April & Kelsey
What’s classier than an elevated courthouse wedding? How about a reception on a boat in the bay?
April and Kelsey’s wedding was stunning top-to-bottom, and I’m so honored to have been part of their day. Read on to see their gorgeous images and learn about their process for choosing a LGBTQ friendly wedding photographer and vendors.
Choosing an LGBTQ+ Friendly Wedding Photographer, Venue, and Vendors
I love when couples choose their venue and vendors with intention. April and Kelsey met in the south, but they moved to the Bay Area together for the community and culture. When it was time to plan their wedding, they scheduled their intimate elopement at the courthouse on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. It was also Pride Weekend, so all of San Francisco was buzzing with symbolism and power.
April and Kelsey also wanted to make sure all their vendors were LGBTQ+ friendly. I love shooting LGBTQ+ weddings, and because April and I have been friends since college, I was thrilled to be invited to cover their wedding day. They asked a friend to officiate, and they even brought in April’s regular barber to do her wedding day hair. These choices might not mean much to the guests, but it’s so special when couples can work small bits of themselves into the details of the day.
Classic Vibes For a Courthouse Wedding In San Francisco
When most people think of a courthouse wedding, they imagine a quick, less-than-special affair with the couple and maybe a witness or two. In my experience, though, courthouse weddings can be really intimate and elevated, especially in the right courthouse!
Lucky for us, the San Francisco courthouse is a stunning wedding venue. I love the arches and vintage architecture throughout the space, and the tall, white walls make for a bright, beautiful backdrop.
Of course, April and Kelsey brought the style with their wedding attire, too! April picked a super classy black suit, and Kelsey went with a simple white gown and a gorgeous beaded cape. (Yep, you read that right. A cape!) Kelsey also had a huge, wild bouquet of bright flowers, and it perfectly brightened up her look and the ceremony space.
The couple invited about 50 friends and family members to join them for their ceremony. It was classy and simple but still incredibly personal. You could feel the love in the room – between April and Kelsey, but also among all their guests. This was a group that was truly happy to see two brides tying the knot and vowing the rest of their lives to one another. It doesn’t get any more special than that.
An Intimate Moment After the Ceremony
After the ceremony, I whisked April and Kelsey away for some couple’s portraits. These moments between the ceremony and reception are the perfect time to unwind and really soak up all the feelings of the day. You’ll get to talk and touch base with one another, usually for the first time all day. I’ll snap some photos of the two of you together, and if you like, I can even step away to give you total privacy for a few moments.
April and Kelsey arranged for a shuttle to take their guests to the reception, but the newlyweds rented this killer vintage car to drive over in alone. Of course, we had to get a few photos with it before they drove off! It perfectly complemented their classic look, and it also looked really fun to drive through the streets of San Francisco.
Wedding Reception on a Boat in The Bay
I can honestly say that April and Kelsey’s was my first floating wedding reception. They rented this boat, the Merlot, from Commodore Cruises & Events to act as their reception venue. Their guest rolled up on the shuttle, boarded the boat, and then enjoyed an evening cruising around the bay. Talk about unforgettable!
As if an entire boat wasn’t fun enough, the couple also hired a caricature artist to draw portraits of all the guests, which they got to take home as a favor. The food was delicious, the view from the deck was amazing, and everyone had a blast. I think it’s safe to say I won’t be forgetting April and Kelsey’s wedding any time soon.
Looking for an LGBTQ+ friendly wedding photographer?
Special thanks to all the other vendors who helped make April and Kelsey’s wedding day unforgettable.
April’s Suit: Custom from Joseph A. Bank
Kelsey’s Dress: BHLDN
Kelsey’s Cape: Tadashi Shoji
Kelsey’s Headband: Custom from Blair Nadeau
Rings: James Allen
Florals: Susan Bell Florals
Cake: Whisk Cake Creations
Kelsey’s Hair and Makeup: Melissa Hoffman
April’s Barber: Julie Nichols
Caricaturist: Zach Trenholm
Reception Space Boat: Commodore Cruises & Events
If you’re looking for a traveling LGBTQ+ friendly wedding photographer, you’re in luck! I’d love to help make your day beautiful. Head over to my contact page, shoot me a message, and let’s get to work!