A great Colorado wedding officiant gives us his take!
After almost 3 decades of ministry in a Conservative Evangelical setting I made a radical change in my views on LGBTQ issues and Same-Sex Marriage. In 2011 I had my own coming out of sorts when I began to question the hurt and pain that the church continued to inflict on LGBTQ Christians by allowing hate and homophobia to define how a whole group of people is treated.
First, my change of heart came when I performed a funeral of a father who chose to leave a church he attended for years to protect his son who came out. After his son came out, he and his wife dedicated their lives to reaching out to gay youth whose families rejected them.
Second, a very dear friend who was transitioning emailed me and gave me, along with many of his friends the opportunity to end their friendships with him. It broke my heart and I committed to remain friends and now stand proudly and supportively with her ... my friend!
That year, 2011, I took a stand calling for LGBTQ acceptance and supporting same-sex marriage. I answered "yes" that I would not only support same-sex marriage but I would also, officiate same-sex weddings.
Recently, I was challenged by reading the book "A Bigger Table" by John Pavlovitz and he describes this observation so clearly, " I could see how irresponsibly the Church has used scripture to justify a sustained contempt for the LGBTQ community, how they've fueled the politicized religion we've adopted as gospel and perpetrated the horrible witness we're making on behalf of Jesus."
So all this led me to leave the Evangelical comfort zone I had become accustomed to, I resigned my pastorate and committed myself to preaching and living out a message of Love and Acceptance. I will stand with my LGBTQ brothers and sisters who have been so hurt and injured by the church, I believe that Christians and Churches should welcome and support those of all sexual orientations. I will commit myself to embracing and facilitating all people and their need for Love, Companionship, and Marriage.
Finally, I am a Minister and a Wedding Officiant and I believe with all of my heart that each of us has a God-given desire to fall in love and experience a lifetime of happiness with a partner.
Rev. Samuel J. Lopez, Pastor, Minister, Wedding Officiant
We love the support that has poured out of our local Colorado Vendors!
Colorado Wedding Planner Lilli Black with Sweetly Paired (and our CEO here at CGW) has shared this story with Colorado Gay Weddings - and though we're sad it happened we LOVE the outpouring of support from the Colorado Wedding Community.
Tuesday Feb 27th 1952 (JUST KIDDING! It was 2018!):
I was sitting in Starbucks - The awesome one down by Park Meadows with the bench seating, plugs everywhere, and good WIFI by the Google. It was late for some folks to be working, but I'm a night person, so I was in my prime. I had just finished a call with one of our clients for this year in Beaver Creek - at the GORG Allie's Cabin. I started to do some follow up emails and my phone rang again with a TX area code. I pretty much always answer as SO many of my clients are from out of state.
"This is Lilli with Sweetly Paired, how can I help?"
"Hi, um are you a wedding planner?"
"Yes ma'am I am! Are you getting married?"
"Well, we want to. We're not sure what to do, though"
"Welp, helping you through that is what we do! Tell me about you guys! When are you looking to get married? Are you looking at Colorado? Do you have a date? (I'm sure I sound like a kid in a candy store - I love hearing new couples' stories!)"
"Yeah, we are hoping for sometime in the summer next year. The thing is..."
*another voice on the phone* "Just tell her! .....Mutters.... Ok I will. We're both women."
"Oh, awesome, so do you have any favorite spots you've picked out so far? Favorite venues or areas? Have you been here before?"
"Hello? Did I lose you?"
"No, we're here. We just want to make sure you work with gay couples."
"Well of course we do!"
*some sniffling in the background*
"Ok, wow, good. We just had a call with a planner who told us she didn't take same-sex weddings."
**I had a moment while I swallowed my murderous rage**
"I'm so sorry you had to deal with that! Not only do we work with ANY couple, but we have an inclusive network of vendors we refer. We have you covered, and you won't have to ask that question again."
NOBODY should have to ask that question ever again. Read more below!
Inspired by the newly restored historic School House on Main Street in Parker, CO our art themed wedding styled shoot captures bright bold colors, lots of laughter and fantastic details. Candice and Kaitlyn are a beautiful same sex couple (soon to be married!) inspiring others to Love Out Loud!
We desired to capture the couple’s playful and less formal side. This relaxed and not caught up in the “formalities” modern wedding plays off these two being a “blank canvas” and all the rest of the wedding design (and their future) is full of color!
The School House on Main Street is a beautiful blank canvas that inspired us to play in the world of art. Paying homage to its classroom beginnings over 100 years ago where the future is bright and the possibilities endless. We wanted to play in the light, warm welcoming space and show off its character and giving a nod to its beautiful history as a foundation building in a once old stage coach stop town.
The brides wore all white with matching Converse shoes, a playful 50’s styled dress, and a paint “kissed” tie. A bridal perfect faux-hawk and colorful make up capture these two personalities perfectly.
Playing in warm bright colors, yes even neon! Our local Denver artist Patrick McGirr painted a stunning original 8’x10’ backdrop for our ceremony and reception. Our bar height head table dons a hand painted canvas “runner” helping the paint pour down the front of the table as if to come from the backdrop behind it.
Guests are greeted at their seats with custom paint brush place cards, tying the art theme through from invitation to table. The invitation suite and save the date perfectly capturing the playful and colorful personalities of our brides.
Rippled clear plates and hammered flatware provide an elegant background so we can show off our stunning menu! The Primer (1st course): Beet mousse on endive leaf with pomegranate kernels and fresh mint. The Sketch (2nd course): Bacon wrapped brussel sprouts with fig balsamic glaze. The Painting (3rd course): Grilled rainbow tandoori cauliflower with grilled lamb in sensation spice on the bed of saffron infused mashed potatoes and parsley herb oil. With the dessert “The Varnish” being a visually stunning and colorful upside-down white wedding cake with dulce de leche and Swiss meringue buttercream. Inspired by the painting it “floats” before the guests.
Fuschia, orange, and yellow tulips and gerbera daisies accompanied paint brushes to create a masterpiece worthy tablescape, continuing the “pouring” of color across and down the table.
The bouquet bright and playful, loosely structured with fun flowing greens dangling from the end. The boutonniere a “plucked” gerbera daisy with greens – taking a modern twist on a familiar flower.
Unique, genuine, one-of-a-kind came to mind when we worked with Candice and Kaitlyn. These key elements collided to bring you this Love Out Loud inspired wedding. We hope it inspires others to live in bold beautiful color!
Bakery/Desserts - A Cake Come True
Caterer - The Gourmet Kitchen - www.thegourmetkitchen.biz
Florist - Fleur Decor - www.fleurdecor.com
Hair/Make Up - Fox & Crow Salon - www.foxandcrowsalon.com
Photography - David Alderman Weddings - www.davidaldermanweddings.com
Rentals/Flatware/Silverware/Table Decor - Event Rents - www.eventrents.net
Stationery - Lucky Onion - www.luckyonion.com
Venue - The Schoolhouse at Mainstreet (PACE Center) - www.parkerarts.org
Video - Kelsey Luciano Productions - www.kelseyluciano.com
Planner/Design - MAG Events - www.eventsbymag.com
Same Sex Wedding at Willow Ridge Manor in Golden - Two handsome Grooms!
We love this bright, fun wedding from Crystalline Photography.
Justin and Gabe tied the knot at Willow Ridge Manor, a very same-sex couple friendly wedding venue located just up the canyon near Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. This venue hosts picturesque views along with a beautiful white colonial style mansion to host your event. The mansion has rooms for each side of your wedding party to get ready in, an outdoor ceremony location and ample locations to stage your wedding photos, along with a gorgeous light and airy ballroom for the reception. Kristen, from Colorado Commitments put together a touching ceremony that incorporated Justin & Gabe's beloved Labrador dog as a ring bearer. Jamie and Jonathan from Crystaline Photography and Video captured each and every special moment between Justin and Gabe, along with tons of photos of their guests which was a very important aspect to have covered for the couple. Occasions Catering is one of the food providers on the venue's list that they hired and they always do an amazing job. The food was excellent and brought out in a timely manner. Michael from Digital DJ not only helped with a lot of the logistics of the day, but he kept the party rocking throughout the reception.
Justin and Gabe's personal touches on their event were creating custom wristbands for their guests engraved with their names and wedding date. They also had a special table near the entrance dedicated to friends and family members that had passed away. One of the ways they saved money was by Justin creating all of the beautiful deserts that they shared with their wedding guests. The cake and cupcakes were so beautiful and delicious that he could almost start a baking business of his own!
This wedding had a lot of traditional wedding elements in it. The couple was supported by a large wedding party and they even shared a first dance and did a dance with their very supportive mothers in honor of Mother's Day which just also happened to be the day they sealed their wedding vows!
Venue - Willow Ridge Manor http://www.willowridgemanor.com/
Photographer: Crystaline Photography and Video http://www.crystalinephoto.com/
Officiant -Colorado Commitments, Kristen Hepp http://www.coloradocommitments.com
Music - Digital DJ http://www.digitaldjcolorado.com/
Caterer - Occasions Catering https://occasionsdenver.com/
Jonathan and Paul tied the knot at Cherokee Castle in Sedalia, CO. They happened to drive past it and immediately knew it would be the perfect venue for them. Hourglass Productions was the perfect choice for their wedding. They took care of everything on the day of the ceremony, and were incredible to work with! Jon and Paul's experience with Arthur at Babylon Floral was fantastic as always, and they couldn't have been happier. Arthur's creativity with floral arrangements always makes Babylon a dream to work with. Footers Catering provided the couple and their guests with fabulous five-star meals and service. Jon and Paul's experiences with Footers has always been top notch, so trusting them with food for the reception was an obvious choice. The incredible Alison Rose handled photography on the wedding day, and she did not disappoint! She was able to capture the intimacy to perfection, and her candid demeanor was delightful. Beckett and Robb designed the guys' day-of attire - grey tuxedos with sage accents. The ceremony was warm and sincere. Mollie Lehmann officiated the union, as she is a beloved friend of the couple and brought the personal touch they were looking for.
Planning for your big day takes a lot of time and energy and can often have you in a fog when it comes to anything other than your wedding. Too often this fog can have your honeymoon planning/packing overlooked once the destination is chosen and booked. This getaway for you and your new life partner should be a celebration for the two of you. It will be worth it in the end to spend a little extra time thinking through the details of the honeymoon.
The planning for the honeymoon does not stop once you have the destination and flights booked. Every couple is different, so decide what type of honeymoon you are hoping for. Are you looking to relax, be adventurous, or do you want to be immersed into the culture? Need help deciding? Take this fun quiz to help narrow it down. Once you have figured out which type of getaway you and your spouse want (maybe it’s even a mixture), spend some time looking into all the amenities offered where you’re staying. Some resorts and hotels may offer you discounts or packages for their spa or local excursions. Appointments for these activities can book up fast, so do your research ahead of time to ensure you are able to do everything you both want to.
Getting your belongings together for your honeymoon is probably the last thing on your mind. However, it is important to make packing a priority. Start checking the weather for your destination a few weeks in advance. This will allow you to begin packing early and make sure you’re prepared for whatever the climate. Review the plans you booked previously to ensure you’re fully prepared. Do you need sneakers for your zip lining excursion? Or maybe formal wear for the restaurant you booked for dinner one night?
Toiletries can be hard to pack early, so create a checklist for easy last minute packing. Start with the basics: toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and work your way through your routine. Do you use cologne, serums and other products daily that you might want to have? Then think first aid, because you want to be over prepared and not forget something that could potentially ruin your trip. Put together your own first-aid kit similar to this one. You can include you own medications that you and your spouse take daily or when needed. Make sure you have enough for the whole trip and refill prescriptions if needed. Don’t forget the basics like ibuprofen, multivitamins, sunscreen, and aloe (if you’re going to a tropical location). Lastly consider the one-off situations that you might not normally think about. It might be a good idea to pack some Sildenafil, just in case!
You are now officially married, your bags are packed and you’re ready to continue the celebration of your nuptials. Time to put all your planning and preparation into action. Have transportation set up to drop you off and pick you up at the airport so you don’t have to worry about leaving your car there while you’re away. Keep your documentation (ticket, I.D, passport, trip itinerary, etc.) easily accessible and protected in your carry on. You also want to make sure you’re comfortable, especially if you have a long flight. If you get motion sick, make sure to take medicine so you aren’t nauseous. Wear something comfy and maybe even pack a neck pillow so you can take a nap. If you get nervous on planes, bring a magazine or some music to keep yourself occupied. Once you get to your destination, don’t forget to document your trip through photos to help save those awesome memories.
The ceremony and reception are beautiful ways to celebrate being married with close friends and family. But your honeymoon is a time for just the two of you to reflect, celebrate and enjoy your new marriage. By simply making the planning and preparation of your honeymoon a priority, you’re sure to have an amazing trip and a great start to the new journey of your life together as married couple.
incredible non-traditional lesbian wedding at root down in denver!
We are loving this super non-traditional wedding that was submitted by the awesome Ashley Kidder! The details of the day really spoke to the couple and who they are. To start the day, Hallie did her bride's hair! What a personal touch! Rather than the same-old wedding ring that everyone else uses, the gals opted for matching tattoos of a bird that is on their shower curtain; the shower curtain was the first thing they purchased in the home that they own together! The wedding day was very non-traditional: no bridal party, no bouquets, no bouts, no centerpieces, no ceremony (they self-solemnized and signed the marriage license before dinner started), no garters, no first dances, no cake.
They signed the marriage license in the private dining room at Root Down before having a private dinner with close friends and family; the siblings of the brides gave toasts afterwards in the dining room. Rather than having a formal reception, they invited 30 of their closest friends and family to join in on a private cocktail hour on the patio of Root Down that overlooks the Denver skyline where they had a wonderful selection from Root Down's fantastic menu of food, cocktails, and wine.
They did a day-after photo session with their dog Baxter in RiNo in their wedding gear. They wanted to be able to enjoy the wedding day and not worry about leaving their guests to take photos. What a great idea!
Gorgeous Boulder COlorado Fall -
You GUYS! These gals are stunning! Check out those gorgeous fall flowers and rich colors! The venue was perfect for this early fall wedding in Colorado - the girls got gorgeous weather, and their awesome photographer - Alison Emerick- did a fantastic job! We loved the textures in the bouquets from Bella Calla, and Church Ranch event center near Boulder Colorado was a great backdrop with its gorgeous gardens. Check out the gorgeous food and stunning desserts!
- Planner - Sweetly Paired Wedding Planning - sweetlypaired.com
- Venue - The Event Center at Church Ranch - churchrancheventcenter.com
- Photographer - Red Shoes Photography - alisonemerickphotography.com
- Catering - Greenspoint Catering - greenspointcatering.com
- Dessert - Shamane's Bake Shoppe - shamanesbakeshoppe.com
- Floral decor - Bella Calla - bellacalla.com
Gorgeous Same-sex wedding in Denver at DU Event Center!
Dan and Max make such a handsome couple! Ali Brannan and her hubby Garrett did a fabulous job capturing their day! They went with a glam look - mirror and black sequins with red roses. This wedding had all the charm and style of an Oscar party and the fun of friends and family celebrating these two awesome grooms!
Gorgeous Lesbian Wedding at Cielo at Castle Pines in COlorado!
We're in love with this gorgeous wedding from the awesome Ashley Kidder Photography! The gals got married at Cielo at Castle Pines, in Colorado. It was a stunning sunny day, and Ashley captured this wedding, as she always does, with incredible detail, color and quality. Bella Calla, another of our awesome partners here at CGW, did an awesome job with the wedding florals. Sweetly Paired was the wedding planner, and made sure the day was completely smooth and easy for not only the brides, but the families. Yours Truly Cupcake was the dessert catering company, and Occasions Catering did a fabulous job with the food, and the awesome sushi catering! Check out that awesome Edison bulb chandelier by Elite DJ!
- Planner – Sweetly Paired – www.sweetlypaired.com
- Photographer – Ashley Kidder – www.ashleykidder.com
- Venue – Cielo at Castle Pines - http://www.cielocastlepines.com/
- Florals and Décor – Bella Calla – www.bellacalla.com
- Sweets – Yours Truly Cupcake – www.yourstrulycupcake.com
- Catering and Sushi – Occasions Denver - https://occasionsdenver.com/
- Custom Suit – J Hilburn Denver - https://dianereed.jhilburn.com/
- Officiant – Wedlock Officiants – www.wedlockofficiants.com
- Linens & Rentals – Event Rents Denver - http://eventrents.net
- Lighting and DJ – Elite Dj and Production – www.myelitedj.com