New Orleans wedding photographer surveys 21 married couples to share advice with newly engaged couples
At the start of the year, my inbox began to fill with inquires of newly engaged couples. When I spoke with the couples on the phone I heard an overwhelming tone of overwhelm. The first stages of planning a wedding easily move from “We are excited!!” to “omgosh how do we get this all done!” I always reassured my couples, told them their wedding is about them, and to do the things that make them happy and that feels good. I wanted my newly engaged couples to hear some words of wisdom from couples who have already been through it and this series “The Marries” was born. I surveyed 21 married couples who ranged from married for three weeks, to married for 40 years. My couples were the majority of the united states with a few international couples from around the world. I asked them a series of questions from favorite memory, to biggest regret, to how they knew their person was their person. Currently, this is a 5 part blog series coming at you on the last Monday of each month.
The results of this survey left me misty-eyed and cracking up.
A marrier is anyone who gets married despite their gender. It’s an inclusive term and can be used in place of “Bride” or “Groom.” Being “Marriers” is the one thing that unites everyone in my survey.
In this first post, married couples share their favorite wedding memory
Sara and Shawn –
Married three weeks ago! Our wedding was a small, intimate, and a perfectly cozy afternoon ceremony
My father’s reaction to the whole day. It was so sweet and brought me to tears a few times.
Kaycee & Olivia –
married for One year! Our wedding was a festive backyard pizza party with great music and people who really love each other.
Our ceremony was a perfect reflection of who we are and the community that saw our relationship grow. We had no bridal parties and were each walked to the altar by our moms while a friend played an acoustic version of “Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison. Our mutual friend officiated and spoke a lot about our chosen family – it felt very communal and intimate. We had another mutual friend do a reading of Rachel McKibben’s poem “Last Love” that we edited together to reflect our relationship, and we read our own vows. There was so much happy weeping, and our community gave us a standing ovation at the end! There was also, apparently, a butterfly flying around us the entire ceremony and even, at one point, flew around us in the shape of a heart. People were convinced we’d trained it or something, but nope – that’s just the cosmic power of queer love!
Also, we made custom temp tats of things important to our relationship – our cat’s face, plays on our nicknames for each other, a statue from our college campus. They were a huge hit.
Chloe + Craig –
married for 2 years. Our teeny wedding, it was peaceful and full of laughter despite the pure craziness of a NYC courthouse.
Favorite Memory: Me: Seeing our chubby 6-month-old in a suit, Him: seeing you in your dress for the first time.
Yana and Eric –
married for 7 weeks. Thier wedding was: Our wedding was elegant but relaxed, rustic but classy, and full of warm, cozy, fall colors.
My favorite memory was walking down the aisle by myself. I could tell everyone was looking at me, but I was only focused on one thing, my future husband!
Ali and Rich –
married for 6 months. Thier wedding was: Classy, but fun with lots of dancing.
Favorite Memory: The first look! I was totally against having a first look, but then my husband convinced me. I will never forget the look on his face when he saw me for the first time. It definitely eased our nerves before walking down the aisle and gave us some alone time before the ceremony.
Dave & Gerarda Simmons –
married for 40 yrs this August. Our wedding was elegant (Gerada’s mom’s choice) and really fun
Favorite Memory: Our “first kiss” Dave grabbed me and dipped me way back. That’s when I knew I better hold on – it was going to be a wild ride 🙂
married for 9 months! Our wedding was a big New Orleans party where everyone was welcome!
Favorite Memory: My favorite memory was when immediately following our first kiss, a second line band met us at the alter and we lead everyone out of the church!
Adriana & Christopher –
married for 3 months. Our wedding was a DIY backyard wedding in autumnal fields of Hudson Valley NY, authentic and nature-focused.
Favorite Memory: That it was on the land that I grew up on, but was somehow a totally different magical fairyland. I have so many favorite memories from the silly moments peeing in the woods with my sisters to our last dance, everyone in a circle swaying and singing!
Christina and Aaron –
married for 3 months. Our wedding was: Downtown chic
Favorite Memory: All the blending of friends and family
Stephanie & Guillermo –
married for 4 years. Our wedding was: Fun
Favorite Memory: Having such a blast during the reception, we had to have a certain type of music. I had to make sure the DJ could handle everything we were looking for.
Rebecca and Taylor –
married for 18 months and our wedding was a make-your-own-adventure garden party.
Favorite Memory: Taking quiet moments away from guests for just us.
Trent and Kendra –
married for 1 year and a half. Our wedding was simple & sweet and surrounded by nature (and hot lol!)
Favorite Memory: Spontaneously pulling Trent away from the dinner table to dance to John Denver’s “Annie” even though we didn’t plan to do first dances or anything.
married for 10 months. Our wedding was an eclectic, New Orleans vibe.
Seeing the look on my husband’s face when I walked down the aisle ❤️
Anne + Sarah –
married for 23 years. Our wedding was an elopement! It kinda felt like we were breaking the law … but in a good way.
We took pictures with someone else’s cake so that the owner could use it on her website. Lol! We still laugh about that cake!
Megan & Jordan –
married for 1.5 years Our wedding was whimsical, fun and full of loved ones
Favorite Memory: My grandpa had become very sick right before the wedding and had to use a wheelchair. During the anniversary dance, he gathered all of his strength to dance with my grandma. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen!
Sierra and Randy –
married for 1.5 years. Our wedding was a really fun costume party celebration where we happened to get married with our geeky friends in attendance.
All of the fun little touches – from the guests dressed up as different Star Wars characters, to the theme music, and the lightsabers lighting up the room when we walked in.
Richard & Elizabeth –
married for Just under 6 years. Our wedding was relaxed California Romance.
Favorite Memory: Our wedding party was all of our closest friends and they were all genuinely happy for us. The vibe of the day was pure joy.
Morgan and Argenys –
married for 1.25 years. Our wedding was a posh wedding in a park with a jazz brunch reception.
Favorite Memory: Our photographer brought a vape pen. 🍃My husband and I were both pretty anxious and it was exactly what we needed. Also, we got married in City Park and the little train happened to be passing just as we’d finished our ceremony. They tooted the little whistle and it was absolutely perfect timing.
Chelsie + Tori –
married for 3 years our wedding was a battle between outside influences and who we are as people.
Our first look because I finally got to be back with Tori, and my sister’s toast was really good and hilarious.
Steph and Tia –
married for 4 years our wedding was a joyful-loving-dance party
Favorite Memory: My favorite memory from our wedding was the dance party. We kept it simple with a Spotify playlist and people danced like crazy. College friends danced with middle school friends. My Boss was cheering glasses with our Aunts and Uncles. Seeing everyone from every stage of our life was magic.
At the end of the night, the last song we played was “This is the beginning” by RuPaul and it was a perfectly queer ending to a perfectly queer day.