From Jess and Maya: We had several conversations about tying the knot, however we decided to wait for New Jersey to join the other Northeast states in legalizing same-sex marriage. Our conversations were always full of excitement about our love, but disheartened that sharing this with everyone we hold dear to us would not be legally recognized for what it are – love that will last for the rest of our lives. In October 2013, a judge finally ruled that, based on the Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA, New Jersey’s constitution must recognize same-sex marriage! After receiving the news, we knew that there was no better time than now to begin the rest of our lives together. We immediately started planning the spring wedding we had been dreaming of.
Aside from keeping our budget as reasonable as possible (the goal of every couple, everywhere!), our goals for the wedding were simply to keep things light and create a day that truly reflected our personalities as individuals and as a couple. To achieve that, we decided that our wedding was going to be a full out surprise for pretty much everyone, allowing us to keep most of the planning very intimate, private and fun. As our wedding date was smack in between our birthdays, we chose to use the rouse of Maya proposing to Jess at what Jess would be lead to believe was her birthday party. Confusing, I know, but it worked!! The concept was very intriguing to our guests, as it seemed very contradictory to Maya’s personality to propose in front of everyone we know. Immediate family and a few close friends helped with some planning, but the bulk of it was done by the two of us. Since it was a surprise wedding, guests received invitations (designed by ColdArt Graphics) that heavily emphasized punctuality and were a fun flowchart theme with two logo heads that captured who we are – a ninja and a nerd (Jess is a martial artist and Maya an engineer turned dental student).
For our venue, we chose Mountain Lakes House, as its natural beauty provided the gorgeous backdrop that we had been searching for. The beautiful venue allowed us to keep decorations simple but elegant, with lots of fresh wildflowers, paper lanterns, mason jars, and one of our non-negotiables…a fire pit. Being outdoor enthusiasts, we wanted to be sure we could enjoy our beautiful venue. In order to do so, we made a less traditional choice to wear purple and orange Toms, which came very handy while traversing the rocks and vegetation for photos! While our footwear was planned together, we keep two surprises for one another: our dresses and vows.
Our fun, laid-back theme continued with delicious BBQ from Jimmy’s BBQ and gluten free desserts, as one of our favorite activities is enjoying good food together. We featured yard-sized Jenga and cornhole to entertain guests between food, the photo booth and rocking out on the dance floor. Like any true lesbian couple, we had to include our canine babies in our special day. Our cake topper was paper doll cutouts of ourselves and our precious boys, custom made by an artist we found on Etsy called ReadyGo.
As many fun details as we were able to include about our love and personalities, none of it could have been pulled off so well without the help of our wedding planners, Kyle Michelle Weddings, or have been captured so perfectly without our photographer, Tara Robertson. And of course, we can’t forget all the special people in our lives, family and friends, that have taught us how to love through their support and presence in our lives.
Photos courtesy of Tara Beth Photography.