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.'

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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via Stratford Festival / Twitter

Service dogs are invaluable to their owners because they are able to help in so many different ways.

They're trained to retrieve dropped Items, open and close doors, help their owners remove their clothes, transport medications, navigate busy areas such as airports, provide visual assistance, and even give psychological help.

The service dog trainers at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs in Canada want those who require service dogs to live the fullest life possible, so they're training dogs on how to attend a theatrical performance.

The adorable photos of the dogs made their way to social media where they quickly went viral.

On August 15, a dozen dogs from Golden Retrievers to poodles, were treated to a performance of "Billy Elliott" at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. This was a special "relaxed performance" featuring quieter sound effects and lighting, designed for those with sensory issues.

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"It's important to prepare the dogs for any activity the handler may like to attend," Laura Mackenzie, owner and head trainer at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, told CBC.

"The theater gives us the opportunity to expose the dogs to different stimuli such as lights, loud noises, and movement of varying degrees," she continued. "The dogs must remain relaxed in tight quarters for an extended period of time."

The dogs got to enjoy the show from their own seats and took a break with everyone else during intermission. They were able to familiarize themselves with the theater experience so they know how to navigate through crowds and fit into tight bathroom stalls.

via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter

"About a dozen dogs came to our relaxed performance, and they were all extremely well-behaved," says Stratford Festival spokesperson Ann Swerdfager. "I was in the lobby when they came in, then they took their seats, then got out of their seats at intermission and went back — all of the things we learn as humans when we start going to the theater."

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The dogs' great performance at the trial run means that people who require service animals can have the freedom to enjoy special experiences like going to the theater.

"It's wonderful that going to the theater is considered one of the things that you want to train a service dog for, rather than thinking that theater is out of reach for people who require a service animal, because it isn't," Swerdfager said.

The Stratford Festival runs through Nov. 10 and features productions of "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Neverending Story," "Othello," "Billy Elliot," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Crucible" and more.

Inclusivity

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via The Mighty

If you grew up with an "emotionally fragile" parent, chances are, you didn't have the typical, idyllic childhood you often see in movies.

Maybe your parent lived with debilitating depression that thrust you into the role of caregiver from a very young age.

Maybe your parent was always teetering on the edge of absolute rage, so you learned to tiptoe around them to avoid an explosion. Or maybe your parent went through a divorce or separation, and leaned on you for more emotional support than was appropriate to expect of a child.

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Jasmine has been used as a natural treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress for thousands of years. Oil from the plant has also been used to treat insomnia and PMS, and is considered a natural aphrodisiac. It turns out, our ancestor's instincts to slather on the oil when they wanted a little R&R were correct.

A study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and according to Professor Hanns Hatt of the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, revealed that jasmine can calm you down when you're feeling anxious.The results can "be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy."

"Instead of a sleeping pill or a mood enhancer, a nose full of jasmine from Gardenia jasminoides could also help, according to researchers in Germany. They have discovered that the two fragrances Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol," says the study.

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