+
More

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.'

True
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 Pavanathe 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 andprotecting 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."

Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Travel, stay for FREE & play with furry friends? Sign us up!

Trusted Housesitters: Vacation pet sitting with love.

Take some time away, meet new furry friends, and experience a place different from your home. Trusted Housesitters is on a mission to help connect animal-lovers who love to travel with other animal-lovers who love to travel. It seems like a match made in heaven, doesn't it? Well, if you're looking to visit some place new and need a pet-sitter or want to visit some place new and pet-sit, then Trusted Housesitters is the site for you. Here's how it works:

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

Keep ReadingShow less