Kailer & Jayleen’s vibrant, emotion-filled backyard wedding had all the things I love and made me love my job as an LGBTQ+ Wedding Photographer!
Why Rhinehart Photography?
Jayleen shares, “The most important factor in deciding on a photographer was someone who is LGBTQ+ inclusive. We’re a proud queer & trans couple so we would only feel comfortable being in front of the camera if we knew the person behind the lens truly saw and appreciated who we are. We didn’t want to have staged photos–we’re not really good with that so we wanted someone who could capture our natural, authentic selves.”
Kailer adds, “I found your website and shared it with Jayleen immediately because of the LGBTQ+ representation as well as how amazing the photos were. After our initial Zoom meeting (which went over because we were talking about all the things, haha, including our mutual love of Brandi Carlile!), we knew you were the one! And, when the day came, we weren’t disappointed. You made us feel so comfortable and it was easy to just be in the moment.”
I am so happy that this beautiful couple found me and chose me to photograph their special day! I’m proud to be an LGBTQ+ Wedding Photographer!
Jayleen shares, “Color is a significant part of our relationship. We both had previous lives where we didn’t feel authentically ourselves. We didn’t feel seen. When we found each other, we promised to always let ourselves shine wherever and however. I’m so happy that I was able to work some color into my wedding attire!”
They continue, “Going into this, I knew I wanted to have color in my wedding attire. I identify as non-binary and when searching for an outfit, I wanted something that honored that part of me. I was also pregnant during this process and knew the wedding would be when I was postpartum. That meant I needed an outfit that would also be comfortable in that way as well. My mom found the bridal designer we eventually fell in love with: Barbara Kavchok. Barbara took all that I wanted and created something so magical, so very much me. I felt so whimsical and free.”
Family Support and PRIDE
Kailer says, “Our wedding venue was my parent’s house. It wasn’t our original plan but it turned out to be the perfect location. Given the year we had–new baby, buying a house–we needed to scale things back and focus on the pieces we really wanted the most. So when my mom offered to host the ceremony and reception, we said yes. Their backyard would be so perfect, and their deck would make an ideal dance floor. There’s also this comfortable vibe that’s hard to describe.”
Jayleen smiles, “The Patterson house has always felt like a safe space for us as we navigated all sorts of life stuff. We always say that ‘things are as they should be‘ and this was one of those moments where everything unfolded as it was meant to. We both appreciated Kailer’s mom, Michele, reminding us to focus on what matters most to us.”
Being a LGBTQ+ Wedding Photographer, I was blown away by the visible support and pride shown at Kailer’s family’s home when I arrived.
Meet the Groom
Kailer shares, “When it came to choosing what to wear, I just knew I didn’t want something traditional. I didn’t want black, blue, or grey. I found my suit at one of the last stores I visited. As soon as I saw it, I knew. It felt like me.”
He continues, “I had no clue my mom had a special patch made for inside the jacket. I didn’t see it at first so my mom had to show me. I absolutely loved that she did that. It was another representation of my mom’s love for me, and she always finds a way to show it in the smallest details.”
Told you their families are awesome…
Backyard Wedding First Look
Kailer says, “We decided to have our first look and family/wedding party photos at the Renfrew Center because nature is a significant part of our relationship. We both love the outdoors–it is both energizing and grounding. We travel, hike, and camp quite a bit. Renfrew is a park close to my parent’s house, and we really love exploring the trails there and walking our dog, Bailey.”
Jayleen shares, “We chose the bridge because Kailer wanted a location we could meet without seeing each other so our first look could feel like a surprise for both of us. I thought the bridge would allow that to happen while also providing a romantic backdrop.”
Vibrant Wedding Attire & Heartfelt Details
Jayleen adds, “We purposefully did not share what we’d be wearing because we wanted to choose attire that felt most like ourselves and didn’t want to influence the other inadvertently. So when the umbrellas came down and I saw Kailer standing there, I was completely overtaken. It was like a million butterflies just bursting from my heart (yes, I am this dramatic. lol.)! He is such a handsome guy–I tell him this all the time–but the suit was really a representation of him inside and out. He is vibrant, beautiful, bold, and adventurous. And I was so excited he chose something so striking!”
Kailer smiles, “That is when Jayleen showed me and told me about the earrings they were wearing. They chose Sorrelli earrings with green stones to honor my childhood best friend, Bethany, who died from cancer at 15 years old. I just broke down crying. It meant more than they will ever know.”
Renfrew Park Wedding Portraits
Jayleen smiles (with big lovey-dovey eyes looking at Kailer), “We always say the universe conspired to bring us together. We had both been previously married to other people and when we met, I was going through a tough divorce. Our paths crossed at Shippensburg University and it was the last place I thought I’d ever find love because being queer in south central PA is not easy.”
They share, “I think what I appreciate most about Kailer is that his core self truly speaks to mine–he sees me in a way others don’t and makes space for all of me (the good and the growing edges). I’m very talkative, outgoing, passionate, and outspoken. I’m the dreamer, impulsive type. He’s my anchor, keeps me grounded but not in a boring way! He’s as adventurous as I am, is down to drive over an hour for delicious cookies or food, and can make me laugh like no other. Most of all, I am in awe of his pride as a trans man. It’s an identity that is so very important to him, and he has had to overcome several levels of adversity to get to this place. He inspires me daily. It’s so beautiful to witness him.”
Gram’s Wise Advice
Kailer says, “As Jayleen said, the universe truly brought us together. When I met them, I had finally let go of trying to find love. I had/have so much love to give, and I so wanted someone to give it to. A few years ago, I had a profound breakfast with my Grams and shared these exact feelings with her. She told me that I should ask the universe for what I wanted and end it with ‘this or something better,’ then open my hand and let go. And that’s exactly what I did.”
He continues, “I quickly learned, as corny as it sounds, that I needed to give some of that love to myself. When I did that and was truly happy being alone (as happy as I could be), that’s when Jayleen walked into my life and turned my world upside down in the best possible way. They are my wings, they help me to not take life so seriously. I appreciate their compassion and drive and their ability to be their self and continue to learn. They see me as I’ve never been seen before. They’re truly my twin flame.”
While I am known for my vibrant, creative, storytelling imagery, I also make sure to take more traditional portraits of each of my couples as well!
YOU Are My Inspiration
My clients inspire me when I photograph. Kailer and Jayleen gave me so much to work with as an LGBTQ+ Wedding Photographer. From their incredible authenticity and presence to their unique attire! I was getting Romeo vibes from Kailer (think Leo DiCaprio) and he played it up below. Jayleen and her wedding gown were giving me butterfly vibes. I wanted to really bring that to life in this motion blur shot.
LGBTQ+ Wedding Party Portraits
Kailer smiles, “We love rainbows. As you know, we’re a proud queer couple!”
Jayleen shares, “We love the colors but also what they represent–the uniqueness and strength of our communities. So we decided to make this part of our theme. We wanted to infuse color however we could, so we decided to have a rainbow party instead of a traditional wedding party! Both of us wanted to have a visual representation of the Philly inclusive LGBTQ+ Pride Flag–the one that honors and represents Black, Brown, and trans folks. We wanted a rainbow on each side of us. This required us to have 10 people each so there were 10 colors on each side–pink, light blue, brown, black, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. We’re also all about people feeling like their best selves so we let everyone choose their outfits. Their only criteria was to represent their assigned color in their attire and wear something that made them feel good. And with that, our rainbow wedding party came to be!”
I even had some fun with tilt-shift and a little BTS (man I look pretty serious about I’m posing people, haha!):
Backyard Wedding Ceremony
Jayleen says, “When we started the planning process, we agreed that we wanted to make this the most down-to-earth, authentic experience that was a true reflection of us. I would say it all started with rainbows and tea. We knew this expression of our love was not just for us but also for our communities, for those who have been denied or had to fight to express love in the ways they wanted and needed. We bought Pura Vida rainbow bracelets whose proceeds went to The Trevor Project and gave one to every person in our rainbow parties plus our parents.”
They add, “We incorporated tea into the ceremony, the center pieces, and gifts, and asked our officiants to incorporate a quote from one of our favorite books “Under the Whispering Door” by TJ Klune. Sharing tea has always been a way for us to connect and grow together. No matter what else is happening, we always make sure to make time for a cup of tea at the kitchen table.”
A Double Rainbow & a Friend with a Fog Machine
Jayleen laughs, “Oh my, weddings are intense! I always think about something my therapist shared with me—major life events will always shed light on the cracks of a foundation and the shadows will find their way in. This was no different.”
They share, “The week of our wedding Kailer got sick with COVID, there was a hurricane in Florida that also impacted the weather here, and more than half of our guest list canceled their RSVPs due to all of this. So the morning of the wedding, I was in tears. I was LEGIT heartbroken thinking that everything was ruined and nobody would show up. It felt like everything that could go wrong did. I mean one of the tents we borrowed basically got demolished in the wind overnight! I was a mess but then Kailer and I saw a double rainbow right outside the house! It was a sign that all was as it should be (there’s the damn universe again!).”
Jayleen continues, “I went from being upset to focusing on the positive— what was going right and why we’re doing this. I was marrying the person of my dreams! I was going to dance with the person of my dreams! And, our children would be there to witness and celebrate with us. We were going to have the best day ever and love love love all the way through it. And that’s exactly what happened–we had the best love party ever!”
Sunflowers, Rainbows & Parent Dances
Jayleen laughs, “This wedding was clearly an intimate affair–our officiants were my mom and Kailer’s brother, TJ. My mom and sis-in-law baked the cake, my sis did my hair and decorated our sweetheart table, mom and Kailer thrifted and crafted their hearts out, our venue was Kailer’s parents’ backyard, and the DJ was a friend from way back who I adore to pieces. You can’t get more intimate than that!”
They continue, “Every little thing represented a piece of our story. We did our best to throw out tradition and make it our own. Music also weaved the intricate pieces together and was really exciting to share with everyone. Each of our rainbow parties walked into the ceremony to songs that meant something special to each of us (Kailer’s was “You Got a Friend in Me” and mine was “With a Little Help From Your Friends.” Our son, Phoenix, carried our rings to a song Kailer picked that is about a stepparent loving their stepchild as their own (cue major tears from everyone!!!). Kailer and I walked down the aisle to the same song, Brandi’s “The Story” because at the end of the day, that song says it ALL. We danced with all of our parents regardless of gender because f*** traditional expectations of masculinity and performance. We danced with our children because they are a reflection of our love.”
Jayleen shares, “I think because we were so authentically ourselves, it helped others to shed any pretenses and just be. They let loose and just had fun. So, yeah, my bestie, Becky, brought a mullet wig and surprised the hell out of us! Everyone had a good time with that!”
OMG the Cookie Cake!!!
How incredible is this cake? Freshly baked by Jayleen’s mom and sis-in-law…
End of the Night
I loved every moment of this backyard wedding. When I was photographing it, I didn’t realize all of the intricacies I do now. I was just present in the moment and capturing all of the emotion in real-time. I’m even more blown away now that they have shared all the behind-the-scenes information with me!! Dang, what an incredible couple!! It makes me so happy to be a LGBTQ+ wedding photographer 🙂
Hungry for More?
- My work as an LGBTQIA+ Wedding Photographer
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Are you or someone you know looking for a photographer for their weddings, portraits, branding, etc? I’m your girl! Contact me here, I’d love to hear all about it!