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Heartfelt Weddings, San Francisco: Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Officiant

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Heartfelt Weddings

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:

Kathy and Larry Wilkerson, non-denominational ministers, have performed over 900 weddings in the San Francisco Bay Area over the past 15 years.
Throughout the years, we have whole-heartedly supported the right of same sex couples to marry. We celebrate with you the love which has brought you together and brings meaning to your life!

Whether you prefer a traditional ceremony and vows, or something more contemporary, we honor your wishes to create the wedding ceremony that reflects your individual personalities, your values, and your dreams.

Although located in Marin County, we travel throughout the SF Bay Area to accommodate your wedding location. Whether you are planning a large gathering of family and friends, or a small, intimate ceremony, your San Francisco wedding day is the most special day of your life, and the ceremony is the centerpiece of that day.

Let us help make your ceremony warm, personal, and perfect … for a memory that will last a lifetime!

See the Heartfelt Weddings Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in the SF Bay Area

Gay or Straight — Brides and Grooms Just Want to Be Able to Truly Say “I Do”

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Hi there!

I remember being sooo excited to plan my first big gay wedding a few years ago. It was two really nice guys from the Midwest, and they had a pretty good budget and fantastic ideas. The planning went smoothly – smoother than a most straight weddings, to be honest – and their wedding weekend was amazing, according to the reviews from both clients and their guests. It’s gone down in history on Vieques Island as the “big RED gay wedding,” and almost everybody who lives here remembers it, even if they didn’t work it, because the décor was extraordinary and extreme. Fifteen hundred red roses (in two different shades of red, of course), and another 500-plus red carnations – all displayed in gorgeous tight arrangements in cylindrical vases of different heights. The vases themselves were all hand-wrapped in deep red organza… and on the white linen tablecloths, red crystals shimmered against red organza runners.

There were a million other little red touches like that – from the welcome bags that greeted the guests to the red grosgrain ribbons on the menus and napkins at each place setting. But the wedding planning itself was easy as could be because the clients knew EXACTLY what they wanted. Larry and Fernando sent me pictures of other similarly decorated venues, and together we found a happy medium (nothing can ever be copied exactly unless the wedding is in the exact same venue). We achieved the same look at the lovely restaurant we’d taken over for the celebration that the grooms had liked in the photos. Even the owner of the venue stopped short when she got her first look at the finished product.




The clients loved it. They had a fabulous wedding ceremony on the terrace of a hotel featured in the book “1,000 Places to Visit Before You Die,” and then a full length wedding reception that ran until shuttle vans arrived to carry them off to an after-hours party someplace else. Looking back, the only thing about the entire weekend that makes me cringe is thinking about those red crystal things we used on tables. Swear to God, they’re still finding them at the restaurant two years later.

So what was different about this gay wedding compared to any straight wedding I’d planned? Nothing. Except that for paperwork purposes I had to switch all my labels to Groom #1 and Groom #2 rather than “bride” and “groom.” The clients were easy to work with and, I’m sorry ladies, a lot less emotional and generally stressed out than lots of brides tend to be. Some brides aren’t affected by the wedding process, while others become completely absorbed and overwhelmed. Now that I’ve planned quite a few gay weddings, I have come to the conclusion that there’s absolutely nothing different about the wedding coordination process. Except perhaps, that sometimes the clients are just a little nicer, and a little more excited, and even more appreciative of all of our team’s efforts on their behalf because they’re just so happy (and relieved) that they are finally able to celebrate and formalize their love with the man or woman they want to spend the rest of their lives with.

Is it fair to say that gay couples seem happier and more excited than straight ones? Probably not. But the simple fact of the matter is that for most straight brides and grooms, they always knew that someday they would meet the right person and “settle down,” so sometimes the minutia and drama surrounding all the wedding activities can make clients lose perspective. I think that maybe most of my gay clients have spent the bulk of their lives wondering if they would ever be able to do what seemed right to them and marry the man or woman of their dreams. Now that those dreams are coming true – and on a spectacular Caribbean island with all the bells and whistles they can imagine (or can afford) – they aren’t just excited to be getting married, they are overwhelmed, grateful and feeling extraordinarily blessed and lucky. That whole attitude carries over to their guests, the staff working the wedding and everybody else involved in the process.




I’m excited that my clients Dante and Patrick are coming back to Vieques in a week to help us celebrate the 5th anniversary of Weddings in Vieques. They got married here this April (in the same fabulous waterfront multi-million-dollar villa where we’ll celebrate our company anniversary, as a matter of fact) and they’re using our party as an excuse to come back to an island they’ve fallen in love with.  But I’m mentioning them because they were the same kind of fabulous clients – the attention to every detail was mind-blowing and the décor was spectacular – and they just had fun with every step of the process, beginning to end. Their turquoise and lime green décor was completely different from the look of Larry and Fernando’s wedding, but it was still created with the same thoughtfulness and preparation that comes from two people excited to plan their special day together. Sure, there are always some stress factors for every wedding group – weird things that neither they nor I had any control over, but I won’t get specific to protect the guilty. Fortunately, the clients were fabulous and let everything roll off of them like water off a duck’s back. As a result, their wedding guests were relaxed and had an absolutely wonderful time. So did Dante and Patrick.

Much the same could be said for my clients Brian and Joe who got married on the beach at Sun Bay in Vieques a couple of weeks ago. Not only had these long-term partners had to navigate the traditional gay marriage pitfalls, but one of them is career military as well! After waiting through legislative changes (both with the laws where they live and the military’s policies), these wonderful men were finally able to publicly exchange the vows – in dress uniform – that they’ve been privately honoring for years. It’s a heavy duty thing to watch and yeah, my intern cried. I think we all felt very honored to be present as witnesses to the big event.

So what was my original question? How is the planning and execution of gay and straight weddings different? It’s not. Except that most of the time, the clients’ attitudes are a little bit different because they’re coming from a different emotional place. And for those of us sending the clients down the aisle, I think we have a little bit more emotionally invested in it too.

Until next time happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques ( and Weddings in Culebra (! Did I mention that we’re a very gay-friendly island?

Happy wedding planning!


Sandy Malone is the owner of Weddings in Vieques (, a full-service Caribbean destination wedding planning company based on Vieques Island. A former Wall Street Journal reporter and public affairs expert, Sandy has executed more than 400 Caribbean destination wedding on Vieques and Culebra Islands in Puerto Rico. She writes a regular wedding planning column for The Huffington Post and is also the owner of Weddings in Culebra and Flowers in Vieques.