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Jordan & Olivia- marriage at an estate full of gardens, flowers and a carriage house.

Jordan & Olivia- marriage at an estate full of gardens, flowers and a carriage house.

Fiftyone Hale Photography lesbian same-sex two brides interracial gay couple wedding marriage USA Dancing With Her online directory magazine

Jordan and Olivia found the perfect venue at a garden estate, creating a floral wonderland backdrop for their wedding. Ring blessings and jumping brooms were two of the many traditions they wove into their day.

Tell us a little about how you two began. 

We have been together for nearly eleven years. We met while attending the same college where we both studied music and were introduced by a mutual friend. Olivia is an elementary music teacher, and Jordan works for an LGBTQ+ focused non-profit. For fun, we like to play music together, cook and bake. We love a road trip, especially one that leads to a good hike or a cool brewery to try out. However, our past year has been a lot of time hanging at home, watching trashy reality TV, and laughing at our goofy cat! 

We’d love to here about the proposal! 

Jordan proposed in April 2018 at Zion National Park while we were traveling in that area. We hiked the Angel’s Landing trail. When we stopped to take a break at Scout’s Lookout, Jordan surprised both me and the park ranger who was taking our photo-with a proposal. I gave Jordan her ring a few months later at one of my favorite spots in Queens. 

Any stories from the lead up to the wedding stressful or funny? 

We had a tough time deciding where we wanted to get married! We considered the Adirondacks, where we went to school. Maine, where we love to travel, or the Catskills and Rhode Island because both were equidistant to our families. We put so many miles on our car but ultimately ended up with the perfect venue about twenty minutes from our apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We could have saved a lot of money on gas.

What lead you to the venue?

We found our venue really randomly! The Codman Estate, which is managed by the non-profit Historic New England, is so beautiful and has such a magical garden aesthetic. Even though we continued searching, we felt incredibly drawn to it and eventually knew it was the perfect place. We’ve been back to visit for picnics since our wedding.

We knew we wanted to be outside and have lots of flowers. The gorgeous gardens, estate, and the fantastic carriage house where we danced the night away created the perfect vibe. The venue is a fantastic blend of elegant and rustic. It was pretty perfect as it was, so we were able to keep everything else relatively simple.

Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits. 

Jordan always knew that she would wear a suit for our wedding. We had both heard such great things about Bindle and Keep in New York City, so she decided to go with them to create the perfect custom blue suit. They did a fantastic job, and she loved how it turned out. 

I knew I would go the more traditional bridal/white dress route, but that didn’t make it any easier picking an outfit. I had such a hard time deciding but eventually ended up with a gown from Willowby by Watters that was the perfect combination of ballgown and boho. 

We both had a lot of fun picking our accessories and choosing our something old, new, borrowed, and blue. We kept the outfits a surprise leading up to the day, so it was a lot of fun to do our first look and see the final product.

Talk to us about the big day! 

Our wedding day was so beautiful in every way imaginable. Leading up to the wedding, we knew we really wanted to be able actually to enjoy the day and wanted our guests to do the same. 

We got ready separately with our bridal parties and then met up in the early afternoon for our first look. We then took photos before the ceremony, which meant we had more time to enjoy the party later. 

Our ceremony was so meaningful and perfect, and we savored every moment. After the ceremony, we took a few moments to ourselves, which our fantastic photographer managed to capture sneakily.  

From there, we had a lovely cocktail hour, speeches from family members during dinner, and the most fun dance party ever! We feel so happy that we could enjoy our wedding and be fully present throughout the entire experience. Many of our guests remarked that it was one of the most fun weddings they had been to. We managed to run out of cake, tequila, and sparkling rosé. Luckily it didn’t put a damper on the celebration!

We decided leading up to the wedding day was that we would not leave each other’s sides after we reunited in the afternoon for our first look – we’re so glad we did that because all of our memories of the days are ones that were shared together. The entire day was a dream.

What are your favorite moments? 

The entire ceremony was extraordinary. Our friend Corinne sang some of our favorite songs so beautifully, and our friend and officiant Nina crafted the perfect remarks reflecting the lyrics of the songs and our relationship overall. We were blown away! 

We also had some loved ones perform readings by Jane Hirshfield (“A Blessing for Wedding”), Maya Angelou (“Touched by an Angel”), as well as a selection from the Bible. Additionally, our guests participated in a communal blessing of the rings.  

Our last song of the night was “Time of My Life,” and somehow, we managed to begin what appeared to be a Dirty Dancing inspired choreographed dance. Which had absolutely not been choreographed. We kept it up for the first verse of the song but then had to let everyone know that we were out of material and they should join in! 

Did you incorporate any family or religious traditions into the day?

O: One ritual we incorporated was a passing of the rings. Led by our friend and officiant Nina, where our wedding bands were passed around to the guests during the ceremony so that they could all bless them with their positive wishes for us. 

Additionally, Nina did a beautiful job honoring those we had lost before we were married, especially my father, who passed in 2011. I so wish that he could have been there with us on our wedding day. 

Lastly, as we recessed down the aisle, we jumped the broom. A tradition dating back many centuries and something that Jordan’s sister and parents had also done at their own weddings.

What does marriage mean to you? 

To us, marriage is a partnership. It’s the creation of our family and a shifting of our priorities from individual to shared. It is a commitment to having another’s best interests at heart and working through hardships to be better both individually and as a unit.

The first year of our marriage presented many challenges and unfortunately dealt us a lot of sadness and pain. But our marriage means that we never have to go through life’s ups and downs alone. We are so grateful.

Advice for other couples planning a wedding? 

Focus on what’s really important to you as a couple. And don’t let anyone else’s opinions or beliefs tell you what your wedding should look like. It’s ok to create your own traditions that reflect your relationship. Try to enjoy the planning process because it goes by so quickly! 

Anything you are glad you did? Or wish you didn’t do? 

We’re so happy we had a wedding! We considered eloping at one point but are so glad that we decided to take the opportunity to bring all our loved ones together. How often in life do you get to do that? We regret nothing. I just wish we could do it all again.  

What was your aisle, recessional, and first dance songs? 

Our bridal party walked down the aisle to “Morning Song” by Jewel, and we walked down the aisle to “Call it Dreaming” by Iron & Wine. I had heard this song sometime after we were engaged and immediately knew we would feature it in our ceremony as we’ve always loved the band, and the words just fit us so perfectly.

After the ceremony, we recessed to a recording of “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty, an homage to my (Olivia’s) late father, a big classic rock fan. Our first dance song was “Beyond” by Leon Bridges, which was perfect!

Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to share with us? 

August 3, 2019, was the best day. Little did we know that the year that followed would present us with so much sadness. Globally, COVID-19 devastated the lives of so many. In the US, the pandemic exacerbated long-standing issues of equity and racial justice. Issues we had been discussing for years as an interracial couple were now at the forefront of many Americans’ minds. Which was long overdue but challenging nonetheless. 

And in our own lives, we experienced immense loss. Sadly, Jordan’s mother passed away in November of 2019, and her father passed as well in July 2020. Since then, the memories and happiness from that day are more precious to us because of what we have been through in our marriage. 

We are so thankful to all the friends, family, and vendors who made this day happen. Hopeful that the years to come will be a little kinder to us and the world generally, but we know that (unfortunately) nothing is promised. We are comforted to have one another through it all. And we REALLY hope we can reschedule our honeymoon sometime soon.

Photography by Fifty One Hale Photography

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