On AfterEllen

We wanted to take a moment here to note the loss of AfterEllen, one of the few and the proud sites devoted to content by and for queer women.

This weekend, we’re sending our thanks to Trish Bendix and the rest of the editorial team for the work they’ve done over the last fourteen years. Looking forward, we hope this can be a reminder to hold our community close. Read publications owned and edited by queer women, support our businesses, and donate if you can to sites like Autostraddle and others, which cannot survive without our support. Share your love with On a Bicycle Built for Two by submitting your stories and photos, spreading the word about the site, and sharing our posts on Facebook and Tumblr.

Even in 2016, there are plenty of people ready to silence us and make us invisible, so it’s our goal to shout lesbian, bi, queer, and trans love from the rooftops. We hope you’ll help.

Posted in About Us | 1 Response

Wedding: Dani & Melanie

From Dani: When Melanie & I first met, most of our dates were at parks in Cincinnati. We were always out walking trails or lying under the stars talking for hours. So when it came time to plan our wedding we both agreed a picnic in the park theme was perfect for us. This was our day to celebrate the love we have found in one another and we wanted it to be the truest representation of who we are as a couple. We planned for simple and hoped for a nice sunny summer day to take in a beautiful view and celebrate our commitment to each other. Rain was predicted for our wedding day, and we were both so nervous, but when the time came and we had to make a choice to stay under cover and play it safe or take a chance and do things our way, we chose our way. We made it to the vows when the rain started to fall. Even though we had both spent so much time being afraid of the storm, when it hit it was like the pressure of making our wedding perfect just washed away. There I was in a gorgeous park with all my friends and family gathered around me staring at the love of my life, a woman that I had always thought was so far out of my league, and she was promising to love me always and to be with me forever. When you plan for a wedding you can’t help but to get caught up in the details, but when the moment comes and your day is finally here the only thing you really see is the person you came there for. The rain wasn’t what we planned for but it ended up being a perfect symbol for our life together.

When we went on our honeymoon we stopped in a little shop and found a sign that read, “The person who dances with you in the rain will most likely walk with you in the storm.” Sometimes life works out better than you could ever plan.

Photos courtesy of Images by Daniel Michael.

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Event Credits

Cakes and Dessert: Lindsey's Shaved Ice & North College Hill Bakery: http://www.lindseysshavedice.com/ & http://www.northcollegehillbakery.com/Catering: Vonderhaars: http://vonderhaars.com/Florist: A Gathering of Flowers: http://www.agatheringofflowers.com/Location: Cincinnati, OhioMusic: Benjamin Thomas String Duo & Upbeats DJ: http://benjaminthomasmusic.com/stringduo/ & http://upbeats-dj.com/Venue: Alms Park, Premier Park Events: http://www.premierparkevents.com/
Posted in Attire, Attire, Cakes and Dessert, Casual Elegance, Caterer, Classic, Credits, Dress + Dress, Florist, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, ohio, Other, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, Two Dress Wedding, Uncategorized, United States, Venue | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Popping the Question: What’s in a Name? Part II

Welcome to our new series here at A Bicycle Built for Two: Popping the Question! Based on the interests you expressed in our survey this summer, we’ll be tackling some questions unique to wedding planning as a queer couple.

Our first question had to do with last names:

After your wedding, did you (or do you plan to) keep your last name? Take your partner’s? If so, how do you pick which name to keep?

We asked, and you answered! After taking a week to collect your responses to the great last name question, we’re back with an update and some personal stories that may help those of you who are still deciding how to proceed. We couldn’t fit every answer here, but many thanks to all who got in touch. We love to hear from you!

The Name-Changers

alex-erica-081Erica & Alex in what ended up being the third of three wedding photo opportunities!

“My feminist child self decided long ago I wasn’t going to take anyone’s last name. I also really like my full name, my initials, and my dad is really proud of ‘being a Gillingham’. I’ve been hearing stories about great-great-Gillingham so-and-so for years! At the same time, I really love the idea of a family name.

When my wife and I had our civil partnership ceremony, we talked very loosely about her taking my name as in ‘it would be nice when we have kids’ kind of thing. When we converted our civil partnership to a marriage last summer, we’d been married 5 years at that point and with the passing of time, she felt even more strongly about taking my last name–and I started to feel weird about it! ‘What kind of feminist was I to have someone else take my name?!’ I asked myself. ‘The kind of feminist who lets her wife make up her own damn mind, that’s who,’ my head replied.

When Alex gave a speech at the party last summer, she announced that she’d be taking my name and we would be ‘Ms. and Ms. Gillingham’–and now I love it.” —Erica

The Name-Keepers

“No matter the gender of whoever I ended up with, I always planned on keeping my last name—just a personal preference.”—Elana

“I was in a heterosexual marriage prior to falling in love with Maya so I was clear to us that I needed to let that name go. I also felt strongly that I didn’t want to take another person’s name ever again. I wanted to reclaim myself and hang on. At 43, she was very attached to her name and didn’t want to give it up, so the decision was easy. I never liked my maiden name but had been using my middle name for years as a nickname—so Tingle for me and Stein for her and now just for fun, all our friends call us the TingleSteins, which we both love without having to legally adopt it!” –Amy

The Hyphenaters


“After endless back and forth, we decided to hyphenate our names. The order was simply based on which we decided sounded better, but hyphenation was a really hard call. This may sound ridiculous, but if I was straight, I wouldn’t have hesitated to have each of us keep our last names. As a lesbian, however, having our family share the same last name felt like an important step in being recognized as a family unit… particularly as we want to have children and both of us having been raised in smaller, more traditional communities.

A combination of our feminist sensibilities, the (very different) heritages that our last names carry, and simple inability to ‘just pick one’ resulted in the hyphenated last name. While this is what worked best for our family, I’ve got to acknowledge the challenges that come with hyphenating. We’ve gotten every combination and pronunciation out there on mail and when asked my last name, without thinking I begin with, ‘It’s hyphenated. The first part is…’ to ease confusion and misspelling.” —Dana

And then there are those of us taking things a step beyond hyphenation:

“Things aren’t official yet, but they will be in a month’s time. Neither of us have personal attachment to our last names, both of which are pretty common, and neither of our families cared either. We definitely wanted a joint identity, a ‘Teamname.’ I was ready for a hyphen, she thought they were unruly. So we anagrammed our names into something that seemed like a surname, yet isn’t as far as we could Google. That’s where we are at now, informing banks and being a team with our lovely semi-germanic franken-name.”—Stacy

That’s not all! In fact, there are almost as many considerations as we got responses—family traditions and relationships, future kid names, and combinations that just sound funny… Claire wrote to us about how she and her partner hyphenated their names in order to balance personal and professional goals: having a shared last name for the ease of their future kids while also staying recognizable in their fields of employment. Then, there’s the logistical stuff: Annie and Sandy, who also chose hyphenation, chimed in to note that in certain states, there are legal requirements that make some options easier than others—and Lynette, who shares a last name with her partner, pointed out that taking one wife’s existing last name means filling out only one set of name-change paperwork!

View More: http://tarabethphotography.pass.us/bethaimeeengagementshoot

And then, in case you missed it, there’s always Beth and Aimee’s creative solution: play a game of Yahtzee and take the winner’s last name—an approach that another couple played out with their families on the soccer field! However you approach the question of last names, we’d love to hear about it. Leave your comments on this post to keep the conversation going!

Posted in Post Wedding Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

Wedding: Julie & Laura

From Heather at Greatest Expectations, Julie & Laura’s wedding planner: Julie & Laura were married at Chicago’s Ignite Glass Studios. They are two of the most joyful, fun-loving women we’ve ever met. Their energy was contagious throughout their beautiful wedding day, and their personalities were carried through every detail – homemade candle favors, riddles on the table numbers, and s’mores for dessert. 

Photos courtesy of Steve Koo Photography.

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Event Credits

Catering: Boutique Bites// Florist & Decor: Fleur Location: Chicago, Illinois// Venue: Ignite Glass StudiosMusic: Matt Lewis & The Union// Rentals: TablescapesOfficiant: Richard Neely// Paper & Signage: Courtney Callahan Paper Photography: Steve Koo Photography// Wedding Planner & Coordinator: Heather Vickery, Greatest Expectations
Posted in Attire, Caterer, Classic, Credits, Florist, Illinois, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, Officiant, Other, Pants + Dress, Photography, Planner and Event Design, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States, Urban, Venue, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Sponsored Post: Basic Invite

A Bicycle Built for Two is running a series of sponsored posts featuring some of our favorite vendors, who are ready to help you with all your planning needs!

It’s no secret that I (Maggie) am a huge stationery nerd. One of my favorite parts of seeing all the photos that come in is eyeballing your creative designs for invitations, programs, save the dates, menus, and more! So when Basic Invite got in touch with us about sponsoring a post, I went straight to their site to start playing around with some of their ten basquillion (that’s a technical term!) designs.

After spending more than my fair share of time comparing fonts and colors, I talked to Katie Scott about Basic Invite’s many features, and today, we want to share with you a little bit of what makes their services anything but basic! Take a look at the pretty pictures below and then head on over to their site. Even if you’re not planning a wedding right now, I promise you’ll have fun looking through all the options for personalization—plus, they have templates for baby showers, graduation announcements, bat mitzvahs, and pretty much every other occasion you can think of! (While you’re over there, feel free to check out my favorite wedding invite design and tell me what you think in the comments…)

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What sets Basic Invite apart from other stationery services?

A lot! We are able to provide our customers with almost unlimited customization options through the development of unique technology. We offer over 180 color options, 40 + fonts, colored envelopes, and the ability to instantly preview your stationery online.

We also offer truly custom samples, which allow our customers to order the exact product they have created so that they can see it for themselves before ordering in bulk. This way they are able to make any changes before their final order. We feel like these options and abilities make us a truly unique stationery company.

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What tips do you have for couples picking out wedding stationery?

Start as early as possible! The more time you have to design your wedding stationery the less pressure you will feel. Our customer service team here at Basic Invite will be there every step of the way no matter the time frame, but the more time they have with you, the more editing they can assist with making the perfect invitation! Weddings are already stressful enough! And the more eyes to edit the better—that way there won’t be any pesky typos!

For most of us, budgeting is a big part of wedding planning. Can Basic Invite help us save money?

Absolutely! Our prices begin as low as $0.99, and the more you order, the cheaper it is! We do have a bunch of add-ons and upgrades so the price will always depend on your design and customizations. Plus, we always have promotions going on! We are currently offering 15% off everything—if you head over to our website you can grab the promotion code from our homepage.

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Tell us about one (or two or three!) of your favorite designs!

Our new gold and silver foil invitations are our current obsession! Also, we recently added Guest Books to our inventory, and they are to die for! You can match your guest book to your invitations or customize it with a favorite photo of you and your loved one. And finally, we are extremely excited for our real wood invitations to come out soon!

Why is it important for you to support the LGBTQ wedding community in particular?

As a company in the business of weddings—and really, in the business of love—it is important that we help those in love make their wedding dreams come true no matter their race, religion, or sexual orientation. Everyone deserves love and everyone deserves that love to be celebrated. Anything we can do to help that process be as special as possible—especially for those having to overcome adversity—is such an honor. Love is love!

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Are you married?

I am getting married next month! Most of our team is married, and most of them wish they had Basic Invite when they were looking for invitations! Just knowing I can spread the word to all the other brides-to-be who are still in the beginning stages of planning is wonderful. We all get to live vicariously through our customers each and every day – it rocks!

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One last thing—in oohing and aahing over all the designs on the Basic Invite website, I noticed one thing that I didn’t love: all the samples feature names of what appear to be straight couples! The good news is that, when I raised this question to Katie, she said they were already talking about this very issue, so hopefully it’s only a matter of time until we see some new samples on the site.

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In the meantime, many thanks to Katie and Basic Invite for your sponsorship of A Bicycle Built for Two! We appreciate your support.

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, Other, Sponsored Post | Tagged , | 3 Responses

Tumblr & Pinterest Favorites

Every six months or so, it’s fun to check and see which photos are getting lots of love on Tumblr & Pinterest. This fall, there’s some perennial winners (like Jamie & Jesse’s breathtakingly glamorous Chicago wedding), but lots of new favorites as well! Here’s a selection of five of our most-liked weddings—enjoy, repost, pin, share, and if you’re not already following us on Tumblr & Pinterest…well, what are you waiting for?

Emily & Holly

It’s easy to see why Emily & Holly’s English farm wedding is such a hit—from their beautiful flowers to that delicious-looking cake.

tumblr_o5s99egy8a1uuwis5o1_1280Amalia & Melissa

Amalia & Melissa’s wedding took place in a NYC bookstore, complete with a subway ride that took place in their dresses!

amalia-and-melissaAdele & Sarah

Our favorite detail from Adele & Sarah’s English wedding is the bunting: they asked each guest to bring a piece of material and sewed them together to create their utterly unique decor.

adele-sarahSheika & Morgan 

Sheika & Morgan’s Kentucky wedding was held at a tea house, where they jumped the broom, as per African American tradition!

sheika-and-morganJen & Carien

Jen & Carien’s Chicago ceremony features some great black and white shots—and one extremely adorable baby!

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We’ve also been getting lots of love for our galleries, including our compendium of bookish LBTQ weddings, our extravaganza of brides & brooms in vests, and our seasonally appropriate feature on fall weddings, which opens with this adorable bow-tie-wearing puppy dog:

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Posted in About Us, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Popping the Question: What’s in a Name?

Welcome to our new series here at A Bicycle Built for Two: Popping the Question! Based on the interests you expressed in our survey this summer, we’ll be tackling some questions that unique to wedding planning as a queer couple.

Beth Aimee Battle For A Last Name-HIghRes-0079

Our first question is about last names: Did you (or do you plan to) keep yours? Take your partner’s? If so, how do you pick which name to keep?

We’re heard about (and featured!) a variety of creative solutions, but now, we want to hear your stories. Leave a comment on this post or get in touch with us to let us know what you think about this question—whether you’re married, planning a wedding, or just planning ahead. We’ll be accepting responses through this Friday, September 16th, and then we’ll compile a post with some of our favorite stories, so get in touch!

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In other news, we’re still enthusiastically accepting your submissions of wedding and engagement photos. If you went to, were in, or had a beautiful queer wedding (or engagement!) this summer, send those pictures our way!

Photo courtesy of Tara Beth Photography.

Posted in About Us, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 13 Responses
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