Category Archives: Minimalist

Wedding: Laura & Louise

Over the years, we’ve featured plenty of Central Park weddings and engagement shoots, so we were thrilled when Claire got in touch with us to share Laura and Louise’s story. After her planning her own Central Park wedding, Claire started a whole business devoted to helping couples who want to tie the knot in the park. Here, she fills us in on English couple Laura and Louise’s big day.

From Claire, Laura & Louise’s wedding planner: Laura and Louise are from Sheffield in the North of England.  They met around fourteen years ago.  They were in the same hockey club and knew each other only a little at first, then they ended up playing on the same team and they got to know each other better.  This friendship became a romance, although love is often never as smooth as it should be: they spent some time apart as their lives took different courses for a while, but there was never a day when they would not be in touch in some way.

They got engaged in the middle of a fireworks display.  Louise asked Laura, with the aid of a ring Louise and Laura’s brother had made for the occasion.  Then they went together to get a proper one made specially.  They knew that they did not want a conventional wedding, so they looked in to several options of unique and unusual places to get married in England, such as a woodland center and an old factory.  Then they started to consider going abroad, and Laura casually suggested getting married in Central Park after she had remembered seeing it in a film.  After thinking it through more seriously, and comparing prices of venues at home to the cost of a destination wedding with built-in vacation, it seemed like no contest!  They contacted me, and we started to discuss their options.

We always get an event permit from the Central Park Conservancy for a wedding to ensure that there are no other wedding parties at the time and place where we want to hold a ceremony.  They chose the Ladies’ Pavilion, a lovely spot by the Lake on the West side of Central Park. The closest entrance to the Ladies’ Pavilion is the one right by John Lennon’s old home, the Dakota, at Central Park West and 72nd Street.

It is a very popular wedding location. There are seats inside and it has charming art deco cast-iron details.  It really matched their 1920s style outfits.  The Ladies’ Pavilion was originally built in the 1870s and used as a shelter for trolley passengers and was at Central Park’s 8th Avenue and 59th Street entrance, but it has been relocated to its current location. During the Winter the Ladies would change into their ice skates here, before skating on the lake, hence the name.  Laura and Louise had a lovely an iconic backdrop to the wedding, with the lake and the Manhattan skyline in the background.

There were seven guests in attendance at the wedding.  They had Laura’s Mum, Dad, brother and cousin, maid of honour and her boyfriend, and one friend from university who happened to be in America at the time.  We wrote a ceremony especially for the couple, and they wrote their own personal vows to read out to each other during the ceremony.  Laura’s brother, Adam, was their photographer.  After the ceremony they all travelled in the pedicabs to Bow Bridge and then on to Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, and had more pictures taken there.  

Laura wore a Joy by Jenny Packham dress with Irregular Choice shoes.  Laura’s saw the dress on an episode of Don’t Tell the Bride.  She contacted the shop in the show, and found out the name and designer of the dress and stockists in her home town. She never even looked at or tried on another dress!  Louise wore a Vivienne Westwood shirt and tailored trousers. There were no flowers, although the boys in the group all wore waistcoats with some fab boutonnieres made from buttons.  Laura did her own makeup and hair after tutorials back home in England, Louise’s hair was styled by Laura, and their make-up was done by one of their guests.

The wedding ceremony took place at 1pm so the morning was spent enjoying a hearty breakfast and then getting ready.  After the ceremony, the party spent some time in Central Park taking photos, stopping off for a quick hot dog and snow cone from a vendor.  They then walked back through Central Park to their nearby hotel.  They were congratulated as they walked.  In the evening they all went for a celebratory meal to Sarabeth’s on Central Park South, which they tell me was amazing food with great service.  They had been notified that it was a wedding breakfast and they made a huge effort to make it special.  They finished off the day by changing into their pajamas and drinking champagne on the rooftop terrace of their hotel. The next morning Laura and Louise enjoyed a helicopter tour of the city, which had paid for by some of their family as a wedding gift.

Laura told me that one of the most amazing things about the day was how amazing the people were who happened to stumble upon their ceremony, and then afterwards as they took a stroll back through Central Park to their hotel.  They said that people were very friendly and complimentary, with so many people saying “Congratulations”, making nice comments on their outfits, and people stopping to talk to them about the ceremony and their plans for the rest of the day. They said that it made them feel really special.

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Wedding: Tracy & Danielle

From Danielle: Tracy and I originally met about 4 years ago through mutual friend groups. At the time we both were seeing other people. We reconnected a year and a half ago and this time we were both single. It was our fast-thinking mutual friends who planned a group outing that allowed our friendship and relationship to grow. We went on a hike with our dogs on Memorial Day of 2015 and have been together ever since. January was not the original plan for our wedding, but November 8th changed everything. Our wedding was not an act of fear, but an act of love and solidarity. Being able to celebrate our love in front of family and friends was one of our favorite parts of the day. The day was so laid back and drama free that we would both do it all over again. Tracy and I planned a wedding in 52 days on a $1,500 budget. Our advice: do what makes you happy. We omitted being walked down the aisle, father/daughter dances, unity symbols, traditional ceremony scripts, etc., and our day was amazing and filled with so much love and joy.

Photos courtesy of Wildflower Wedding Photography.

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For even more amazing photos, check out Tracy & Danielle’s photographer’s blog.

Event Credits

Attire: Danielle's Dress - Modcloth / Tracy's Suit - Ao Dai (Jacket) & H&M (Pants)Cakes and Dessert: Peggy Jean's Pies - http://pjpies.com/Catering: McAllister's Deli - http://www.mcalistersdeli.com/locations/mo-columbia-grindstone-parkway-121/menu/beveragesFlorist: Danielle went DIY on almost all of the details. She made the fabric scrap garlands, the glass plate signs, guest favor glasses tags...Location: Columbia, MOOther: Beer - Logboat Brewing - http://www.logboatbrewing.com/ Wedding Rings - Buchrader's - https://brdiamonds.com/?gclid=CPG9iqXT2dECFRG4wAodU9UMAgPhotography: Wildflower Wedding Photography - www.wildflowerweddingphotography.comVenue: Friend's Backyard
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Friendship Ceremony: Vy & Sahaja

We’ve never posted about a friendship ceremony before, but when Vy & Sahaja got in touch, we couldn’t resist sharing their story!  Here’s what they had to say:

About us:

We are Vy (lesbian) & Sahaja (label-rejecting pansexual). We are from Moscow, Russia.
We are friends – nothing more and nothing less. Vy has been in a committed relationship for years. Sah is currently single. We met in early high school, and no matter our romantic statuses, we have been family for each other ever since (17 years and counting).

How did it start?

Vy: I’m a wild fan of On a Bicycle Built for Two. For years I’ve been dreaming about my own submission. But it took an unexpected turn: I realized that the first commitment ceremony I wanted was one with my best friend.

Sah: All of a sudden we saw how unreasonable it is that our society has developed no generally accepted way for those not romantically involved (friends, family members, etc.) to celebrate their love and commitment to each other.

What was the plan?

Sah: We decided to celebrate our love and say “thank you” for our past, “I trust you” for our present, and “we will” for our future in a friendship commitment ceremony in a beautiful old park in London. The plan was to say our friendship vows, exchange our friendship rings, and play our friendship songs for each other.

Vy: The preparation for the ceremony was a bonding miracle. Just one example: I will never forget how it turned out that we both chose the same thing to be engraved on our friendship commitment rings: it was “ebb & flood & ebb & flood” – in reference to Khalil Gebran’s The Prophet, on friendship: “And let your best be for your friend. If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also. For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill? Seek him always with hours to live.” 

What was the best part?

Sah: The best part for me was how exactly this project of ours brought itself into life. No one to thank for it but ourselves. Simple perfection, as crystal clear and true as we dared to make and experience.

Vy: All the way down to the ceremony I had fits of commitment anxiety: my vows were so damn serious. But as I was standing in that solemn moment right in front of Sah, in the middle of London, against a crowd of frowning, disapproving-looking folks, all I was seeing were her eyes – it felt like I was looking in them for the first time so openly, so confidently. We were standing on top of the world, on the top of us.

And what now?

Sah: Now we’re rock solid in knowing that there always will be an ebb and a flood and an ebb and a flood for us – and we will stay together through it all.

Vy: The ceremony totally impacted us. Further up and further in.

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Event Credits

Date: 04/05/2016Location: London, UK
Also posted in Other Ceremonies, Pants + Dress, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, UK & Ireland | Tagged , , | 3 Responses

Wedding: Katie & Sheila

From the brides: After a crazy year of being hounded and ultimately outed by our conservative university (where we met!), we finally decided to show the world that love truly does win. Sheila had to go back to Canada for the summer due to immigration issues, but before she left, she proposed to Katie by a trickling stream with an opal ring from Etsy. The plan was to be married in August upon Sheila’s return to the States, and when Katie came up to Canada to visit, she surprised Sheila with the most tenderhearted, gorgeous, sandy-beach, ocean-side proposal. We both finally had our special rings and were officially, 100% engaged.

As mature college students, our budget was tight, but our wedding turned out simplistically beautiful. Our church family rallied around us, and friends and a little bit of family from far and wide came to support us and surround us with love on our special day. We couldn’t have asked for a sweeter group of people around us and had so much fun dressing up in colors while our bridesmaids wore white. We just don’t do things by the book.

Looking back, all we can see is the joy, even in the midst of the family chaos around us and the challenges we have and will face. We love each other more than ever and are so excited to spread that love.

Photos courtesy of Cheye Hammond.

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Event Credits

Date: 08/20/2016Location: First Baptist, Greenville, SCPhotography: Cheye Hammond (https://www.facebook.com/CheyeHammondPhotography/)
Also posted in Attire, Credits, Dress + Dress, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, South Carolina, Style, Two Dress Wedding, United States, Venue | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anniversary: Corrinne & Michelle

It’s a very special day when we get to feature a couple who we know in real life, and today, we could not be more thrilled to help Corrinne & Michelle celebrate their second wedding anniversary! These two women inspire us every day, and now, we hope they will inspire you too—with their strength, their compassion, and their love.

Since Corrinne doesn’t know about this post (surprise!), we’ll let Michelle tell you their story: On September 25th, 2010, I logged into my Facebook account and posted this status:

BEST DAY EVER. Seriously, words can’t express and nothing can compare. ☺

I was twenty-two years old, in my senior year of college at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and it was Homecoming week. The previous three years, I hadn’t paid all that much attention to the university’s hullabaloo over this event. But on this day, I spent the entire day in the company of a classmate whom I had recently befriended. She was bright and cheerful, and she had the most beautiful brown eyes I’d ever seen. Her name was Corrinne.

Facebook doesn’t tell me what we did all day, but I do remember small details. Gorgeous blue sky, hundreds of students and alumni milling around campus, the way Corrinne’s eyes glowed with excitement as she tugged me along. We explored the Homecoming festivities for a while before moving to a local street craft fair. This photo shows us moments after encountering a Hungry Howie’s pizza representative, who cheerfully gave us an entire pizza for free. We shared it, and we talked. For hours and hours, we talked.

I wasn’t in love then. It wasn’t even on my radar to think of a girl in that way. But I knew something was special about Corrinne.

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Four years later, we got married in Asheville, NC. The journey from that first day (first date!) was not easy; at times it was hellish. We struggled with long distance while she was studying abroad in Japan. We struggled with no distance at all when we moved in together right after she came home. We struggled with trust and compromise, with support and self-care, with dating in secret and finding the courage to be together openly. We struggled with family who refused to accept our relationship, and we struggled with family who did. We struggled with faith. We struggled with making it one day at a time.

But when I looked into Corrinne’s eyes that October morning, I could only think of spending the rest of my life with this woman. This amazing woman, with her beautiful brown eyes and her easy laughter. Her willingness to listen to my fears and her ability to help me face and overcome each one. Her hugs and her kisses and her promises that every day together would be worth it, even if it was a struggle, simply because it was another day we got to love one another.

It’s been a little more than a year since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide and almost two years since the bans in our state were struck down, since we took this step together. We have spent our marriage making every day count. Yes, we still struggle, but we’re making it, one day at a time.

Happy second anniversary, Corrinne. I stand by what I said six years ago: Best day ever. Words can’t express, and nothing can compare.

Congratulations, Corrinne & Michelle, and happy anniversary!

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Also posted in Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, North Carolina, Post Wedding Life, Region, Style, Uncategorized, United States | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Elopement: Danielle & Sandra

From the brides: We eloped in Santa Barbara, CA at their gorgeous Spanish style courthouse in an intimate and emotional ceremony.

Photos courtesy of Christine Skari.

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Event Credits

Cakes and Dessert: CrushcakesCatering: JaneFlorist: Victor the FloristLocation: Santa Barbara, CAPhotography: Christine SkariVenue: Santa Barbara County Courthouse
Also posted in Attire, Cakes and Dessert, California, Caterer, Credits, Florist, Lesbian Elopement, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Pants + Dress, Photography, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States, Venue | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Responses

Flashback Friday: Vanessa & Judy

While we’re on vacation this month, the Bicycle Built for Two team is revisiting some of our all-time favorite weddings!

From Maggie:

As a girl from the Southwest, I am utterly enchanted by Vanessa & Judy’s intimate ceremony at Pecos National Park. Place is so important to me, and it is clear that this is a special one: a sacred spot with a long history that seems perfect for the beginning of a long and loving marriage. 

There’s so much more to love here too: Vanessa & Judy’s entirely unique take on traditional white wedding attire, the fresh flowers, and the beautiful photos that show a relationship filled with laughter and smiles. While the size of Ashley’s family means that a tiny wedding is probably not in our future, I love what we see here: two people clearly so in love against a background of weathered adobe and New Mexico sky.

Photos courtesy of Maura Jane Photography.

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See the rest of Vanessa & Judy’s photos in the original post.
Also posted in Attire, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, New Mexico, Pants + Dress, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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