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Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Common Ground Ceremonies, New York, New York

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Common Ground Ceremonies, New York City

Periodically 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 Friendly New York City Wedding Officiant – Congratulations!! I am an Interfaith Minister/Singer/Musician. I have been in the wedding business as a Singer/Pianist for over 10 years.

See the Common Ground Ceremonies Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in New York

Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Rev. Will Mercer, New York City, New York

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Reverend Will Mercer, New York City

Periodically 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 Friendly New York City Wedding Officiant – Your Wedding Ceremony is the heart of your Wedding and your Officiant is the heart of your Ceremony.

See Reverend Will Mercer’s ‘s Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in New York City

Colorado, USA: Civil Unions Now – Next Up, Marriage Equality?

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

ColoradoAlmost before the ink has dried on the civil unions bill, a lawsuit is being planned to push for full marriage equality. Pink News reports:

University of Denver law professor Kris Miccio is now planning a lawsuit to challenge civil unions, and to highlight the legal differences between equal marriage and civil unions. Miccio said she plans to marry out of state, in one of the states where equal marriage is legal, before returning to Colorado to file her marriage certificate. “We’re going to go to Massachusetts, or New York, or if Prop 8 falls we’ll go to California,” she said, reports 9News.

In the past, it’s been years between the passage of a civil unions bill in a state and full marriage equality, but the LGBT community seems to be tiring of the game.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Colorado.

Engagement Season Has Begun – Are You Ready to Take the Plunge???

Monday, December 24th, 2012

So you know that the next six weeks are the BIGGEST time of the year for new engagements, right?  And if you’re a gay couple, let’s face it – you have so many more proposal options.  He can propose, or he can propose!  Same with the lesbians out there – she can pop the question, or she can surprise her with a ring?  There are no expectations, except within your own relationship.  There are no rules.  Whoever gets up the nerve (and the cash for a ring in some cases) can be the one to take that big step.  Forget the stereotypes.  Have fun with it.  Bill and I got engaged on December 20, 2003, and we celebrate that date together every year.

Dwayne Byrum proposed to Rodney Stroth on their one year anniversary, this Thanksgiving 2012.

So is there a chance this is the holiday season to begin making plans to formalize your relationship?  If so, I have a few tips that might come in handy – for the partner asking, and the partner being asked.1)    Go get a manicure (unisex demand here).  You cannot have ganked-looking nails if there is the slightest change that somebody is going to be slipping an engagement ring or promise band on your hot little hand over the next two weeks.  Start the basics now – gentlemen who don’t consider themselves “metro” ought to take a serious look at their paws.  Maybe it’s time to take a walk on the wild side and get somebody to tame those nasty cuticles.  Ladies who don’t lunch – your hands matter too.  Stop chewing the nails, invest in a file, and remember that everybody is going to be looking at the symbol of your love resting on the hands.  You’re just providing an attractive backdrop.  Or at least an inoffensive one.  I know it’s hard when you work with your hands – I have a hard time myself because wedding flowers tear me up – but this is the time that it’s really worth the extra effort (or hand cream).

Dwayne Byrum and Rodney Stroth Byrum show off their rings the morning after their 12/12/12 elopement on Vieques Island.

2)    There are no rules about how a proposal has to go – you don’t have to have the ring there, you don’t have to have a ring at all!  Just depends on what the two of you have talked about and whether your expectations are met overall (let’s face it, if you ALWAYS wanted a diamond and you don’t get it, you’re gonna be bumming).  So if you feel the moment, take it.  Even if you’re not formally prepared, if you sense your partner is trying his or her hardest to actually, formally “pop” the question and you’re watching them struggle… be kind and help out.  If, of course, you love your mate enough to make that life commitment.3)    If you do get engaged, be ready to share that information together.  It’s okay to keep it a secret for a short period of time while you get your ducks in a row.  It’s the holiday season for goodness sakes.  Even if you’re bursting with joy to announce that you’re making a life commitment to each other, if your partner’s family is going to be all around you for the next week and they’re not all as supportive as you would both prefer, it might not be the exact right time to share that information.  By all means, tell your friends and those who love and support you, but save the bombs for dropping after the holiday season.  Let’s face it; anybody who doesn’t support your union is wrong.  And it’s going to be unpleasant when you deal with it, right?  So why the hell would you want to put a damper on the most amazing thing in the world by telling THOSE people when you are in a celebratory mode?  Let them find out through the grapevine down the road unless you relish the idea of a drama-filled holiday engagement.  Not!

4)    Don’t think you have to have a long engagement – nowadays, you can get married as soon as you’re ready to do it.  If you want to go someplace far away and bring your best friends and closest family with you, you probably need to give them a little bit of notice, but not that much.  How long you draw things out may complicate matters that don’t need to be complicated.  Remember, nobody but you and your intended spouse actually gets to have an opinion.

5)    Have fun with your engagement!  Go out and buy a beautiful ring holder for the dresser (if you got something to put on it), get some ring cleaner (I find the red jar at Bed Bath and Beyond is pretty gentle and effective and also comes in a toothbrush-looking travel applicator that’s good to keep in a Dopp kit or cosmetic bag).  Celebrate your love and take lots of pictures.  Make the date of your engagement something you celebrate every year for just that reason – it’s the date the one (or both) of you got up the nerve to commit every day for the rest of your lives to one another.  Pretty significant.  And for gay couples who have struggled just to have the right to be together and actually have this moment, it’s probably even more important.  Don’t let anybody poop on your party – go celebrate, show off and have a blast.  Congratulations!

Until next time, happy holidays from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!  Good luck popping the question!  It’s going to be just fine. 🙂

Sandy

Sandy Malone, a guest blogger with Purple Unions, 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 and her team (including her husband Bill, a retired SWAT team commander) have planned and executed almost 400 weddings and commitment ceremonies 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) , Boutique in Vieques and Flowers in Vieques (a full service floral and décor firm).  Visit her at www.weddingsinvieques.com.

New Jersey, USA: About That Gay Military “Wedding”…

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Yesterday I blogged here about an ABC report of a same-sex “wedding” at a military base in New Jersey. The story didn’t seem quite right to me, since there is no such thing as same-sex marriage in New Jersey-only civil unions-and we usually mean to say someone got married when we say a “wedding” took place (and that the couple are “newlyweds,” as ABC’s report had it).

New Jersey marriage law governs any military base in the state, so the event’s taking place on federal property, with a Navy chaplain officiating, can’t make any difference. But the truth did wink at the reader from this story when it referred to the couple’s “civil union” in just one place.

It bears pointing out that a civil union requires no ceremony, and no ceremony can solemnize one. It’s a registered relationship, a contract with signatures. Did the couple sign the contract that day, at the “wedding” that wasn’t a wedding? Or earlier? Or later? The two things-the relationship and the ceremony-have nothing to do with one another.

Authored By Matthew J. Franck – See the Full Story at First Things

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Jersey.

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New Jersey, USA: Airman, Partner Hold Civil Union Ceremony on Military Base

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

An Air Force airman and his partner have been united in a civil union ceremony held at the military base where the airman is stationed.

Dozens of friends and family members attended Saturday afternoon’s ceremony for Tech. Sgt. Erwynn Umali and Will Behrens. It was presided over by Kay Reeb, a Navy chaplain with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, who also serves at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

“We are so honored to be a part of this historic moment to be one of the first gay couples allowed to unite in a civil union on a military base,” the couple said in a statement after the ceremony.

Full Story from SFGate

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New Jersey.

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NY, USA: Manhattan Judge Agrees to Dissolve Vermont Civil Union

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

New YorkA Manhattan judge has agreed to dissolve the civil union of a same-sex New York couple hitched in Vermont.

Louis Viel and Gregory Williams were joined in civil union in Vermont more than a decade ago, said Viel’s lawyer, Malcolm Taub of Davidoff Malito & Hutcher. In a ruling from the bench on Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper granted Viel’s petition for dissolution, a move that Taub said helped reinforce the right of similarly-situated couples to have their unions dissolved in New York.

“This provides another precedent for granting relief to same-sex couples who prior to just recently were unable to have their rights determined in the courts of the state of New York,” he said. In 2000, Vermont became the first state to offer same-sex civil unions that conferred the same rights as marriage. With virtually no residency requirement, couples from neighboring states flocked to Vermont to enter into unions.

Full Story from Reuters

Click here for gay wedding resources in New York.

Click here for gay wedding resources in Vermont.

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First Man to Enter Civil Union With Partner Dies at 96 in Denmark

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Axel Axgil, whose struggle for gay rights helped make Denmark the first country to legalize same-sex partnerships, has died. He was 96.

Axgil died in a hospital in Copenhagen on Saturday following complications from a fall, Danish gay rights group LGBT Danmark said.

Axgil, born Axel Lundahl-Madsen, was among the founding members of the organization — one of the oldest gay rights groups in Europe — in 1948.

Full Story from the Washington Post

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RI: First Lady to Perform Civil Union Ceremony

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Rhode Island Marriage EqualityRhode Island first lady Stephanie Chafee has announced she’ll officiate over a civil union for a lesbian couple, the Associated Press reported.

Chafee will officiate over the civil union of Lynn McKinney and Ron Margolin at their November 5 ceremony in Newport.

The women first asked Governor Lincoln Chafee – a backer of gay marriage who earlier this year took heat for supporting and signing into law the state’s civil unions law – but he was unable to attend due to a previous engagement.

Full Story from On Top Magazine

Click here for gay wedding resources in Rhode Island.

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IL: Rahm Emanuel Presides Over Wedding of Gay Advisor

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Before heading to Millennium Park to celebrate the civil unions of 30 gay and lesbian couples, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel officiated over the civil union of one of his top staffers, the Chicago Tribune reported.

On Wednesday, the first day Illinois’ civil unions law took effect, David Spielfogel, Emanuel’s chief of policy and strategic planning, tweeted to his 370 followers: “civil union license in hand!”

Emanuel noted his officiating duties while speaking at Millennium Park before the civil union ceremonies got underway.

Full Story from On Top Magazine

Click here for gay marriage resources in Illinois.

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