Jess + Josette were quick to admit that their Pinterest board was pure chaos (whose isn’t?! 😉 ) — there was a lot of inspiration for their big day ranging from non-wedding sources including retail displays, fashion shows, and home decor. They wanted colorful, but not rainbow — and to achieve the desired look, they chose colors they would specifically not include (orange and purple), but everything else was fair game!!
When asked how they made the day unique to them as a couple, they said: “We really wanted to make the day a love note to our community: celebratory, playful, inclusive, colorful, and unapologetically queer. It naturally felt romantic, because we were surrounded by everything we’d built together that we are so proud of and grateful for.”
“Jess’s dad kicked off the reception with a welcome speech and he tearfully said, “All of your families are here to celebrate with you today.” Chosen family was a big theme of the day and we felt very lucky to have both of our biological families and our chosen family there together. For Jess’s dad to call that out — unprompted by us! — felt really special.”
Jessica Ashley Events lent her expertise in planning + event design to help round out Jess + Josette’s big day while Westvirjeni handled all things floral. Let’s see these photos expertly captured by Leah Moyers.
A Little DIY
The couple had a whole lot of DIY decor and so many friends and family members helped. Josette is a designer, so all the print materials — save the dates, invitations, signage, table numbers, menus, bar signs, welcome signs, and bathroom signs — were made by her.
This first look is too cute!!! Loving their outfits? Keep reading to see how they picked them!!
J + J both had dresses and suits of every color and style on their Pinterest board.
Jess had amazing friends who talked her through all sorts of dress stress. She ended up finding a champagne-colored and very glittery Lazaro dress at a discount bridal shop called Say Yes for Less — fitted with a train that her tailor then made detachable.
Josette quickly learned the suit options for women above a size 10 are limited. She found so many stylish suits, but nothing in her size — so she had to go custom to bring her vision to life. She ended up wearing a pink custom Bindle and Keep suit that fit like a dream.
“We cannot say enough good things about them — my experience was very affirming. They make no assumptions and ask a lot of questions to make sure you get the fit you want. They can also customize the design much more than we realized. I wanted a really cool flared pant and they were happy to do it.”
If you’re nervous about the idea of everyone staring at you as you walk down the aisle like Josette was, we highly recommend killing the stiff ceremony vibes and having your officiant ask for loud cheering instead!
“Our photographer Leah Moyers was the first and easiest and best choice we made. We reached out after she photographed a friend’s wedding and the first time we spoke with her we felt SO affirmed and seen. We joke now that she’s our family photographer because she’ll be on her fourth lesbian wedding in our friend group this December. Everyone loves her. She has an incredible eye, she WORKS to capture every moment, and she makes you feel seen and loved and appreciated and taken care of.”
Best Party People
Everyone said they felt SO good in their outfits and that melted the couple’s hearts!!
Jess’s side wore black suits from The Suit Shop — they make both men’s and women’s suits and they were great to work with. She got her bridesMATES ties from OTAA, personalized tie bars and “mens” onyx bracelets.
Josette’s side wore floral dresses from eShakti and picked their own shoes and jewelry.
The Picturesque Ceremony
Processional: Josette entrance: This Must Be the Place (Talking Heads cover) by Kishi Bashi | Jess entrance: You're My Best Friend (Queen cover) by Paul Canning
Recessional: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen
First Dance: At Last by Etta James
Imagine sharing your wedding vows with the love of your life with the most GORGEOUS scenery as your backdrop! A dream!!
The couple’s dress code was “colorful cocktail” and their friends showed up! J + J knew they wanted a colorful wedding before they even knew they’d be married on the Friday of Pride weekend so it worked out perfectly.
These two are MARRIED!! 🥂
Horses?! Yes please!! Thanks to Morning Mist Farm this couple got to celebrate with the cutest (and stylish) majestic beauties!!
Bride Jess had the idea to turn all the windows and the heart backdrop rainbow with vinyl clings — which took hours of time with friends to cut in advance but actually went up pretty easily the day before the event. We just LOVE it as well!! Bravo!
The couple boasts that their florist Westvirjeni was incredible.
“The florals were better than anything we could have imagined. Those funky teal leaves! Black roses! Teal moss?! She really took the design to the next level.”
Our last song was — appropriately — Last Dance by Donna Summers. It starts out slow and then turns into a dance party. Everyone was on the dance floor including Jess’s three grandparents, our parents, and all of our family and friends. We danced and sang our heads off. It was the perfect closing song!
What an event! Keep on rockin’, you two. From the team at GWS, congrats!!
photography: Leah Moyers Photography // venue name: Fox Meadow Barn, Winchester, Virginia, USA // event design: Jessica Ashley Events // planning: Jessica Ashley Events // florals: Westvirjeni // wedding dress: Lazaro- Jess' blush dress // wedding dress boutique: Bindle & Keep- Josette's pink suit // hairpiece: Collar clips by Wild Fang // bride's shoes: Steve Madden // bride's ring: Emily Chelsea Jewelry // bridesmaid dresses: Jess's side suits from The Suit Shop, Bridesmates ties from OTAA and Josette’s side wore floral dresses from eShakti.com // hair stylist: Carla Pressley Hair and Makeup // makeup artist: Carla Pressley Hair and Makeup // groom's ring: Wedding band from Cat Bird // videography: Bowen Films // paper goods: Designed by Bride Josette- save the dates, invitations, signage, table numbers, menus, bar signs, welcome sign, all-gender bathroom signs // handmade details: DuomeDoll cake topper // cake: Cakes by Marium // music: DJ Tezrah // officiant: Kate Dellner // cocktails: Mixing with Mel