Warm Up with This Pride-Inspired Photo Shoot

Shake off the winter chills and look forward to spring with this styled shoot featuring two real-life couples.

Emma Frankart Henterly
Columbus Monthly
Married couples Staley and Daniel (left) and Ceili (seated) and Eva

On gray, chilly days like this, when the rising sun reveals a dusting of snow that dribbles away by midafternoon, it’s nice to hearken back to sunnier days … which is exactly why we’re sharing this styled shoot from June 2021 today.

Both couples featured in the shoot are married IRL: Eva and Ceili married in a small ceremony that was “planned short and went undocumented due to the pandemic,” says Jeannene Jones-Rupert of Jeannene Lillie Events, who planned the shoot. “This shoot gave them a chance to not only feel like the stunning brides they are, but most importantly, to show others that to them, pride means being comfortable with your true self and that you should be able to show love to your soulmate without apprehension.”

The second couple, Daniel and Staley, married in 2019. “Staley, a transgender woman, represents a love story that inspires many transgender women to seek out their own love story without fear,” says Jones-Rupert. “Her story creates hope for something better, and it’s that hope that we wanted to celebrate with her.

The celebratory shoot featured a group of “outspoken allies in the wedding industry,” Jones-Rupert explains, at Springfield’s Cliffside Acres, “where walls of white and reflective concrete floors created a sleek backdrop for the color scheme to stand out, just like the love that is outpoured from the LGBTQIA+ community.”

Promoting LGBTQ-allied vendors and supporting the community itself is a personal matter for Jones-Rupert, who identifies as queer.

“The most important reason for this shoot was to be meaningful and impactful,” she says. “Creating a space where few people can feel 100 percent supported by an industry that they, the LGBTQIA+ community, fought so hard to be recognized and accepted by. Even beyond that, a story where all love is celebrated and where people can be proud of their beautifully inclusive love without restrictions.”

The Vendors

Co-host, planning and design: Jeannene Lillie Events

Co-host, gowns and accessories: La Jeune Mariee / Luxe Redux Bridal

Photography: Starling Studio

Venue: Cliffside Acres

Florist: Blumen

Bouquet ribbon: The Lesser Bear

Stationery: Plush Invitations

Cake: Kuro Neko Cake Studio

Macarons: Mjomii

Tuxedo: The Black Tux

Hair and makeup: Allison and Ashley of Avola Lanza

Rentals: Aiden & Grace

Linens: Prime Time Party & Event Rental