erin & sheara

it really makes me happy when i visit a photographer’s website and see not one, but several images of same-sex couples in their welcome slideshow/image collection.  it makes such a statement and definitely lets any prospective same-sex couples know immediately, they are welcome there.  that’s definitely how i felt when i visited ekate photography‘s website after receiving her submission.  then after contacting her and learning that she has photographed many same-sex couples, i knew i had to share her work with you all.  so, not only is she same-sex friendly, she’s also a great photographer.

she writes, “Erin and Sheara met through rugby. They both play for the Philadelphia women’s team, but have played in different cities in the past. There were multiple teams and colleges represented; teams that are usually rivals. Rugby brings about such camaraderie that everyone was dancing with each other and just having a great time. The American Swedish Historical Museum is right near the Phillies’ stadium, and there happened to be game the day of the wedding. The surrounding park was filled with tailgaters. They all yelled their congratulations to the brides, and one pair of tailgaters even gave the brides some beer while we were shooting portraits. Across from the museum is a pond with a breezeway structure that is abandoned/for lease, but is still gorgeous with archways and a view of the water. The museum itself is really ornate inside. The domed ceilings are covered in gold and blue paintings. The brides’ families sat in the entrance area of the museum, but all other guests were up on balconies looking down on the ceremony from above. The brides walked down from either side with their dads and met in the middle. After the ceremony, the reception was on the front lawn where all the decorations were DIY. They gave wine glasses and kazoos to all of their guests, and after a night of dancing in front of the museum in the wrought-iron courtyard, they ended the night with a “kazoo” exit.”

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How did you two meet? “We met at a rugby tournament in Philadelphia in the Fall of 2009. Erin was playing for Raleigh Women and Sheara was playing for the host team Philadelphia Women. We exchanged phone numbers and it all just kind of started.”

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Tell me about the proposal: “Erin proposed to Sheara on the 4th of July in 2011 on the Spring Garden bridge while watching the fireworks by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Sheara didn’t want a ring, so Erin got her a fancy watch instead. Sheara was completely surprised, especially as she almost didn’t come to watch the fireworks.”

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What were a few favorite things about your day? “While we were taking our photos (before the wedding), there were two Phillies fans tailgaiting in the park. Sheara said something to them about the game and they responded that Erin picked a good woman to marry. They also gave us two beers. We really liked that 1) they didn’t bat an eye at the fact that two women were marrying each other and 2) that Philadelphia and its (in)famous sports fans were part of the special day. We also loved the photobooth. Our main goal was for everyone to have a really good time, and we think the photobooth really helped facilitate the light/fun tone. The best part about the whole day was just how loved we felt. Loved by each other, of course, but also by everyone who came and everyone who helped. We used a friend as the officiant and she was so supportive throughout the process. I don’t think it would have felt the same if we had used a stranger. Oh, and the weather was perfect!”

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A few words of advice to share with other couples: “Listen to each other. Plan the wedding you want. Don’t let others stress you out. Surround yourself with the people that matter to you. And if you have a good time, others will too.”

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Any other details you wish to share about how you planned your day? “The wedding was at the Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia. I think it’s cool to pick an off-the-beaten path venue. Neither of us are Swedish, but we wanted a venue that would be all ours and feel secluded. The stadiums are right by the museum, but it’s within FDR park and it just felt right when we went to see it.  Also,  Erin Loesley took amazing photos and we’re so happy she was our photographer. She was great throughout the whole process!”