It’s always thrilling to see my work and couples published via an online blog or within a print magazine, but when my images end up being featured in The Knot’s National magazine, it calls for a special blog post! I am so excited to share with you today The Knot 2020 summer style feature photographed by Jessica Hunt Photography (yours truly), planned & designed by Lucky Penny Creative, and executed by an incredible team of queer-identified vendors.
I’m excited to show off these photos for the first time since the issue has been published and you can see the entire thing right here on The Knot’s website. I’ll let my friend Alex from Lucky Penny Creative tell you more about the shoot, our vendor team, and our vision behind each and every detail from this The Knot 2020 summer style feature…
“Planning a wedding is already a seemingly insurmountable task. The budget, the attire, the jewels and vendors and family dynamics. Add layers of being a queer-identified partnership paired with planning a wedding in the South and most folx flee in the opposite direction (or opt for a quiet elopement — I get it!)
The aim of this shoot was to not only highlight a real queer-identified couple and LGBTQ+ and ally vendors in an overwhelmingly cisgender and heteronormative Southern city — Greenville, South Carolina — but to place emphasis on the often-overlooked fact that you can plan an atypical wedding with modern, colorful and unexpected details in the South.
As a queer-identified wedding planner, I have the distinct honor of predominantly serving queer-identified clients who feel torn between their own personal aesthetic and the traditional Southern wedding aesthetic they were brought up witnessing. I’ve stopped counting the number of times I’ve heard the phrases, “Do you think this vendor is affirming?” or “We want our wedding to feel real, like the other weddings we see.”
And my answer for our clients bursting to be their most authentic selves on their wedding day? “You’ve already lived the majority of your life trying to ‘fit in’ to all those outside expectations. How about we set that aside and do what you want for this one day?” From there, it’s a process of empowerment. Of setting our clients up to succeed amidst an industry that was never set up for them in the first place.
This styled shoot was no exception. Down to the custom All Gender Restroom signs and All Gender Vocab Card invitation insert printed by the amazingly affirming Brooklyn-based print shop Ephemora, this shoot was a practice in saying ‘yes’ to everything that felt right and ‘no’ to everything that kept us feeling small and contained. An homage to every queer human navigating this industry and questioning their desires. And most importantly, permission to take up space.
The textural, cloud-like floral elements crafted by Philo Floral added a softness to the otherwise clean lines and modern feel of the table setting and ceremony decor. The colorful plexiglass trays, whimsical sprinkles and surprise cake layers added a funky bite to the otherwise traditionally inspired dessert spread of a two-tiered cutting cake, chocolate pudding, mini cupcakes and lemon tart all baked to perfection by queer owned and operated Layered by Lex. And that Elizabeth Dye dress from The Sentimentalist? Well, it simply speaks for itself — the perfect complement to the modern and traditional elements of the day — gorgeously paired with the fresh hair and makeup stylings of outspoken LGBTQ+ ally and black owned and operated hair and makeup agency, Latia Curtis Makeup and Hair.
Finding the perfect fit for photography was one of the easiest decisions to make since Jessica Hunt, a queer-identified full-of-life photographer was just down the road in Columbia, South Carolina. Her photographic aesthetic is all things bright, authentic and happy and her keen focus on the special details of a wedding day paired perfectly with all the exciting touches of this fun-filled styled shoot.
As for all the color? I wanted every pop of neon to serve as a flashing reminder that we all deserve to celebrate our unique layers, to shine our light and continue to be true. Even in uncertain times, even when trans women of color are being murdered in unprecedented numbers, even when our rights are being voted on — we still have our individuality to celebrate. And what better time to do that than when we join a partnership in marriage? It’s the ultimate celebration of love, of being a united front and those moments deserve every ounce of pride we have to muster.
To those of you reading this wondering where you fit into this complex industry: Your vendor friends are here, queer and would be honored to help you navigate. So, let’s rock this!”
-Alex of Lucky Penny Creative
The Knot 2020 Summer Style Feature
Concept, Planning, Styling & Coordination: Lucky Penny Creative
Photography: Jessica Hunt Photography
Floral Design & Styling: Philo Floral
Venue: Southern Bleachery
Styled Cocktails & Bar: Uptown Catering
Hair & Makeup: Latia Curtis, Makeup & Hair Artist
Gown: Dress Shop: The Sentimentalist
Gown Designer: Elizabeth Dye
Tonya’s Shoes: Steve Madden
Ashley’s Shoes: Converse x JW Anderson Collab
Models (Real Couple): Ashley James + Tonya Robinson
Printed Goods: Ephemora
Cake & Mini Desserts: Layered By Lex
Rings & Earrings: Shelton Metal
Glassware, Linens, Chairs & Barstools: Professional Party Rentals
Dishes: World Market
Acrylic Risers & Cubes: shopPOPdisplays