H&H Weddings

fashion & décor

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Halloween Round Up
gallery Oct 31 2017
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Inspiration for a ghoulish fête!

We love the dark, ominous feeling of Halloween! It's one part frightening, one part exciting and we just can't get enough! We have rounded up some of our favorite, dark inspiration for this spooky holiday! Check out our All Hallows Eve Pinterest board for more ideas on Halloween décor! 

Image Credits, Left to Right: The Inspiration Grid :: Etsy :: A White Carousel :: Megumi Mizuno, Twitter :: The Sweetest Occasion :: Pinterest

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Tagged: fall décor, fall inspiration, halloween
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Ajay Title_key Zlatan

Real Wedding
gallery Jan 4 2017
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Modern LA Grooms

Tell us your love story!

We met at our favorite queer bar in Los Angeles - Akbar. We have completely different memories of what happened that night (alcohol may have been involved). But we’ve seen each other almost every day since that night (over 7 years ago).

What about the proposal?

We went out to dinner the night before Zlatan’s 31st birthday. I (Ajay) hid the ring in my car and surprised Zlatan with it after dessert came out. Zlatan opened the ring box and said something like, “Oh, you got me a ring for my birthday!” Unprepared for this response, I blurted out something like, “Let’s get gay married!” Zlatan somehow thought it was a prank, and I spent the next few minutes trying to convince him it was a serious proposal. He said yes (whew!)

When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?

Probably after our trip to India together, when Zlatan met all of my (Ajay’s) extended family. We spent a week on the road together in Goa and in North India. After that, I knew our relationship was built to last. For me (Zlatan), our relationship was pretty effortless from day one. I had never been with anyone before that cared that much for me. I knew we were meant for each other early on in our relationship. I was having lunch with one of my best friends about a year into it when she asked me if he was the one, and without hesitation, I answered “absolutely!” I had no doubts about it!

Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?

We wanted something low-key, with our close friends and family. We did not want an elaborate ceremony. We wanted our guests to feel like they were at a dinner party at our house.

What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?

I (Ajay) was shocked at how much Zlatan and I agreed on things! I don’t remember any major disagreements in the planning process. The hardest part was figuring out the guest list -- our venue could only accommodate 150 for a seated dinner.

Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?

It’s impossible to make everyone (guests, family, your partner) happy, so don’t try to do it. Get a planner and stay out of the venue the day of your ceremony! I was hoping to be more hands on with décor, flowers, and the setup but realized there was no way I could handle it. Having someone else worry about all of that was the best thing we could have done!

Any advice for couples planning weddings now?

Keep things as simple as possible -- it’ll be easier on you and your guests! Try to sleep the night before because you will be exhausted otherwise.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

For me (Ajay), it was definitely the ceremony. Our good friend, Stacey, who is hilarious, officiated the wedding. She brought so much joy, humor, love, and insight to the whole process -- we couldn’t have asked for more. I choked up during my vows and cried like a baby. It was excruciating, but also the most meaningful event of my life. For me (Zlatan), it was all about being able to celebrate our union in front of our family, friends, and loved ones. It made the day that much more special!

From the photographer...

This historic 1920's house was such a charming venue for their ceremony and reception. After getting ready at Hotel Covell, a small, boutique hotel located in the Los Feliz neighborhood, we took a trip to the bar where the couple first met, and had some fun recreating some dance moves in the back room where a disco ball was hanging over head (but it was during the day so we had the whole place to ourselves).

At their venue, candles, succulents, and white hydrangeas provided the perfect accent to the exposed brick walls of the venue. The couple's ceremony was officiated by their dear friend Stacey, and there was not a dry eye left by the time Ajay and Zlatan were done with their vows. Zlatan, an Art Director for Barbie, of course had to have the doll herself at his wedding - she guarded the guest book and made an appearance on the dance floor later in the evening.  

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Tagged: summer fashion, summer décor, california, grooms, wedding, los angeles, rachel stelter photography, day of gal
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Richard Title_key Doug

Real Wedding
gallery Nov 28 2016
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A Rustic California Affair

How I met Rich wasn't particularly romantic. I'd been single for about a year and, though having dated a lot, I hadn't met anyone that I really connected with. I'd always been hesitant to try online dating, but after kissing too many frogs, I decided it was time to give it a try. So, I joined match.com, just to see what would happen. I was looking for someone down to earth who really cared about his family, not just said so; someone I could build a life and a family with.

One day as I was scrolling through profiles I received a private message. I pulled up the profile and it seemed like it was written just for me: family, travel, good food, etc., and he was cute, at least in the very fuzzy picture he'd posted. I replied to his message and after several exchanges and a couple of calls, we decided to meet for coffee.

The morning of our date rolled around. As I was walking up to the coffee shop, a very handsome guy pulled up who slightly resembled the photo Rich had posted. I remembering thinking it couldn't be him because why would a guy that handsome post that photo?! But, lucky me! We sat and chatted over coffee. We talked about our lives, our families, our travels and decided this was worth exploring further.

The first few months were fun, but a little rocky. I really liked this guy, but wasn't sure if he was really ready for a grown up relationship, so just before Halloween, I ended it. Ended it until he showed up Halloween night at a bar I was at with my friends, walked right up to the guy I was on a date with and promptly told him that things weren't going to workout because I was his boyfriend, or at least, was going to be. He told me that he'd made a mistake and wanted to give it another go. More than a little impressed by his gumption and vulnerability, I didn't hesitate and before I knew it, many months had passed and I was thinking about marrying this handsome globetrotting chef.

We'd planned a trip to Italy, our first overseas trip together. We'd scheduled it so that we'd leave the morning after his best friends wedding. Leading up to the trip we'd had some conversations about the future and marriage, so I decided I'd pop the question while we were on the Amalfi coast; could there be possibly be a more romantic place to do it? Well, Rich is a man who goes after what he wants. The night of his friends rehearsal dinner we ate and drank and laughed with his friends and drank some more. As we were pouring ourselves into bed at the hotel, he looked at me and said: "Are you going to ask me to marry you in Italy? What are you waiting for? Just ask me now." Long story short, after playing coy for a few minutes, I realized my plans were irrelevant. I was laying next to the guy I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, so why wait? So, I asked and my Prince Charming and he said yes. We spent the next two weeks eating too much pasta, drinking too much wine, and making plans for our future and the wedding.

As the days became weeks then months, the wedding plans slowly came together. I left most of the planning to him. He was in the 'industry' and has a far better eye for these things than I've ever had. Okay, I left all the planning to him. We both agreed that we wanted a wedding near our home, but wanted it to feel like a destination wedding for the many guests who would be coming from out of town. So, we planned four days of parties and brunches and opportunities for our families and friends to get to know each other. It was amazing. Our families clicked and the food and fun couldn't have been better.

The day of the wedding came and everything went off without a hitch; perfect weather, deer hopping across the yard minutes before we were to walk down the aisle, a surprise guitarist playing the most beautiful tunes (thanks, baby), and none of the typical wedding drama. Best of all, at the end of the night I was married to a man that always makes me laugh. In the months since, so many people have told us that it was the best wedding they'd ever been too. Whether true or not, I know that there couldn't possibly be another wedding that I could love more because at the end of it all I was starting the life I'd always dreamed of with a man I thought I'd never find.  

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Tagged: fall fashion, fall inspiration, outdoor wedding, grooms, fall wedding
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Meg Title_key Stephanie

Real Wedding
gallery Sep 26 2016
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How did you meet?

Tinder. With my bad luck with app/online dating in the past, I tried so hard to avoid going on any more dates through apps. We were chatting back and forth on Tinder for about 2 weeks and then Steph offered me her number saying, “Well if you find yourself some time between work, studying, HBO and going to the gym you should text me ##.” I then responded with my phone number, knowing full well that with my prior crap luck, I would not be texting her. The next morning, at 7 AM, I received a text from a 917 number that was wishing me good luck on my midterm. What a first impression! We chatted back a forth for a few more weeks before we committed to finally meeting. It was March 1st after cycle for survival, with much convincing from my brother and Adam, we met at Khave coffee shop in Hells Kitchen. It had to be non-alcohol related throughout the whole dating process because I was training for my bodybuilding show.

Over 4 weeks, we had 3 dates on week nights. Finally, we booked a date on a Friday to watch March Madness games until 2 in the morning. We strolled up to Columbus Circle, where we had our first kiss. I thought Steph was never going to talk to me again, but we found ourselves hanging out that evening as well….and then next week, and the week after that. I knew I made the cut when Steph finally took me to meet Judy and the Pipsy and then the following week a Taco Night at Erica and Noah’s. I was finally meeting the FBC!

The Proposal

It was Meg's graduation, so I finally convinced her to come to eat at Per Se as a celebration. She didn't know what we were actually celebrating though. We fought all day because she wanted to go to the city for the whole day before the dinner. I had written will you marry me in a graduation card and tried to give it to her at the beginning of the meal. She kept saying "later," until I freaked out so she took it, begrudgingly. When she read the bottom, she said "Is this for real?" and started crying and then she said "yes!" We had the best meal of our lives.

From Meg

After about 2 months, I was riding the bus and talking to my mom on the phone asking her when is too soon to say “I love you." I was concerned. Steph was buying a place in Brooklyn and, to me, Brooklyn seemed so far away from my life in Manhattan and my family, so I was nervous to fall in love and commit. I soon realized that was both crazy and stupid.

We knew we wanted to get married in Brooklyn which has become our new home. We knew we didn't want anything over the top, just down to earth like us. Beer, booze, great food and an amazing dance party. Once we found the place and a great caterer, everything fell into place. However, trying to keep our vision while dealing with our families was certainly a challenge. Our DJ was very helpful with planning the flow of the events.

Advice

Make sure the couple takes time for them self.

The day is very overwhelming with a lot of family.

Make sure to eat enough before the party starts.

No matter what happens and no matter how things turn out, be on each other's side.

Pick a few things that are truly important to you both and focus on that.

Don't sweat the small stuff, in the end you will be married and the party will be a memory.

Our favorite part of our wedding day was the pie. Screw cake...eat pie.

Last note: take engagement photos even if you never use them it makes you comfortable with someone following you around with a camera. 

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Tagged: fall fashion, white wedding dress, brides, new york city, sasithon photography, fall wedding, 26 bridge, denise fasanello, jay mcelfresh, kenneth pool, real food catering, inklinations, rebekah sattler, michelle stern beauty, jeffrey charles designs
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Matt Title_key Skip

Real Wedding
gallery Mar 21 2016
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Wisconsin Nuptials

How We Met (As told by Skip)...

Well, how we met is pretty typical. We were set up by a mutual friend and had a blind double date. It was a lovely night once I realized that Matt existed. Let's just say that I may have spent the first 45 minutes catching up with my friend and kind of ignoring him...so, I go to the bathroom and Rachel asks Matt how it is going. He indicates he likes me but gets the sense I am not that in to him. I come back from the bathroom and then Matt excusing himself. Rachel basically jumps on me once he was up from the table and was like, "What are you doing? You have barely talked to him." Needless to say, when Matt got back to the table it was like I had laser beam eyes on him and we spent the rest of the night hitting it off. Like the gentleman that he is, he walked me home afterward.

Now our second date, that is a story....that might require an interview.

The Wedding Day...

When your dog barks at just the right moment during your wedding ceremony, then you know perfection is all you can really call your wedding day… and that’s exactly what happened with Matt and Skip’s special day along the water at their private lake house in Ephraim, Wisconsin.   As if to naturally set the tone, it started with getting ready together while their classical guitar player and cousin started to practice the processional song. Through some happy tears, these two grooms just sat on the porch together and listened, excited for what this day meant to them. Inspired by blending nautical and rustic details together – such as red and blue check and a delicious pig roast – these two grooms envisioned a beautiful day in Door County with their closest loved ones. Matt’s most sound advice? "Go non-traditional. Find a space from the past or your time together as a couple and really make it your own."

With a homemade pickle bar, seafaring bunting banners, family-painted signage, hand-stamped napkins, there was not one detail that wasn’t personal and memorable for Matt and Skip. 

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Tagged: summer décor, summer inspiration, outdoor wedding, grooms, summer, wisconsin, lakeside, midwest
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Lindsay Title_key Courtnie

Real Wedding
gallery Jan 11 2016
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A Brooklyn Winery Wedding

From the photographer...

Lindsay & Courtnie were married at Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We started the day with them getting ready at the amazing Wythe Hotel. I arrived early to scout for some good portraits spots between the hotel and the venue and found several wonderful murals and spots I knew would photograph beautifully – check out their portraits! After getting all dressed up in their finery for the big day we headed over towards the venue and met up with family members for some group pictures in the space before the guests started arriving.

Lindsay & Courtnie’s ceremony in the beautiful rustic wood-walled main room of Brooklyn Winery was very moving– their vows were so personal and sweet, there was not a dry eye in the house! Guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the entry room with the bar and hit the photobooth upstairs (with a view of the ‘barrel room’) while the wonderful staff at Brooklyn Winery expertly transformed the ceremony space into a dining room complete with gorgeous long banquet tables. Activity books and “cootie catchers” with trivia about the couple provided a fun complement to the rustic industrial romance of the decor. After dinner everyone enjoyed dancing the rest of the night away– Lindsay & Courtnie were no exception!

I was so honored to shoot this special day for them – congratulations, Lindsay & Courtnie!  

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Tagged: spring fashion, spring décor, brooklyn , brides, rustic, brooklyn wedding, spring wedding
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Staci Title_key Kristin

Real Wedding
gallery Dec 7 2015
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A Gorgeous Garden Cremony

Tell us your love story!

We met through friends, but the sparks didn't fly right away. In fact, we hardly said a word to each other during our first meeting, because we were both distracted by others. It didn't even happen when we kissed the first time, several months after our first meeting. Sparks finally flew when Staci texted Kristin after waiting TWO WHOLE DAYS after she planted the kiss on her!  Once we started talking and getting to know each other, the attraction grew like wildfire. We both loved to laugh, and Staci was starting to realize Kristin just might be witty enough to keep up with her! Kristin knew pretty early on that Staci was the one, so naturally she started running around like a lovesick teenager talking to anyone who would listen about her budding relationship. Staci was playing it cool but she knew what she wanted, and that was Kristin. So, one night Staci asked Kristin if she wanted to give this thing a real shot, by removing any distractions and just focusing on growing their new relationship, which already seemed to have endless potential. Kristin was beside herself with excitement that Staci only wanted her, and said YES without hesitation!

From then on, it was an easy transition into falling madly in love; with lots of laughs, adventures and a mutual respect for what we had found in each other.

Kristin became Staci's Lily, and Staci became Kristin's Forever.

What about the proposal?

We were having a birthday party for Kristin as well as a house warming party to celebrate moving into our new place so we were surrounded by friends and family. As everyone gathered to sing Happy Birthday to Kristin there was a huge surprise waiting for her, written on the cake was “Kristin, Will you marry me?” Kristin was so oblivious that she did not even look at the cake until the birthday song was nearly over. Staci had to come over to Kristin and point it out, immediately she started crying and said yes, of course. Staci banked on Kristin saying yes because she had a sign immediately revealed as well as a champagne toast in personalized glasses that said "She said yes!” and the date on them.

When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?

Pretty immediately. We decided early on that our budding relationship was worth eliminating any distractions of other people. We wanted to focus on growing the strong connection we developed. We had both grown up with loving friends and family who we hold in very high regard, that helped us to bond very early in the relationship.

Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?

From the beginning of the planning stages we knew we wanted our special day to be not only about our love, but all of the people in our lives that helped to get us to the point where we were ready to receive the forever kind of love. We wanted our wedding to be heartfelt and thoughtful. We also enjoy a good party as do a majority of our guests, so we threw in a few fun surprises as well as signature cocktails to get the party started. We wanted to decorate with textures rather than color because the outside venue was already so naturally lush. We outfitted the venue with lots of creams, textures, succulents and pops of gold (Kristin’s personal favorite touch).

What surprised you during planning?

The surprising part of planning is how much is involved in it, even when you think you have a grip on what needs to be done, more things arise. The easy part was being completely confident in who I was marrying, all the other things become minimal compared to that. I think an ease comes with that fact, which makes the planning all go a little more smoothly. The difficult part is deciding when to say no, there are so many extra touches you can add to make the day unique and special but it is so easy to overdo it.

Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?

The whole day goes by so fast, enjoy the planning process. We had a fabulous wedding coordinator, Chanda of A Monique Affair. We were pretty organized through the process but hiring her earlier on might have relieved some stress.

Any advice for couples planning weddings now?

My advice is to not only stay present the day of the wedding but during the planning process. Having a videographer is so important, the day goes by so fast and there are a lot of moments you will miss.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Everything!! I feel like all the special touches went off perfectly and were well received. I think everyone who came noticed the effort we put into it and really appreciated it. Everyone who attended felt the love and had an amazing time. 

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Tagged: spring décor, summer décor, fashion for every season, spring florals, spring inspiration, summer florals, summer inspiration, wedding dress alternatives, a monique affair, brides, oye productions, wedding attire, megan moura photography, pieces by violet, wildwood acres, mark welch entertainment, plan decor, norcal filmworks
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Amber Title_key Sydney

Styled Shoot
gallery Nov 18 2015
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Boho Babes

This boho beach inspired shoot on the soft, sandy shore of Laguna Beach, California at the Surf and Sand Resort will make you green with envy! The free-spirited prettiness is pulled together, effortlessly in every detail. We are seriously drooling over here!

The deep, colorful blooms & textured florals combined with vintage rugs & furniture make for a warm, inviting setting. We love how organic this feels set against the breaking waves. The dreamweaver quality in the paper goods is just too perfect! 

This shoot has us missing the summer sun already! 

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Tagged: summer fashion, summer décor, summer florals, summer inspiration, inspiration shoot, wedding gowns, styled shoot, brides, wedding attire, surf & sand resort, lin & jirsa, trina schmidt weddings, flowers by cina, sweet salvage vintage rentals, dish wish, green effect, luxe linens, nicole miller, alvina valenta, styled by tc, design visage, honeycrisp designs, its all about the cake
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Style Board
gallery Nov 11 2015
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House Of Ollichon

Laird #2

Welcome to part 2 of our style session with the Laird Jumpsuit, a piece that we'll be dreaming about for years to come! House of Ollichon knows how to make us swoon. Hard.

We wanted a slightly more masculine look for this style board, so we chose a beautiful burgundy velvet blazer by Emilio Pucci, for a winter-ready look. Because the blazer is such a strong addition to the outfit, we opted for delicate earrings, by Catbird, a sleek leather clutch by Cuyana & simple, but elegant suede pumps by Vince. 

We needed one more accessory and didn't want to weigh down the look with a watch, so we picked a pocket watch as a piece of interest. It's classic, traditionally masculine & it works perfectly with the garb!

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Tagged: winter fashion, fashion for every season, fashion, wedding dress alternatives, wedding attire, house of ollichon
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Jen Title_key Lauren

Real Wedding
gallery Oct 14 2015
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Brooklyn Babes

Getting married is the BEST.

I think I told every person at our reception that I loved them -- every single one.

Getting married is quite the enterprise and there were dozens of people working at our wedding -- bartending, serving and organizing. And I loved every one of them. Not to mention all the friends and family. That is truly the oddest and most overwhelming sensation -- to stand in room with 150+ people and know and love every one. To have every person in that room be hurtling well wishes in your direction. It is the most joyous occasion.

Jen and I are so grateful for the experience, the sacrifices, and the generosity. We are still brimming with joy from the day.

Here are some final thoughts on the details.

Flowers:

Jen and I decided early on that we didn’t really care about “florals.” We decided to save money here. We ordered succulents online and potted hundreds of them in my mom’s backyard. My mom bought potted marigolds from the garden depot, Jen’s mom made a floral arch with clippings and daisies, and on the day-of, Allison (our day-of coordinator/angel) bought an assortment of greens and tulips from Trader Joe’s. Nothing too fancy. The result was bright and green and exactly what we wanted. I stopped at a bodega on the morning of my wedding and bought an assortment of bright flowers and greens and made my flower crown while drinking mimosas with my bridesmaids. Easy peasy!

Bridal Parties:

Originally, Jen and I thought we’d be easy and simply ask our Maids of Honor to stand with us. It’s a weird tradition, right? The whole barrage of friends in matching dresses and suits? Well, that went out the window. We ended up having epic bridal parties and could not have been more thrilled. We asked our sixteen attendants to choose a floral to wear: dresses, jumpsuits, suits, ties, shirts, whatever. It was so fun to see how these melange of flowers worked so well together and we were delighted to get to spend more time with our best friends prepping.

DIY:

I’ll be honest, I went a little crazy with the DIY. I wanted everything to be in my handwriting, made programs, giant plywood menus, illustrated bridesmaid guides, reserved signs, washi-tape flags, oversized confetti, temporary tattoos with our likenesses. It was a lot and a few days before the wedding I was a bit of a mess. I wouldn’t change any of this, but it’s a lot to take on. AND my favorite DIY piece ended up being the one I didn’t make: our amazing floral backdrop for the photobooth was made by Gina Paola.

Something Blue and Other Traditions:

Jen and I both wore blue suede shoes-- for tradition and also Elvis. We both wore something old, something borrowed and something new-- and the kicker-- sixpence in both our shoes! We thought a lot about tradition when we were planning our wedding. There’s so much to consider, so many gender norms, and a lot of pressure to make thoughtful decisions: who is walking who down the aisle? First dances? What to do with an odd numbers of bridesmaids? Wearing white!?! Jen and I choose ones that were fun and meaningful to us.

Hors d’eouvres for Hours:

We did not have a sit down dinner. Honestly, we didn’t want to have to deal with making a seating chart, something that would inevitably be complained about by guests. We had a cocktail-style reception where small bites were served throughout the night. We had one station with crudite and what not, but other than that -- it was bite-sized reubens, tortas and cucumber sandwiches being passed throughout the night. This was recommended as a money saving option and it was -- you don’t have to rent dishes and silverware -- but we couldn’t recommend it more highly. Our caterer, Steven Brown, made a huge variety of delicious food and was super open to our “sandwich-theme.” No one had an assigned seat (truthfully, we didn’t even have enough chairs for everyone) and was encouraged to mix, mingle, and most importantly, DANCE!

Dollar Dance:

This was Jen’s idea and I was skeptical. It is a tradition in all the weddings held where Jen grew up (upstate New York). People line up to dance with the brides, attendants collect a dollar and allow 25-45 seconds of dance time per person. Our DJ (DJ Mikey Palms) played a wild medley and we got face-time with nearly everyone. Throughout the night, you’re thrown around from toasts to pictures, to cake-cutting, and it was so nice to be able to spend a few seconds with each guest, one-on-one.

Desserts:

My mom made our cake. It’s my grandmother’s recipe and it was served at my parent’s wedding. I thought we’d just have a small cake to cut and smoosh in Jen’s face and that would be it, but my mom insisted that we needed enough cake for everyone. It was delicious and massive and we are still eating it. We also had two custom ice cream flavors made. I am the Creative Director at Ample Hills Creamery (homemade ice cream shop in Brooklyn) and the chefs churned and gifted two tubs of “Jen” and “Lauren” flavors. Oatmeal stout dark chocolate with peanut butter pretzels for Jen and, for me, a Moscow Mule blueberry sorbet with candied ginger. I ate one bite of cake off Jen’s fork and didn’t even see the ice cream, but people were raving about it. Honestly, you’re too busy to eat or drink, but it’s not for you and leftovers are a good problem to have. (NOTE: For our rehearsal dinner, our Maids of Honor made a bleeding (red velvet) armadillo cake: a nod to Steel Magnolias! That is also in our freezer for our “one year.”)

Toasts:

…are the best. Our DJ had the amazing idea of giving each person making a speech an at-bat song: Robyn, Reel Big Fish, Garbage and Mariah Carey, respectively. I publicly sobbed for twenty minutes while having my picture taken. Again, wouldn’t change a thing. At the end of the night, after eating that one piece of cake, I gave a short toast to the gathered guests. Jen and I thought it was important to take this rare and amazing opportunity to say thank you:

"During this whole process-- falling in love, getting engaged, and now-- getting married-- there have been VERY few things where Jen and I have felt “different,” felt “other,” felt “less”-- and that is such a rare and amazing privilege -- that today had very little to do with us being gay, but everything to do with us and our families. We want you to know that we are so grateful for your choice to love us -- in spite of, because of, and most of all, because it doesn’t matterI think I made our wedding program while listening to the Supreme Court oral argument about marriage equality. It’s an awesome time to be at a gay wedding. Thank you for being a part of ours."

Wedding advice

1. Hire a day-of coordinator. It may seem like an unnecessary expense. You can definitely get married without one. But for us, Allison was everything. Allison made it possible for us not to worry about flowers or timing or vendor contacts. I felt like I was just floating on a cloud of elation all day, simply moving from person to person, from photo to photo-- we didn’t have to make any decisions that day, Allison and our wonderful photographer, Jen Brister, made all the decisions for us. We were simply pointed in a direction and told to smile. (We didn’t need to be told.) We didn’t look at our watches or phone or wallets all day. And not having that stress was everything.

2. Hire people you want to be there. Your photographer and makeup artist will be around you and your family for hours on your wedding day. You want to be around people you love and make you glow.

3. Call in all the favors. Friends helped us with everything -- the photobooth, the wine, the kegs, the invitations, playing our ceremony music. We are so grateful for their generosity and in the end, our wedding reflected their talents and these wonderful friendships.

4. DELEGATE. This cannot be stressed enough. Family and friends want to be included and they want to help. This does not mean turning into the famed “bridezilla” that so many television shows are centered on; this means having a clear idea of what you want, recognizing that you, personally, may not absolutely need to do it yourself, and giving specific instructions. Those washi flags mentioned above? Yeah, we didn’t have time to finish making all of them ourselves. Jen dropped off a shoebox full of sticks, washi tape, scissors and some examples, along with some prosecco, and some of her family and wedding party sat around chatting and drinking and making these flags.

5. Piggy-backing on the delegating advice: CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES! You can spend so much time and energy worrying about people’s shoes, dance steps, and inane details. If it’s important to someone else - do it. This is not just a compromise between you and your partner, but a giant collaborative effort, and some people really care about certain parts. Let it go, it’s all going to be perfect.

6. Hashtag and Photo booth: Do it. It was so wonderful to scroll through everyone’s pictures the next day. Our Bosco Booth sent everyone pictures that night. You have to wait a few weeks to get the fancy photos. We loved seeing everyone’s candids and floral-filled gifs immediately. #fivethirty530

7. Say “thank you.”

We loved getting married. We love being married. And we are so grateful to Kate and H&H Weddings for showcasing our experience.

Thank you,

Lauren & Jen 

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