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Once Upon A Vow won 2018 Best of Weddings
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© 2016-2020 by Once Upon A Vow.

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EMAIL ME
EMAIL ME
EMAIL ME

OUR VALUES

Our values are our heart and soul

We strongly believe in striving to be our best selves through continuous self-improvement! Understanding that we don’t know it all, we believe that an essential part of life is learning from every interaction, conversation, person, success, failure, moment (large and small) in order to grow into compassionate human beings who do good in this world. Because of that, we seek educational workshops, retreats and conferences to expand our perspectives and evolve into our best selves. -Daniela

 

It starts with our mindsets. When it comes to winning in life, the work must be done from the inside out and while we recognize that it’s easier said than done, we believe it is the only way to manifest our desires. We seek out inspiration and positivity from all sources and in all areas of our lives to ensure that we nourish our dreams and lofty aspirations. We may not always get it right and we certainly can’t see what’s coming up next, but we forge ahead knowing that there will be plenty of lessons learned and gratitude to give. -Karla

PHOTO BY CHARUK STUDIOS

GROWTH & EVOLUTION

We are students of life!

SELF-LOVE & EMPOWERMENT

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."

- Audre Lorde

As a self-proclaimed serial monogamist who didn’t date (for real) until her late thirties, I was approaching relationships from a second-class/passive position. I considered “selflessness” and “sacrifice” to be synonymous with love. It took a divorce and all the feels that come from it for me to realize that in NOT taking up the space I needed to take up within my relationships, I allowed fear to take hold and wreak havoc. No longer. Today, I fortify my heart, my mind, and my soul every time, I choose me. And what’s amazing is that whenever I do that, I show up as a better version of me for others.

-Karla

 

With ten years of marriage under our belts, my hubs and I have worked and will likely continue to work through many, MANY challenges as we choose each other again and again as ride-or-die partners. One of the greatest lessons we learned was that self-love was a foundational part of our marriage that we needed to nurture. After all, we thought, if you can love and care for yourself FIRST AND FOREMOST then you can love and care for your partner even better. This value strengthened our marriage! We had to relearn that self-love is this positive powerful ripple effect that empowers others to love themselves and uplift those around them.

-Daniela

PHOTO BY JAMIE CARLE 

Going to Catholic school during my elementary and middle school years, I heard over and over again that marriage is between a man and a woman and that all others would be punished by this scary apocalyptic God. As a young’n, the hypocrisy didn’t sit right with me and now, it infuriates me to no end! Weren’t we all souls in the end and aren’t souls genderless? Why treat the LGBTQIA community so poorly when J.C. taught us about love and acceptance; am I right? So when my sister came out to me in my tween years, I knew she felt that she was taking a risk to tell me her truth especially knowing what I’ve been hearing in church and school. But what mattered was that she’s my sister and I’ll always love her completely. It’s our right as human beings to love and be loved and we will fight for that fundamental right every chance we get! -Daniela

 

I’ve had to hide, minimize, or defend different aspects of my identities most of my life, but my latent queerness was what kept daydreams of a happy partnered future at bay. Lesbian wasn’t yet a clear concept to most middle schoolers of the early 90’s and the butch-femme dynamic would remain unexplored for another decade still, but at 12, I started fantasizing about being an awesome boyfriend to the cutest girl in school and I knew then that the experience of love would look different for me. I’m grateful for it now, but in not having the visibility and representation then, like we do today, the idea of marriage was nebulous at best. Fortunately, with every coming out experience and every grassroot effort to help change legislation, I became empowered to be the queer brown boi that I am and Iove as hard as I do. For us, love is love -- the expression of all that we are and ever hope to be and we are here to honor all of it!! -Karla

PHOTO BY JAMIE CARLE

LOVE IS LOVE

We are comrades in the fight for the

human right to love.

IMMIGRANTS MAKE

AMERICA GREAT

We are here because of immigrants

I AM AN IMMIGRANT; my sister, as a first-generation American, is OUR beacon of hope. Like most immigrants and children of immigrants, we straddle worlds and hold upon our shoulders a weight of expectations we can’t adequately describe but carry with us always. Feeling like we don’t ever quite fit in is something that both of us still contend with to this day. After all, the privilege of belonging often involves giving up pieces of yourself, which we willingly or unconsciously did, at times, in the name of assimilation. Our home was a hub for new immigrants - mostly family - and those that assimilated more quickly, gained greater access to opportunity. Being documented is a privilege my family doesn’t take for granted and the risk, the labor, and the sacrifice required to become naturalized citizens is an experience that far too many dismiss in the current political climate. We are an immigrant & first-generation duo and we know our stories, like those of all immigrants, are worthy of affirming. -Karla

We are an immigrant & first-generation duo. I’m the first generationer, lucky to be born in the states, thanks to our brave mom and steadfast dad who paved the way for us, their daughters. We grew up in a family of immigrants, of hard workers, of non-complainers who are strong in the face of adversity, humble despite their many accomplishments, and deeply grateful for the opportunity to build a strong foundation for our future. We’ve seen firsthand that immigrants are the backbone of these United States; so, this current political climate and the real harm it’s causing families today, hurts us on a visceral level. We believe that no human is illegal, that families belong together, and that IMMIGRANTS have always and will always make America great! -Daniela

PHOTO BY TANYA ISAEVA

We believe that there is great power in unity, in the collective, in coming together as a community despite our perceived differences, because we know that there is more that unites us than divides us. Ya see, we are each made of stories, of strengths, of vulnerabilities that when shared can spark a connection that uplifts and inspires others to challenge themselves, exceed goals, dream big, and celebrate meaningful moments. From celebrating momentous occasions with families and friends to collaborating with creatives and entrepreneurs, we believe in positive, inclusive communities that raise everyone up. -Daniela

Creating and sustaining community starts with us. We are an intersectional and feminist business and seek to represent, serve, and elevate OUR communities. We know that our experiences are both common and unique and in all of our stories, across the spectrum of all human desires, is the desire to connect. The more we feel connected to others either directly and intimately or as part of a greater collective purpose, the more we fortify ourselves with the power of love. The fact is that we are all part of distinct communities that may or may not offer us the support we need in the way we need it, but we can empower ourselves to create new ones and reshape existing ones to be more inclusive and open. We are the ones with the power to create the communities we desperately want and need. -Karla

PHOTO BY MELISSA CLAIRE

POWER OF COMMUNITY

"We're all under the same sky and walk the same earth; we're alive together during the same moment"

- Maxine Hong Kingston

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