From the photographer and planner, Amanda Swiger: We titled this shoot “My love, she keeps me warm – a heart warming love story amidst chilly political times” because we felt this embodied so much of what this wedding was about. When I was contacted by my friend Katie asking if I knew any cheap wedding venues as she and her long time girlfriend had chosen to tie the knot, I immediately knew I wanted to help them. As a married lesbian who got married on a shoe string budget prior to Marriage Equality, I knew the fear these two faced. I knew that I could pulled together a beautiful styled shoot with some of the amazing vendors I knew, but I wasn’t sure if I could get vendors on board with the idea of actually letting our couple get married. But everyone I asked was so on board with this idea and helping a wonderful couple have a wedding they couldn’t even dream of. From a team of 10 vendors donating their services to make this wedding a reality to the most heartfelt ceremony I have ever been apart of, I have never been more proud of anything in my career.
I chose to honor Katie’s career of activism by using red, white and blue as the base for the color scheme. Our florist Lauren, owner of Bloomsbury Florals, took this color scheme and brought it to life in such a classy, modern way. The venue for the wedding was a fellow photographers studio that she shares with a rental company and we were graciously allowed to use all of their pieces to bring everything together. I added winter details like a hot cocoa bar, scares in case guests got cold and this beautiful red wrap for their portraits to bring it all together. It was the perfect mix of political, sweet love, mod vibes and stunning florals. One of the amazing people who spoke during their ceremony, Carmen Rios, tied everything so perfectly together with the following:
“I am here to wish upon you the kind of love that triumphs. The kind that soldiers on. The kind that is rooted so deep in a sincere respect and affection that even the wildest storms cannot whisk away its branches.
I am here to say, unexpectedly and unrepentently, that I wish upon you a love like Bill and Hillary Clinton’s love.
Hillary Clinton always told us that love trumped hate. She is a woman mired in both. The boundless love of her husband and daughter and mother were the guiding lights in her endless battles with sexism, political partisanship, and ideologues. Love trumps hate. That’s what this entire room knows. That’s what we’re here today to affirm to one another.
The future is uncertain. Love we can always be certain of.
There are those who sew difference where we once sewed unity. We outnumber them, and we are mightier.
In the darkness of these times, Katie and Celeste chose love. They chose togetherness. They chose triumph.
They chose love.”