After being together for more than 10 years, Lynnea and Francecil had a rose gold, champagne and burgundy California wedding. The newlyweds call Washington, D.C. home, and are both in the hospitality industry: Lynnea is a food and beverage manager, and Francecil is a restaurant chef.

After an 18-month engagement, the couple tied the knot in California, where they met and where some of their family lives. Leading up to the big day, they say didn’t feel any stress until just one week before the wedding. “The majority of the planning, talking to vendors, the event planner from the venue, decorations were mostly handled by Lynnea’s mom, Lori, since we are living on the east coast and couldn’t be there physically,” says Francecil. “Lori did a fantastic job seeing our vision to what we wanted for the day of the wedding.”

Their venue, Grand Tradition Estate & Garden, reminded them of Hawaii. “Due to the venue being covered in 12-foot palm trees, completely bloomed birds of paradise and cascading waterfalls, we wanted to play off the natural beauty of the venue,” says Francecil. “We kept the floral arrangements simple with mini burgundy roses, sunflowers and baby’s breath to further accentuate the venus beauty. We also used rose gold and champagne throughout the venue to create eye-catching accents.

It was also very important for us to incorporate our cultures into the reception, therefore we draped both the United States and Venezuelan flags surrounding the outdoor fireplace.”

HOW SHE ASKED


Francecil proposed to Lynnea at a musical. “I saw the perfect opportunity when I found out the musical ‘In the Heights’ was coming to D.C. around March 2018 for their 10th anniversary at the Kennedy Center,” she says. “The reason why it was so special was because we had seen the same musical for our one year anniversary in 2010 and Lynnea is a musical theater major. I messaged them three weeks before the show, asking them if there was anything they could do to help me out for this special occasion. I suggested that if there was a possibility to do it on stage that I’d love the opportunity and the Kennedy Center were quick to tell me that it was a tough request due to the stage show liability. A week before I was going to propose to Lynnea the Kennedy Center reached out to me with the idea to do it on stage but only after the show was over. I was all in for that; it was more than what I expected. I told Lynnea that we were going to go to a music festival. As she was getting dressed, I saw that what she was wearing was way too casual; I had to make her change. We went to have dinner at a Peruvian restaurant called Nazca. It was delicious, from beginning to end. After dinner, we headed to the Kennedy Center [still Lynnea had no idea], as we pulled into the theater, I could see the smile on her face. We walked into the gorgeous theater and Lynnea still hadn’t figured out what we are about to see. As we are waiting for doors to open, we are walking through the gift shop and in the background the soundtrack of ‘In the Heights’ is playing. That is when I see Lynnea’s face and eyes light up, and she literally freaked out.

At this point, I was trying so hard not to show any nervousness because I didn’t want her to know what was coming! Once we are in the theater, we are led to front row center seats and enjoy every moment of the show. Intermission comes, and my anxiety level was through the roof. We go grab a drink and walk around Kennedy Center, and I’m just going over and over in my head what I’d say to her when the moment came. We went back inside to finish the show, which was amazing in every way and just like the first time we saw it. Right after the show was over as we were about to walk out of the theater and the stage manager was waiting for us right outside.

She called my name and pulled us to the side, Lynnea first thought was that I was in trouble. So the stage manager starts to guide us to the green room, where they had every musical/show ever been on that stage, we keep walking, and we ended up on stage. It was at this moment when I started to shake, my hands were clammy, and I was stuttering. I gave my phone to one of the people on stage to take pictures and videos. I had the ring in my hand, and I just started to act really awkward. Lynnea thankfully distracted by being so amazed at being on the Kennedy Center Stage.

I grabbed her by the hand, pulled her toward me. I told her that I had completed the one request she had asked of me, that if I ever proposed to her, I was to talk to her parents first. As the words were coming from my mouth, I got down on one knee, and she broke down into tears. I was indeed having an out-of-body experience. I felt like I blacked out for a second. She said, “YEEEESSSS,” to our surprise, the theater was still full of people, and we got a massive cheer of people clapping and screaming. It was just something that came along precisely how I expected and so much more.

pride socks for LGBTQ+ wedding

DIY Hula-Hoop wedding decor

ON DIY WEDDING PROJECTS


Did we ever! The week of the wedding was filled with several finishing touches and DIY projects. We created 18 Hula-Hoops with ribbon draping down the centers with matted photos of us with our friends and families cascading down them. We also did all of the floral arrangements including all families’ corsages, boutonnieres and the two bridal bouquets. We created the seating chart and bridal party bouquets incorporating the Hula-Hoops once again and completed the centerpieces. Lastly my older sister took at least 100 wine corks and hot glued them together to create a beautiful L&F.

umbrellas for wedding guests

ON SHOPPING FOR WEDDING ATTIRE


Lynnea: I went into the dress search knowing exactly what I wanted. I knew I wanted a tight dress to show off my curves as well as a low dramatic back. I tried on at least 10 dresses and went back to “my dress” after each and every one. After trying on the same dress in California and D.C., I knew my search was over. I also found rose gold stilettos that were covered in rhinestones for myself and all of our bridesmaids, and Fran’s tio and tia gave me a set of beautiful gold pearl earrings.

Fran: Although most who know me would never expect that I would wear a dress, I knew I wanted to wear one for the ceremony. I had a hard time finding something I truly love and left California stressed and ready to call it quits. On a random day off Lynne and I decided to “go look and see what we could find.” Unlike my first experience, I did enjoy dress shopping and had found the perfect dress by the end of the day. For the reception I wanted to make sure I could get down! I had a burgundy suede blazer with black silk lining made to go along with my custom straight-legged slacks and rose gold Vans.

ON THE BIG DAY


The sun was shining and the sky was a faint shade of crystal blue. The venue glistened with its natural beauty and the love in the air was almost suffocating. Everywhere you turned you could see smiles or hear laughter and for those quick 24 hours nothing else in the world mattered.

As cliche as it may sound it was a day we will never forget! No, a week we will never forget. Everything from the double bachelorette party in Las Vegas to the after party at the Temecula Resort & Casino, all of our expectations were completely blown. The day of the wedding was everything we had planned and although i’m sure there were things that didn’t go according, we didn’t even notice.

Our aisle was a marbled stone lined with white flower petals. The backdrop for the ceremony was a breathtaking waterfall surrounded by giant Palm trees and blooming flowers.

The recessional was to an instrumental version of a very traditional Venezuelan song. This was a surprise for Fran’s grandmother who found out the day before that she would be walking down the aisle.

Our grand entrance song was, “This is Me” from the Greatest Showman, which describes our personalities and lifestyles very well. It was immediately followed by “Tu Amor Me Hace Bien” from Marc Anthony for our first song.

ON THEIR FIRST LOOK


Lynnae: As soon as Fran heard my heels on the marble bridge she completely broke down which only continued when she turned and saw my dress for the first time ever.


ON A FUN FAMILY MOMENT


All of our families speeches were amazing; from the more emotional speeches from Fran’s twin sisters to the more comical speeches from Lynnea’s siblings. Lynnea’s sister literally played a montage on the large projector of Lynnea’s napping photos which were collected and delivered by Fran over the last year!

 

cake cutting rose gold champagne wedding

chocolate fondue station wedding reception

lesbian couple surrounded by family with Pride flags at LGBTQ+ wedding

ON HIGHLIGHTS AND REGRETS


We had a Venezuelan tradition called la hora loca. For the last hour we had all the lights in the outside tent dimmed down and passed out props, costumes, glow wands, mini rainbow flags and more. The music varied from ​salsa to merengue, rumba to bachata and had everyone on the dance floor. To see people from all of the world coming together was both inspiring and overwhelming (in the best way possible).

We were convinced to do the traditional money dance. This was very awkward and would be the only part of the wedding we would have removed.

ADVICE FOR PLANNING YOUR WEDDING


Give yourself time to really enjoy the planning process. Trying to plan a wedding with limited time creates unnecessary stress therefore introducing tensions. If you give yourself time to properly plan and make sure you are following timelines and checklists, by the day of you can relax knowing you did everything you could to ensure an unforgettable day. We gave ourselves a year and a half and it was a perfect amount of time to plan a west coast wedding from the east coast.

Also if you’re best friends before you get married you should still be best friends after you get married. For us nothing more than our now hyphenated last names has changed and that’s how we feel it should be. We will still tell each other happy anniversary on July 3 (the day our relationship began) as well as on January 10 (the day our families became one). We still laugh together when times are good and support each other when things get hard.

SEARCH FOR LGBTQ+ INCLUSIVE WEDDING VENDORS

VENDORS
Makeup Artist: Beauty by Sophie
Floral Designer: Lori Larson
Tuxedo and Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Dress Store: David’s Bridal
Reception Venue: The Grand Tradition
Photographer: Chrissy Gilmartin Photography