We chose “The Marriage Issue” as the theme for our latest edition of Outlife757 Magazine almost six months ago, excited by the double entendres it conveys to the LGBTQ community.
That was the easy part.
But for our cover photo, we wanted to illustrate the infinite number of ways LGBTQ couples are creating their own wedding traditions. That took a little more
We knocked around all kinds of crazy shoot concepts until we landed on this one: the sky’s the limit.
We invited our friends from all the colors of the LGBTQ rainbow to our “gay wedding.” We borrowed a warehouse, enlisted the help of some of our favorite
wedding pros, and threw in a pinch of music, love, laughter, food, and mimosas.
Once you lock in those fundamental wedding day ingredients, the rest is about you and your family.
Brandon and Craig met on August 3, 2011 at Poppa’s Pub in Norfolk. Brandon says, “Our eyes met, and even though we were in a traditionally straight bar, we just knew.”
Their relationship grew rapidly from that moment on. They soon moved in together, and in February 2017 (after more beer), they proposed to each other.
“At that point, we had been together almost six years,” said Brandon. “After that amount of time, we knew we would be together whether we got married or not. And since we could get married, we decided to do it.”
They were legally joined at the City of Norfolk’s Clerk of Court office on the anniversary of their initial meeting. But that wasn’t the end of their celebration. They immediately set about planning a second ceremony and reception for October 2017.
Brandon took the lead in planning with the help of several friends who had experience in the wedding industry. They also found several vendors at the Hampton Roads Gay Wedding Showcase. They decided to have their party outdoors under a tent at their best friend’s riverfront home in Suffolk. The wedding day started off with beer and champagne all around as the party got ready. After the guests had arrived, the couple made their way down the aisle.
“As the ceremony started, I wasn’t nervous,” said Brandon.“Then as we said our vows to each other, aisle, a well of emotions and tears completely surprised me.”
Gay performer Cliff Baxter sang “My Valentine” to close the ceremony, and the dancing began. The rest of the evening was filled with laughter and fun, ending with a dazzling fireworks display over the river.