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13 gorgeous LGBTQ wedding photos since the big Supreme Court ruling.

'Couples can now plan the wedding that they want to plan — that feels true to them.'

13 gorgeous LGBTQ wedding photos since the big Supreme Court ruling.
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Modern Love

The Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015, changed our country forever.

Jennifer proposed to Allegra under the dome of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of C. Wagner Photography and Design, used with permission.


Since Obergefell v. Hodges was decided last year, giving same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry across the country, thousands of LGBTQ couples have tied the knot.

And let's be real: The photographic evidence has been pretty spectacular.

Ann and Emily wanted a simple, small wedding, vacation included. So where did they go? Disney World, of course. This photo was taken at The Alfond Inn in Winter Park, Florida. Photo courtesy of Live Happy Studio, used with permission.

Nationwide marriage equality has had an enormous effect on couples everywhere.

Just ask leading wedding consultant Kathryn Hamm, the publisher of WeddingWire's GayWeddings.com. If anyone knows that to be true, it's her.

Alex met Stephen during a 48-hour free trial on a dating website. It turns out, sometimes the best things in life are free. Photo courtesy of Kristen Hammonds Photography, used with permission.

Kevin and Christopher met at the White House, where they both worked as military staff to the president. Photo courtesy of Jacquelyn Martin/The Lily Pad, used with permission.

"Couples can now plan the wedding that they want to plan — that feels true to them," Hamm explained to Upworthy.

That wasn't necessarily the case before June of 2015, and it makes all the difference.

Ashleigh said her wedding to Erika only had a few requirements — one was the color pink, and another was delicious food. Photo courtesy of Exclamation Imagery, used with permission.

They can, for instance, celebrate their love in their own community (if they want to).

Clearly, Bert and Dave's magical ceremony wouldn't be complete without their four-legged friend. Photo courtesy of Victoria Sprung Photography, used with permission.

"Couples are now overwhelming planning their ceremonies in their home states" because they aren't forced to travel somewhere where same-sex marriage is recognized like before, according to Hamm.

She cited new research finding 77% of newlywed same-sex partners fall into this category — up big time in recent years.

Nick's favorite part of his big day was simply seeing his soon-to-be husband, Joey, appear at the end of the aisle. Photo courtesy of Napoleoni Photography, used with permission.

There's been a sizable uptick in same-sex partners recognizing their marriages with a ceremony with guests, too.

Broader acceptance of people who are LGBTQ in recent years probably has something to do with it. Now more same-sex couples are opting in to a wedding bash as opposed to tying the knot without any hoopla.


Sarah proposed to Kathrin using a billboard in Times Square. (Yes, the bar has definitely been raised.) Photo courtesy of Sascha Reinking Photography, used with permission.

Fortunately, marriage equality has also meant that more LGBTQ couples feel supported by the important people in their lives.

"There’s less shame, confusion, and upset for parents of LGBTQ people," Hamm noted, claiming national legal recognition of same-sex marriage may be helping more parents in accepting various sexual orientations and gender identities.

Who knew you might run into the love of your life at a skating party for kids? That's how Ashley and Hunter met, and the rest is history. Photo courtesy of Moments That Matter Photography, used with permission.

Now, 60% of LGBTQ couples report having emotional support from their moms and dads on their big day.

That's up from 45% just two years ago.

Gabriel proposed to Pavana the day Prop 8 was reversed in California. The two got married in a traditional Hindu ceremony in Boston. Photo courtesy of Thuy Pham Photography, used with permission.

But while LGBTQ weddings may be getting more mainstream, it's still vital we approach them differently, Hamm says.

"We’re seeing more similarities than ever between opposite-sex and same-sex weddings," she said. But "that’s not to say that same-sex weddings are just the same as opposite-sex weddings."

When Dinah and Malila discovered one another's love for West Coast rap and protecting the environment, they knew they'd each found the one. Photo courtesy of Bethanie Hines Photography, used with permission.

Seeing as the wedding industry has largely been crafted around (outdated) gender norms — with the bride's dress having an even bigger role in the day than the groom, according to Hamm — vendors and wedding planners should educate themselves on how and why LGBTQ weddings may buck the traditional trends to be more inclusive.


Michael proposed to Lynn in London, but the two made it official under the autumn glow of Central Park in NYC. Photo courtesy of Sascha Reinking Photography, used with permission.

"My hope is that we are careful to nurture how [same-sex weddings can be] different," Hamm noted. "And then allow more opportunity for non-LGBTQ couples to recognize some of the value and opportunity around creating a custom, personalized ritual to celebrate your love and commitment."

This June and always, let's make sure to remember the historic decision that made America a whole lot greater than it was before.

Terry and Julia own a café in Oakland, California, that triples as a retail space, queer community center, and restaurant. Photo courtesy of Kat Ma Photography, used with permission.

As President Barack Obama said on June 26, 2015, "There’s so much more work to be done to extend the full promise of America to every American. But today, we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect."

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Over the past 30-plus years, there has been a sea change when it comes to public attitudes about LGBT issues in America. In 1988, only 11% of Americans supported same-sex marriage, while in 2020, that number jumped to 70%

Even though there is a lot more work to do for full LGBTQ equality in the U.S. the country is far ahead of most of the world. According to Human Dignity Trust, 71 jurisdictions around the world "criminalize private, consensual, same-sex sexual activity," many of these specifically calling out sexual practices between men.

In 11 jurisdictions, people who engage in consensual same-sex sexual activity face the possibility of the death penalty for their behavior. "At least 6 of these implement the death penalty – Iran, Northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen – and the death penalty is a legal possibility in Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, and UAE," Human Dignity Trust says.

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When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!