Colorful tropical wedding styled shoot inspiration
PRIDE IN PARADISE
This colorful tropical wedding styled shoot inspiration features a real same-sex couple whose Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, wedding was postponed from April to July because of covid-19. Brennan and Sylvanna wanted to bring the serene beauty of paradise to their hometown of Kansas City to celebrate with those who could not attend the wedding.
“We wanted to showcase the beauty of eloping and having a private destination wedding while still wanting to celebrate with our loved ones by having the reception back home,” says Brennan, one half of the couple and planner at As You Wish Event Planning.
The couple has been engaged for 18 months after a double proposal. Sylvanna proposed first while on vacation when they were ice skating on Christmas Eve in Washington, D.C. Brennan proposed a month later on vacation at a Lady Gaga concert in Las Vegas.
Brennan says, “For the venue, we wanted to bring paradise to Kansas City and what other place more perfect than the Havana Room? The Havana Room features a collage of realistic photos of Havana, Cuba including an entire life-size mural of Ernest Hemmingway, palm trees, beachside and downtown Havana.
We wanted to showcase tropical flavors with our palm leaf floral, custom lime name cards and one-of-a-kind margarita display. In honor of Pride month, our entire shoot was filled with big, beautiful bold colors and avant garde attire showcasing the couple’s proud and unique style.”
The couple will marry in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, on July 26. At their Mexican wedding, the marriers will have their brothers as their honor attendants—they’ll each be called Man of Honor. Sylvanna will walk first with her brother, Cole. Brennan will walk second with her brother, Brady.
Equally Wed: What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
Brennan: Being a wedding planner, I luckily knew all of the vendors that are LGBTQ+ friendly. I do know that unfortunately there are vendors that are not LGBTQ+ friendly so I know that is a struggle that couples face. The biggest struggle we had was people assuming I was marrying a male and everyone would ask what the groom’s name is. As a wedding planner, I make sure to always use gender neutral pronouns and ask gender neutral questions “What is your fiance’s name?” instead of “What is the groom’s name?” I’ve learned to never assume someone’s identity; I wish other vendors would learn the same.
Did you encounter any pleasant surprises as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
All of our vendors were very welcoming. We chose only LGBTQ+ friendly vendors. Having a smaller guest count allowed us to have an event where we did not feel pressured or uncomfortable to celebrate our love. Our closest friends and family are very supportive which is why we chose to only celebrate with those people.
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
Don’t sweat the small stuff! As a Covid couple, we had to reschedule, had to change multiple details and our plans were constantly changing. On the day of the event, we had some hiccups but at the end of the day, You are in love and get to marry the love of your life. That is the only thing that matters. It does not matter who is there to witness, it doesn’t matter what others think of you or your relationship, it doesn’t matter if any problems arise or if your original plans change, because at the end of the day, if you get married, the day was a success.
Advice for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?
Change your forms and questions to be gender fluid. Get away from saying “Bride and Groom.” Instead Partner #1 and Partner #2 or Fiancé #1 and Fiancé #2. It makes LGBTQ+ couple uncomfortable when forms are incorrect or they have to correct you when you use the wrong pronouns.
Photographer: Ashley Ice
Venue: The Havana Room
Florist: Fiore Floral Studio
Planner: As You Wish Event Planning
Invitations: Seven Oaks Envelopes
Attire: Olha Potapenko
Jewelry: Alexis Russell
Videographer: Katie Jo Films
Catering: Katie’s Catering
Cake: Water to Wheat Cakery
Signs/Calligraphy: With Love and Letters
Makeup and hair: Shanelise
Cookies: Royally Frosted Cookie Company
Kirsten Ott Palladino
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