gay wedding

Newport, RI wedding at the Rosecliff Mansion: Emilie and Nicole by Ryan Brenizer

Nicole and Emilie’s Rosecliff Mansion wedding celebrated Independence Day on many levels — there were countless couture nods, from the red, white and blue clothes they wore to the oh-so-Northeastern rehearsal dinner at Kempenaar’s Clambake Club to the custom color worn by their Instagram-famous dog, Charlie. There were all the trappings of a Newport summer weekend, from casual fun over seafood and fireworks, to impossibly ornate settings like the Rosecliff and The Elms. But it was given a deeper, sweeter meaning when, shortly before the wedding day, the Supreme Court invalidated any laws keeping same-sex couples from marrying in any of the United States

When I started shooting weddings, only one state allowed same-sex couples to marry, and though it was right next door, it wasn’t recognized in Rhode Island until 2013. So not only could Nicole and Emilie show what a smart, driven, devoted couple they are, this can be recognized in every inch of their country. It was a good reason to wave the flag even harder that day.

But there’s a lot more to them, and to the unbelievably gorgeous wedding. They drip intelligence; you feel a bit smarter being near them. They’re the sort of people who use “alacrity” in common conversation, but also the sort to turn into emotive puddles when their dog is nearby. It was such a great feeling to share this day with them, and to share the coverage with my own love, Tatiana Breslow. I’m smiling just looking at these photos again, so I’m going to get out of the way and share them:

Stage 6 at Steiner Studios Wedding: Miranda and Vanessa by Ryan Brenizer

At least three of the 10 funniest speeches I’d heard at weddings all year were at Miranda and Vanessa’s reception, and during the third I couldn’t hold back both a shocked laugh at some strange synchronicity: When Vanessa first met her future roommate (and speech-giver), she’d asked her: “Are you the bestat anything?”

I am fascinated by people who are among the best at things, the weirder the better. What drives them, how to their brains work, what are their daily lives like … these questions itch at me. I have an ongoing photography project devoted to it, but it’s been put on hold for … well … the entirety of my wedding photography career. Oops.

But life has a way of coming full circle, and this same career brought me to document the glorious wedding of Miranda and Vanessa. At the time, Vanessa had been alluding to her apparently masterful Minesweeper record, but in most circles she’s better known for poker. Suffice to say I made sure to never bet anything with anyone at the wedding.

And for at least this day, my questions were answered — what drives them forward is an incredible bond of love and joy, and deep commitment to friends from all circles of their live. It was as calm and beautiful a day as I’d ever had at Stage 6 at Steiner Studios, because for someone who has mastered a sport famous for steely intensity, it was simply … chill (for a wedding).

Miranda’s kindness and warmth kept things throughout the day, right to asking me whether I could teach them how to Dougie. Sadly it never played, but we shared a gorgeous night on the Steiner Rooftop. Thank you, Miranda and Vanessa, for having me document this day; you’re the best.