several states making headlines due to the fact that it was considering the passage of a bill that would allow business owners to turn away same-sex couples if the business owners didn't agree with their "gay lifestyle" due to their own religion.
Well, thankfully the bill in Arizona was vetoed, but The Washington Times published an article on March 5th, 2014, stating that the veto was an expression of "religious intolerance."
First of all, the title of the article—"In Arizona, gays show Intolerance of expressions of faith; Brewer veto of bill a loss for religious freedom"—just screams bigotry. In no way was Brewer's veto of the bill a blow to those with strong religious beliefs; as she stated to the press, she has more pressing matters and believed that passing the bill could have serious implications for Arizona:
"Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes. However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination."
The Times argued that the veto was an act of intolerace from the LGBT community and its supporters, and went as far as to compare LGBT community to neo-Nazis:
The proposed law was not Christian-specific, as it was often portrayed in the media, and would have, for two examples, protected the right of a Muslim caterer to refuse to arrange a pig roast, or a Jewish photographer (or any other photographer of good will) to decline a commission to photograph a neo-Nazi ceremony.
They also claimed that a wedding cake adorned with same-sex cake toppers mocks authentic marriage, and go as far as to say that "hairy legs" (as in those of a man) would offend a baker:
A wedding cake announces its sexual proclivities only when the baker puts two men or two women on it, and this, to many, mocks authentic marriage. Or maybe putting four hairy legs on a wedding cake just offends a baker's art.
They continue with a statement about "homosexuals" and the fact that they "despise" people of faith:
The lavender lobby has a winning streak in the courts, but what homosexuals covet most is not the tolerance of the larger society, but the approval of society, and particularly the approval of the people they despise most, men and women of faith.
Basically, the Times has endorsed the license to discriminate—and this is isn't the first time. They previously reported on "militant homosexual activists" and defended a bakery that had closed its storefront due to being "hounded by gays."
Kira Lily Nash is an artist from the United Kingdom who has a passion for all things creative. Ms. Nash is a synesthete, which means that she's very sensitive to colors and forms and how the two interact.
"I'm synesthetic, so color and form harmony are very important to me," says Ms. Nash. "I hope to use my art to help bring a bit more gentleness, beauty and joy into a world that desperately needs them."
These lovely, sweet wedding cake toppers are a wonderful way to celebrate the joy of love. Sometimes even the simplest of things can have the most meaning. Ms. Nash uses birch wood and water-based paints for her creations, and she has extraordinary passion for what she does.
"The wedding cake toppers evolved out my reminiscences of my own wedding, and how difficult it was to find something simple, handmade and meaningful," she continues. "I also noticed that same-sex couples are not fairly represented in wedding decorations. To me, coming from a family with same-sex couples and a mix of races, nationalities and orientations, this is unacceptable! Every couple is so unique and special, and every couple deserves to feel like their wedding is the most important one ever. I was really touched by the people who went out of their way to see that our day was perfect, and I want to help other couples feel the same way."
Photos courtesy og Kira Lily Nash
Let's be real—not all women want to wear a white dress (or any dress, for that matter) when they get married. In fact, over the past five years, the bespoke suit and tuxedo industry has gained a following, as women who prefer a dash of masculinity in their wardrobe become more involved in actively seeking menswear-inspired pieces that are wedding-appropriate.
Well, ladies, if you've been looking for the perfect tuxedo, you're in luck. After Six Tuxedo, now owned and operated by the Dessy Group, is pleased to announce the introduction of its first women’s tuxedo for the fall 2014 bridal season. These tuxedos will be available starting April 1st, 2014 on Dessy.com.
The Marlowe tuxedo is made from luxurious stretch wool that's imported from Lanificio Di Tollegno, one of the oldest mills in Italy. The two-piece tuxedo is a traditional style reimaged for women and redefined with updated elements. The fitted tuxedo jacket features a satin peak lapel, single satin covered button fastening, two satin trimmed welt pockets, a welt breast pocket and single back vent. The classic tuxedo pant is slim filt with a satin stripe along each leg, side slash pockets and a satin waistband. The pant sits slightly below the waist and has a 32 1/4” inseam, to allow for alterations.
“Since we acquired the After Six Tuxedo, we have had quite a lot of feedback indicating a demand for a women’s tux,” states Alan Dessy, CEO of the Dessy Group and After Six. “The brand has always been known as a defining staple of the tuxedo industry, Dessy Group is a top resource in bridal, so it made perfect sense for us to leverage our experience in women’s formalwear and develop this new tuxedo style.”
Jacket and trouser sizing ranges from 0 -18W, are sold separately and retail for $375 and $115, respectively. These tuxedos for women certainly aren't to be missed out on, and come April 1st (just in time for the 2014 wedding season!), they'll be available for purchase from Dessy.com. Don't miss out on your chance to look fabulous in one of these After Six tuxedo jackets or trousers (or both) for your wedding this year.
Jenn and Mel first met years ago when they were both in school for massage therapy. When Jenn first laid eyes on Mel, she knew that she was "the one"—and she was rendered speechless. Fast forward to 2011, and these two were engaged at the place where they first met. They're getting married later this year and we can't wait to see what their wedding is like!
From Lindsay, their photographer:
Jennifer and Mel live in a magical place. No, really. They even have wild horses in their backyard. When I arrived at their home for their engagement shoot, I was ushered outside to see about a dozen of them running past. You could hear their hooves. They also house a vocal cat, two very furry guinea pigs, and something to do with a well-loved Quesadilla. They spend a lot of time in their kitchen together – cooking, drinking wine, laughing, and just enjoying each other. They were as playful and fabulous as I had hoped and make an incredible family. Did I mention that they’re utterly ridiculous? That’s a bright pink Powerwheels Escalade you see there, ladies and gents.
Jenn proposed to Mel in late 2011. She gave her a ring with black and white diamonds that coded “143” (I Love You). As Jenn tells it, her side of the proposal was all happy waterworks and a blubbering mess. After Mel got a ring for Jenn, she waited for the perfect time to pop the question back. She thought a trip to New Hope might make for the right romantic opportunity but it just wasn't quite there. On the way back home, she suggested stopping by the place where they met (where their old massage school used to be). It was there where Mel gave Jenn butterflies for a second time.
Photos: Lindsay Docherty Photography
Once the question is popped, every engaged couple knows that the follow-up they’ll have to answer is, “How did it happen?”. Duane Street Hotel, a boutique hotel in Tribeca, wants to know, too. This is why they're running a contest that will award one lucky couple a New York City wedding based on their engagement story.
Old New York meets European sensibility at the Duane Street Hotel, a charming 43-room boutique Tribeca hotel which embodies all that is downtown New York—modern, stylish and undeniably fresh. This is the perfect place to return to after days and nights of exploring Tribeca’s storied streets; you will enjoy relaxed comforts in a charming and stylish setting. From this peaceful reprieve, thoughtful services and amenities make each stay comfortable and convenient. Designed for the independent traveler, Duane Street Hotel really is the perfect place to refresh your spirit.
To enter, visit the Duane Street Hotel's Facebook page and submit your proposal story.
The winner of the contest will receive overnight accommodations at the hotel, sparkling champagne upon arrival, a gift box of 12 pastel heart almond pound cake petits fours from Duane Park Patisserie adorned with the couple’s initials, two “I Got Married in New York City” t-shirts and American breakfast for two in the morning. Entries close on 3/31/14, so don't delay!
Photos courtesy of Duane Street Hotel
As we all know, the 86th Academy Awards were the talk of the town last night. And, every Monday after the Oscars, the hot topic becomes the dresses. "Who wore it best?" they ask. "So-and-so looked amazing in that Dior gown!" they gush. Well, we love dresses—and we love suits, too—and we've rounded up some of our favorite looks from last night. We're guessing that the 2014 wedding season will seem of the gorgeous details from these dresses come into the limelight, too.
These portraits are especially unique, because Vanity Fair teamed up with Instagram to capture a behind-the-scenes look like no other. Vanity Fair contributing photographer Mark Seliger captured these intimate, sometimes hilarious and always unique images of the stars throughout the evening. Don't Ellen and Portia look great?
While the outfits are all beautiful and incredibly wedding-worthy, another unique thing about these images is the setup. The images are staged in the style of a photo booth, but without the kitschy props and poses. It's something to think about for your wedding—maybe a clean, sophisticated "photo booth" area in a quiet corner, with just a chair or a table. There are lots of possibilities, and Vanity Fair's Mark Seliger certainly did a stellar job with the Oscars!
Photos: Mark Seliger for Vanity Fair
Emily and Victoria met while studying at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Victoria was in her final year, and Emily in her first, when Victoria hired Emily to be her theatre manager on a musical production she was producing. By the time the show had finished, they both knew that there was something very special in the air. On their six-year anniversary of dating, they proposed to one another 50 stories above the city of Toronto at the Panorama Lounge (where they had first professed their love for one another) and they both enthusiastically said yes!
From Victoria and Emily:
Custom rings had been hand-created in advance, and the location was chosen as the place where, years ago, we had both told each other that we were in love with one another. While the snowstorm was unpredicted, it made everything that much more romantic and special! We both got down on one knee to propose separately, and celebrated with champagne.
We're now excitingly planning for our “I dos” to take place in late 2015 in Muskoka, Ontario, and are truly blessed and ecstatic to spend the rest of our lives with one another—we are each other's best friend, soul mate and true love!
Photos: Michael Fergusson Photography
Tom + Lee: A Contemporary Boston Wedding
Tom and Lee wanted a sophisticated, contemporary and masculine wedding and the State Room was the perfect venue for them. Lee is a research scientist and Tom is a software developer, so the wedding had lots of fun, nerdy elements chosen to reflect their personalities, interests and relationship!
They chose a Venn diagram as a visual and thematic motif throughout the day; a metaphor for the union of two separate individuals into one. Their ceremony included a live chemistry demonstration designed by Lee for its unity ritual, in which the grooms donned safety goggles and mixed two chemicals together. Guests found their seats via a custom iPad app designed by Tom—and those tables were named and arranged by the elements in the Periodic Table. The grooms’ first dance was the love theme from Battlestar Galactica—the first show they watched together as a couple—and they incorporated a carefully curated list of other favorite movie, television and video game themes throughout the ceremony and cocktail hour, performed live by a pianist. The wedding cake was a showstopper: a multi-layer cake of two different flavors reflecting each grooms’ personal palette, with a middle-layer Plexiglas box that contained both sets of ingredients, including rolled chocolate, chili peppers, almonds and apples.
Planning: 14 Stories
Ceremony: Nancy Sen
Venue: Ames Hotel
Stationery: Ladyfingers Letterpress
Photography: Ben of Avenna Studios
Video: Generations Cinema Stories
Floral: New Leaf Flores
Food: Chef David Blessing of Longwood Events
Cake: Chef Kristen Repa of Dessert Works
Piano: Bob Baughman
DJ: DJ Addam
Once again, we're back at it with the so-called "religious freedom" bills. An Oregon group called the Friends of Religious Freedom (affiliated with the Oregon Family Council) are working to get a petition signed that would allow business owners to refuse service to same-sex couples. We've recently seen very similar bills in Kansas, Tennessee and Arizona be seriously considered—only to be vetoed or dropped because officials determined that the negative effects would be severe.
The group is trying to get IP52 (the "Protect Religious Freedom Initiative") on the ballot for November. A spokesperson for the group previously expressed concern about government hostility towards the freedom of religion. “We are deeply concerned that even Oregon elected officials are becoming hostile towards religious freedom," the spokesperson said. Shawn Lindsay, a lawyer working with the group, issued a statement about the initiative.
“The Protect Religious Freedom Initiative will protect Oregonians from government penalties or civil actions for choosing non-participation in same-sex ceremonies that violate their conscience or religious beliefs. This initiative is different from Arizona’s legislation," Lindsay stated. "Our initiative will protect an individual from being coerced to participate in a same-sex ceremony in violation of their conscience for fear of retribution; it does not seek an ‘exemption’ from providing service to individuals.”
However, other people don't buy the rationale behind the initiative. Mike Marshall, campaign manager for Oregon United for Marriage, believes that the bill provides an easy way out to legalize discrimination. “That's not what this law is,” he stated. “This is about allowing corporations and businesses to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples on their wedding day.”
Earlier this year, it was determined that an Oregon bakery who refused service to a lesbian couple—because of their religious beliefs—had violated their civil rights. IP52, if added to the ballot and passed, would protect business owners like this.
Stephanie and Lisa share a love for nature. When they got engaged, they knew that they wanted to document their love in a setting that felt at home to both of them. Although both residents of Minnesota, they headed to a family cabin in the woods of Wisconsin and worked with Wildernesses Photography to capture their love through photos and video.
From Emily, their photographer:
These two are so in love, and it’s a true honor to be able to capture their love on film. Their engagement photos depict who they really are—lovers of the land; of nature; of what is real. We captured these images of their love in northwestern Wisconsin, just an hour or so out of Minnesota. Everything from the outfits they chose to the locations we scouted (including the canoe and the lake!) was just so ... them. They're two of the most open-minded and loving people I've ever met, and I can't believe that I'm able to be a part of their journey. Their wedding was in northern Minnesota and it was equally as magical.
Photos and Video: Wildernesses Photography
Jeff + Kevin: A Trendy Kansas City Wedding
Jeff and Kevin are a loving couple, each with an amazing family. They were joined in marriage at a small church in Brookside, Missouri. Their reception was at a trendy country club in Kansas City, Missouri. It was the perfect October day, and they were surrounded by those closest to them as they said their vows to one another.
From Dustin, their photographer:
It was amazing spending the day with Kevin and Jeff as they forged new wedding traditions. They both had children from their previous marriages and it was incredible to see this new family brought together. Each child gave a moving speech emphasizing acceptance and love of their new extended family.
Photography: TriArctic Photography
Venue: Country Club Congregational United Church of Christ
Flowers: Blue Bouquet
Catering: Delish Catering
Photos: TriArctic Photography
On Wednesday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have allowed business owners to turn away same-sex couples based on their religious beliefs.
According to Brewer, she knew that the decision to veto the bill was right for Arizona. "I call them as I see them, despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd," Brewer stated. She was also of the belief that the bill could have "unintended and negative consequences."
She continued, "To the supporters of the legislation, I want you to know that I understand that long-held norms about marriage and family are being challenged as never before. Our society is undergoing many dramatic changes. However, I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve. It could divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want. Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination."
The governor tweeted a photo of herself about to veto the bill just moments before it happened:
It's clear that the governor heavily weighed both sides of the bill before making her decision. "I sincerely believe that Senate Bill 1062 has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve," Brewer stated. Her belief that passage of the bill could result in problems was also clear, as she did not believe the measure to pinpont one "specific or pressing concern."
Texas is making headlines today as the latest state in which a federal judge has struck down a ban on same-sex marriage, setting the stage for gay and lesbian couples to legally marry in one of the nation's most conservative states.
San Antonio-based Judge Orlando Garcia’s ruling will not take effect immediately: It stays enforcement of his decision pending appeal, meaning same-sex couples in Texas for the time being cannot get legally married.
“We look forward to the day in Texas when everyone can marry who they love,” said state Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa. “This is a historic day for the LGBT community and the state of Texas.” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott—a member of the Republican Party, which has been more likely to back gay marriage bans—said his office would appeal the ruling.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled over and over again that sates have the authority to define and regulate marriage,” said Abbott, who is running for governor. “The Texas Constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman.”
Garcia, in his decision issued Wednesday, Feb. 26, said the ban had no "rational relation to a legitimate government purpose. […] One of the court's main responsibilities is to ensure that individuals are treated equally under the law. Equal treatment of all individuals under the law is not merely an aspiration; it is a constitutional mandate.
“Supreme Court precedent prohibits states from passing legislation born out of animosity against homosexuals, has extended constitutional protection to the moral and sexual choices of homosexuals, and prohibits the federal government from treating state-sanctioned opposite-sex marriages and same-sex marriages differently.”
Two same-sex couples filed the original lawsuit: Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman of Austin; and Mark Phariss and Victor Holmes of Plano.
State officials are expected to now take their case to a federal appeals court in New Orleans.
Video and reporting: CNN.com
For the past couple of years, we’ve seen a return to basics with a requests for the classic white-on-white wedding cake. As we move further out of the recession and into an exciting 2014, brides and grooms are taking more risks and moving in a direction of realistic opulence. It’s not too over the top. It’s understated glam. It’s I-want-to-have-fun-and-I’m-not-going-to-feel-bad-about-it (does that hashtag already exist?). Here are the top five predictions that we are seeing for the new year and hope there will continue to be more of.
This is the boldest statement couples can make. Let’s throw a party and have it be fun! Couples are moving away from muted decor colors and traditional white cake to bolder and unexpected color combinations (hello, royal blue and fuchsia!). The other way to get completely away from the white-on-white is to opt for a caked iced in ganache. This is bold and not for everyone (though, the guys tend to love it!). Flowers and other details pop against the dark background.
Instead of adding more “stuff” to a cake, it can be understated yet still have lots of interest. Since we exclusively work with buttercream at our shop, we love to have fun with the look of the icing. It can be tailored or intentionally “messy.” Either way, it’s just fun!
Metallic is hot in furniture decor and with all of the Gatsby-craze of last summer, couples are still looking for a bit of glam. On cakes, we interpret this in the form of silver dragees or bands wrapping around a cake. Sometimes, an entire tier is hand painted with edible silver or gold leaf. The Sugar Flower Cake Shop aesthetic tends to be a little more subdued, so we love pairing these glam elements with contrasting elements (sometimes rustic and sometimes chic).
Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of watercolor. Invitation designers are using it more and more. It’s so pretty to look at and really fun to paint in buttercream. I’m hoping to do more watercolor cakes this spring and summer!
More (and more elaborate) piping
White on white wedding cakes will likely always be around. To keep them visually interesting, we love to pipe and pipe and pipe (plus maybe add a couple of sugar flowers!). The wedding cake is the one decor element that can really pull the entire event together. We love looking at invitations that have interesting patterns and translating that into something we can pipe onto a cake.
About Amy Noelle and Sugar Flower Cake Shop:
A former teacher and actuary, Amy Noelle opened Sugar Flower Cake Shop in 2009, focusing on wedding and special occasion cakes made from local, seasonal, organic and fair-trade ingredients. At Sugar Flower Cake Shop, all the cakes are baked fresh and lathered with silky buttercream rather than stiff fondant. Many of Amy’s creations are adorned with exquisitely designed sugar flowers. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Martha Stewart Weddings, The New York Times, New York Weddings, Bride’s Magazine, The Knot, Forbes and more. She’s given demos at Martha Stewart’s studio and Macy’s, and appeared on the STYLE Network and TV Land.
Amy uses only all natural ingredients, many locally sourced from NYC Greenmarket vendors such as Andrew’s New York City honey, cream and eggs from the Knoll Crest Farms and fruit from Berried Treasures Farm. Amy also eschews fondant for all-natural buttercream, including in the customer favorite NYC honey frosting, with Andrew’s Honey neighborhood varieties allowing brides a choice based on their neighborhood or location of the wedding. She also teaches classes at the studio covering everything from basic decorating to advanced baking techniques.
Several news outlets are reporting that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is likely to veto the "anti-gay" bill that was passed by the Arizona Senate last week. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Brewer did not indicate any intention of vetoing or approving the the measure. "I can assure you, as always, I will do the right thing for the state of Arizona," she stated.
Some Arizona Republicans who know her well have stated that they believe her comments are indicative of rejecting the bill. Chuck Coughlin, Brewer's longtime political advisor, believes that the bill simply isn't something that Brewer feels is important enough to move forward with. "It's been her proclivity in the past to focus on the priorities she wants them [the legislature] to accomplish, and this was clearly not part of her agenda," he stated.
Another person close to the governor agreed with Coughlin. "She doesn't want to take any actions that could jeopardize the economic momentum we've seen here in Arizona," they said.
Brewer is expected to meet with stakeholders and make a decision by Thursday or Friday.