Tony and I first met Donn and Dale about a couple of months ago, and let me tell you, there was an instant connection. It felt like we had known Donn and Dale for years- which is a very rare occurrence, in my opinion. We had so much fun getting to know this dynamic duo and we were so excited to get to photograph for them.
Donn and Dale have been together for 20 years. Their story began in a bar (the old fashioned way, as Donn described it). Donn said that It was close to closing time when Dale came up to him and told him that he had to tell him before he left that he liked his blue eyes (how sweet). They exchanged numbers and Donn called him the very next weekend. Dale lived in Ohio and Donn lived in Pennsylvania when they were first together, so they had to date long-distance for a little while.
They were officially engaged on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in Ohio and nationwide. Donn said that after a 20 year history together, they were already committed to each other, so when Dale called him, ecstatic on June 26th, they knew they'd get married soon. They planned their wedding ceremony to be in Mexico in early October because good friends of theirs offered their property to them. Jealous? So they whooped it up in Mexico with some close friends and family and FINALLY got married! Tony and I would have LOVED to photograph their ceremony, but alas, they had already committed to another photographer [before they met us, of course ;) ]. Their wedding reception was held in late October in Ohio. THAT's a whole other story...
Tony and I were connected with Donn and Dale in a non-typical sort of way. What I mean is that they didn't contact MakRabbitt for our services via the Knot, wedding wire or any other site, nor did we reach out to them specifically via marketing. Tony had entered Mak Rabbitt Photography into a contest put together by Red Brick Occasions. Red Brick reached out to a couple of different vendors to donate their services, pro bono for a great cause: marriage equality. Same-sex couples who wanted to win this contest had to submit their love story to Red Brick in order to be chosen for their wedding reception giveaway (which was a $12,000 value). Donn and Dale's story ended up being chosen. Since many vendors offered their services for this cause, Donn and Dale had some homework to do. They had to choose which vendors they wanted to go with, which meant they needed to choose their photographer. Let me tell you, we are SO happy they chose us!
Red Brick Occasions is an event venue operated by Sidecar Global Catering, located in Downtown Columbus. It offers an urban and industrial feel, featuring exposed brick, steal beams, hardwood floors and soft lighting. Owner Scott Heimlich operates Sidecar, which offers food and services established by their sister company, Barcelona Restaurant. If you haven't experienced dining at Barcelona, you should definitely put it on your list to try.
Tony and I had such a great time photographing Donn and Dale's reception. Their family and friends were so kind, gracious...and hilarious! Below are some of the photos we took of their awesome reception. Enjoy!
Red Brick dressed up their venue to match Donn and Dale's vision- it was elegant and classy.
Some carafes of beautiful, delicious sangria decorated each tables.
The cake was made by The Suisse Shop. On top were two hugging polar bears, which is just adorable.
The cake was designed to have the word "love" in different languages written on the sides. It truly matched the tone and feel of the evening.
Prior to their guests arriving, Tony and I pulled Donn and Dale outside for some "Entourage" inspired photos with their best men. This was a lot of fun.
After we were done messing around, the guests arrived, cocktails were served and dinner was enjoyed. After dinner, Dale and Donn listened to some of their best friends and family deliver speeches to them. They were all very moving- I shed quite a few tears.
After speeches, dances were in order! Dale and Donn shared their first dance with each other, then they both shared dances with their mothers.
Dale and Donn did not purchase new wedding bands for themselves. Instead, they kept the rings they got at a protest for marriage equality many years ago. After a couple of years of wear and tear, the rings lost their shine and bold, black detailing. A friend of theirs offered to spruce up their rings for them and made them look just how they looked the day they got them. They said these rings mean more to them than any new ring could.
Donn and Dale's friends and family were hilarious. It's not too often we get to see a packed dance floor, but on this night, we were happy to see that nearly everyone was out there! We had some group dancing, Vogue-ing and, of even some worm-ing!
To conclude the evening, we wanted to be sure that we had some photos of the couple by themselves. Since we didn't get a chance to shoot the wedding day, this was important to us. Below are some of our favorites.
To Donn and Dale: you are truly a remarkable couple. We are so pleased that you chose Mak Rabbitt- It was such an honor to be able to photograph your event! We look forward to seeing you very soon :)
Some of the Vendors that made this all possible:
To book your event at Mak Rabbitt Photography, visit: www.MakRabbitt.com.