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The Complete Guide to Gay Marriage

Friday, January 21st, 2022

Every union is totally unique and should be celebrated as such! LGBTQ+ couples, allies and wedding guests alike can all attest to having questions regarding same-sex wedding etiquette, and in the world of weddings where there are so many long-standing rules and traditions, we can understand why! Nuptials can be confusing enough going by the book, so we knew nontraditional couples could use a newer guide to go by – we provided answers to a few common questions we’ve received regarding gay marriage celebrations and LGBTQ+ weddings we think will help! Read on down below.  

 

gay marriage guide

Photo // Opal & Onyx Photography  

 

Who Takes Whose Last Name?

As arbitrary as it seems, this is totally up to you and your partner! Many LGBTQ+ couples opt for hyphenation, some take one name or the other, while other couples choose an entirely new last name altogether. Blend your middle name with your significant other’s or steal something sentimental from your late grandmother. What feels the most authentic to the new life you’re starting together? When planning a gay marriage, the choice is truly yours!  

 

Read name change ideas here!

 

Gay Wedding Walking Down the Aisle

How to Create a Processional Order with Two Grooms

So many gay couples choose to customize their ceremony beyond the traditions we knew before. If one party is being given away, this can be the deciding factor as to who goes first and waits on the other. Other options are that a person of mutual importance can escort you both down the aisle on each arm, or you can proceed hand-in-hand if no one is being given away.

Creating a Processional Order with Two Brides

Similar to creating a nontraditional wedding processional without a bride, a lesbian couple can also proceed together, whether escorted or alone, one can opt to go first, or two brides can even proceed toward each other from separate points, converging at the altar at once. Who says there has to be just one aisle? Depending on your ceremony set-up and where your guests’ seating will be, you can really get as creative or dramatic with processionals as you want!

 

Writing Your Own Gay Wedding Vows

Weddings are one of the most rigidly traditional aspects of Western culture, so turning a wedding on a nontraditional head may seem like an uphill battle at times. Writing your own vows is one of the easiest ways to ensure that the words spoken on your big day are truly reflective of the love you and your partner share and the future you look to create together. We recommend customizing your gay marriage vows and ceremony readings even if you aren’t the one delivering them – which includes asking your wedding officiant to alter any traditional texts to be LGBTQ+ friendly, gender-neutral, or include religious-leaning aspects. We now pronounce you equally wed!  

 

Our Guide to Writing Wedding Vows

 

Gay Wedding Ideas

Navigating Your Wedding Party Labels

It’s your day! You ultimately dictate what works best for your group, and that extends to giving your wedding party any label that resonates best with them. We’ve heard the use of everything from “bridesmen” to “groomswomen,” and we also love names like “best women,” “groomsmaids,” “men-of-honor” or genderless terms such as “attendants” or “party people.”

 

Who Wears What?

At the end of the day, your comfortability is most important, and letting your personality shine through is next on the list! Don’t feel pressured to wear something totally out of your comfort zone due to societal norms. Whether your vibe is menswear, bridal gowns or something ungendered altogether, there are local fashion options out there for you! Consider your tastes, your wedding’s theme and what your partner is choosing to wear for a completely cohesive wedding look.

 

Who Pays for What?

Ages-old traditions of the bride and her family footing the bill are long gone among more than just nontraditional couples. Today, many couples of all kinds are footing the bill themselves. We think it truly comes down to who can afford it, and if parents are able to pitch in, more power to you! If you’re splitting it up, it may be best practice to ask each contributing party to rank their vendor priorities and budget accordingly. Plus, planning it out with your partner can make for great bonding moments that strengthen your relationship before matrimony.

 

How Can LGBTQ+ Couples Decide Who to Work With?

Let’s be honest – it can be hard to decipher whether a wedding vendor in the south is LGBTQ+ friendly just by the verbiage on their website or social media. We recommend seeking out vendors who give representation to diversity in their portfolio, or perusing newer Instagram directories like North TX LGBTQ Weddings or Allied Editorials (founded by our very own cover-published Sara Boyd Photography to increase representation in the wedding industry) to be certain you find creatives that will be on board.

 

Do Unsupportive Relatives Require an Invitation?

Navigating who to invite to your gay wedding can be tricky enough, but add relatives with anti-gay-marriage ideologies into the mix and it gets even more complex. You want to please everyone, but it can be hard to tell mom and dad that you won’t be inviting certain unsupportive parties if they’re paying the majority of the bill. On the bright side, the unsupportive side will likely no-show, and if you and your partner are footing the bill yourselves, we say stick to your guns and only invite the people who love and support you two through and through.

 

Making Your Nontraditional Wedding Feel Just as “Real”

Skipping out on a fair share of wedding traditions as we know them (and maybe even receiving backlash for doing so) may leave you and your partner feeling disheartened or invalidated about your nuptials. Whether you engage in a civil ceremony, elope away in the mountains, or tie the knot locally with additions that are totally “you,” just know that the love that brought you together is what matters above all. Keep what’s important to both of you central in things. If your same-sex wedding is celebrating the relationship and love you created at its core, then you’re doing it right! There is no wrong way to be wed – love is love!

This Modern Rustic Wedding Will Cue ALL the Happy Tears!

Friday, January 14th, 2022

Alyssa and Hunter said “I do” in a modern rustic wedding right out of a dream and we can’t get enough of it! The couple first met in high school where they began dating before attending Texas Tech together for college. Now, in their blush pink and gold accented affair, Brides of Houston vendor Brandon & Lindsay Lutz Photography was sure to capture all the sweet, floral-filled angles of the day leaving out no detail! Stately invitations atop full pastel blooms made for beautiful detail shots while seeing Alyssa’s strapless gown from I dream – a bridal boutique hanging on its personalized hanger almost moves us to tears – just waiting for the soon-to-be Mrs. Nurdin to step into it. She added a gorgeous veil, a pearl necklace from her great grandmother, and was finally ready to be wed! The bride says one of her favorite parts of the day was the first touch with Hunter where they also exchanged vows. As soon as their hands touched, she says she instantly felt at peace.

“Hunter and I always say that when we are around each other or just able to touch hands like that it’s like home base,” Alyssa says. The two talked for a minute and then Hunter’s father prayed over them before the ceremony began. “My Uncle Tegan walked me down the aisle and I will never forget the way Hunter looked at me. I was the happiest girl in the world walking down to him and I knew he felt the same. My mom took over at the end and gave me away to him. The ceremony was everything I hoped it would be.”

A dear family friend officiated for them and pronounced the two husband and wife as they exited to cheers (and even a few happy tears) from all sides. Mr. and Mrs. Nurdin proceeded into their modern rustic wedding reception where they ate, drank, and danced the night away with the support of all their favorite people. Then, just before their grand exit, the two were able to hang back for a, oh-so-romantic private last dance where they were able to slow down and soak in the day that had just unfolded before them. We love the way their big day played out and the modern rustic wedding design that suited them so well! Read on for a note from the bride about her all-time favorite wedding memory. Cheers to The Nurdins!

 

 

From the bride: “(My favorite wedding memory was) walking down the aisle to Hunter. I always made a joke to him that if he didn’t cry I would turn around and walk down again. I didn’t have to because of the tears he immediately had – then I started crying! It was just a special and surreal moment because I was so excited to marry him. Walking down the aisle I was thinking to myself, ‘This man is actually my husband now!’ We had been dating for almost 8 years – I thought I would be his girlfriend forever!”

Dreamy Desert Engagement Right Here in Texas

Tuesday, January 11th, 2022

Before the picturesque desert engagement you see here, Alison and Adam were an unlikely match given their distance apart – she was from Oklahoma and he’s a Texas boy. However, after the two started chatting online, they decided to meet up and Alison knew as soon as they did that it wouldn’t be hard for Adam to get her to consider making the move. After about a year of dating later, she did and they haven’t looked back since! When it came time to pop the question, Adam planned a surprise proposal in the scenic Rocky Mountain National Park at Estes Park, Colorado. With mountains in the background and a stream running underneath a bridge, it was truly a beautiful moment when he suggested Alison’s parents take a picture of the two of them on the bridge. As they were posing, he got down on his knee and asked her to be his wife! She managed a big YES through the tears of joy in a moment they will all cherish for the rest of their lives.

Now in this gallery where Lorena Burns Photography and Films captured their love so authentically around Monahans Sandhills State Park, they posed for some seriously stunning engagement photos among nature ahead of their classic black and white wedding at The Laurel in 2022. Their late April affair will have chic champagne accents plus some sophisticated details like a string quartet that will play during cocktail hour! We can’t wait to see all the breathtaking additions they make before then and we’ll be looking forward to seeing their big day through Lorena Burns‘s lens when the time comes. Cheers to the soon-to-be Placeks and their romantic desert engagement!

 

Whimsically Elegant Indoor Garden Wedding Inspiration

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Whimsical hints of spring ebb their way to the surface of the whitewashed setting of The Nest at Ruth Farms in this indoor garden wedding inspiration where mother nature made her way indoors! A romantic reception under the canopy of blossom branches layered above a tablescape set with candlesticks and glowing votives from POSH Couture Rentals really set the mood, while AM Linen Rental provided the light and airy textiles that pulled the rest of the raw wooden table design together. Bartending services by HD Liquid Catering procured one of the finest floral-adorned signature wedding cocktails we’ve seen and bottles chilled over ice with botanical add-ins make the secret garden wedding inspiration come full circle! Our beautiful bride modeled an elegant, strappy open-back Galia Lahav gown from Stanley Korshak Bridal Salon while styled by the bridal beauty professionals at Tease to Please Hair and Makeup with dreamy wedding day waves and soft glam makeup look finished off by a peachy lip. She enjoyed both a stunning three-tiered cake as well as petal-pressed macarons for a dainty dessert! The whole styled shoot pays homage to the changing of the seasons in an artful and ethereal editorial fashion that we just can’t get enough of. See the garden wedding inspiration yourself below. Cheers!

 

Behind the Brand | Uncle Willie’s Pies Bakeshop & Catering Turns 25!

Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

We’re taking a look behind the brand of Uncle Willie’s Pies Bakeshop & Catering where they do so much beyond basic baked desserts! Second-generation owner Cicily “CeCe” Williams inherited the bakeshop from her father, Uncle Willie, and she talks about all the amazing options this family-owned establishment offers as they enter their 25th year of business. See their sweet treats showcased in the video above – plus find out why so many couples are obsessed with their virtual tasting options! Even after 25 years in the wedding industry, Uncle Willie’s Pies Bakeshop & Catering has never been better! Cheers!

BONT Team Member Weds in a Minimalist Summer Solstice Styled Affair

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Working for a bridal magazine means you’ve seen a thing or two when it comes to weddings, so our stunning production exec Randi was at no shortage of inspo when beau Preston popped the question after a romantic weekend ski trip full of mishaps in Colorado! She went with a modern boho wedding theme when it was time to tie the knot, but it may have never happened without the help of Bumble, where the two first met when he relocated to Texas from Tennesee and she relocated from Oklahoma. Now, in their minimalist summer solstice styled affair, a rich sunset rose inspired palette played out among arched wooden backdrops, colorblock invitation details and modern columns that were awash in the same clean white as their airy venue setting. The couple said “I do in front of an asymmetrical altar installation by Root + Bloom Floral Design complete with dried palm leaves and fresh blooms alike, all with the same artful vibe. These pieces doubled as the dreamiest surroundings for their moody champagne wall!

Brides of North Texas production pro/bride Randi says that if she learned anything from being on the flipside of wedding festivities, it was to lean in and just have fun with it! “Preston and I found it more enjoyable to only do the things we particularly cared about,” says Randi. “We didn’t think it was necessary for both of us to have a hand in each and every decision we made so we broke out the responsibilities between us. For example, he did the food, alcohol, DJ and his clothing because that’s what he liked to do. I did more of the floral, cake, planning and other details because that’s what I liked to do. It took some off of both of our plates, and we enjoyed it so much more than trying to do absolutely everything together!” The results were simply stunning! Long, candlelit tablescapes were set with linens in muted desert blush and wild-edged floral centerpieces made their way along each one. Looking too good to eat, Butterfly Cakery created a monochromatic three-tiered cake with organic edges and decorated with the dried design that characterized this desert-inspired day as well as another arch design, all displayed on square pedestals that sat in front of adorable neon signage with the newlyweds’ shared last name.

Catch more photos of our sweet Randi’s moody, modern boho wedding in the upcoming Spring/Summer issue of The Brides of North Texas mag. Plus, read on for a note from the bride and her new husband Preston about their favorite part about the wedding day and what made it so perfect. Cheers to the new Mr. and Mrs. Flowers!

 

 

From the bride: “My absolute favorite thing was just having everyone we love and care about under one roof. Seeing my work life and my personal life blend and get to have an amazing day with the best people – I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It truly felt like one big, fun party, and that’s exactly what Preston and I wanted.”

Elegant + Airy North Texas Wedding Video from Co. N Films

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

Local wedding videography professional Co. N Films captured all the sweetest moments that unfolded throughout Ali and TJ’s elegant North Texas wedding, and we just had to share! From tender first-look moments to over-the-top floral design to the little details that made up their big day, they didn’t miss a single moment thanks to this talented videographer! Now the newlyweds can relive the wedding day memories whenever they’d like, and we can keep obsessed over their adorable film! Cheers to Ali and TJ!

Wedding Filled with Rustic Elegance at The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat

Monday, December 27th, 2021

Megan and Austin celebrated their love in a ceremony characterized by relaxed simplicity and romantic, rustic elegance surrounded by their loved ones and the beauty of nature that makes up the property of The Orchard Event Venue & Retreat. Megan looked absolutely radiant in a gown from LuLu’s Bridal featuring a beautiful ballerina neckline that complemented her bridesmaids in sky blue just perfectly. Megan was walked down the aisle by her father and you can see the tear-jerking look on Austin’s face as he saw his bride! They said “I do” and went on to have a stunning reception in the string-lit venue hall where eucalyptus and pale petals from Camellia Farm Flora gave the perfect light and airy effect, even late into the evening. In the bride’s bouquet, ivory blooms and burgundy ranunculus contrasted beautifully but all eyes were certainly on her, the stunning gown she wore, and her romantic hair and makeup. Megan and Austin look so full of obvious joy and their rustic elegance wedding was the sweetest way they could have tied the knot. Scroll on to see their adorable wedding day giddiness for yourself. Cheers to Megan and Austin!

 

The Bride’s Guide to Skincare

Monday, December 20th, 2021

For advice on wedding skincare before the big day, we went straight to the pros! We asked Dallas Surgical Arts to run us through some best practices for a pre-wedding glow, and they totally delivered with advice for both brides and grooms! From products to procedures to basic self-care, they truly talk us through everything under the sun (with SPF protection, of course). Read on for the inside scoop on all things wedding prep skincare. Cheers!

 

(Guest post by Dallas Surgical Arts)

 

The Bride's Guide to Skincare

 

Building Your Pre Wedding Skincare Routine

We like to start patients on a vitamin C serum, a moisturizer and sunscreen. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin against environmental hazards, pollution and the sun. A vitamin C serum also helps improve hyperpigmentation by brightening dull skin – think overall improvement of the texture, tone, and clarity of the skin. By combining a vitamin C serum with a moisturizer and sunscreen in your routine, your skin’s hydration will improve, fine lines and wrinkles will be minimized, and your skin will be protected from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays. 

 

Low-Maintenance Wedding Skin Prep for Grooms

We have several vitamin C serums that absorb right into the skin without feeling thick or sticky! Texture is so important for men in skincare – they don’t typically like a greasy or lingering feeling on the skin. Neova Smart Moisture Sunscreen+Moisturizer is a good 2-in-1 product to hydrate and protect the skin. We also have a matte sun shield SPF 50 which absorbs nicely into the skin without leaving a pasty white cast or residue behind.

 

Bridal Wedding Skin Prep Treatment Options

A combined treatment like dermaplaning with a Geneo facial is a great place to start! Dermaplaning removes vellus hair (peach fuzz) and exfoliates your skin, allowing more effective product penetration and improving hydration. Dallas Surgical Arts offers the Geneo facial as the ultimate 3-in-1 treatment that encourages natural skin renewal and replenishment process. Lack of oxygen causes dullness, sagging, dryness, and crepe-iness. Geneo is a facial treatment that works to oxygenate your skin from within. 

 

When to Book Your Wedding Skincare Treatments

Every bride has individual concerns and timeframes, so we recommend scheduling treatments that are effective with minimal downtime. This means light chemical peels about a year to 6 months before wedding day, then transition to a combination treatment like dermaplaning and a Geneo or enzyme facial once a month. We always recommend our patients see us once a month to achieve optimal results and maintain skin health. Most of our treatments’ results last about 4-6 weeks so it is important to stay consistent and get treatments regularly. A Geneo oxygen facial can be done a few days before the wedding, so skin is freshly exfoliated and hydrated – a perfect canvas for your makeup artist! Consult with an esthetician to create a plan by optimizing your skincare routine and treatments. This is sure to get every bride ready for their big day, no matter your timeline! 

 

Beyond Skincare Products and Treatments…

Although the skin is our largest organ, it is the last organ to receive hydration from water intake. This is why we stress water, water, water! It helps to hydrate from the inside out. It is important to drink at least half your body weight in ounces a day. Other things that can contribute to skin health are sleep (beauty sleep is real), healthy diet and sugar intake – all of these can have a huge impact on your skin. 

 

Best Products and Practices for the Day-Of

A hydrating serum and/or moisturizer will help to hydrate and give dull skin a beautiful glow on your wedding day. Blemish+Age Defense by SkinCeuticals is an amazing spot treatment for those last-minute breakouts. In terms of skincare, consistency is key! Make good choices for your skin every day, twice a day and invest in monthly beauty treatments to get your skin truly wedding ready! On the day of, a silicone-based makeup primer will help your bridal makeup stay in place and look flawless all day! You glow girl.


Ready to kickstart your wedding skin prep? Book a consultation or service with Dallas Surgical Arts via their vendor profile here!

Cool Girl Style Meets Chic Elegance in this Cityside Wedding Inspiration

Thursday, December 16th, 2021

Blending two distinct wedding vibes can make some serious waves and this cityside wedding inspiration captured by the talented Vanessa Martin Photo Co. in dramatic indoor and outdoor weddingscapes totally brings a sense of chic elegance to the ever-trending cool girl style. Sleek signage and custom décor designed by Satin Pavement set the mood of the shoot while delicate shades of terracotta, blush and champagne contrast against mod black accents and gilded flatware creates a formal reception dining space abundant with feminine florals. Our brides model multiple looks that were complemented by changing settings and both gorgeous gals were styled by artists at Tease to Please Hair and Makeup – one with a low bun moment, the other with romantic waves, and each with dreamy soft glam makeup. Featuring two stunning wedding cake designs and beautiful brigadeiros to go around, sweets were in no short supply throughout this cityside wedding inspiration. See all the stylish scenes unfold down below. Cheers!