Words by Alianne, owner and planner at Ad Astra Co.
Tell us the inspiration behind the shoot.
The first elements to strike inspiration were the colors. We knew we wanted bold, and we knew we wanted to make a statement. I decided to go with black and white because black is not typically a color chosen for weddings, so when selecting the couple and the rest of the individual decor accents, I knew that I wanted it to feature an LGBTQ+ couple. I was sick of always seeing the same couples, the same looks, and the same color schemes on my Instagram newsfeed. As a wedding vendor, it becomes monotonous, given how many photographers and wedding vendors I follow. So I wanted this photo set to showcase what I wanted to see more and more of on my feed and other vendors- diversity and inclusion.
Gaby and Jaz are longtime friends of mine, so they were the first couple to come to mind. Add to that the fact that they are actually engaged and set to get married or eloped within the next year, and it made my heart happy to have featured them.
For me, it’s the way the photographer captured every ounce of love they have for each other. You can see it in every picture.
Why was creating this shoot important to the team?
For all the reasons stated, but for me, it was also an ode to the elopement they should have had if the pandemic would not have put a wrench in their plans. In a way, the entire project was a big “F you” to covid and 2020 because also, on our end as vendors, before putting together this specific styled shoot, we had been planning one for weeks that never ended up coming to fruition once the world shut down. Months passed, and we all gave up on it. So it was very gratifying to know all parties involved were excited to be back, celebrating love in whichever way we how to.
What are the key styling elements of the styled inspiration, and who brought them to life?
I put everything and brought everyone together. It would never have come together so elegantly and beautifully had it not been for everyone’s touch of magic, though.
The sharp, clean, and modern aesthetic is definitely something I wanted to focus on. But, as I said, I wanted the entire thing to be different from the usual newsfeed content. I wanted a stark contrast between the white and the black, the silver and the gold. We played around with light and refraction, and movement to showcase authenticity, rawness.
I also love to insert a tiny part of myself in every shoot I style because, like anyone else, there are, of course, many facets to me besides having a passion for planning, organizing, and designing events. I’m a huge music buff, so the idea to use the CDs as a backdrop curtain for the ceremony area was my favorite touch. That and the disco ball chandeliers. Which, funny enough, tied together with the fact that Jaz and Gaby actually have their very own prized possession disco ball that they used to have hanging in their apartment in Colorado before moving back to Miami. I loved that they brought it to the shoot and that it’s the one Gaby is holding in the picture of her spinning around. Favorite pic for sure.
Words by couple Gaby & Jaz.
Our favorite memory together is our proposal as we had planned a vacation for a week in the desert. We had been doing long-distance at the time. After having been together a couple of years, and we’re looking forward to a week of rekindling.
Well, we both had secretly planned to propose to one another on this trip. But, we couldn’t keep a secret and confessed to each other what we had up our sleeves. We laughed a lot about it, and we were both so excited and surprised with each other. We agreed that while on the trip, we would propose to each other whenever the time felt right. We rode our bikes to a spot in the desert with the mountains in the background during sunset. We shared what this engagement meant to us and, of course, some of the many reasons we love each other.
Our younger selves would be so proud to see us being our authentic selves, unapologetically. We’d tell them to stay true to themselves, not think of what others would say or think about you because you are loved and deserve to be happy.
Photography by Michelle Gonzalez