Today I’m excited to share with you a super unique couple and their special love story! I am featuring Lisa and Alisa’s Lula Drake Pastor’s Study wedding ceremony that I recently photographed in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. Lisa and Alisa have been together for 16 years and committed their lives to one another in a beautiful ceremony 12 years ago in Atlanta, Georgia. When they held their commitment ceremony, it was not legal within the United States for same-sex couples to marry. Like many other couples across the country, Lisa and Alisa sadly had to wait for the ‘official/legal’ part of their marriage.
Vows of Forever
Though without the license, their marriage was no less real or valid to them, and recently life has thrown this beautiful couple a few curveballs. They both realized the value of having their forever partner listed as their legal spouse. With that in mind, Lisa and Alisa decided to recommit their vows of forever that they made 12 years ago. They chose to do this in a beautiful ceremony at Lula Drake Pastor’s Study in front of a licensed officiant to make their marriage legally valid. They were able to sign the license to make their marriage legal and official in the eyes of the law of the land!
It was a beautiful celebration of their love and commitment to one another. A celebration of finally making their marriage recognized by the world in a legal sense. For a couple who waited for the legal right to even marry, you can imagine the how much this meant to Alisa and Lisa and their marriage. The entire wedding day both of these lovely women were huge smiles on their faces; full of giddy excitement as they prepared to promise each other their love support and commitment once again. They asked only their closest friends and family to join them for the celebration. And did everything possible to ensure that this day was just about them, their celebration, and that moment they had been waiting on: the signing of a legal marriage license.
Lula Drake Pastor’s Study
Being able to be with Lisa and Alisa on this very special day in their relationship was so very special to me. It’s couples like these two and love stories like this that make me realize that my job of capturing peoples’ love stories, memories, and moments truly does have an impact on their life and on their relationships. I absolutely love every couple and wedding that I am able to photograph, and Alisa and Lisa’s was no different. I had an incredible time getting to know them, learning about their love story, and being there on their day of celebration. Enjoy my favorite images from this Columbia, South Carolina elopement ceremony held in Lula Drake Pastor’s Study. Be sure that you leave the couple some love and the comments below if you love their images as much as I do!
The Proposal Story
In Alisa own words, “Lisa’s proposal to me was “picture perfect.” She totally surprised me that day. She just told me to dress up and that we were going out to dinner. Surprised me with a limo that took us to an amazing restaurant in downtown Atlanta where Lisa had rented out the dining room for the evening. After eating a wonderful meal Lisa hid my ring in her sock! (lol) She reached down, got the ring and had a custom-made storybook made that was our own version of “Beauty and the Beast!” The end of the story that I read had “Beast” proposing to “Beauty;” Lisa pulled out my beautiful engagement ring and proposed to me on 5/5/2005. I said “YES!” and cried a lot.
The Big Day
The rest, as they say, is history. We took a year to prepare for our commitment ceremony. We had a wonderful wedding planner, photographers, almost 100 guests, and a beautiful historic landmark venue in Atlanta – Rhodes Hall – that literally looked like a stone castle. The ceremony was outside, the reception, music, and dancing was held both inside and outside. Bubbles were blown as we departed in our limo back to the hotel, where we left for the airport the next morning, and we were off to our honeymoon in Carmel, CA!”
After the couple got ready to see each other for the first time, Alisa and I headed to the South Carolina Statehouse Grounds to photograph a few portraits of her as a bride. Isn’t she something!?
Then it was time for the First Look!!
Aren’t they basically the cutest thing ever!?
All day, they wore these same smiles on their faces:
We then headed over to the Lula Drake Pastor’s Study for their ceremony, the signing of the marriage license, and a full, dancing-filled reception!
These next few occurred right in a row, moments after Stan, their brother-in-law, declared them legally married. Finally, legally MARRIED!!
And there were, understandably, immediate tears of joy!
And the moment they waited years for… Signing that little piece of paper to make it all official.
After some dancing, a few night-time portraits, and great friends, Alisa and Lisa exited their reception under a shower of dried flower petals. Their day ended just as it began, with big, hopeful smiles, because when you’re married to your best friend, everything in life looks a little brighter and a little less difficult.
I hope you enjoyed my favorites from Lisa and Alisa’s wedding day at Lula Drake Pastor’s Study in Columbia, South Carolina!! This couple deserves all the love and celebration, so be sure to leave them some love in the comments below!
Alisa’s Apparel – Saks Fifth Ave.
Alisa’s Shoes – Manolo Blahnik
Wedding Cake Vendor: Silver Spoon Bake Shop
Ceremony Location: The Pastor’s Study above Lula Drake’s
Makeup Artist: Jennifer Nolan Beauty
Hair Stylist: John T Elliott’s Professional Hair Design
Catering Company: Chef Sarah Simmons
Furniture Rentals: Charmingly Southern Vintage Rentals
Videographer: Cinema Couture Films
Lisa & Alisa
And to Lisa and Alisa, you two. Where do I even start? Truly?! I could tell you about how you two and your story has inspired my heart. You have given me a fresh perspective on how important wedding photography is. And I could tell you about how inspired by I am by you both as women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. I could tell you about how I hope that every couple I ever photograph has the same love you two share. But really, I should just tell you about how truly thankful I am to have been your wedding photographer for this special ceremony. It means the world to me that you two have trusted me with your love story. I cannot wait to watch as you continue to share many, many years of happiness together.