Engagement: Holly & Becky

From Becky: Holly and I met in the fall of 2005 when both of us were students studying music at Santa Barbara City College. We’re both singers, so we sang together in a couple of choirs at school, and eventually joined a few more choirs around Santa Barbara. I was in a relationship at the time, but I always felt something different when I was around Holly. We saw each other most days of the week and shared a lot of mutual friends, so as the years went by, we grew closer together. By early 2016, the timing was right and it was painfully obvious we liked each other. One night after hanging out with friends, she brought up the elephant in the room and we admitted feelings for each other. The rest, as they say, is history.

We got engaged in March 2017 in Santa Barbara, where we live. We’d been talking about getting engaged for a while, and even picked out rings together. I thought she might propose during a choir trip to Ireland over St. Patrick’s Day, but the trip came and went without a proposal. Then, the following weekend, we went hiking, which is a favorite pastime of ours (Santa Barbara has some of the best hiking trails in the world). The mountains around town are especially beautiful right now because of all the recent rain we’ve had after years of drought, so everything was covered in flowers, the nearby Lake Cachuma actually had water in it, and every square inch of ground was a vivid green.

We drove through the mountains to a trail that leads to Knapp’s Castle, an old ruin of a house that had been built there decades before but had since been abandoned. The views from it span both the Santa Barbara back country and the Santa Ynez mountains. When we got to Knapp’s Castle, I pulled out Holly’s phone to take a pano shot of our surroundings. She told me to take another one, and when I got to her about halfway through the pano, she was down on one knee! Well, obviously I ditched the phone and gladly agreed to marry her! We exchanged engagement rings on the top of a mountain, just the two of us, which is exactly what we both wanted.

We’re well on our way with planning our fall wedding, which will be here in Santa Barbara. In keeping with our passion for singing, the ceremony will include a choir of 50 or so of our closest singer friends.

Ireland Proposal Knapps-Castle-fireplace engagement-pic

Event Credits

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted in California, Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States, Venue | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Engagement: Sam & Shalanda

From Sam & Shalanda: Our engagement session was in Detroit, Michigan, Shalanda’s hometown. We wanted to highlight some of the hidden gems in Detroit. We took our photos at the Fisher Building where Shalanda’s grandmother once worked, outside the Detroit Institute of Art, and in front of The Illuminated Mural.

Photos courtesy of Ryan Southen.

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Event Credits

Photography: Ryan Southen
Posted in Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sponsored Post: Sweet Delilah Farm

As spring arrives for those us here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re thinking about flowers—and so, we’re thrilled to feature Sweet Delilah Farm, an amazing queer-woman-owned business in Portland, Oregon. Chelsea Willis, the owner/farmer offers flowers and floral design for weddings, events, and area businesses, as well teaching classes and running a CSA-style flower subscription. She’s passionate about gorgeous flowers and lovely weddings as well as LGBTQ couples, sustainability, and social service—and we’re excited to share her story with all of you today!

If you live in Portland, contact Chelsea for all your flower-related needs, and let her know you found her through A Bicycle Built for Two—we’re so grateful for her support of our community.

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Tell us your story! How did Sweet Delilah get started?

Sweet Delilah Farm was a dream I didn’t entirely realize I had. Growing up, I always knew I wanted land, but I didn’t ever foresee how it would manifest itself. After I met my wife and began spending more time on her farm, I realized that working on the land feeds me, and as luck would have it, a piece of property in the same neighborhood came available. I didn’t even think twice—I signed a lease and began the trial-by-error process of learning how to farm. I love what I do and I love finding ways to give back to the community. The flower design came as a natural partnership. My favorite thing to do is have couples come out to the farm a few weeks before their wedding so they can see what’s growing. They get to see the plants that their flowers will be cut from. It’s a true farm-to-bouquet experience.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Such a hard question! I have so many. Right now my favorite part is watching all the seeds I’ve spent hours and hours planting begin to grow. It’s such a cool experience and some much needed color after the intense winter we’ve had here in Portland. I also absolutely love teaching classes and watching people get excited about getting dirty, playing with the flowers, and creating something they didn’t know they could.

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Tell us about the classes you teach!

I love making learning accessible to everyone. I do everything from floral crowns and Ikebana [the Japanese art of flower arrangement] to flower essence and herbalism classes. One of my favorite recent projects was an Ikebana arrangement for a luncheon for some Japanese tourists. I took Ikebana courses while I was in school and fell in love with the form.

My all-time favorite kind of event is probably our bridal luncheons. We invite the bridal party out to learn how to make whatever kind of flower arrangements they want, and then they get to experience a farm-to-table lunch right there at the farm.

What is your favorite flower for a bridal bouquet?

My favorite flower right now is either ranunculus or sweet peas. They both bring very different shapes into a bouquet. Ranunculus are round, but they come in the most amazing colors and textures, and the sweet peas are long and tall and airy. They can bring a dynamic to a bouquet that no other flower can achieve—plus, they smell outrageously good!

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What are three questions couples should ask about flowers? What’s something you wish more people knew about flowers or floral design?

  • Ask where your flowers are sourced from, I don’t think a lot of people realize that most of the flowers their choosing are not in season and are flown in from other countries. Sourcing locally, while it can be a bit pricier, uses less resources. And there is something really beautiful about the authenticity of honoring the climate you’re getting married in.
  • Ask your florist to do a site walk-through with you. Most florists will do this—and it is really important to get in the space together.
  • Ask your florist what’s in season. There could be things growing in your backyard that could be exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box.

Sweet Delilah provides flowers for couples wanting to take the DIY approach—what advice would you give to couples who want to do their own flowers?

First, I would ask them if they are really sure. I love the DIY idea, and my mom and close friend did the flowers for my wedding; however, it’s A LOT of work. Flowers can be finicky and have lots of different needs. If you decide you do want to go the DIY route, my best advice would be to take a couple floral design classes (a great idea for a date night!) beforehand to get an idea of just how much work it will be. Another option is to do some DIY and get some things from a florist, i.e. have your bouquet, corsages, boutonnieres, and big pieces done by a florist, but make your small centerpieces. It’s important to have time to relax and connect with your friends, family, and partner before the big day, and doing any big DIY projects can interfere with your downtime before the wedding.

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Tell us about your proposal/partner/wedding day! What were your favorite moments?

My now-wife and I met just about a year ago, when I walked up the driveway to her farm to volunteer. It was love a love-at-first-sight situation. She followed me around asking questions while I weeded and 6 months later we got on a plane to Denver (where I’m from) and got married with 10 of our closest friends and family.

My favorite moment of my wedding day was the moment I got all the way down the aisle and we grabbed each other’s hands. It was such a surreal moment filled with emotion. I’ll never forget it. I didn’t think about it then but I guess you could say we eloped. This year on the same the date we’re having the big wedding in Portland for all our friends and family. It’s been a wild year but also a magical one.

Since you’re in the midst of wedding planning yourself… what are your tips?

Take moments away from wedding planning to breathe and reconnect with your partner. It can be a lot of work, and it can get overwhelming. Find the humor in all of it and keep laughing with each other.

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What’s your favorite song to dance to at a wedding?

“At Last” by Etta James. I’m a sucker for a good slow dance.

Why do you love working with LBTQ couples?

The obvious answer would be because I’m queer, and the truth is that I think it’s important to feel like you can connect with your vendors. A wedding is an intimate experience whether it’s big or small. It’s a huge life experience and you want to feel completely comfortable with the people who are making your big day happen. I want my couples to feel like I really “get it.” LGBTQ couples have had to fight harder for the right to have their marriages legally recognized, and that’s a fight you can only understand if you’ve gone through it yourself. It makes something about getting married even more special.

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What else would you like readers to know about you?

The flower farm is just the beginning of my dream. My ultimate goal is to have a bigger piece of land where I can facilitate retreats and have programs for youth who have aged out of the system but have nowhere to go. My background is in psychology and social services, specifically with youth, and my life’s work won’t feel complete until I am serving that demographic.

Besides working on the farm, how do you like to spend your time?

I teach yoga, hang out with my 2 mini dachshunds and drink tea. Lots of tea.

***

We’d like to thank Chelsea of Sweet Delilah Farm for sharing her story and her images—and for her sponsorship of A Bicycle Built for Two. We love her, and we know you will too!

If you’re a photographer, planner, or other wedding vendor interested in being featured in a sponsored post, drop us a line! We’d love to talk to you.

Posted in Advertising, Credits, DIY, Florist, Oregon, Region, Sponsored Post, United States | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Gallery: You’re Invited!

It’s easy to think that the wedding fun begins with the guests’ arrival, but arguably, it starts weeks—probably, even months—before that, when the invitations arrive in the mail! In honor of National Letterwriting Month (one of my favorite occasions), we’re featuring a smattering of beautiful invitations from our archives and inviting you to share your favorite invitation-related tips! Are you drawn to black and white? Bright and colorful? Travel-themed invites for your destination wedding? Gorgeous letterpress paper goods by artisans like longtime Bicycle friend Ladyfingers Letterpress? Online-only RSVPs?

Check out the variety of invitations here and share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Julie & Laura:
Julie & LauraLo & Kate
Lo & Kate
Melissa & StephanieMelissa & StephanieErica & BrittanyErica & BrittanyJoann & Dawn:Joann & DawnLauren & Christine:View More: http://nicolebarrphoto.pass.us/lcwedMonique & Megan:Monique & MeganArley-Rose & Morgan (the Ladyfingers themselves!): printed_goodsJoni & Tammy:joni and tammy2 Tracey & AngelaTracey & AngelaTamara & CheryllanneTamara & CheryllanneEmily & ElizabethEmily & Elizabeth

For more LBTQ wedding inspiration, check out our other galleries

Posted in Credits, Gallery, invitations, Other, Real Wedding Inspiration | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Wedding: Bonnie & Ali

From Jay, Bonnie & Ali’s photographer: I was honored to photograph this lovely intimate wedding in Nashville, TN for these 2 amazing ladies! They came to me Thanksgiving week looking to bump their wedding up to New Year’s Eve 2016, being unsure about the Trump administration. Our wonderful Nashville mayor, Megan Barry, agreed to officiate the wedding at relatively short notice at her home—she’s been a great ally for the LGBT community. Ali hired a car through Matchless Transportation, a 1961 Jaguar to transport them to the mayor’s house from their first look spot… then the guest ceremony and reception took place at their friend’s larger home in East Nashville. The day was full of people, laughs, and nice intimate feel. They hired a personal chef crew and had me lurk in the shadows to document the event.

Photos courtesy of Jay Farrell Photography.

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Event Credits

Date: 12/31/2016Location: East NashvilleOfficiant: Nashville Mayor Megan BarryPhotography: Jay Farrell Photography// www.jayfarrellphotography.com
Posted in Attire, Cakes and Dessert, Caterer, Credits, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Officiant, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, suit, Tennessee, United States | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Response

Engagement: Nikki & Jojo

From Jojo: Nikki and I met in the middle of the ocean. Quite literally, actually. Jillian Michaels, America’s toughest trainer, held a fitness and wellness cruise in 2010. Being a fan of Jillian and someone into spending time on a boat to learn about fitness and wellness, I attended this cruise along with 1700 other people. [Sidebar: I’m also a fan of traveling alone—I suggest everyone try it once in their life!] To get everyone riled up for the next few days of learning and sweating, Jillian and her crew held “Deck Wars” as we left Miami—pretty much a fun competition of the strongest men/women on the boat. In the end of the strong woman squat-off, there was a girl who held a sumo squat for about five minutes with Jillian yelling in her ear. She had some pretty cool threads. Her sneakers were awesome. She had a presence on the stage. She was just badass! From that point on, that girl, Nikki, became the person to meet on that ship.

It was the next night, 80’s night, when our lives would change. I was eating alone in the cafeteria, dressed in a ridiculous 80’s outfit, and someone with a big rocker wig and a mid-riff shirt came up to me. She asked if I wanted to sit with her, her mom, and her friend. It was Nikki — she asked me to join her so I didn’t have to sit alone, and I gladly joined. We absolutely connected over food and fitness, and after the cruise we went back to our lives in Chicago and in Utah. Through the next months, we kept in touch. Eventually, she made her way to Chicago, and it went from there.

Once we started dating, I knew that this was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. We’ve been together for just about six years, and I’ve been planning this surprise proposal for a long time. With the global traveling that Nikki does as an international trainer, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to make amazing friendships around the world. I wanted these people, along with our friends and family, to be a part of the proposal. The concept was simple: before I gave Nikki the ring, I wanted to pass it along to the very people who love and support us every single day. And they would pass it on to one another, until it came back to me.

While she was on a work trip to New Zealand, I began executing my plan: I created an instructional Youtube video to explain how they should send in their video clips in January, sent out emails with deadlines, and began compiling the video as the clips came in. I setup a meeting with her boss at work to stage a fake work dinner at the venue, so she knew she had to show up. The venue was close to my office so I could go during my lunch hours to hammer out details and logistics. I worked with a jeweler in Chicago to pick the perfect stone and setting—without knowing exactly what her ring size is, we made sure it was just big enough to go past the knuckle. I hired my colleague to capture every surprise moment (she and her husband also run a wedding photography business). I flew in Nikki’s parents from Utah to be in on the surprise. Every detail was worked through during the time she was away.

We got to dinner with her work colleagues that evening. The venue greeted us at the door with wine and sat us down at our table. City Winery often offers tours of the winery (it’s the only winery in the city of Chicago), so we grabbed our drinks and went on the tour. First stop was their wine and barreling room, next stop: the upstairs private event space where everyone was waiting. As we walked up the stairs, I distinctly recall thinking that I should have put on more deodorant… As we turned the corner and saw the crowd, Nikki didn’t immediately register it was a crowd she knew. She thought, “Oh, there’s a party up here, we should probably go.”  And then she saw her father. Once she saw him, the waterworks started. Then she started to recognize more people: her mom, my mom, my brother, our closest and dearest friends. As we worked through the crowd, and I grabbed her hand and said, “It’s okay, I want to show you something.”

I pressed play on the video that I had worked on for months, and together with our friends and family, we watched as I handed the ring off to one side of the screen, and it was passed around the world, from one person to the next, screen to screen. When it got back to me at the end, I turned to her and said, “There are a million things I wanted to say at this very moment, but I can’t remember any of it, and I’m not even sure what words are coming out of my mouth. But all I know is that I love you, Nikki. Always have, always will. And it would be amazing to spend the rest of my life with you.”

I pulled the ring box out of my pocket, got down on one knee and looked up at the love of my life as I said, “Nicole Ann Snow, will you marry me?” Through the happiest of tears, she said “YES!” and I couldn’t get up fast enough to pull her in my arms and hug my future wife. Our friends and family shouted in joy as I slid the ring on her finger.

We spent the rest of the night celebrating our love, surrounded by the people who mean the most to us. It was absolutely a magical night. I pulled of the surprise of our lives and it couldn’t have been more perfect!

Now *that’s* a proposal! Watch Jojo’s video and footage of the big night here.

Photos courtesy of Adhikari Photography.

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Event Credits

Photography: Adhikari PhotographyVenue: City Winery Chicago
Posted in Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Venue | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Engagement: Kelli & Heather

We love Kelli & Heather’s idea of including friends in their engagement shoot—what a beautiful way of documenting our communities along with our love!

From Kelli: Heather and I met playing roller derby for the North Star Roller Girls, in Minneapolis, MN. Roller derby tends to become more of a lifestyle than a hobby, so we spent a lot of time together at practices, traveling to away bouts, attending PR functions, and just hanging out with our mutual friends on 8 wheels.

Eventually our friendship turned to more, and after a few years of dating, we decided we would spend our life together. I proposed to Heather in August of 2016, by hanging one yellow streamer in our bedroom for each day that we had been together and a blue streamer for each day since I knew I wanted to marry her. It was a lot of streamers and I think I nearly gave myself carpal tunnel syndrome cutting them all. However, it was definitely worth it for the look on Heather’s face when she came home from work, opened the door and walked into a sea of blue and yellow.

We went into our engagement photos knowing that we wanted them to be an honest reflection of us and who we are. We took our photos in two sessions. We first did pictures outside our home in Minneapolis, the city that we love. We included some shots in our roller skates and derby attire, since that played such a vital role in the early days of our relationship.

In October we did a second session at Afton State Park, just a short drive outside of Minneapolis. As surely any true blue Minnesotans must be, we are avid campers and hikers so being outdoors in this location felt very natural (pun intended). We have a little “inner circle” of close mutual friends from our roller derby team that agreed to come along and take part in some of the photos. They are often our companions on hiking and camping trips, so it was really fun to be able to show that connection in our pictures.

We were so happy with how the pictures turned out and feel like they really capture an authentic version of us our life together so far. Our photographer, Tamika Garscia, is also a dear friend and does amazing work. We are looking forward to our wedding in January of 2018, which will also be held in Minneapolis.

Photos courtesy of Tamika Garscia.

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Event Credits

Location: Minneapolis, MNPhotography: Tamika Garscia
Posted in Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Minnesota, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Tagged , | Comments closed
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