I will never forget the time Joe and I learned from one of our lesbian couples about a bridal show they had attended earlier that year. They hadn’t seen a same-sex couple displayed in any of the banners, albums, or giant photos displayed.
Dismayed, the couple began to approach the booths one by one, asking if the each photographer would even be willing to shoot a lesbian wedding.
All but one said no.
Worse, the photographer who said yes proceeded to reach UNDER their display table to grab a dusty “gay” album, an album he was ashamed to even display.
At JPG, same sex marriage is a justice issue for us because everyone deserves fair and equal rights. When interviewing potential employees, we ask them if he or she has any qualms about race, sexuality, gender, etc. We believe that all people who love each other, regardless of sexual identity, should be able to marry. That’s why we’ve consistently displayed pictures (ABOVE the table!) of same-sex couples on our Web site and our products. We know this probably costs us some business, since we continue to live in a heterosexist culture, but frankly, we couldn’t look at ourselves in the mirror if we caved to behaviors marginalizing people. And when we have the opportunity to shoot a wedding for a couple like Megan and Jen, we are reassured of our commitment.
Megan and Jen’s wedding was a celebration of love — plain and simple. And I’m telling you, love filled every room at the Holly Hedge Estate. Their Quaker-inspired ceremony included close friends and family members, who read special passages from poets and writers.
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania still does not honor this covenant as legal, but Jen and Megan solved that problem by taking a trip to New York the week before to get hitched. A friend grabbed some cool pics from that ceremony too, which they displayed at the reception.
So talk about LOVE — the coolest thing about these two is that not only did they love each other, but their love spread to every single one of their guests. It INSPIRED people to love one another. Isn’t that what all weddings are supposed to be about? I kept finding myself saying: Anyone who is against gay marriage wouldn’t be able to shoot hateful messages about LGBT couples if they saw the incredible warmth, love and support radiating here.
Here are a few ways people showed their love for Jen and Megan (whom Jen’s sister accidentally referred to as “Jegan,’ which I just loved!):
-A friend made a surprise ICE SCULPTURE. Yes, an ice sculpture. Who does that?
-A group from Megan’s side of the family wrote a SONG and sang it to the newlyweds.
-Jen’s sisters donned a pair of knee socks and giant letter “s” signs to imitate the role Jen played in an elementary school musical about letters.
-Then, perhaps the most amazing — Jen’s little niece strutted up to her “s” wearing mom and asked if she could say something into the mic. I prepared myself for a meaningful speech or perhaps something silly, but NO! Jen’s niece was the trigger for A HUGE FLASH MOB to Bruno Mars‘ “I think I wanna marry you.” The entire thing was perfectly coordinated. Everyone was dressed in black and one by one they danced themselves to the front of the crowd for a choreographed number that must have taken hours of practice. Jen and Megan (and this wedding photojournalist too) were in tears.
Love, laughter, cray dances, original songs, ice sculptures — shouldn’t every couple in America be allowed to have this gift? We at JPG think so. We hope you do too.
Thanks, Jen and Megan, for reminding us that love is about finding the one who makes you feel like you’re home. It was an honor and a blessing to witness your love.