Category Archives: DIY

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.

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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.

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Wedding(s!): Erica & Alex (Part 2)

From Erica: Six months after our ceremony in England, we flew out to California for our very country wedding in my hometown in Northern California. This time we had a full bridal party with friends from high school and college and my best friend wrote and performed our commitment ceremony (including a homily that brought us to tears!). The whole day was hosted as the local county fair grounds, so we camped up the country theme! Guests arrived to fresh apple cider and sweet breads (pumpkin, apple & cinnamon) while a local celtic band played on hay bales. Our ceremony was in a little tucked-away garden. We included a hand-binding ceremony and requested that our parents, bridal party, and guests sign a marriage certificate as our ‘legal’ acts. The evening consisted of cocktails, a tri-tip BBQ buffet, speeches, and copious amounts of dancing to cheesy pop music. The room was decorated with autumnal fabrics in embroidery hoops, English bunting, Christmas lights, and red accents. Our table decorations/favours were homemade jars of jams, tomatoes, salsa, beets—anything red!—made and decorated by our family and friends! As we had over 120 people there for the day, family and friends were also massive in helping set-up and clear-up. We will be forever grateful for all who chipped in to help create both weddings!

We honeymooned the following year in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and continue to make our home in London, England. We were thought we were ‘done’ getting married but then SCOTUS and the UK parliament started to make moves towards marriage equality in 2014 and we got excited that we might actually be able to be MARRIED (and legally recognized!!) in both countries…but that’s a different post!

Photos courtesy of Wyatt Olson Photography.

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Event Credits

Attire: Suit: Gresham Blake (bespoke) in Brighton and London, shirts from Hawes & Curtis (UK & online), Dress: Jenny Yoo, from The English Department in PortlandLocation: CaliforniaOther: Buttons: ButtonEmpire on Etsy White knots: whiteknot.orgPhotography: Wyatt Olson PhotographyVenue: Siskiyou Golden Fairground
Also posted in Attire, Attire, Cakes and Dessert, California, California, Credits, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Other, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Rustic, Style, suit, United States, Venue, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Wedding: Lauren & Christine

From Lauren: As an event planner, I wanted to have a destination wedding to ensure we had an intimate affair with our closest family and friends and also to relieve some of the stress of planning a large wedding. We had over 50 people fly to Mexico to enjoy a week of festivities!

Naturally, I had to get involved in some DIY projects. Our colors were ivory, navy and burlap with a hint of mint. I created almost every aspect of the wedding – invitations, menus, reminder cards, table numbers, etc. My vision was rustic beach with a Mexican flare. We both really appreciate the holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and what it stands for, so it was incorporated into our planning. Sugar skulls were subtlety added into the mix – on our welcome cups, wedding favors and cake topper.

Our day flowed perfectly. Nicole Barr (our photographer) made sure of it! She kept us on track and on time. We knew we wanted a “first look” to calm our nerves and prevent “ugly” crying during the ceremony – so glad we did. It was an intimate moment and we were able to get a lot of photos taken during this time as well.

My cousin Jan married us. Christine and Jan worked hard to create a beautiful ceremony. It was personal, unique and from the heart. Our ceremony and cocktail hour were on a gorgeous sky deck overlooking the ocean, and a generous breeze was welcomed as it was hot. The reception was situated in between two pools, creating a beautiful back drop in the evening with candles, strung lights and papel picado. Our first dance was to Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love.”

We ended the night by jumping in the pool! It started as a fun shot we wanted to have the photographer take, and then our bridal party and guests joined us! It was the highlight of the evening and certainly something we will never forget.

We have received countless comments on how much fun our guests had and I wish we could do it all over again!

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Event Credits

Attire: JCrewLocation: Puerto Morelos, MexicoMusic: DJ All MusicOfficiant: Cousin of Bride: Jan HaydenPhotography: Nicole Barr PhotographyPlanner or Event Designer: Weddings by LomasStationery: Made by BrideVenue: Azul Sensatori
Also posted in Attire, Attire, Beachy, Classic, Credits, DIY, Dress + Dress, Everywhere Else, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, Officiant, Other, Photography, Planner and Event Design, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, Two Dress Wedding, Venue | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Wedding: Jenn & Chasity

From Jenn: My wife and I met online in 2001. We had the classic U-Haul story and were engaged within a year. Insisting on waiting until it was legal in our state, we had 12 years to plan our ultimate wedding. Originally, I planned on a huge rainbow-themed wedding full of friends and family—but in the end we decided to stay practical and true to ourselves.

For us it was a given to have a “Day of the Dead in Love” themed wedding. Chastity loves skulls and rockabilly, and I am a pin-up model, so it was a perfect fit for a rockabilly-meets-pin-up style wedding. We did everything ourselves, from the favors and decorations down to the food and beverages. We kept it simple and affordable.

But, it was a mid-afternoon breezy fall morning on the beach, where everything insisted on blowing away. My centerpieces were shattered, tablecloths were flying away, and everyone showed up way to early. I even dropped the rings in the center console of my car! Luckily, my love saved the day—it was a metaphor for of our life. I over-plan, freak out, and things go wrong (as they always do in life), and she saves the day. She calms me down, grounds me, and helps me focus with her amazing, pure love. I waited a long time to marry my best friend, and I’d do it over and over again. There’s only one girl for me, and now it’s official! We celebrate 15 years together on March 13, 2016. Happy early anniversary, baby!

Photos courtesy of Brooke Long.

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Event Credits

Location: Hammerman Beach, Chase, MD
Also posted in Attire, Colorful!, colors, Credits, DIY, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Maryland, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Wedding: Kaylie & Samantha

The personal touches in this wedding are just too perfect: a grandma-made wedding vest, a beautiful hope chest, and a waffle cake!

From Samantha: Kaylie and I met in 2010 at college and became friends during an Alternative Break to Chicago. Over the next year and a half we kept finding ourselves unexplainabley drawn to each other but refused to believe it was anything more than friendship. Finally one of my best friends, and roommate at the time, stole my phone and sent Kaylie a HORRIBLE pickup line. Luckily Kaylie found it endearing and we have been walking on this wonderful path together ever since. Two years, nine alternative breaks and one mighty Mufusa (our cat) later, I asked Kaylie to marry me. Surprised at the timing (I had just started my Master’s) but not at the question, she said yes.

It was important to us to have many personal touches incorporated into our wedding day. While Kaylie easily found her wedding dress, I struggled with what I would wear. The last time I was in a dress was as a flower girl when I was four, and the dress only made it half way down the aisle. I wanted my outfit to have meaning and luckily two of my aunts made that happen. My grandmother was able to deconstruct both of their dresses and create a beautiful wedding vest. My vest, along with a grandma-made bow tie and my ninja turtle dress socks, allowed me to feel bridal, dapper and comfortable all at the same time. Additionally, home-made bow ties and ties were made for each bridal party member and family member who wanted one.

Continuing with the DIY theme Kaylie and I wanted a one-of-a-kind guest book. We originally decided one a bench but once my best man and I started working on it we ended up constructing a hope chest. We asked guests to sign it around the base trim and, even with the one misplaced signature and congratulation on the top, it now sits proudly at the end of our bed.

Our centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnieres were also DIY and were a combination of succulents, hydrangeas and moss, all topped with a 100% beeswax Vermont Honeylight Candle. After our wedding we sent our flowers to Vermont Honeylights to be preserved and combined with beeswax to create a wedding candle. The replaceable votive wick allows us to burn it without damaging the main candle piece.

Our wedding venue, Tourterelle Inn, was truly perfect. The owners, Bill and Christine, were a dream to work with and took on our Brunch-Ceremony and evening reception idea with open minds and passion. Bill crafted us a creative and delicious menu while Christine provided a calm and passionate presence for each wedding situation. Tourterelle was a perfecting catering/venue/inn all in one experience.

Our morning ceremony was nestled between the Adirondack Mountains and Mount Abraham. Our aisle was decorated with 36 inch diameter balloons that Kaylie insisted on. Despite my objections I secretly liked them in the end. We entered and exited to a ten year old cousin playing piano. He chose to play “Sunday Clothes” from Hello Dolly, more popularly known as the song from Wall-E. I would say Wall-E is my favorite animated movie ever but that would be an under exaggeration as its my most favorite movie EVER. My grandmother acted as our Justice of the Peace and legal officiant for our ceremony. We gave her no script and she was able to craft a beautiful program, complete with personalized vows and readings from some of our favorite guests. Our brunch consisted of made-at-the-table eggs benedict, a beautiful waffle cake and crossword puzzles made up of Sam & Kaylie trivia.

After a quick intermission and some power napping we reconvened for our evening reception. I danced with my father to a live-ukelele version of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, a song that he played on repeat during morning drives to school when I was young. Our bridal party members made heartfelt speeches and their was even an original rap. Our evening cake was adorned with two Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) brides. Our uncles had been married the previous year and were forced to buy two heterosexual sets, they kept the grooms and gave us the brides.

As the sun went down and guests began to leave, we crowded around a bonfire to reminisce on our beautiful day and munch on leftovers. Untraditional from the moment my uncle performed a dramatic reading of “Drunk in Love” at the rehearsal dinner, it seemed fitting to have the night end with Oreos, sweatpants, and the rescue of certain drunk bridal party member from peeing in the wardrobe. It’s truly a day that neither of us will ever forget.

Photos courtesy of Shawna Ploof. 
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Event Credits

Catering: Tourterelle InnDate: 09/26/2015Florist: Green Haven GardensLocation: New Haven, VermontOther: Vermont Honeylights CandlesPhotography: Shawna PloofVenue: Tourterelle Inn
Also posted in Attire, cake, Cakes and Dessert, Caterer, Credits, DIY, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Other, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States, Venue, Vermont, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Wedding: Nichole & Liz

Nichole & Liz may win the award for quickest submission: they got married this past weekend in New York City, and had sent us their photos within two days!

From Nichole: My wife and I had a Periscope wedding at City Hall. We had everything we wanted on a super shoestring budget– just under $800– and here’s how we did it: we decided to nix the big venue, catering, and entertainment, which can cost upward of $10k, and went with a magical union at city hall with just a few close friends and family members as our witnesses. Then we discovered the Periscope app! Just days before the event we invited all our friends and family near and far to join us in the live stream of our ceremony.

We had 4 bridesmaids who all wore something yellow (my favorite color), a lacy white dress I already owned, a white collared shirt, slacks, vest and shoes for Liz, and City Hall as our backdrop. My sister narrated the whole shindig, and 40 guests tuned in and commented and snapped photos the whole way through. Our biggest costs were the rings engraved with “pari passu” totalling $400, Liz’s outfit at $150, and the celebratory dim sum meal and drinks in nearby chinatown with the bridal party at $150, along with the small cost of marriage license and registry. For just under $800 total, it was intimate and fun and filled with so much love. Everyone we wanted to be there was there and we didn’t have to pay by the head– or for a photographer/videographer to capture the day. 

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Event Credits

Location: City Hall, New York CityPhotography: friends & family
Also posted in Attire, DIY, Lesbian Elopement, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Minimalist, New York, New York City, Pants + Dress, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, suit, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Wedding Video: Ju Nae’ & Brittany

From Ju Nae’ and Brittany: We were married in San Diego, California, at Ju Nae’s father’s house with close family and friends. We had a total DIY wedding, and loved every second of it.

Check out Ju Nae’ and Brittany’s wedding video here.

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Event Credits

Attire: Wedding Dress Davids BridalCakes and Dessert: MMC Bakes & Heavenly CupcakeCatering: Lawrence GloverFlorist: Sandra GloverLocation: San Diego CaliforniaMusic: Johnny GloverOfficiant: Jenny WrightOther: Videography Wedding Bokeh San Diego (Ruben)Photography: Dante DavisPlanner or Event Designer: Barbara GloverStationery: Ju Nae' Glover & Brittany BrooksVenue: El Cajon
Also posted in Attire, Backyard, Cakes and Dessert, California, Caterer, Credits, DIY, Florist, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Music, Officiant, Other, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States, Venue, Wedding Attire | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed
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