When I get an email from Allana, Ars Magna Studios, I know it’s going to be good! She always seems to capture the intense emotions of the wedding day and this wedding is no different- be prepared for lots of laughing shots, a sure sign of a good time and a great wedding!
Christina and I chose Kingsland Bay State Park sight unseen for the only day it was available, Friday the 13th of August. This decision set the tone for our entire wedding: we were going to have fun, not take things too seriously, and trust that every choice we made would be the right one. Our non-negotiables were simple, our vendors needed to be queer-friendly and we wanted our friend Sunny to make his famous bbq. We were successful on both counts!
From flowers to photographers we were able to shape an event that was relaxed, fun, and inclusive. Our friends and family pitched in designing our invitations, putting together playlists, doing hair/makeup, making napkins, sewing pennants, baking cakes, arranging flowers, setting up chairs…the list could go on forever. It was a lot of work, but it was our dream. We got married on the shores of Lake Champlain and spent an entire day eating amazing food, playing lawn games, and visiting with our loved ones. We could not have been more blessed!
The best part of our day was having all of our most favorite people in the world there to celebrate with us. The love and support of our family and friends helped to make us who we needed to be to first find ourselves and then each other. It was important to have them there to bear witness to our wedding and the promises we made to each other.
Our officiant, Dot, is a dear friend to both of us. When we got engaged, she was the only person we thought of to do our ceremony. As a member of the queer community, she understood the complexities we faced and spent many months with us discussing our plans, the ceremony, and marriage. She helped make our ceremony representative of who we are and what we value the most. It was important that we not only honor the joy and love that brought us together, but how marriage connected us to a common future.
Getting married in Vermont also meant that it would be a destination wedding for everyone. One of the ways we were able to make the trip more affordable was by having people stay with us. Christina and I both work on a college campus and live in an apartment in a small residential hall. We were able to take over the building for the week of our wedding. It was amazing! Our friends and family were able to get to know us and each other better, and we were able to put people to work on wedding projects. By far my favorite part of getting married was “Wedding Camp”. Months later I still miss the sounds of the dogs running around and my nieces using the bunk beds upstairs as a jungle gym.
Fabric! I love fabric and wanted to be able to mix and match different colors and patterns to create a relaxed and elegant backdrop to all of our decorations. I bought several yards of about a dozen different prints which I used to make napkins, table runners, and fabric pennants. Our guests were able to take home their napkins as keepsakes, and we will have the beautiful pennants to mark special events and birthday parties for the rest of our lives.
There are tons of things you can do yourself if you begin early and have a clear vision from the start. I collected fabric, decorations, and antiques over many months which made it less daunting when it came to go time.
Hire a day of coordinator to manage the details. You and your bridal party will be thankful!
Getting married is intense. Be ready for a mixed bag of emotions as you negotiate the whole process. Some of this is universal to all couples getting married, but we found navigating heterosexist systems can add a lot of stress and sadness. Be brave, and take comfort in the fact that you are in the company of a lot of other amazing trailblazers who on a daily basis make the world a safer more loving place.
Photographer: Allana Taranto, Ars Magna Studio
Venue: Kingsland Bay State Park, Ferrisburg, VT
Florist: Stray Cat Florist
Caterer: Orsini’s Barbeque
Dress/Suit/Accessories: Mikaella/Banana Republic suit/ JCrew jewelry, handmade veil