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Michele & Debbie

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There were tears in my eyes and goosebumps up and down my arms. That’s how much voting for Question 6 to legalize marriage equality in Maryland in 2012 meant to me. It felt so important and historic that my husband and I took our girls, then nearly 3 years old and just 8 months old, with us to the polls. And still, that joy pales in comparison to the honor and privilege of photographing the weddings — not just civil unions or commitment ceremonies — of couples who never thought they’d have this opportunity in their lifetimes. Such was the case with Michele and Debbie, who have been together for 26 years. They celebrated their devotion to each other 25 years ago with a commitment ceremony. This winter, in a beautifully touching wedding, they exchanged vows and were declared legally wed. They were surrounded by their very closest 28 family members and friends. They infused their celebration with shells they collected themselves, beach glass that their guests warmed and blessed with wishes for the couple and a chuppah made of the blues and greens of the coast that they love so much. It was, quite simply, a lovely day. Here are some of my favorites from their wedding:

I loved their very clever wedding invitations. JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0002 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0003 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0004 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0005 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0006 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0007 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0008 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0009 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0010 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0011 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0012 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0013 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0014

Michele was walked down the aisle by her father. Debbie’s uncle performed the honor for her. JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0015 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0016 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0017 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0018 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0019 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0020 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0021 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0022 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0023 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0024

Blessing and warming the beach glass with good wishes. JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0025 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0026 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0027

Married! JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0028 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0029 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0030

At every heterosexual wedding I’ve ever photographed over the last eight years, no one but the officiant pays attention to the signing of the marriage license. It often happens with no one else in the room and there is no fanfare whatsoever. By comparison, the signing of a marriage license for a same-sex wedding remains so monumental that every single couple I’ve worked with has specifically requested photos of the big moment and stands by to witness the signing. It’s amazing.  JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0031

A few quick family photos. JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0032 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0033

And then we were off to dinner. Jay Day of the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel did a marvelous job orchestrating the couple’s dinner party. JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0034 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0035 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0036 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0037

Waiting to be announced. JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0038 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0039

A trio of courses. JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0040

A few toasts. JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0041

And lots and lots of laughter. JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0042 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0043 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0044 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0045 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0046 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0047 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0048 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0049

We ended the evening with a few nighttime portraits of the newlywedsJenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0050 JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_Royal-Sonesta-Harbor-Court-Hotel_Baltimore-Wedding-Photography_Same-Sex-Wedding-Photographer_0051

Michele & Debbie, it was an absolute pleasure working with you both and your friends and family. I wish you another lifetime of happiness together!

Credits:

Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography, LLC

Ceremony and dinner: Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel

Officiant: The Rev. Bonnie Berger

Cake: The Baltimore Cakery

 

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