When they first married five years ago in Pennsylvania, it wasn’t a legal ceremony. Christine and Lauren always planned to wed legally, when the time was right. When their fifth wedding anniversary came around it was the perfect time for I do, take two.
DWH: Tell us, how did you both fall in love?
C: Lauren and I met 13 years ago during the ‘mall rat’ years. We 15 and 16 and met through mutual friends. We dated on and off for 7 years and decided in 2010 to make it official. Two years later we decided to elope. Lauren text me one day and said ‘let’s get married. I’ve been thinking about it. Let’s just run away and do it!” – I didn’t hesitate to reply ‘YES!’.
Same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in Pennsylvania at the time and so we decided to head off to New York and got married in the courthouse. We made a promise to ourselves that we would tie the knot officially, the way we deserved, once legalities had passed.
The next time around Lauren surprised me one day with dozens of flowers and petals leading up to our bedroom, and when I opened the door, there she was on one knee with a beautiful ring asking her to be my wife. I’m a very ‘non-traditional’ girl and I defiantly wasn’t expecting the beautiful diamond ring that she brought me!
DWH: So, you’ve been married once before, what was different for the vow renewal?
C & L: Our vow renewal was really the wedding we didn’t get to have. It was a small, non-traditional, intimate wedding day with the people who have been there for our entire relationship there to celebrate.
It wasn’t a traditional religious ceremony. However, we did incorporate some traditions. We had our oldest sisters read a piece of the Red String of Fate (a Japanese legend) and each wrote and spoke our own vows for one another. Our ceremony concluded with the exchange of rings, although not actual rings. The Japanese legend calls for a small spool of red thread and we tied it to one another’s pinkie finger as a sign of union.
We also got tattoos of red bows to make it permanent. According to the Japanese legend, this thread emanating from the heart doesn’t end at the tip of your finger. It continues in the form of an invisible red string which flows from your smallest finger and intertwines with the red strings of others – connecting your heart to theirs.
DWH: What a beautiful tradition to incorporate. How did you style the wedding?
C & L: All of the wedding décor was DIY. The vineyard was already so beautiful and so we just added a few things to personalise it. Our centrepieces were open glass terrariums on wooden logs with candles. We bought frames and accessories for a photobooth set up, along with costumes, bubbles and water guns for a little-added fun!
Our wishing well was made of wood and each guest signed with a wish. We also provided our guests with a flow space and asked each guest to bring their flow toys; hula hoops, silk fans and poi.
We used florals but not in a way that made them a focal point. They were mainly used as fillers and incorporated into other decorations such as our candle holders.
DWH: What about the outfits, how did you go about finding something perfect the second time around.
L: I wore acid washed, white jeans rolled up with a short sleeve button up lined shirt and topped off the look with a black Diesel blazer. I accessorised simply with copper brown ankle boots, a delicate gold long arrow necklace and a leather cuffed watch.
C: I wore the Cate Gown by BHLDN; a sleeveless gown with tiered layers of rose-hued ombre tulle with sequins and silver cut beads. I also accessorised simply with a leather cuff with a teal stone, pearl stud earrings and a simple leaf crown. My shoes were also copper coloured boots.
DWH: You’ve had two wedding days, what would be your advice to others planning their own day?
C & L: Our biggest piece of advice is to give yourselves enough time to plan your big day. If you don’t leave the time, your wedding will be ten times more stressful than it needs to be. Also, don’t forget that your wedding isn’t about your 3rd cousin or an aunt that you haven’t seen for years – it’s YOUR special day so make it all about you and your soon to be partner.
We’ve seen engaged friends get lost in all the planning and trying to please everyone and forget what the day is really about. We made it an intimate wedding with just our close friends and select family. We also didn’t take money from friends and family to put our wedding together and so felt like the day was completely ours.
Lastly, always communicate with your partner, if you need to compromise then do.
Photography Taylor Cotilla Photography