LGBTQ Friendly Wedding Resources

Wedding planning can be an enormously stressful undertaking all by itself, but when you add in the additional worry that that you might not be treated fairly, or have you concerns taken seriously it just exasperates the stress.  Yet, that is something that many LGBTQ couples face when planning their weddings. The fact is your wedding is yours and should be the amazing day that you have dreamed it to be without the added stress.  Unfortunately, trying to find vendors who will support you and help bring your vision to life is not always rainbows and roses. It can be time consuming trying to find and sort through good vs. bad and supportive vs not supportive. Here’s a selection of LGBTQ Friendly wedding resources filled with vendors who you know will be positive and help bring the vision of your perfect LGBTQ wedding to life.

Plymouth CA Same Sex Wedding

Rainbow Wedding Network

Rainbow Wedding Network is the producer of hundreds of boutique-style Gay & Lesbian Wedding Expos throughout the nation. These boutiques help connect LGBTQ couples to wedding vendors in their communities. These are vendors who support LGBTQ rights and are comfortable with making your day unique and special.  The network is lesbian-owned organization that has produced over 200 wedding expos in 33 different states. They produce 25 new events every year.

The site itself has an abundance of resources for any LGBTQ couple. It houses an online directory where couples can input their location to find a list of wedding vendors who will be comfortable working with you and your partner. The site also contains a blog where you can browse articles and find wedding ideas and inspiration.  What sets this site apart from the others is that the Network has a podcast where the team discusses trends, how to work with vendors and keeps you updated on LGBTQ current events.  Of course, the most important page on the site is the list of dates for the upcoming wedding expos they are hosting in different cities.  The expo for Texas will be held on May 19, 2019.  There is normally an expo in Austin and San Antonio in the spring every year as well, so, if you are planning your wedding for the fall or winter of 2019-20, this might be one to catch.

Overall, the site is user friendly and a great resource for finding LGBTQ friendly vendors, wedding tips and keeping up with LGBT news.

LGBTQ Wedding Experience

Pridezillas

Pridezillas is also a wedding resource site for the LGBT community.  Their focus appears to be on connecting couples with LGBTQ friendly vendors. Like the Rainbow Wedding Network, they allow you to search for vendors by location.

The site also boasts an extensive blog with articles on many topics including “Tips from Officiants,” and photography guides. In addition to the blog, the website includes an album of beautiful LGBT weddings to help get your planning creative juices going.

Though not as intricate as the Rainbow Network site, the simple website design makes this site easy to use and less time consuming which might be helpful when you are on an already tight wedding planning timeline. 

San Deigo Firehouse Wedding

Purple Unions

Purple Unions LGBT wedding directory was founded by Scott & Mark, a gay couple who met in 1992 and legally married in 2008. According to their site, Scott and Mark “want to help others find welcoming, friendly and supportive wedding vendors to plan your day together.”

The resources on the website are amazing and like the others already mentioned, they allow users to search for vendors by location. A unique feature of this site is that it hosts travel giveaways thanks to the help of their sponsors.  The site also includes a wedding blog and includes a page of links to other wedding and non-wedding related sites that may be of interest to LGBTQ couples.

Though this site hosts a pretty solid directory of LGBTQ friendly wedding venues, what makes them most unique is the abundance of links to other resources.  The site owners Scott and Mark also run Purple Roofs which is now one of the most popular gay and lesbian travel directories on the web.  So be sure to check that out as you reach the honeymoon planning phase!

This is just a short list of LGBTQ wedding planning resources to get you started and help shorten your to-do list just a little bit.  All of them boast of vendors who come highly recommended and have already shown support for the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ weddings.  Hopefully this list will help you find positive vendors who will help you create your ideal wedding.

LGBTQ Wedding Experience

West Shore Cafe Wedding

West Shore Cafe Wedding | Morgan + Vittawat

I have loved Morgan and Vittawat from the moment I met them.  They are bright, vibrant and smart. They exude happiness, confidence and love. They make you feel like a better person just being in their presence.  I had looked forward to their West Shore Cafe wedding all year and now that it’s come and gone I wish that I could do it all over again.  To be honest, we (my buddy Tyler came down from Seattle to help out) CRUSHED this wedding.  I’m so proud of the work we did and the final product that we gave to Morgan and Vittawat to celebrate their amazing day.

Morgan is a bit like me: she moves to laughter with ease and particularly in moments of great emotion.  Vittawat is all great emotion.  The results are touching, and, in my opinion, amazingly hilarious. These two are going to do great things in life together and I can’t wait to see what the world has in store for them.

Venue: West Shore Cafe | Planning and Coordination: Atypical Events | Officiant: Jack Cross | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Florist: Thran’s Flowers | Bakery: Lake Tahoe Cakes | DJ: DJ Beau Entertainment | Bride’s Attire: Swoon Bridal | Bridal Party Attire: Azazie | Groom’s and Groomsmen Attire: Marchele’s Bridal Boutique | Second Photographer: Tyler Ray of Gull Photo

 

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Landing Resort Wedding

Landing Resort Wedding | Lake Tahoe, CA | Kristina + AJ

Kristina and AJ are both of Ukrainian heritage.

Let me tell you something: the Ukrainian know how to party.

Seriously, I’ve never seen a dance floor so incredibly packed!  Kristina and AJ hired one of my favorite wedding bands, The Lucky Devils, who travel all over the Western US playing weddings and events and they always know how to get the dancefloor moving. What was really insane though was when the band took a break and they started playing traditional music! Words cannot describe how epic this Landing Resort wedding raged so I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves.

I feel super fortunate to have gotten to spend a ton of time with this amazing couple and their friends and family – we started our relationship off with both Tahoe and SF engagement sessions and I photographed their ceremony at City Hall in SF the week before their Tahoe ceremony and reception.

Venue: The Landing Resort and Spa | Day Of Coordinator: Lynne Barthe | Florist: Art in Bloom | Bakery: Flour Girl Wedding Cakes | Band: The Lucky Devils | Bride’s Attire: BHLDN | Groom’s Attire: Hugo by Hugo Boss | Hair and Makeup: Art of Beauty | Second Photographer: Shelby McAuliffe

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Senior Pictures

Reasons You Should Have Senior Pictures Taken

It’s finally the time of year when the sun begins to poke its head out again and we have the types of days that lure you out to the city parks.  In addition to the sun creeping out, the retail store shelves have suddenly become lined with stuffed animals bearing a cap and gown and space for signatures and “Oh the Places You’ll Go” books out front.  Not only does this time of year signal the beginning of spring, it’s also a signal that many people are completing an educational milestone. Its graduation season.  Though people graduate throughout the year, May and June tend to be the biggest months for celebrating these accomplishments, with one of the biggest being high school graduations.

High school graduations have come with their own traditions since just about forever.  Some are ancient and over the top, but a few are worth continuing: one of which is senior pictures. Having senior pictures taken is a good idea for several reasons and most of them are extremely unselfish or vain.  So, before you think about skipping out on them, read ahead for a few reasons that you shouldn’t.

Senior Pictures

Reason # 1: The Family

Your family and close friends like having solid proof that all the love and support they have provided to the graduate over the years has actually matriculated into a finished product and a more well-developed person.  Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even 2nd cousins have watched you grow up and it’s nice to have comparison photos throughout the years.

Senior Pictures

Reason # 2: For Practical Reasons

If you are a proper person or just someone who likes people to receive gifts for their accomplishments, you will likely send out invitations to the graduation ceremony. A nice addition to any graduation invitation is a picture of who is exactly graduating.  Many of your guests may not have seen you in some years, so including a picture will help them put a name to a now-grown-up face. If you slip and miss sending out the photos with the invitations, they can also be saved and sent with the thank you notes.

Senior Pictures

Reason # 3: To Share and Exchange with Friends

I know you may have heard this before, but it is very likely that you (or the graduate) will never see some of these high school friends again. Everyone grows up and moves to different places and chooses different paths in life, so having the ability to exchange photos makes sure they have something to show when they are telling stories about how much of a blast you guys had in physics class. 

Senior Pictures

Reason # 4: To Capture Who You Are at This Moment

As mentioned in reason number 3, you may end up going down many different roads as you progress into adulthood.  Your habits, interest and friends may change, so senior photos are a good opportunity for you to capture exactly who you are in this moment.  Has playing basketball defined your high school years?  Maybe the debate team or spanish club?  No matter what your interests are at this moment, try to capture them in your photos.  Meet your photographer at an empty basketball court and use that as a setting or bring props that have special meaning to you. Make your photo shoot representative of you.

Senior Pictures

Reason # 5: To Celebrate Your Accomplishment!

I would say the most important reason to get those senior photos done, is that it gives you the opportunity to celebrate your own accomplishment!  Finishing high school is a big deal.  We have all been there and know how crazy those 4 (or maybe 5!) years can be, but you have done it and done it well.  That deserves a celebration.  That deserves photos that you can look back on and smile or share with the future graduates that come after you.

Senior Pictures

Landing Resort Wedding

Landing Resort Wedding | Lake Tahoe, CA | Rosa + Justin

One of the best parts of my job is that family’s so often keep me in the family: hiring me for their events again and again. In some cases, it’s for growing families – engagements, then weddings, then for family portraits as they grow in size.  In other cases, I’m hired for one wedding, and then another wedding, and then another, all within the same family.  It’s amazing because the guests even start to remember me!

Justin’s sister Julie and her now husband Michael originally hired me to photograph their engagement and wedding and then Justin and Rosa followed suit for both their engagement and wedding. 

Rosa and Justin had an incredible Landing Resort wedding on a beautiful holiday summer weekend. Their reception was held in the pavilion tent instead of the ballroom and it offered tons of space for an epic dance party and a super fun photo booth.  Almost a year later, Rosa and Justin have added a small new addition to their family and I couldn’t be happier for them and all their family members who I have come to know and love.

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Venue and Catering: The Landing Resort and Spa | Bakery: Above & Beyond Cakes | Florist: Safeway | Bride’s Attire: Enchanted Gowns | Bridal Party Attire: David’s Bridal | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse | DJ: High Sierra Sounds | Hair and Make-up: Gypsy Dawn Beauty Bar | Videographer: Stand Up Films | Second Photographer: Chris Arson

Landing Resort Winter Wedding

Landing Resort Winter Wedding | Michelle + Rich

Michelle and Rich originally intended to elope, and then it turned into a small wedding, and then it turned into a bigger wedding. The Landing Resort and Spa offered the perfect location: a gorgeous rooftop deck, in house catering, and incredibly comfortable resort style hotel rooms that allow for pets, which was a must since they’ve rescued quite a few dogs over the past year.

Since Michelle and Rich both work at media school that offers courses in film, photography, theater and other visual arts, most of their close friends are all photographers and videographers.  As such, it was important to them to find someone that was relaxed, laid back, and wouldn’t be concerned with other folks taking photos.  Among my loud charm and wit, I am certainly relaxed. Oh, and I can help you find a DJ the night before you wedding.

I’m incredibly thankful that Rich and Michelle found me. I had such an amazing time with their friends and family and I now count them, as well as a few of their friends, among my friends. 

Also, that first look face.  Amiright?

Venue: The Landing Resort and Spa | DJ: Gabe Gavilanes | Florist: Thran’s | Bakery: Icing on the Cupcake | Bride’s Attire: Pronovias from Miosa Bride | Groom’s Attire: R. Douglas Clothier custom suit designed by David Garibaldi

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Fun Family Portrait Photography – Lake Tahoe, NV

The Kallaher family is like my own personal dream come true. They read that I love happy hour on my website and thus decided to start our family portrait session at their vacation rental with wine and cheese. Be still my heart! They also used to live in Belgium and I spent at least an hour after their session picking their brain on the country and the best places to visit. Their kids were energetic, definately not camera shy, and great to work with. The entire family was relaxed and wasn’t afraid to just let their kids be kids and the end result was a fantastic well rounded gallery of really fun family portrait photography to enjoy for years to come.

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Dancing with the Tahoe Stars

Reaching for the Stars!!

I am happy to announce that I’m going to be starring in winning Dancing with the Tahoe Stars on March 3rd!  I’m the star!!  I look like a star, don’t I? 
 
Dancing with the Tahoe Stars
 
Dancing with the Tahoe Stars is the major fundraiser for our local non-profit The Tahoe Arts Project which pairs 10 local stars (that’s me! that’s me!) with 10 professional dancers (my partner, Spencer) who put on a show in order to raise money for the Tahoe Arts Project
 
The Tahoe Arts Project is a 501c3 non profit that was established in 1987 by a group of parents, professional musicians and teachers to bring performing arts and cultural enrichment to schools in the South Lake Tahoe region in both CA & NV.  TAP reaches over 5,000 students, within 10 schools in El Dorado, Douglas, and Alpine counties of California and Nevada. The artists whom students meet through the TAP programs serve as role models that demonstrate the values of self-discipline and the pursuit of excellence.
The mission of TAP is to provide cultural enrichment and diversity for the community through the arts and education with particular focus on our youth.

As you all know, community involvement is important to me.  In addition, I’ve made it my mission as a business owner to dedicate part of my gross each year to giving back.  In the past three years, I’ve personally donated over $11k to the three non-profits I chose as my beneficiaries: The Baltimore Dance Crews ProjectMary’s House, and Hope Shines.  I’m happy to announce that my 2018 beneficiary is the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe!  
 
Now I’m asking for YOUR HELP.  Part of my commitment to Dancing with the Tahoe Stars is to fundraise for the Tahoe Arts Project.  Please consider donating in my name today.  Even $5 helps bring the arts to our local schools!  I’ve created a very lofty goal of $10k in fundraising and if everyone I know donates $20 I’ll get there in no time! Because, after all, everyone knows Lauren Lindley, am I right?  
 
As of today, I’ve already raised over $3k!  I’m almost half way to my goal and I have just under two weeks left!
 
 
Thanks so much for your support!  
 
Aspen Grove Wedding

Aspen Grove Wedding | Incline Village, NV | Kelsey + Nick

Nick and Kelsey met in college at UNR and now reside in Las Vegas, NV.  They were excited to wed in Lake Tahoe and their venue is one of my absolute favorites in the area – it always has amazing light, regardless of the time of day and although it’s right in the heart of Incline Village, NV, you feel tucked away into your own private space.  Their Aspen Grove wedding was an absolute blast from start to finish.

Nick and Kelsey’s friends and family were right up my alley: whiskey drinking, dance floor maniacs that spent the whole day laughing.  Their dance floor was epic from the get go: both Kelsey and Nick were crowdsurfing at one point and the end of the night culminated with pants being torn off a groomsmen.

 Related note: shout out to Kelsey for being part of a really amazing non-profit that I considered as my recipient for this year.  She’s on the board of S.A.F.E. House, a comprehensive anti-domestic violence organization that offers free 1) shelter, 2) advocacy and counseling services, 3) community education to end domestic violence. The organization serves primarily women and children in Southern Nevada, but also serves men who are victims of domestic violence, as well folks from outside Nevada.  If you aren’t aware, I pick a different non-profit beneficiary every year to give a percentage of my sales to and I always choose one that is directly connected to my clients. 

Venue: Aspen Grove | Catering: Aspen Grove | Florist: Moana Nursery | Bride’s Attire: Celebration’s Bridal | Groom Attire: Brooks Brothers | DJ: Lake Tahoe DJ | Second Photographer: Annie Robillard 

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Chart House Wedding

Chart House Wedding | Ashley + Tim

Once upon a time, two people named Ashley and Tim hired me to be their Chart House wedding photographer and to do an engagement session with them in my hometown of Dallas, TX but really what’s really important is that we got drunk and ate pizza and they met my mom and we became best friends forever.   

True story.

Tim is from Northern CA and he convinced Ashley that they should get married in Tahoe in August of this past year.  She was very concerned that it was going to rain.  “It never rains in Tahoe in the summer,” Tim assured her over and over.  “It NEVER rains in Tahoe in the summer!” I exclaimed with ultimate authority over and over.

It POURED.

But thankfully it poured seconds AFTER their ceremony and stopped by the first dance so clearly they are going to have the best of luck for the rest of their lives, which is what we tell people so that they feel better when it rains on their wedding day but is actually a lie.

Second true story.

Ashley’s aunts can really break it down on the dancefloor.  

Third true story.

Also, I went home with one of their wedding guests.

True or false?  You decide.

We were also all super pumped to do a post wedding portrait session and we went tromping all over the rocks out at Angora Lakes a few days later so I included some of those gorgeous images at the end of their wedding images.

Venue: The Chart House | Florist: Thran’s | DJ: Cornerstone Entertainment | Bride’s Attire: Allure Bridals from Terry Costa | Bridesmaid Attire: Lulu’s | Groom’s Apparel: J Crew | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Rentals: Camelot Party Rentals

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