Priscilla and Jamesa’s fall wedding in Nashville, Tennessee, featured harvest hues of gold, burnt orange, terracotta rust and dusty rose
New Yorkers Priscilla and Jamesa traveled to Nashville for their fall wedding after a 15-month engagement. The lovebirds fell in love during the pandemic, having met just before the world shut down. They got to know each other more through Facetime, and once they were able to be together in person, they were inseparable. Their love story and their love of their family is inspiring and tear-inducing. One of our favorite things is how they did a first look with their moms and grandmother!
The love story
It seemed destined when Priscilla and Jamesa crossed paths in New York in January 2020. Priscilla had recently returned to living in NY after five years away for work, and Jamesa had been living in New York for three years but was beginning to consider leaving the city. The two quickly discovered how much they had in common from their values, love of their families, senses of humor and sweet natures. During three months of Covid-19 lockdowns, Jamesa and Priscilla spoke on Facetime almost daily and their interest in one another became undeniable.
Once they were able to see each other again in person, they were inseparable and spent much of their time together cooking (mastering making pizza from scratch), baking (the best cinnamon rolls also from scratch), biking (over 200 miles total), and traveling (visiting bed and breakfasts in the Tri-State area and ziplining in Costa Rica).
The double proposals
In June 2021, Jamesa secretly arranged with their jeweler to have Priscilla’s ring ready first (or so she thought), but Priscilla ended up surprising Jamesa with a scavenger hunt around Brooklyn and proposed first! The hunt took Jamesa to Prospect Park (where they often bike and picnic), a Brooklyn stoop from Jamesa’s favorite movie Crooklyn, Amor y Amargo (the bar they went to on their first date), and ended at the waterfront near one of their favorite restaurants where Priscilla popped the question.
Just weeks later, Jamesa pampered Priscilla with an epic weekend including a visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, picnic in Prospect Park, proposal at the same waterfront spot (the two had unknowingly chosen this significant spot to propose to each other months before), a surprise photoshoot and spa day complete with champagne.
The bachelorette party
We had a joint bachelorette trip to Atlanta with our maid and man of honor!
The day of the wedding
Jamesa and Priscilla got ready separately and did a first look. They each had four members in their bridal parties: five bridesmaids, two maids of honor and one man of honor. “We decided to do a first look at the beginning of our day, take some photos, then relax in our robes together with our bridal party enjoying pizza and music until we had to get ready for the ceremony! One of our favorite parts of our day was also a joint first look with both of us, both of our moms and Jamesa’s granny.”
Our ceremony was outdoors, and we were lucky to have gorgeous weather (especially for September in Nashville!). Our officiant was amazing especially considering it was her first time! Our previous officiant came down with Covid-19 three days before the wedding and one of our good friends sprang into action getting ordained online within minutes of us asking. We each wrote out own vows and laughed and cried while speaking them to each other. We included a unity candle that our moms each lit and had memorial chairs for our fathers who had passed. Priscilla’s father passed almost exactly a year prior to the wedding, and we both wanted to incorporate their memories. We had family (sister and cousin) do two readings for us.
Priscilla and Jamesa’s wedding colors were a warm spectrum of gold, terracotta rust, copper, dusty rose and white. Lush colorful florals including roses, orchids, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms as well as greenery. Our main altar piece was asymmetric arches with ombre roses and baby’s breath. We had cherry blossoms at the bottom of the aisle and a bridge of gorgeous florals over our head table.
We had our first dance to Jazmine Sullivan’s Let it Burn. We had a joint bouquet toss for all single people which made it even more fun to watch everyone run for it! Priscilla is Haitian so she provided a few Haitian flags for guests to dance to Caribbean music at the party! We did a photo game where we ran around to take a photo with each table to the Outkast song Hey Ya!, and we finished 1 minute early even though our planner didn’t think we would make it! Throughout our day, we also included lots of small details with personalizations with names including cake topper, cake server/knife, menus, welcome sign, seating chart and bubbles for our grand exit!
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples or marriers?
When it comes to working with vendors, search for inclusive ones and don’t be afraid to ask about their experience with working with same sex couples. Also, use the experience as an opportunity of wedding planning to grow closer to each other and prepare for marriage. We lived together for over a year and half before we were married, but this was the first time we were making such significant financial decisions together. We discussed everything and each compromised in different ways. Our day turned out absolutely epic and we couldn’t imagine it going any better!
What’s your advice for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples/marriers?
BE MORE INCLUSIVE! It’s not just working with same-sex couples, make your contracts and to-do lists inclusive and gender neutral! We had to look past many gendered contracts and to-do lists unfortunately and never knew how to fill in fields for grooms.
What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple or LGBTQ+ marriers planning your wedding?
Being nervous about who might not want to work with us. We were fortunate enough to not run into any situations, but we were ready to speak up for ourselves if we needed to! We had a list of questions we used to interview each of our vendors and experience with same-sex couples was at the top. For our photographers, we only saw one example of their work with a two-bride couple so we curated examples of nongendered poses we liked and shared examples of photos we didn’t like. They were extremely open to our ideas and managed to capture our essences, joy and fun perfectly.
Search our directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors.
Photography + videography: John Myers Photography + Videography
Ceremony + reception venue: The Cordelle
Florist + planner: Elliott Events
DJ: DJ JRoc
Wedding gowns: Pantora Bridal
Jewelry: Olive + Piper
Rings: Ken and Dana Design
Bridesmaids + maids of honor gowns: Revelry
Man of honor: The Black Tux
Catering: Chef Penelope’s Catering
Cake: The Cupcake Collection
Officiant: Kim Daily
Rentals: Curated Events Nashville
Makeup artist: Adriana Mejia
Bar: Frugal MacDoogal
Sparklers + Bubbles: DJ Rideout
Submit your LGBTQ+ wedding or engagement story.
Kirsten Ott Palladino
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