Brides Revisited: The Annas

There are so many wonderful things about running this blog, but one of the absolute best is when we can help one of you surprise a wife or partner on a special occasion. Anna & Anna’s wedding was five years ago today, and we are thrilled to celebrate them with this sweet post from one Anna to another. Read on to see what they’ve been up to in the last few years—and happy ANNA-versery to one of our favorite same-named couples!

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Give us a life update! Have there been any major milestones since we heard from you last? 

Anna (“the short one in the dress”): Absolutely! In December 2012 I finished my master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction/design (HCI/d) from Indiana University in Bloomington. Shortly after, I got a job as a UX Designer in Indianapolis, and we’ve been living there ever since.

2014 was a big year for us. I started at job at Salesforce (which turned out to be one of the companies that was instrumental in striking down discriminatory anti-LGBT legislation in Indiana). In May 2014, on our 3-year wedding anniversary, we went to San Diego (where Anna V grew up) and got legally married. Unfortunately, at the time, when we returned to Indiana our marriage wasn’t recognized by the state, but luckily we didn’t have to wait too terribly long for nationwide marriage equality to happen!

In December 2014, we bought a house in Indianapolis. We just happened to find a house on a small street with at least 3 other gay couples on it. Furthermore, there is another same-named lesbian couple 2 houses down from us. What are the odds?

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What is your favorite thing about being married?

Is it okay for my answer to be “enjoying the same legal rights and protections that straight couples have enjoyed for years”? If so, that’s totally my answer.

[Editors’ note: OF COURSE it is okay!]

What do you fight about?

As silly as this sounds, one of the only things we’ve fought about is how little we fight. Anna V used to get a little worried that we never fought about anything. I remember one day we almost got into a full-out fight about not fighting. But over the years I think we’ve come to realize that our lack of fighting is a testament to how well our personalities fit together. We are similar in a lot of ways, but in the areas that we’re different, we are complementary.

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What do you like best about your wife?

Everything!

Okay, I guess I will try to be more specific. She is one of the smartest people I know, a top-notch problem solver, and also someone who I’m infinitely grateful to have in my life when I’m at my lowest low or my highest high.

Oh, and the songs that we make up on the spot for our various dogs and cats are just incredible. Not sure why we don’t have a record deal yet.

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Describe a typical day in 5 words (or slightly more!)

Cats. Dogs. Pretty Little Liars. Beyoncé. (Beyoncé transcends word limits.)

What is one thing you and your partner do to relax?

Watch Beyoncé videos or ride bikes (while pretending to be in a Beyoncé video).

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What is the best wedding gift you received?

The best gift from our wedding was being able to have a giant celebration with so many important people in our lives. You don’t really think about it before the wedding, but it’s incredible to be in 1 physical space with 150 people who have known you, loved you, and supported you throughout various stages of your life. I’m forever grateful to my parents for making such a huge celebration possible. 

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What moment from your wedding still stands out most in your mind?

There are actually 2 moments that stand out most to me. First, Anna V’s vows were incredible. I’ve never heard such beautifully written, sincere, thoughtful vows. (She likes to make fun of me because I was the only person at the wedding who didn’t cry when she read her vows, but I cried when Jim and Pam got married on The Office. Oops. For the record, I did cry when we got legally married in San Diego, so I guess I made up for it.)

The second stand-out moment was my dad’s toast. Given that we were having a wedding in a state that didn’t allow us to legally marry, my dad’s words of love and support meant the world to us. Here’s a quote from his toast that basically made everybody in the room totally lose it:

I’m not gonna stand up here and try to tell you that when my daughter was a little girl I thought “I hope someday she’s gonna grow up and marry a nice girl.” What I did hope for was that my daughter would grow up, and meet and marry her best friend, her soulmate, someone as a couple they could go through life, enjoying all of life’s joys.

And I got exactly what my father hoped I would. Life is just better with my lady by my side.

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Brides Revisited is a series in which we check back in with the couples who’ve appeared on our site in the past. If you and your one true person are interested in being featured, we’d love to hear from you—whether you call yourselves brides, brooms, spouses, or something else entirely!

 

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Giveaway: League of Kitchens Cooking Workshop!

On an average night behind the scenes here at A Bicycle Built for Two, you can find Ashley & I in the kitchen, singing along to the Hamilton soundtrack while we stir, chop, and sauté. Although I am the primary cook in our household, we both love eating—and today, we have something particularly tasty to share with you!

tori & kateTori & Kate had one of our all-time favorite engagement shoots in their home kitchen! 

The League of Kitchens is a unique cooking school in New York City which offers an immersive culinary experience to beginning and experienced cooks. 

Today, we’re excited to be giving away two free spots in one of their “Taste of…” workshops!

Each workshop is taught by a New York City immigrant in her own home, using family recipes to immerse the participants in Japanese, Uzbek, Argentinian, Trinidadian, Indian, Lebanese, Bengali, Afghan or Greek cuisines.

Here's the Argentinian workshop in progress!Here’s the Argentinian workshop in progress!

While we usually focus on wedding-specific businesses, we are excited to partner with League of Kitchens because they offer something for all of our readers: their workshops make for great wedding gifts, bridal shower/bachelorette activities, and simply delicious dates! They’ve gotten great press from The New York Times, Saveur, and elsewhere—and, like so many of our favorite vendors, their business is woman-owned and operated & focused on social engagement.

We could definitely go for some of this delicious-looking Bangladeshi cuisine! We could definitely go for some of this Bangladeshi cuisine!

If you live in the New York City area (or are planning a trip to NYC any time in the next year), then you don’t want to miss out on this giveaway! One winner will be awarded a FREE workshop experience for you and a spouse/partner/significant other/best friend/mom/child etc. 

To enter: leave a comment on this post & tell us about one recipe you think every couple should know!

Your comment may take a few minutes to pop up, but don’t panic! We will approve comments as quickly as we can. Once you’ve commented, make sure that you officially enter using the fancy little box below—that’s how we’ll pick the winners! 

Please note that by entering, you are agreeing to join the League of Kitchens mailing list; however, we promise your email address will go ONLY to our friends at League of Kitchens—no funny business here. The giveaway will be open until midnight EST next Thursday, June 2nd, and we’ll announce the winners on the site shortly thereafter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Giveaway, Uncategorized | Tagged | 6 Responses

Engagement: April & Deborah

From Rachel, April & Deborah’s photographer: April & Deborah are the cutest couple ever! April’s sister and Deborah were best friends and the reason they started dating. Then, April & Deborah won their wedding in a Facebook contest that the Veranda at Thornton Park was hosting. They won by a landslide and have an incredible support system of fantastic friends and family! 

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Event Credits

Location: Orlando, FLPhotography: Rachel Doyle Photography
Posted in Credits, Florida, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, United States | Tagged , | 1 Response

Engagement: Tajia & Margaret

From Margaret: My name is Margaret, and I am an educator and Southern belle, excited to share with you our engagement/wedding story. I have been gifted the pleasure of marrying the woman specifically made for me: Tajia, a barber instructor.

“You’re going to be my wife!!!” That was her pick-up line four years ago that still causes laughter to erupt from deep within. Seriously though, in January 2012 I went to DC to cover the 2nd inauguration of President Obama and in between doing the journalist thing, I hung out and connected with new people. Tajia saw me and inquired with my friend Dana, rather boldly, “WHO IS THAT?!?!?!” Our friendship started there. We even tried to “date,” but it didn’t work because she was full of it and I wasn’t ready… It wasn’t our time. Instead, she intently stood by, being the watchful friend, and checked on me occasionally. Whenever I would visit the DC area, we would meet up for dinner and drinks and just hang out. Fast forward to 2015: doing one of her watchful friend checks, she asked me if I was ready to be her wife yet, and then went on to tell me that she was coming for me… as she had planned to move to Dallas soon. She did, and well…I’m—we are telling this story! After a year-long engagement, we will relocate back to Washington, DC following our wedding.

Our wedding will be the first LGBTQ wedding held at the White Chapel Estates in North Richland Hills, Texas on July 15, 2016.

The Proposal

It was a Saturday night: August 13th, to be exact. TJ came down to Houston after work. She came in as normal: put her bag down, kissed me on the lips. The only thing different was the conversation. She sat down next to me with a “look” on her face. She says, “You know, I love you, and I told you when I first met you almost 4 years ago that you were going to be my wife… Well, I talked to your Grandma and Mom and they have given me their blessing. Now all I need is yours…. Will you marry me?” I looked at her as she pulled out the ring, smiling bigger then a Cheshire cat and began shaking my head uncontrollably. I said, “YES,” and as I hugged her as tight as my arms would allow me, I whispered…”You went to Jared’s”!

We will honeymoon in Hawaii.

Photos courtesy of Katrina Lewis of Kategory 5 Productions.

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Event Credits

Location: The Woodlands Waterway in Houston, Texas (The Woodlands, Texas) Photography: Katrina Lewis of Kategory 5 Productions (www.K5Now.com)
Posted in Credits, Lesbian Engagement Shoot, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Texas, United States | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Elopement: Tiffany & Stephanie

From Kim, Tiffany and Stephanie’s photographer: Tiffany and Stephanie recently moved to the Pacific Northwest and love spending time outdoors, so naturally when planning their elopement they chose the Columbia Gorge as their venue. Keeping it short and sweet for fear of “ugly crying,” we met up at a trailhead and enjoyed a sun-soaked, heartfelt ceremony at the base of Wahclella Falls.

© Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com© Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com© Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com © Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com© Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com© Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com© Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com © Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com © Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com© Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com© Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com © Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com © Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com © Kim Smith-Miller | www.kimsmithmiller.com

Event Credits

Location: Wahclella Falls, ORPhotography: Kim Smith-Miller Photography
Posted in Attire, Credits, Lesbian Elopement, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Minimalist, Oregon, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, suit, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wedding (and Anniversary!): Adele & Sarah

Happy one-year anniversary to this lovely couple!

From Adele: As our first wedding anniversary approaches, we wanted to share some of the photos after using A Bicycle Built For Two as inspiration to plan our special day.

Sarah and I met at work and slowly but surely fell in love. We each secretly planned our proposals, unknowingly deciding on the same date and location. We were both armed with bespoke diamond rings. We both choose Cornwall as the perfect location—our favourite place to be. I beat Sarah by writing “will you marry me?” in the sand whilst she was busy finding the perfect spot to do the same! We were engaged in the November of 2014 and set a date for the big day—May 18th 2015. There was no question about the location for our wedding: we both love Cornwall (where I grew up) and felt our happiest on the beach.

Carbis Bay Hotel offered the perfect combination of relaxed luxury and beautiful views. We are lucky to have a friend, Jon Mayes, who is also an amazing photographer, who kindly recorded our perfect day in these photos. After seeing such beautiful first look photos on A Bicycle Built for Two we chose to keep our dresses a surprise and met up just before the wedding. Sarah looked more beautiful than I could ever put into words—it was an emotional moment and the perfect start to the wedding celebrations.

We asked all our guests to make a piece of bunting, which we then sewed together and used to decorate the room—it looked fantastic and everyone enjoyed comparing their handiwork! The sun made an appearance during the ceremony, we were walked down the aisle by our two best friends, and we said our vows overlooking the stunning views of Carbis Bay. We then swapped the Jimmy Choos for some Havianas and headed to the beach for some photos with my daughters Niamh and Erin and the rest of the bridal party.

We sat to eat just as the rain fell—producing a beautiful rainbow over the bay—a sign that my late father was with us, celebrating our love for each other. The rain then passed in time for ice creams on the lawn, whilst the children built sand castles on the beach. 

We were very blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones on our wedding day, and their kind gifts meant that we were able to begin our next adventure of having a baby together. Phoebe Grace will be 8 weeks old when we celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I have included a photo of Sarah and I with our beautiful daughter—who is the most perfect wedding gift we could have wished for and reminds me every day of the day I married my best friend.

Photos courtesy of Jon Mayes.

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Event Credits

Location: Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall, UK.Photography: Jon Mayes
Posted in Attire, Beachy, Classic, Credits, Dress + Dress, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, Two Dress Wedding, UK & Ireland, Venue, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Wedding: Karen & Elizabeth

From Dani, Karen & Elizabeth’s photographer: Karen and Elizabeth married at Beecher’s Loft, just above Seattle’s famous Pike’s Place Market. It was an intimate wedding surrounded by close family and friends. They have a great affinity for the Inn at the Market, so having the ceremony and reception here was a natural choice.

For even more photos, you can check out Dani’s website. PLUS, a little bird told us that she’s not completely booked for the summer, so if you’re planning an event in the Seattle area (or anywhere else in the world!), look her up!

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Event Credits

Attire: Blinx and The Clothes HorseCakes and Dessert: Chesapeake BayCatering: Cafe CampagneFlorist: Pike Place FlowersLocation: Seattle, WAOfficiant: the Canon to the Ordinary and the Bishop of OlympiaPhotography: Dani Weiss PhotographyVenue: Beecher's Loft
Posted in Attire, Attire, Cakes and Dessert, Casual Elegance, Caterer, Colorful!, Credits, Dress + Dress, Florist, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Officiant, Other, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, Two Dress Wedding, United States, Venue, Washington | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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