Boston State Room Wedding: Tommy + Kyle

Dec 20, 2013 | LGBT Couples, Weddings

Boston State Room Wedding 02

Tommy and Kyle got married in early October, and I’ve been looking forward to sharing these super fun State Room wedding photos for over two months.  I wanted to wait until my new site was up and running, plus it’s been a very busy fall here (which is great!)  These guys found me at another wedding, a couple of years ago, when I was second shooting for a good friend of mine.  I took some photos of BU’s The Dear Abbeys singing (a surprise gift from the groom to his bride at the end of the ceremony) – Tommy was musical director at the time and loved my photos of the group.  Side note – The Dear Abbeys are like family to these guys, and they were instrumental (haha) in Kyle’s proposal to Tommy which you must watch (click here).  As we were arranging to meet we found out what a small world it is; Kyle works at Merck (where my husband works) and we have a mutual good friend, Gretchen, who was a guest at the wedding.  I remember thinking at the time, “it must be fate …”

I started my day at Kyle and Tommy’s apartment where they were hanging out and getting ready with their best friends and moms.  There was a ton of laughter all morning, and then some really sweet moments as Tommy and Kyle helped each other to get dressed.  By the way, those fabulous suits are by J.Crew.  I love them!  Once everyone was ready, the marriage certificate was signed (their officiant was Kyle’s old music director and friend, Jim), and we headed over to the Christian Science Plaza for some group photos.  I then took Tommy and Kyle over to the Public Library for some couples portraits – it was a pretty dreary day but I love the images we created.

Both ceremony and reception were held at the wonderful State Room, my favorite wedding venue in Boston.  You can see some more of my favorite State Room Boston wedding photos here.  The ceremony featured a beautiful reading by friends (in French, no less!) and of course a musical performance by The Dear Abbeys.  I had to remind myself to photograph it, and not just enjoy the singing.  The first dance was probably my favorite all year; it started with Kyle and Tommy walking towards each other and back again, a couple of times, then went into a sweet waltz, and ended with their wedding party joining them for a couple of minutes, with a surprise grand finale of a huge group hug.

The toasts were hilarious – I especially loved the moment when Kyle’s friends were asked to return the keys they had for their apartment, and pretty much the entire room got up … and Tommy and Kyle’s toast was so sweet – they thanked all of their friends and family for putting them up overnight, and in some cases for a week or more, so that they could rent out their place on Airbnb in order to pay for the wedding (genius!)  The night ended with an awesome dance party that included glow sticks – yeah!  Special thanks to my awesome second shooter Lindsay Flanagan who captured some of the moments above.  I especially love her photo of Tommy and Kyle’s first dance.

Kyle and Tommy sent me the sweetest thank you gift after I sent over their full set of photos, along with this wonderful note: “Kate, we simply can’t thank you enough for the amazing work you did that has forever captured the memories of our wedding! Everything happens for a reason, and I firmly believe fate brought us to you. Merry Christmas and thank you again!  Love, Tommy and Kyle.”  Fate indeed.


  1. Bonjour Kate (Si je peux vous appelez par votre prénom),
    Je tiens à vous demander pardon de ne pas vous écrire en Anglais car je ne suis pas très bon.
    Je m’appelle Donatien je vie en France, je suis arrivé sur votre site internet un peu par hasard, mais je dois dire que je ne le regrette pas.
    J’adore ce que vous faites, je ne connais rien en photographie, je suis peut être qu’un candide, mais ces photos sont fantastiques, extraordinaires, car il ne s’agit pas de simples images de personnes ou d’objets faites d’un assemblage de pixels ou de couleur, non il y a quelque chose d’autre, quelque chose qui nous transporte , qui nous submerge,… ce qui les rend exceptionnelles c’est ce qu’elles nous transmettent. L’essence même de ces moments figés sur la toile, c’est à dire la joie, le bonheur, l’amour… Quand je les regarde ces émotions débordent de ces photos et m’envahissent, vous avez su les capturer comme par magie et les transmettre dans vos clichés, oui vous êtes non seulement une artiste, mais aussi une magicienne. J’adore votre talent, et votre métier doit être merveilleux.
    Je dois bien avouer que de toutes ces photos mes préférés sont celles de Kyle et Tommy. Ce n’est pas « un couple ridiculement mignon » comme vous l’avez écrit dans votre blog, mais ils sont merveilleusement amoureux !
    Je n’ai pas pu m’empêcher d’aller voir leur vidéo de demande en mariage. Ouah, j’ai sorti les mouchoirs !! Tout se trop plein d’amour qui se manifeste par les larmes de Tommy, le courage de Kyle pour faire sa demande sur scène devant des centaines de personnes, et la réactions de l’assemblée si enthousiaste ! Je leur dis merci de nous faire partager ce moment de joie et de bonheur. Et de prouver à la face de tous les détracteurs du mariage gay que l’amour entre deux êtres du même sexe existe bel et bien. Et merci aussi de redonner un peu d’espoir à un gay de 44 ans qui n’a toujours pas eu le courage de faire son comming out, et pourtant, je rêve qu’il m’arrive la même chose… Alors pouvez-vous, s’il vous plaît, Kate leur transmettre ce message. Même si je suis un total étranger pour eux deux, je leur dis merci les gars, et tous mes vœux de bonheur pour votre union, qu’elle soit longue et heureuse. Et si un jour vous venez à douter alors regarder les photos que Kate a faites de vous, et laissez vous absorber par l’émotion qu’elles renferment et je suis sûr que votre amour reviendra comme par magie.
    Merci Kyle et Tommy de partager votre bonheur et merci Kate d’avoir su le transmettre par ces photos.
    Cordialement, don’

  2. My mom very kindly translated Donatien’s comment:
    “Hello Kate (if I can call you by your first name), Please forgive me for not writing to you in English but I am not very good at it. My name is Donatien; I live in France and I came across your website rather by chance, but I must say that I’m not sorry to have done so.

    I love what you do; I know nothing about photography, I am perhaps just a naïve person, but these photos are fantastic, extraordinary, because they are not just simple images of people or of objects made by putting together pixels or colors but there is something else, something which carries us away, which overcomes us; …what makes them exceptional is what they transmit to us. The very essence of these moments frozen in time (literally on the canvas or The Web if Toile is written with a capital letter), that is to say joy, happiness, love … When I look at these photos those emotions overflow from them and pervade me; you have been able to capture them as if by magic and transmit them in your images; yes, you are not just an artist but a magician too. I love your talent and your job must be wonderful.

    I must admit that my favorites of all your photos are the ones of Kyle and Tommy. They are not just “a ridiculously cute couple”, as you wrote in your blog, but are wonderfully loving/in love. I couldn’t stop myself from going on to look at their marriage proposal video. Wow, I got the hankies out!! All that overflowing love shown by Tommy’s tears, Kyle’s courage in making his proposal on stage in front of hundreds of people and the reactions of the really enthusiastic audience! I thank them for allowing us to share this moment of joy and happiness and for proving, faced with all those critics of gay marriage, that love between two beings of the same sex really does exist. Thank you too for giving back a bit of hope to a 44 year old gay guy who has not yet had the courage to come out but who dreams of having the same experience. … So, Kate, can you please pass this message on to them?

    Even though I am a total stranger to them I say thank you, guys, and best wishes for a long and happy future together. If ever you start to have any doubts just look again at the photos that Kate took of you and let yourselves be taken over by the emotion that they contain and I’m sure that your love will come back as if by magic.

    Thank you Kyle and Tommy for sharing your happiness and thank you Kate for knowing how to pass it on through these photos. Kind regards, Don’.”

  3. Thank you, Donatien, for your beautiful, kind, generous words. They brought a tear to my eye. I hope that you are one day able to experience the same, that you are able to find the courage to come out, and that you find a wonderful life partner. Love, Kate

  4. Beautiful and kind words, thank you. We won’t take each other or our freedom to openly love one another for granted



  1. Boston Wedding Photographer Kate McElwee Photography – Press: Gay Weddings from The Knot – Tommy + Kyle - […] and Kyle’s gorgeous State Room Boston wedding was both ultra classy and incredibly fun, and it’s so great to…

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