Real wed­dings

At­lanta cou­ples tie the knot

GA Voice - - Wedding & Family - By KIRSTEN OTT PAL­LADINO A longer ver­sion of this ar­ti­cle first ap­peared in At­lanta Gay Wed­dings, which is co-pub­lished an­nu­ally by Ge­or­gia Voice and Equal­ly­Wed.com, and can be read at At­lantaGayWed­dings.com.

Brooke & Sh­metrice

Sh­metrice, a reg­is­tered nurse, and Brooke, a pro­gram con­sul­tant, first mar­ried in Brook­lyn, N.Y., but they cel­e­brated with a wed­ding cer­e­mony on the beaches of Can­cun, Mex­ico, two months later. With a sparkling turquoise sea as the back­drop, Sh­metrice and Brooke tied the knot in a spir­i­tual-based beach wed­ding, which in­cluded a ring ex­change of match­ing five-di­a­mond plat­inum bands and a sand cer­e­mony. “We used fuchsia and gray sand to match the colors of the cer­e­mony,” says Brooke.

Their ro­man­tic wed­ding re­cep­tion was held on the re­sort’s deck, which over­looked the beach. The dé­cor of or­chids, sil­ver chairs, fuchsia roses and float­ing can­dles added to the el­e­gance of the evening. The brides danced to­gether as wife and wife to Natalie Cole’s “In­sep­a­ra­ble,” be­cause “it de­scribes our re­la­tion­ship since the be­gin­ning even as friends,” says Sh­metrice.

The At­lanta women were able to bring a lit­tle At­lanta fla­vor to their wed­ding by hir­ing DJ Glass Dee to cre­ate their jazz and R&B playlist for them to play on an iPod hooked up to the re­sort’s sound sys­tem. Their seven wed­ding guests were wel­comed to the re­sort with a mono­grammed beach tote, a mono­grammed T-shirt, two pairs of flip-flops, sun­screen and a large, di­a­mond ring pa­per­weight.

“Af­ter fi­nally mak­ing the leap, we felt ex­cited and ready for a new be­gin­ning as a mar­ried cou­ple,” says Brooke. “We felt like the cer­e­mony in Can­cun com­pleted our NYC mar­riage.”

Pa­tric & Darin

“Star Trek” fans Pa­tric Bell-Good and Darin Good were made for each other. Their sym­bi­otic sense of hu­mor and at­ten­tion to cre­ative de­tails shine through in the telling of their love story. Pa­tric, a lo­cal chef, and Darin, a mar­keter, got en­gaged on Pa­tric’s 41st birth­day with a pro­posal from Darin com­plete with a ring from Tif­fany & Co. They spent about a year plan­ning their elab­o­rate DIY wed­ding, set in their own backyard on a gor­geous fall af­ter­noon. The At­lanta grooms went for a boun­ti­ful har­vest theme, drawing upon nat­u­ral el­e­ments for their wed­ding dé­cor of pump­kins, corn, birds and cot­ton with hay bales for guest seat­ing. Their cer­e­mony was un­par­al­leled in its cre­ativ­ity.

Both grooms were es­corted down the aisle by their moth­ers. Pa­tric donned an out­fit of denim jeans, pur­ple Con­verse, a blue ging­ham shirt, an or­ange-and-blue tie and a light brown vest, and Darin sported brown Con­verse, jeans, a white striped shirt, a blue-an­do­r­ange tie pulled to­gether by a light brown sports jacket. Their bou­ton­nieres were zin­nias and bolls of cot­ton. Their ring bearer dressed like Pa­tric, even match­ing his funky hairdo.

Eve & Cassie

At­lantans Eve Wer­nicky and Cas­san­dra Castillo eloped to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., to le- gally marry at The Bishop’s Gar­den at The Na­tional Cathe­dral, sur­rounded by their clos­est friends and fam­ily mem­bers. They hosted a re­cep­tion at the South­ern Hos­pi­tal­ity restau­rant.

On what Cassie calls a “per­fect sum­mer day,” she says her fa­vorite part was “ar­riv­ing at the gar­dens and be­ing greeted with our loved ones, teary eyed and filled with joy.” She con­tin­ues, “We wrote our own vows and per­son­al­ized the wed­ding cer­e­mony read­ings. My mother picked the flow­ers and Eve’s mom let bor­row her chai pen­dant. I also had a rosary my grand­mother had given me pinned to my bou­quet.”

“Cas­san­dra was dis­tracted by a bird and her ba­bies dur­ing the cer­e­mony,” Eve says. “A bird flew above my head with a worm and be­gan to feed her four ba­bies right above me in a nest. Af­ter the cer­e­mony, fam­ily mem­bers took turns tak­ing pic­tures of the baby birds.”

Clock­wise from left: Brooke & Sh­metrice (Aki Demi Photography); Eve & Cassie (Photo by Sarah Wil­liams, Val and Sarah) and Pa­tric & Darin (Caryn Ox­ford Photography).

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