Heather and Heidi: A post wedding interview

Hey did you know June is Pride Month??  During the month of June I took the time to reach out to some local to Arizona LGBTQ+ friendly vendors and spent time on social media featuring these businesses!  Just search #osiprideguide if you'd like to find those posts.  I will also be publishing a blog post with ALL of the vendors in one place so it's easy to find.  
I also wanted to take the time to interview an actual married couple to ask them a few questions about their wedding planning process.  Planning a wedding is a very stressful process no matter who you are, but doing this as an LGBTQ+ couple can come with some unique challenges.  So thank you Heather and Heidi for sharing your experiences and offering advice to other couples planning their big day! 

  1. Names: Heather and Heidi
  2. What was your wedding date? April 8, 2016
  3. What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
    Heidi: Checking out our venue options in Sedona and then staying there after knowing that's the place we were going to get married. Imagining our honeymoon was a favorite part, too.
    Heather: My favorite part was definitely dreaming about where we would get married. We knew we wanted to do a destination wedding, so it was really fun and exciting to explore travel options.
  4. What is/was the biggest challenge you faced with planning your wedding? 
    Heidi: Cost. It was expensive AF. Specifically, the most difficult part was realizing how expensive our wedding was going to be in the end, and accepting that we needed to make changes. Once we selected our dream venue and paid the deposit, we started to see the costs add up because we were required to use vendors approved through the wedding venue. The price tag ended up at around $20,000, and we just couldn't justify a budget like that. Ultimately, we walked away from our $1,500 deposit to save a lot on cost in the end. 
    Heather: Shortly after we got engaged, I went with my Maid of Honor to a wedding expo. I was so excited! A lot of booths asked me "what the lucky guy's name is" and things along those lines. Everyone was super nice when I responded that my fiance's name is Heidi, but it was still an eye opener. There didn't seem to be a lot of same sex wedding representation or awareness in the wedding industry at that time. Then, I came across a booth with stunning destination wedding inspiration and I told my MOH that I just HAD to get married at this resort! After 10 minutes of excited conversation with the woman operating the booth, she asked me for my fiance's name. Her face fell when I told her and she informed me that she was really sorry, but same sex weddings weren't legal there. 
  5. What advice do you have for other LGBT couples planning a wedding in the Phoenix area? Heidi: Don't put a deposit down until you've done all of your research!
    Heather: Obviously, look for vendors who whole heartedly support marriage equality. I am so happy to say that there are a ton of them in the Phoenix area. There is WAY more representation for same sex weddings now, and that's going to make finding the right vendors for you that much easier. Pro tip: hire a photographer that has same sex couples in their portfolio.
  6. Who were some of your favorite vendors that served you on your wedding day?
    Heidi: We got married at Junipine resort in Sedona, and they were amazing. Their space was super affordable and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous and heavenly. It was exactly what we dreamed of.
    Heather: In the end, we had a very small ceremony at Junipine in Sedona, so we didn't work with a lot of vendors. Junipine was amazing through the entire planning process, though!

Thanks again ladies for sharing your experiences!  
Thank you to Junipine Resort for hosting this beautiful wedding, and thank you to Lora Ebner for the beautiful images.  

Sammy and Molly

"Surprise!!" Not something you typically hear a lot at weddings.  Molly and Sammy however, are not a typical couple.  They had a few surprises sprinkled throughout the wedding day to make it just so much fun!!  They started off with reading one another's vows.  So many giggles and tears!  It was precious.  The next surprise was epic.  Molly dressed her nephews like Transformers to walk down the aisle as ring bearers!! Sammy flipped out, it was hilarious!! They were the toast of the town ;) . The last surprise of the day was a super sweet one.  Molly's grandparents have been married for over 50 years, so the anniversary dance ended with them alone on the dance floor dancing to the same song they danced to at their wedding :)  Enjoy!! And special thanks to the amazing vendors who came together to make this day possible.
Classic Party Rentals
DJ Chad Bendel
Java Stop Trolley (Coffee Cart)
Waffle Crush
Arizona Uplighting
AZ Flower Market
 

Sally and Dave

This couple has just the sweetest story ever!! They kind of sort of met in high school.  Didn't keep in touch, moved around, had kids, and just lived life.  They reconnected via a Facebook group for their old high school friends.  They started talking on the phone and low and behold they fell in love!!!! At this time Sally was living in Arizona and Dave was near their home town in Michigan.  They quickly decided this wouldn't do.  So Sally picked herself up and moved back to Michigan to be with Dave!  During their vows they talked about their journey to finding one another.  It was so beautiful I teared up!!!  Sally and Dave, congratulations and I wish you a LIFETIME of joy and hapiness!!!!

Shane and Ashly

This wedding was just NON STOP party!!  Shane and Ashly had been through so many years, and so many miles, to make it to their wedding day.  So once their special day FINALLY arrived, they were ready to let loose and CELEBRATE!!! I loved watching everyone just enjoy the day and join in support of this amazing couple!  From the beginning of the day getting ready in their downtown hotel, to their first look at Rio Salado, to their amazing ceremony and reception at Legend City Studios, they were surrounded by love and joy the entire day!  I hope you have as much fun looking through the photos of this LEGENDary (get it...Legend City Studios.......legendary.....lol) wedding as I had taking them. Special thanks to Skyla Brooke for planning and coordinating! And Lumiere Photography for having me join!

Aaron and Tori

Blushes, and blues, and backyards, oh my!!  This wedding was just so well thought out from start to finish.  There were so many little details that put it above and beyond your traditional backyard wedding.  I think my favorite part was the backdrop they set up in the ceremony space.  It was so unique!  Listening to the stories, and watching the faces during this wedding was something special.  Tori and Aaron couldn't stop looking at one another and smiling all day!!  Those looks of love and stolen moments are what I LIVE FOR during weddings.  And this wedding had no shortage.  Thank you so much to Sara Bishop for having me come alongside you for this wedding.  It was an absolute privilege! 
Planning and florals by the lovely and talented Skyla Brooke.

Andre and Ailed

This wedding, this couple, oh man!! There was so much joy and so much emotion.  Thank you to Suzy Goodrick for having me assist on this special day.  I loved how each and every detail of this wedding was a reflection of Andre and Ailed.  There was so much care in every piece of greenery, every candle, and every piece of decoration.  The families came together and created an atmosphere of joy and harmony to promote this union.  I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!!

Julien and Kristi

First of all I want to say THANK YOU to Alexis with A.M.E. Photography for having me join you in capturing Julien and Kristi's wedding day!  Meeting Julien and Kristi (as well as their two adorable children) was just a pleasure from start to finish.  There was so much emotion on their wedding day!  Joy, love, laughter, tears, it was all there.  The ceremony included handing out roses to those people that had poured into their relationship, prayers, a sand ceremony to symbolize the joining of their family of four, and tears during many different parts.  The emotion was very present!!!! And it didn't hurt that this couple is GORGEOUS!! Enjoy ;) 

Dave and Danielle

So when I have my own weddings (scheduled through Old Soul Imagery) I tend to spend the majority of my time with the bride.  When I get a chance to assist other photographers, its an opportunity to spend most of the day with the groom!  Sometimes I feel like sometimes the groom gets the short end of the stick on the wedding day, so when I'm spending time with them I like to make the most of it!!  Thanks to Jennie Karges with Jennie Karges Photography, I got to spend a number of hours hanging out with Dave as he got ready to greet Dani on their wedding day.  It was such a joy getting to listen to his stories about his future bride, and watch his face light up as he spoke about her.  When he finally got to see her for the first time that day, it was sheer bliss.  The love these two share just leaps out at you through the photographs!  They are so passionate about one another, and they have so much JOY in one another's company!  This couple is #goals.  Here's to you Dave and Dani!!

Groom's hotel was the Downtown Sheraton
Beautiful ceremony held at Heritage Square