A delightful and chic "big ol' gay wedding" in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic big ol' gay wedding in Philly (with stunning outfits!)
Photos by Tara Beth Photography

The Offbeat Bride: Lauren, Public School Principal

Her offbeat partner: Tiff, Director at a Medical College

Date and location of wedding: Lafayette Ballroom and Stratus Lounge at Hotel Monaco, Philadelphia, PA — February 19, 2017

Our offbeat wedding at a glance:

The gist of our "big ol' gay wedding in Philly" was simple: a celebration and affirmation of our love, good food, and non-stop dancing. We were beyond grateful that our family members and friends had an opportunity to blend and bond. There was an overwhelming sense of love that knocked us off of our feet.

A delightful and chic big ol' gay wedding in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic big ol' gay wedding in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic big ol' gay wedding in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic "big ol' gay wedding" in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic "big ol' gay wedding" in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic "big ol' gay wedding" in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

Tell us about the ceremony:

Our ceremony was short and sweet. Our non-conventional bride tribe walked down the aisle in a sea of suits and bow ties or dresses (their choice). Tiff and I were both walked down the aisle by both of our parents. Our pastor, Jerry Lee Miller, spoke about the institution of marriage and how important it is to build a relationship built on loyalty, friendship, and love.

A delightful and chic "big ol' gay wedding" in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic "big ol' gay wedding" in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

Tiff and I wrote our own vows which caused belly laughs and tears. She promised to follow behind me turning off appliances, that I would undoubtedly leave on. I promised to always make too many dishes and comfort her during tough times like an Eagles game.

A delightful and chic "big ol' gay wedding" in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic "big ol' gay wedding" in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

My best friend Kerry read the passage on marriage from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. We danced our way out of the ceremony to "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You." Directly following the ceremony, we shuffled into the elevators for cocktail hour on the roof at Stratus Lounge.

A delightful and chic "big ol' gay wedding" in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic "big ol' gay wedding" in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic "big ol' gay wedding" in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

Tell us about your reception:

The reception was a non-stop dance party from start to finish. We made our own flower arrangements, table numbers, place cards, and individual thank-you cards, with help of one of my favorite parents from school, my bestie, and my mama and Oma. We also made sure to leave a cupcake and birthday card for the three people who were celebrating a birthday on our special day.

A delightful and chic big ol' gay wedding in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic big ol' gay wedding in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

What was your most important lesson learned?

Our greatest challenge was getting organized and asking for help. Tiff had just started an Ed.D program at Temple University and I had just finished at University of Pennsylvania and was embarking on a new job as a school principal. We were busy girls, even without a wedding to plan! If we had to do it all over again, I would make a calendar with deadlines and stick to it.

A delightful and chic big ol' gay wedding in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

A delightful and chic big ol' gay wedding in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

The Saturday before the wedding we scrambled finish the place cards, buy cupcakes for those celebrating birthdays, and to make our own floral arrangements, but were so grateful for all of the help. We saved money by making our own invites and paper details using downloadable templates from Etsy and Publisher, having the wedding on a Sunday of a three-day weekend, and making our own flowers. In the end, everything was more perfect than we could have ever imagined.

A delightful and chic big ol' gay wedding in Philly (with stunning outfits!)

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  1. This is so gorgeous! Everything looks so effortlessly elegant. I was thinking about doing our flowers myself, so seeing how great ya'lls came out is a huge encouragement. Congratulations!

    1 agrees
    • I did a quick trial a month before hand with similar flowers from the super market to make sure our arrangements would work. On the day of assembly make sure you have a handful of friends to help you. You can do it!!!

  2. You both look so happy and beautiful!

    Have faith in the Iggles, though! May your marriage – and the Birds – go on to great and wonderful things. 😀

    (I'm an Eagles/Phillies phan, too. 😀 )

  3. E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles! Congrats! You both look radiantly happy and beautiful.

    "Fly, Eagles, fly…"

  4. My partner and I are hoping to plan a tasteful blend of backyard nuptials in front of our VW camper van's pull-out awning and shagedelic cocktail party at our 1955 mid-century modern house. I have really enjoyed reading through the Offbeat Bride lesbian wedding vows, invitation wording, and seeing the photos, but your celebration takes the cake! I love the vibe and your mix of serious commitment with classy fun, family and friends. I'm right on top of the wedding timeline, and thought we should get more serious about setting specific dates to finalize things so our sixteen months don't get away from us and we panic instead of having fun on our big day. So, I appreciate your final words of wisdom! I also appreciate that you decided on what you realistically could and couldn't do yourselves to save money. Most excellent!

    Cheers to you both for a long marriage filled with adventure and joy! – P

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