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Congratulations Ean + Dylan, Pop Up Nuptials for Pennsylvania Marriage Equality

Last week friends and family gathered at The Hotel Fauchere to celebrate marriage equality in Pennsylvania with our Pop Up Nuptials Event. As we planned this event, I was amazed at the outpouring of interest and support from so many other community members and people in the wedding industry. So many people shared this event with their friends over social media or sent their best wishes from across the country.
Pop Up Wedding officiants, Celebrants Lois Heckman and Alisa Tongg
Julia Smith, executive pastry chef at Patisserie Fauchere with her Pop Up Nuptials wedding cake.
The Hotel Fauchere proved to be the perfect hosts for the Pop Up Nuptials celebrating marriage equality in Pennsylvania.
Traditionally, LBGT couples can encounter many hurtful obstacles while planning their wedding—like vendors who refuse to work with them, venues that all of a sudden don’t return calls, to the pain of having family members boycott their celebration—so it was very heart warming to see how so many industry professionals enthusiastically volunteered to participate in creating a welcoming environment for couples in love, especially LBGT couples.

Ean and Dylan, both wearing shades of purple, had heard about the pop up wedding over Facebook. They came prepared with their marriage license, two witnesses, rings to exchange and personal vows stored on their hand held devices.

Fellow celebrant Lois Heckman, met with the grooms briefly to discuss the details of their ceremony and then we all stepped outside into the Hotel Fauchere’s lovely courtyard for their ceremony. After the grooms sealed it with a kiss, we moved back in to the Atrium to celebrate with champagne toasts and wedding cake.

Dylan and Ean said they had plans to include their family and friends at a larger wedding celebration in the Spring of 2015, and asked Lois if she would officiate then too. In the moments between toasting the newly weds and hearing more about their love story, all the guests marked the occasion by signing one of the hand-lettered event posters created by hello,bird’s Ashley Wrenn-Peterson. Then, The Hotel Fauchere gave Ean and Dylan their first wedding gift—a gift certificate to return for an overnight stay.
I would like to thank The Hotel Fauchere and their welcoming staff for hosting this celebration with such style and generosity. Julia Smith, the executive pastry chef next door at the Patisserie Fauchere, created a three-tiered wedding cake featuring berries and edible flowers which paired perfectly with the bubbly champagne that was flowing freely.
Pop Up Wedding Photographer, Susie Forrester puts down the camera and picks up a glass of champagne.
Susie Forrester, an award-winning fine art and wedding photographer, lent her expertise to artfully capture the historic celebration and graciously provided all the images here.

This Pop Up weddings event celebrating marriage equality in Pennsylvania would not have been possible without the partnership of The Hotel Fauchere, Julia Smith, Lois Heckman, Susie Forrester and Ashley Wrenn-Peterson, who all provide excellent examples of how we can welcome and celebrate all couples, of any gender-pairing combination, their story, their dreams and their hopes for the future. I believe, together, we make the world a better place by celebrating the loving commitments these couples make.

Dana + Kevin, In Lak’ech Ala K’in

Back in early spring, Kevin and Dana invited their children, parents and immediate family to join them at one of their favorite date spots, the Kreidersville Covered Bridge, for an intimate wedding ceremony. They wanted their wedding ceremony to express the seriousness and intentional nature of their commitment--to be an example for what they wanted their children to strive for in their own future relationships.

Tyler and his new sisters
Kevin and Dana’s relationship is best summed up by the Mayan phrase “In Lak’ech Ala K’in”, which means “I am another yourself”. It’s a statement of unity and oneness. For many, this phrase, In Lak’ech Ala K’in is a moral code and a way to create a positive reality for all life.  And it was this shared vision to become each others' motivators as they each worked hard to become the best version of themselves that defines their love story. Anyone close to this couple can see how proud Dana and Kevin are of each other.

“We feed off each others' accomplishments”, Dana says “We know with perseverance, we will ultimately become who we want to be with one another.”
Kevin and Dana, tied their rings to a horseshoe for good luck and had the rings warmed by all their family before exchanging them later in the ceremony.

Kevin spent the months leading up to the Christmas-time proposal designing a ring he felt represented how he saw Dana. It was the most beautiful ring Dana had ever seen and it didn’t take long for her to decide that it was enough on it’s own--she didn’t want to wear an additional band.

In a ceremony full of symbolism and intention, there were many moments to make a heart swell. One of my favorite moments was in the Remembrance for Dana’s father, where it was announced that Dana planned to honor her late father and new husband by reclaiming her father’s last name and joining it with Kevin’s. 

For Dana and Kevin, In Lak’ech Ala k’in means, “you are my other me. If I do you no harm, I do no harm to myself. If I love and respect you, I love and respect myself.” After they return from their honeymoon, they plan on honoring each other and their commitment with tattoos of this beautiful phrase.
“This is a man, who remains positive and committed, no matter how challenging the circumstance. Whose compassion is endless and whose arms you find incredible comfort and safety in. In Kevin, you’ve found what you never knew could exist…”—Alisa Tongg, Celebrant

For a closer look at Dana’s beautiful ring, amazing tattoo artistry and an entire bridal party in cowgirl boots, visit Nicholas Speers Images

hello,bird's Ashley Wrenn-Peterson for Pop Up Nuptials

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Philly Love Club's inaugural get together, a cocktail party on the third floor of Maggpie Vintage Rentals' very cool warehouse. While messing around in the Love Me Do photo booth (with the most flattering lighting I've ever had pointed in my direction) I finally met in-person Ashley Wrenn-Peterson, the elegant calligrapher and hand-letter artist of hello,bird.

When I told Ashley about our Pop Up Nuptials event and our plan to offer free weddings in celebration of marriage equality in Pennsylvania, she didn't skip a beat before asking how she could help. 
Ashley Wrenn-Peterson, top calligrapher at hello,bird

So without further adieu--here it is, hot off the quill--the official Pop Up Nuptials for Pennsylvania poster, created by Ashley.

Kelly + Rich, With Hands Held Tightly

Kelly and Rich celebrated the start of their married life together surrounded by their immediate family at the stylish and romantic Terrain at Styers in Glenn Mills, PA. True to her bright nature, the bride looked beautiful in a bright pink dress, her favorite color. Kelly also gifted all of the women in the family a pair of brightly colored galoshes for the occasion, a detail that I continued to notice--and each time--it made me smile from deep inside my heart.
Kelly in her bright pink wedding dress.
On their first date, they met at a seafood restaurant in Princeton, NJ. Kelly remembers an immediate connection as the conversation flowed easily with Rich. They were the last people to leave the restaurant.
Rich, the crouching tiger.

“Being with Kelly felt natural”, Rich remembers waking up one morning, and just knowing that this was it. They were engaged that first year.

Living and working in two different cities over the past six years, nothing is taken for granted, “we cherish the time we have together” Kelly shares. And the time that they do get to spend together has been magical.
Because of the intimate and private atmosphere of the day, Rich and Kelly looked to include their family as much as possible when we created their wedding ceremony. Kelly says, “I couldn’t have taken this step in my life without my family with me.” 
Paying tribute to their close relationships with their parents and siblings, guests were active participants and invited to create their Circle of Love, participated in each blessing the couple’s rings and taking vows to support Kelly and Rich as they embark on their new path.
Ring Blessing: everyone took turns putting their best wishes, hopes and dreams for the couple and their marriage, into the rings before Kelly + Rich exchanged them.

Inspired by how honey can keep unspoiled for thousands of years, Rich and Kelly ensured that the first kiss of their marriage was a sweet one, by dabbing a bit of honey on the others' lips just before the end of the ceremony.
Kelly + Rich prepare to make the first kiss of their marriage a sweet one, by dabbing honey on each others' lips.
Tahni Candelaria-Holm, of Brooklyn-based Joyeuse Photography captured so many beautiful moments, scenes and interactions during Rich + Kelly’s wedding day, it was very difficult to limit the photographs to share. Here are some more of my favorites:


First Look First Hug

A shoe for any weather. Kelly gave galoshes to all the women in the family.
Kelly wore this bracelet with a special charm that remembered her mother who had passed away.

The rainy day ceremony space at Terrain was dreamy.

Their family gathers around Kelly and Rich to create their ceremonial space.
Paper flower bouquets + colorful galoshes.
Paper flower bouquets form the Circle of Love around Rich + Kelly.

air plants in an indoor living terrarium
Rich + Kelly's ceremony inside a terrarium.

Honey fingers for a honey kiss.
The whole family gathers to celebrate Kelly + Rich.

Kelly's new mother-in-law gives her a pearl necklace while her new husband kisses them on her neck.
Qibao + galoshes. This stylish combination will stay with me always!