Omni Shoreham wedding ceremony of Jon & Marc|Washington, DC

Serendipity led this couple to me and I’m so happy it did! While in the midst of planning their wedding, and enjoying the trails of Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes and Rehoboth, Jon & Marc stopped to chat with a fellow nature-lover. They were talking about wedding photographers, were referred to a friend of mine, who then told them to get in touch with me. A giant thank you to Deny for connecting me with this awesome couple. A few photos, a bit about Jon & Marc’s story and some advice below. Enjoy!

groom and groom wedding preparations

When was the moment you knew you wanted to get married?

That’s a tough one. For starters, the gay marriage movement has been changing with lightening speed, so relatively speaking, it is quite new. We knew we wanted full marriage equality (for us) or put another way, we most likely wouldn’t have gotten married if the federal government didn’t recognize our marriage.

On a lighter note, there were many moments that we knew we wanted to spend our lives together. One that stands out is when we bought our beach house in Rehoboth. It was clear then we were envisioning a life together. And in fact, Jon proposed to me on our screened in porch (our favorite place in our house), the night we closed.

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What was the one thing you were most stressed about before the wedding and how did it turn out?
Hands down, the weather. The Omni Shoreham has such beautiful gardens and outdoor space, we knew the ceremony and cocktail hour would be perfect outside. We beyond lucked out and everything, including all of the flowers, was perfect. But lesson learned: looking at a 10 day and counting weather forecast, was definitely not smart.

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How does it feel different being married?
A lot of folks have asked us the same question. It is a question that is going to take on more meaning in the weeks and months to come. For now, I would say we feel like our relationship is more recognized, as opposed to being partners, and definitely feels a greater sense of permanence and longevity.

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What was your favorite part of the wedding day?
Perhaps a bit cliche, but just having everyone there, from near and far, to witness our marriage and celebrate, friends, family and co-workers from all walks of life, made the entire day quite special.

groom and groom walk down aisle

Now that you’ve been through planning a wedding together, what advice would you give to other couples who are just starting the process?
For us, our wedding plans kept changing, from location (Washington or Rehoboth), date, venue, size, party only (with a private ceremony planned for the day before), and the list can go on and on. It was quite stressful because we, at times, had no clue what we wanted. Now looking back, the process worked well, and I would say embrace the different stages of planning, and you will know it when you make the right decisions.  So if you don’t have a real deadline on when you need to get married, don’t rush it and waiting is better.
Everyone shared with us to do what we wanted and to make the celebration about us. That certainly is true.  I do think it was extremely helpful to get perspectives from our parents, who advised us on matters that we didn’t see as crystal clear, since we had never planned something like this before.
On a very specific note, I would say finances and venue(s) aside, more inclusive is the way to go. We turned the celebration into a weekend affair, and we had more loved ones and friends join us than we initially planned for. Especially if guests are coming from afar, have them celebrate with you for more than just the wedding day.
What’s next for the two of you?

Things have gotten back to normal, which we like, and simply put, we look forward to our lives together.

DC same-sex wedding photographer – Leslie Barbaro