Adria and Amanda’s wedding had a lovely, romantic vintage feel that mixed in personal touches of their cultures. Adria would describe it as a jumble of bright details inspired by their shared love for North Carolina’s mountains and Miami’s tropics. Amanda is Cuban and Adria is Italian so they also wanted to pay homage to our families and did that through the food offered and the music played—lots of Buena Vista Social Club and old school big bands mixed in with their favorite bluegrass and indie tunes.
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
Don’t hide the fact that you’re a same-sex couple and be upfront about it when requesting pricing from vendors. Vetting vendors through a site like WeddingWire helped us to find accepting vendors and it was really helpful in keeping Adria (who’s a worrier) from stressing out. You should also build your wedding to fit who you and your partner are. We had to think about what sorts of conventions we would follow (will we both wear dresses? Do we see each other the night before or not? How do we do a first look if we’re getting ready in the same space with the same makeup artist?) and that was really exciting, because we got to be creative and with our wedding planner’s help, we found some inventive ways to make our wedding that much more special.
Any advice for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?
The biggest complaint—this was huge for Amanda—was that over half of our vendors did not use inclusive language. For example, our DJ’s info form talked about the “bride and groom” the entire way through even though he said he’d had plenty of same-sex couple weddings under his belt. Stick with “wedding party” or name(s) and allow the couple to fill in the gaps for you! If you have questions about how to frame the couple, feel free to address it accordingly and directly with them.
What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
Many didn’t know how a same-sex wedding would fit the mold of a traditional wedding. The idea that it can be the exact same celebration doesn’t compute necessarily. We got questions like, “How do you walk down the aisle?” which is understandable. Again, sorting these questions out made the event more “ours” and extra special. We also had to deal with the family members who declined to travel to the wedding, but in the end, we ended up with the people there who loved us and supported us most. We aren’t complaining about it!
Did you have a bach (bachelor or bachelorette) party?
Yes, we had a joint bachelorette party in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. It was low-key and wonderful, especially in the midst of pre-wedding planning craziness.
Who walked down the aisle and with whom? Or who (if anyone) waited at the front?
We both walked down the aisle with our fathers at the same time. It was important to us both to have that moment, so we shared it!
Did you encounter any pleasant surprises as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
Yes! Our planner was amazing and helped ease the majority of our nervousness about having a same-sex wedding. In addition, our photographer and caterer were over the top sweet in ensuring that we had the best day of our lives, taking into account our family members were treated with the utmost respect and they were included in all events. Adria was over the moon that the caterers assigned attendants to make sure we had all of the hors-d’oeuvres and drinks we could ask for during our photos, and if you have seen our photos, you know how talented and awesome our photographers are.
Photographer: What Em Sees Photography
Videographer: Black Squirrel Film
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Keswick Vineyards
Florist: Ginger & Blooms
Planner: Angelica & Co. Weddings
Couple’s Attire: BHLDN
Catering: Harvest Moon Catering
Cake Designer: Passionflower Cakes
Officiant: Wedding Ceremonies by Jeff
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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