Leah & Mark: Wow Wedding Contest

I have a deep love of people who are willing to look at the way the world works, see something they don’t like, and change it. Making change, and making things happen is really hard, so I adore the people who will just look at a problem, and say, “Whatever. I’m doing this thing.” Leah and Mark photography out of Atlanta are totally two of those people. In fact, this post came about because, when I emailed Mark about suddenly really needing to plan an Atlanta book tour stop, he said, “Give me an hour,” and then, “Ok. I’ll plan it.” I mean who does that? Awesome people, that’s who.

So, in exchange for that enormous favor, I wanted to post about a huge project Leah and Mark are working on. Basically, they wanted to produce a giveaway of a wedding, for a deserving couple. They told me, “We know that there are many people out there who are unable to have a wedding for many varied reasons. Now although we can’t possibly help everyone – we can help someone – and a few months ago we decided that we would give two people in love a full Wedding.” So they partnered with 11Alive, their local NBC affiliate to make it happen. But the thing is, all the other mainstream ON TV wedding giveaways were for straight people only. And Leah and Mark knew that had to change. So, they made it happen. In fact, they said, “We had also approached Georgia’s largest bridal show to be a part of this, except we had to turn them away when they wanted it explicitly stated in the contract that we would not accept same-sex couples from entering. Aw f*ck that.” F*ck that indeed. So, “We went and found our own vendors that wanted to work with us. We didn’t specifically target ‘gay friendly’ businesses because this wedding is more about supporting all marriage. Period. Straight. Gay. Awesome. Whatever. And yes—we know we’re in Georgia and we know the laws about marriage, but we’re doing this anyway. (Heck—only about a month ago could we FINALLY buy alcohol on Sunday in this state.)” So they partnered with Wedding Day Hooray, the indie wedding fair helping to throw the APW Book Tour in Atlanta, along with Equally Wed, the awesome same sex wedding magazine, to make this happen.

So! First, just YES. All of us need to be doing this work every single day, if you ask me. Second of all. What do you need to do to enter? Ok! Details:

  • The contest is limited to people living in the Atlanta area because everything happens within the span of three months, so they need you THERE and available.
  • Enter at 11Alive, and read all the details there. (Note: This contest is not being run by APW!)
  • Read even more about it at LeahandMark.com
And. Think about what you can do in your day to day life to be an LGBTQ ally. Yeah, you’re probably not going to throw a massive free wedding, but I guarantee you that you can do something.
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  • This is the most awesome thing I’ve read all day! I am so, SO excited to read about Leah and Mark’s giveaway (and you can buy alcohol on a Sunday? Whaaaat? Things have changed!) and I’m extra-glad that it’s in Atlanta. I spent some of my growing-up years in Georgia and while I love my home(ish) state, this openness to LGBTQ couples says to me “progress.” Long over-due, definitely, but it’s happening and that makes me so happy.

    Thank you, Leah and Mark. You made me cry some happy tears today.

    • Jamie

      (The Sunday alcohol sales are only available in some cities and counties, so you may not want to try buying booze on the lord’s day in the rural/more conservative counties :)

      • Aha, I wondered about that…one of the counties next to mine was completely dry – no alcohol sales any day of the week!

  • Emily

    This is awesome! Thanks for the comment at the end, too, Meg (about taking ally action).

  • So. Frickin’. Awesome.

  • Jamie

    Working with Leah and Mark was one of the best wedding planning decisions we made, and this even further affirms that decision. From their being real LGBTQ allies to their Kiva loan program to just being awesome people, there was no downside at all to having them be a part of our wedding. I’m so proud of them and all the other Atlanta people making this happen!

    • meg

      I AM SO EXCITED to finally come to Atlanta, and meet all you Atlanta people. SERIOUSLY. Whatever is going on down there is like the epicenter of awesome.

      • Jamie

        It’s true, we’re all awesome. Have you planned your Atlanta culinary adventures yet? That should be top of your priority list.

        • Aw, y’all are making me get all teary-eyed! We’re so lucky to work with such awesome peoples. And Jamie, food is like the most important part of the visit – other than the book talk, of course! I have some ideas of places to take Meg, but please send me your suggestions because I know you’ll have some great ones!

          • Jamie

            My favorite place to take out of town guests is Sauced. But it really is all about the brunch here. I imagine you’ll be taking her to Mark’s office (a.k.a. The West Egg)? I also love Ria’s Bluebird and Radial for breakfast or lunch. And then one of the fancy burger joints, for sure. . . I hope Meg can eat eight meals a day!

  • YES!!! Amazing, amazing, amazing. Whoever wins is stupidly lucky!

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  • Tamara Van Horn

    As a former Atlanta-based event planner, Yay! to Leah and Mark…and if the CDC has a heart, I hope to live amongst you and help cause ruckus very soon!!!

    Seriously, thank you for doing this, because it matters, and it matters outside Atlanta. Now go get married, people!

  • H

    I really really really (still not enough reallys) want to go to the Atlanta one and meet all these people I’ve seen writing on APW – why does it have to be on a weekday?! I’d never get back to work on time. *sigh, pouts* Hmph.

  • This is the sort of thing that makes me really pleased & proud that we hired LeahAndMark. Oh, well, AND OUR PICTURES. Duh.