02 October, 2019 MARTHA’S VINEYARD LGBTQ WEDDING
Hey! We’re Steph and Amy. We’ve been together a little over two years. We both have really demanding jobs, so when we have downtime, Steph can usually be found making music, or we are wining and dining, and spending time with family and friends. Family is super important to us both. We also love to take long walks at the end of the day and just catch up and connect. It’s a special time to unwind without phones and make plans big and small.
What is the first thing you remember about the other when you met?
We met 15 years ago when we were both dating other people. Neither of us were particularly interested at that time. We remained acquaintances until we both attended a 4th of July gathering in 2016. It was a conversation there that sparked our present day love story. We look at the time as the day we really “met.”
Steph: You made these delicious and adorable ice cream cone pudding shots. I thought you were really crafty. And your tits looked amazing in your bikini.
Amy: “ had always only known Steph as a cool rocker chick, and we never really got to know each other beyond small talk at parties. But that day at the lake we started chatting and I asked about her work and when she started talking and all this passion, and intellect, and energy just came pouring out of her. I saw her in a totally different light and was instantly captivated.
Fun note: We both left the lake that day branded into each other’s brains, but didn’t speak again until almost a full year later!
How did the proposal go down?
It was during their annual family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. Steph told Amy she had planned a “surprise date.” Amy thought they were going to dinner, but Steph drove her across the island to the Cliffs at Gayhead. They walked along the beach at the base of the cliffs at dusk, the weather was incredible. It was so beautiful.
Steph stopped and set up a picnic of wine and charcuterie. They sat and chatted for awhile about life and love, a seagull stole some prosciutto, and then Steph pulled out an envelope from her bag…
She slowly pulled out an envelope and from it, a photograph (selfie-style) of the two of them kissing. Amy’s eyes are closed in the picture and Steph says “This is the first photograph I ever took of us. I couldn’t believe I was kissing such a beautiful woman, and I needed to capture it. You didn’t know I was taking it.” (This is where Amy starts to lose it a little) Steph then proceeds to pull out approximately 50 more photographs she had taken over the course of their relationship—the first time hanging with each other’s friends, first road trips, meeting the families, special moments, silly times—and with each one she described the moment, the experience, and how this all led her to fall in love and to knowing Amy was “the one.”
An extra special moment was when Steph was on one knee and pulled out the ring box. It was a wooden box and was engraved with a saying that Amy had drawn on their home whiteboard at the beginning of their relationship. It read, “I looked into her eyes and saw all of my tomorrows.” (So many tears happening now) Stephanie opened the box and pulled out a ring and explained that the center stone was an heirloom stone. It was her mother’s, the diamond that she wore throughout her marriage to Stephanie’s father, who passed away 6 years ago after a long a difficult battle with cancer. She explained that this ring was a symbol of unending love and commitment, one she had witnessed all her life. She went on to promise that if Amy accepted, she would love her with the same devotion and continue the legacy of her parent’s love.
Amy managed to get a “YES!” out between ugly sobs, and they hugged and kissed and drank champagne. The evening was pure magic, and one they will never forget!
Was there a memory from your wedding that sticks out more than others?
Steph: The memory that stands out most is standing in front of everyone saying our vows. We were looking deeply into each other’s eyes and you were squeezing my hands so tight. Oh, and waking up the next morning in a ‘Married AF’ t-shirt and not remembering how I got there or where my pants were. Good times had by all.
Amy: The moment that I stepped out and heard the music playing that I had chosen to walk down the aisle to. I stood there for a few seconds holding onto my Dad, just looking and listening, and I saw Steph standing there. It just felt like the most beautiful dream suddenly transforming into reality in front of me. I can’t even type this without crying.
“Another funny moment that comes to mind is when I was getting ready and demonstrating to my getting ready crew (and photographer!) how duck tape can be as effective as Spanx!”
What is one piece of advice that you would give to other couples planning their wedding?
Steph: Elope! No, in all seriousness, when your partner is freaking out and overwhelmed with all the things to do, listen to them, be supportive, be patient, and help when you can. Also… elope.
“Remember this is YOUR day (as a couple). Don’t let other people’s expectations influence your choices, big or small.”
Amy: Take time to get away. I can’t stress this enough. Find a quiet place where you can be ALONE even for just 5 minutes to connect and celebrate, and acknowledge the beauty of what you’ve just done.
If you could change one thing about your wedding what would it be?
Easy. It was super unfortunate that our “Unplugged Ceremony” sign was overlooked by a lot of guests before the ceremony, so I walked down the aisle to several cell phones IN my face. It was incredibly distracting and l’ll never get those moments back.
Why did you choose the wedding location?
Steph’s family has been vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard for 40 years. It’s the place where Amy first met her extended family, and the place where she proposed a year later. There was never a question that we would be married there. We chose the Sailing Camp because it has a rustic down-to-earth appeal, and a beautiful view of the harbor. It was perfect.
Did you run into any issues with vendors who were not LGBTQ+ friendly?
It’s hard to say for sure, but when we first started planning we reached out to our dream venue and they responded saying that they “don’t do weddings.” Meanwhile, they host many weddings there each year, a fact which is substantiated by the many photos they post on social media. We let it go, we don’t want to give our money to anyone who doesn’t share in our values of love and inclusivity.
Top 3 things that make a marriage last?
Steph: Doing what your wife says. Just kidding!
Compassion – Always make a point to consider your partner’s struggle.
Good sex and keeping the intimacy alive.
Giving each other the space to grow as individuals.
Commitment – Quitting is not an option.
Humor – Laugh together as often as possible and laugh at yourselves. Don’t take life or the little things too seriously.
Don’t take things too personally. Give space for your partner to have feelings and experiences that may impact you, but recognize that’s it’s not always about you.
What do you think makes it hard about planning a wedding without the support of your family?
Amy: It felt like it was 100% all good because my immediate family, and Steph’s family, and all of our friends are amazing. The fact is that NONE of my extended family attended—not one. They were all invited. Although I never ever experienced outward discrimination, and we did have a destination wedding that may have impacted their decisions, I heard that one of my aunts had said “it’s just still hard for some people”. That was really painful. It was hard to acknowledge that even though they had seemed supportive all these years, maybe they were harboring disapproving feelings behind my back. I am firmly against holding grudges of any kind, but it will take some work to get past it.
“My advice to someone else who maybe experiencing this is to wholly focus your energy on the people in your life that do support you, soak in that love and acceptance, and bask in it on your day.”
Why’d you choose Steph to document your wedding day?
Because of her energy. It’s not about the incredible photos she takes (I mean in the end it is) but it’s HOW she captures them that makes the difference. She brings this light and beautiful, totally sincere vibe to the event. She connects with everyone in a really genuine way that makes you feel comfortable, so the images are organic and real. She also hangs out and works with other incredible talent with like energy, so you know that whomever she brings with her, you’re getting a dream team! Our friends and family are still talking about her and Kelly. Best wedding choice we made BY FAR!
2nd Photographer: Kelly Balch