G and I met at the karaoke party at the Butch Voices conference in Oakland, CA in 2009. I had volunteered with the conference over the weekend. We started chit chatting in between singing and dancing, and at the end, I got the digits! I was too shy to call, so I sent a Facebook friend request instead! (How lame!) We connected anyway though, and G came to Oakland the following weekend to go to the “Sistah’s Steppin in Pride” event with me. We’ve been together ever since.
We were engaged after dating/living together for about 18 months. We had an 18 month engagement, so we were together just over 3 years before we got married. We also got legally married on July 5, 2013 after DOMA and Prop 8 in California was overturned. We did a “quicky” civil ceremony at the Alameda County Courthouse. We call this our “taxiversary.”
For our wedding, we wanted to balance our vision of a beautiful, outdoor wedding, but with the casual, party atmosphere we wanted. We got married at the Martin Luther King Shoreline Center in Oakland with the Oakland Hills for our background. One of our dear friends officiated the ceremony, and we were surrounded by approximately 120 family members and close friends.
We served traditional mexican food for cocktail hour and dinner, and had an almost all female mariachi band playing throughout dinner. After dinner, we had an enormous cookie and candy buffet, that kept people on enough of a sugar high to dance the evening away! We did a lot of DIY projects, and our many of our friends and family members came over to attach bows, stamp napkins, etc. The planning was stressful, but so much fun!
My dress was from Mori Lee, Julietta collection, purchased from Trudy’s Bridal in Campbell, CA. The salon and my consultant were all aware that this was a queer wedding, and they were very welcoming. My shoes were Badgley Mischka, purchased from Nordstrom. I decided not to wear a veil, and wore a feather, blingy hair fastener instead.
The suits were from Men’s Wearhouse. G’s suit was a Jones New York suit that we purchased and had tailored to fit perfectly. The other suits were Calvin Klein rentals, also from Men’s Wearhouse. The Men’s Wearhouse in our area had no issues with outfitting a queer wedding, and we were happily welcomed by all of the employees and the tailor.
We currently live in Oakland, CA with our four huge dogs, and two cats.
Miki Vargas Photography – An amazing queer wedding photographer.
DJ – DJ Luna, Oakland, CA
Flowers – Lee’s Discount Florist (not an LGBT vendor, but very welcoming)
Cake – Virginia Bakery (not an LGBT vendor, but very welcoming)
Catering – Lupitas, Oakland, CA (not an LGBT vendor, but very welcoming)