Rachael & Sarah | Sweet, Energetic Same Sex Wedding at the Barn at Vino

Wedding: 21 May 2022 | Posted: 2 June 2022

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It's hard to know where to start with Rachael & Sarah, so I'll start with the simplest and most obvious: I love these two very much, and it was an unaccountable privilege to be involved in their wedding day. 

Everything they planned for the day came together beautifully: the flower arrangement were darling, cake display was perfect, getting ready timeline was ahead of schedule. The one thing you can't plan around——the weather——played a bit of a wild card and started raining as guests were beginning to arrive. Rachael & Sarah handled the wrench in the works with grace and chose to move their ceremony from its idyllic waterside spot to the reception area. These two were the top of the duck floating serenely on the pond while the vendor team paddled frantically beneath the surface to reorient: the chuppah needed to be moved, lights needed to be reset, guest flow needed to be slightly redirected. Not only did the revised plan come together smoothly in spite of its necessarily last minute nature, it meant that the beautiful chuppah beneath which Rachael & Sarah were married was on display on the dance floor all night!

Let's talk about this chuppah, too, and with it all the labors of love that went into executing Rachael & Sarah's wedding day. A couple months before their wedding, these two traveled from their home base in Baltimore down to Durham to brew their wedding day beer——lovingly named the "Express Train" in homage to the pace of their relationship in its early days——with their friends Paul & Mara, owners of Tobacco Wood Brewing Company. In addition to hosting a family gathering at their Oxford location on the weekend on which said beer was brewed, Paul & Mara also coordinated the catering and the rest of the bar for the wedding; plus, Paul, in conjunction with Rachael's brother Billy, cut the wood from his yard and built the chuppah the day before the wedding. They adorned it with Talits belonging to both Sarah's brother and Sarah's late grandfather.

The love with which these two are surrounded is boundless; their families are enthusiastic and joyful, and the aura in the room all night was absolutely one of wholeness, togetherness as one family, not two separate sides. In addition to the beauty of the chuppah, some of my favorite moments and elements: Rachael's dad saying, "You're gonna kill me," when he saw her for the first time; a telegram for the couple FedEx'd to the venue by Rachael's great uncle; both of their brothers' heartfelt toasts; Rachael's dad, Bill, trading daughters with Steve, Sarah's dad, during their joint father-daughter dance so both men were dancing with their new daughters (this one shattered my little mama heart and I cried for like ten minutes).

Throughout their wedding day, Rachael's & Sarah's hearts were not only on display like the artworks they are, but were elevated on the pedestals they deserve, buoyed up by all the love and deep regard of everyone around them. These two have long years of joy ahead of them; I'm so honored to have been present at the start of this new chapter. Send them all the loving vibes you have, and enjoy a scroll through a few favorites from the day below!

P.S. Extra special thanks to my amazing friend Jess Berkowitz for second-shooting! ♥

Vendors

Venue: The Barn at Vino
Officiant: Grant Ofenloch, friend of the couple
Catering & Bar: Tobacco Wood Brewing Company
Rentals: Best Rent-All
Flowers: Annie's Flowers
Cake: Julie's Cakery
Music: Dave Severance, Severance Productions
Hair: Fee Jue, friend of the couple
Makeup: Beth McDowell
Videography: Drew Coleman, 24K Cinema
Stationery: Minted
Rachael's Dress: The Brides Project
Sarah's Dress: Amanda Ritchey Bridal
Accessories: Workshop Underground
Menswear: Men's Wearhouse
Accommodations: Durham Marriott City Center
Transportation: EcoStyle

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Love the colorful, energetic, joy-filled feeling of Rachael & Sarah's wedding photos? Want similar photos of your own lovebomb of a celebration? Planning something completely different? We'd love to hear what you have in mind! Use the Contact Us link above, or send Kate an email directly to start the conversation. We can't wait to hear from you!

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