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UK: Same-Sex Marriage Dawns, Equality Fight Continues

Sunday, April 6th, 2014
Warren Hartley and Kieran Bohan sign the Schedule of Civil Partnership at Ullet Unitarian Church in Liverpool

FIRST FOR EQUALITY: My partner and I become legally recognised as a couple on May 6th 2012 – the first time a civil partnership was registered in a place of worship in the UK.
PHOTO: Simply Perfection

THE CLOCKS WENT FORWARD in the UK last weekend, in more ways than one. The official start of British Summer Time with daylight saving coincided with the legalisation of same-sex marriages in England and Wales. So began an extraordinary week for LGBT equality.

On Saturday March 29th, lesbian and gay couples around the country vied to be the first to be legally married, with several timing their services as close to midnight as possible:

NEWS: Same-sex marriage now legal as first couples wed

An estimated 70 couples across England and Wales took advantage of the change in law on Saturday, and the media was filled with mostly positive portrayals of this landmark for equality.

A BBC survey revealed that 80% of people would attend a gay wedding if invited (though their headline focussed on the negative responses:

NEWS: Gay weddings: ‘Fifth of Britons would turn down invitation’

Twitter feeds filled with supportive messages from celebrities. Actor and comedian Les Dennis tweeted:

Sadly it was not all good news.

Click to continue »

UK: Moment of Awwww – The UK’s First Gay Wedding

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

UK Gay WeddingSaturday just after midnight, same sex couples began marrying in Wales and England.

Queerty has one of the first weddings on video.

One of the UK’s first gay married couples, Sinclair Treadway, 20, and Sean Adl-Tabatabai, 31, have released a video of their marriage ceremony. The wedding took place at 00:01 today (GMT local time) at Camden Town Hall, North London. Queerty were the first to break the news with a speech from openly gay Mayor of Camden, Jonathan Simpson.


Find more articles and gay wedding resources in the United Kingdom.

Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Brass Lantern B&B, Greenfield, Iowa

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Brass Lantern Inn - Greenfield, IowaPeriodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Gay Wedding Event Location in Greenfield, IA, USA. Come to the beautiful rolling hills of Southwest Iowa for a romantic wedding (Innkeeper is an ordained wedding officiant) and a lifetime of memories. The famous Bridges of Madison County are only minutes away – or wed poolside at the award-winning Brass Lantern Bed & Breakfast. Every wedding should be as special as the two people getting married. Just 60 minutes from Des Moines airport, 90 minutes from Omaha. Intimate… romantic…. memorable… affordable…. thoroughly enjoyable!

See the Brass Lantern B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Iowa

USA, California: Caterer Who Discriminated Against Gay Couple Could Escape Consequences

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

California Gay CoupleA California caterer who refuse to serve a gay couple for their wedding might be small enough to avoid any consequences.

On Top Magazine reports:

A California catering business that refused to serve a gay couple might be small enough to avoid the state’s anti-discrimination laws… Zimmerman’s catering company, Janet Zimmerman Catering, operates mainly on Facebook, possibly making her outfit too small to be subject to California’s anti-discrimination laws. “The law does make a distinction” between a service and a business establishment, David Hakimfar, a West Hollywood attorney, told The Advocate.

Should size matter? Is discrimination not discrimination? OTM notes the couple is not currently suing.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.

A Sister’s Gift to Her Gay Brother for His Wedding

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

A gay man’s sister makes him an amazing wedding day gift.

LGBT Weekly reports:

This sister got an old Bert and Ernie pop-up book and reworked with pictures of her brother, husband and their entire wedding party. The post states: “My brother finally got the chance to marry the man of his dreams, my Sister took every photo from the wedding and altered a Bert and Ernie pop-up book. I made this video to show you that hard work from my siblings. Family is those who show up when you need them.”

Sweet and awesome.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Rose Parade Gay Marriage Float Causes Call for a Boycott

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 9.01.23 PMA San Diego woman, Karen Grube is calling for a boycott of the popular Pasadena Rose Parade because two men from Los Angeles are scheduled to be married on a float called “Love is the Best Protection,” the Pasadena Star News reports. The  cake-shaped float is being sponsored by The AIDS Healthcare Foundation to help raise awareness of HIV infection in the gay community.

Earlier this month ABC News reported that Aubrey Loots, 42, and his partner Danny Leclair, 45, will tie the knot as nearly 68 million people watch, which will mark the first time a same-sex couple marries during the Rose Parade’s 125-year history. The men, who have been dating for 12 years, won the opportunity after they entered a contest at a wedding expo in October.

Grube believes the float should be removed from the New Year’s parade. She’s gone as far as to call corporate sponsors to gain their support in case the wedding goes as planned.

Grube has also created a Facebook page called “Boycott the 2014 Rose Parade” to get others on her side.

“Gay marriage is illegal in over 30 states, why would they promote something that is blatantly illegal?” Grube wrote. “That’s just stupid.”

As of this writing her Facebook page has 227 likes. She says she doesn’t believe the Rose Parade should be involved in a “political agenda.”

“It used to be a family thing, to get up on New Year’s Day morning and watch the parade,” she said. “It no longer is.”

Same-sex marriage has been legal in California where Grube resides since Proposition 8 was struck down by the United States Supreme Court in June.


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!


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 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.