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Lauren Stockard

Lauren Stockard

Lauren Stockard is a trendy & creative DIY fanatic, and a 20-something go-getter who recently set out for adventure by moving from the suburbs of Atlanta to the groovy cowgirl scene of Dallas.  She married her truelove two years ago and has since continued to help many friends, straight & gay, polish details of their own fabulous ceremonies.  One of her life goals is to help others laugh out loud... as much as possible.

Lauren is the out & proud niece of RainbowWeddingNetwork co-founders, Cindy Sproul & Marianne Puechl.

Website URL: http://www.rainbowweddingnetwork.com/component/k2/itemlist/user/12603-laurenstockard?format=feed

Invitations are such an integral part of the wedding! They set the stage of the wedding style and give guests all of the pertinent information needed to attend Your Big Day.


While going through the process of selecting and designing your invitations, don’t forget the four C’s!  Whether your invitations are digital or made of paper, these tips apply.


  • Be consistent.

    • It’s best if the invitations flow with the wedding theme. Guests should get a small taste of what to expect at the wedding when they first lay eyes on those magnificent invitations! Also, consider using the same vendor for your invitations for other products needed. Such as: menus, name cards, programs, thank you notes...etc…  That way the look and feel remains consistent and guests can easily associate all the material with your particular event.

  • Be creative.

    • The invitations reflect not only the wedding style, but your personalities as well! Make sure you both LOVE what you’ll be sending to your guests while staying within the wedding theme.

  • Be clutter-free

    • Try not to clutter your card. You want the invitations as easy to read as possible. Stick with the basic information: Ceremony start time, address of the location, host venue names, your names as the Happy Couple, dress code (if needed), kids welcome or no kids (if needed), how to RSVP, and store or website registry information (optional).

  • Be correct.

    • Seriously! Review it many times. Have your wedding coordinator, attendants, family members, and heck, even past or present school teachers proof it before finalizing! It’s easy to miss a typo, especially when you’re so hyped up about seeing the draft. The last thing you want is your invitation to say you’re getting married on the 12th when you’re actually getting married on the 21st.

How exciting!  With the finalization of your invitation, the whole idea of actually GETTING MARRIED becomes that much more real.  CONGRATULATIONS!


*Our thanks to our friends at www.OutVite.com for use of the image to complement this article!*

Can you imagine walking into a bridal expo with vendors who will turn you away based on who you choose to marry? Unfortunately, this may be easy to imagine, because it’s not abnormal for vendors to decline services to same-sex couples. Co-owner of Rainbow Wedding Network, Cindy Puechl-Sproul, often says, “LGBT couples can walk down the aisle in  the morning and in many locations still get fired from their jobs that same afternoon for who they’ve married.” In today’s world, we’ve come so far as a nation in regard to equality; however, in many ways we’ve taken steps back. Even though gay and lesbian couples can now legally get marry in all 50 states, since the SCOTUS decision in June 2015 there have been over 200 anti-LGBT pieces of legislation proposed in locales all across our country!

Did you know that many wedding expos actually have an employee walk around with a piece of paper that has an equality sign printed on it? These employees are tasked to ask vendors if they support equality and same-sex couples getting married. If the vendor does support and accept LGBT couples, they will put the equality sign on their booth. If a vendor declines and chooses not to put the sign of equality on their booth, they’re making it known that same-sex couples are not welcome to do business with their company.

Joel Bagnal with Joel Bagnal, Goldsmith experienced this when he participated in a larger bridal expo in the Orlando area. At first, his immediate response was shock that he was even being asked if he would turn same-sex couples away and quickly replied, “Yes, I want the equality sign on my booth! Why would you NOT want to be a part of EVERYONE’S wedding?!” He was so dismayed by the amount of vendors who did not accept same-sex couples, that Joel himself decided to create jewelry to specifically honor the LGBT community.

Joel is an expert goldsmith with an M.Ed. and an M.F.A. in Metalsmithing, he teaches and creates metals programs for Cedar Crest College and Boston University, and he is a National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient. You can find his work in the Smithsonian Institute Collections, the Collections of the Minnesota Museum of Art, and at his current shop located at 11C, Aviles Street, St. Augustine, FL.

Joel has also worked with LGBT couples for many years to create that perfect wedding ring.“For over 40 years, we have offered distinctively handmade designs in gold and silver jewelry. We commemorate marriages, partnerships, and any special occasion or relationship with collaboratively designed objects of adornment. We provide expert advice in diamonds and gemstones. We serve clients,” he emphasizes, “not customers.”

Needless to say, Joel was ecstatic with the recent inspiration to get started on his new equality line. Immediately after the bridal fair, Joel got to work on his fresh ideas. Shortly after, the Heart of Equality line was created. Together, Joel blends a heart symbol with an equal symbol inside to represent love and equality. This uniquely delicate design is a timeless piece that one can wear at any time with any wardrobe.  The Heart of Equality line is offered in studded earrings, beautiful earrings that hang, charm bracelets that can also be worn as an anklet, and as a necklace pendant. This exquisite jewelry line can be worn by all genders in any walk of life - anyone who supports the LGBT community’s right to equaity.

You can find Joel’s Heart of Equality line on his website, https://www.joelbagnalgoldsmith.com/. Also, if you’re looking for unique wedding rings, Joel creates custom wedding bands that are designed specifically for you and made to reflect your personalities as individuals as well as your union as a couple.

Joel Bagnal, Goldsmith




Photo Courtesy Galaxy DonutsImage Courtesy Galaxy Donuts Food trucks. I’m sure you’ve heard of these incredible delight-filled vehicles by now, especially if you live in the larger cities such as Austin, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago, etc. If you haven’t heard of food trucks, the name is exactly like it sounds: They’re van-like trucks that have mini kitchens in the back where you can walk up and order something amazing. The food truck chef creates drool-worthy food that they then put directly in your hands for you to deliver straight to your taste buds (BAM! - that’s the sound of your taste buds exploding from eating something soooo good). Many chefs use this kitchen on wheels to create quirky yet amazing tasting creations. 

What kind of yummy quirky creations are out there you may ask? Oh let’s see.... chicken and waffles… check!  Pizza tacos...check!  Ice cream cones filled with thai food...check!  I mean really, you name it...there very well could be a food truck out there serving it and if there isn’t...well, get yourself a food truck and you just may have yourself a million dollar idea! 

So, you may be wondering why we’re talking about food trucks on a wedding site? One word says it all....catering! Food trucks offer a variety of fun, creative food options for you and your guests to enjoy. For example, have you ever thought of a grilled cheese affair? I mean, who DOESN’T like a mean grilled cheese?! If that seems like something that tickles your fancy, check out The Grilled Cheese Experience food truck (www.grilledcheeseseattle.com). They offer all grilled cheese everything! You could even follow-up the grilled cheese meal with donuts for dessert. I mean, why NOT?! To keep up with the food truck theme, you could have Galaxy Donuts (http://www.eatgalaxydonuts.com) join the party. Seriously, a peanut butter & strawberry donut along with a maple & bacon donut? YES, PLEASE! I would leave this wedding a well-fed and happy gal! 

You can offer a full three course meal via food trucks or if you have your heart set on a sit and serve style dinner, you can have a dessert food truck (like DONUTS or ice cream) after the sit down meal or have a food truck to offer drinks and small munchies while guests are hanging out before the ceremony. There’s really no wrong way to utilize a food truck at your wedding and it’s a great ice breaker to get your guests talking and mingling. What is better to talk about at a wedding other than how amazing the brides or grooms look and how sweet the vows were?! Creatively delicious food truck catering! That’s what! If you’re looking for a catering company and want something a little out of the box for your wedding, check out the food trucks that are popular in your city. A kitchen on wheels is sure to be a crowd pleaser at your party!



galaxy2Image courtesy Galaxy Donuts  

Galaxy Donuts is a small local business based in the Seattle WA area. 

"Our goal is to have fun celebrating your event!  We offer fresh made to order mini donuts that will delight your senses and satisfy your sweet tooth, along with hot steaming coffee to complete the experience.  We have also recently added a hot dog steamer, so we can also do steamed all beef hot dogs along with our yummy Galaxy Donuts or Galaxy Dogs all by themselves.  We want to join in on your fun, and give you tasty treats to enjoy."

"One huge benefit is that with Galaxy Donuts, you and your guests get to choose from over a dozen different flavors instead of just one particular flavored cake.  -Everyone gets to choose their favorite!"


Sample Menu Items:/

* Bavarian & Chocolate
Tutti Fruiti
Orange & Chocolate
Powdered & Lemon
Plain, Powdered, Cinnamon Sugared


The Grilled Cheese Experience 2Image courtesy The Grilled Cheese Experience
The Grilled Cheese Experience, based in the Seattle WA area, takes pride in rotating our menu selections with respect to seasonality and freshness. We invite you to contact us and chat with one of our catering professionals to customize your wedding or special event.  We offer a variety of grilled sandwiches and sweet desserts to create a catered menu specifically for you and your guests!

www.GrilledCheeseSeattle.com- Check out our full menu on the website or give us a call! 206-661-5225


Sample Menu Items:

Classic-a blend of 3 local cheddars melted perfectly into artisan bread
BBQ Bomb- Slow Smoked Ribs, Chipotle Cheddar, Signature Mac & Cheese,
       Bourbon Molasses BBQ Sauce
Purple Haze- Blackened Hanger Steak, Borgonzola Cheese (Blue Brie),
       Potato Chips, Blackberry Balsamic Sauce
Mariner Melt- Wild Smoked Salmon, Samish Bay Herb Gouda, Fontina,
       Caramelized onion, Tobiko Caviar
Fig Preserve and Double Creme Brie
Mt Townsend Seastack, Grilled Peach, Basil Grilled
S'more (Nutella and Marshmallow on Cinnamon Brioche)



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