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Mr. & Mr. Villanueva: Intimate Same Sex Halloween Wedding at The Dallas Arboretum

When Monica, a past Swan Photography bride, called me and asked if I was available to shoot her brother’s wedding on Halloween, I immediately knew that I had to do it. The Davis family is one of the most inclusive, loving, fun families I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing–I even joked at Monica’s wedding back in 2018 that I wish her family could adopt me. Fast forward to 2020 and it’s Drue’s turn to say “I Do!” But in my ten years of shooting weddings, this was a first for me: my first same-sex wedding.
I hopped on the phone with Drue’s fiancé, Edwin, to chat details and got even more excited about documenting their love story.
Drue & Edwin had booked the Dallas Arboretum for their Halloween nuptials, but there’s more than one reason that date has significance. October 31st is the anniversary of their engagement, as well as Dia de los Muertos. Edwin’s Father had passed away and in Mexican culture, Dia de los Muertos (or The Day of the Dead) isn’t a scary time or when you dress up in costume to beg for candy; it’s when the souls of those loved ones who passed on come to visit. By putting up an ofrenda, Edwin’s Dad was there in spirit at the ceremony and dinner reception.

Saturday finally rolls around and we were all greeted with glorious sunshine and highs in the upper 60’s, a complete departure from the frigid, wet weather the week before. Monica arrived ahead of the rest of the party to decorate Nancy’s Garden. Oh yes, this woman is so talented! She helped plan the entire event, decorated the space beforehand, and even officiated the ceremony! She’s a woman of many talents.

When the Grooms arrived, I set them up in one of their favorite parts of the Arboretum, the Poetry Garden, for their First Look. Just a few tears were shed 😉 It was such a beautiful moment! After a few portraits, we made our way back to Nancy’s Garden for the main event. I can honestly say that I’ve never felt THIS MUCH LOVE AND JOY after a first kiss. In the US, same-sex marriages have only been legal for 5 short years. Why the government felt the need to control who can and can’t get married depending on their gender is beyond me… and even more baffling when hearing that in 2020, several Justices on the Supreme Court are wanting to ban it again… absolute insanity. But guess what? Love is still winning and is here to stay. Their ceremony is something that I will remember for the rest of my life. It was pure, beautiful, happiness. I tear up every time I think of it. While I was editing, I couldn’t help but smile. This will forever be one of my all time favorite weddings.

For Dinner, the couple hosted their closest friends and family in a private room at Bob’s Chophouse in Downtown Dallas. They celebrated with cake and champagne toasts, then finished the night with dinner and mingling.

It was a magical day.

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LOOK AT THESE SMILES!!!!!!!

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Mr. & Mr. Villanueva, it was an absolute honor to be a part of your day. Wow. Love you babes!

Comments

Lovely photos of a handsome couple on a beautiful day!

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