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  • Megan Papageorge

Love is still Love

Updated: May 18

Happy Pride! Today I'd usually be decked out in rainbow with a morning cocktail in my hand with and some of my best pals on Ocean Blvd. I'd spend the morning cheering on the families, floats, drag queens and decked out doggies in the Gay Pride Parade. The afternoon would be hopping through Long Beach brunching, cheering, hugging, dancing and smiling through the local gayborhood.

Even though the day is different, I still celebrate. I celebrate the brave and colorful people who have fought to change laws and build legislature. I celebrate open affection with partners free of judgement. I celebrate weddings done in style with teary moments and lively dance parties commemorating same sex partners. I celebrate that two souls can publicly, proudly and legally commit to forever in matrimony. Most importantly I celebrate the actual marriages that secure freedoms and equality, that last and grow through the years together. I celebrate #loveislove!

In honor of Pride I want to highlight some of my favorite vendors, show off a pretty stylized gathering we held at Recreation Park 18 last year, and share their views on our industry from their unique perspectives.


I've included their Instagram handles so you can follow, like, comment and support their art!


Mark Mandujano

Balloon Designer

“As a member of the LGBTQ community, being an entrepreneur has been amazing. We use to live in a time where we weren’t accepted but nowadays I think we receive a lot more support, including support for our businesses. It’s taught me, personally, to always do my best work and be grateful of those who book my services. We once lived in a time where we weren’t accepted, loved and not many wanted to see us succeed. So given the opportunity that we have now as entrepreneurs, I must take everything with gratitude that I have the ability to run a business. I appreciate that we are accepted more than before thanks to all those who fought for our rights and to our allies alike."


Follow along as Mark keeps it poppin' at Marksandcrafts on Instagram

(That was a balloon joke. You're welcome.)


Ashley Egge

Modi Event Supply

"Why put a limitation on love? Everyone deserves to be loved and should be able to celebrate their love regardless of race, gender, sexuality or religion. I didn’t realize the importance of this until my first gay wedding. When I first met with the brides it was refreshing to see both parties be extremely involved in what they envisioned for their wedding. Their passion and love for each other prevailed with all the little details they provided. Assisting with LGBTQ+ weddings has heightened the importance of the freedom to love because of how much it impacted the couple. The way I see it is, planning a LGBTQ+ wedding isn’t much different than planning any other wedding and I see no difference when I am involved."


Watch how Ashley keeps it stylish and comfy at ModiSupply on Instagram


Anthony & Follin

The Boy Who Cried Flowers

“Being able to celebrate love,  especially knowing in our lifetimes that our love wasn’t legal at some point, is such a wonderful experience.  We really appreciate the chance to collaborate with each couple for their special day and know just how special it is and to not take any moment of the process for granted.


To any couples that are planning, our advice would be; to have fun, be creative, and remember you love each other haha, that’s why you’re doing this!


To those who have postponed their wedding: We will all get through this together, and hungrier than ever to attend magical events!”


Watch how Anthony & Follin bloom bright year around at

TheBoyWhoCriedFlowers on Instagram



Melissa Buffaloe

Blue Moon Event Planning

"As a queer event producer I love being able to suggest unique twists on traditions for same-sex/queer weddings. Clients often look to me for guidance on how to handle walking down the aisle, ceremonies, special dances, etc. Every couple is different with their own stories and situations - in many instances there are sensitivities with family. Ultimately, gay weddings just seem so heartfelt because marriage hasn't been recognized for very long; all the guests present truly support the couple and that is such a beautiful thing to be a part of."


Support Melissa as she produces beautiful events at BlueMoonEventPlanning on Instagram


Eric Davis

LGBTQ+ Community Leader

"There is always something to celebrate ... friendship, partnerships, gratitude, life and LOVE. "


Stay uplifted by following Eric's fun profile BrownSugar on Instagram


Evelyn Avila

Eve Rox Photography

The beautiful photos featured in this piece were captured and edited by Eve of Eve Rox Photography. You may have seen her out with her wife and sweet dog, Merlot, supporting a local restaurant by eating a vegan meal. When not editing in her Long Beach home, Eve is hitting our unique city streets shooting engagement photos for a couples strolling down Retro Row or hanging on the Promenade. She has a unique style of being silly and warm while shy and easy going. It's always a blast to collaborate with Eve and I'm so grateful she was able to memorialize this fun day at Recreation Park 18.


Follow the love that Eve captures at EveRoxPhotography on Instagram


It's hard to believe it's only been five years since the nationwide law was passed granting marriage to same sex couples. If you live in a large city or forward thinking community, then your first reaction may be "Of course you do, everyone does". This is not true. Unfortunately even in 2020 there are still places in our country turning away cake orders, refusing to sign marriage licenses and refusing venue rentals. It's important to keep fighting until the notion of gay marriage being illegal is so absurd, no one can imagine that happening. Until then this ally will be waving my flag proudly in support!


Ps. While you're following all these amazing vendors and community leaders, take a moment to make your day peachier by following us at SweetPeachPlanning on Instagram


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