Courtney + Liz; A Real Love Story

“I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it’s in these things I’d believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all she should be. I love her and that is the beginning of everything.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

Photographers: Mallory + Justin Photography (Cleveland, OH) | Venue: Babeville | Rings: Alexis Russell | Bakery: Fairy Cakes | Florist: Fern Croft Floral | Courtney’s Attire: Theia; Moon and Back Bridal (Cleveland, OH) and Jeffrey Campbell | Liz’s Attire: ASOS, Bureau and Smythe & Digby | Band: Silver Arrow Band | Makeup:  Allison Lodato (Buffalo, NY), Mallory Horan (Cleveland, OH)
“What is real?” asked the Rabbit one day. “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real.” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse for he was always truthful. “When you are real you don’t mind being hurt.” “Does it happen all at once like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?” “It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” The Velveteen Rabbit
 “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 they once 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 it’s 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. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered.” Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on marriage equality.
“I was finishing up my senior year at Xavier University in Cincinnati and Courtney was in her second year of teaching when we met through mutual friends one night. We spent that summer together and we were inseparable. I got a job out in San Francisco and we survived a year of long distance before Courtney headed out west. We spent four amazing years in Berkeley before moving to Cleveland to be near our families.”
“One friday after work, Liz suggested a walk on the Berkeley marina. We walked a little and sat on some rocks by the water. Liz was sitting behind me and when I turned around there was the most beautiful, unique, black diamond ring in her hand! She whisked me away for the weekend at the Claremont Hotel, where we drank champagne and ate french fries laying by the pool all weekend. It was a pretty magical, our little #enGAYgementmoon!”
“Then we had an amazing #enGAYgementtour in Buffalo and Cleveland, celebrating with all of our friends and family. We saw our very favorite artist, Brandi Carlile, perform in both cities on our tour! In Buffalo we saw her play at Babeville, which we fell in love with and promptly booked our wedding there! One sentiment that rang true and remained most important to us throughout wedding planning was “one team, one dream”. For us, it was most important to honor and value each other and make our day feel intimately “us.” Luckily, we had very similar visions and making decisions together was really easy!
“#GAYborDayWknd, as we so fondly referred to our wedding weekend, could have been considered a gamble to due Western New York weather, but we ended up with cool, fall temperatures which is our favorite! Our rehearsal dinner was in Liz’s parents backyard on Lake Ontario. On Sunday, we had an epic bar crawl all over downtown which really rounded out the perfect holiday weekend. Everyone that we worked with did such an incredible job executing our vision! Fern Croft Floral completely blew us away when we walked into Babeville on our wedding day with her stunning floral arrangements. The staff at Babeville could not have been more accommodating, and Silver Arrow Band helped throw one serious dance party! Our incredibly talented photographers really brought our wedding day to life in the most intimate and memorable way and we cannot thank them enough. The best part of the day by far was definitely our ceremony. We worked really hard to choose pieces that symbolized our values and our love story, and loved some of our readings so much, we wanted to share! (See them sprinkled throughout the photo collage!). Courtney’s cousin, Allison, officiated our ceremony and she embodied everything we hoped our ceremony would be. It was lighthearted but genuine. It was a perfect portrayal of us in the most intimate way.”

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