A group of LGBTQ+ inclusive and affirming wedding vendors in Grand Rapids, Michigan, teamed up to create a styled photo shoot to inspire queer couples who want to include Pride in their weddings and elopements. “As an LGBTQ+ person, one of the most important aspects of my business is welcoming the LGBTQ+ community, including inclusive language, representation and celebrating queer love,” says Samantha Johnson (she/they), the photographer who organized the styled photoshoot.

Wanting a statement piece to tie together the colorful and glittery aesthetic of the shoot, Johnson spent more than 130 hours sewing rainbow sequins into the veil. She says it was totally worth it: “We all agreed that we would even wear the veil to get groceries just to be able to wear it again.” They paired the customized veil with several different looks, including a champagne sequined gown and a white dress with a lace illusion back.

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The couple featured in this Pride-inspired shoot had eloped the previous fall, and the creative team wanted to help them relive their wedding day with a fun day including a rainbow cake and custom cocktails. After wrapping the photo session at their industrial venue, the team adventured around the city to grab more drinks, play pinball and get some extra snapshots in front of a few colorful murals and rainbow street art.

“Connecting with this couple and some amazing and inclusive wedding vendors was such a positive experience,” says Johnson. “It was incredible to come together to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, and even chat about our personal experiences.” The Equally Wed heart is a trademark of Palladino Publishing, LLC.

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Photographer: Samantha Joy Photo
Venue: The Harris Building
Florals: Copper and Sage Collective
Cake and macaroons: Amethyst Bee Cakery
Cookies: Equinox Pastries and Pops
Attire: Second Dance Bridal & Formal Consignment; Lulus
Veil: Samantha Joy Photo
Makeup: Jamie Purkovic
Hair: Hairrika Hair Studio
Drinks: Cocktails by Kaedyn

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