The fight for marriage equality was a long, tough battle for so many LGBTQ couples wanting to celebrate their love for each other by sharing their vows in front of family and friends. A wedding is a momentous occasion in anyone's life, but every ring exchanged felt especially powerful for the couples featured here, who, less than a decade ago, were made to think their desire to wed was just a pipe dream. Let's once again commemorate the Supreme Court's 2015 landmark decision to strike down same-sex marriage bans nationwide with these gorgeous photos from LGBTQ weddings.
Brad + David
Nearly 150 close friends and family gathered at The Nylo Hotel in Las Colinas, TX on February 19, 2019 to celebrate Brad and David. "It was beyond perfect. There wasn't a dry eye at the ceremony or a set of feet that didn't hurt from dancing the night away at the reception," they said.
Yani + Divinity
Everyone cleared the dance floor to watch Yani and Divinity have a musical moment together at their wedding on May 19, 2019. "Twelve years ago Beyoncé may have brought us together, but on our wedding day, we certainly chose to put our 'Love on Top'!"
Chad + Clement
In October 2019, Chad and Clement had a three-day wedding, combining their cultures. "We planned it by ourselves with help from Clement's sister, Mary. The weekend consisted of a traditional Bengali ceremony (a Gaye Holud), a more Western wedding on the second day, followed by a drag brunch on day three for those left standing. It was an unreal celebration of love and joy." They added, "We reflect and appreciate what this means, and the fight that our predecessors endured to make a weekend like this possible. Both of us come from strictly conservative backgrounds. We felt less-than for who we loved, and feared the repercussions should our secret become public. The fact that we were able to share our love with our families and community, brings joy and pride to our love for each other. Everyone deserves happiness, free of fear. Finding ours and starting a life together as an example to a younger generation, is a path we happily walk."
Louis + Lazaro
June 6, 2015 was the ideal spring day for on outdoor wedding at deCordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA. Guests explored the grounds before settling into their seats to watch Louis and Lazaro exchange vows under the chuppah. They had initially discussed getting married in Florida (where Laz's family lives) but gay marriage was not legal there yet. The SCOTUS ruling making it legal across all states came through while they were on their honeymoon in Yellowstone.
Sian + Caroline
Sian and Caroline's wedding in the Cape Winelands in Cape Town, South Africa was "an absolute fairy tale." They told their photographer, "Neither one of us had actually thought we would ever get married, so we never really had any expectations. The most important thing was the way it turned out was very symbolic to both of us and represented who we are as individuals as well as a couple perfectly."
Justin + Roberto
For Justin, any doubts about getting married quickly washed away when the day finally came on August 18, 2017. "Getting married was a leap of faith. I wasn’t fully convinced, as a gay person, that marriage was for me. But on our wedding day, when I saw all of our family and friends gathered together in the same place for the first time, I knew getting married was the right decision for us. Two years later, I think of that day often and with gratitude.”
AJ + Devin
Devin came into AJ's life when he was first transitioning and new to New York City. Their relationship flourished and on June 3, 2017, family and friends gathered at Devin's mother's house in Charleston, SC to celebrate. AJ said of that day, "The love we felt was amazing. My mother got very emotional when she saw the number of friends who made the trip—our chosen family that Devin and I have created for ourselves—and she just got it. She was overwhelmed. It's like she had that moment of 'oh, my baby is safe. He's happy. He's loved.' Now that we have a child, I understand how powerful that is." AJ and Devin welcomed a son in 2019.
Tiffany + Nancy
75 guests joined Tiffany and Nancy at a Minnesota brewery in 2016. Attendees danced to bluegrass and '90s club hits. "Maybe I'm a jerk for saying this, but marriage isn't hard. There are hard things that have happened to us as a couple, hard arguments we've had, and hard decisions we've had to make. But loving her isn't difficult...it's the easiest, most instinctive thing in the world, like breathing. Everything else is just problem solving together," Tiffany said.
John + Jared
Kim + Tara
A snowy wedding day on March 16, 2013 made for some truly beautiful photos. "There has been no greater happiness than having the people we love celebrate the love we found and committed to. Our wedding day surrounded us with the joy, beauty and support that had gotten us to that day, and has kept us celebrating since," Kim and Tara told us.
Jackie + Lisa
Jackie and Lisa hit it off right away after meeting at a birthday party on the Jersey Shore. They got engaged on a trip to Hawaii and married in May 2019.
Jeffrey + Chris
Jeffrey and Chris got engaged on Thanksgiving while vacationing in Thailand. They wed on July 5, 2019 in front of family and friends (with sparklers!) in California. The event took quite a turn when a 7.1 earthquake struck during the dining portion of the evening, but that didn't stop the grooms and their guests from celebrating.
Cass + Tish
The brides picked the perfect bouquets to complement their dresses at their wedding on September 30, 2011.
Renee + Kate
These two wed on December 8, 2013. They said of married life, "While our wedding was special, it was only the start. The real magic of our marriage is the privilege of our gorgeous and ever-growing family. Six years, and four children later, life is so much richer than we ever possibly could have imagined."
Ara + Austen
Sometimes an intimate ceremony is best. "My husband and I just celebrated 15 years together and four years of marriage. My best friend who is a Lutheran minister married us in an impromptu wedding in his mom's living room," Ara said.
Sara + Megan
This NYC-based couple dated for four years before getting engaged on New Year's Eve 2017. Seven months later, they were wed on August 18, 2018. "We’re the kind of couple who dances around our apartment to old records. I’m a little more on the shy side, but Megan loves to spin me. We captured a lot of shots like this before our wedding, dancing around Brooklyn Bridge Park with our photographer, taking in some of those not-alone-but-still-alone NYC moments before the wedding began," Sara said.
Greg + Tyler
Greg and Tyler met while playing on the same volleyball team and started scheduling their dates before the games. Couples can talk about how much the vow exchange meant to them, but for Greg and Tyler it was all about their party on October 8, 2017: "Some say that the highest happiness in life is the bliss of marriage. For us, the highest happiness was bringing together our friends and family in a castle and dancing to our carefully curated playlist, which relied heavily on Fantasy-era Mariah Carey."
Chelsey + Carmen
New Orleans provided the perfect backdrop for Chelsey and Carmen's wedding day portraits in December 2019. There aren't many other places where you can get away with parading down the street with a full band behind you, which is exactly what these two did on their big day.
Lanita + Rakiyah
After meeting at a documentary screening in 2008, Lanita and Rakiyah got engaged in 2009 and married on September 03, 2011. "The wedding was a day that we celebrated each other. We allowed each other to shine and be our authentic selves...me barefoot walking through grass, and the plus one in a custom tux with the shiniest Italian loafers. We asked our family and friends to stand and make a pledge that day, to hold us accountable to our vows and to each other. We had 93 people present to witness our pledge of love and respect to one another, and when I look back at those photos I see the faces of the people who truly love us and want the very best for our life together."
Gregory + Cooper
Gregory and Cooper met while performing in the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, which made doing their wedding day photo shoot on the plaza of the Kennedy Center, an obvious choice.
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