I recently had the privilege of shooting my first same sex wedding for an amazing couple, Amelia and Amanda. I didn’t really know if I should lead with the fact that this was a same sex wedding. Do I point it out? Is that an important detail? It should be the same as the other weddings I’ve shot right? I mean, besides the gender of one of the people getting married. Do I talk about it like it’s not a big deal that two women were married? No one reads my blog so putting this much thought into how I approach this subject seems a tad narcissistic. (Shout out to all five of you that don’t just come to see the pictures) Thinking about my “approach” like the words I put in here are going to make some kind of progress in this movement. The answer became abundantly clear when I started writing this. Do I talk about it like it’s not a big deal that two women were married? No, because it is a big deal. It’s a HUGE deal that these two people were allowed to be married. Anyone that has spent five minutes with them will tell you that they were meant to be together. Maybe saying that in this type of forum would seem inappropriate to some. I’ve heard other photographers worry that they would lose business if they promoted a same sex wedding and they were most likely correct. There’s always going to be that one person that has something to say. I’ve seen the subject debated a thousand different ways. Facts and opinions blurred and people from both sides of the discussion blinded to the other’s words. Feelings and intuition have always been what’s lead me. Following my gut and listening to that inner voice. Hell, I make decorating choices based on emotional connections I feel with pillows and wallpaper. What I feel can’t be debated and I feel pure joy having been a part of this couple’s wedding.
“We knew immediately upon meeting that this was everything different. This was home in another human being. Marriage to us means that joy is everlasting. It means being supported and celebrated by our loved ones. It means a life together that holds no limits. It means everything, and we could not be happier or more appreciative of this beautiful life we’re building together.” -Amanda and Amelia (a quote from the brides when I asked them what their wedding day meant to them)
I guess the introduction of the couple and how our paths came to cross goes back 20 years.
I met Amelia (still feels weird not calling you Amy) in the third grade when she moved to my school. Although she wasn’t there long, I remember her vividly. I remember her being artistic, soft spoken, patient, sweet, honest. I remember sleepovers at her house and her sister giving me hair wraps (remember back in the day…with thread and the beads) She moved and we lost touch. This was, after all, before elementary kids had cell phones so losing touch tended to happen when a friend moved. Flash forward to a year ago when Amy contacted me about her upcoming wedding. I was thrilled to experience two firsts, shooting in Austin and shooting a same sex wedding. Not so thrilled that her fiance’ was a photographer though. I HATE shooting other photographers. It makes me so nervous and anyone that knows me knows that not many things make me nervous. (spoiler~did not hate shooting the fiance’ lol)
I met Amanda the day we shot bridals. It was just about the worst weather that you can imagine for shooting outdoors. Raining on and off but still bright sun through the clouds. Hot, humid, awful. They drove into Lake Charles from Austin to shoot their bridals so we made it work. The rain had stopped long enough for us to get started. Look up and see a huge rainbow in the sky. You can’t make that stuff up(also have a picture if you don’t believe me) Amanda gets out of the car in a sharp suit, fresh fade, and some killer peanut butter colored leather shoes. She looked cool and I was just a little intimidated by her coolness and kind of jealous of her suit. I quickly figured out as soon as she spoke that although she was still cool, intimidating had went out the window. She speaks with a soft, calm tone and laughs and smiles constantly.
We hid the two brides from each other at the two locations but shot them at the same time. Sam Houston Jones State Park then headed downtown. Because of all the bad weather, we had run out of daylight and ended up using the light from a street lamp to light the shots. Amelia wore a vintage gown found at a thrift shop and Amanda wore a gray suit. (Amelia wore a different dress for the wedding)
I made the trip to Austin with my wing man/bff/shopping enabler/partner in crime Kandis (<—- Look Kan, you’re famous). We decided to turn the trip to Austin for the wedding into a mini girls weekend. The details of such will have to remain confidential but the shame of our overloaded suv full of shoes and half of the Ikea warehouse will haunt us forever. Kan was my life savor that weekend and totally jumped in to help with anything the couple needed at the wedding. Helping decorate, fixing hair, cleaning. You the bomb boo.
There was so much love at this wedding. Seeing Amanda and Amelia together will make you believe in true love. The real kind. The soulmate kind. You could tell the friends and family that attended this wedding felt honored to know them. The relationships they both have with their friends is enviable. Amanda played football for the WFA in Dallas (woman’s football alliance) with a few of the members of her bridal party. Total softies (I’m talking about you Rachel lol). You get a pass for crying like a baby because it was a really sweet, emotional day. Amelia’s best friend/super bridesmaid was a beast. The most selfless, hard working, loving maid of honor ever. Although the mommy to be was tired, she put all of that on the back burner and gave Amelia and the wedding her full attention. The whole bridal party was amazing. There are so many details that I loved and usually I elaborate more about the details (flowers, rings, shoes) and I’ll share photos of course but when I think about this wedding I don’t associate it with any of that because what stands out more to me is the energy and the emotion from the day. Love won. I know, I’m so cliche’ to say that but it’s true. Two people that were so obviously meant for each other were allowed to profess their love to one another in front of their family and friends and LEGALLY become a married couple. That makes my heart full. Like bursting full.
The wedding took place at The Inn at Wild Rose Hall. A ranch type venue set in the outskirts of Austin with oak trees filling the grounds.
Amelia and Amanda’s first date was at Common Ground in Waco, Tx. I loved the images of Amanda opening up the gift and letter from Amelia when she arrived at the venue.
The two brides got dressed with the help of their best friends…..and Kandis 😉
Amanda and Amelia chose to do a first look before the ceremony and as expected they hugged, told each other they looked beautiful, and Amanda cried
But before that….she did some modeling for me while waiting for Amelia…
The couple exchanged the most unique set of wedding rings I’ve seen in my life. (I was tempted to steal that H ring…helloooo H for Heather)
The ceremony was under the trees where the bride’s fathers walked them down the aisle. .Amanda’s aunt performed the ceremony and spoke the most beautiful words. I can’t quote any of the words she said during the ceremony but I remember being so present in what she was saying that it was hard for me to remember to take photos (you are not a guest Heather, focus).