Erica & Shannon were engaged on 5/16/15 and married on June 18th, 2016 at the Historic Acres of Hershey. They celebrated with over 160 loved ones. Here is their story in their own words.

How they met: We met in typical millennial fashion, via the online dating website OkCupid! We had both connected with a few people on the site prior to finding each other – but once Shannon came up on my feed I knew I had found someone special. And according to Shannon, she ran around the apartment with excitement upon spotting my profile! And although it was the internet that eventually brought us together, we realized very quickly how many times our paths had crossed prior to our eventual meeting! We both attended college in Lancaster, PA, with Shannon finishing her Latin minor at my alma mater. After college, Shannon got a job teaching Latin at at my high school (actually replacing my former Latin teacher). And, in her first years of teaching, Shannon had my cousin (Billy – who ended up being our officiant!) in class and was welcomed to the invitation-only, family turkey slaughter held by my Uncle Jeff (truth be told, there are many of my own family members that have never partaken this unforgettable experience). Suffice to say, we were both extremely grateful that the internet had made a match  the universe had been so desperately trying to make happen!

Who proposed/How: We actually both proposed to each other! After almost four years of dating, Shannon asked me first. A fun, creative, and thoughtful scavenger hunt took me through meaningful places, experiences, and people in our relationship, eventually leading to a sweet and perfect proposal. Shannon had arranged for a romantic hot air ballon ride as well, but weather put a damper on those plans (pun intended). Luckily – the experience has a lifetime guarantee, so we’ll get to take the journey sometime in the future! A week later, I returned the favor, cooking Shannon one of her favorite meals (paella, fresh bread, and lots of cheese) and later presenting her with a video of friends and family lip-syncing to Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes song “That’s What’s Up” (oh, and a ring of course).

What are you both most excited about for first year of marriage: Honestly, although we LOVED our wedding and putting everything together – there were a lot of stressful moments during the planning process! I think we are both excited to just “be” wife and wife and not have to worry about catering menus, guest lists, budgets, etc.! We plan to spend a lot of time having fun and seeing more of this beautiful world!

Did you ladies do a first dance and if so what was the song name: We started out our first dance with “Let’s Be Still” by the Head & the Heart. We love this song and this band SO much – but we thought it was particularly important for us to have a moment to “just be still” because we then broke into a FLASH MOB dance to “Shut Up and Dance with Me” by Walk the Moon for the rest of our first dance. We had been working with our close friends and family for MONTHS on a simple choreographed dance and although very few of us could be considered dancing pros, we think we pulled it off rather successfully! Plus – it was a LOT OF FUN!

Where will you honeymoon: We delayed our honeymoon by a week to allowing ourselves time to get our lives back in order and actually pack for our trip! We decided to do a trip along the coast of Maine, hitting many amazing stops including Portland and Acadia National Park. Our trip was filled with beautiful sites, karaoke in the car, and more LOBSTAH then we’ve had in our entire life so far!

Do you have any fun details or advice to share with other same-sex couples planning their wedding: Enjoy the process and remember WHY you’re doing it. It’s so easy to get caught up in the details and become stressed and overwhelmed that you forget that the most important part is that you get to marry an amazing human! I would also say that for same-sex couples (but really ALL couples), I think it’s essential to make sure that you REALLY mesh well with all of your vendors. Don’t settle – make sure you that you feel comfortable and confident. We were challenged at times by potential vendors making assumptions about each of us based on their perceptions of our gender expression – don’t be afraid to call that out or push back! If a form says “bride and groom”, for example, – mention it! Honestly, whether it’s excusable or not, we found that many vendors still aren’t thinking about shifting their language to be more gender inclusive – so it could be a good opportunity to make some change! And if you don’t get an understanding response, then move on!

Congrats to these beautiful brides! Erica & Shannon we are so happy for you and we toast to you and many years of love, laughter and happily ever after! From bride & bride to wife and wife, we wish you years of happiness.

Thank you BG Productions Photography & Videography for sharing your gorgeous work with us and capturing the beauty of this love story so eloquently!

BG Productions Photography and Videography is a husband/wife team based in Philadelphia, but they also love to travel to capture beautiful stories. As a Philadelphia Wedding Photographer and Videographer they capture weddings in a unique and creative way.