Lina & Michelle's Wedding | Highland Loft | Elgin, IL
I simply cannot say enough about Lina and Michelle's wedding. When I met them well over a year ago, I was excited and nervous. I wasn't nervous because of them... they are two of the sweetest, most absolutely adorable couples I've had the pleasure of working with. I was nervous because I wanted so badly to be a part of their wedding experience. This was my very first chance at photographing a same-sex couple's wedding. I wanted to show I was inclusive. I wanted the world to know I don't care if you are he, she, they, them, male, female, straight, gay, bisexual or whatever label..... I wanted to show that no matter what, LOVE IS LOVE. Cliché, right? Not in my book. I have had friends over the years who fit into one of those categories. I truly do not care who you choose to love. If you are happy, and that other person makes you happy, that is truly all that matters at the end of the day.
I have watched as vendors have denied couples services simply because of who they love. I am not one of those people. I wanted to be THEIR photographer and the person that shows the world in pictures just how much they love each other. When they selected me to help share the most important day in their lives, I was 100% all in.
Over the coming months, I photographed their engagement session and they were (again) simply adorable. I helped them plan their day, detailed what they wanted to be captured, and also wanted to make sure that my language was inclusive. In the past, I only had experience with straight couples. It really opened my eyes to how things like my shot list, my website, and my contact forms were.... well..... not inclusive to all couples from all walks of life.
The day of Lina & Michelle's wedding, I was so excited. These two ladies brought a whole new meaning to the word "bling" with their fancy shoes, rhinestone belts, their wedding and engagement bands, and Lina's pantsuit with tear-away skirt. Her outfit was the most beautiful and elegant design I have ever photographed (and I have photographed well over 50 brides.) The entire day they both radiated excitement, love, and smiles from ear to ear. Their first looks with their families were sweet and tearful (not just for them, but for us as well.) Then watching the first look between Michelle and Lina was beautiful. They both laughed, they both cried, and we cried with them. My heart was bursting with happiness for them both.
The ceremony was officiated by Michelle's brother, and they were completely surrounded in love by family and friends. One unique idea I took away from their wedding: after the ceremony, they stayed at the front and had guests line up to take a photo with the two of them together. Think of this as a more formal "fast table walk." Every friend, couple, co-worker, and family combination had 2 minutes with them for congratulations, hugs, and a formal photo (almost no formal shot list needed!) This was a HUGE hit, as the line extended through the ceremony area, and out into the cocktail area.
They shared giggles, dances, twirls, and tender moments all throughout the night during the reception. I walked away from their wedding day with love in my heart, and hopes that I will get more and more chances to document the true meaning of love. It's not falling into societal norms of who you "should" marry, it's watching two beautiful people standing against the world and doing what they feel in their hearts while not caring what people think. It's saying "I do" to true love, and all while smiling, laughing, and crying happy tears through it all.
Congratulations, Michelle and Lina. I cannot express my absolute joy of sharing your big day with you, and being the one to capture the memories you will cherish forever.
Ceremony/Reception: Highland Loft, Elgin, IL
Catering & Event Coordination: Your Day Your Way Events
Photography: Parker Photography IL