When I first met Nick and Justin (You may remember our engagement session last Spring) we had instant camaraderie. It really felt as if I had known these guys forever. I knew immediately that I just had to shoot their wedding. The best part is that they knew it too. As a New Orleans Wedding Photographer, finding a couple I meshed with so well was an absolute dream come true.
Nick tells his love story with Justin like it fell straight out of a rom-com. The moment he laid eyes on Justin, Nick turned to his friend and said “I’m going to marry that man one day.” A few years later and Justin was proposing to Nick at the same restaurant they had shared their first date (And let me tell you, that ring…lawd what a stunner!). They set out to plan their wedding and were determined to make it theirs. “The wedding has to be us” Nick told me at our first consultation. Their wedding was definitely them.
Flash forward to November and I found myself in the beautiful House of Broel courtyard. I laughed and cried along with the crowd as the couple said their vows to each other. Nick’s was hand-written and rehearsed while Justin’s shot straight from the heart. Their guests listened intently, a hush from a normally raucous service-industry group. But as soon as Nick and Justin shared their first kiss as a married couple, the courtyard erupted in just the way you might expect. Nick wiped his tears and threw his arms into the air while wearing a giant grin. He was the most ecstatic groom I have ever photographed! They had finally tied the knot and I couldn’t have been happier to have been there.
From a very personal perspective, I was over-the-moon to be shooting my first same-sex wedding. When the SCOTUS decision came down last year, I was overjoyed knowing that love was finally defined by our government the same way it had always been defined by me and so many other people. The message that the ruling sent to the LGBTQ community was that they mattered, their love mattered, and now they could actually share in the same rights as straight couples. I believe all love stories should be told. But since they were taboo to tell for so long, I find these love stories even more important to tell. Nick and Justin’s story was truly an honor to tell with my lens and I hope theirs is just the first of many more to come.
Big ups to Kate Gegenheimer for shooting this sweaty November wedding with me! Here are my favorites from the night.