Word by Planner and Florist, Ediflorial.
As a florist, I am interested in all the design aspects of a wedding day. Curating my own styled shoot was an opportunity for me to not only play with a color palette of my choosing, but a change to lift up queerness, to use my brand to shout loud and clear, I celebrate the love of all genders and all orientations.
On that note, styled shoots can feel very wasteful and vain to me, so I made up my mind this year to make them actually purposeful. Because people are more important than brand images, enter Erin and Luci. They were getting married summer of 2019, just a few months before the date I set for the photoshoot. Erin and Luci had recently cut a photographer from their wedding budget, so I was thrilled to know that this would be a chance for them to have professional photos together.
They wore some outfits from the gown vendor, Flutter, and they also took pictures in their actual wedding attire. Our paper goods vendor, Hunt Wright Co, even made them custom cards with quotes they chose for one another, so that aspect of the styled shoot carried farther than the photoshoot day, as well. The colors- just happened to be their color palette. It was really magical.
The shoot celebrated the bright blue sky, robin’s eggs; the fresh new growth of Spring; golden sunshine, and honey- the pure, radiant joy of two women so profoundly in love.
Words by lovers Erin and Luci
How did you meet?
L: I was running a few minutes late to work. I didn’t care though, because it was a perfect August morning, and I knew the bartender would already be setting up. Twice a week, my “office” doubled as the host position at the restaurant and theater venue I was an Event Manager for. I liked having office hours at the restaurant front desk. It meant I got to look out the window and feel the fresh air from the open doors on warm days. I’d been at this job for six years, a long, long time for a twenty-six-year-old. Still, the place had become like home, like family, even if a rather incestuous one like any restaurant in a college town. Particularly at this place, where people joked you needed a headshot to apply – the staff was that good looking.
So, when I walked in and saw her, I shouldn’t have been surprised by how pretty she was, but it stopped me in my tracks. I looked around, expecting everyone else to be abuzz with the hot new bartender. There was no one else around, and I pulled myself together and tried to go about my day. She looked older and tougher than me, so I figured I didn’t have a chance – but I tried to play it cool anyway.
Over the next few weeks, we flirted. I curled my hair and wore heels to work and carried heavy trays up flights of stairs imagining something like Audrey Hepburn in my fair lady having just mastered carrying a book on her head. I pretended not to see her staring at me from behind the bar. Imagining putting off the grace, composure, and mystery of Greta Garbo, and to my surprise, it seemed to be working. Who would have guessed the motorcycle riding, pleather vest-wearing, Marlboro smoking bartender would be into that?
What I had taken for older and tougher was really just an extraordinary sense of self. She was really five and a half years younger than me. The more I got to know her, the more I realized her tough exterior was a facade to a genuinely loving and compassionate woman.
What is your favorite memory together?
E: Our first kiss in the alley behind the restaurant we met at. We were waiting for a coworker to walk with us to our cars after work. We walked out the back, and it was windy and raining. Dark. I held up my coat, trying to shield Luci from some of the rain. At that moment, I don’t know if it was her or me who went for it and we just kissed. She would propose to me in that same spot four years later.
L: I definitely kissed her! I just went for it, and it seemed like the only natural thing to do! Our tagline became “Meet me in the alley.” It is not a pretty alley, but it seemed like the perfect place to propose. After she said yes, we went inside to the “holiday party” I’d planned. We were both so nervous and excited we didn’t eat all night. We came home starving and made frozen eggrolls that were truly awful. In the morning, I called my parents to give them the good news, and I remember eating the leftover eggrolls while Erin talked on the phone to my mom. It was this moment when I was so happy, and the world looked so beautiful even with a cold eggroll for breakfast.
E: Another favorite is sitting on a couch in a dark corner of a bar trying to figure out each other. We first sit and stare at each other, trying to understand why we were both so drawn into this. We were so different. Especially then, me 21 and Luci 26.
L: We were so different in some ways and so similar in others, and I guess we still are. I have another favorite memory from that year, once Erin saved me from a Frozen Four hockey mob. We were on the U of MN campus, and they won, so naturally, everyone started destroying things. It was a weekend salsa event where we worked. They locked down all of dinkytown. After I finished an incredibly crazy event, I snuck out a side door and met Erin on the street. She took me to her motorcycle, and I jumped on the back. She maneuvered through the crowd to get out of there. It wasn’t the first or the last time she felt like my knight in shining armor.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
L: When we met, I wasn’t out of the closet yet. I’m bi, so I was banking on never having to come out to my family. On top of that, I was just out of a six-year relationship with a guy my family really thought I was going to marry. So while I liked Erin, I didn’t want anything serious. It took an entire year of us dating before I agreed to be her girlfriend and finally “came out.”
E: After two years of dating, we were apart for a year or so. I was young and distracted. Luci was so busy with work and seemingly tired of me in this way that was so disenchanting and frustrating. I broke up with her and sent myself into a downward spiral. After the break up I drank a lot and lost my gold star lesbian status. Heartbreaking, I know. Following that was my dad’s suicide and more bad decisions. I missed Luci the entire time. My heart had never hurt like that. I had never missed and longed for anything as I did for her while we were apart.
L: That year, I did a lot of dating, which I’d never really done before. I learned a lot about myself. Then, I got in a bike accident and had my own little spiral out of control. I went to every doctor you can imagine trying to get back to health, including a witch doctor who had detailed visions of intimate encounters I had with Erin. It was a weird and insanely expensive year.
E: One day, I called Luci and said I was going to shop vac my truck and clean a bit. I said that to make it sound like I had some of my life together. She said she wanted to come over with her car and clean hers too. The problem is, I didn’t own a shop vac. I went to Home Depot the second we hung up and bought one. She came over. We cleaned our cars. Our first start at a recovery. More small smiles.
L: I didn’t need to clean my car. I just wanted to see her. A week or so before, I had a doctor’s appointment, and when I went out to the car, I had a flat tire. She showed up and gave me a ride and waited to give me a ride home after. A few months later, my recovery wasn’t going well, and I was terrified about never feeling like myself again and because I didn’t love this broken version of myself, I was worried no one else would either. Erin looked at me and said, “Even if we aren’t together, I will always love you and be here for you, whatever you need.” I knew she was right, and I knew that in her eyes, I wasn’t broken and never had been.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
L: Her spirit- it’s so devil-may-care on the outside and vulnerable and thoughtful on the inside. She is both my number one fan and the person who most holds me accountable. I feel like the best version of myself because of her. And, of course, her laugh.
E: Her overwhelming acceptance and love for who I am. A bit rough and unrefined in so many ways, I know. She’s never made me feel bad about that, even though I am self-conscience about it sometimes. I always want to be better for her, but being better is just being myself. She reminds me of that. And her messes around the house, always something to clean.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
L: There was a lot of honesty that Erin wanted to include in this interview that I wasn’t so sure about. I come from a family that doesn’t often talk about the messy or unplanned parts of life, but Erin insisted. I never left the house without makeup on before I met Erin. I’m really, really proud of my wife for always being 100% honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly. She has never pretended to be anything other than herself, and that is a beautiful thing.
Photography by Sea Circus Weddings