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Real Wedding

Rustic Florida Ranch Wedding: AmiJo & Alaina

Life Long Studios

January 17, 2015

When searching for a venue, AmiJo and Alaina chose the one that took their breath away. They knew they wanted a vintage-style barn, and what they found was perfection.

Cross Creek Ranch not only offered the perfect setting, but complete package arrangements as well. The busy brides were relieved to know their details were taken care of on-site.

How They Met

AmiJo: Alaina was hired on at my family’s restaurant. For a year, we only discussed work – and ironically, our exes – until the day that Alaina worked up the nerve to ask me to sing karaoke with her. It turns out Alaina has the voice of an angel. It didn’t bother me that she was showing me up because I was so caught up in the talent she’d been hiding for so long. She still sings to me.

Life Long Studios

The Proposal

AmiJo: I proposed. It was terrifying even though I knew the answer. We were on vacation in New York City and had a dinner cruise reservation that evening. We got dressed up and spent the time before strolling around wintery Central Park. The weather was chilled to perfection and the sun was shining and I was shaking for (apparently) no good reason. I had secretly flown my mom in for the night because it wouldn’t have been real without her. She was waiting on a bench near the duck pond at the end of our route. When we stumbled upon my mom, I got down on one knee, pulled out a gorgeous diamond ring and…none of us can recall what was said after that. We did get a great picture of it, and I assume, a “Yes!!”

Life Long Studios
Life Long Studios
Life Long Studios
Life Long Studios
Life Long Studios
Life Long Studios
Life Long Studios
Life Long Studios
Life Long Studios
The brides’ planning experience was smooth sailing. They found that most vendors were excited to add their unconventional wedding to their portfolios. The quickly determined that the three most important things to them were the food, the photography, and the entertainment, so they chose the very best available in each of those categories. According to AmiJo, they “bought five thousand wedding books/planners/magazines that Alaina looked through but all ended up in drawers, ripped up and partially filled out. Other than that, we agree that no one should attempt planning a wedding without Pinterest ever again!”
AmiJo and Alaina added sentimental details everywhere they could. They set up a memorial chair for AmiJo’s Grandma Red. Alaina was the only hire she ever made at the family restaurant, so the couple argues she’s the reason they’re together today.
Life Long Studios
Life Long Studios
The couple ordered Converse for the whole wedding party personalized to each of their tastes with the wedding date on them. Alaina wore AmiJo’s mother’s family heirloom pearls, and AmiJo borrowed her Uncle Bubba’s very special pocket knife. She also wore her father’s Captain’s badge from the fire department on her shoe as her “something old”. Alaina’s Grandpa Paul built a custom wine box for the ceremony, and their vows were placed inside of a treasured 1921 hardcover National Geographic held by their close friend and officiant during the ceremony.

Advice for Other Same-Sex Couples

AmiJo: I think it was important that we mixed in just enough traditional rituals to our, thus-far, untraditional wedding to make us feel like we had a comparable experience to what heterosexual couples have. I think that was important for all of our guests, too, as the best way to get people on board with this unknown territory is to show them that there are no negative consequences, but in fact, only good things to come from equality for all.

Life Long Studios
Life Long Studios
AmiJo: We live in a primarily conservative state so I’d also like to note that as much as we’d rather just call it a “wedding” than a “gay wedding”, we prefaced all talks with new vendors by letting them know we were two brides getting married because we didn’t want to work with or give money to anyone that wasn’t beyond excited for our big day! You might save yourself some time by sliding in a subtle hint right out of the gate.
Life Long Studios
AmiJo: We live in a primarily conservative state so I’d also like to note that as much as we’d rather just call it a “wedding” than a “gay wedding”, we prefaced all talks with new vendors by letting them know we were two brides getting married because we didn’t want to work with or give money to anyone that wasn’t beyond excited for our big day! You might save yourself some time by sliding in a subtle hint right out of the gate.

Their LGBTQ-Friendly Vendors

Photographer:  Life Long Studios // Floral Designer: Alta Fleura, LLC // Reception Venue:  Cross Creek Ranch, Inc // Caterer: Hungry Harry’s BBQ //

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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