Part 4: Celebrating Your Special Day, Done Your Way

by | Jan 1, 2024 | 0 comments

  • Photo by Maureen Cassidy
  • Photo by Maureen Cassidy
  • Photo by Sam at Dutcher Photography
  • Photo by Sam at Dutcher Photography
  • Photo by Cidney Drake, Drake Imaging LLC
  • Photo by Family and Friends
  • Photo by Codi Shandel Photography
  • Photo by Codi Shandel Photography

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Full PDF


ACT Riding Into the Sunset  //   Charley & Gillian Blake

September 8  //  Engaged January 7, 2021  //  East Side Club, Madison

Charley and I met in 2012 at the ACT Ride, both volunteering for the Massage Team. We hit it off right away, and became good friends, going into business together the following year. We actually started dating in 2017, and got engaged in 2021, on Charley’s birthday.

During our engagement, we sold both of our houses, moved in together, and planned a wedding. We wanted it to be perfect, and it was. The wedding was at the East Side Club, and one of our mothers was the best flower “girl” ever; followed by our children walking us down the aisle. Our officiant was amazing, and invited all 120 guests present to promise to support our union. Then came time for our vows, which we both needed to use our glasses to read. That got a few laughs, and a few tears. The procession was to Kool and the Gang’s Celebration.

The ceremony was followed by champagne on the lawn with an amazing sunset. We enjoyed dinner prepared by Upstairs Downstairs, then we had an outstanding dance party with VO5. No one wanted the party to end. A highlight was being in the “Love Train” with our family and friends. So much love permeated the entire event. We were beaming for weeks after. We still are. Photographer: Maureen Cassidy

 

Spending on Memories  //   Megan Gour & Terri Marsh

September 23  //  Engaged September 17, 2022  //  Watertown

Our day was focused on intimacy and spending on the memories we would cherish. This meant investing in our photographer, keeping the guest list small, and focusing on how we wanted to feel on our day.

We were able to celebrate with our dogs and closest chosen family. This is something that we loved and have heard a lot of positive comments on. We got both of our outfits custom made so that they felt affirming in our identities and confident in our bodies. Terri’s closest friend was our officiant, and Megan’s best friend gave the speech of the evening. Everything felt incredibly personal and special. We also focused on supporting local businesses and low waste so our values were incorporated throughout the decorations and food as well. We are so happy! Photographer: Sam at Dutcher Photography

 

Live Your Best Life//   Kim Fleischman & Jenni Fregin

October 5  //  Engaged December 6, 2022  //  Las Vegas, Nevada

We met on Facebook Dating after she turned me down on Tinder. She gave me a shot because “I wasn’t like everyone else.” After meeting, we’ve had non-stop adventures; from Door County, to Mexico, to Canada, to a few surgeries, and bumps and bruises. We enjoy visiting random locations, roadside attractions, and things that people question.

We took a road trip to Vegas and back. Six full days on the road stopping to see the most random things like the World’s Largest Ball of Twine. The day of the wedding, Kim and I went to the Little Vegas Chapel with her mom and my daughter. We knew we wanted to get married by Elvis to make it something special. We walked down the aisle to Can’t Help Falling in Love sung by “Elvis.”

The jokes and vows that were told were enjoyable and fun. Vegas weddings are quick, so afterward we scheduled our photographer to take us downtown Fremont street for some awesome images. We got lucky because while we were getting our tattoos, an amazing person let us use their bike for some of our photos. To be walking downtown and hearing all the congratulations from just random people on the street is an awesome feeling. Photographer: Cidney Drake, Drake Imaging LLC

 

All My Relations //   Barbara Murray & Brandy Reding

October 11  //  Engaged October 15, 2020  //  Union Grove

We are Barbie & Bran, or B^2 (B to the power of two). Our relationship is one of beautiful resilience, dynamic work, and committed choice. Both of our individual strengths came from hard-fought, literal battles that nearly took both of us out in our younger years. And we survived and healed, becoming formidable women.

Neither of us were looking for a partner, yet we discovered each other in 2019 at The Milwaukee Old Timers Dance. Our wedding day placed us both into an Ancestral Braid, a realistic bond of who we really are. Family, friends, and pug intertwined with us in ceremony and celebration. It was a beautiful day, one that neither of us ever dreamed we’d have. Grateful to celebrate that we and our Bbraid are our best gifts of life. Mitakuye Oyasin. Photographer: Family and friends

 

The Wrong Date //   Brad & Ryan Branwell

October 13  //  Engaged August 08, 2021  //  Swan Barn Door, Wisconsin Dells

We chose Friday the 13th. The date is by design. We chose it because it’s the “wrong date,” a date shrouded in controversy, a date some people truly do believe is unlucky or evil. And there are some people out there that think that same thing about our gay wedding itself. Everyone at our wedding was told to wear all black for the spooky theme. Our ceremony provided a mini gay-rights history lesson so everyone could understand the battle queer people have gone through to allow us to get married. Photographer: Codi Shandel Photography

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