Judy and Gwendolyn

Long Island City, New York



Photography | True Love Photography | @truelovewedding

Venue | Ravel Hotel | @ravelevents

Floral Designer | James Anthony Floral | @jamesanthonyfloral

Gown Designer | Pronovias | @pronovias

Gown Salon | The White Gown | @thewhitegown

Veils and Headpieces | Bridal Styles Boutique @bridalstylesboutique

From the Couple

We wanted to have a modern, New York wedding. We wanted the wedding to feel warm and welcoming, like one big party with a lot of friends and family. Since it was in September, we stuck to a fall color palette, using a rich, deep red and off-white as our main focus colors. We did not want to have a religious ceremony, however, my wife’s uncle married us and he is a pastor. It was important to her that he marry us because, even though he is very faithful to his religion, he was thrown out of his church after coming out as gay. As a same-sex couple, we thought it was important to have someone represent us during our ceremony.

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

The ceremony was very simple, but the reception took the most amount of work. We had a lot of DIY pieces on display and a lot of decor that also functioned as keepsakes for our guests. I LOVE flowers, and so finding a good flourish was important to me, which we did! Our center pieces were very tall, pieces of wood with bunches of dark red roses and crystals dangling down. We had a big floral arch that functioned as decor for our ceremony and backdrop for our sweetheart table. They were breathtaking!


What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

Flowers for me were very important! My bouquet was a large cascade of red roses and white calla lilies. My bridesmaids also had their own bouquets, which I was happy to present to them because they are very close friends, and they had never been to/been part of a wedding where real flowers were used. So it was a real treat for them. With 9 very tall centerpieces, and low-lighting, the reception room looked stunning! It looked like a fairly tale garden.


Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

There were small personal touches to the wedding. But my overall favorite was the photo booth we had. It was a very large standing mirror with a camera on the inside, and it allowed you to text yourself the picture you took. We also had a signature drink we created with the reception vendor and it was a huge hit. I’m still getting compliments on it!


Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

My wife is not the dress type, so she wore a suit. It was a beautiful white suit, with maroon on the inside of the jacket. The jacket was textured to add dimension, and it was paired with a straight, skinny pant. I had two dresses for the occasion. My ceremony dress was called Epico, by the designer Pronovias, and I purchased it at a small boutique in downtown New York called The White Gown. It was so comfortable. It was a strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline, with a flower petal detailing on the bust and along the sides. It had a long train, which I really wanted because I did not want a veil, and buttons going from the back all the way down the train. My second dress was by Essence of Australia, that I bought at a boutique called Lotus Bridal in Brooklyn during a trunk show they were having. It also had a sweetheart neckline and thin straps that had a line of pearls on it. The bust was somewhat see-through before going into a long train that had lace detailing all along the bottom edge. We both had on heels for our pictures and most of the day, but when it came time to party, we ditched the heels for our custom made converse sneakers.


How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

My wife and I met at a job we both had. We used to work at a restaurant where she was a server and I was a hostess. We were introduced through a mutual friend that was also working there, and we kind of just hit it off. There was a park across the street where we used to go and talk after our shift and that is also where she took me back and popped the question. At the time I was in school, so alone time for us was very limited and hard to come by, but she stuck with me through it and we have been inseparable since.


What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

It’s hard to answer this question. When it comes to our friends and family, they were looking forward to the entire event. It was a long two year planning process and they were just excited it was finally happening! For myself, walking down the aisle was a special moment. I didn’t know what she was going to look like, I’ve never felt that nervous/excited before, and it was all just really overwhelming to stand in front of so many people and read your heart out in your vows. But, I will say, the moment I was looking forward to the most, was the dessert parade! The venue had never had a bride actually take part in it, but I grabbed some sparklers they handed me and stood up front as a line of servers handed out mini desserts and it was so much fun!


Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

When it comes to planning, do everything as far in advance as possible. The more you have done before-hand the better. I was done with my planning a month before, so I was able to focus on just pampering myself when it came time to countdown for the big day. And the day of, everything had been taken care of so I was cool, calm and collected. As far as marriage advice: communicate, communicate, communicate. My wife and I do it with everything: small topics, big topics, unimportant and important. Make sure to check in on each other, and that you are on the same page. Be open to agree to disagree, and always have each other’s back. Respect is key and make sure you listen, while also feeling like you are heard.