A note from Married In Milwaukee: this article was originally written when gay marriage wasn’t legal. We are happy to say that this has changed and now all people, regardless of sexual orientation, have the right to marry in the United States. To find vendors with pro-fairness values, check out Milwaukee’s LGBT Wedding Expo
Planning your Milwaukee wedding is a fun time. If you happen to be a same sex couple planning a gay wedding, you shouldn’t encounter any challenges you wouldn’t find at a heterosexual wedding.
While the most obvious difference is that gay marriage is not legally recognized in the state of Wisconsin, it doesn’t mean that gay couples don’t desire to tie the knot with the love of their life.
To do some research for this article, we met with Nicole and Kristin, featured in the amazing pictures you see here. There were a few things that took further research and effort to make their day be exactly how they dreamed it would be.
The good news is most of the vendors Nicole and Kristin met with were very welcoming.
From Kristin’s wedding gown purchase at Kay Bridal Shop <now closed> to their ring purchase at Glorioso’s Gold Imports and Diamond Center. Some vendor choices were not so easy and require a little more thought before making a decision.
The Wedding Venue
When Nicole and Kristin started visiting venues, they were a little nervous as to what the reaction would be to a same sex couple. However, the venues they visited were all very welcoming to the idea.
Since Nicole is a huge Brewers fan, they made the decision to wed at Miller Park. The only trouble they had didn’t relate to their sexual orientation – it was choosing a date that was off-season and when no other events were taking place.
They did both their wedding ceremony and reception at Miller Park, and as you can see, took some amazing photos throughout the park.
Gay-Friendly Wedding Officiants
Choosing a person to officiate your wedding is a very personal decision for you and your significant other. Being a gay couple can complicate matters further.
Many people have their spiritual leader within their church officiate their wedding, while others choose to hire a secular officiant. Some churches do not allow their pastors or priests to officiate gay marriage ceremonies and some secular officiants may choose not to do same sex marriage ceremonies for whatever reason. As you can tell this can pose a challenge for same sex couples.
Here is a link of “Gay Friendly Milwaukee Churches.” This list includes churches that are accepting of LGBT individuals as members of their church. Also check out our listing of Milwaukee wedding officiants.
This list includes Lake Park Lutheran Church on Milwaukee’s East Side. This happens to be the church that my husband and I married at, and I cannot speak highly enough about Pastor David Dragseth there.
Pastor David is such a kind soul with a passion of making a wedding ceremony reflect a couple’s personality. He is amazing and also performs same sex ceremonies.
As quoted in their wedding booklet:
“At Lake Park Lutheran, we don’t just help you plan a meaningful and respectful wedding. We help you build the groundwork for a successful, and more loving lifelong commitment.”
Check out their website for more info and contact information: Lake Park Lutheran Church.
Gay-Friendly Wedding Photography
Wedding photography is again a very personal decision. Your wedding photographer should match you and your fiance’s style and personality. Doing your research before choosing a wedding photographer is very important and for LGBT couples, having a photographer with prior experience shooting same sex weddings can be tough to find.
At Married In Milwaukee we are exposed to some really phenomenal photographers. Listed below are some awesome Milwaukee wedding photographers that have photographed gay weddings and love doing it.
- JBe Photography – Jennifer Brindley of JBe Photography is the woman behind the images featured in this article. Jenn’s work is absolutely beautiful and her eye for capturing really amazing images on your wedding day will leave any couple with memories to last a lifetime.
- KB Image Photography – Kim from KB Image has photographed over 500 weddings in her 17 years. She has an amazing ability to capture raw emotion in her images and paint the picture of your wedding day from beginning to end. She has photographed various same sex weddings throughout her career.
- Reminisce Studio by Miranda and Adam – Husband and wife team Miranda and Adam have also photographed same sex weddings. The ability to have not only one, but two talented photographers work together to produce amazing images of your weddings is a huge plus.
Help LGBT Couples Plan Their Wedding
When we met with Nicole and Kristin, it was evident they had that honeymoon glow. Towards the end of our conversation over lunch, Kristin said “As a girl I dreamed about my wedding day. I still wanted the wedding of my dreams.”
The fact that the state of Wisconsin doesn’t recognize same sex unions doesn’t change that desire. UPDATE: On October 6, 2014 the US Supreme Court made Wisconsin gay marriage legal. We hope this article can help LGBT couples with the unique aspects of planning their same sex wedding; just as we hope the entire Married In Milwaukee site helps all couples plan every aspect of their amazing Milwaukee wedding.
Vendors and couples, please feel use the comment section to recommend other LGBT-friendly wedding vendors in the Milwaukee area (and throughout Wisconsin). You never know who you’ll help.
Special thanks to Jenn at JBe Photography for the spectacular images in this article and to Nicole and Kristin for helping us research this important topic!