Caroline + Logan's Dreamy Pastels + Poetry Prospect House Wedding

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Caroline + Logan's Dreamy Pastels + Poetry Prospect House Wedding

WHERE TO EVEN BEGIN WITH THIS WEDDING??? Picture it: a glamorous, light-pink-haired bride with a glittering back necklace, ultra-modern gown, dramatic cathedral-legnth veil and periwinkle-to-pastel-pink pumps. Her towering husband-to-be in a tailored suit, perfect-for-the-poet-that-he-is spectacles, the BEST head of curls, raspberry-colored tie, and all the steamy affection in the world for his bride.

Place these two dreamy people in front of a rad geometric backdrop, under the big bad state of Texas sky. Give them a ceremony filled with poetry they wrote for each other, meaningful readings from friends and family, copious tears, and the juiciest foraged bridal bouquet you’ve ever seen. Surround them with the greatest feminist friend-crew, hardstyling fellas and fuck-you-I-don’t-need-to-shave ladies (damn right). Set their dinner tables with bones, tropical flowers, and other curios; pile their dessert table almost to the ceiling with Dr-Suess-meets-Wed-Anderson delicacies.

The soundtrack runs from the bride walking down the aisle to “Baby’s On Fire” all the way to bumping party jams. The guests slay at the DIY photobooth, complete with furs and plants. The rosé flows generously all night. The newlyweds have crafted the most perfect celebration of their very Them love, and everyone basks in their joy.

Thank you, Caroline + Logan, for asking me to document this very special occasion.

PLANNER | FLORALS - The Moonlight Manor

DESSERTS - Jessica Dowdy Lopez

CATERING - Royal Fig

HAIR - Vibe Collective

SUIT - SuitSupply

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Five Steps for Making a Photo Book so Your Photos Can Live Somewhere Other Than Facebook

It’s holiday time so of course we’re ready to talk about our number one most favorite holiday gift of all time: Photo Books!

A few years ago, we announced that every single one of our couples would be receiving a custom-made, heirloom photo book as part of our Signature Package. EVERY COUPLE. The reasons are simple and plentiful: a photo book will outlast whatever current technology we have; a photo book can’t get corrupted files (unless a child or clumsy adult spills on them); the experience of going through a photo book with someone you love is worlds better than scrolling through images on your laptop; your photos are art and art deserves to be printed and exist beyond the internet. I don’t think we need to go on (but we could).

So if we’ve convinced you that your photos need to live in a book, but you’re a little bit overwhelmed, DON’T WORRY! We’re here to help. Here are our favorite tips for turning your photos from files to heirlooms:

1. Select your favorite photos, and keep variety in mind.

Most wedding galleries we deliver contain more than 400 images, and you’re just not going to be able to fit all of them into a single photo book unless it’s HUGE (see below for size tips). To get started, go through and select your absolute favorite images. Keep in mind that you should select at least a couple that don’t include people (i.e. scene-setting photos of the venue or space where your wedding took place), and for photos of people, select a good mix of formal portraits (especially meaningful family formals) and candid shots.

 Yen, Scott, and their families

Yen, Scott, and their families

2. Size matters.

Our standard photo album for 2019 is a 10”x10” album with ten spreads. Since a “spread” is two pages lying open, a ten spread album will have twenty pages. This size is large enough for approximately 50 images. A 30-page album would feature approximately 100 images, and a 40-page album would hold feature approximately 150 images, and so on. We have found that fifty images per 10 pages is a good guideline. Also, remember that square-format albums, when lying open flat, will be rectangles; horizontal rectangular albums, when lying open flat, will be super wide rectangles.

 Nicko and Sara’s wedding photo book was square, so when it is opened and lying flat, this spread is like a frame from a wide-screen movie!

Nicko and Sara’s wedding photo book was square, so when it is opened and lying flat, this spread is like a frame from a wide-screen movie!

3. Tell the story.

We provide our clients with wedding galleries that are broken out into chapters, because that helps to tell the story of the day. For our albums, we like to ease our couples into the narrative by doing one spread (i.e. two pages lying open are considered one “spread”) of location-based wide shots and/or details. Then, introduce the important people from the wedding day; move through the day as it progressed and try not to skip around too much. Also keep in mind that it adds to the consistency of the story to keep color images together and black and white images together on their own spreads.

 Scene-setting spread from Catie & Erin’s wedding photo book

Scene-setting spread from Catie & Erin’s wedding photo book

4. Explore different layouts and embrace open spaces.

There are countless ways to lay your photos out for the photo book, and this is where a lot of people get stuck. If you’re opting to DIY, you can design your own layouts when ordering through Artifact Uprising. Aim to keep the layouts varied yet balanced — and embrace empty space when needed. Too many solo images or similar collages on one side of the spreads, page after page, will feel repetitive. If you’d rather not DIY and want us to do this part, we can help you.

 A lot of space on the right side of this spread in Katie and Keith’s photo book helps their portrait stand out.

A lot of space on the right side of this spread in Katie and Keith’s photo book helps their portrait stand out.

Feminist Wedding Photography Carly Romeo Photography Richmond VA Album Redtree

5. Invest in the highest quality photo book you can.

We know that there can be a lot of sticker shock when it comes to purchasing a photo book. In fact, when we were getting married we even rolled our eyes over how much photographers have to charge for quality pieces. However, an heirloom-quality photo book is an investment that should last generations. We order our books from a lab that works only with professional photographers, and the reasons we work with them are:

  • Handmade construction (yes, made by hand)

  • True layflat binding

  • Thick, sturdy pages

  • Lustre finish on the pages (prevents fingerprints), and

  • Accurate color tone.

    Here are some examples, below! If you’d rather DYI, we recommend Artifact Uprising.

Is this whole process feeling like too much for you right now?

If you order a photo book from us, we handle everything from photo selection to sequencing to individual spread layouts. After you order, Fin creates a first draft which you review together and make tweaks as needed. Once you’re happy with the design, we send in the order and deliver your heirloom book to your door. EASY!

Feminist Wedding Photography Carly Romeo Photography Richmond VA Album Redtree

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David + Juana's Private Baltimore Clocktower Wedding Ceremony + Reception Partayyy

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David + Juana's Private Baltimore Clocktower Wedding Ceremony + Reception Partayyy

Juana and David had their wedding ceremony in one of the most unique wedding “venues” I’ve ever been to: The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower. Getting to the spot required an elevator ride, a ladder climb, and some careful stepping around actual giant clock machinery, but it was SO WORTH IT. The intimate vibe — just Juana, David, their officiant, and myself were present — made way for so much beautiful, real, raw emotion and one of the most genuine ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed.

Second-favorite thing about David and Juana’s celebration: THE STYLE, Y’ALL. These two radiate confidence in their quirky selves. Juana rocked the combination of ballgown, glam jewelry, tattoos, glasses (#brideswearingspecs, YES), and leather jacket. David was a dapper dad in a burnt orange wool blazer, jewel-toned bowtie, his own glasses and tattoos, and a rad boutonniere that tied the whole look together. To any other groom considering a non-suit, or a non-traditional-color suit, GO FOR IT. Look at David. Be like David.

After their micro ceremony, we took the limo to pick up their two kiddos and made a quick pit stop at their favorite bar for some pinball. Because couples that play together, STAY TOGETHER, friends. It’s real. After that, we popped over to the Corradetti Glassblowing Studio where their reception party was starting to roll! Moment of honestly: it is very rare for the Carly Romeo & Co team to shoot at the same venue more than once — not because we tend to trash the place, but because our couples hail from so many different locations and have such unique tastes that it just so happens that we’re usually checking out new places every time. However, this is the second wedding we’ve shot at Corradetti (HAY Paige and Roger!) and we 100% endorse it as a place to celebrate your love. The glasswork there is gorgeous and the whole place has a very “art is made here” vibe, which we are all about. So Baltimore-area folks: take note!

Anyway, back to Juana and David. Their reception at Corradetti was a candlelit, colorful, beer-lover’s paradise. Instead of cake, they had an ice cream bar. I brought a polaroid camera for their daughters to play with, so there were polaroids a-plenty. There was dancing, and hugging, and so much JOY. It was epic, and we feel so lucky that we were invited to document it.

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Why we didn't hire a wedding photographer

In early 2012, I was navigating the world of wedding planning as a feminist, and it was really hard. In fact, I felt like my options in terms of “weddings” were so limited (and so counter to my feminist values) that I didn’t even want to call our celebration a “wedding” — we called it a Love Party. Some of the true elements of a wedding were still there: sharing a meal with our community from near and far, toasting to each other and to happiness and love in general, dressing up in fancy outfits, dancing our asses of all night. We hired a band and a vegetarian caterer and rented a cool old bank to have the party in, but one thing that we couldn’t find was a wedding photographer that fit our values and would capture our day in the way I had wanted.

It feels like sacrilege to admit that.

It’s not because we didn’t value photography or want the time with our friends and family documented! We were able to convince my dear friend and former Plan 9 Records co-worker PJ, to shoot a few rolls of film and a handful of digitals. (Thank you again, PJ.) But PJ isn’t a wedding photographer; he’s a band/musician/live performance photographer. He’s also the only photographer I could find, after a looooong search, who I knew would keep us comfortable in front of the camera.

Every wedding photographer I found in Richmond in 2012 (a time when googling “Feminist Wedding Photographer” yielded literally zero results—which was eerie) had websites talking only to brides about “the details you’ve spent years dreaming of,” finally finding “Prince Charming,” gushing over “the perfect diamond ring,” and how thrilled I must be to finally become “a Mrs.” Everyone was “so honored” to be considered to shoot the “best day of our lives.” And for some reason, SO MANY of them LOVED Starbucks and mentioned it constantly (still true).

There were photographers promising to pray for us before starting to shoot on our wedding day (pass). There were photographers with only white people on their websites. I did not find ANY Virginia photographers with same-sex couples on their site (in fact, when I started my company in 2014 I was told by a lesbian couple that mine was the only site they could find with same-sex people on it and that was TWO YEARS LATER). Our wedding photographer search was a deep, dark dive into the super white, super hetero, super fairy-tale-schtick Weddingland and we were not about it.

So we celebrated without a professional wedding photographer. We had a beautiful time, we drank boozy milkshakes and enjoyed our friends playing live music and there were decorations made by our dearest friends, and our favors were MASON JARS (because even feminists can be #basic y’all, it was 2012.) My mom made my dress and my dad made my cake and we ate the best vegetarian wedding food ever by Everyday Gourmet. Everyone cried.

We cherish the photos we have, but they aren’t Wedding Photos. I’ve made peace with that (and am eternally grateful to PJ for documenting it at all). But I wish I had had a better option.

So I started my business to be the photographer that I couldn’t find back then.

If you’re searching through what feels like endless websites full of gauzy tulle and people waxing poetic about how idyllic weddings are and that doesn’t fit you — we’re here. We’re realists. We love love, of course. But when we say that, we mean we love people and we love partnerships. We love supporting folks who intentionally navigate (and even disrupt) spaces that aren’t For Them.

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Catie + Erin's Low-key, Queer, State Park Wedding

Erin and Catie have a special place in my heart, because they met at a summer camp, just like my partner and I! I’ll admit, their camp was the outdoorsy kind and ours was the nerdy kind (any CTYers out there?), but still, camp vibes are camp vibes. You camp people understand. Erin also has a Mountain Goats tattoo, so they are clearly one of the coolest people alive. Only the best people have Mountain Goats tattoos. Just saying.

But really: Erin and Catie are awesome people who are clearly immensely in love with one another. Their wedding day started with an awesome surprise: Erin surprised Catie during their first look by playing a song on the guitar. You can see Catie’s reaction below, but spoiler alert: everyone was crying.

For their ceremony, Catie and Erin opted for another surprise: rather than walking into their ceremony, they started the ceremony under an beautiful arbor and their community came to them. I am deeply in support of this twist, which felt unique and special (and helped quell any debate about whether or not someone’s parent/father would “walk them down the aisle.”) It was beautiful to see each person’s reaction to their friends standing there looking all fancy and fabulous. Erin wore a stunner of a gown that had a surprisingly poofy overlayer hiding a glam silhouette underneath; Catie wore slacks, a vest, and a fucking mohawk braid. Mohawk + braid.

Part of their ceremony also included planting a small tree together — be still my tree-hugger heart!! They fortified the soil with ashes from bonfires had at the summer camp where they met. I dare you to come up with a more poetic and nature-loving ceremony element.

The ensuing celebration was catered by one of our favorites, Everyday Gourmet, and the dance party was epic (derby skaters are notoriously wild on the dance floor FYI). Of course, we found some time to sneak away and explore the park during golden hour, which was a combination of photography time and “discussing-the-problem-of-being-misgendered-when-wearing-a-wedding-dress” time (PSA: people who wear dresses aren’t always ladies/don’t always use she/her.) We closed the day with everyone blowing bubbles and hugging and feeling so grateful to know these two and be part of their story.

VENUE: Pocahontas State Park

OFFICIANT: Casey Doukopil, EQ Events

CATERING: Everyday Gourmet

JEWELER: Diamonds Direct

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Milan + Susan's Kaleidoscopic Indian + Jewish Wedding

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Milan + Susan's Kaleidoscopic Indian + Jewish Wedding

You may have seen a glimpse of this wedding in our article about wedding party outfits (hint: it’s the photo of the bridesmaids wearing saris), but Susan and Milan’s colorful Indian wedding deserves a post all its own. Prepare your eyes for a magical ride of color and joy.

With an Indian groom and a Jewish bride, there were many traditions that Susan and Milan could choose from for their celebration. Milan opted to wear a traditional sherwani in a beautiful gold color over ruby red pants, with jutti shoes in gold and ivory (complete with those awesome curls on the toes). He also had a ton of groom swag/jewels/accessories, which we are Here. For. Susan picked a white gown and a chapel-length veil, plus bridal mehendi on her hands, arms, and feet (also omg can we talk about how great her eye makeup is?? Well done, Miriam!) plus a couple gold bangles.

These two had one of the most colorful (and biggest!) wedding parties we’ve ever worked with. Susan’s bridesmaids wore a combo of American-style dresses and saris, ranging in color from apricot to fuchsia; Milan’s groomsmen also wore sherwanis, but with American shoes.

After their first look, there was a raucous Baraat (sorry, no horse though) with drums and singing and shouting through the streets. Matt totally captured the joy and energy of that procession! After they made it over to the venue, the two families signed a ketubah (a traditional Jewish wedding document) and the ceremony began!

They got married under a dreamy, jewel-toned mandap that looked like it was straight out of a royal palace. We were also particularly fond of the candles along the sides of the aisles, which gave the whole room a warm, golden feel. The ceremony incorporated both Indian and Jewish traditions, and culminated with Milan stomping on a glass (Mavel Tov!) and the new couple leaving the ceremony draped in flowers.

Susan entered the reception with her own surprise: she had changed out of her white gown and into a crimson-and-gold sari. She and Milan shared a first dance. Toasts happened. Everyone cried. Dancing started. Everyone cheered. A few bridesmaids surprised Milan with a traditional Indian dance, and then there was the traditional Jewish wedding dance: the Hora!

Weddings are about community. Susan and Milan come from different backgrounds, so their community is a blend of those backgrounds, and so was their wedding. It was a joy to witness the ways they incorporated each of their backgrounds into one giant, opulent, whirlwind of love and celebration. Do you have plans to weave different traditions together? We’d love to hear your ideas!!

PLANNING: Jeannette Tavares, Evoke DC

FLORALS | DESIGN: Sarah Khan Event Styling

VENUE | CATERING: The Westin Annapolis

WHITE DRESS: Francesca’s Bridal

HAIR: Sara Elizabeth, Infinity Artistry

MAKEUP: Miriam Ault

DJ: DJ Ramzy

CEREMONY MUSIC: Iain Forrest, Eyeglasses String Music

LIGHTING | DRAPING | SOUND: Brian Wasser, Electric Entertainment

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Kim + Bryan's Tropical Richmond Wedding

Question: How do two PhD students with a deep love for anthropological research and Spanish-speaking countries (her: Ecuador, him: Mexico) have a lush, tropical, fiesta-esque wedding in Richmond VA?

Answer: They celebrate at Havana 59 surrounded by juicy, colorful floral designs by Amanda Burnette and listening to salsa music late into the night!

This was our first Havana 59 wedding and WOW are we spoiled now. When I first met Bryan and Kim, I was blown away by their dedication to education, educational access, immigration reform, and cultural understanding. If you’re curious about the definition of “intersectional” feminism, this is it: sexism and gender discrimination never occur in a vacuum, and all oppressions are interconnected. They both are earning Ph.D.’s in intersectional issues. They both are badasses.

We started the day with a small, family-only vow exchange at the Linden Row Inn. It was raining, so afterward we popped over to the Richmond Public library for some portraits under those big, beautiful, rain-protecting arches! (Photographers take note, this is a great spot for photos when the weather is less than ideal) Then we headed downtown for zesty mojitos, extremely tasty Cuban food, another (quick) ceremony, and some side-splitting toasts and EPIC dancing.

The entire vibe of the day was deliciously colorful and vibrant, from the aesthetic (again, omg, those flowers) to the interactions: it was awesome to watch as Kim and Bryan’s friends from childhood met friends from college, Richmond friends met friends from Puerto Rico, great aunts met high school friends, and everyone bonded over the rich and profound love that Kim and Bryan have for everyone in their orbit. They are clearly steadfast, thoughtful friends and we were honored to get to document the beauty that they bring to the world!

VENUE | CATERING - Havana 59

HAIR | MAKEUP - Carly Moenich, Luminary Hair Co.

FLORALS - Amanda Burnette

TRANSPORTATION - Richmond Trolley Co.

JEWELER - Jerome Golfman, Schwarzchild Jewelers

INVITATIONS | STATIONERY - Cayce Matteoli, Earthereal Design

DJ - DJ Ricky Halo, OLA Lighting and DJs

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Three Ways To Not Force Your Wedding Party to Dress Like Creepy Identical Quintuplets

Are you stoked about having your nearest and dearest stand next to you on your wedding day, but the matchy-matchy debutante army of identically-dressed friends isn’t your jam? Do you feel kind of weird telling grown people what they should wear? Are you not into the idea of your best pals to have to buy something they will never wear again just because You Said So? And are you annoyed that brides are “supposed” to have only women in their wedding party, and grooms are “supposed” to only have men?

Well guess what! We have some ideas for you.

1. Instead of the same color, go with a color “family”

This is probably the least “fuck you tradition” way to give your wedding party some autonomy around what they wear: give them a family of colors to choose their outfits from.

 Wedding party unique color ideas

For folks who are wearing suits, that might be “gray suit,” for folks who are wearing dresses that might be “gray” or “violet to eggplant” or even an actual color palette (we all know Pinterest is lousy with color pallettes). Unless you have a massive wedding party that would make it really obvious if someone strayed too far from the color range, take a deep breath and let your friends do their thing. Micromanaging this process kiiiinda defeats the idea of letting each person pick what color is best for them.

Carly Romeo and Co - Wedding Party Unique Ideas - Purple Color Palette.JPG
Carly Romeo and Co - Wedding Party Unique Ideas - Blue Floral Color Palette.JPG

Encouraging your friends to play with textures or patterns within your color scheme is an extra bonus that we’re sure they will appreciate! Last month, we shot a wedding where the bridesmaid theme was “blue florals” and it was AWESOME. You can get a similar effect with suits that have different patterns!

 gray suit mismatched wedding party

Bonus points: If you want to go super old-school, ask your bridesmaids to wear white! Some sources say that originally the bride and all the bridesmaids wore exactly the same dress and veiled their faces heavily, for the purpose of confusing jealous suitors and evil spirits. You can probably skip the identical dresses thing, but everyone wearing white a pretty badass way to give the middle finger to tradition!

Carly Romeo and Co - Wedding Party Unique Ideas - Bridesmaids in White.JPG

2. Don’t be afraid to mix modern and traditional wear.

These days, weddings are usually a beautiful mix of traditions: some old, some more modern, and some completely unique to you and your boo. There’s no reason that can’t extend to your wedding party. If some folks prefer more traditional outfits and some prefer more modern outfits, let them do them! Your wedding is about blending families (and in some cases, cultures) anyway.

Carly Romeo and Co - Wedding Party Unique Ideas - Traditional Indian Wedding Saris.JPG

3. Forced single-gender wedding parties are sooooooo over.

If all your besties happen to be one gender, we support you. HOWEVER if you have a sibling or dear friend who isn’t the “right” gender for your wedding party, FUCK. THAT. If they want to stand with you, let them be there. They are wayyyy more important than the gender dichotomy BS that weddings looooove to stir up. This is especially true for men who have close friends who are women, but all the groom-related “shoulds” make it hard to step even slightly outside the masculine ideal of dudes-only friendships. Here are two of our favorite examples of grooms who push back against THAT weirdness:

Carly Romeo and Co - Wedding Party Unique Ideas - Gender Neutral Wedding Party.JPG
Carly Romeo and Co - Wedding Party Unique Ideas - Gender Neutral Wedding Party.JPG

And one bride who did it, just for good measure:

Carly Romeo and Co - Wedding Party Unique Ideas - Gender Neutral Wedding Party.JPG

Remember: your community is your community. Your wedding is about celebrating your relationship with the people you love, not forcing the people you love to do whatever you say. In the end, you won’t even remember if everyone’s hair is perfect or they’re dressed “right,” but rather how much joy you felt celebrating with them near you.

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Sara + Kelsey's Interfaith, Queer, Autumn-in-upstate-New-York Wedding

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Sara + Kelsey's Interfaith, Queer, Autumn-in-upstate-New-York Wedding

Today we’re sharing an upstate New York wedding that was plucked directly from our dreams. Kelsey and Sara live in DC, but decided on a Foxfire Mountain House wedding after falling in love with it during their travels. Considering it’s one of the most beautiful venues we have ever seen, we don’t blame them. This place is legit MAGICAL. The foliage, the lake, the interior design, and the house made of windows had us drooling. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

Sara and Kelsey have one of the strongest and most vibrant communities we have ever seen. Their friends even banded together (literally) to create an engagement scavenger hunt for Kelsey, the finale of which involved Sara surprising Kelsey at their home with dozens of friends and a live performance (i.e. singing AND instruments) of “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. There’s a video; we still cry watching it.

Thanks to their incredible community of friends and family (plus one of our favorite wedding planners, Dawn Mauberret), their wedding celebration was unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. They wove so many beautiful elements together: a ketubah signing, a flower-covered chuppah, a prayer led by Kelsey’s dad (who she did a beautiful “first look” with), live ceremony music, seven friends giving the seven blessings, incredible food including family-style dinner and an entire dessert table, handmade signage and other crafts, a bonfire, unicorn-themed party hats, and of course a raucous hora.

Some people may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by having a "destination” wedding, but having your wedding somewhere that you feel comfortable and at ease is of utmost importance. On average, couples spend the biggest chunk of their budget on their venue (according to this super-fascinating WeddingWire Report) and the environment you get married in sets the tone for the day. So CHOOSE carefully, friends! And if anyone is planning their Foxfire Mountain House wedding, we would love to go back. Hit us up.

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What our feminist marriage looks like: Lili + Alexis

This fall, we’re pushing the conversation beyond “feminist wedding” and talking about feminist marriages. We asked some of our past clients to share their insights this: What do feminist marriages look like? How do they work? Do things even really change after your wedding?

First up are Lili and Alexis, who were married three years ago today at Bluemont Vineyard. I still remember first meeting them and noticing how strong their partnership was, and how unflinchingly positive Lili was balanced perfectly by thoughtful, easy-to-laugh Alexis. They have some great thoughts on their wedding planning process, intentionality (then and now), and self-reflection.

 Bluemont Vineyard Wedding, Same-sex wedding, queer wedding in virginia

Looking back, what was/were the most important element(s) of your wedding?

Alexis: Honestly, it was hiring the “right” people that set the tone. Between our wedding coordinator, photographer (nudge nudge!) and our DJ, I felt like we assembled a crew who really embodied the spirit we wanted to have in our wedding – relaxed and authentic.

Lili: We didn’t want a “traditional” wedding – we wanted to have an awesome party where our family and friends could have a great time. It might sound silly, but I’m obsessed with dessert, so having an awesome and unique dessert array was important to me! (We didn’t have a traditional wedding cake – we served warm pie and ice cream, and Smith Island Cake, Maryland’s official dessert! It was AWESOME!) Decide as a couple what the important things are, and do it!

 Bluemont Vineyard Wedding, Same-sex wedding, queer wedding in virginia

In what ways, if any, did your relationship change after your wedding?

Alexis: After we got married, there was this wonderful feeling of “that’s my person.” Not having to question if your partner would be there by your side in all of life’s future chapters. We were engaged for almost two years, and bought a house before we got married, so we had countless conversations about what marriage meant to us and what the components of a lifelong, healthy relationship would look like – it helped us to be fully intentional when we made that commitment to each other.  

Lili: I just feel like I love Alexis more with each passing month and year. I know that sounds super corny, but when you have your “person” to go through life with, the highs seem even higher and the lows don’t seem quite so low. Marriage definitely isn’t all sunshine and roses, but I’ve never doubted for a second that Alexis is the most awesome person I could ever wish for to wade through those murky waters with!

 Bluemont Vineyard Wedding, Same-sex wedding, queer wedding in virginia

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding, Same-sex wedding, queer wedding in virginia

How do your feminist beliefs/politics play out in your relationship?

We joke sometimes about the power dynamics (“male” and “female”) in our relationship. Certainly there are roles that I more naturally fit into and roles that she more naturally fits into, but we don’t ascribe those characteristics to gender, because there is no “male” in the relationship! We ascribe them to one of us having a particular strength and owning that role (For example, one of just so happens to be super handy with a chainsaw, and the other has a true gift for loading the dishwasher perfectly!) Above all else, we always try to give the other person what they need in that moment, and be our truest selves.

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What are the tools in your relationship toolkit that help you when times are tough?

Alexis: I try to remember that there will be many moments in our lives when things will be out of balance and one spouse may need more support than the other. The scale is always tipping one way or another – through work or education or family.

Lili: For me, I think self-reflection is a critically important tool for life, especially in the context of a relationship. If I am going through a stressful time, I have the tendency to direct my anxiety and stress to the person closest to me – that’s almost always my wife, and that’s not fair to her at all. In those moments, it’s so important for me to look inside myself and recognize that she’s on my team. On a lighter note, laughter is so important in our relationship, and I think it really helps in challenging times!

 Bluemont Vineyard Wedding, Same-sex wedding, queer wedding in virginia

How do you intentionally grow alongside your partner over the years?

I think it’s so important to constantly assess three things:

1.     Am I growing as an independent person?

2.     Am I helping my partner grow as an independent person?

3.     Are we making sure that while we’re supporting each other in #1 and #2, we’re also growing together?

So many couples struggle with #3. Our lives get so stressful and busy, we forget to nurture the person that’s always along for the ride with us. Make sure to take time to keep building your story – by learning new things or doing new activities that continue to strengthen and grow your relationship. For us, making sure we’ve covered all three bases (and always checking in about it) is so important to an ever-changing partnership over the years.

What are your top three ingredients for a successful feminist marriage/partnership?

1. Respect

2. Patience

3. Laughter/Fun

 Bluemont Vineyard Wedding, Same-sex wedding, queer wedding in virginia

 

If you could give fellow feminists who are planning a wedding some advice, what would it be? 

Make your own rules based on what is important to the both of you. Forget about what a “traditional” wedding should look or feel like. Do what feels right – it’s nobody’s day but yours!

 

If you could give fellow feminists who are planning a marriage some advice, what would it be?

Honestly, same as above – make your own rules. It’s so easy to let society tell you what you should be doing, and that even applies to same-sex relationships and their dynamics. Remember that you are a team – play off each other’s strengths and communicate constantly to make sure your game plans are aligned!

 Bluemont Vineyard Wedding, Same-sex wedding, queer wedding in virginia

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