When Allegra Laser (25 and a social worker) and Tyler Laser (26 and a pro basketball player) met at a pool party six summers ago, it was love at first sight – for Tyler, at least. "He was interested and I wasn't," Allegra laughs. "We were just friends, but he constantly told me how much he liked me and how he'd put a ring on my finger someday." Although it took years of convincing, the two eventually began dating and quickly got engaged eight months later. For their bohemian outdoor wedding in the woods on Tyler's parent's property, the couple drew inspiration from one very unlikely source – Tyler's favorite childhood movie. "He really wanted a wedding in the woods since he loved Robin Hood as a boy," the bride says. "It played a huge part in how we decorated the woods." Dressed in a strapless silk and lace Alencon gown, Allegra and Tyler exchanged vows in an ethereal outdoor ceremony surrounded by 175 guests. The groom's grandmother's even served an unconventional role as the couple's flower girls. "Tyler's grandfather passed away last winter, so his grandma mixed in some dried flower petals from his funeral to toss along with the rose petals we used," Allegra says. For their casual outdoor reception, the newlyweds sought to create an elegant space that wasn't "too fancy." "We both always envisioned an outdoor wedding filled with as many white lights as we could hang!" the bride says. "Tyler's cousin even made our naked wedding cake as a gift for us. It was filled with cream and jelly and covered in fresh fruit – she did such a wonderful job." As the night wore down, the groom surprised his wife with a first dance performance that hit close to home. "He had our officiant (and close family friend) perform the first dance song," Allegra says. "It was such a special moment for me to dance with the man of my dreams to Hunter Hayes, "Wanted" performed by a man who has been like a second father to me."
It is no wonder emotions were high during Laura + Nadira’s engagement session. As more and more states begin to recognize and honor same sex marriages (how is it not yet ALL states?), the future continues to brighten for couples like Laura and Nadira who are so clearly in love. Of course we at Brown Sparrow advocate that all couples are sources for inspiration and are examples of true love and commitment so we feel especially honored to showcase couples not often featured in other spaces. We feel so fortunate to feature Laura + Nadira’s e-session today!
When the Supreme Court ruled they were overjoyed. The quote from Justice Kennedy was the voice of the day, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
Everything about Natalie Jeffrey (29 and an engineer at a furniture company) and Ricky Biddle's (34 and an industrial furniture designer) modern outdoor wedding felt unconventional – from the bride's watercolor Alice + Olivia gown (and Rachel Zoe bridesmaid jumpsuits!) to the intimate backyard reception sans one very common wedding ingredient...a cake. The day began in the couple's modern, mid-century home where they planned to wed in their lush backyard alongside 65 guests. Rather than construct an aisle, the couple set up two long rows of tables complete with wooden benches situated back-to-back. "It was really important that our wedding felt more like a dinner party with friends rather than big, formal event," Natalie says. While both Natalie and Ricky took on most of the planning themselves, their photographers – Megan and Caleb from Willow Noavi – served as unofficial consultants throughout the couple's seven-month engagement. Kalamazoo-based florist Vandersalm's created natural arrangements using green hypericum, tricillium and simple white freesia for the bride's bouquet. Another standout detail? The bride's bold, floral-print Alice + Olivia gown. "It was tough to find a wedding dress that looked like something I would actually wear, so I ditched the idea that I had to wear white early on," Natalie says. "I was a little conflicted about how my family would receive it since it was so unorthodox, but it seemed to me that a colorful gown in the sea of green in our yard would be most beautiful, and would look the most at home." The couple even took yet another untraditional take on their special day by having not one, but two cocktail hours for guests. "We stole the idea after attending a friend's wedding in Sonoma, California," Natalie says. "Being allowed to have a beer before and during the ceremony seemed like a genius idea." It was then that guests enjoyed a small selection of beers from Bell's Brewery along with a signature gin cocktail. "We're in Michigan – furthermore, we're in Kalamazoo– so good beer was a necessity and easy to obtain," the couple says. The newlyweds even ditched a traditional wedding cake in favor of a popsicle cart from their caterer, Mi Pueblo. "Ricky's not a cake fan and they specialized in homemade Mexican popsicles," the bride says. "We thought it'd be a fun alternative!" While guests enjoyed a night of dinner and dancing in the couple's backyard, both Natalie and Ricky agreed that simplicity – along with a little hired help – is the most important planning essential. "At the end of the day, all that matters is that you both show up and get married," Natalie says. "Everything else is just an expensive party."