Category Archives: Europe

Anniversary: Kimberly & Hayley

Kim and Hayley’s Banff elopement (complete with wedding dresses and snow boots!) was one of our favorite features from 2016, so we were thrilled to get an update from this binational couple!

From Hayley: Because we never had an official engagement I decided to surprise Kim with a ring on our first anniversary that we spent in Amsterdam. We had a really fun photographer Nadine, and it was a great day. We are still living in separate countries waiting on visas but things are moving a lot closer to an end date, hopefully next time we update we’ll be in the same country!

Photos courtesy of Nadine van der Wielen.

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Event Credits

Date: February 10th, 2017Location: AmsterdamPhotography: Nadine van der Wielen https://www.snapmepretty.com/
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Wedding: Beth & Liv

From the brides: As today (10/10/16) is our one-year anniversary, we thought it was about time we finally got round to submitting our photos to this lovely site that has inspired us even pre-engagement and all the way up to our wedding day.

We met at 16, in a sixth form college chemistry class, of all places. We fell in love at 17 and 18 when we moved classes and ended up sat next to each other. We used to message each other online every night until we fell asleep and then one day at a friend’s house, in the middle of the night, after an ungodly amount of Irn Bru-flavoured vodka, we kissed.

We moved away to separate universities, with Beth even doing a year abroad. But we never gave up on each other and when Beth moved back to England, we moved in together and adopted a cat.

In 2014 Beth proposed on top of a hill in Devon, in the middle of a ‘gay christian’ retreat. Liv told Beth to close her eyes, then pulled out a ring of her own and asked her right back! Beth nearly fell off the edge of the cliff she was knelt on.

Nearly 6 years after that first kiss, we got married in Richmond, North Yorkshire (UK). We had a fair few naysayers, so it really was a triumph and the whole day was beautiful. We decorated the whole place ourselves, brought in outside caterers (the day was 100% vegan, much to Beth’s carnivore dad’s annoyance), had a great friend do the photography, another friend doing flowers… the whole thing was a massive group effort, and it was so amazing.

We chose to do our own spiritual ceremony first, with our good friends as officiants. We roughly followed a Celtic Christian service but we changed it to suit our tastes and not alienate our guests. After drinks and nibbles the registrar arrived and we did the legal bit too. We danced into the evening with our brothers and an iPod in place of a real DJ, ate far too much gorgeous food including from the pick and mix bar, played board games and finally roasted marshmallows on a fire.

The whole day was perfect and everyone looked so beautiful. One year later and we are so happy in love. We are fostering a dog now, along with a cat, and hope to foster some human children by this time next year. Life is good.

Photos courtesy of Jefferson Studios.

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Event Credits

Catering: The Bear Co-op, Todmorden & The Health Warehouse, DarlingtonLocation: Natural Retreats, Yorkshire DalesPhotography: Jefferson Studios, BristolVenue: Natural Retreats, Yorkshire Dales, Richmond
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Wedding(s!): Erica & Alex (Part 3)

From Erica: When we planned our two weddings in 2010 (see parts 1 & 2), we honestly did not believe that we would see marriage equality in the US or the UK anytime soon, so when SCOTUS overturned California’s Prop 8 in June 2013, we were ecstatic! We went out to celebrate, and started fantasising about flying home and getting LEGALLY married in San Francisco City Hall, in my home state… I may have even gone out and bought a cute, white cotton £20 dress in a moment of excitement! We may have even started talking about updating my engagement ring to include some sparkly stones and talking about what kind of party we would want to throw!

Then, in July 2013, the UK passed the Marriage (Same Sex) Act and suddenly marriage equality was happening in England!* But what did that mean?! We were already civilly partnered here; could we go get a marriage certificate in the US and have it recognised here? Would the UK come up with a way for us to allow those thousands of couples who were civilly partnered to get married (if they wanted to)?? We had to wait until December 2014 for the UK government to get their act together and make it happen. Their solution: we could have the option of a ‘conversion ceremony’ whereby our legal relationship status would change from a ‘civil partnership’ to a ‘marriage’ and we would be issued a new marriage certificate with our original wedding date. Good ol’ bureaucracy….

Eventually, we calmed down from all the excitement and started to get practical. We decided on a small ‘conversion’ ceremony at our local town hall in London whereby we would renew our vows and then throw a party afterward at our favourite local pub. My parents were visiting in July 2015, so after having a spring wedding and an autumn wedding, we figured we should have a summer wedding as well! The day SCOTUS ruled on Obergefell v Hodges in June 2015, we were signing the preliminary paperwork for our conversion ceremony—we took it as a good sign!

The day was joyful and easy. Our closest friends, family, and godchildren joined us at the town hall ceremony. Colleagues of mine were busy decorating our rented brick barn in the beer garden of our local pub with bunting, pink balloons, and strings of hearts and we had jugs of Pimms on arrival. There were three Victoria sponge cakes with strawberries—one for each wedding—and a ton on Tunnock’s Tea Cakes! There was a perfect toast by my friend, Alex gave a speech (finally!), and another friend offered to sing ‘Married’ for us from Caberet! We ate, drank, and hung out with our friends until the evening when we hosted a 5-part pub quiz that’d we’d written! A great day…

Six weeks later, we met up with photographer Albert Palmer to take some loved-up couples photos of us in our adopted city. They were everything we’d hope they would be and perfectly captured us, five years into our version of married bliss.

*As of 2014, marriage equality is a possibility in England, Wales and Scotland. Northern Ireland remains under different laws and they are fighting their own battle there. However, after the Republic of Ireland passed marriage equality in 2015, I have hope for N.I.!

Photos courtesy of Albert Palmer Photography.

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Event Credits

Location: LondonPhotography: Albert Palmer PhotographyVenue: Wandsworth Town Hall & The Antelope, Tooting
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Wedding(s!): Erica & Alex (Part 1)

When Erica got in touch with us with photos from her and Alex’s three (three!) gorgeous weddings (technically, one civil partnership, one commitment ceremony, and one whole-milk wedding extravaganza), we couldn’t resist. Keep checking in over the next few days for the whole amazing series!

From Erica: Our friends like to tease us about getting married… because we’ve gotten married three times, to each other. This is what happened  when we decided to move countries and get married against the backdrop of the marriage equality movement.

Alex and I started dating after our graduation from UC Santa Cruz and right before she was set to move back to England and I was moving on to LA. When we parted, we both knew that we had something pretty special though, and it really took less than a year long-distance before I was readying my bags to move to England to join her in January 2009. Alex was studying to become a physician associate (physician assistant in the US) and I was doing a postgraduate programme in children’s literature. Over our Easter break that year, I proposed on a Cornish clifftop in the bright sunshine with her parents and family around the corner, ready with champagne and strawberries. Thankfully Alex said yes!

When we decided to plan our wedding for 2010, the UK had civil partnerships available to same-sex couples (not recognized by the US) and marriage had been overturned in my home state of California. Honestly, we didn’t think marriage equality would happen in the next ten years (let alone five!) so we made the best of it and planned a civil partnership in Cornwall, England, for April and a commitment ceremony back in California for October.

Both weddings were completely different, and yet we wanted to make both of them reflective of us as a couple. We focused on the things that mattered to us (excellent local food served throughout the day, eco-conscious decorations with minimal waste, bubbly (!)) and decided that whatever was going to be a part of our days was going to be meaningful to us. Most of all, we wanted to have fun, joyous celebrations with all those whom we loved!

Our Cornish wedding started with the civil ceremony in the beautiful Victorian Fowey Hotel with our brothers as Best Men, followed by strawberries and champagne in the garden overlooking the River Fowey and the English Channel. None of us expected brilliant sunshine in April but we lapped it up and a few got sunburned! We then had a proper Cornish afternoon tea (with lashings of clotted cream) and storytelling by a local family friend—a tale of love always being in fashion when the gorse bush is in bloom… My brother led the guests in group games while Alex and I snuck off for some photos. After, the Town Krier arrived and the Cornish bagpipes came out (the storyteller doubled as our piper) and under a rainbow umbrella we processed through the village to the local sailing club for our evening meal & dancing! Everyone was coming out of the shops to cheer for us as they’ve all known Alex since she was little, and it was just magical! We disappeared again for photos (and even got invited on a sailboat for a bit!) while our guests snacked on mini Cornish pasties. Alex’s mum has assembled a crew to turn the regular ol’ sailing club into a magical tent and the table decorations were purple, green, and word-themed — postcards, scrabble tiles and single purple tulips in recyclable glass juice bottles. We came back to enjoy a cold buffet of quiches, meats, fruit, and a cake of cheeses (!) from a local lesbian-owned deli; a traditional English fruit cake, made by Alex’s aunt; hilarious speeches and musical performances; and lots and lots of dancing as Alex’s brother and a friend DJ’d the soul music all night. It was bliss!

(Alex is in the gorgeous suit; it cost more than both my dresses combined!)

Photos courtesy of Cornish Wedding 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: Cornwall, EnglandPhotography: Cornish Wedding Photography Venue: The Fowey Hotel, Gallant’s Sailing Club
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Wedding Video (& BABIES!): Laura & Laura

From the Lauras: We were “married” on 13th August 2011 and featured on the site some time soon after. At the time, in the UK, it was only legal for same sex couples to become Civil Partners. Last December it became legal for us to convert our CP into a marriage. We did so on 13th August 2015 – our 4th anniversary. I made a video to show the 4 years we were civil partnered, ending with a photo of the day we officially became married (we literally signed the papers, no ceremony as we felt we’d already done all that and didn’t need to repeat it).

Watch Laura & Laura’s video here, and for more of their story, check out their blog Becoming Mums. If you’re anything like us, you will want to watch this one at least twice for all the adorable baby pictures!

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Event Credits

Date: 08/13/2015Location: London UK
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Wedding: Lisa & Bine

From Lisa (in the white dress): We have been a couple for more than five years and knew from the first time we met that we were meant to live together. We were pretty young when we first met (I was 22 years old and Bine was 21), and we had a wonderful time. Of course there is no relationship without any troubles, but through it all our love was still growing, and we both developed a strong wish to build a family and have children together.

In the summer of 2014 we decided to try to get pregnant, and this worked out very quickly! I proposed to Bine on a holiday on the Gili Islands/Indonesia at a stunning beach and she said YES. Because of Bine’s pregnancy we decided to have a smaller wedding, but we ended up with 50 guests because we have a pretty big family. In the end this was all perfect. Our wedding location was the “Bel Etage” of a museum in the modern harbour of Cologne with a great view of the Cathedral of Cologne and the river. The ceremony and the reception were both in the same location. Our maid of honour did a lot of the decorations herself, so we had a wonderful surprise when we saw the room on the day of the wedding. It was important for us that there is a connection between the two dresses, and that is the reason for me wearing a white dress with rose accessories and Bine wearing a rose dress with white accessories.

Our wedding was in March, and normally the weather in Germany is not very stable but this weekend the sun was shining and the sky was all blue. What we did not know was that this would be the only weekend with nice weather for weeks. After the ceremony we had a reception with champagne and finger food and later in the afternoon we had a three-tier wedding cake also in white and rose.

From the beginning, our wedding was not planned as a big party because of the pregnancy, so it started in the morning and ended up in the early evening. Nevertheless it was a perfect day for us full of sunshine, love and happiness with our family and closest friends. Perhaps we will have a bigger ceremony in a few years when our daughter can walk on her own and be our little flower girl, but right now we are still waiting for the imminent delivery!

Photos courtesy of a friend of the couple.

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Event Credits

Attire: White Dress: Labude Labude Köln: Charmante Brautkleider und Every Day Chic, Rose Dress: Mamarella Umstandsbrautmode - das Brautkleid für Ihre HochzeitFlorist: Flowers: Kreuzblume Floristik, Cologne, GermanyLocation: Bel Etage (Chocolate Museum, Cologne, Germany)Photography: Friend of the couple
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Wedding: Etain & Michelle

From Etain: Michelle proposed on a beach in Spain in 2012 (think “Will you marry me?” written in the sand), and I proposed back by projecting it onto a building in Dublin’s docklands 6 months later (picked up by the national Irish news!). We decided to get married in Spain, a small affair in the hills somewhere… In the end we had 150 guests join us for a big, bright wedding full of love and laughter. We were blown away by overwhelming happiness in the air at the wedding.

The ceremony was officiated by a lady called Lizzie Marriage. It was like Mary Poppins had flown in on an umbrella – she rocked it. It was moving, it was fun, and it was serious business all at once. The roar of applause when the ceremony finished was amazing, and we were immediately handed two ice-cold glasses of cava before saying hello to all the guests.

We thought it would be funny to enter to the Eurovision winning song “Euphoria.” Little did we know the place would go wild – people standing on seats, pumping fists in the air (to the bewilderment of some of our straight guests). It blew the roof off the place and really set the tone for the rest of the night.

There were embarrassing, hilarious and tearful speeches before the meal. We dined on local dishes like lobster, slow roast peppers, pork and seafood skewers. The meal was wrapped up with a gin and tonic sorbet, and later followed by a tower of white chocolate, orange and pistachio cake balls. There were Flamenco dancers in to entertain the masses after the food – it was a lot of fun and of course we ended up being pulled on stage to join the dancing. Our first dance was to Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere.”

The following day we invited all of our guests back for a BBQ and pool party. Between the mojito bar and seriously competitive volleyball in the pool the day flew by in sort of splashy, delicious blink of an eye. It was unforgettable.

Check out a video of Etain & Michelle’s wedding here.

Photos courtesy of Albert Pamies.

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Event Credits

Attire: Sarah Foy Design Location: Mijas, SpainOfficiant: Lizzie Marriage (actual surname!)Photography: Albert Pamies, Videography Salvador Blanco Planner or Event Designer: Tara Chapman, Fiesta Sol WeddingsStationery: Sarah June Fox Venue: Hacienda San Jose
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