From an OkCupid match to an Appalachian mountain wedding with a restored barn, bonfire and native wildflowers
Taylor (he/they) and Michael (he/they) wanted their wedding to focus on everything they love: delicious food, excellent music and their loving friends. Their May wedding took place in the Pennsylvania Appalachian mountains, in a restored historic barn. The floral design of the event featured a variety of Pennsylvania native flowers and classic wedding selections, including yellow billy balls, thistle, ferns, peonies, anemones, ranunculus, feverfew and roses.
Honoring their home and wedding venue, the couple embraced the barn and mountain vibes with long tables, wildflowers and a bonfire. Taylor and Michael, who both identify as gay grooms, got ready separately and did a first look before their outdoor ceremony. They wore matching Indochino gray-blue suits; Taylor’s suit had a galaxy interior lining, and Michael’s had a red floral interior lining that matched their floral socks. They chose a “come as you are” dress code for their guests, and most of the attendees, knowing the couple’s aesthetic preferences, chose to come wearing florals.
We caught up with Taylor to hear more about their Appalachian mountain wedding.
Tell us your love story!
We met on OkCupid in 2014 while living in New York. Michael lived in Harlem with his dog Olive and a roommate, and I lived in Brooklyn with two roommates. By New York dating standards, dating in separate boroughs usually qualifies as a dealbreaker, but we persisted. We moved in together by the end of 2015, and adopted our second dog, Kit, soon after.
In 2019, Michael and I planned a trip abroad to Hungary, with a layover in Iceland. While on our layover, we took an excursion to the Blue Lagoon, a spot we had been to and fallen in love with. As our layover was early in the morning, we were some of the first bathers to enter the blue waters. While resting in the far pool of the lagoon, Michael pulled out a small plastic bag with a ring inside. I said yes, then we flew off for the continued part of our journey.
Tell us about the ceremony.
Our ceremony was held outside in an open field, with bench seats and barrels. We wrote our own vows and my close friend from college flew in to perform the ceremony. We did not include readings, speeches or religious elements in our ceremony. I walked down first with my mom, then Michael followed with his mom.
How did you personalize your mountain wedding?
We made sure the music was what we wanted and cut out anything we found traditionally silly. We asked the DJ to play anything by a diva from 1985 to 2014. We wanted a specific vibe to go with the open bar. We also brought items from our journey together: postcards from Brooklyn, rocks from our hometowns, a poorly focused Polaroid of us, some inside jokes and all of the antique books collected on our various trips.
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples or marriers planning their wedding?
Pick three things you want to go really well and try to align yourself with them. It’s important you’re comfortable with all your choices. Choose vendors who will embrace you. We encountered a pleasant surprise meeting our photographer, Mark Martucci; we’ve grown a kinship.
What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
We were married in the northeast, so our limitations were luckily just due to price. We faced some challenges obtaining a marriage license in one county, due to a law that said we had to be residents of the area and have a religious member of a congregation perform the wedding. Needless to say, that was not the road we took, but it was a challenge nonetheless.
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Photographer: Mark Martucci Photography
Planner: Lauren Gemberling
Venue: Herman & Luther’s
Florist: Hometown Floral
Shoes: To Boot
Jewelry: Shahla Karimi; Marke Wedding Bands
DJ: Mixed Up Productions
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