LGBTQ Holiday Double Proposal + Engagement Party at La Venta Inn
Frank and Connor were engaged during an epic double surprise proposal weekend at a winery in Napa, California last year. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, they were not able to celebrate this special occasion with their friends and family as they would have liked. One of the most incredible things about celebrating and showcasing LGBTQ+ love is that couples get to make up their own rules—and that’s exactly what Frank and Connor decided to do! To commemorate their engagement, Frank and Connor reenacted their double proposal and re-imagined their engagement celebration as an intimate dinner for family and friends at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes, California. More and more we are seeing couples want to feel like the star of their own show with styled engagements shoot like this! Beautifully captured by Todd Danforth Photography, This joyous event was planned and designed by our team at Anything But Gray Events.
A full list of all the diverse and LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors, including website and Instagram links, is included at the end of the blog along with a video of the full day captured by Leira Productions. We hope you enjoy the images from this beautiful LGBTQ+ proposal below.
La Venta Inn is a one-of-a-kind venue on the northern coast of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, with panoramic sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and the Los Angeles metropolitan all the way to Malibu. This historic property built in 1923, is filled with bespoke details, warm and inviting vignettes, and countless private locations for couples’ portraits. With the feel of a private estate and complete with the new management of Meg by Meg Catering, La Venta Inn is an LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding and event venue featuring two, gender-neutral getting-ready bungalows overlooking the ocean.
Frank and Connor were outfitted with tuxedos fitted by Friar Tux and embellished with custom vintage accessories from Julie Harris Designs. Frank’s preppy, burgundy red velvet blazer was complimented with Connor’s jubilant silver paisley print blazer for a touch of whimsical holiday cheer on a chilly evening near the water.
The couple’s rings, created by Baguette Atelier were complimented in Mr. and Mr. velvet ring boxes with a custom invitation suite crafted by Roseville Designs that felt joyous but still classic with masculine touches.
Being an inclusive wedding vendor means always learning, growing, and evolving with the changing times. Something to always keep in mind when working with LGBTQ+ couples is to ask the important questions that will help you as a vendor personalize the planning process and avoid assumptions. In Frank and Connor’s case, both partners wanted to propose to each other. Instead of assuming, from a hetero-normative mindset, that only one would propose to the other, it was important to take a step back and ask the couple what they wanted. Asking them how they envisioned their proposal story being told stopped any assumptions from happening and made them feel included and heard. This way, when we were recreating their special moment in this styled shoot, we were able to accurately depict what they wanted to see and what actually took place. No two couples are alike. No two couples have the same needs and wants. No two couples should ever feel boxed in! As wedding and event pros, we need to take more initiative to kindly ask imperative questions that will create an authentic narrative for LGBTQ+ love.
Regardless of you who are, I recommend all my couples consider hiring a professional makeup and hair team for the engagement photoshoot (as well as their wedding day). Why? Because regardless, everyone looks better with some professional ‘zhuzhing’. If you have never sat in a hair and makeup chair before, do not fear. Once you try it, you will never want to go back to doing it yourself again! It is pure bliss.
The couple’s hair and makeup (also known as a Dapper Bar) were provided by BreLuxe Beauty.
Fine foods, good company, and plenty of bubbles!
Even though California doesn’t have the snow like some other states, we do have our version of Winter. As a nod to our location at La Venta Inn, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the design centered around the idea of ‘Winter by the Sea’. Floral arrangements, including this epic floral installation above the 7 ft tall fireplace complete with an 18ft wide handle was crafted by Flower Duet Floral Design and beautifully complimented the wintry aesthetic throughout the room. A heartfelt thank you to Bright Event Rentals, Papillon Rentals, and BBJ Linen for the linens, decor, and furniture that brought this holiday double proposal extravaganza to life.
Venue: La Venta Inn @laventainn_pv
Catering: Made by Meg Catering @madebymedcatering
Dessert: Nicole Bakes Cakes @nicolebakescakes
Planning & Design: Anything But Gray Events. @anythingbutgrayevents
Photography: Todd Danforth Photography @toddthephotographer
Videography: Leira Productions @leiraproductions
Floral Design: Flower Duet Floral Design. @flowerduetla
Stationery: Roseville Designs. @rosevilledesigns
Decor: Papillion Rentals. @papillionrentals
Dapper Bar: BreLuxe Beauty. @breluxe
Menswear: Friar Tux. @friartux
Accessories: Julie Harris Designs @julieharrisdesigns
Rings: Baguette Atelier @baguetteatelier
Grooms: @connorjmcdonald & @franklinburgess