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Real Wedding

Urban Los Angeles Italian Villa Wedding: Alex & Stephen

Kristen Hammonds Photography

August 1, 2015

Neither Alex nor Stephen was seriously looking for romance when they found each other online. On a whim, Alex, in his second year of law school, signed up for a free 48-hour trial. The website promised a great date, no awkward silences, and no moments of regret – a match based on chemistry. It turned out to be the best $0 Alex ever spent.

On their fourth date, Stephen told Alex that he planned to move back to England and that the next few months would be their summer of fun. It seems he miscalculated.
Kristen Hammonds Photography
On an August Friday, Stephen picked Alex up from work. He insisted that they swing by Lake Casitas on their way to wine country. Traffic was terrible and when they arrived, the gates were locked forcing Stephen to think on his feet and charm the marina staff with his English accent. In fading light, rowing boat No. 29 waited with champagne and black-and-white photos documenting the past six years.
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Alex was clueless when Stephen called his attention. The world faded away as Stephen, on one knee, reached for Alex’s hand. The rest is indeed history.
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Stephen explained the selection of the church where he and Alex married: “It was immensely powerful to be married in a church.  All Saints in Pasadena is recognized nationwide for being leaders of social justice and inclusion.  In 2009, they voted not to sign civil marriage certificates for any couples until the right to civil marriage was available to all couples.”
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Alex’s mom, Maria, passed away some years ago, but the grooms managed to incorporate her in a number of subtle, but beautiful ways. Alex wore a small brooch with her picture, and she was mentioned in the speeches and the Prayers of the People. Also meaningful and memorable, an unaccompanied choir sang Biebl’s Ave Maria as the two walked down the aisle.
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Kristen Hammonds Photography
The formal ceremony was followed by a reception at the Carondelet House, chosen for its “unpretentiously cool vibe,” and “warm, home-like feel.” The food was world-class and the atmosphere was relaxed, encouraging guests to kick off their shoes and party.
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Kristen Hammonds Photograph
At the last minute, Stephen and Alex decided to write personal thank you notes for every one of their 120 guests. If you were to ask their guests what they remember most about the day, they would probably cite those notes.
Kristen Hammonds Photography
Kristen Hammonds Photography
If they could offer advice to other couples, they suggest “Without question, hire a wedding coordinator – if for no other reason than to take away the stress and logistics of making sure everything runs to plan, not just for the couple, but also for their nearest and dearest.”
Kristen Hammonds Photography

Their LGBTQ-Friendly Vendors

Photographer: Kristen Hammonds Photography // Event Venue: Carondelet House // Floral Designer: Enchanted Garden Floral Design // Cake Designer: Fantasy Frostings // Event Planner: Orange Blossom Special Events // DJ: Red Shoe LA // Cinema and Video: Robert Nachman Films // Musicians: The Big Lucky // Equipment Rentals: Town & Country Event Rentals  // Pre Ceremony Location:  Westin Pasadena 

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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