For Arianne and Chrishana, seven is a lucky number. Engaged on July 7, 2017, the couple was married exactly two years later, on July 7, 2019, at Brooklyn’s The W Loft. The pair transformed the venue into what they describe as a “romantic summer oasis.” With a color palette of bold navy and deep burgundy, along with accents of brass and greenery, they stood on the outdoor terrace in front of an octagon arch and committed themselves to one another.
Beautifully photographed by Matt Ellis of Joshua Dwain Photography, the couple relished in the freedom to create their dream wedding, with no heteronormative rules to follow.
“As a Black queer couple,” they write. “We’ve decided to live our life together on our own terms. We aren’t religious and choose to not follow heteronormative traditions. Our surprises came in having the freedom to be intentional about details that were the most meaningful and special to us and to tell our love story in front of those who love us in a place we’ve both called home.”
AN ENGAGEMENT FILLED WITH SEVENS
Because seven is their number, Chrishana proposed to Arianne on the seventh day of the seventh month of the year. The icing on the cake: it was just before their seventh anniversary.
But first, Chrishana created a week-long scavenger hunt for Arianne.
“With each new clue, there was a memory with birchwood and our next activity. Over the next seven days, we went to my favorite restaurant, got our nails done together, went to my favorite bookstore, and we had to do a ‘match this quote to this author’ game,” Arianne said.
The final activity was a photo shoot, and with the camera rolling before views of the Manhattan skyline, Chrishana popped the question.
On a nearby rooftop, fifty of their closest friends and family waited to celebrate what in two years would become the wedding of their dreams.
WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE AS AN LGBTQ+ COUPLE PLANNING YOUR WEDDING?
A lot of things were very gendered for men and women which didn’t make us feel represented or seen and each time it made us feel “othered”—from forms we were asked to fill out to people assuming the incorrect gender of our partners or what traditions we’d follow or subscribe to.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ENGAGED LGBTQ+ COUPLES?
When planning your wedding, try to focus on what feels most meaningful and important to both of you. Try to remember that your wedding day is about the two of you. Instead of feeling pressured to succumb to society’s standards of what a wedding should look like or feel like, try to make sure your wedding day is a reflection of the two of you and your love.
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Photographer: Matt Ellis of Joshua Dwain Photography
Venue: The W Loft
Florist: Brooklyn Blooms
Planner: Victorious Events NYC
Arianne’s Attire: Alyssa Kristin
Chrishana’s Attire: The Tailory New York