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Planning A Wedding? You Could Be On TV!

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Gay WeddingJust got this from our friends at Marriage Equality USA:

Dear Couples,

Are you currently planning a beautiful wedding, including your family and friends? If so, we want to hear from you!

A Major Cable Network is now casting same-sex couples planning their dream wedding! If this is you or someone you know, please contact us ASAP for a fun, new Reality TV Series! To be considered, please send us your –

Name, Age & Location
Brief paragraph about you and your relationship
Recent photo(s) of yourselves
Best number to reach you!

to media@marriageequality.org

Why Are Gay Men Still Marrying Straight Women? It’s Time to Stop!

Friday, November 15th, 2013

It’s okay to be gay.  No really, in the 21st century, as we move forward, it’s more okay to be gay every day… and more and more men and women are coming out of the closet, announcing their sexual orientation, and now getting LEGALLY married to members of the same sex.  Even the US military is finally starting to do the right thing (yeah, it’s still messed up – but it’s improving every day compared to what soldiers of even five years ago had to put up with on a daily basis).  I firmly believe that we will see marriage equality in my lifetime and I’m 40.  That’s saying something.

Definitely both gay! Garrett and David Egland-Rock tied the knot on Vieques on October 11, 2013!

Definitely both gay! Garrett and David Egland-Rock tied the knot on Vieques on October 11, 2013!

So now, as a professional wedding planner, I have to ask a very difficult and controversial question – and I really want to know the answer – why are so many gay men continuing to marry straight women in big white weddings with the promise of a lifetime together when half the guests at the wedding know that the groom would rather be marrying his best man?

Let me back up a little to put things in context – I had a rainbow collection as a child before rainbows meant anything other than leprechauns and pots of gold.  I grew up in Washington, DC, in the 1980s and 1990s, when it was first becoming okay to be gay in public.  I took the Metro home from my prep school through Dupont Circle most days, and I assure you gay was EVERYWHERE back then (though more men than women seemed to be representing). Homosexuality has always been there – this is nothing new.  Throughout history, there have been famous leaders worldwide whose sexuality is extensively questioned in our history books even though almost all of them were married to women and had families (who knew what the gossip was about them when they were alive).  But only in the past 30 years (and really more in the last 10) have gay men and women been able to be open about their orientation and still hold their rank in business and society without being ostracized completely.  For the military, things are still in the process of changing.  But they are changing.  Big time.

With a whole world of opportunity opening up for people of all sexual orientations, with so many states legalizing gay marriage and benefits FINALLY being extended to those partners the way they should have been all along, why are so many gay men continuing the ruse and marrying straight women?  Maybe some of them are bisexual and their wives are okay with it – and if that’s the case, more power to that couple – but I’m here to tell you that I have planned quite a few weddings over the past few years that seriously made me wonder what the heck was going on.  I am absolutely positively certain that not all of these beautiful girls with hopeful smiles, tripping down the aisle in bridal white, clearly understand that they aren’t really their groom’s first choice for a life partner.  They might be his favorite girl, but she isn’t who he wishes he was marrying forever.  And most of those marriage don’t last.  It’s a fact.

How dare I ask this question?  How can I call out some of my own clients like this?  Maybe it’s because nowadays about a third of my client roster are gay weddings, and although I’ve been accused of having terrible “gaydar,” now I do recognize when a straight couple getting married is mismatched in the most horrible way.  And if I don’t pick up on it before they arrive, or even when they do, don’t worry – either my vendors (some of whom are gay) or their wedding guests will make sure that our staff knows the whole skinny before the wedding weekend is over.  And then, after months of planning and executing the perfect wedding, I feel a little sick and sad when it’s all over because I’m afraid of what’s going to happen within the next five years when he finally gets up the nerve to come out.  Generally speaking, I just pray that it happens sooner rather than later because when they hang in there long enough to build a life and have children, the damage is cataclysmically worse when the truth finally comes to light.

This happened to a few of my friends in high school – I graduated in 1991.  And even though my friends were almost technically adults, they were destroyed because their families were obliterated.  They hadn’t grown up in unhappy households.  The shock was palpable, and humiliating for some (think back 20 years). It wasn’t your normal spend time with mom and spend time with dad separately kinda divorce.  It was dad leaving mom for somebody else’s dad.  I don’t care who you are or how accepting of the gay lifestyle you are… it messes with kids’ heads pretty badly.  And in some cases has impacted all their future relationships because trust is a huge issue for them.  How can you grow up for 18 years believing your parent is one thing when he or she is another?  I’m not trying to lay blame on those parents now, they didn’t have the same options back then.  I am saying STOP THIS SILLY SHIT now!  It isn’t necessary anymore.

I could have made this a funny blog.  I could tell you some of my fave stories about my straight (so gay) grooms who threw fits at their own weddings and behaved like brides.  I could tell you about the groom who cried because the napkins were the wrong shade of orange (in his opinion) – true story!  Or the one who sang show tunes all weekend and had a temper tantrum when it rained on his beach party while the bride kept a stiff upper lip and tried to convince their guests all was well.  Or the groom I caught kissing his best man in the staff rest room while the bride was out line dancing with the rest of the group two hours after they said “I do.”

At the time, it was funny.  Not LOL funny – more like sad, pathetic and depressingly funny because the only person at the whole damned wedding who didn’t know the groom was gay was the bride.  Every time, I felt sick afterwards, like I’d masterminded the end of her happiness instead of helping kick off a mind-blowing happy future.  But I never said a word.  That’s not my job, not my business, and not the way to get a good review and referrals.  But I don’t feel good about those weddings.  I couldn’t have known ahead of time, and yet, I blame myself to some degree for not blowing the whistle when I became aware.  But my job is to execute a flawless wedding, not destroy clients’ lives.  Or is that what I did by facilitating the marriage licenses?

Gay people should marry gay people, and straight people should marry straight people, unless there’s some private understanding that’s none of my business anyway.  But if you doubt your sexuality in any way – if you’re still figuring out which team you play for or if you play for both – do not make a lifetime commitment to somebody who doesn’t know where your heart truly lies.  All is spells is heartbreak for everyone eventually.  Every man and woman deserves a lifetime of happiness… but be sure you’ve chosen the right gender of spouse to spend the rest of your life with creating that bliss.

Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!

Sandy

Sandy Malone is the owner of Weddings in Vieques, a full-service destination wedding planning company based on Vieques Island, seven miles off the coast of Puerto Rico.  She is also the star of TLC’s new reality wedding show “Wedding Island,” premiering July 17, 2013 at 10 pm ET/PT.  Sandy and her team (including her husband Bill, a retired SWAT team commander) have planned and executed almost 400 weddings in the Spanish Virgin Islands.  Sandy is a veteran event planner from Washington, DC, with years of experience planning large and small weddings, press conference, and corporate and political events.  She has planned countless events on Vieques Island, beginning with her own wedding back in 2004.  Since that time, her professional staff has executed large and small weddings of all styles, including elopements, vow renewals and fabulously posh events at multi-million dollar waterfront villas.  She has also planned family reunions, destination baby showers, corporate retreats and a variety of other events for clients from all over the United States and Canada.  Sandy is also the owner of Weddings in Culebra (wedding planning on Vieques’ little sister island), Flowers in Vieques (a full service floral and décor firm), and Boutique in Vieques (a clothing and home décor shop).  Sandy has a regular column on the Huffington Post  and has been rated “Five Rainbows” by her happy gay clients!

 

 

A Little Gay Wedding Happiness for Your Sunday

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 7.35.04 AMHow about a little same sex wedding to brighten your Sunday?

The Huffington Post reports:

In May, New Yorker Carl Marucci proposed to his boyfriend, Drew Marsenison, with a beautiful flash mob proposal in Central Park that got nearly half a million views on YouTube and left most (if not all) of those viewers teary-eyed. The couple — who tied the knot in September — had us reaching for the tissue box yet again when they uploaded their wedding video to YouTube on Monday.

Congrats to the happy couple!

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New York.

USA, Oklahoma: Gay Couple Legally Marries On Tribal Land

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Gay Oklahoma WeddingThe first legal same-sex marriage just occurred in Oklahoma – on tribal land.

Joe.My.God reports:

In May of this year, two Native American JMG readers married in Michigan at the approval of the Odawa tribe. And now two gay Native Americans have married in Oklahoma with the blessings of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes: For the past five years, Jason Pickel has wanted to marry boyfriend Darren Black Bear. The two even planned a trip to Iowa, a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. But when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last June, Pickel had an idea. He called the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe’s courthouse and asked a simple question. “I was really expecting a big no,” said Pickel. “I thought we’re on our way to Iowa, but I called the tribe and they said, ‘Yeah come on down, it’s twenty bucks.'” Twenty dollars for what no amount of money could buy in Oklahoma — a marriage license made legal by the tribal code.

Twenty bucks. Amazing.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oklahoma.

Why Do Gay and Straight Engaged Couples Avoid Writing Their Vows?

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

I don’t care what they say, not all wedding vows are equally romantic and sentimental.  The ones written on scraps of cocktail napkin while the groom and his boys are at a bar pre-wedding are not sentimental, because that would imply somebody put some “feeling” into writing those vows.  And let’s face it, we all know it’s whatever chicken scratch he could come up with in between watching the game, talking shit with his friends, and admiring the bikinis strolling by his seat.  No sir, I’m sorry.  You are busted.  You had to write them and you did the required homework, but odds are there’s nothing romantic about them.

Sandy Malone marrying Dwayne and Rodney Byrum on the set of TLC's "Wedding Island" on 12/12/12

Sandy Malone marrying Dwayne and Rodney Byrum on the set of TLC’s “Wedding Island” on 12/12/12

Why is the wedding ceremony such an incredibly difficult thing to write?  I’ll admit, we got married in an Episcopal service by a real priest, so all I had to do was choose the readings and prayers.  But for the rest of you (my clients especially), you have no excuse to be such slackers.  I send you a huge ceremony planning guide right after you hire me, months ahead of your wedding (it’s generic – meaning works for gay and straight clients because it has so many options).  I warned you right then and there that the ceremony is one of the most procrastinated items on the wedding “to do” list and I urge you to knock it out early and get it over with.  It’s like taking logic and stats your freshman year of college so you never have to do it again.  Same with the wedding ceremony, once you select your vows and put it on paper, it’s not going to change.  At least it shouldn’t.  What are you going to do, decide to take out something that you’re promising in your vows six months later because you’re mad at your fiancé?  Not likely.  That’s a whole other blog topic…

So what’s the problem?  And it literally is a HUGE problem for at least 80 percent of my clients.  What is so incredibly daunting about creating a 15-minute wedding ceremony when you have a Mad Libs-esque guidebook to lead you through it and all you HAVE to do it cut and paste into a Word document and add your own names?  Not rocket science.  Not even Sodoku.  But some of you who watched “Wedding Island” saw that I’m not joking and brides really do draft their vows as they’re finishing hair and makeup.  But, at least, they write them down.  Most of the time – I’ve had two brides lately that had me pleading with them to go down the aisle as they finished writing their vows.  One was straight, one was not – therefore proving my theory that all y’all suck when it comes to getting your wedding vows done ahead of schedule.  Doesn’t matter the gender of the wedding clients.  Most of you put off your vows.

What’s even worse than wedding vows written at the last minute???  Extemporaneous vows. Vows “from the heart.”  Oh sure, you’ll hear people defend “winging it” as romantic. No.  It’s not.  I call bullshit on that.  Even if you were president of Toastmaster’s, you need to consider the meaning behind your vows before you spew them out of your mouth on a whim and promise these things for life in front of God and all the world.

Gorgeous set of gay engagement rings from a recent wedding -- so creative.

Gorgeous set of gay engagement rings from a recent wedding — so creative.

I have sat through countless “off the cuff” vows and watched the minister, the guests, and sometimes even the brides or grooms wince as their beloved promises not to “watch football on important days” and not be afraid of her at night when she has “goo on her face” and to “walk the dog and empty the dishwasher.”  No lie, they say these things (it’s usually people who’ve been kind enough to pay for a videographer so we can all watch it again later and try to figure out what they were saying in the first place). And they mean them in that moment.  But your marital vows are supposed to be promises to support each other, work together, compromise together, etc.  Not a litany of things you’ve been meaning to do and promising to do for as long as you’ve lived together.  That’s just not right.  That’s a “honey I WILL do” list and you can work on that together during your honeymoon if you’re even serious about that stuff.

First, there is no rule that says you have to write your own vows.  It’s just a trend.  Thousands of people have kindly done it already and put it out there on the Internet so you can just pick and choose what applies to you.  If you can’t handle that many options, then you can just use our ceremony planning guide and that skinnies it down a bit.  I think a lot of people find the options daunting and so decide to write their own vows.  But I have a tip for you – not everybody is a writer.  And sometimes you can find the words you need already written by somebody else and “borrow” those vows without starting from scratch.

Second, if you’re having trouble getting started but you’re determined to do it yourself, try writing a letter to your fiancé and then see if that converts.  Just try it six months before you’re to be married.  Trust me, you’re likely to be less-stressed and more in love at that moment anyway. There is nothing relaxing about having your wedding ceremony plan hanging over your head the week of your wedding.  Especially when you have an annoying wedding planner like me who is right on your ass about it.

My goal is to give you the perfect wedding day.  I don’t want to see you freaking out about wedding vows, or anything else!  You should be getting handsome or beautiful and enjoying your loved ones and the minister should have been all prepared with your ceremony for at least a month in case they had questions for you.  Your wedding rehearsal will go more smoothly, everybody involved will understand what’s going on, and nobody will be bugging you about your vows while you’re getting ready to get married.

Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!

Sandy

Sandy Malone is the owner of Weddings in Vieques, a full-service destination wedding planning company based on Vieques Island, seven miles off the coast of Puerto Rico.  She is also the star of TLC’s new reality wedding show “Wedding Island,” premiering July 17, 2013 at 10 pm ET/PT.  Sandy and her team (including her husband Bill, a retired SWAT team commander) have planned and executed almost 400 weddings in the Spanish Virgin Islands.  Sandy is a veteran event planner from Washington, DC, with years of experience planning large and small weddings, press conference, and corporate and political events.  She has planned countless events on Vieques Island, beginning with her own wedding back in 2004.  Since that time, her professional staff has executed large and small weddings of all styles, including elopements, vow renewals and fabulously posh events at multi-million dollar waterfront villas.  She has also planned family reunions, destination baby showers, corporate retreats and a variety of other events for clients from all over the United States and Canada.  Sandy is also the owner of Weddings in Culebra (wedding planning on Vieques’ little sister island), Flowers in Vieques (a full service floral and décor firm), and Boutique in Vieques (a clothing and home décor shop).  Sandy has a regular column on the Huffington Post  and has been rated “Five Rainbows” by her happy gay clients!

 

Colombia: First Same-Sex Marriage Annulled

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Colombia google maps

from Google Maps

The battle over marriage equality in Columbia’s courts continued this week, as one judge overruled another.

On Top Magazine reports:

The September 20 union of Julio Albeiro Cantor Borbon and William Alberto Castro Franco was declared a marriage by a Bogota civil court judge. A second couple, Elizabeth Castillo and Claudia Zea, joined them last week. Local media reported on Wednesday that Judge Eduardo Diaz annulled the first marriage on Wednesday, saying that there is no constitutional right for gay people to marry. The Husband and Wife Foundation, an anti-gay group run by Javier Suarez, moved to have the marriage canceled.

Marriage equality rights are unclear in Columbia at the moment because the legislature has refused to respond to a court order that it provide rights to same-sex couples. So for now, it’s unclear whether couples should be allowed to marry or enter into some form of civil partnership. The courts have so far refused to clarify the issue.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Video: Straight Man Speaks Out About Response to Gay Brother’s Wedding

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 6.17.09 AMHere’s your tear-jerker video of the day – a straight man responds to Facebook friends who disapproved of his brother’s wedding.

The Huffington Post reports:

In this emotional video, David Stevens, a straight man, discusses what happened after he posted pictures of his gay brother’s wedding on Facebook. After telling the reader about the beautiful and loving relationship between his brother and his partner, Stevens shares a Facebook message he received following their decision to tie the knot.

Everyone deserves a brother like this. It will make you cry.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

USA, Washington DC: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Officiates at a Second Gay Wedding

Monday, September 30th, 2013

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgUS Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is at it again.

On Top Magazine reports:

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated at the wedding of a second gay couple last Sunday. According to The New York Times, Ginsburg presided at the marriage of food columnist and cookbook author David Hagedorn and National Weather Service communications director Michael Widomski. On September 1, Ginsburg, 80, officiated the marriage of Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and economist John Roberts… In an interview with The Washington Post, Ginsburg said of the first ceremony: “I think it will be one more statement that people who love each other and want to live together should be able to enjoy the blessings and the strife in the marriage relationship.”

Go, Ginsburg, go!

Find more articles and gay wedding resource in Washington, DCs.

USA, Pennsylvania: Church “Trial” for Pastor Who Officiated At Gay Son’s Wedding

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Pastor Frank SchaeferA Methodist pastor in Pennsylvania who officiated at the wedding of his gay sn is being put on trial by the church.

Pink News reports:

Frank Schaefer, a pastor of the Zion United Methodist Church, said in an interview on Monday with the Patriot News that he felt he was following Christian principles, when he agreed to help his son and his partner marry, back in 2007. “We just love him so much it was an honour to be asked. Had I said no to him, it would have negated all the affirmations we gave him for all those year…that we believe you are just as worthy and precious in God’s sight as anybody else,” he said. Schaefer may face disciplinary action, or may be defrocked for officiating at the wedding. “To me this is a human rights issue,” he continued. “If being of a certain sexual orientation is who you are as a person, if that is genetic, who are we to say that these persons do not have the same rights as everybody else.”

So much for Christian love. And if this happened in 2007, why is it just coming up now?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Pennsylvania.

USA, New Jersey: Lambertville Mayor Wants to Perform State’s First Same Sex Wedding

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Lambertville, NJ - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

David DelVecchhio, Mayor of Lambertville, a small town in New Jersey, wants to be the first to perform a same sex wedding in the state.

Towleroad.com reports:

Last year Lambertville Mayor David DelVecchhio was named New Jersey’s Mayor Of The Year. Today he vowed to perform that state’s first same-sex marriage if Governor Chris Christie’s appeal is unsuccessful. DelVecchio, a Democrat, said he will perform the state’s first legal gay marriage ceremony for Beth Asaro and Joanne Schailey at midnight three weeks from today, as long as a judge doesn’t grant a stay of the Sept. 27 ruling. A handful of couples has already expressed interest in weddings, he said. Lambertville, across the Delaware River from New Hope, Pennsylvania, has a large gay population.

Maybe he can convince the Mayor of New Hope to do one, too?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Jersey.