A Celebration for a Well-Deserving Couple Facing Adversity

Featured in Love Inc. Magazine.

Update: It is with great sadness that we share that our beautiful bride Beth passed away on June 2, 2024, just shy of 4 months after their wedding celebration. There is something poetic, fitting as Beth as she was a writer, and poetry was a focus of their wedding celebration, to cross over during Pride month surrounded by her loving partner, family, and chosen family. Getting to live as her true and remarkable self.

 

In the heart of Long Beach, amid the elegance of The Ebell, a remarkable love story unfolded as Elizabeth and Candace exchanged vows, surrounded by the warmth of family, friends, and cherished memories.

Gifted by Wish Upon a Wedding, their journey to this day was a testament to love’s enduring strength and unwavering commitment. Wish Upon a Wedding gifts weddings to couples who are facing terminal illness. Just 18 months into their blossoming relationship, Beth was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer.

From the depths of adversity to the heights of joy, Elizabeth and Candace stood by each other’s side through life’s most challenging moments. As Beth faced the battle with unparalleled courage, Candace’s unwavering support and love illuminated their path, guiding them through every trial and triumph.

“Candace stood by her side through chemo, surgeries, radiation, and more, and though the cancer keeps coming back, here we are,” shares the pair.

From Beth’s spontaneous proposal in a quaint restaurant to Candace’s heartfelt “yes” amidst laughter and love, every step paved the way for their beautiful union.

“She initially floated the idea of having a wedding to celebrate our love and also bring the people we loved together. She explained that she wanted to gather loved ones around something positive, rather than think about them gathering at a funeral without her,” explains Candace. “We talked about ways this could become an event that really was about both of us coming together, our worlds, and reframe it so that it wasn’t a goodbye event, but an event about us forging a future together with the support of our friends and families, whatever will come.”

0001_240208_TJD20455
0002_240208_TJD20454
0003_240208_ASN29871

Two women, one sitting one standing surrounded by flowers on their wedding day.
0228_240208_ASN20764
0291_240208_TJD19248

With the support of an incredible vendor team primarily made up of woman- and/or LGBTQ-owned vendors, Anything But Gray Events and Todd Danforth Photography, Elizabeth and Candace’s wedding day blossomed into a celebration of love’s enduring beauty and boundless possibilities.

With Beth an English teacher and Candace a poet, the wedding theme embraced the beauty of nature and the couple’s literary passions, drawing inspiration from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“Trees are seen in the ceremony, in the table centerpieces, as well as in the stationery elements,” shares Holly from Anything But Gray Events. “Trees symbolize strength, individuality and expression, calmness, growth, and the interconnectedness of everything. A grounded, rooted, and mature oak tree felt like a very appropriate symbol for this devoted couple whose branches have blossomed so much love over their time together.”

0301_240208_ASN20361
0300_240208_TJD20458
0304_240208_TJD20475
0315_240208_TJD20489

In a nod to Candace’s vibrant spirit, the color palette (chosen by Beth) reflects her essence with deep copper, ice blue, rose, and midnight blue accents. Each element, from Candace’s striking midnight blue Friar Tux suit to Beth’s elegant copper velvet dress, radiated the couple’s unique personalities and shared love.

Our friends at 5 Under 40 Foundation ensured that Beth felt radiant in a beautiful wig, styled by Face It Sugar. Beth exclaimed, “I’m exhausted, but I feel as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor or maybe she looks like me?”

0935_240208_TJD21295
0792_240208_TJD11196
0306_240208_TJD10223
0443_240208_TJD10599
0191_240208_ASN20695
0179_240208_TJD19889
0439_240208_TJD10578

In addition to the beautiful floral headpiece that adorned Beth’s wig, Michelle of Something’s Blooming was able to create gorgeous flower arrangements with deeper meaning and expression through the pieces.

“There were a lot of flowers that called to me during this process but there was one I couldn’t do without: forget-me-nots.  When I thought of all the blue flowers that are currently in season, this one stuck out to me for so many reasons and, of course, for its name.  It was the one flower I kept looking for and didn’t stop until I found it,” shares Michelle.

She was able to incorporate this and other woodsy elements into the design. Also due to Beth’s health and being unable to stand for long periods, having a seated ceremony for the couple was important.

0308_240208_TJD19725
0372_240208_ASN20947
0326_240208_TJD10372

“We wanted their chairs to feel intentional and comfortable so we decided to decorate the chair backs to tie them into the overall environment. A reminder that just because something is practical, doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful, too.”

0363_240208_TJD10369
0326_240208_TJD10372
0313_240208_TJD10366
0368_240208_ASN20888

Deb, the the couple’s friend and jovial, ” Flower Sprite”, brought some levity and humor to a heavy-hearted celebration.

0421_240208_TJD10526
0425_240208_TJD10536
0419_240208_TJD10514
0429_240208_ASN21086

As Elizabeth and Candace exchanged heartfelt vows, their promises echoed through the room, touching the hearts of all who bore witness.

0581_240208_ASN21418
0540_240208_TJD20733
0598_240208_TJD10784
0603_240208_TJD10796
0585_240208_TJD10741
0559_240208_ASN21389
0537_240208_TJD20723
0573_240208_TJD20828

Afterward, their intimate guest list gathered for a reception to celebrate. The poetic elements continued into the space with ice blues, roses, and creams of the venue that was chosen for a meaningful reason by Holly of Anything But Gray Events.

“The Ebell of Long Beach came to mind because of its affiliation with women, education, and the arts. Something that would speak to Beth and Candace on a personal level.”

The event planner then described the elements within the design she and fellow vendors curated to coincide with the chosen venue.

0631_240208_ASN21032
0637_240208_ASN20987
0776_240208_ASN21745
0778_240208_ASN21883

“The linens were Meadow Provence alongside Lamour Copper Napkins by BBJ La Tavola, picking up the light blue and copper tones of the color palette. Town & Country Rentals provided the wood chargers along with blue glassware and gold flatware. With the beautiful, dark room at The Ebell of Long Beach, bringing in warm lighting was key. Votives and pillar candles cascaded the room in warm light while the centerpieces, manzanita branches on its side with florals incorporated, created a truly unique, organic centerpiece with no vase. A textured menu, place card, and table number created by Roseville Designs finished the look off.”

0650_240208_TJD10149
0798_240208_TJD11253
0672_240208_TJD11013
0649_240208_TJD11064

Amongst the design’s poetic masterpiece, both brides enjoyed emotional dances with their fathers with DJ Dazzler spinning tunes from the 80s, 90s, and beyond with a delicious strawberry balsamic buttercream from Nicole Bakes Cakes for all to indulge in.

0704_240208_ASN21768
0916_240208_TJD11302
0705_240208_ASN20928
0933_240208_TJD11404

With all the memorable moments and elements that were beautifully captured by the one and only Todd Danforth Photography, it was the vows Candace and Beth exchanged that are truly etched in our hearts.

In Beth’s words to Candace, “More recently, you said vows to me without recognizing it. I texted you with some good (finally) news from my scans and you said, Let’s keep going. Those are good vows. And so I promise to keep going with you. I promise to be as strong as I can for you. I promise to try to live up to your example of kindness to me and to all living things … though you can have the spiders. I promise to keep the bicycle turned where we want to go so I don’t fall into a hole. I’m yours, my love, a sentence I never thought I would say to anyone. I will love you through my last day on Earth.”

0651_240208_ASN21811
0630_240208_ASN21897-Enhanced-NR
0782_240208_ASN21685
0796_240208_ASN21888
0943_240208_TJD11465
1024_240208_ASN22550
0967_240208_ASN22373
0988_240208_TJD11721

Please visit wishuponawedding.org to learn more about this incredible non-profit that gifts couples facing terminal illnesses or life-altering medical challenges an opportunity to celebrate their love, removing the financial burden and time commitment that typically goes into planning a wedding, and allowing them to focus on their treatments and spending time with their loved ones.

1079_240208_TJD10298
1095_240208_TJD10351
1068_240208_TJD10255
Wedding Vendors!!

Wedding Grant Organization: Wish Upon a Wedding

Photography: Todd Danforth Photography

Planning & Design: Anything But Gray Events

Venue: The Ebell of Long Beach

Catering: Tres LA Catering

Officiant: Ceremonies by Bethel

Videography: Isabel Cinémathèque

Photo Booth: Girl Squad Media

Floral Design: Something’s Blooming

DJ: DJ Dazzler

Cake Design: Nicole Bakes Cakes

Stationery: Roseville Designs

Linens: BBJ La Tavola

Rentals: Town & Country Rentals

Hair & Makeup: Face It Sugar

Suit Design: Friar Tux

Accommdations: Hotel Maya

Wig Consulting: 5 Under 40 Foundation

Wig Shop: Bitz-n-Pieces

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

follow along on the 'gram

The all access pass to the happenings @anythingbutgrayevents

©ANYTHING BUT GRAY EVENTS | designed by rachael earl

thank you!

Sign up with your email address to receive news, updates, and freebies!

want more goodies?

find your way around