We may still have a long way to go to achieve full marriage equality, but there’s no denying we've made serious strides. A victory for love, same-sex weddings are currently legally recognized in over 30 countries. The Netherlands was the first to turn the tide, passing a law for same-sex marriage in 2001, and the United States was the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2015 after its historic Supreme Court ruling.
Getting married is an emotional and celebratory affair, but to be able to tie the knot with the love of your life after being denied the right to do so? Now that brings a whole new meaning to the milestone. In every photo below, there’s no missing the joy etched across each newlywed's face.
From jubilant depictions of love and laughter to more tender moments and sweet feelings of pride, these 72 LGBTQ+ wedding photos are filled with such palpable emotion that you'll be reaching for tissues.
New Year's Resolutions
New Year's resolutions rarely make it more than a few weeks, but these brides made one to last a lifetime. "At dinner that night, Wallace asked Gabrielle if she had any New Year's resolutions," the couple said. "Gabrielle replied that she needed to think about it. Once they got home, Gabrielle asked Wallace to come sit down and said she was ready to share her resolution. She'd put the ring between the couch cushions, and after fishing around for it for a few confusing seconds, gave a little speech and asked Wallace to marry her."
A Look Back on a Decade of Love
“Our photographer positioned us back-to-back on the stage where we would be saying our I do's,” share the brides. “We were both nervous, excited, and in disbelief that this moment had finally come. As we waited for the cue from our photographer, the past 10 years of our relationship flashed before our eyes. When we turned around, it was a rush of emotions. We cried and held each other—both thinking, ‘She looks even more beautiful than I imagined.’” We're not crying; you're crying.
A Wildly Unique NOLA Celebration
“One of the key reasons we chose New Orleans was so we could have a second line parade,” says this couple, who wed in a wildly unique celebration in NOLA. “And it did not disappoint! Parading through the streets surrounded by family and friends was so surreal.” The couple’s grand marshal even rode a pink pegasus unicorn bike with a bubble machine.
A Sweet Forehead Kiss
This forehead kiss on a Brooklyn street is so romantic. You can practically feel the love radiating off this photo.
A Sweet First Look
Even though this couple spent the afternoon exploring Charleston, South Carolina, and getting ready together with family and friends, they still decided to do an official first look. To pull it off, they separated just before to put on their wedding day ensembles and surprise one another. So sweet!
A Meaningful Wedding Location
"Brooklyn is our home,” explains Lilla Goettler of her and Katie Hathaway's wedding location. “When we started dating, Katie lived in Gowanus, and we’ve never lived far from there since," Lilla says. After Katie proposed at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood in December 2017, the couple, naturally, decided to host their nuptials nearby.
A Romantic Moment After the Ceremony
This couple married on an Aspen mountaintop on the most gorgeous spring day. We love this romantic shot of the sweet newlyweds bathed in the warm glow of the alpine sunshine.
A Walk Down the Aisle Together
Garrett Pinder and Peter Testori married on the steps of this historic home in New Orleans after falling in love with the city on a trip together. "We walked down the aisle together, which was a really special moment," says Peter. The couple even wrote their own vows: Garrett used quotes from some of his favorite authors while Peter infused stories of their relationship along with hidden meanings that only Garrett would understand.
Footprints in the Sand
When it came to choosing a wedding location, Allison McNamara and Cassondra Kaeding had zero doubts. "We always knew we wanted to have a destination beach wedding and Tulum was always our top choice! We have been going since we first met and it’s one of our favorite places," they explain. Judging by this photo, we can certainly understand why they'd want their first walk as a married couple to be a sandy one.
Sharing an Umbrella
When Christopher Van Es and Zachary Huey met through the Front Runners running club, there was some debate over who was chasing who—literally! About five years later, Chris proposed to Zach at the Palacio de Cristal in Retiro Park in Madrid. “Zach had previously lived in the city, and we’d been back together several times,” Chris says. “I selected the location to symbolically bridge the past with the present and future.” Naturally, they chose to wed in Spain as well.
Saying "I Do" Exactly One Year Later
After meeting on OkCupid back in 2009, Dan Koday and Yves Yakoubyan said "I do" at Weehawken Town Hall on December 26, 2018—exactly one year from the day Dan proposed in Paris. "Weehawken has the most adorable courtroom in the town hall," Dan says. "Even better: It's right near our house!" The mayor of Weehawken happened to be in town the day after Christmas, so he performed the couple's ceremony.
A Personalized Outdoor Ceremony
Meaghan Garland and Kiyomi McCloskey wrote their own vows for their New Jersey wedding, with Meaghan’s including a piece about how their relationship symbolized the yin-yang relationship. She said, "Similar to the yin-yang, though opposite in nature, its components are complementary: Neither is superior, and one cannot exist without the other. The key to this existence and to our marriage is balanced energy."
A Sunrise Ceremony
“The ceremony was held in the morning with the rising sun glinting off the mountains, which created a magical setting,” says Jeremy Woolf of exchanging vows with Christopher Slye. “We chose a morning ceremony to celebrate our favorite time of day. It is a special and spiritual time for us, when we like to enjoy nature and quiet conversation.”
An Emotional Vow Exchange
This couple exchanged personalized vows that left them tearing up as they spoke about the day they first met. We may not know what they're saying, but their emotions are communicated loud and clear.
A Gorgeous Hawaiian Wedding
"We both decided to write our own vows, which was one of the best decisions we made throughout our wedding experience," groom Ross said of his gorgeous Hawaiian wedding to Noa. "The writing process was a fantastic moment to reflect on our relationship and realize why we want to spend the rest of our lives together."
A First Kiss in the Desert Sun
This Mesa, Arizona, wedding is just breathtaking, and how sweet is this first kiss? We love their rustic altar, which blends perfectly with the natural elements of the desert.
A Gender-Neutral Episcopalian Ceremony
For their Charleston, South Carolina, wedding, Emily Lambert and Emerson Hemperley took elements of an Episcopalian ceremony, made it gender-neutral, and added personal readings. "We worked closely with our officiant to create a ceremony that felt like us," Emily says. "The best part was the reading of Lin Manuel Miranda's poem 'Love Is Love Is Love.'"
A Celebration 17 Years in the Making
Jarrad and Michael Duggan-Tierney have a chance encounter in Tasmania to thank for the start of their romance. Since then, Jarrad and Michael have celebrated plenty of life milestones together, even welcoming a son, Reid, in 2010. But it wasn't until 2018 that the famous dads—known as "the real dads of Melbourne"—got engaged. For their wedding, the couple landed on a May 11, 2019, date, giving them plenty of time to plan a celebration that was more than 17 years in the making.
Tears of Joy While Surrounded by Family
Family was central to this couple's Arizona ceremony: Jason and Philip's sisters officiated the proceedings and their grandparents, who were unable to travel, watched on FaceTime. After, the newlyweds walked up the aisle to a ukelele cover of “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. “We were crying, our sisters who officiated were crying, and pretty much everyone in the audience was crying tears of joy,” Jason says.
A Heartfelt First Dance
For their first dance, brides Chelsey and Alyssa chose "You & Me” by Dave Matthews Band. “I totally lost it,” said Chelsey about the moment the tune began to play. “When that song first came out in 2009, Alyssa and I used to dance to it all the time, alone at home. Our relationship was still very much a secret. I never thought then that someday we’d be able to be dancing, in front of everyone we know, at our wedding.”
A Touching First-Look Photo
Here comes the bride (well, one of them). First-look photos never fail to bring a tear to our eye. Just look at all that excitement and anticipation!
A Jungle-Inspired Wedding
Reflecting on his jungle-inspired wedding in Barcelona to his love, groom Oscar said, "It seems like anything that isn't a 'traditional' wedding is imperfect, but the truth is that love is perfect even if it's different than what you're used to." How heartwarming is that!
It seems like anything that isn't a 'traditional' wedding is imperfect, but the truth is that love is perfect even if it's different than what you're used to.
Pure Joy at a Sedona Wedding
The joy these brides felt at their Sedona wedding is positively contagious. There's nothing like a breathtaking landscape for an awesome photo op.
Well Outfitted Grooms
We still can't get over how stylish these guys looked at their campground nuptials. Who says you have to wear a plain, solid-colored suit on your wedding day?
Beautiful Brides Tearing Up
These beautiful brides couldn't help tearing up when they laid eyes on one another at their romantic ceremony in the South of France. We absolutely adore their complementary bouquets and veils that still allow for their individuality to shine through.
Happy Tears During Emotional Vows
Just like this tearful bride (crying happy tears, of course), these clearly emotional vows have us reaching for the tissues. The city skyline in the background adds to the dramatic moment.
A Sunny Spanish Countryside Wedding
Have you ever seen brides so cool? For their nuptials, cofounders of London-based interior design firm Sella Concept, Gayle Noonan and Tatjana von Stein, headed to the Spanish countryside and threw a party we wish we were invited to.
A Group Father-Daughter Dance
At their warehouse wedding in Portland, Maine, both brides took a spin on the dance floor with their dads to "My Girl" by the Temptations. "We danced with our own dads, then danced with our fathers-in-law toward the end of the song," said bride Allison. "Our families have been so supportive of our relationship since day one, and we were so lucky to have them by our sides on our wedding day."
A Beautiful Maui Ceremony
These grooms celebrated their wedding in beautiful Maui, where the newlyweds and guests were treated to an amazing sight: multiple humpback whales breached out in the ocean after the "I dos." We love how the palm tree and surfboards serve as a makeshift altar.
A Scenic Wedding After Two Proposals
Before these two brides celebrated their wedding in Colorado, Roz proposed to Lauren while camping at Cathedral Lake near Aspen. About six months later, Lauren decided that it was her turn to pop the question. She and Roz were at their favorite neighborhood bar in Denver, sitting outside and enjoying a drink. "I'd convinced the gas station across the street to put 'Roz, Marry Me' on their sign—it took her forever to notice," said Lauren with a laugh.
A Sweet Mountaintop Moment
My Yen proposed to Gracie by putting together a book full of pictures and memories from their four years together. “On the last page was a picture of the ring and the question, ‘Will you marry me?’" said Gracie. "It was perfect."
A Tender Embrace
This embrace captures so much love in one tender moment. The forest trees in the background make it seem like a scene from a fairy tale.
A Candid Moment Between Grooms
A candid moment between these grooms embodies everything we love about weddings: food, friends, laughter, and love. The overflowing bookshelves only adds to the storied romance.
A Surprise Wedding at a Vineyard
These grooms surprised all of their guests with a trip to a California vineyard for their jubilant wedding. Who doesn't love wine and romance?
A Sweet Moment at a Rustic Wedding
If this isn't the definition of happiness, we don't know what is. Country artist Shelly Fairchild and her bride Deborah DeLoach chose a glamping site in Colorado for their intimate wedding, where just the two of them, plus their dog and photographer/officiant, were present.
A Spontaneous Moment During the Recessional
The look on these brides' faces is priceless—pure joy! After they proposed to one another four months apart, they planned their minimalist beach wedding in the Hamptons, where they tied the knot on a spring day in May.
A Celebratory Kiss
This rooftop wedding was bursting with just as much color and life as the grooms tying the knot. The pink sashes symbolizing their union, and the bevy of bubbles surrounding them only adds to the splendor.
A Groundbreaking Celebration
We love how celebratory this photo is. When Aditya Madiraju and Amit Shah decided to have their traditional Hindu wedding in a temple, they didn't know just how much of an effect it would have on the LGBTQ+ community. But when their wedding photos ended up going viral, they realized just how groundbreaking their celebration was.
Mrs. and Mrs. Jackets
Mrs. and Mrs. jackets for the win! These stylish city brides pull off matching bombers so well.
An Adorable Getting-Ready Moment
These grooms opted to get ready for their wedding together—and we're so glad they did. How sweet is this photo?
A First Dance as Husbands
So much love for these grooms during their first dance as husband and husband. Just imagine how romantic it was with Amy Winehouse’s cover of “No Greater Love" playing in the background!
Leaving It All on the Dancefloor
Nothing pulls at our heartstrings quite like overwhelmingly emotional moments like this. Brides Jen and Taylor hug each other tightly after completing their first dance to “Danny’s Song” by Loggins and Messina. A picture is worth a thousand words, but this one conveys all the happy feelings like no other.
A Perfect Family Photo
Now, this is a wedding-day family photo for the books. We love the idea of incorporating your dog into your wedding and portraits.
The Moment Following "I Do"
There’s nothing quite as euphoric as the moment after saying “I do” and that first married kiss. Kaylee and Karyln incorporated a few Scottish rites and read hand-written vows, making this moment all the more meaningful.
A Joyful Candid
What a picture-perfect moment. Between these brides' awesome wedding-day attire and their joyful expressions, we're head over heels for this stunning snapshot.
A Tender First Look in Glowing Sunlight
These dresses may be dazzling, but their shine is nowhere near as bright as the look on both of these brides’ faces. The glowing sunlight only amplifies the tenderness of this first look.
Stepping Out of City Hall
If the elated looks on their faces say anything, it’s that stepping out of city hall has never felt so triumphant. We love the beautiful yet understated gowns they chose for their courthouse vows.
Adorableness at the Sweetheart Table
Seriously, what’s cuter than this? These two grooms put the “sweetheart” in "sweetheart table."
A Glamorous Duo
Find someone who looks at you the way this glamorous duo gazes into one another’s eyes. We were so mesmerized we didn't even notice those gorgeous draping gowns and matching bouquets.
A First Kiss Between Grooms
Captured: the newlyweds' first kiss. We bet these grooms wanted to press pause on this soulful moment.
A Giggly Pair
Serious cuteness overload with this duo! They certainly understood the assignment when they vowed to have and to hold.
An Intimate Stroll
An intimate stroll away from the crowd gave Ryan and Johnny some privacy to bask in newlywed happiness. Plus, it provided the perfect opportunity for a shot of their dapper duds.
A Moment Between Two Timeless Brides
This portrait is so sweet and tender we can't help but feel guilty for interrupting. There’s no denying the compassion and love between these two timeless brides.
A Post-Ceremony High-Five
We bet we know what these brides were saying as they high-fived post-nuptials: "We did it!" The playful moment was just a precursor to the sheer fun spotlighted at their Los Angeles wedding.
A Chic Couple Sharing a Sweet Moment
How chic is this pair with their silk cowl back gown and crisp pantsuit combo? The real star, though, is their sweet love in this magical moment.
A Swoonworthy First Kiss
A "you may now kiss the bride" shot between two beautiful brides that will seriously leave you swooning. We love the gorgeous florals in the background that coordinate with one bride's corsage.
A Perfect Confetti
A walk out of the chapel has never looked so celebratory. Jubilant and proud, Anthony and Nicholas nailed the confetti toss as much as they nailed their amazing tweed suits.
A Moment That Radiates Autumn (and Love)
These two autumnal beauties radiate love. A stroll through the woods provides the perfect setting for some great photos.
Taking a Break Together
The way these two are looking at each other as they lounge out on a hammock gives us all the feels. So, too, does their sharp and spiffy bow ties and crisp white linen shirts, emitting old Hollywood glamour and romance.
A Romantic Walk Among Greenery
Hand holding and sweet kisses—the perfect romantic walk for two. This lush and dreamy outdoor setting is an unbeatable backdrop.
Flashing Their Bling
This totally cool couple chose to take their vows solo at a Brooklyn home while zooming with their loved ones, but that didn't take away from the romance. We love this shot of them showing off their rings together.
Breaking the Glass Together
This shot of two grooms breaking the glass together at their Jewish wedding is quite momentous—an inclusive take on an age-old tradition. Check out their proud families completely enthralled in the act.
A Bike Ride Through the English Countryside
We're so glad someone captured this adorable moment between two grooms as they leisurely bike through the English countryside. The Oxfordshire location is more than just beautiful, though; it's also symbolic. Londoners Nathan and Chris went on their first getaway there in 2015 and returned for their nuptials years later on the exact same weekend.
A Gorgeous Sparkler Exit
Who doesn't love sparkler exits? This drama-filled scene between two newlywed brides at their South Carolina wedding was the perfect photo op.
A Statement-Making Portrait
We know you're probably focused on the sheer love and happiness on these brides' faces as they gaze into each other's eyes, but this romantic shot also makes a statement. Notice one bride's "love wins" tattoo. We couldn't have put it better ourselves.
Making Music Together
This whimsical couple shook tambourines while their guests followed along at their Miami Beach wedding. Isn't love just making music together, after all?
A Celebratory Tequila Shot
Because toasting with Champagne is a little too traditional, these brides embraced their tropical seaside locale by taking a tequila shot together to celebrate their love.
A Tender Getting-Ready Moment
These NYC brides wore matching bridal robes and hair accessories while getting ready together. We adore this shot of them sharing a sweet kiss before parting ways to put on their wedding dresses (which neither of them had seen on the other yet!).
First dance photos capture the sweetest moments between newlyweds. We're getting choked up over the elated look on this bride's face while she shares an intimate dance with her new wife.
Sporting Matching T-Shirts
We're absolutely living for these two grooms going all out for their first dance. From playful choreography to matching T-shirts and whimsical outfits, this photo couldn't be more fun.
Toasting to Love
These two brides made a toast to love at their glam-inspired wedding reception. Just take in the heartwarming smiles on their faces as they say "cheers!" to a beautiful life together.
These groom's love traveling so much that they modeled their wedding theme as a celebration of the iconic '60s jet era. Their proposal was equally jet-set, taking place on the last night of a trip when JJ told his now-husband that he wanted to travel with him forever. Even their centerpieces were created from vintage postcards and boarding passes they'd collected over the years.