Candis & Hayley’s Gay Southern At Home Wedding


Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Today’s wedding is awesome, not just because it’s a lesbian wedding that took place in a deeply red state (though I love that bit), but because of everything else. It features partners who don’t see eye to eye on aesthetics and styles (you don’t have to!) and DIY everything, from photography to food, and a dessert (but country club style) reception. Hurrah!

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Indulgence was the word of our spectacular, DIY wedding day.  Hayley and I aren’t much for themed events (or so I thought), yet our wedding was absolutely centered on indulgence, with a dash of hedonism and political rebellion. We’re a gay couple getting married in a completely crimson state, and we only set out to please ourselves. Ever wanted to see a feminist country club wedding?  You should have been there.

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Hayley and I come from vastly different places in the world.  Geographically, she was born and raised in Louisville, KY, a city with severe bipolar disorder (Midwestern? Southern?), while I grew up in romantic, deeply Old South Georgia. Her fondest memories from childhood include riding her bike to the country club to swim the day away, while mine tend more toward riding my bike down the dirt road to the local pond to fish.  She has political anemia: she knows, but she never gets too fired up about much of anything.  I, on the other hand, have been known to scare lesser mortals with the vehemence of my social zeal.  We may be best friends, but we’ll never be total birds of a feather.

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

So when the planning began we struggled to conceive of an event that said “Candis and Hayley totally love each other” in a way that was both exciting and authentic.  We thought big wedding, small wedding, beach elopement, farm weekend, country club soiree, art gallery chic, etc, etc, ad nauseum.  After months of ideas being rejected, we settled on one that had been heavily endorsed by Hayley and that didn’t make me want to vomit.  Compromise is the name of the game after all. With Hayley’s family home as venue and garden cocktail party as the style, we were ready to get serious.

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding
Like all couples (maybe more so with two brides) we went through the inevitable arguments over invites, flowers, cakes, dresses, favors, blah, blah, blah.  Even the date wasn’t sacrosanct as we changed it twice to accommodate family members.  Eventually all things were decided, plans set, dresses bought and gifts arriving in the mail.  Wedding planning turned out to be both harder and easier than imagined.

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Fast forward past all the hard work that we did, our parents did, and half dozen friends did to the actual event.  It was more beautiful than I could have imagined with a perfect altar created on the back lanai under the pergola, fairy lights draped artistically in bushes, on trees and around the house (thanks to Hayley’s dad, an undiscovered garden design whiz), and a crowd of most of our favorite people in the whole world.

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

We did our aisle walking to classical, but that was no bridal march being played. We used some of our favorite Bach and Beethoven, with a few Jack Johnson instrumentals for flavor.  When the ceremony began I couldn’t help but wonder how the older, more conservative members of her tribe would respond to the ultra-feminist, non-heterosexist, atheist take on a wedding that we had cooked up.  There were no actual heart attacks, so I’m guessing they took it in stride.

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

In a year where multiple friends and family were attending tons of weddings, we really wanted the Calvert-Collier gala to be something fresh.  We also saw no point in feeding all of our friends a meal they would eat ten more times that year and so, the dessert reception was born.

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

As a chocoholic whose first complete word was “cookie”, I knew people would appreciate us skipping right to the good part of any reception: the cake.  On Hayley’s mom’s 10 foot long dining table we created a gorgeous display of cakes, cookies, tarts, pies, brownies, cannolis, and more.  There was enough sugar to kill a diabetic elephant.  Champagne, Sangria, beer and Mexican Coke were all on offer as well, plus a little sidebar of cheeses, fruits, and breads.  How did we pick the menu?  Our favorite things of course!

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

After all the hard work, all the planning, all the gentle (like a Force 5 hurricane) disagreements and stress, after the politically charged ceremony, the typical silver and crystal reception with atypical food and drink, after the last person had been hugged and thanked for coming, the real reward for me was (you guessed it) love. While Hayley’s love is all well and good, what impacted me most, what was most remarked on by our guests, was the overwhelming support and goodwill shown by all of those who had traveled hundreds, even thousands of miles to share the night with us.  In a state where our union isn’t legal, where plenty of people bear us ill will, our wedding day was a perfect reminder of why it’s worth fighting the good fight, over and over if necessary.  And hopefully enjoying yourself while you do.

Candis & Hayleys Gay Southern At Home Wedding | A Practical Wedding

The InfoDresses: David’s Bridal and TJMaxx / Flowers: Costco done by Hayley’s mom, future sister-in-law, sister and aunt / Venue: Hayley’s Parent’s House / DJ: Candis’ brother-in-law, music hand picked one song at a time / Food: friends and family, plus one special Italian creme cake by Helen’s Bakery / Photographer: Hayley’s younger brother, Sean Collier

read the comment policy before you post

  • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    This : “What impacted me most, , was the overwhelming support and goodwill shown by all of those who had traveled hundreds, even thousands of miles to share the night with us”.
    Congratulations !

  • http://nickandnoragettingmarried.wordpress.com Annie

    A lovely, thoughtful post, and a great reminder of all that same sex couples stand to gain. I especially like: “In a state where our union isn’t legal, where plenty of people bear us ill will, our wedding day was a perfect reminder of why it’s worth fighting the good fight, over and over if necessary.” I hope all couples keep fighting this fight, whether for themselves or for friends/family. Best wishes to Candis and Hayley!

  • http://hartandsolphoto.com Maddie

    We may be best friends, but we’ll never be total birds of a feather.

    I just kind of want to get this tattooed somewhere.

  • Lauren

    Love the brown dress!

  • http://dearhappenstance.wordpress.com Helen Elizabeth

    What a great post! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://lezgethitched.blogspot.com Diana

    Beautiful :) Congratulations!

  • http://blametheweatherman.wordpress.com Melissa

    I love stories about couples who are so different, but share so much love.

    We may be best friends, but we’ll never be total birds of a feather.

    Love, love, love it. We’re all a little more dynamic than birds.

  • http://onwardfulltilt.blogspot.com/ Caitlin

    I agree with Maddie above, I could exactly “we may be best friends but we’ll never be total birds of a feather” a hundred times over (books by Ronald Reagan and Emma Goldman sit next to each other on our book case…no feathers here).

    I got chills reading the last paragraph. Your wedding was beautiful, you guys are beautiful, and I think this is such an important post. You are right, your wedding day is a perfect reminder of why it’s worth fighting the good fight. Congratulations!

  • Marguerite

    How lovely and refreshing to hear about two very different people trying to create a wedding and a life–too many wedding grad posts sound like “I knew (s)he was my soulmate because we love and hate all the same things.” Congratulations and many happy years to you!

  • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com Koru Kate

    A dessert reception?! It’s a dream come true :-) Love, LOVE! Congratulations & keep fighting the good fight~

  • Pingback: katina sent a spelling edit. | Editz

  • http://dearwedding.wordpress.com/ Andee

    Lovely. So wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Also I would’ve died for your desserts!!

  • Jess

    “In a state where our union isn’t legal, where plenty of people bear us ill will, our wedding day was a perfect reminder of why it’s worth fighting the good fight, over and over if necessary.”

    This wedding is why I don’t understand marriage laws. Marriage is about love. And hard work. And fighting the good fight. And we all know that there are enough battles to face–marrying the person you love just shouldn’t be one of them.

    Beautiful brides, beautiful post, beautiful wedding. May you have a beautiful life together.

  • Pingback: grammar_cat13 sent a spelling edit. | Editz

  • Remy

    There were no *actual* heart attacks…

    I’m definitely going to keep this in mind as a yardstick for my own (queer, feminist, interracial, interfaith-couple-but-secular-ceremony) wedding.

  • http://www.bridesanstulle.com Sharon

    I loved this whole post, but this line really leapt out at me:

    “fairy lights draped artistically in bushes, on trees and around the house (thanks to Hayley’s dad, an undiscovered garden design whiz)”

    I love this about weddings – how sometimes you get a really unexpected DIT affair and get to go, “WHOA, I didn’t even know my family/friends knew how to do that!”

  • Andrea

    ahaha love the Louisville description–spot on!

  • http://bluesuedeidos.com Beth

    Hooray for so many couples fighting the good fight! I absolutely cannot wait for the day the fight is won.

  • Shotgun Shirley

    Beautiful post, and YES desserts!

    I must also chime in with love for this line:

    “We may be best friends, but we’ll never be total birds of a feather.”

    A and I are very much alike, but I think it is our differences which make us work so well together. We’re both way too good at being cranky.

  • april

    In an alternate universe, my reception would’ve been ALL sweets. Love that you skipped the dinner and went directly to the pudding.

    And the two of you are just lovely and so happy together in the photos. Congratulations! XO

  • Pingback: Wedding Graduates: Candis & Hayley « A Practical Wedding: Ideas … | Plan Your Dream Wedding

  • http://www.frugallywed.wordpress.com Frugalwed

    I love every part of this, but my favourite is “Candis and Hayley totally love each other”.

    Hell yes! This is what it’s really about.

  • Hayley Collier

    Thank you all so much! Hearing all this positive reinforcement makes one smile ear to ear! And incase you weren’t done reading about us….Check our candis’ blog.
    http://adventuresofcactusandfuschia.blogspot.com/

  • Terry

    What a lovely post! Y’all have a storytelling gift….think about using it!

  • Laura

    Beautiful wedding!! I’m wishing you simply the best! XOXO

  • Liz

    “Louisville, KY, a city with sever bipolar disorder (Midwestern? Southern?)”

    So true! haha!

  • http://www.adventuresofcactusandfuschia.blogspot.com Candis Calvert

    I was really touched by all the support and encouragement we found from the APW community. We’re continuing our good fight right here in Kentucky. For those of you that are interested we keep the world informed with our blog at http://www.adventuresofcactusandfuschia.blospot.com

  • http://www.3fcdddcc3.com/lfddddff5 Ashanti Orndorf

    I actually have enjoyed the put up, but your site is pretty broken in Google Chrome. What theme are you using?

  • https://delicious.com/riyaroman Keila Rusich

    Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thanks However I’m experiencing situation with ur rss . Don�t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting an identical rss problem? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  • Karenina Angela

    What a nice share…
    Its so amazing.. Lovely momment captured at great picts..
    love it so much
    Kindly see my post, thanks ya all
    Bayern Munich Menangkan Thiago Alcantara

  • Hayley Collier in Oz

    Hi,
    My name is also Hayley Collier. I live in Australia. I was wondering if you are on Facebook? I’m trying to get a group of Hayley Collier’s together from all around the world.
    Email me if you’re interested (or even if you’re not…just so I know you got my request).
    .
    Thanks!
    .
    Hayley