Tovah and Aytch’s Belize wedding weekend at Raye Caye Island was one for the books. I mean, anytime I hear the words “wedding weekend,” I know it’s going to be a hell of a good time. And at a destination like Belize, at that? This wedding was totally up my alley, and I’m stoked to be sharing it finally!
Tovah & Aytch’s Belize wedding weekend
The second I got to know this couple, I knew we would immediately click. Tovah & Aytch are a queer couple; Aytch is a transgender man (they/them), and Tovah is a gay woman (she/her). I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to remind everyone that here at Lauren Lucile Creative, ALL love is celebrated and affirmed! I was honored that T & A entrusted me to document such a special experience for them and their guests. Aytch does some incredible work for the transgender youth in Seattle, and it was awesome to be around such kindhearted and caring people for an entire weekend.
Digging deeper into their wedding weekend experience, it was important to T & A that they were celebrated in a safe space. They also wanted to make sure that their guests, who were also mostly queer, felt comfortable and safe to let loose without restrictions or judgement! I loved how they prioritized the experience for everyone attending, and not just themselves. That’s what makes a fantastic wedding – everyone having a f*cking great time. They chose to have a week-long celebration on a tropical private island in Belize (yes, you heard that right) with all of their closest friends. And let me tell you – everyone sure as hell knew how to party!
An inclusive experience for everyone
One of my favorite parts from their Belize wedding weekend was watching their people come together for them. The fact that 40 people traveled all the way to an island in Belize to celebrate Tovah and Aytch was incredible! It was such a special experience to watch this community of chosen family go all out for them. Everyone had the most incredible things to say about the couple, and it was obvious that they made a huge impact in every guest’s lives.
Over and over again, T & A told me how important it was to find a photographer that would mesh well with their people. It was a huge honor to be that person, and I felt so welcome the entire time! Being a wedding photographer, sometimes you don’t know how much distance your couples want you to keep. I’ve been so lucky in the fact that most of my couples become close friends by the time their wedding comes around! I seriously enjoyed every single second of being on a tropical island with complete strangers.
An intimate, fun, and romantic Belize wedding
If you’re new here, you might not know that the day before their wedding, I actually broke a rib while hanging out with everyone during one of the pre-wedding festivities. If that isn’t a testament to how fun this group was, I don’t know what is! Needless to say, the show went on without a hitch. If you thought that a broken rib was going to stop me from documenting their day… think again.
The entire wedding experience was not only visually pleasing (freaking beautiful), but also fun as hell. Between the rehearsal dinner karaoke to the post-reception pool dive, everyone had a blast from start to finish! T & A were so laid back, and that energy from them translated into every aspect of their wedding. By choosing to have their Belize wedding on a literal tropical island, they didn’t have to do much in terms of design! They incorporated white and gold elements to keep things fresh and modern, but that’s all they had to do for their tropical-yet-elegant theme. Signature Belize Weddings knocked it out of the park!
As I’m sure you could have guessed, they got rid of most wedding traditions! They did open-mic speeches at the rehearsal dinner, did an impromptu dance together during dinner, and had one of their guests (who was a close friend and stylist, might I add) take care of glam. Speaking of glam, Tovah really channeled her inner mermaid-chic with a loose beachy updo, feather earrings, and a stunning turquoise eye look. Oh, and how could I forget her gorgeous strappy, beachy dress that completed her look PERFECTLY. Of course, we didn’t forget about Aytch’s glam… they had another guest (this time a barber! Where can I get friends like this??) give them a fresh cut the morning of the wedding. How freaking cool is that?
As for their wedding party, they also didn’t hold back from embodying the tropical elegant theme. Tovah’s MVPs wore dark green dresses that complimented the lush greens of the island, and paired them with gifted feather earrings. Aytch had custom feather bow ties and leather suspenders made for their MVPs, which I felt was so thoughtful!
A destination wedding to remember
T & A did keep one tradition, and that was skipping a first look and seeing each other for the first time at their beachfront ceremony. Instead of vows, they said “statements” to each other and to the universe symbolizing their love and commitment to each other. There wasn’t a dry eye among their guests, myself included!
For their Belize wedding reception, we were served fresh seafood that was caught by the wedding party the morning of the wedding! I don’t know if they planned it this way, but I surely wasn’t mad that it happened to be lobster season. From a photographer’s POV, I was stunned at the way the sun set over their dinner setup; it was like the island was showing off just to celebrate them.
We took some quick couples photos before dinner (we also had a session before their rehearsal dinner the day before!), and the rest of the time they spent having fun with their guests. To end the night off, all of their guest jumped into the hotel pool fully clothed. It felt so good to see everyone having such a fantastic time and to be around their infectious energy!
At the end of the day, T & A didn’t fuss over too many unimportant things. The way they chose to celebrate really made their priorities clear: sun, water, good food, good drinks, all their favorite people, looking amazing, having fun. Nothing else mattered to them. If you’re looking for a sign to prioritize whatever the hell you want on your wedding day, let this be it.
Ready to plan your Belize wedding weekend?
I already know what you’re thinking… “Lauren, how can we have you document our destination wedding?” I know, I know, it’s like I’m a mind reader. But for real, if you’re interested in having me tag along for your destination wedding, you can get in touch with me via my contact form! From there, I’ll get back to you and we can start collaborating. And if you don’t know where the fuck to start… I have an entire destination wedding planning guide for you to check out!