Abby and Liam first connected during a marriage and family therapy seminar they attended as undergraduates at Duke University and began dating the following year. The professor who taught that seminar, Janie Long, officiated their wedding on June 4, 2022, at Mystic Farm and Distillery in Durham. The couple chose vendors with intentionality to help them carefully craft a cheerful, inclusive wedding day.
Abby and Liam’s Intentional Wedding Planning Process
Abby and Liam embarked on wedding planning with a goal to host an intentional, inclusive wedding. They wanted to make sure to carefully consider each part of the process and their identities as partners. “We recognize that our ability to be married as an openly queer couple is a hard-fought privilege that generations before us did not have,” the couple says. The spouses made every decision of the wedding process together, ensuring the event was a reflection of them both.
Rowan Lane Events owner Kaitlin Stammetti helped to bring together the day with details that reflected the couple and their loved ones. “She did a great job crafting an LGBTQ+ inclusive space, from updating bathroom signage to ensuring that there weren’t any gendered decorations or sentiments throughout the weekend,” Abby and Liam say. The couple allowed their fondness for wildflowers to inform a bright color palette. The English Garden provided creative centerpieces, altar adornments, and even a custom shoulder accessory for Liam.
Artistic Photography by Elyssa Kivus and John Kivus of Kivus & Camera
This deeply personal day was captured by Elyssa Kivus and John Kivus, owners of Kivus & Camera. Like Abby and Liam, the pair also met during college, where they bonded over a shared love of photography. They started their business shortly before their own wedding and are inspired by capturing bold, magical memories.
“Elyssa and John were literally amazing – we are so glad that we got photographers that we liked so much, since we spent all day with them,” the couple says. “Their work captures such joyful energy and the photos are such a treasure to have and remember the day by.” Kivus & Camera even took the couple’s engagement photos and were able to build a close relationship with Abby and Liam.
The husband-and-wife photography team says that they love working with enthusiastic couples who focus on spending quality time with loved ones on their wedding day. “Our biggest priority was getting to celebrate with our friends and family,” Abby and Liam say. Kivus & Camera perfectly captured the couple’s joyful energy and love throughout the event.
A Uniquely Personal Touch to the Ceremony
The wedding ceremony included participation from all the guests. Each person was given a jar of glass beads to send their well wishes to. “We had a glassblower melt down the beads to make a beautiful multicolor vase for our house, which helps us remember all our loved ones who were with us that day,” Abby and Liam add.
Rocky Top Catering provided food to meet the needs of everyone present. “[The food was] delicious, and [they] did a great job with some complex dietary restrictions for our guests,” Abby and Liam say. Rocky Top also supplied custom funfetti cake pops for dessert.
Abby and Liam advise engaged readers to hire trustworthy vendors to calm some of the pre-wedding stress. “It’s okay if you don’t love the planning process, because at the end of the day it’s about your marriage and your community,” the couple says.