This couple got married in a California garden with moody, dramatic photos
Sara and Camilla had a queer colorful October wedding at SmogShoppe, an indoor/outdoor garden in Culver City, California, followed by a goofy dance party. Their first dance was to “Sea of Love” covered by Cat Power.
Sara declared on their first date: “I never want to get married.” So Camille often joked that if we ever got engaged, Sara would have to propose to be sure she was not cornering Sara into an ultimatum. After three years together, Sara proposed on one knee at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
What we enjoyed about being a queer couple is that we felt that there were no rules. We chose to exclude gender-focused activities like tossing the bouquet or giving away the bride because we felt free to pick and choose different traditions. I hope that you all feel the same! Shake off those expectations and only do what feels right for you. Don’t be afraid to check in with the people who agreed would help you. They love you; get the help they promised.
Advice for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?
Adapt your forms to not say bride/groom and replace with spouse or partner. Don’t assume roles based on gender presentation. Ask the couple their pronouns.
Did you have a bach (bachelor or bachelorette) party?
Yes. It was a joint party with us and 11 of our close friends (queer, gay, straight) in Las Vegas and we called it a “Butchelorette.” We got a hotel villa suite at the Marriott Grand Chateau. It was a blast!
Who walked down the aisle and with whom? Or who (if anyone) waited at the front?
Camille and Sara walked with each other down the aisle.
What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
Assumptions about our roles and what we want out of the wedding based on our gender presentation. People would assume that Camille was the “man” in the relationship and therefore took a hands-off approach to the ceremony. In our search for vendors, we tried to read reviews to see if the vendor would be a good fit for LGBTQ+ peeps. For instance, our DJ had a Tegan and Sara song in her promo video which is what drew us to her.
Photographer: Diana Lake Photography
Ceremony & Reception Venue: SmogShoppe
Florist: Boulevard Florist Wholesale Market
Coordinator: Flo Miniscloux
DJ: Vox DJs
Invitations: 3 Eggs Design
Catering: A Classy Party to Remember Catering
Cake Designer: Ellen Lewis
Officiant: Paul Dees
Bartender: Yasmina’s Bartending
Rentals: Signature Party Rentals
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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