All images by Allebach Photography.
I pull a lot of dapperQ style inspiration from Instagram. But, it is near impossible to keep up with the vast number of dapper individuals out there who are sharing their impeccable style with the world on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. So, the dapperQ team loves it when our readers use #dapperQ or comment using @dapperQ when posting their style images on social media. That’s how I was able to find Sunni and Niki Vela, who shared their wedding style with us using #dapperQ on Instagram. I asked Sunni to tell our readers a bit about their love story, wedding style, and wedding celebration.
Niki (left) and Sunni (right)
The Love Story
We actually met in high school, which was very small, very fundamentally christian, and pretty strict. Our younger brothers were best friends and Niki and I saw each other from time to time through them. When I went off to college, our families started having holidays together. I came home from college after a break up with a college girlfriend and Niki and I began to spend time together. It was about a year before our relationship was really recognized by us as love. I moved in with her and we both came out to our families during our relationship. We were in our 20’s then and spent a few years together. I left Niki in search of myself and we didn’t talk for many years. We both married other people and I had twins – a boy and a girl – with my first wife. Niki and I enjoy spending 50 % of our week with them now.
Niki was always on my mind and in my heart and when my marriage was over; She was one of my first thoughts. Although it took me a year of dating and debauchery, I eventually reached out to her. It was almost like no time had past and we quickly felt at home with each other. It was easy to see that even n though 8 years had passed, we were still connected at our core. We married on Sept 28, 2013 in Asbury Park, NJ and our 23 year history is ever present in our inside jokes and love for each other. It seems equally like we have been together forever and that things have gone by in a blink of an eye. It is nothing short of an honor to call her my wife.
My custom fit suit came from Indochino. Niki measured me from the online instructions on their website. Personal touches like “Niki and Sunni Sept 2013” were embroidered on the inside of my jacket. It took about 5-6 weeks to arrive. As a wedding gift, Niki gave me collar stays and cufflinks with lyrics to Ani DiFrancos “Ain’t That the Way” lyrics on them. Each cufflink had a part of the lyrics “I love you, you love me, ain’t that the way it’s supposed to be.” Niki took me to my first Ani show over 10 years ago and we have been to countless since.
I would have loved to use a suit company from the LGBT community but I didn’t find any that were local to NJ or that offered the personal measurements with the “how to” directions on the website. I would love to try Saint Harridan in the future, as well as other companies out there representing the butch population well. Masculine fashion is where I feel very comfortable and I love representing that daily.
My wife never imagined the day she would purchase a big white gown, but she found a Maggie Sottero gown and knew that it was meant for our day.
Our Wedding was shot by Allebach Photography on the Asbury Park boardwalk. It was a great experience. With our families in toe, my wife and I strolled through the historic Convention Hall, down the boards and married in the Casino Building. Asbury has become well known for its LGBT representation. Our ceremony was intimate and followed by dinner and drinks at an AP favorite, Porta.