A Brewery Wedding in Los Angeles

With marriage equality at the center

Amanda, Therapist & Regina, Professor

One sentences sum-up of the wedding vibe: A queer vegan craft beer wedding in LA.

Soundtrack for Reading: “I Remember” by Whitley

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This wedding was a long awaited event. We became engaged the summer of 2008, anticipating moving to California in the next year. That November, Prop 8 passed, and although same-sex marriage became legal elsewhere in the interim, we decided to wait until we could legally marry in our chosen home. We were fortunate that when Prop 8 was overturned five years later, so was DOMA, and our marriage would be recognized at both the state and federal levels. We were excited to get married, finally, and were a little less excited about planning a wedding. Having few visible examples of same-sex weddings, and finding that the examples we did have did not fit us, was both freeing and overwhelming.

We planned our wedding with the intention of remaining true to our ethical values by having an all-vegan wedding and using small and local businesses whenever possible. This meant getting to work with our friends too! Our friend owns Golden Road Brewing and the attached venue where we had our ceremony and reception. He was excited to have us as the first same-sex wedding at the venue, and we were excited to get married at our favorite brewery. Our photographer was our friend’s husband, and now our friend outright. Our cake and cupcakes were baked by two women who started their own business in the last five years. Several vendors were queer-identified and vegan. In addition to making choices aligned with our values, another benefit of working with small businesses and friends was getting to really work collaboratively with them both in creating our vision and in working within our budget. We felt they were excited to work with us and found that what we received went above and beyond what we expected.

We thought that we wanted our wedding to predominantly be a party with our best friends and immediate family with the focus on the reception, as we are not religious. However, when we chose our officiants, we chose our mentors—our professional mentor and her wife who have been role models for us in their social activism, and they became ordained online for us. We wrote our own ceremony and vows, and as we went through this process, the ceremony became an increasingly important part of the day. We had initially planned to have a short and sweet ceremony and in the end our ceremony was about an hour! We made social justice and the issue of marriage equality a significant part of our ceremony, and our friends and family told us being able to hear about how these issues directly impacted us, our relationship, and our decision to marry, was very meaningful.

We definitely did not sacrifice the reception for the ceremony! The reception was also the rocking party we wanted it to be, and the dance floor was packed the entire night.

Favorite Thing About the Wedding

Amanda: Wiping away Gina’s tears during the ceremony and vows.

Regina: Discovering the funny ways the details of our vows overlapped despite keeping them secret from each other until the ceremony.


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  • Sarah

    This wedding looks amazing.

  • Okay okay stop the carrrrrr. First, I seriously cried during this (awesome song geez you guys). Second of all, I follow Amanda (I think) on Instagram and I had no idea the wedding was at golden road! I’m also a vegan in LA and everytime we go there I say to my spouse that is want to get married there if we had ended up doing an LA wedding! Sooooo good. And third of all, I’m sorry, you’re a therapist?!? Never knew that either and that’s a dream job of mine. I know I’m rambling but can’t help it. This is just, just, just fabulous!! Congrats y’all!!

    • Aj

      aw thank you for your happiness. yay for vegans in LA. and I can’t encourage being a therapist enough, it is my dream job too. I feel so lucky I get to wake up every morning and I get to do what I love.

    • Cleo

      Hello fellow vegans in LA!! :)

  • Fiona

    I love how you two stumbled upon the importance in the ceremony through creating your own. So cool!

  • Kate

    I love the subtle integration of different cupcake flavors ;)
    (and i love everything else here too)

  • Amanda is one of my best imaginary Internet friends so I’m so excited to see her wedding on APW!! I’m getting a little teary looking at the pics. <3 I love the final dance party shots, the "censored" photo booth prop, and that smokin' hot first photo!

    • Aj

      Rachel, you are one of my best imaginary friends! and that “censored” photo is my mom…if only you knew her. It’s pretty perfect.

      • Sarah E

        The censored photo was my favorite. . .until the next one, with you beltin’ it out at the reception :-)

  • HannahESmith

    What a beautiful wedding filled with so much genuine joy! I choked up a bit. This is beautiful.

  • Kayjayoh

    “AJ’s Harvey Milk and Elephant Tattoos (and what can be seen of Gina’s sleeve): James Spooner at Monocle Tattoo”

    I love this! I’ve never noticed anyone giving tattoo credit on their wedding write-up, and I love it!

    • Aj

      bride here! I couldn’t not give James credit. He’s an artist and a friend (and in attendance at the wedding). If I didn’t have tattoos, I would have made different choices about dress and jewelry so it seemed appropriate.

      • Kayjayoh

        My tat happened so long ago that I don’t remember the name of the guy who did it (it’s my only one and I drew the design myself, so it’s not like we had a long relationship) but my dress showed it off quite well. My husband, on the other hand, got his tattoo done just over a week before the wedding, and I kept joking that we should tear the sleeves off his shirt so as to show it off. If we had, I might have done the same, as it is gorgeous work.

      • Shotgun Shirley

        This makes me want to get a new tattoo.

        • Aj

          do it! it seems like you’re local (if you love golden road!) – check out Monocle Tattoos

      • Viv

        I came to comment on your tattoos!! LOVE THEM SO MUCH! The artist definitely deserves credit. :)

    • laddibugg

      Ha! came down here to say that! Awesome.

    • aldeka

      I was going to say. THOSE TATTOOS. DAYUM.

    • Choppstar

      Big thanks to Johnny Shyrock, for also providing beautiful engagement photos that showcased our ink.

  • lady brett

    “Having few visible examples of same-sex weddings, and finding that the
    examples we did have did not fit us, was both freeing and overwhelming.” this, for sure. and what y’all ended up with looks awesome.

  • vegankitchendiaries


    So much intense love and jubilation in that last pic I get goosebumps. The soundtrack for reading is EMOTIONALLY MANIPULATIVE, guyz! ;)

    • Choppstar

      The first time we heard that song, we thought we might use it as our first dance one day. And then, like the lyrics say, 6 years passed, and we did.

  • Shotgun Shirley

    Love LOVE Golden Road. I had no idea they did weddings! Filing this away for wedding do-over aka 10 yr vow renewal.

  • Rachel

    Right on for vegan weddings!!! We’ll be having ours in August. I want to be at this wedding! It looks like a blast. The photos definitely made me choke up and laugh out loud.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      I’m not usually ‘bla bla vegan’, my Disqus username is just a hangover from my long abandoned tumblog, but HELL YEAH it’s nice to see some fellow veggie-brides come out of the woodwork today! Vegan APW brides unite!

  • scw

    I love how much energy is coming through every one of these photos!! awesome write-up, and the wedding looks just as awesome.

  • sara

    Beautiful wedding and story. There is definitely something about the raw emotions captured in these photos that makes me a little teary too. Thanks for sharing.

  • This song, these photos, those tatts, the babes. Loving everything.

  • Aj

    Thank you all so much for the enthusiastic support and comments! My wife (!) is across the country right now and our anniversary (7.5 years together, 6 years since getting engaged- which we celebrated until…now, I guess). We went through the post while on the phone and both teared up! This is why I adore the APW community!

  • kate

    Gorgeous photos and great choice picking Whitley!

    • Gina

      Whitley agreed with you, kate :)

  • Cait

    Congratulations! Everyone looks so happy! Beautiful pictures too. I want to be invited to a wedding like yours!

  • Nicole

    Yay, Chloe’s! We are having our rehearsal dinner there and I am so. frakking. PUMPED.

  • Choppstar

    Aj’s bride signing on to say thanks for all the love in the comments. And thanks to APW for sharing our story.

    For the music fans, James Spooner (esteemed vegan tattoo artist & friend) provided me with an incredible visual representation of our wedding song by Whitley. Although the arm is 95% sleeved, most of what can be seen in our entire collection of wedding photos is his design for the lyrics: “I remember the black sky streaking/ It was so cold, it was so cold/ You held my hand, you said you loved me./ I felt something. I felt something.” It’s, hands down, my favorite piece.

    To wait nearly six years to legally hitch the person you love- and to do so surrounded by family and friends- was not simply joyous, but also victorious. “There is beauty in the struggle” and on 3/15/14 we found it.

  • laura

    What a gorgeous wedding!!! Congratulations!

    I’m planning on wedding at Chloe’s right now and I had some questions about the space! Mainly, what did you do about parking?? Did you get valet? Was it crazy expensive?

    • Aj

      Just saw this comment! We did not valet and it was a bit difficult for some of our guests to find parking but not impossible. We had access to the space behind Chloe’s for our car, our families’ cars, and vendors’ cars.

      • laura

        Thank you so much!! I will definitely be emailing!! <3

  • thechimes

    This post makes me all warm and fuzzy. I love that last shot. Congrats!!