Jenni (she/they) of Jenni Chapman Photography is a queer, non-binary photographer and creative who started her career ten years ago in the actor headshot and theatre space. This unique experience paved the way for her specialty in wedding photography and creative portraits in the San Francisco Bay area. She’s a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and believes in the importance of diverse, intersectional representation, which she hopes to keep promoting through her photography and work on the Queer Soul project.
The intro and all instrumentals were written, sung and recorded by @JaynaDavisMusic
clearly Beloved, welcome back to this week's episode. This week I am chatting with Jenny Chapman of Jenny Chapman Photography, and I'm so excited because I was actually on Jenny's podcast, I don't know, maybe like a couple months ago. It was quite a while ago. and now we're finally getting to, you know, kind of change, return the favor. Yeah. So thanks so much for being here. I would love if you could introduce yourself and your pronouns and any. important identities. Beautiful. Love it. Hi everyone. My name is Jenny. My pronouns are she, they interchangeably do whatever you like. Those, both of those are fine. Just don't call me he him. and I identify as queer and I identify as non-binary. Love it. Yay. Thank you again for being here. Of course. well, I of course like have some questions that I'd love to chat with you about, but also. we have connected, like through the photography world and yeah, I think that's super important. So tell us a little bit about what you do. Yeah. I am a creative portrait and wedding photographer based in the San Francisco Bay area. I, Do a lot of different things. I take pictures, uh, for weddings and elopement and couples and individuals and families, like kind of everything. But the overarching theme for everything is that, you know, you deserve to have like a super fun photo shoot experience where you feel gorgeous and like genuinely you. And I think there's a lot of people that come to me being like, oh, everyone in your pictures look so amazing and like, we wanna hire you, but like, we're not gonna look like that cuz we're awkward and un info. And, and that's so valid. But I firmly believe that being photogenic can be taught and you just have to be guided. Right? And so, you know, I, I, you know, oh, you know, look at my photos. Who do you think is a professional model? Well, they came to me too, saying that they were awkward and un photogenic. So it's all about. you know, this start to finish experience regardless of what kind of photographer you're hiring me for. Where you feel in control, you feel confident. You get all the tools like styling, guidance, and posing and everything, so that by the time you get in front of my camera, you're very excited and you don't feel nervous, and we just got to have a great time because if you're having a great time, the photos will go from. they're good photos. I know how to take photos to something that is really, really meaningful to you and, and something that is a really authentic representation of who you are, that you are gonna treasure for a really long time. That's what I love to do. And obviously like as a queer person, I love, uh, working with queer people. I've done like top surgery photos I've done, I have the, the Queer Soul Project, which is a thing I do. Uh, telling stories, uh, the stories of queer people through photos and through my podcast, which I hope to one day turn into a book. Hey, that's all I didn't know that Yeah. Yeah. Once I get enough people, I wanna, I wanna get representation and publish it as a book with like all the photos and everyone's story, and then little q. Scan things for, each of the episodes. I just think it's so important, to have really diverse intersectional representation. because when you see someone like I came out so late, because I didn't really see any very, you know, I'm not super, super feminine, but like I'm not butch and, and I didn't really see a lot of fem lesbians or, uh, em non-binary people. And so I didn't think, like I immediately ruled out being. because I didn't want to look like a butch lesbian. That's not how I feel comfortable in myself. and it wasn't until I started seeing that representation that, you know, their lived experience gave me permission to do it myself. And I think there's so many corners of the beautiful, varied queer community that, you know, we don't see any of, you know, like name, a name, a queer person with a limb. name, a two-spirit person, name a, a queer person who uses a wheelchair, like I don't, I'm sure they're out there, but like if you're like that, if that's how you identify and that's how you live. If you're not seeing that, if you're not seeing someone be successful and in love and happy who looks and lives and loves like you, it's very easy to convince yourself that those things aren't possible for you. So that's what I'm trying to like undo a little bit and. get that representation out there. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that's beautiful. And that, yeah, that was kinda, thank you. Like a follow up question I had too is like when you started your business, like has it since? kind of shifted more towards like the queer space or have you always kind of lived in that space for business? I have been a photographer for 10 years, which is wild. I mean, I started right at the end of high school, and, and I didn't come out until I was 21, so it was absolutely not. What it was in the beginning. I actually started in the actor headshot space, and shooting shows, for archival and like, uh, promotional purposes. I, I have been doing theater since I was very, very little. I have a degree in musical theater, so I know all the actors, the clienteles built in, and, uh, actor headshots are different. It's a different beast than like LinkedIn photos or even branding photos for like a photographer because. in a picture. When you go to like an audition, often they see your headshot before they meet you. And in that headshot you need to show them that you are right for the show they're trying to cast and what you're like as a han being. Because when they see hundreds and hundreds of people and then they lay out all the headshots, try to figure out who they're gonna call back and cast. Just your photo has to represent your authentic energy and the character energy. That they will remember you and go, oh my God, we have to have that person. So it's very, very specifically strategic and coming at that from an actor perspective, myself, who had been really helpful. I still do that a little bit, but, that's definitely not my main thing anymore. Uh, it doesn't feel as as creative as the work I wanna be doing. but I just, I still do it some, but that's where I started. I really, you know, I would go to, uh, I don't know if people know how shows work. Uh, like the week before you start performances is the really, most of the time, the first week you actually are performing on the stage at all. Usually you're in like a rehearsal room and that week that you're in the theater for the first time, you start incorporating costes and bites and microphones and the orchestra and like all the stuff and, uh, the very. Rehearsal that you do, where you run through the show with absolutely everything as if there's an audience there, it's your last chance to practice. Uh, they will often have a photographer there taking pictures of the show as it happens. cuz they're not gonna interrupt any audience members. There aren't any, uh, and they use those photos to promote the show. And so I was doing that a lot, which is so, so fun. It's a lot like shooting weddings actually. because things happen very quickly and once they happen, they're gone. So like if you don't, if you're not on top of your shit, you don't know that the first kiss is coming, you can miss it. If you don't, you know, if you're not actively looking for moments, you're gonna miss'em. and, and so I, I found myself sort of uniquely trained to do weddings before I even started doing weddings. because there's so many parallels of like, this is a real thing happening in the moment. You have one shot go. Yeah. Yeah. I love, I love that connection you made between like shows and weddings. I think that's super interesting and something I never would've thought about. Speaking of weddings, I hear that someone's engaged, which is not like new information. It's such old information that everyone in our lives has assed that we're already married. Like, like we've been engaged for almost two years and, and everyone's like, oh, you're married now, hon. I'm like, literally no. Nope. Dang September. That's so weird. I didn't, I didn. I knew you had been engaged for a while. I didn't know it was almost two years. Yeah. Understand you saying. Yeah. We got engaged, uh, June, June, 2021. and, and there was such a backlog of people getting married cuz of the pandemic. And we knew we wanted, uh, like late smer, early fall wedding. So obviously it wasn't gonna be late smer, early fall 2021 cause. a couple months later. and then with the backlog, we, I mean, venues were booking out two years, so we wasn't gonna be late smer, early, early fall 2022. So here we are. Yeah, no, that makes sense. And uh, I mean, obviously as someone in the industry, you're like, no, that it. it takes a minute to plan things, and you're also probably looking for specific things, so that Totally, and we're, we're doing a lot of, uh, non-traditional things. And so it's been, uh, interesting finding like a caterer that is willing to do breakfast for dinner for 50 people on a Saturday because you could make a ton more money making 200 steaks for a Saturday night wedding. And, and so finding someone that's willing to do something. a little bit less fancy for fewer people, is like not a great business move for them, but that's what we want. And so it's like, you know, it's been an interesting tr we did find someone, they're amazing. but it's definitely been a process and, and I don't mind that we've been engaged for so long because we really got to just like spend a year being engaged and showing off our rings and having a nice time and not even thinking about it and then jping in. And so we really haven't felt super stressed about wedding planning, just. We have time and we're doing things with time to spare and it's all right. I think there's gonna be that mad rush at the end, but it's all just sort of happening. It's, it's chucking along. Also, we're not doing anything like crazy fancy like it, we wanna treat it like a chosen family, family reunion that happens to have a wedding at the end. So it's gonna be, it's gonna be super fun and, and chill and a good time. Yeah. Aw, yeah. That's super great to hear that like everything has been pretty relaxed. Yeah. yeah. I feel like more people should take that approach cuz Yeah. You wanna like, enjoy it versus being like, I can't even remember that time of my life cuz we were just like running around and Oh, yeah. Gross. No, I mean the only things that, that were stressful were like, we found. Lost two venues before we found the one that we wanted that actually worked out. the first one that, Found and loved. I will name drop, uh, Los Lois Lodging Carmel. they were listed on the Knot as being a queer friendly venue. We talked to the owners. They were like, come down, we'll do a tour. It'll be great. Uh, within five minutes of us being there, uh, on our private tour, they knew who we were. Uh, they asked us if we were sisters, and I was like, that's weird to ask. A couple touring a wedding venue. And then, uh, they have, they have very, uh, gendered getting ready areas. So the groom getting ready area is very like, not well lit. There's a PS four, whatever. but it's okay. Our get our, uh, our wedding party is pretty small and we wanna get ready together. And I told them that I was like, your, you know, bridal getting ready area is huge. We're fine. And. They were like, oh my God, you can't get ready together. Like you can't see each other before the wedding. And I was like, uh, actually we can. And uh, we're just not getting dressed together, we're just gonna like, we'll do a first look with just putting on the outfits. And the owner literally went, oh, thank God at least you're doing that. And I was like, okay. And despite those red flags, we were like, you know what? Send us a contract. We love the venue. It's not like they're gonna be really involved in our day. Like, as a business owner, like I love contracts. I love a contract because I know what I can expect from you, you know, what you can expect from me. Contracts are amazing. This sad excuse for a docent, uh, I actually ended up having a list of, I started, you know, writing down my questions. My list of questions was longer than the contract, and they had, it was like, you know, uh, you're the, the venue cost is this much and it includes table. chairs. And I'm like, okay, so legally you're gonna provide me two tables and two chairs, and then make me pay an upgrade. Like what does this mean? And they had a music policy that was like, no rapper hip hop period. And I was like, I'm a little white lady. and my racism bell is dinging. So like, and so I just followed up with'em. I was like, Hey, like I'm sure this wasn't your intention, but like this comes off a little racist. And like I got screamed at via email for accusing them of being racist. And they were like, it's about having bad words. Our neighbors don't wanna hear bad words. And I was like, cool. So the term for that is explicit. Like there's plenty of other genres of. like, I can tell you're covering your ass. This is not what this was. so we dropped them. We, we ghosted them for good reason. And I will tell everyone far and wide not to hire them. It was a mess. we found a second venue that we loved, we were obsessed with. but even cutting every single corner we could far beyond what we were comfortable with. Budget wise, we were still about$10,000. To pay for it. So that fell through, which was devastating, but you know, it's fine. Uh, but we, this is like full circle moment. The very first venue I even looked up on the internet. ended up being our venue and we didn't tour with them initially because our initial plan was having everyone stay on site for the full weekend, like, you know, like cabins or whatever. And this venue doesn't have that. And so I immediately mixed it. I was like, it's perfect except for it doesn't have this. Mm-hmm. And so once we gave up the idea of uh, having people stay on site cuz that wasn't available, that doesn't exist in California in our budget, I went back to it and I was. This is perfect except for the thing that we just gave up and so we went and toured. It's perfect. It's Saratoga Springs in Saratoga, California. It's amazing. and. We did like a group tour and then we were about to leave and I realized I had a question. So we went back to ask and there was a couple in there putting their name on the calendar and I was like, oh, I didn't know we could do that. Like, you know, just get like a soft hold and, and get a contract. And so I was like, we would like to do that. And they said, oh, when do you wanna get married? And we were like, about a year from now was September 16th of, uh, last year. And we were like, you know, we're looking for like September or October, preferably, preferably a Saturday cuz we have a bunch of people coming in from out of state. They started going through the calendar. all they had left. The only September, October, Saturday evening they had left was exactly a year later, September 16th. And so we put our name down cuz it was the only date left and that is our wedding date. And it was exactly a year out. And it's crazy how the universe lines up to make stuff like that happen. Yes. Oh my gosh. Yeah. I was like walked away with like such like confidence like, yep, this we're done. This is it. Yeah. Wow. Oh my gosh. I'm already. Counting down the dates just to like see all the photos and everything. I got, I'm so sorry. Oh, it's literally the only thing I care about besides getting married is like we have, we have, and like this is, I go back on my word, right? My whole thing is that I firmly, firmly believe that queer people should hire as many queer vendors as possible for their wedding ex, especially front facing ones like your dj, like your photographer, the people that will interact with the people. Our DJ is a straight fifth man, who is super awesome. I call him straight Paul, not to his face our venue, you have to pick from the DJs that they have. And I was like, ah, guys. And Paul came through, I was so worried about like, we have a ton of queer people coming, of varying presentations. And I was like, I don't wanna have to do the work to educate our DJ on how. use language with people. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And so I was talking to him and I was like, Hey, like, you know, if someone who has like very masculine presentation, short hair a suit, walks up to you and asks, you know, has something to say to you, how do you address them? And he said, how may I help you? Hmm. And I was like, Paul, you know, what's up? Uh, so Paul absolutely came through for us. and also like, especially with the photography, like one of the saddest things about the whole wedding is that I can't shoot my own wedding. And I don't wanna pay thousands of dollars for someone to do a less good job than I could have done. especially for something that I care about so much. Uh, and so instead of hiring a queer photographer, I hired my friend Kelly, who I'm obsessed with. and Kelly is amazing. And Kelly took pictures of both our, our proposals. and we have very similar styles. And I think because, you know, we've, we've collaborated in the past. I sort of get a little. of leeway to not be like a bridezilla, but like have more creative control than a bride normally would. with their photographer where I'm like, I want this and this and this. and it's gonna be so hard not to be like, can I see the back of your camera? Did it turn out good? Can I see them because I wanna have control over that. and then we, we are flying in, uh, Rachel Rego, who is amazing. They are a, uh, queer and, uh, I think they're a non-binary or trans, I don't know. Rachel's amazing, uh, uh, videographer based in Muni, Indiana. They actually recently moved to, uh, Chicago and they were literally like the one of two queer videographers I found in. I'm sure there's more, but they don't lead with their identity, and that was really important to me. especially hiring someone that I don't know, like I feel confident hiring Kelly cause I know her. Mm-hmm. but like, especially for videography, I was like, uh, and Rachel's amazing. Rachel's literally flying out to do this for us, and I'm so excited. I'm so excited. It's gonna be great. but yeah, our hair and makeup artist, uh, Kim Baker is amazing. She's queer. Uh, we have, we have a lot of really awesome people on our team and it's gonna be really, really, really cool. I'm super. Yes. Oh my gosh. Feel like that'd be actually kind of like a fun, like group photo. Like just getting all the like queer vendors together's. Like, Hey I'll have to put that on our list. Be like if you're, if you're one of our vendors, come take a picture. Yeah. And straight call in the middle being like, yeah. Yeah. I mean, so I think you've already like touched on, you know, quite a bit of it, but like how has your experience been? outside, outside of your venue and kind of how, like you navigated that as a queer individual who's engaged? Yeah. just all the pree emailing and pre-call that even sometimes doesn't even work. Uh, we had, we, we went to, we ended up going to four different bridal salons and didn't feel comfortable until the fourth one, even though we had pre emailed pre-call. We're two women looking people. We are engaged. We are getting married, we are going to shop together. We wanna see each other's dresses. Cuz here's the thing, and people don't think about this. There's a billion shades of white and any bridal gown on its own will look white But if you have two wedding dresses next to each other that are different shades of white, in the case of having two brides or two people wearing wedding dresses, whichever shade of white is darker, that dress will look like it has been in an attic for 5,000 years. or like it, you did a, a mud run and didn't quite clean it. Right? And so it's very important to us that not only the colors matched, but that, They go together, you know, like they, they need to be sort of the same vibe but be different. and so I would explain that to every place and they'd be like, oh my God. Literally not a problem. You don't even need to ask that. The first place we went, which I was so excited cuz it was the place I got both my prom dresses in high school. I was like, this is gonna be full circle, it's gonna be amazing. Our, uh, I had actually already been there by myself just to like look around so they knew who we. like very much knew who we were. And the stylist came to get us and she was like, all right, so I heard you guys are shopping together. And we were like, yes, good. And she goes, okay, so whose wedding is first? Uh, you can try on dresses first. And I was like, what? No, they're, it's the same day and she goes, oh, and that's why you're shopping together cuz you can't go to each other's weddings. And we went, no, it's the same wedding. And she goes, oh, it's a double wedding. And I was like, who does double? Like really you went to double wedding even though. in our file. I asked for them to write down, we are getting married to each other so this exact thing doesn't happen. And like, and she was like, oh, your sisters, oh you're friends. Like literally every other thing. And I was like, we are homosexuals getting married to each other and we wanna episode, you know? And she went, oh well then you can't shop together. You can't see each other's dresses. And I was like, ah. What a great start to the appointment. it was infuriating and, and like I had literally done so much work so that that didn't happen. Uh, and, and I think a lot of, uh, like a couple of the other places we went, uh, all the entire staff was women over the age of 50 who really just didn't get what was going on. and it was just like super, super frustrating. And I actually had, uh, a queer. I'm not gonna say bride because they're non-binary, but they were gonna wear a wedding dress and they said to me, they were like, look, if you wanna have your like say yes to the dress moment, which like, I'm that bitch, I've seen every episode. I was obsessed with weddings as a child, my fair wedding with David Tooter for weddings, say Yes to the dress, that's me. And she was like, if you want that as a queer person shopping together, you have to go to Janine. and they have, uh, one in San Francisco and one in Alameda. Both of those are over an hour from us, and I was like, you know what? I give up. We're gonna go. And so we went. We, I didn't even pre-call. I just said in the thing, here's who we are, here's what we're doing. They opened the door and they went, my brides, and we shopped together and we found our dresses and it was, it was really truly as if they had never worked with a straight bride shopping by herself in their life. It was as if this was all they did. They only work with two brides shopping together like there was. Weirdness. There was no, uh, how do we, like, it was amazing. And obviously we found our dresses like it was fantastic, but like we shouldn't have had to shop for six months at four places pre-call and emailing, trying to figure out what the fuck was going on. so that was really annoying, but it turned out, yeah. Yes, thank goodness. And I mean, wow. I feel like we live in the San Francisco fucking Bay area. Yeah. This is one of the most liberal liberal areas in the. Yeah. And if it's that hard for us here, imagine if you're in the Midwest, if you are in the South, especially with all the shit going on with like laws and anti-trans shit. Like if, if it's hard for us here, I cannot even imagine how hard it is somewhere else. Yep. Yeah. And it's crazy too because even just hearing you speak on that, it's. if you think about it, like the shifts that those other businesses would have to make to give you that same ex experience are relatively small. It's so easy and it's free and it's just like I'm trying to give you my money exactly like they are obviously like should be good hans, good people. and like just wanna work with you. But they're also like losing money, you know? So like terrible business move, like, come on guys. And even with the venues, it's like, you are my gay dollars. Pay your bills. I would love to give you thousands of dollars. What are you doing? Yeah. Yeah. Very sad. Yeah. And that's, but everything else is great. Go ahead. Yeah, I'd highly, highly recommend anyone in the Bay Area. if you're looking for, I mean, the first, literally the first vendor we booked was our coordinators. They're a lesbian couple. it's events by Gs, like the letters. they are amazing. And I, I shouted from the rooftops, they are worth every freaking penny because they will, make sure that shit is like, not just queer friendly, but like queer empowering, where like if they're recommending a vendor, they've done the dirty work to like ask those annoying questions and like vouch for them. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. many times they've actually already worked with them with queer couples, so it's like that's what they specialize in. And like anyone that they recommend, I don't even worry about it because I feel super safe about it. Mm-hmm. So, mm-hmm. So highly, highly recommend, if you're a queer couple getting married in the Bay Area events by g. Lucian and Mei are the real MVPs of this wedding. Like they're so cool, they're amazing. They just take so much of it off our plate. And so all we have to do is just be like, oh yes, we want that. No, we don't want that. Can we do this? Yes. Great. Moving on. That's so fantastic cuz I think like hearing you frame it that way is like, A really cool tip to share with couples because like in my mind sometimes, you know, obviously as a vendor, I kind of struggle to find that line of like, what do I do on behalf of my clients? You know? Yeah. In terms of like if there's something uncomfortable happening, you know, before their wedding or even like on their wedding day, like how much of that falls on me or like on them, whereas like hearing you say, There's people who like, yeah, it might suck for them to like potentially encounter someone that's like homophobic, but, but that is your job and they're equipped to do that for, and they're also being to do it, right? Like they're more removed from the situation than you yourself having to be like, hi. like, I'm queer, will you work with me? And like face that rejection versus them. Yeah. Like that's such a great tip. I love that. And and they can literally go in and be like, hi, this is the exact situation. We have two femme people, a woman and a non-binary person. They are getting married. They're both wearing dresses, they're both using the term bread. We're looking for this and this and this. Can you do it or not? If you have any questions, it's a no. Yeah. Great. Good. Okay, moving on. like, and that is so powerful, just knowing. again, anyone they recommend, anyone that you know, they've personally worked with like, and it's so hard. as a bride or anyone getting married, there's a million vendors at a million different price points. And also all of social media yelling at you of like, if you don't have ice sculptures at your reception of your faces, your wedding is shit. If you don't pay for everyone to go to Bora Bora for six months, your wedding is shit like, it's obnoxious and it's, and it's so overwhelming and you're like, I don't even know. Start cuz there's so much out there. And so having coordinators who are not just day of coordinators, like they're with us the entire time, who can lead you through it and help you wade through the muck and find the actual things that are gonna serve you best, means that by the end of it, and like I try to do this for my clients too, but like by the end of it, you don't find out about something that you wish you had done and just didn't know about. Hmm mm-hmm. you know? Yeah. It's my fir It's my first wedding. It is also my only wedding. Like, I don't know what I'm doing, but like, I mean, not literally cuz I shoot weddings, but like, as a, you know, person getting married. Yeah. And so the really leaning on your vendors who have dozens or hundreds of weddings behind them. They also have dozens or hundreds of weddings. Tips and things going very poorly that you learn from, and so you now have as the people getting married, hundreds of weddings of knowledge behind you from your vendors. So I highly encourage anyone, queer or not. If you're getting married, really lean on your vendors and, and ask them your questions even, even if it has nothing to do with what they do. like, ask your photographer if they know any florists. Ask your, you know, venue if, I mean, a lot of venues have recommended vendors that they've worked with before and be like, here's exactly what we're looking for. Do you know someone who does this? So you're not blindly googling things, hoping that you can find something that's close to what you want. These people know what they're doing. They've been doing this for years. Lean on them. Mm-hmm. because they. they got more knowledge than you're ever gonna have. For real. Yeah. Yeah. that's so great. And you've already like, shared so much knowledge with us, I love to info dp about weddings. Yeah, no, that's great. Like, yeah. I'm just curious if like for the other queer couples who are listening mm-hmm. like do you have anything else that feels really important or helpful to share with them? Ooh. I just wanna empower you to do whatever the fuck you want. and that goes for straight cis couples too. but for queer people, so many of the traditions just don't apply. Like, you know, the whole, the whole giving the bride away, it's a transfer of power from father to husband. If there's no husband, then how do you, you flip a coin to figure out who's gonna be the dude like, you know, there's, there's. There's so much that just doesn't even work, right? And so I just wanna like really give you full permission to throw away all of it. And then. Just keep whatever little bits are genuinely meaningful to you and create new traditions, and don't be afraid to do things that you've literally never seen before. I, I shot an elopement, uh, late last year that they, uh, they had a, you know, a. Real quote unquote reception with everybody at the end. But in the morning they went to their family's beach house with just the two of them, their siblings and their siblings, spouses, no one else. And me and everyone was wearing like matching set sweatsuits, like ev the whole, everyone else was in Navy. And then the two, the, the couple were in like, sort of like a wine red, just like little sweatshirts and sweatpants. Cause it was cold. It was December. and they had created a threshold crossing the ceremony. They found driftwood on the beach, made a little threshold. They had elements of like all four elements, you know, fire, air, earth, water. and they had built a ceremony with, uh, like the aloha greeting chant, the mantra, like different bits. Their cultures and their backgrounds and what was meaningful to them as a couple. And essentially wrote the entire thing from scratch. And everyone just like sat on, you know, towels on the beach and they all, they cried together. They prayed together, they just like hung out. And then at the end, they jped over the driftwood and became married. Mm-hmm. And then they stripped to their underwear and ran into the. like you can do that. Mm-hmm. that's allowed. Mm-hmm. And they chose those things, not because they had seen them before on Pinterest or, you know, oh, inspiration board. Like, and that's so valid. Do that too, if you want. But they picked those things because as a couple, they are very spiritual around the four elements. The ocean is very important to them. Mm-hmm. And so they sort of really started from scratch and built a ceremony that was unique to them and also every single element of it was completely meaningful to them. And they weren't doing a single thing because they thought they had to mm-hmm. and, and you're allowed to do that. And so, you know, you don't even have. Have the representation of someone else having done it before you, you can literally just make shit up. If it's meaningful to you, it will work. And the people who are there to you know, who love you unconditionally and support you, will back you up and be like, that's the coolest thing. Like they came out of the ocean after and everyone was like, yeah, like just hearing for them. And that was it. Like that was the wedding and, and it. honestly, so much more meaningful watching it. Mm-hmm. than any like the man and the woman, blah, blah, blah. Like very like you don't even write your own vows, like very, you know, we're doing the template. customize that shit cuz it's about the two of you. It's not about doing a wedding the way a wedding should be done. Cuz that's what does that even mean? Yeah. Well it's your money. Exactly. Yeah. Like, oh gosh, hearing you share that story, like I was getting like goosebps. Like that's so, that's so powerful cuz like you just had so much of like who you are in the creation of that. Yeah. And like, I mean, and the joining of the two of you shouldn't, it, shouldn't every single piece of it represent whom you. right? Yeah. So if, if the traditions work for you, if you, you know, if you wanna do your classic vows that everyone else has done, if that's meaningful to you, do it. I'm not knocking that. But do it because it's meaningful to you, not because that's the template, right? Exactly. Yeah. Do you have anything like that for your own wedding? Yeah, we're doing, It's a little bit more traditional route. Uh, no running into the ocean for us. Uh, but we, uh, Ali is Jewish and I'm, whatever the fuck this is. I'm not really religious at all, but, uh, we're doing various Jewish elements. So we're doing a Katuba, which is the marriage contract. Mm-hmm. We're stepping on the glass we're doing a modernized version of the Seven Blessings. traditionally the woman. Walks seven circles around the man because he's like the head of the household and she's building the house around him. and that doesn't super apply to us and also doesn't feel super modern. So, uh, a very common way to update that for even straight couples who just wanna be more modern or uh, queer couples is you each do three circles around the other person and then you do a little dossy dough as the seventh circle. So it feels a lot more, even, uh, and we are dancing in the horror and so we're doing, you know, we're doing a lot of Jewish elements. But we're also gonna do a hand fasting, which, which I, I found, I was looking at sort of like, not necessarily strictly pagan, but like sort of non-religious things. And that came up and I was like, Oh, I, that, it, it immediately like my heart, I knew that that was something that was gonna be really meaningful to me. so we'll be doing that. and for people that don't even know, uh, you like, do you, you hold hands one hand in one hand and you do different, like passing over of different colors of ribbons that represent different things. And then at the end you pull and you Yes, it is folks, you tie the knot, that's where that phrase comes from. And then you get to like have that, you get to have the literal. Not that you tied. So we're gonna be doing that. Uh, we, a lot of weddings have photo booths, which I think is super fun. Uh, I wanted to level that up because as a photographer, I think I want better than that. Uh, we are renting a, like living room chaise. Set from our venue with like rugs and like little side tables. And we are going to set up, uh, like wind up little cheapo film cameras and people can do like a real photo shoot at our wedding, which is gonna be super fun. We're gonna have, uh, We're gonna have a little cake for just the two of us, but everyone else, uh, and also us, uh, is gonna get little s'mores kits and we're gonna have a bonfire. we're gonna have like, just lots of different things. Uh, we have, we have kids coming to our wedding, which I know is polarizing. they're all angels, very select children are allowed. We're gonna have like coloring pages and activities for them where it'll be two brides with like very simple dresses. and you get to design the wedding dress or like, here's a five tier cake drawing. You decorate the wedding cake. we just wanna, again, have it feel more like a family reunion than a wedding. and, and, Have activities beyond just like, let's get drunken dance. Uh, cause that's not super our style and it's gonna be really fun. I'm excited and like, you know, for my bachelorette, like, I'm gonna take my, my wedding party to the boardwalk, like a theme park like, where's gonna go? Because it's like, I don't. I don't, what do you do with, with Vegas and penis straws when you're mostly sober and gay? Like, you know, you know, yeah, yeah. And they're perfect for some people. Again, I'm not knocking it, it's just like, that sounds like trash for me. Yeah. So I'm not gonna do that. but it's gonna be really fun and, and again, very unique to us. I think people are gonna come and be like, oh, that's Ali and Johnny. That's, that makes this makes perfect sense. Yeah. Which is probably like the highest compliment you could get. Right? For sure. And that's, that's the goal, right? Is like we want it to be representative of us because it's about us. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Well, oh my gosh, I'm so excited. I like can't wait to hear all about it and it almost makes me feel like we could do like a whole other episode after the fact, you know? Just because Sure. I feel like it'll be such a. You know, experience for you actually like living that day. Like Yeah. And, and what went well, what went well and what went wrong. Cuz there's obviously gonna be things that go wrong and, and I would love to do that. So I'll, I'll see you in a year and we'll talk Yeah. or even dinner actually it's terrifying where the 16th of this month will be six months out, which is, yeah, I was just gonna say wild. And then are you two like doing any. Post traveling celebration. We are just trying to get through the wedding. Okay. we, we wouldn't be doing anything right away. Allie's, uh, teacher and so she doesn't wanna like miss a ton of school, but she kind of gets pretty, you know, she does like the, the smer, uh, camp program at her school in the smer, but that's a lot easier to take time off of than like, we're doing curricul. This is a school year. Uh, so we would probably do something. Like next smer, not this coming smer. but this smer we're going back to Greece. So we're gonna have like kind of a pre-wet bef before moon. which it's gonna be super fun, but it, one thing that is stressing me out is like, we got really severe tan lines when we went last smer that lasted until Halloween. Uh, and so I have to, A bunch of, like, we have to get strapless swimsuits, we have to get strapless like we to get tube tops like we have to, cuz there's just, it's gonna be heinous with our dresses. So we have to find a bunch of, uh, strapless things so that we can, uh, get tan without getting, uh, lines all over our bodies that are gonna be there in September. But that'll be fun. We're very excited. We love Greece. That is very exciting. But also I would be stressed about that. I don't, I don't handle strapless super well, so good luck. No, exactly. I'm like, we don't have like teeny tiny boobs. Like we have to find, I've, I've already started research Cause you gotta find good ones. Mm-hmm. So like, we're gonna be like snorkeling and shit. Like I want straps, but I also don't want tan lines at my. So here we are. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for, for sharing like part of your story and for sharing all of those amazing tips. I feel like it's so. Yeah. It's just so refreshing. And also a little bit rare to like talk to someone who's in your position. You know, like could probably walk down the street and find like a straight bride and be like, oh, you know, weddings. But like having these conversations that include, you know, queer people getting married is super important. So thank you so much. Of course. Can I make one last Recomme. Yes. I had this TikTok go viral, that I highly, highly recommend if it works for your venue. I highly recommend having your photographer run up to where your efficient is when, when they pronounce you tell the efficient ahead of time so they move. I've had to hip check efficient before, and have your photographer. Take a picture of your first kiss in reverse. So from where you're efficient is standing so that everyone is cheering behind you. there's gonna be a million pictures of you kissing on your big day. There's not really anything that makes that particular kiss picture special cuz it's just you up there and like, you know, it's a first kiss, but it doesn't. It doesn't, it's not obvious by having your photographer go stand where your efficient is. Like you get that moment of like, this is the moment we got married. and that's really special. So you need a little bit of room behind where your E is standing. as people in the comments continuously love to tell me, this would never happen in a church. Thank God I don't get hired for church weddings. but if it works for your, if it works for your venue, I highly, highly recommend it. A lot of people don't think about that. and just getting that picture, uh, that's gonna make it a million times more meaningful. for everyone that commented, like, Jessica, we never working in a church, there were 30 people commenting. We did this and this was our favorite picture of our entire day. Mm-hmm. So highly, highly, highly recommend, uh, and plan that with your e ahead of time so that they know, oh, I'm sorry, O officiant. People yelled at me for how I pronounce that too. It's fine. People on the internet love to yell at people. I don't really give a shit. Uh, but yeah, I highly recommend getting that picture. We're gonna do it. It's gonna be beautiful. You want shit that you wanna frame and put on your wall three feet tall, you know? Right. No, I love that. Yeah. And speaking of, you can find Jenny on Instagram and TikTok at Jenny Chapman Photography. Okay. Yes. It'll be linked in the show notes. So go say hello and you can kind of see what they're talking about. Yeah. My, uh, on TikTok, it's pinned. And don't be mad at me that I didn't do examples. I did one with examples. It's also pinned. Stop commenting, yelling at me. Thank you. Oh, you're amazing. Thank you for having me. This was super, super. Yes, of course. Clearly beloved, thank you for joining us this week and we'll see you right back here next week. Bye.