1920s Style: Valerie & Kailynn
Kailynn and Valerie are planning a 1920s-styled wedding, so it made perfect sense to have an engagement photo shoot following the same theme. The couple had a blast being photographed. “Our photographers had us posing in a lot of sweet, intimate poses, but we couldn’t talk,” Kailynn said. “We ended up spending most of the day laughing, holding hands, and staring into each other’s eyes. It was a really meaningful way to reconnect and spend time with one another.”
Kailynn and Valerie met online and had their first date at a Starbucks in a local mall on New Year’s Eve. They each ordered a gingerbread latte, and ended up walking around the mall for hours, talking and enjoying each other’s company. “It just felt right,” Kailynn said. “We’ve been inseparable since!”
They got engaged during a weekend getaway to Mystic Seaport, in Connecticut, in Oct. 2013. “Coincidentally, the week of our getaway, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stopped fighting the idea of same sex marriage in our state,” Kailynn explained. “Valerie had planned on proposing that weekend, but this just added to the excitement of the weekend!” Valerie proposed under the moonlight, alongside the Mystic River, right outside the bed and breakfast where they were staying. “Valerie was very romantic, and I was my usually sarcastic self,” Kailynn confessed. “Our engagement story is the perfect combination of romance and comedy… let’s just say I made a few too many jokes that didn’t help Valerie’s nerves!”
Valerie and Kailynn are getting married on Nov. 1, 2015 at Highlawn Pavilion in New Jersey, in the middle of a nature reservation overlooking the Manhattan skyline. They booked their venue within a month of getting engaged, and have been planning ever since. Kailynn has already bought her dress, and Valerie has started looking at tuxes. “It’s important to us that everyone at our wedding has a good time, whether it be our flower girl or our grandmothers,” Kailynn said. “While the day is about celebrating our marriage and love, it’s also about celebrating our friends and family.” While planning their own wedding, the brides have launched a website called Gay Bride Guide to offer inspiration to other gay women planning to get hitched soon.
Denise Oliveira is a Brooklyn-based writer. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City and is the founder of Prequels, where she interviews engaged couples to create wedding invitations and favors that incorporate their love story.