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Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness, New Mexico – May 24, 2022
By LaShawndra Broughton
Photography Shutterfreek Photography

How They Met

Most people would never think you’d pull a love story from a mix of a chill, mild-mannered person, the Instagram influencer lifestyle and energy, and a two-year pandemic that made everyone feel like the world was about to collapse. But yeah, you absolutely can, and it’s a pretty rad one! That’s exactly the story of Veronica and Bridgette.

At the height of the pandemic during the Summer of “Shelter-in-Place 2020”, they were both put in a position to explore the possibility of putting themselves “out there” to meet someone special. The panoramic panini wasn’t going to stop them from finding love. They explored the traditional avenue, Tinder. They got matched, started talking, and their story began. 

Since the day Veronica flew into Atlanta for their first date and subsequent weekend together, they became inseparable. This couple makes the difficult and impossible seem easy, and pull it off with seamless finesse.

They began what is difficult for most to maintain, a long-term, long-distance love affair, though theirs included various international meetups. The world they would travel and experience together grew more and more unfamiliar through the “new normal,” but that didn’t shift anything in their love’s trajectory.

On paper, they should not work whatsoever. Bridgette is a Chinese-Jamaican Libra ambivert based in Atlanta, and Veronica’s a “celesbian,” an LGBT influencer and lifestyle expert Leo, life-of-the-party nicknamed “Wildchild.” Call it God, call it the stars aligning and the charts in order, or call it the divine algorithm, but it’s been working just fine. They have always maintained a healthy and happy connection based on shared values, interests, hobbies, and mutual love language.

The Proposal

After discussing their intentions, goals, and aspirations, they agreed to take the next steps in their relationship. So after a semi-surprise engagement in the IG capital of the world, Tulum, Mexico, they got engaged. Veronica designed and decorated the affair with 50,000 imported rose petals, cold fusion fireworks, and a custom wood teepee set up in the villa’s backyard. It was beautiful, romantic, and impressive, and naturally sent a shockwave through social media!

  Having the engagement go viral on social media is pretty cool, but it puts a lot of pressure on you to deliver an out-of-this-world wedding. This motivated Veronica to push her limits of creativity to conceptualize and execute a wedding and honeymoon they would both enjoy, but also reflected the excitement of what the future had in store for them personally, professionally, and spiritually.

The Elopement

Their wedding was an extremely private affair that took place in the ancient Hoodoos on Navajo land in an area of Northwestern New Mexico called “Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness,” a 3-hour drive outside Albuquerque. To paint an accurate picture of the exclusivity, there has NEVER been a publicized wedding that has occurred at this location. If you google the location and the effort involved to visit, it becomes immediately and abundantly clear why.  

The area is tribal, sacred, uncharted, without cell service, and requires a 30-minute off-road high-clearance pickup truck trek through sand dunes, which are barely illuminated by the moon, followed by a 3/4 mile hike on foot carrying all supplies.

They limited the ceremony to “necessary team members only,” meaning the husband and wife photog/videographer team, “Shutterfreek” (the witnesses), and Veronica’s sister (the officiant).

The couple had a short and sweet (and shivering) ceremony and moved on to the area’s most famous rock formation, Alien Throne, to get some fantastic shots of the other-worldly landscape. Unlike anything they had ever seen, it was like they had been teleported to Mars. Right after, they packed up to head back to the second part of their wedding at Tamaya Stables, a horse barn attached to the Hyatt Regency in Bernalillo, an area outside Albuquerque.

One thing that caused a lot of worries and almost ruined the entire vision was that in the weeks leading up to the wedding, they watched continuous footage of wildfires ravaging the entire state. They were particularly concerned about the area near the stables, but fortunately for them and everyone in that surrounding area, it turned out great, clear, sunny, and safe.

After they wrapped the couple-hour photo shoot at the barn, they filled out their marriage license to make it official, and spent a lovely night on a farm-turned-hotel, Los Campos at Los Poblanos, for a gourmet dining experience, and headed back to Miami the next morning for their honeymoon adventure.

The Couple’s Favorite Moments

Veronica’s favorite moment was hearing the vows. With their personality differences, she knows Bridgette isn’t particularly emotional and can be a little too “to herself” and very private, but the sentiments she shared that morning were beautiful and moving. Veronica got to experience a completely different expression of Bridgette. Love will definitely do that. 

Veronica also takes deep pride that she did 100% of the sourcing of clothing, jewelry, and decor, and executed the set design, made her own bouquet, conceptualized the Navajo, and ethnic influences, designed the dresses, AND made her own dress (with Bridgette’s help).– Veronica & Bridgette, Congratulations from Black Gay Weddings.

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Vendor List

BGW Vetted “LGBTQ-Friendly” LGBTQBizList Vendors

Non-LGBTQBizList Vendors

Photographer: Shutterfreek Photography
Venue: Ah-Shi-Sleh-Pah Wilderness New Mexico
Stables: Tamaya Horse Rehab & Stable
Makeup Artists: Lizbeth Ruiz
Clothes & Accessories: Wildchild Society

Broughton Media Group, LLC (BMG), DBA Black Gay Weddings, is a media company with a mission to share and protect the love stories of LGBTQIA+ couples of color. Through BGW Elevate, we empower our community to share amazing love stories and to connect with the wedding professionals who make them happen.