Gay Weddings the ultimate guide to planning gay, lesbian, Bisexual and transgender weddings
expert tips from fashion to etiquette & more
PLUS chic cocktails from
we’ve got pride
Bow ties that support LGBT rights? Read more on p. 18
ince we founded The Knot back in 1996, we’ve been huge supporters of marriage equality. (In fact, the brother of Evan Wolfson, below, was one of our cofounders.) We cheered as each of the 12 states and the District of Columbia made same-sex marriage legal, and we cried when other states didn’t. We’ve always offered content at TheKnot.com/gayweddings to help gay couples plan fantastic weddings, and now we’re thrilled to give you this issue full of the most beautiful and original real weddings, advice from top experts and insider fashion and décor tips.
his issue devoted to same-sex weddings couldn’t come at a more perfect time. The global and national progress we’ve made in the freedom to marry movement is tremendous. So far just this year, we have won three states and three countries, with more to come. And any day now (at press time), the Supreme Court will rule in cases challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which stripped the freedom to marry from same-sex couples in California, and the
@carleyroney Carley Roney Cofounder
federal so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies thousands of federal protections to legally married same-sex couples. Our momentum is irrefutable. But no matter how the Supreme Court rules, there’s more to do. We know that conversations change hearts and minds, and that growing and broadening public opinion creates the climate that encourages decision-makers—lawmakers, judges and even these and future justices— to do the right thing. Evan wolfson Founder and President Freedom to Marry
Show your support at FreedomtoMarry.org
k #theknot cofounder
editor in chief Rebecca Dolgin Managing editor Kellee Kratzer Art director Meghan Corrigan contributing editor Davida Sidrane Hogan assistant editor, research Lauren Daniels copy editor Maria Bouselli editorial assistant Rita Kokshanian Weddings photo director Rebecca Crumley photo editor Kristin Giametta designer Alice Stevens contributing designer Renata De Oliveira Junior designer Ashley Castro Photo coordinator Gabriella Baetti site director Anja Winikka executive VP, national enterprise group Denise Favorule Vp, Sales & Custom marketing Solutions Carrie S. Reynolds publisher Stephanie Nicolet Home & Lifestyle director Amy Schoenfeld associate director, sales development Erin Benza McKay account strategy associate director Kelsey Pachak account strategists, registry Vincent Penge production manager Abby Baird
PUBLISHED BY XO GROUP INC. 195 Broadway, NY, NY 10007 Phone (212) 219-8555 Fax (212) 219-1929 theknot.com Nothing contained in this guide should be construed as an endorsement by The Knot of any designer, manufacturer or product featured herein. The Knot weddings magazine © 2013 XO Group Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, is forbidden without written permission from the publisher. The Knot, TheKnot.com and The Knot weddings magazine are trademarks of XO Group Inc. David Liu, Chief Executive Officer; Carley Roney, Chief Content Officer; Carol Koh Evans, Chief Operating Officer; John Mueller, Chief Financial Officer; Nic Di Iorio, Chief Technology Officer; Jeremy Lechtzin, General Counsel; Rob Fassino, Chief Product Officer. The Knot is not responsible for the return or loss of, or damage to, unsolicited materials. Those submitting manuscripts, photographs, artwork and other materials for consideration should not send originals, unless specifically requested to do so in writing by The Knot. Manuscripts, artwork and other materials must be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Cover: jen huang photography. Roney: Daniela stallinger
contents In this issue contributors
The talented pros who made this issue possible.
Experts answer your most-pressing gay wedding questions.
mod meets luxe
Get inspired by David Bromstadâ€™s ideal wedding dĂŠcor and color palette.
tie the knot
Jesse Tyler Ferguson dishes on his upcoming nuptials and how he supports marriage equality.
Industry leaders share their favorite samesex wedding moments.
Breaking down our wedding planning checklist.
graham & ryan
michael & thompson
december 10, palm springs, ca
joseph & lallo
antonio & jason
september 15, sonoma, ca
One coupleâ€™s memorable wedding day shot.
chris & marc
real weddings drew & eric
dimitri & jason
ed & patrick
brandon & joey april 20, atlanta
daniel & sauce july 7, philadelphia
joel & russell
scott & todd
june 8, new york city
brian & tim
christopher & michael october 6, cleveland
bruce & cesar
may 5, new york city
october 20, washington, dc
matthew & peter
december 27, new york city
january 14, ipswich, ma
ryan & sebastian
september 29, new york city
david & matthew
october 18, edgerton, ks
october 8, washington, dc
june 24, new york city
november 3, new york city
june 16, new york city
bill & harry
june 9, new york city
march 31, new york city
john & scott
august 13, whitefish, mt
september 8, park city, ut
mark ingram This fashion icon attributes his passion for design to trips down Fifth Avenue with his stylish grandparents. Today, he owns the upscale, sophisticated bridal salon Mark Ingram Atelier in New York City. After serving celebrity clientele and New York’s top socialites, he recommends that a bride should simply “follow her everyday style.”
david bromsTad Season one of HGTV’s Design Star made David Bromstad a household name. He now hosts his own series, Color Splash, and owns a design firm in Miami. In 2011, he was honored with the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award for living an out and proud lifestyle. He shares his dream wedding color palette—pink and purple—and tips on how to style an elegant affair.
Marcy Blum A self-declared “eventiste,” Marcy Blum is an expert in both the event planning and culinary realms. Elite clientele worldwide rely on her New York City–based event planning company, Marcy Blum Associates. In fact, fellow event designer Preston Bailey turned to Blum when it was time to plan his Empire State Building wedding on Valentine’s Day.
austin scarlett You may remember his famous cornhusk gown from season one of Project Runway. Today, Austin Scarlett’s ingenuity redefines romance as he puts a modern spin on vintage Parisian couture. For grooms looking to differentiate their suits or opt out of tuxes, Scarlett’s tips are genius (like putting your own spin on how you tie your neckwear).
bernadette coveney smith As soon as gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts in 2004, Bernadette Coveney Smith jumped to fill the void in same-sex marriage planning. The success of her company, 14 Stories, has made her the nation’s leading same-sex marriage expert. In this issue, she shares her tips for balancing classic wedding elements with fresh traditions.
from top: Christian Oth Studio; Bradford Rogne; julie skarratt photography; David Shankbone; Kelly Guenther Studio
Diane Anderson-Minshall’s award-winning LGBT journalism proves she is more than qualified to answer any of your same-sex wedding questions, including how to address a non-supportive family and if you should change your name. Anderson-Minshall, editor at large at The Advocate, routinely interviews celebrities and also coauthors the Blind Eye Mystery series.
PRODUIT DE FRANCE
CLICK HERE for a colletion of enchanting recipes Please drink responsibly. ©2013. St-Germain, Delice De Sureau and the man & bicycle device are trademarks. Imported by Maison 6ème Arr., Philadelphia, PA. Liqueur - 20% Alc. by Vol.
the big questions
You might have about a Gay wedding Answered by our favorite experts. By Davida Hogan
If we bought each other rings, can we just use them to get married even though we’ve been wearing them for months? If you had an engagement or commitment ring for a number of years and wanted to do something to commemorate your day, designer Austin Scarlett suggests having the date engraved or adding an extra stone. Exchanging some form of jewelry at your wedding is such a wonderful, symbolic gesture. And remember—there’s nothing wrong with having a wedding band and engagement ring. But if you do want to use your existing rings during the ceremony, take them off and place them on each other’s hand when saying your vows.
What are some ideas for what to wear if both of us don’t want to wear gowns? Follow your everyday style—there are as many options in bridal today as there are in fashion. “Brides should never wear something that feels uncomfortable to them,” says Mark Ingram, owner of Mark Ingram Atelier. “I would tell any bride that if she is tailored in her everyday clothes, your wedding day is not the day to all of a sudden wear ruffles and bows.” Conversely, for women who are frilly in their everyday life, your wedding isn’t the time to choose something severe, he advises. If you’re not comfortable wearing a gown, a good option is a soft pantsuit. Ingram suggests fabrics such as lace, which is a sexy and romantic play on a traditional suit that still feels bridal. If you want to wear a dress but just not a wedding gown, look for an evening dress in a light color. Most importantly, Ingram notes, your outfits should complement each other.
What are some attire options if both of us don’t want to wear tuxes? “What’s wonderful about same-sex weddings,” says Scarlett, “is that you can come up with your own traditions since there are no set traditions yet to follow.” If you’re a formal person, Scarlett says to go with the tuxedo. Or take this chance to play up your cultural background. “I always love the idea of celebrating your national heritage with your attire—it’s interesting and a way to honor your family and to join the two families,” he adds. If you’re having an informal wedding, a beautiful shirt can create a special look. As Scarlett puts it: The playing field is wide open—just make sure to wear something that reflects your life.
We’re both wearing suits—any ideas for differentiating them while still keeping a unified look? Celebrating with flowers is lovely whether it’s a boutonniere, a lei or a bouquet. Scarlett says there are infinite ways to accessorize a suit with jewelry, such as adding a pin or necklace. If you’re wearing the exact same suit, the shirt style (either how you wear it or choosing different shirts) can differentiate your ensembles. For tuxedos, Scarlett recommends playing around with different suspenders, ascots or cravats. Or, come up with a unique way to tie your bow tie.
We’ve been living together for years—should we really not see each other before the ceremony? “A lot of people think that because it’s a same-sex wedding, everything has to change and be tailored to fit the same-sex theme,” says Joseph Alexander, event planner and founder of GayEverAfter.com, “but there are some things that remain constant.” Naturally, it comes down to the couple’s preference, but Alexander is a stickler for this tradition. “I’ve always loved the idea of seeing the other person for the first time on the ceremony day as you will, from then on, [see him/her] as your life partner,” he explains.
“People think that because it’s a same-sex wedding, everything has to change and be tailored to fit the same-sex theme,” -Joseph Alex ander
Is it weird for us to have a first look? “First looks provide an excellent opportunity for photographers,” says Thea Dodds, photographer and coauthor of Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography. “It’s a time that is full of excitement and joy and that makes for great pictures,” she adds. That said, your wedding day is not all about the photographs, so find a balance that best suits your comfort level, your vision for your wedding and the practical realities of the time you have to prepare. If you are doing a first look, the photographer should arrive roughly two hours before the ceremony.
Preetika Rajgariah photography
the big questions
Is it weird to have a wedding website for a commitment ceremony? Not at all! “These days, it’s almost weird to not have a wedding website for any wedding,” says Kirsten Ott Palladino, editor in chief of EquallyWed.com.
Are any same-sex couples starting new traditions? We’re definitely not doing a garter or bouquet toss! Often guests at weddings are greeted with champagne or a cocktail and that breaks the ice and sets the tone. Bernadette Coveney Smith, founder of 14 Stories, has often seen that drink used as a welcoming toast. “It lets guests know that they are at a celebration, and it lets the couple know that everyone is there to celebrate them,” she explains. Another aspect that has worked its way into tradition is the use of two aisles. “Gay weddings try to avoid gender roles and also try to eliminate any assumptions that might be made by the guests. So, it has become a bit of a tradition for same-sex couples to walk down two aisles simultaneously. Or if there isn’t space for two aisles, they walk down the aisle together holding hands—it’s a metaphor for two becoming one,” Coveney Smith says.
Sweet Monday Photography
For the couple hosting a formal affair: The honor of your presence is requested at the marriage of Derek Ryan Baker to Charles Robert Jacobson Saturday, the twentieth of July two thousand and thirteen at half past four in the afternoon OR The pleasure of your company is requested at the marriage of Derek Ryan Baker to Charles Robert Jacobson Saturday, the twentieth of July two thousand and thirteen at half past four in the afternoon
Should we have a wedding party—bridesmaids, groomsmen? If you want to—the decision is entirely up to you. While some same-sex couples skip this tradition, about two-thirds still have attendants, Coveney Smith says.
Who should we include in the wedding party? Anyone you want—your closest friends and family are obvious choices. Traditionally, the maid of honor and best man are “witnesses” who sign the legal marriage document (though not all states require witnesses). If you’re not getting married in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, you could create your own marriage contract (or ask an artistic friend to help design one) and have two of your nearest and dearest sign, along with the two of you and your officiant. And if you want to have an all-female or all-male bridal party, go for it. Perhaps they can wear two slightly different styles of dresses or suits with differing bouquets or boutonnieres—or, if you wish, keep the attire similar for a coordinated look.
The couple hosting a more casual affair: Derek Ryan Baker & Charles Robert Jacobson invite you to their wedding Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 4:30 in the afternoon OR Derek Ryan Baker & Charles Robert Jacobson invite you to share and celebrate at their wedding Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 4:30 in the afternoon
Who pays for what? Many couples pay for their own celebrations with some help from their parents. In the traditional bride-groom arrangement, there are long-standing billsplitting guidelines, but even these are just a starting point and are altered by most. The best way to deal with the bottom line is to figure out who is contributing to your cash flow. Are you two footing the entire bill? Are parents or relatives willing to contribute? Once you calculate how much money you have to play with, you can choose how to spend it. >>
Who should we tell about our engagement? There’s no wrong way to announce your engagement. First, tell those who are supportive of the two of you as a couple. Doing so should help build up the confidence you may need when it’s time to tell the not-so-supportive folks.
How do we word the invitations? The person paying for the wedding is generally, but not always, recognized as the event’s host on the invite. So if you two are footing the bill for the wedding, then your names should be at the top of the invitation. Whether you’re having a religious or nondenominational ceremony, the request line can say anything you wish, as long as you are welcoming guests to the event.
What are some good ideas for engagement photos? Do most same-sex couples take them? Engagement sessions are the simplest thing a couple can do to ensure better wedding photos. It’s a chance for the photographer to get acquainted with the couple and the rhythm of their relationship. “A photographer is better able to capture more meaningful moments at a wedding when they’ve had the opportunity to get to know a couple through an engagement session. And most couples can use the practice of being in front of the camera as well,” Dodds explains.
the big questions
Where can I find a cake topper with two grooms (brides)? Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of groom-groom or bride-bride cake toppers. It’s still largely a new market but offerings should be popping up in droves over the coming years. You can find a samesex wedding cake topper on TheKnotShop .com, as well as a variety of other options including ones featuring the names of the couple and the phrase “just married.”
If our wedding is low-key, should we still have a traditional cake? Throw tradition out the window and do whatever you want to, and go with what represents you the most. “If you love Cocoa Pebbles and want them incorporated into your cake, don’t be afraid to say so,” says Anthony Leberto, a caterer and cake baker. Let your imagination and creativity go wild.
How can we find gay-friendly wedding vendors? The best way to find good vendors is by word of mouth—ask other recently married gay couples for recommendations and references. Once you find a vendor you like, ask her to suggest others. For a start, peruse the vendors on RainbowWeddingNetwork.com and GayWeddings.com.
Should we register for gifts? Absolutely! Guests want to give you a gift, and if you don’t register, you’ll get duplicate items of things you might not even need. Even if you’ve been together a long time, use this as your chance to upgrade your household items.
Anything special we should put in the ceremony program? You always want to include full names, the ceremony date and the city and state where the ceremony is taking place. You may also want to include your musical selections or special quotes that are meaningful to you as a couple. “The program should be a reflection of you and your partner,” Alexander says. You can get creative and write a bio of your relationship or a bio of your attendants. Have fun and include humorous and playfully embarrassing anecdotes about your wedding attendants, Alexander suggests— it will make for a more unique experience and keepsake. And, of course, include the name of the officiant and special thank-yous where thank-yous are due!
Where can we go for a destination wedding? There are 12 states plus the District of Columbia that have legalized same-sex marriage. Try looking into places in these states. “New York is a great location for a destination wedding, especially since residency is not required for a marriage license,” Alexander says. There are amazing package deals for same-sex couples offered through Hôtel Plaza Athénée in New York City. Provincetown in Massachusetts is also another great destination wedding spot.
Where are some gay-friendly honeymoon destinations? The main thing is to choose a destination that will allow you to be yourself on- and off-resort. Certainly there are gay-friendly destinations—Hawaii, Napa Valley, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are a few—but check GayDestinationWeddings.com before booking anything. “All of the properties are screened, so you can be sure they are gay friendly, and [you can] read reviews by other gay travelers as well,” Coveney Smith says.
We already had a civil union ceremony—is it okay to still have a big party for our wedding? We don’t want friends to feel obligated to buy us more gifts. It depends on what you may have done before, Coveney Smith says. If you already had a commitment ceremony that was a big party, don’t have another big to-do. On the other hand, if you just had something small years ago, then go ahead and have a party. There are many ways to communicate that you don’t want gifts. Coveney Smith’s favorite is a charity donation. Say something like: “We already have all the pots and pans we could ever ask for. If you insist on a gift, we’d like donations to ....” and then choose a charity that’s working to further gay marriage.
What are some fun songs for our first dance? While it comes down to taste and personal preference, many couples are opting for an upbeat, faster tempo selection to liven up the first dance. Depending on the song and the mood you’re trying to create, Alexander says these are some fun ones:
My Baby Just Cares for Me by Nina Simone I’ll Be Your Lover Too by Van Morrison Jump (for My Love) by the Pointer Sisters It Had to Be You by Harry Connick Jr.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole Got to Get You Into My Life by The Beatles Halo by Beyoncé
I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston
Do we invite family members who haven’t been supportive of our union to the wedding? The answer to this depends on how you feel about that person. “Sometimes the formal commitment that a wedding reflects— especially in states where it’s a legally binding action—can be enough to change how people see your partnership,” says Diane Anderson-Minshall, editor at large for The Advocate. “I’ve heard time and again from couples whose parents suddenly accepted and respected their partnership as soon as it was a legal marriage,” she explains. But if someone is really nasty, having them at your wedding will just sully the day, she says. “Some people decide not to invite unsupportive parents so that they don’t have to deal with the rejection they expect will come; others send an invite feeling like even though it may be rejected, it still shows them how important (and permanent) their relationship is,” Anderson-Minshall notes. Either way, expect some surprises, she adds. At her own wedding she was thrilled and surprised when most of her family members “showed up, teared up and treated us like we were just like every other couple.”
How do most gay couples set up their ceremony seating? “There are so many variations of seating arrangements at same-sex weddings, and these arrangements can have a big impact on the photographer,” Dodds says. Two brides coming down two aisles at the same time is challenging, if not impossible, for a single photographer to capture, she explains. Dodds has seen one aisle, two aisles and no aisle at all, where the couple waits with the officiant as guests come in. In all cases, Dodds advises the couple and photographer to think about how the seating impacts the ceremony and also the ability to capture it in pictures. If you’re thinking about two aisles, hiring two photographers or a photographer with a shooting assistant is advisable in order to effectively capture each bride or groom.
What are some new ideas to replace walking down the aisle? Many gay couples decide that they’re more comfortable walking down the aisle together instead of one waiting for the other at the altar. If your ceremony space has three aisles, think about walking up opposite side aisles and meeting at the altar. Then afterward, you can walk down the middle aisle together for the recessional. This also works well if you’re each having a family member
(mother, father, sister, brother) or close friend escort you down the aisle. As for your wedding party, your attendants can come in from each side or walk up the center aisle before you both enter. And when it comes to seating guests, your respective families can sit on either side of you (figure out which side each of you will stand at the altar), while mutual friends can simply sit wherever they please. Another idea: Create an aisle or separator between guests and have everyone sit in a U-shape around your altar or huppah. Remember that it’s your day and you should do what works for the two of you.
How do we include our children in the ceremony? How you involve your children in the wedding ceremony might depend on their ages and abilities. “Some couples actually start out with the invitations,” Anderson-Minshall notes. “When two of my lesbian friends married, the invitation read ‘Sir D’Artgan James Haase and Sir Darius William Haase request the honor of your presence at the royal celebration of the matrimony of their mothers.’ Then the boys, who were in grade school and middle school at the time, were integrated into the ceremony by walking their birth mom down the aisle,” she recalls. There are plenty of traditional ways to incorporate children (think flower girls or ring bearers for younger kids and junior bridesmaids and groomsmen for older kids), and if they’re over 18, they can even be witnesses. And don’t forget your pets! “Ring bearer is a perfect job for a welltrained dog,” Anderson-Minshall says. >>
Brian Hatton Photography
Instead of a typical banquet hall wedding, we want to throw the most awesome dinner party ever. How do we make sure it still feels like a wedding celebration? If you don’t want the typical cake cutting, first dance or roasting best man toasts, it’s important that you add in other forms of entertainment, says Coveney Smith. The last thing you want is to have a boring wedding, and if you eliminate all of the typical wedding traditions, you certainly risk it. “The entertainment can be anything from drag queens to a tango performance, but typically it is a surprise for your guests,” she explains. Think of it as a conversation starter, and while many guests can dance all night, lots of people need the structure that entertainment provides.
What advice should we give to our straight friends about coming to our ceremony? If you’re throwing a traditional wedding with rings and vows, there isn’t much to explain. “Today, straight people understand that a wedding is a wedding,” Anderson-Minshall says. “But with that said, one of the delights of being in the LGBT community is that we’re able to really buck convention and upend tradition, defy gender roles and integrate our full selves in our weddings in a way many of our straight friends haven’t seen,” she says. Don’t underestimate your straight friends; just because it’s different doesn’t mean they won’t love it. “If there’s something very different about your nuptials, let your friends know,” Anderson-Minshall recommends. “If all your bridesmaids are drag queens, if your seven dogs are part of the wedding party, if the theme is Game of Thrones or if the reception is clothing optional, then by all means give them a tip-off.”
the big questions
What are some fitting readings for same-sex ceremonies? “It’s great to honor how far we as a community have come in terms of marriage equality by having a person do a reading from the decision of the Massachusetts court case, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which made it the first state in the country to offer full marriage equality,” Ott Palladino says. The portion that many people use as a reading is: “Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity and family … Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.” Some other readings Anderson-Minshall finds appropriate are: the Apache Marriage Blessing, “Blessings For a Marriage” by James Dillet Freeman, “What is Love” by Susan Polis Schutz, Song of Songs 4: 1-16, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, “Touched by an Angel” by Maya Angelou, “Love” by Roy Croft and Unconditional Love by Father John Powell.
How do we find the right officiant for us? A civil servant’s primary role is to legalize the marriage. A judge or justice of the peace can do this as well as a religious leader. If you’re not affiliated with a church or temple, look into an Ethical Humanist officiant (American Ethical Union has local societies) or an officiant from the Unitarian Universalist Association, Universal Life Church or Metropolitan Community Church. These groups support gay marriages and will officiate them. If you’d like a religious ceremony, look for an officiant from a religion that leaves the decision up to individual clergy members (Buddhist, some Protestant, some Quaker and Reform Jewish). Many religious denominations also bless gay unions even if they won’t officiate these unions. Search online for local officiants who will help create a personalized ceremony.
If you choose a religious officiant or another person affiliated with a group (such as an Ethical Humanist), he may give you sample ceremony wording to work from as a starting point. The more secular the officiant, the more creative license you will likely have over what is said, read, sung or played during the ceremony. In order for the marriage to be legal, your officiant has to include the Declaration of Intent, or the “Do you take... I do” vows portion of the ceremony. As for the rest of the ceremony, sit down together ahead of time and come up with a ceremony to fit your personalities. A typical ceremony often includes a processional, welcome, declaration of intent, readings, vows, ring exchange, pronouncement and recessional.
Can we have a friend officiate and how do they get ordained? If you live in a state where gay civil ceremonies or gay marriage is legal and you’re looking for an officiant, you may find that a close friend or family member is the best fit for the job. To get ordained, look to online ministries. Many are nondenominational or interfaith, while others are for certain religions. Just make sure you double-check the affiliation before going through the process. Some ministries require applications to convey your intentions, while others ask for simple paperwork. There are a few large organizations that will ordain you via the Internet. Some of the most common online ministries are: American Fellowship Church, Universal Life Church, Universal Ministries and Rose Ministries. Once you find one that seems to suit you, make sure it’s legit by contacting your Secretary of State’s office to check if it is registered as a nonprofit organization.
What does it cost to get ordained? In terms of cost, organizations, like the Universal Life Church, ordain for free but charge for certificates of credentials ($5 for a certificate). Others, like the American Fellowship Church, charge $30 or a comparable price for the ordination. A quick tip: Before getting ordained, find out whether the ordination will be for life or for a limited time. If it’s limited, find out if it costs anything to renew the ordination.
What if we get married in a state where same-sex weddings are legal but live in a state where gay marriage is not yet legal? “Currently there are 12 states, plus the District of Columbia, with marriage equality and eight states that provide all of the benefits and responsibilities of marriage but identify the relationship as either a domestic partnership or a civil union,” explains LGBT law expert Bettina D. Hindin. “Of the 37 states that do not have marriage equality, only five respect out-of-state same-sex marriages (California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and New Mexico)—but treat the outof-state same-sex marriages as civil unions.” If you live in any of the remaining states, a married gay couple will effectively be treated as legal strangers. That means that all of the rights, responsibilities, obligations and benefits of marriage that are conferred by the state to opposite-sex married couples will be withheld and denied to same-sex married couples. Hindin recommends that gay married couples who reside in any of the states with constitutional amendments restricting marriage speak with an in-state attorney specializing in representing LGBT clients. You want an attorney with experience regarding issues such as inheritance and estate planning, support and custody matters, medical decision-making, retirement and pension rights and health benefits as they relate to gay couples. If necessary, Hindin explains, an attorney can craft documents to closely mirror the rights, privileges and obligations of marriage.
tara mcmullen photography; right: left of center photography
The big questions
What do other couples do about their last name? Should we change ours? In her experience, Anderson-Minshall finds that same-sex couples often think long and hard about what to do with their last names after marriage. Some decide to hyphenate their names so that both of spouses have the same name, which shows the rest of the world they are indeed a family. This is particularly common in marriages where there are or will be children, she notes. In other cases, one spouse adopts the other’s name completely or hyphenates while the other keeps his or her maiden name (just as many heterosexual couples do). An even larger number of couples, especially those raised with the ideals of feminism, decide not to make any changes to their names. And for people who already have established careers under their given names, changing them isn’t an attractive option. The bottom line: Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. If you need some guidance, “it can help to talk to friends and family as well as your partner about what the name change (or lack of such) would mean,” AndersonMinshall adds.
How to Get Married State-by-State Connecticut
There’s no waiting period for a marriage license, and that license is valid for 65 days. Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: varies
Legal as of August 1, 2013. There’s a five-day waiting period for a license— valid for six months. You must have two witnesses at the ceremony. Fee: $115; can be reduced to $40 with a premarital counseling class
Delaware Legal as of July 1, 2013. There is a 24-hour waiting period for a marriage license and that license is valid for 30 days. Two witnesses are required at the ceremony. Fee: $50 application fee for residents and $100 fee for nonresidents
Maryland There is a 48-hour waiting period required for the license. Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: $35 and up
Massachusetts There’s a three-day waiting period for a marriage license. Licenses are valid for 60 days. Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: varies
Rhode Island Legal as of August 1, 2013. The license is valid for 90 days. You must have two witnesses at the ceremony. Fee: $24
Vermont No waiting period is required for a license (valid for 60 days). Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: $45
Washington There is a strict three-day waiting period for the license. Two witnesses are required at the ceremony. Fee: $35 and up
Washington, DC There’s a three-day waiting period for a license, which has no expiration date. Witnesses aren’t required. Fee: $45
No blood tests are required in any of these locations.
Maine There’s no waiting period for a marriage license. Licenses are valid for 90 days. Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: varies, but averages $40
New York There’s a 24-hour waiting period and the license is valid for 60 days. One witness must be at the ceremony. Fee: New York City, $35; New York state, $40
There’s a strict waiting period of three days for a marriage license, which is valid for six months. It’s necessary to have two witnesses at the ceremony (only one in some counties). Fee: $35
New Hampshire There’s no waiting period required for a marriage license, which is valid for 90 days. Witnesses aren’t required at the ceremony. Fee: varies, but averages $45
Ever wonder how a top designer would style his own wedding? We did too, and so we asked David Bromstad of HGTV’s Color Splash. He happily shared his inspired and colorful dream décor.
the table Soft flowers, elegant calligraphy, modern furniture and gold accents create a romantic table setting that’s rich but not too fussy. >>
By sarah newell PHOTOGRAPHY By philip ficks event and floral design by DM events styling by martha bernabe
previous spread: Table: LuxeEventRentals.com; Flower vessels: JamaliGarden.com; Chairs: TaylorCreativeInc.com; tabletop rentals: ClassicPartyRentals.com; calligraphy: lovejennacalligraphy.com. Opposite: Cake: ninecakes.com
k st yle
A bouquet like thisâ€”made of tightly clustered garden roses, ranunculus and carnations in varying shades of pink and purpleâ€”is a fresh departure from the typical monochromatic design.
the cake This ruffled sugar design shows off one of our favorite cake styles: ombrĂŠ. Add a delicate flower as a whimsical accent. >>
the place setting
A sleek black table offsets the romantic pink tones, giving the tablescape an edgier look. Square chargers are layered with a plum napkin and topped with a lace-wrapped place card.
See more wedding dĂŠcor ideas at TheKnot.com/style
CLICK HERE for a colletion of enchanting recipes Please drink responsibly. ©2013. St-Germain is a trademark. Imported by Maison 6ème Arr., Philadelphia, PA. Liqueur - 20% Alc. by Vol.
bow tie 101
tie the knot
with jesse tyler ferguson The Modern Family star’s line of fun bow ties makes a pretty good case for giving the preppy tie a try. Find out how he’s using his neckwear designs to fight for marriage equality— plus, what the funnyman learned while planning his own nuptials. By Kristin Koch
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, right, and his fiancé, Justin Mikita, wear their own designs. Proceeds from their bow ties (available at TheTieBar.com) support their foundation, Tie the Knot.
Okay, we’re super excited to talk to you about your amazing foundation Tie The Knot (TieTheKnot.org), which supports marriage equality. But first, we have to know—why bow ties? What made you decide to design your own bow tie line? I was talking with some friends of mine about an easy, low-pressure way to dip my toes into the fashion industry. I was like, “What’s the smallest point of real estate on the male body that I can design for?” Bow ties seemed like a good fit.
Is it safe to assume that bow ties are your signature accessory? I love bow ties. I have a vast collection of them that I’ve accumulated over the years, and I do wear them often.
And your bow ties aren’t just about helping men (including grooms!) look stylish—they’re also a way to raise awareness for a cause close to your heart. Tell us a little bit about how they tie into (no pun intended) your foundation, Tie The Knot?
Your bow ties have made guest appearances on Modern Family and even costarred with you in Shakespeare in the Park’s The Comedy of Errors in New York City this summer. Are they famous? The bow ties have made a few appearances on Modern Family. I wore one in the episode that Elizabeth Banks gets married and we [Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, who plays his partner on the show,] were best men, and in two other episodes. It’s fun to incorporate them into the show. Sofía Vergara is always wearing something from her line on the show or asking them to switch the bedsheets to ones from her line, so why not? And then you can tweet a photo of it and say, “Hey, look, my sheets!” I also wore one from the spring line [while performing] in Shakespeare in the Park over the summer and we sold them at the theater’s concession stands as well. All the bow ties in the spring collection were named after landmarks in New York City that we love and one was named Delacorte after the theater where Shakespeare in the Park is held.
We love how you explain Tie The Knot’s mission statement on its website: “The goal of Tie The Knot is clear: to advocate for the civil rights of gay and lesbian Americans throughout the United States and to look damn good while doing it.” How have you turned neckwear into a tool for raising awareness and garnering support for marriage equality?
It’s a lighthearted, low-pressure and fun way for people to show their support for marriage equality. My MO has always been I love being politically active and having a voice, but I think people are best changed through humor, not by being yelled at through a bullhorn. I’ll never be that guy with the bullhorn on the corner. That’s been the mission statement of our foundation—do it in a fun, lighthearted way. We’ve been able to use our bow ties to lobby for a gay marriage bill. We actually had a bow tie lobby day in Illinois and people came out to support the bill wearing bow ties. There have also been lots of straight couples who
From our experience, it seems most grooms fall into one of two categories: You’re either a necktie guy or a bow tie guy. How have you been able to reach beyond the standard bowtie-wearing crowd?
We’re still reaching people and finding ways to [speak to] a new audience. We have great guest designers on board who are showing their support and reaching whole new groups of people. Isaac Mizrahi was our first one, and he helped us tap into the fashion world. We also had George Takei [from the Star Trek television series], who has a ridiculous social following with like a bazillion Twitter followers, so he reached a whole other group, including all those Trekkies, and his bow ties sold out in record time. We have a really exciting guest designer for the fall line that’s going to help us tap into a whole other arena. It’s really exciting for us.
We’re big fans of bow ties, but some grooms are apprehensive about wearing them. Are they like pink shirts—only some men can pull them off? Any guy can wear a bow tie; it’s a fun way of expressing yourself. Eric Stonestreet will say he doesn’t have the neck for it, but every time he wears a bow tie, he gets so many compliments. Listen, I get it. At first I thought [bow ties] were a little constricting, but now I love wearing them. It takes a little bit of bravery—it’s not quite as traditional as a long tie. Sure, some men shouldn’t wear a bright bow tie, but there are different levels of conservative and wacky. >>
“I think people are best changed through humor and lightheartedness.”
My fiancé, Justin [Mikita], had the idea to make this into a more philanthropic venture, so it was the meeting of two really good ideas. The proceeds from the bow ties go to our foundation, Tie The Knot, and we farm it out to the organizations on the frontlines fighting for marriage equality. But the other thing about connecting [my bow ties] to a philanthropic venture was that I didn’t know if I was going to be any good at designing, so it was a safe way to try it. At the end of the day, if they sucked, I could always say, “Well, it’s for marriage equality.” Fortunately, they look good, and it turns out I can say I have a bit of an eye for design.
have told us that they bought one of the bow ties for their wedding because they wanted to support the organization, and we have parents who have bought our kids’ bow ties to tell their kids about marriage equality.
bow tie 101
How about your attire? A lot of questions we get about samesex weddings are about what the couple should wear—like if the grooms or brides should dress alike. How did you and Justin decide what to wear?
All of the ties have a signature owl logo. We’ve been dying to ask—what’s the meaning behind Tie The Knot’s mascot? We were looking for a Lacoste-type symbol that represented our brand. We landed on an owl because the fight for marriage equality requires deep-seated qualities that owls possess: You have to be patient, wise, have foresight and focus on the future. It seemed like a proper logo.
We have made the mistake before of wearing similar sweaters and it has only escalated the paparazzi. The idea of us wearing the same thing makes me a little nauseous. We are very different people and have different styles—our eyes just naturally go to different places. We’re not wearing traditional black, and we’re going to go very casual with it. We’re wearing different-colored tuxes that we had made for the day, so it has a fun, casual vibe. But it’s important to us that we don’t look like the Bobbsey Twins. I can’t imagine two brides in white dresses—that’s a lot of crinoline. A lot of crinoline.
What has been the best part about planning your wedding? Is there a particular bow tie from your line that you love for grooms? We have a black bow tie with our subtle gray owl logo on it that’s our “wedding bow tie.” But any of our ties would look great for a wedding. Black tie has stretched to mean so many things.
Speaking of weddings, you just finished planning your own wedding—congrats! What surprised you the most about wedding planning?
The planning has been really exciting. Picking out our wedding rings was something we were really stressed about, but once we were there with the jeweler, looking in the mirror with the bands on was a very special moment. And when we finally purchased the wedding rings, that was an insane moment—like, “We just bought our wedding rings!” Seeing our invitations for the first time was really exciting too. Hearing the excitement and all the support from our family and friends has been really gratifying, and just talking to Justin about how that day will go has been special. We’re just trying to absorb every moment as it comes. It’s been stressful at times, but overall, very special.
“It’s your day—it shouldn’t be dictated by anyone else.”
That each decision is like a Pandora’s box. Whatever item it is—a fork on the table or the structure of the ceremony—there’s always a billion more questions about that one item. That’s been really interesting. We had to use a wedding planner since we’ve been so busy, so fortunately we had someone micromanaging everything.
Did either of you get really into the planning and details, or were you both pretty good about keeping things in perspective? We both err on the side of wanting it to be perfect but we’re not crazy groomzillas. We haven’t had ideas about our wedding since we were kids, so we’re discovering as we go along and trying to be true to ourselves but without a template to go off of. But, it’s also really exciting to start from scratch and do what we want to do, which is what everyone’s wedding should be. It’s your day—it shouldn’t be dictated by anyone else. We just care about having our friends and family under one roof and having the best party we can.
Were there any other details you were really into? We loved the look of one metal chair we saw, and our planner’s assistant was like, “Just so you know, these are a little more expensive than the others.” So we asked, “Okay, how much?” and she goes, “Actually, they’re a lot more expensive—like $40 each.” $40! We were like, “We don’t want to own the chairs—just use them for the night. Is each guest taking a chair home at the end of the night? We’ll be fine with whatever we had before.”
Any plans to expand the line and design an accessory for the ladies? We get Twitter questions all the time about designing for women. I always want to say, “Did you see Diane Keaton? She brought the bow tie for women!” And we just did a fun segment with Cat Deeley on E! wearing our bow ties. It’s an accessory for both men and women.
Okay, so before we let you go, we have to ask you for your bow tying tips. How do you tie one on so it’s not crooked or uneven? I’m still trying to figure it out. Every time I tie my bow tie it ends up tilting to one side over the course of the evening. That’s the joy of a self-tied bow tie. When it’s a little skewed, it says it’s hand-tied and it’s meant to be a little unkempt. I’m a fan of double-stick tape on the collar.
So are clip-ons a faux pas? No—not a faux pas. Before I started the line, I didn’t know how to tie a bow tie, so all my bow ties were the pre-tied ones. Now, I can tell that they’re not hand-tied—they’re too perfect—but I still love them. I mean, I have clip-on suspenders. Larry King told me that’s horrible, but I don’t have time to button suspenders onto my pants.
The Best Thing I've Seen at a Gay Wedding As told to us by top tastemakers, Trendsetters and Activists
My most powerful wedding experience to date was with a transgender woman; she asked me to help her become the bride she always wanted to be. The most amazing thing was seeing these two ladies dancing together to ‘A Love That Will Never Grow Old’ from the Brokeback Mountain sound track, performed by the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus. It was an amazing moment.” —Bernadette Coveney Smith, Founder 14 Stories
One of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen at a same-sex wedding was a marriage between two women. One of the brides had recently lost her father, and the other bride was very worried about doing a father-daughter dance with her dad when her new wife couldn’t. So the dad danced half the song with his daughter and the second half of the song with his new daughter-in-law. Not a dry eye in the room.” —Kirsten Ott Palladino, EquallyWed.com
While weddings can come in many shapes and sizes, all are special in their own unique way. And whether couples are following long-standing traditions or starting new ones of their own, there is one common theme that has stood the test of time: love.” —Charles Joughin,
We were all in one big circle on the beach—the grooms, the rabbi and the guests. It was one continuous ring and we all felt like we were part of the commitment that was being made. And, of course, everyone was wearing white knots.” —Frank Voci, White Knot for Equality
this spread, clockwise from top left: Preetika Rajgariah photography; next exit photography; once like a spark photography; photo Chen creditPhotography; next exit photography; Marie Labbancz Photography; next spread, clockwise from top left: tara mcmulShang len photography; authentic eye photography; leisa cole; 5th avenue digital; next exit photography; Brian Hatton Photography
Human Rights Campaign
Couples formerly denied marriage now being pronounced married under the law.” —Evan Wolfson, Freedom to Marry
tktk slug tastemakers tips
The best thing I have seen at a same-sex wedding was the legally valid marriage license!” —Austin Scarlett, designer
I recently attended the legal wedding ceremony of two grooms—one of whom is a high school friend—in a park in New York City. Our 5-year-old son joined us. It was his very first wedding and it set a beautiful example for him. I’m also certain that my next favorite memory will be the one of our son walking with us down the aisle (if there is one!) the day my partner and I can be legally married in our home state. We’ve been together for 20 years and had a memorable ceremony in 1999, but have not yet legally married because we live in Virginia, which does not currently recognize same-sex marriage.” —Kathryn Hamm, GayWeddings.com, coauthor of Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography
At Preston Bailey and his partner Theo Bleckmann’s wedding, there was a gallery of photos you walked through after the ceremony. It was photos of the weddings of many of the guests as well as shots of Preston and Theo with some of the guests. It was a clever and subtle way of imparting that they are just another couple in love.” —Marcy Blum, event planner
At Emily and Kristen Keenan’s Vermont wedding, they rented an old red pickup truck to function as their lemonade stand during the cocktail hour. The truck became a fantastic and memorable prop for photos as the sun went down.” —Thea Dodds, photographer and coauthor of Capturing Love: The Art of Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography
Shawn Rabideau Events & Design
At one wedding, the couple challenged each other to come up with surprises. One groom, Alan, surprised the other, John, with a flashmob-style act of Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ and then a performance of ‘Ring Them Bells.’ John surprised Alan with 12 members of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus.” —Shawn Rabideau,
—Christopher Confero, event designer
As I stood at the back of the aisle watching my two grooms say their vows in Birmingham, Alabama, I knew that things were finally changing. No, it’s not legal in the Southern states just yet, but we’ll get there. It was quite moving to know they were surrounded by 150 of their closest friends and family, the majority of whom were Southern born and raised, but all loved them unconditionally and supported their marriage. I couldn’t help but shed a few tears, savoring the moment where I was able to look into the future and project myself standing in that spot one day with the love of my life.”
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drew & eric June 24 • New York City photography by Jen Huang Photography
refined minimalism Eric Kuhn (founder and CEO of FoundersCard; opposite, right) had always loved the Gramercy Park Hotel, so when he and Drew Watson (a founding kindergarten teacher at Success Academy Cobble Hill) got engaged, it was a natural choice. “With the unique interior design and the exquisite roof deck terrace, who wouldn’t want to get married there?” Drew says. The couple had a minimalist design scheme and gravitated toward crisp white details; they didn’t want to overwhelm the venue’s striking art and built-in décor.—Rita Kokshanian
the ceremony de cor Guests sat on simple bamboo chairs as Drew and Eric wed beneath a huppah that looked out on the New York City skyline. the couple’s style Both grooms chose a classic look—a black tuxedo with a complementing bow tie. the details The couple’s huppah
was the epitome of rustic elegance: Unfinished wood branches were draped with sheer white fabric and finished with round arrangements of creamy white roses. special guest Drew and Eric’s dog, who wore a coordinating black bow tie, made a cameo in their photos. the reception de cor White linens were topped with understated arrangements of white cymbidium orchids and white calla lilies in clear glass vases. “We are both attracted to modern aesthetics, and we didn’t want to overpower anyone with an elaborate centerpiece,” Drew recalls.
Ceremony and Reception Site Gramercy Park Hotel, New York City Photography Jen Huang/Jen Huang Photography Consultant Ellen Kostman/Sidekick Events Officiant Rabbi Victor Appell Attire Ralph Lauren Black Label Wedding Rings Tiffany & Co. Invitations Paperfinger Menu Cards Gramercy Park Hotel Flowers Ovando Catering Gramercy Park Hotel Music Ray Jarrell/Jarrell Entertainment Cake Ron Ben-Israel Cakes Accommodations Gramercy Park Hotel Registries Calvin Klein; WilliamsSonoma Honeymoon Maui, HI Donâ€™t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the invitations Drew and Eric found their invites through an Internet search. They loved the hand-drawn map of the area near the hotel. the cake The modern black-and-white fondant cake was accented with sugar flowers. the details During the reception, guests could kick back in the lounge area in the Gramercy Park Hotelâ€™s lobby under its lightbulb ceiling. the boutonnieres In keeping with their minimalist theme, the grooms decided to each don a single white calla lily.
brandon & joey April 20 • Atlanta photography by Once Like a Spark Photography
Despite living in Hong Kong, when Brandon Boothe (director of business development for Asia-Pacific at Burt’s Bees; right) and Joseph “Joey” Frasier Jr. (director of strategic solutions and systems for Asia-Pacific at Tag Worldwide) got engaged, they decided on a destination wedding in Atlanta. Because of Brandon’s love for the “natural,” the couple chose the Atlanta Botanical Garden as their venue. A white and blue color palette didn’t compete with the space’s organic décor, and worldly elements added a touch of internationalism. —RK
Ceremony and Reception Site Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta Photography Once Like a Spark Photography Consultant Angie Killimett (Brandon’s sister) Officiant Michele Coffsky/Atlanta Rabbis Attire Custom, Hong Kong Shoes Calvin Klein Wedding Rings Tiffany & Co. Invitations Paperless Post Other Stationery DIY Flowers Floral Creations Rentals and Catering A Divine Event Music Ben Decker/AMP’D Atlanta Accommodations W Atlanta Midtown Registries WedAndWish.com Honeymoon New Zealand and Fiji Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style “We knew we wanted to be very, very close to one another but still slightly different,” Joey says of the couple’s attire. the reception de cor “The Garden is just so naturally
beautiful that we didn’t want to overdo it,” Joey says of the minimal décor. The tables were covered in white linens and topped with floral arrangements in clear mason jars or blue bottles that included white snapdragons and blue delphinium. Smaller jars containing blue candles finished the look. the details The tables at the reception were named after places that hold special meaning for the couple. Each featured different favors for guests, such as these elephants on the Phuket, Thailand, table.
daniel & sauce July 7 • Philadelphia photography by BG Productions Photography and Videography
vibrant cheer For fun-loving Daniel Glaubinger (a special education reading teacher and school librarian) and Sauce Leon (a history teacher), a boring, plain wedding was never an option. Because they met in Philadelphia and hope to someday relocate there, they knew they wanted to say their vows in the historic city. “Once we toured the Please Touch Museum, there was no question about it,” Daniel says. The couple used a combination of bright colors, vintage pieces and homemade touches to complement the venue’s jovial ambience. –RK
the reception de cor One of the things Daniel and Sauce liked most about the venue
(a children’s museum) was that they were able to “run around and play with the exhibits,” like this 1924 carousel that provided a unique backdrop to the reception. the couple’s style Both grooms added a shot of color to their attire with striped socks. the details In lieu of a traditional guest book, guests were given a vintage postcard at their place setting that they could color and decorate. the cake The couple’s buttercream cake had a simple swiss dot design and a cute wooden lovebird topper. the favors Guests took home cookies modeled after Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture. the tables Daniel and Sauce spent months searching for the perfect mix of vintage jars for the tables.
Ceremony and Reception Site Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia Photography and Videography BG Productions Photography and Videography Consultant cHill Weddings Attire Daniel: Lord & Taylor; Sauce: Macy’s; bow ties and suspenders: Zebra Duck Design, Etsy.com Shoes Daniel: Calvin Klein; Sauce: Alfani Wedding Rings Jeffrey Debs Jeweler Gemologist Brooches Curious Catfish, Etsy.com Stationery DIY Flowers Papertini Floral & Event Design Rentals and Catering Brûlée Catering/Please Touch Museum Music Lovesick Inc. Cake and Favors Van Earl’s Cakes Transportation Metz Wilson Bus Service Registries Bed Bath & Beyond; Macy’s; Target Honeymoon Key West, FL Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
first dance Daniel (right) and Sauce chose “You’re the Top” by Cole Porter. “It was just the right amount of silly and sweet,” Daniel recalls. the couple’s style “We wanted something formal enough for a plated dinner but are definitely not black tie people. We decided to wear simple suits but jazz them up with tons of color everywhere else,” Daniel says. the accessories The couple had custom bow ties and suspenders made. The fabric boutonnieres were a DIY project crafted by Daniel. the details Daniel and Sauce incorporated as much local flavor into their wedding as they could. Their seating chart was a repurposed vintage frame that displayed the Philadelphia skyline. Each table was named after a local landmark, and kites indicated where guests would sit.
joel & russell January 14 • Ipswich, MA photography by Shang Chen Photography
timeless sophistication Joel Nolan (an attorney; left) and Russell Plato (also an attorney) knew they wanted to get married in one of the small towns north of Boston, where they live. “We both love the area and have spent time up there together,” they explain. Turner Hill was the ideal setting for their winter affair. Not wanting to take away from the venue’s beautiful décor, Joel and Russell incorporated touches of red in their black-and-white color palette. “We wanted to highlight the richness and detail of the space and maintain a classic, simple look,” they say. –RK
Ceremony and Reception Site The Mansion on Turner Hill, Ipswich Photography Shang Chen/Shang Chen Photography Day-Of Coordinator Linda Lee/Lemon Drop Team Attire Brooks Brothers; ties: Hermés Wedding Rings Tiffany & Co. Attendants On women: David’s Bridal; on men: Men’s Wearhouse Invitations Goosefish Press Other Stationery Design: Goosefish Press; printing: ProPrint Flowers Flowers by Darlene Catering Vinwood Caterers Music Ceremony: Thomas Wible; reception: MCO Productions Cake Jenny’s Wedding Cakes; topper: WeBobble.com Photo Booth ShutterBooth Transportation McGinn Bus Company; Black Tie Limousine Accommodations Hawthorne Hotel; Salem Waterfront Hotel Registries Bloomingdale’s; Honeyfund.com; Williams-Sonoma Honeymoon Africa Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style The grooms matched in black tuxedos and steel gray ties. the reception de cor Tables were topped with arrangements of roses, tulips and calla lilies (alternating between white and red across the room). the invitations Joel and Russell chose white letterpress invitations with a snowflake motif to highlight the winter season. Deep red ribbons added some extra warmth to the stationery suite. the details The couple incorporated some rustic-yet-festive details, such as pinecones, burlap and wooden hearts. the cake A customized bobblehead topped the simple four-tiered white cake, which had layers of chocolate and banana praline.
graham & ryan December 10 • Palm Springs, CA photography by Michael Segal Photography
Graham LaBass (a cycling instructor and furniture designer; opposite, right) and Ryan O’Connor (an entertainer and actor) knew they would get married at the Riviera Palm Springs before they were even engaged. They loved the glamour and romance of a bygone era combined with all the conveniences of a modern and luxurious hotel. To play up the ’60s vibe of their “supper club” venue, they decided on a mid-century modern feel inspired by Mad Men and Dreamgirls. They used a palette of orange, gray and white to complete the look. —RK
the reception de cor Mid-century modern lamps were the
focal points at the head table. White gerber daisies and orange pomanders popped against the pewter linens. the couple’s style Both grooms wore gray suits and added their own spin: Graham chose an orange bow tie, while Ryan sported an ascot. the details Ryan gifted Graham with these tiger cuff links—a nod to a private joke they share. special guest Graham and Ryan’s dog, Macy, served as a flower girl in the ceremony and even donned a dress. the invitations The vintage-style invitations included a CD that had more than 20 songs from the ’60s on it.
Ceremony and Reception Site Riviera Palm Springs, Palm Springs Photography Michael Segal/Michael Segal Weddings Videography Marc Lehman/Ashley Video Productions Consultants Cathy O’Connell and Dorry Wynham/Celebrations of Joy Attire Graham: Michael Kors, Men’s Wearhouse; Ryan: Jack Victor Shoes Bruno Magli Wedding Rings Icing on the Ring Cuff Links Finds to Treasure, Etsy.com Attendants On women: Pisarro Nights, Nordstrom; on men: various; ties: Ben Sherman Invitations Concept and production: Justin Miller/ Guest List Design; design: FarmHand Studios; calligraphy: Jan Pruitt Other Stationery DIY; paper: Paper Presentation Flowers Arrangements Floral & Party Design Rentals Linens, tableware: T E Couture Linens; audio visuals: Swank Audio Visuals Music DJ Morty Coyle Cake Jensen’s Finest Foods Honeymoon Catalina Island, CA Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the ceremony de cor The romantic evening ceremony was lit with hanging bistro lights. the cake The orange-and-white cake was finished with a gray accent that featured the couple’s initials. the details Graham and Ryan chose to name the tables after different celebrities. Tall, framed photos of each star were placed on the individual tabletops. the rings On their
one-year anniversary trip to the Riviera hotel in Palm Springs, Graham proposed to Ryan at Peaks Restaurant, 8,500 feet above the city. the wedding party The “groomsmaids” wore Dreamgirls-inspired sequined dresses, while the groomsmen donned their own black suits paired with matching black, orange and silver skinny ties—gifts from the couple.
joseph & lallo September 15 â€˘ Sonoma, CA photography by Adi Nevo Photographs
understated elegance After moving to the United States from Brazil, Joseph Kamel (an interactive producer; opposite, left) and Lallo Lemos (an interactive designer) spent a few months in Napa Valley and fell in love with the area. When it came time to find a spot for their wedding, Lavender Hill in Sonoma was an easy choice. A lavender and gray color palette with silver accents, along with fresh lavender details, set the stage for a relaxed and elegant outdoor affair. As a nod to their past, the couple even served Brazilian caipirinhas at the cocktail hour. â€”RK
Ceremony and Reception Site Lavender Hill, Sonoma County Photography Adi Nevo/Adi Nevo Photographs Consultant Alison Hotchkiss/Alison Events Attire Lallo: Zara; Joseph: Club Monaco Shoes Kenneth Cole Invitations DIY Flowers DIY, San Francisco Flower Mart Catering Rising Sun Catering Cake Tartine Bakery & Cafe Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style Joseph and Lallo wore suits in two different shades of
gray, complete with bright purple ties. Even their dogs, Gus and Olivia, dressed up for the occasion, wearing silver collars with a purple tie and purple roses, respectively. the reception de cor Two long farm-style tables flanked both sides of the pool at Lavender Hill. the details To keep the tables clean and modern, white linens were topped with white chargers, napkins and place cards. Each setting was finished with an individual sprig of lavender. the cake Guests enjoyed four devil’s food cakes from San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery, which were served with fresh berries.
chris & marc March 31 • New York City photography by Roey Yohai Photography
stylish & simple
Chris Barley (an architect; left) and Marc Kushner (also an architect) wanted to honor the original 1959 architecture of The Four Seasons Restaurant on their wedding day. Using a clean color palette of creams and whites with metallic accents, the couple gave both the Grill Room, where the traditional Jewish ceremony was held as well as where the dance floor was, and the Pool Room, where dinner was served, a sleek and modern look that didn’t compete with the venue itself. —RK
the reception deâ€Šcor An overflowing arrangement of cherry blossom branches stood in
the center of the Pool Room while votive candles lined the pool, making it the focal point of the reception. the party Guests danced the night away to an 11-piece band. the food The chef selected the most in-season, high-quality foods for the eveningâ€™s menu. the details The grooms wore matching boutonnieres of a single white spray rose accented with gray brunia and finished with a black silk ribbon. the flowers To add some romantic drama to one of the existing side tables in the Four Seasons Restaurant, clear glass vases in varying heights filled with a springtime mix of white flowers were set alongside small candles.
the details The escort cards were displayed on a table along with a lush, airy floral arrangement. the cake The grooms served a four-tier unfrosted cake that complemented their modern, minimalist vibe. the coupleâ€™s style Marc and Chris both wore classic black tuxedos with black bow ties. the tablescapes On the first level
of the Pool Room, the tables were covered with custom gray suede linens and topped with mirrored glass vases filled with low arrangements of garden roses, sweet peas, hydrangeas and lilacs. Tall, dramatic centerpieces bursting with cherry blossom branches were prominent on the upper levelâ€™s tables. the stationery The black-and-white ceremony programs were fresh and sleek.
Ceremony and Reception Site The Four Seasons Restaurant, New York City Photography Roey Yohai/Roey Yohai Photography Videography I Do Films Event Design David Beahm Design Planner Nick Yarmac/ David Beahm Design Stationery Alpine Creative Group Catering The Four Seasons Restaurant Entertainment Vali Entertainment Cake Momofuku Milk Bar Donâ€™t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
john & scott June 16 • New York City photography by 5th Avenue Digital
laid-back & refined John Budin (a physician; left) and Scott Kalish (also a physician) wore gold bands for 20 years before same-sex marriage became legal in New York. When the state passed the Marriage Equality Act, they decided to officially say, “I do.” “We wanted to stand before family and friends and have our marriage be a celebration of a lifetime together,” they say. To commemorate the occasion, they exchanged matching white gold wedding bands and hosted an intimate, elegant and relaxed gathering, complemented by the white décor at Gary’s Loft. —RK
Ceremony and Reception Site Gary’s Loft, New York City Photography 5th Avenue Digital Design and Flowers Shawn Rabideau Events & Design Day-Of Coordinator Anna Leath/Just About Married Officiant Rabbi Torey Bowen Invitations Moira Kelley-Bliss/ FineStationery.com Catering Jill Cole/Great Performances Music Craig Scott Entertainment Rentals Lighting: Robert Stark Lighting Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the cake “We wanted our wedding cake to be simple and elegant,” John and Scott say. the couple’s style The grooms wore matching steel blue
suits with white shirts and complementary ties and pocket squares. They finished the look with color-coordinated yarmulkes purchased on a trip to Israel. the details Family photos were scattered throughout the reception venue. the ceremony de cor Mason jars filled with green hydrangeas, scabiosa pods, ferns and greenery lined the aisle. the reception de cor The allwhite venue was accented with floral arrangements in varying heights as well as a multitude of candles, adding a warm glow to the evening festivities.
bill & harry October 8 • Washington, DC photography by Kelly Prizel Photography
bright whimsy Harry Knabe (a college administrator; left) and William “Bill” McNavage (an operations research analyst in the defense industry) said “I do” after 10 years together. “Our wedding was the single happiest day of our lives,” Harry says. Knowing they didn’t want a “hotel wedding,” the couple chose to celebrate at the Carnegie Institution for Science. The gray and yellow color palette complemented the classic architecture of the venue while adding a touch of whimsy.—RK
the couple’s style Bill and Harry decided to both wear gray suits. Harry went with a plaid pattern, while Bill chose a subtle stripe. the ring bearers Billy and Sam, Harry’s “Best
Person’s” sons, looked dapper in gray slacks, white button-downs and gray-and-yellow bow ties. the details Instead of a sign-in book, the couple had a “wish tree.” Guests wrote wishes for the newlyweds and hung the cards on branches. Their planner later compiled the wishes into a keepsake book. the boutonnieres The grooms wore custom boutonnieres made of fabric and buttons. the dessert Guests helped themselves to a lemon-themed dessert bar, which had goodies such as key lime pie bars, lemon-glazed cookies, cupcakes and chocolate Nutella cake pops.
Ceremony and Reception Site Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC Photography Kelly Prizel/Kelly Prizel Photography Consultant Candy + Co. Officiant Kyra Anastasia Sudofsky Attire Bill: Burberry; Harry: Tommy Hilfiger Hair and Makeup Courtney Styles Salon Shoes Bill: John Varvatos; Harry: Adidas Wedding Rings Bill: Tiffany & Co.; Harry: Cartier Attendants The Dessy Group Invitations The Dandelion Patch Other Stationery Candy + Co. Wish Tree Little Bird Creative Flowers Studio DBI Boutonnieres Jesann333, Etsy.com Catering Spilled Milk Catering Music Soundsign Group Rentals Party Rental Ltd; lighting: Frost Lighting Ice Sculpture USAICE Registries Crate & Barrel; Macy’s Honeymoon Portugal and Spain Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
rotated our position in order to face all of our guests at some point in the ceremony. During our planning, Bill thought it would be ‘way too dramatic,’ but it ended up being very well executed and added to the surprises of the day,” Harry says. the reception de cor The head table was covered in a yellow runner then topped with multiple arrangements of yellow flowers and oversized branches dripping with candles. the details Each item on the dessert bar had a clever name, like these cake pops that were dubbed, “Pop it like it’s hot.” the wedding party Each of Bill and Harry’s 10 attendants chose her own dress in a shade of gray or yellow.
the ceremony de cor Yellow chiavari chairs were arranged in the round for the ceremony. “We
scott & todd September 29 • New York City photography by Kathempel Photography
tradition with a twist
When it came time to select their wedding venue, the RitzCarlton New York Battery Park was a natural choice for Scott Neslund (an executive at a digital technology company; opposite, right) and Todd Barnhart (a financial analyst). The hotel’s Rise bar held sentimental value for the pair—there they decided to truly commit to each other, having previously put their long-distance relationship “on hold.” After settling on their venue, Scott and Todd opted for a traditional theme with a modern New York City twist. —RK
Ceremony and Reception Site The Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park, New York City Photography Katje Hempel/ Kathempel Photography Consultant 14 Stories Attire Grooms’ own; ties: Nordstrom Wedding Rings Jennifer Kellogg Stationery Bella Figura Sign-In Book Bella Figura Flowers Fleurs Rentals KayneLIVE Catering The Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park Music Ceremony and cocktails: Venus Ensembles; reception: Tony Built/Wendy Kidd Entertainment Cake Cake Alchemy Accommodations The Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park Registry Honeyfund.com Honeymoon Bermuda Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the reception de cor The couple chose a understated-yet-elegant color palette of purple and yellow—their mothers’ favorite colors. the couple’s style Scott and Todd both decided to wear classic black tuxedos that they already owned. the details While at city hall to get their marriage license, the
couple picked up a pair of groom rubber duckies, which made an appearance in several photos. the cake The three-tier cake had three different skylines— Pittsburgh (Todd’s hometown), Chicago (Scott’s hometown) and New York City. the music Scott and Todd both danced with their mothers to “It Had to Be You,” which was Todd’s grandparents’ song.
david & matthew December 27 • New York City photography by Gulnara Studio
red carpet glamour With a Hollywood-meets-winter-wonderland theme in mind, Matthew Sobaski (CEO and chief designer at Matthew Christopher; left) and David Marchi (President and CEO of Bulldog New York) set out on a mission to find the perfect venue. They chose the Angel Orensanz Foundation “because it is the most magical place to have an event,” David says. A color palette of red, white and gold added a regal touch to the day’s festivities, while artificial snow and clever uplighting gave the affair a warm winter glow. —RK
the couple’s style The couple wore similar, but not matching, outfits. David donned a classic black tuxedo; Matthew’s tux had a more modern twist with a subtle pinstripe motif. the cake The cake was modeled after one of the dresses from Matthew’s newest wedding gown collection.
the ceremony de cor The original neo-Gothic architecture of the Angel Orensanz provided a stunning backdrop for the ceremony and reception. the details The elegant and stately whiteand-gold programs were the perfect fit for the couple’s glitzy Hollywood-themed day. the ceremony During the processional, the flower girls spread artificial snowflakes down the red carpet aisle, and snow even fell during the ceremony. The couple exchanged their own vows, which consisted of “all the great words and lines from our favorite movies.”
Ceremony and Reception Site Angel Orensanz Foundation, New York City Photography Gulnara Samoilova/ Gulnara Studio Videography Films by Francesco Consultant Bellafare Officiant Alma Daníel Attire David: Carlo Pignatelli; Matthew: Giorgio Armani Shoes David: The Original Oliver Moore Bootmakers; Matthew: Giorgio Armani Wedding Rings Lindsey Graham-Jones/MendoCruz Attendants On women: Matthew Christopher; on men: various Invitations Ana Dolan Flowers Fleurs Catering Liz Neumark/ Great Performances Music Total Entertainment Cake Elegantly Iced Registries Bloomingdale’s; Crate & Barrel; Williams-Sonoma Honeymoon Playa del Carmen, Mexico Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the reception de cor Each of the tables at the reception was named after one of the couple’s favorite movies. the venue The ethereal crystal chandeliers at the Angel Orensanz added to the winter wonderland theme. the details The two flower girls wore custom-designed whiteand-gold Matthew Christopher dresses, complete with angel wings. the favors Guests took home 14-karat gold-powder-dusted Oscar statues. the wedding party The couple had 26
attendants: The men sported classic black tuxedos with neckties while the women each wore a custom-designed black Matthew Christopher gown accessorized with Lindsey Graham-Jones jewelry.
christopher & michael October 6 • Cleveland photography by Left of Center Photography
A week after their intimate New York City ceremony, Christopher Olsztyn (magistrate at Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas; opposite, left) and Michael Day (president and owner of Flowerville Inc.) had a formal reception in Cleveland. The Tudor Arms Hotel’s Tudor Ballroom immediately caught their attention. The room complemented their color palette of gray, brown and golden yellow, which was inspired by a painting of two blurred men in suits that the couple purchased years ago. —RK
Ceremony Site The Waldorf Towers, New York City Reception Site DoubleTree by Hilton-The Tudor Arms Hotel, Cleveland Photography Paul Lender/Left of Center Photography Consultant Michael Day/Flowerville Inc. Officiant Peter Boruchowitz Attire Hugo by Hugo Boss, Hugo Store, New York City Shoes Boss by Hugo Boss Wedding Rings Tiffany & Co. Invitations Sobella Paper Boutique Programs DIY Flowers Michael Day/Flowerville Inc. Rentals Linens: L’Nique Catering DoubleTree by Hilton-The Tudor Arms Hotel Music TKO Entertainment Cake Luna Bakery & Café Favors Flowerville Inc. Accommodations DoubleTree by Hilton-The Tudor Arms Hotel Registries Crate & Barrel; Sur La Table Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the reception de cor The 54-person king’s table, topped with overflowing arrangements of yellow roses, yellow oncidium orchids, fresh and dried hydrangeas, berries and ivory, was the focal point of the reception space. the details Candles scattered throughout the décor added a soft and romantic glow to the evening. the couple’s style Christopher and Michael wore charcoal gray three-piece suits along with neckties and patent leather shoes. the stationery The painting that inspired the day’s theme and colors was replicated on the invitations and programs. the cake Guests enjoyed a two-tiered white-buttercream-covered almond cake.
bruce & cesar May 5 • New York City photography by Matthew Lee of CLY Creation
When Cesar Da Laza (CEO and lead designer at Da Laza Couture; left) and Bruce Goerlich (chief research officer at Rentrak) decided to marry, they knew it would be nothing short of extraordinary. “I wanted to take something very serious and also make it fun, intimate and extravagant,” Cesar says. The fashion designer, who owns a line specializing in wedding attire for same-sex couples, used a rich color palette of poppy orange, eggplant, white and black to create an overthe-top, Broadway-style wedding at the Hudson Theatre.—RK
the couple’s style Cesar designed both his and Bruce’s wedding attire.
Because he didn’t want a typical suit, Cesar wore a five-foot train covered in mink and ostrich feathers. Bruce went with a similar suit and finished his look with a top hat. the flowers Bruce and the male attendants carried custom calla lily orbs, while Cesar and the female attendants carried bouquets that complemented their individual attire. the dress code One of the day’s themes was hats—everyone was required to wear one, except the couple’s dog, Idina, who donned a custom Cesar-designed dress.
Ceremony Site The West Side Tennis Club, Forest Hills Reception Site The Hudson Theatre, New York City Photography Matthew Lee/CLY Creation Videography Hart Productions Consultant Oventz Attire Da Laza Couture; Hermès; Louis Vuitton Hats Barbara Feinman Millinery; Victor Talbots Hair Micciche Salon Makeup Jill Harth & Danielle Pilazzo Shoes Louis Vuitton Jewelry Michael C. Fina Invitations Papyrus Flowers JL Goodman Music Ceremony: Bianchi Musica; reception: DJ Gina Cake Sylvia Weinstock Cakes Transportation Camelot Specialty Limos; Silver Star Limousine Accommodations Millennium Broadway Hotel Registries Michael C. Fina Honeymoon Lake Louise, Canada; Australia Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
A custom-made playbill included bios of the couple, their wedding party and all of their vendors. the centerpieces Birkin bags overflowing with orchids served as the highlight of the tablescape.
the reception de cor Tables and chairs lined the main floor of the Hudson Theatre. the cake Three cakes were served at the reception—two three-tier confections and a four-tier treat complete with a lattice design. the first dance The couple’s first dance was a choreographed number that was 12 minutes long, took six months to learn and even included backup dancers! the details Guests danced the night away on the Hudson Theatre stage. the programs
michael & thompson August 13 • Whitefish, MT photography by Cou Cou Studio
casual country After more than two decades together, Michael Eldred (a Broadway entertainer; right) and Thompson Patterson (a realtor at Christianson, Patterson, Courtney & Associates) didn’t feel the need to get married. However, after an emotional realization and the encouragement of friends during a vacation in Whitefish, the couple decided it was time to publicly commit to one another and celebrate their years together. Their friends’ ranch provided the perfect backdrop for a bright and relaxed summer affair. —RK
Ceremony and Reception Site Snowy River Ranch, Whitefish Photography Jessica Lowry and Lido Vizzutti/Cou Cou Studio Attire Michael: Bachrach; Thompson: JoS A. Bank Shoes Cole Haan Officiant Rabbi Allen Secher Wedding Rings Michael: Tiffany & Co.; Thompson: Martinus Stationery WeddingPaperDivas .com Flowers Carol Atkinson Rentals Celebrate Rentals Catering and Cupcakes Rising Sun Bistro Music Sylvia Hutton Favors WeddingPaperDivas .com Accommodations Lodge at Whitefish Lake; Kandahar Lodge at Whitefish Mountain Resort; Duck Inn Lodge; Good Medicine Lodge; Garden Wall Inn Registries Donations to the Whitefish Community Foundation and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee Honeymoon New York City Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style Michael and Thompson wore light, airy suits—perfect for their outdoor summer ceremony. the venue The couple decided to say their “I dos” at their friends’ private ranch since that’s where they realized they wanted to get married. the dessert Instead of a
cake, the couple served their guests cupcakes. “They were all magnificent, but the peanut butter seemed to disappear first,” Michael says. the ceremony Along with some scripture and secular readings, Jewish prayers and a Ketubah signing, the couple publicly exchanged the rings that they had privately given each other 20 years earlier.
antonio & jason June 9 • New York City photography by Brian Hatton Photography
regal & lush
Antonio Tomaro (a private client banker at JPMorgan Chase & Co.) had always dreamed of getting married at The Plaza Hotel, while Jason Bailey (CEO at Sun Broadcast Group) had envisioned a ceremony in the park. When the two decided to wed, the result was a gorgeous affair that combined both—a wedding at The Plaza (its first same-sex wedding!) that brought the outdoors in. Lush topiaries and flowers transformed one half of the ballroom into an indoor Central Park, complete with lanterns, live music, seating areas and even a hot dog cart.—RK
the reception deâ€Šcor Wanting to highlight The Plazaâ€™s ambience, the
dinner area was decorated in a color palette of white and gold and finished with overflowing centerpieces and lots of candles. the ceremony deâ€Šcor Antonio (right) and Jason decided to have their ceremony in the corridor of the ballroom because they wanted it to be close and intimate. the cake The gold-and-white four-tier cake was presented by Ron Ben-Israel during the reception. the details A sign, which featured a drawing of a tree, introduced guests to the Central Park theme. Adding to the outdoor feel of the reception, a tree with lanterns gave the space a warm, romantic glow.
Ceremony and Reception Site The Plaza Hotel, New York City Photography Brian Hatton/Brian Hatton Photography Videography New York Filmworks Consultant Emily Reifel/CPS Events at The Plaza Event and Floral Design Tantawan Bloom Attire Oleg Cassini Shoes Salvatore Ferragamo Wedding Rings Altier Jewelers Attendants Adriana Robaina, Adriana’s Tailoring, Boca Raton, FL Hair Attendants: Amy Birdsong/Salon Nirvana Makeup Attendants: MakeUp Designory Stationery Banyan Printing Catering The Plaza Hotel Music Ceremony: Art-Strings Ensemble; reception: Donna Lewis; DJ Brenda Black Cake Ron Ben-Israel/Ron BenIsrael Cakes Accommodations The Plaza Hotel; The Helmsley Park Lane Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the reception entryway Escort cards were attached to a champagne glass, which guests took home at the end of the night. the couple’s style Antonio and Jason both looked dapper
in black tuxedos and black neckties. “We wanted to look as elegant as possible,” the couple says. the menu Guests could choose between pan-seared striped bass, rack of lamb or chicken roulade. the details A lounge area was set up on the Central Park–inspired side of the reception, where guests could kick back and relax. the wedding party The eight attendants all wore elegant black satin floor-length gowns. the tablescapes Tall vases overflowing with white orchids, hydrangeas and tulips served as centerpieces on the tables during the reception. family affair Jason’s two children were a big part of the day and stood next to the grooms during the ceremony.
dimitri & jason November 3 • New York City photography by Lisa NYC Pix
classic & polished For Dimitrios “Dimitri” Papanagnou (a physician; left) and Jason Young (a lawyer), planning their wedding was no easy task. The couple was engaged for more than four years before finalizing all the details for their fall nuptials at The Glass Houses. But, a few days before the event, Hurricane Sandy hit, leaving much of the city without power and the couple without a venue. Within a few days, they had relocated to the conference room at Jason’s office, transforming it into a modern and sleek reception space. —RK
Ceremony and Reception Site Jason’s law firm, New York City Photography Lisa NYC Pix Consultant Bernadette Coveney Smith/14 Stories Officiant Hon. Helen Ginger Berrigan Attire Custom, Brooklyn Tailors, Brooklyn; ties: Theory Shoes Dimitri: Paul Smith; Jason: Fratelli Rossetti Wedding Rings Metalicious Invitations Ladyfingers Letterpress Sign-In Book Blurb Flowers Shawn Rabideau Events & Design Rentals Party Rental Ltd.; PBG Event Productions and Rentals; Sonnier & Castle; Shawn Rabideau Events & Design Catering Sonnier & Castle; cocktails: Cocktails in Motion Music Amara Strings; DJ Teddy Dance Lessons Stepping Out Studios Cake Cake Alchemy Accommodations Hilton New York Fashion District Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the couple’s style “We liked the idea of wearing velvet blazers and decided on our wardrobe stemming from that,” the couple says of their matching attire. the cake The pair served a three-tier buttercream-frosted pumpkin cake to their guests. the ceremony Because Dimitri is Greek and Jason is Jewish, they decided to incorporate traditions from both cultures: a huppah to represent Jason’s heritage and the traditional stefana (wedding crowns) for Dimitri. the details Orange and yellow flowers throughout the space matched the autumn theme. the reception de cor The pair went with a masculine look for their reception, using clear chairs and tables.
ed & patrick October 18 • Edgerton, KS photography by Versluis Photography
natural grandeur Patrick Smith (a vice president at Harley-Davidson; left) and Ed Seaberg (a director of IT operations) decided to celebrate their wedding over the course of four years. In 2006, they had a series of engagement parties; in 2007, a private ceremony in Big Sur, CA; in 2008, a wedding reception in Kansas; and in 2009, a honeymoon in Tahiti. Natural, autumninspired colors set the mood for their reception, which was inspired by the E.E. Cummings quote, “Let’s live suddenly, without thinking, under honest trees.” —RK
allowed for low-profile arrangements of roses accented by natural elements like eucalyptus, twigs and various greenery. the details Ed and Patrick carried their earthy theme throughout the décor with the use of linen, cotton, bark and fall colors. Their guest book was the perfect mix of formal and natural. the drinks In addition to their signature cocktail, the “autumn sunset,” guests also enjoyed wine and seasonal beers. the dress code After being asked repeatedly about the dress code, Ed and Patrick jokingly came up with the term “country couture.”
the location “The equestrian barn provided the perfect balance of a casual-yet-glorious backdrop for our vision of the event,” Ed says. the centerpieces Shallow terra-cotta saucers
Ceremony Site Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, CA Reception Site Mildale Farm, Edgerton Photography Paul Versluis and Ryan Hill/Versluis Photography Attire Brunello Cucinelli; Ermenegildo Zegna; Ralph Lauren; Etro; Armani Wedding Rings Cartier Stationery Mark Brudzinski Sign-In Book On Paper Flowers Beco Flowers Catering Feasts of Fancy Music AnnaLee & The Lucky So-n-Sos/Frontline Entertainment; DJ Julian Marsh Rentals Sound and lighting: DSS Inc. Cake Classic Cakes Other Desserts Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Favors Mark Brudzinski Honeymoon Tahiti Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
opted to wear cashmere-and-mink-blend sport coats, wool-and-silk-blend trousers and paisley ties in complementary colors. the snacks To fuel their guests’ late-night dancing, the couple had a candy bar with 18 types of treats. the details Both Patrick and Ed wore simple boutonnieres of rosemary, grasses and greens. the transportation The couple departed the reception in a burgundy 1940s Hudson Commodore after walking through a shower of sunflower seeds. the cake Several single-tiered cakes atop wooden cake stands spelled out “All You Need is Love.”
the couple’s style Since tuxedos would have been too formal for the rural setting, Ed and Patrick
ryan & sebastian June 8 • New York City photography by 4eyes Photography
cosmopolitan & chic For Sebastian (a personal trainer; right) and Ryan (an attorney), the choice to have their wedding at the Hudson Hotel was an easy one—having had one of their first dates at the hotel’s private park, the location already held some sentimental charm for the duo. The fact that its lush surroundings and minimal décor perfectly matched their masculine, rustic and modern theme was a bonus. To pay homage to their backgrounds (Sebastian is from Paraguay and Ryan is from Michigan), the couple included lots of worldly elements. —RK
the couple’s style Ryan and Sebastian wore custom-made suits that had a plum silk lining. They had the date of their wedding stitched on the inside cuff of their shirts. the reception de cor The couple’s only two requests for the reception was that they have uncovered farmstyle tables and vintage carnival lights. “These two elements really gave us the rustic-chic look we were hoping to achieve,” they say. the details The grooms wore boutonnieres with a single plum calla lily. the ceremony Instead of a unity candle, the couple chose to include a sand ceremony with red sand to symbolize the color of the earth in Paraguay and brown sand to symbolize the beaches in Michigan. the dinner Guests toasted the enthusiastic newlyweds throughout the evening.
Ceremony and Reception Site Hudson Hotel, New York City Photography Kellie & Rupert/4eyes Photography.com Attire Alton Lane, New York City Shoes Salvatore Ferragamo Wedding Rings Darien Jewelers Attendants On women: Alvina Valenta, RK Bridal, New York City; on men: BLACK by Vera Wang, Men’s Wearhouse Stationery Amy Turner Design; calligraphy: Calligraphy by Mary Anne Flowers Hatch Creative Studio Catering Hudson Hotel Music Ceremony: Élan Artists; reception: DJ Keo Nozari Cake Baked Accommodations Hudson Hotel Registries Crate & Barrel; Honeyfund. com; Williams-Sonoma Honeymoon Italy and Greece Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the cake Guests enjoyed a simple and chic “hummingbird” (coconut, banana, pineapple and walnut) cake with cream cheese frosting, accented with simple bands of green, black and plum. A few succulents added a rustic vibe to the dessert table. the wedding party Ryan and Sebastian had a total of 10 attendants—five male and five female. The men wore classic black tuxedos, while the ladies donned plum-colored dresses. the details Brushed metal table numbers added a masculine finish to the tablescapes. the venue The ceremony and reception were held on the rooftop penthouse of the Hudson Hotel, with views all the way to the Statue of Liberty.
brian & tim October 20 • Washington, DC photography by Aaron Haslinger Photography
For Brian Christie (a regional sales manager) and Timothy “Tim” Sutfin (a musician for the United States Army), it was love at first sight. “After the first date, we were absolutely inseparable and have barely spent a day apart since,” they say. After the Army repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, the two decided it was time to get hitched. Using a color palette of black and silver with lots of blue uplighting, Brian and Tim transformed the Hotel Palomar’s event space into a classic, masculine affair with modern touches. —RK
Ceremony and Reception Site Hotel Palomar, Washington, DC Photography Aaron Haslinger/Aaron Haslinger Photography Consultant Teresa Haag Officiant Ginny Carson/Ceremonies and Celebrations Attire JoS. A. Bank Wedding Rings Chas Schwartz & Son Jewelers Invitations DIY; design: MyGatsby.com Programs Teresa Haag Flowers Michelle Galindo/Palace Florists Rentals Lighting: Chrysis Entertainment; linens and tableware: DC Rental Catering Urbana Restaurant Music Ceremony and cocktails: Sage String Quartet; reception: MyDeejay Cupcakes Georgetown Cupcake Photo Booth Booth-o-Rama Favors Custom M&M’S, MyMMS.com Accommodations Hotel Palomar Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the reception de cor Some of the tables at the reception had low
centerpieces of white hydrangeas, dendrobium orchids and crystals. The look was finished with blue uplighting, which gave the arrangements a glamorous feel. the couple’s style Brian and Tim both wore classic tuxedos with white vests and ties. the dessert The couple served guests four different kinds of cupcakes. the stationery The pair had fun flip-book-style programs. “They looked modern and clean with a masculine flair from the black-andwhite chevron card stock,” they say. the details The couple’s “b+t” logo was projected onto a wall at the reception.
matthew & peter September 8 • Park City, UT photography by Once Like a Spark Photography
rustic luxe Having visited the area multiple times during their relationship, Matthew Swanburg (an advertising campaign manager at Google; right) and Peter Williams (vice president at BlackRock) knew that Park City was perfect for the open-air, mountain setting they desired on their wedding day. “We kept the design and distractions minimal because we wanted the beautiful mountain setting to speak for itself,” they say. The evergreen, tangerine and charcoal palette enhanced the area’s beauty and reflected the changing fall colors. —RK
the couple’s style “We wanted to coordinate as much as possible, but still keep our own style,” the grooms say. They wore matching black suits with coordinating bow tie and necktie. the reception de cor The tables were each named after a place that the couple had visited. the cake The couple cut into a small, single-tiered cake. the details A large chalkboard directed guests to their tables. the menu “We worked with the chef to create a menu that reflected our deep love for locally grown, humanely raised food,” the couple says. the wedding party Matthew and Peter had 15 attendants total—five on Matthew’s side, six on Peter’s and four ushers.
Ceremony Site Park City Mountain Resort, Park City Reception Site The Sky Lodge, Park City Photography Once Like a Spark Photography Consultant Melissa Hagen/Soirée Productions Officiant Patrick Beckhelm Attire Suits and shirts: Banana Republic; bow tie and necktie: Haddon & Co, Etsy .com Shoes Banana Republic Wedding Rings Tom Hunt Attendants Banana Republic; ties: Haddon & Co, Etsy .com Invitations Hello!Lucky Other Stationery DIY Flowers Sean Oviatt Designs Rentals Alpine Events Catering The Sky Lodge Music Ceremony: The String Quartet; reception: DiscConnection Inc. Cake Snow Park Bakery Other Desserts LuAnn’s Cupcakes Favors Seghesio Family Vineyards; See’s Candies Registries Bloomingdale’s; Williams-Sonoma Honeymoon Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Don’t forget to share your wedding! Go to SubmitYourWedding.com
the ceremony de cor “We wanted to let the natural beauty of the mountain speak for itself,” Matthew and Peter say of their minimal decorations. the reception de cor The bright orange hue of the centerpieces stood out against white linens and evergreen napkins. Tealights added a romantic glow to the evening. the details Matthew and Peter made the programs using three sheets of paper (a clear vellum, an eggshell card stock and a hefty craft paper) that were tied together with green raffia ribbon. the party “We wanted the reception to be one big dance party, and it was!” the couple recalls. Following the reception, the celebration moved to a local bar.
wedding timeline 12 + months Choose a wedding date and time. For a list of dates to avoid, go to
Think about what you want the attendants’ attire to look like. If any of your attendants are wearing dresses, choose the dresses
TheKnot.com/justengaged.Then, go to TheKnot.com/planner and
you want. Then, let the attendants know so they can order the
enter your wedding date to get a free personalized to-do list.
dresses and schedule fittings.
Settle on your budget with help from your parents (or other contributors) and enter it into the budgeter at TheKnot.com/budget . Start outlining the initial guest list and enter it into the guest list manager at TheKnot.com/guestlist . Create your wedding website (get a free customizable site at TheKnot.com/pwp ). Interview candidates and book a full-service wedding planner
Set aside blocks of rooms at nearby hotels for out-of-town guests. Send out save-the-dates. Work with the hosts to start planning the rehearsal dinner. Finalize and order your invitations. Order thank-you notes now too. Reserve venues for the welcome party, after-party and next-day brunch. Interview and book a day-of coordinator (if you’re having one). Research and purchase wedding insurance (if you’re using it).
(if you’re using one). 4 to 5 months 9 to 11 months Book your ceremony and reception locations. Choose and book an officiant.
Work with hosts to set a date for the engagement party, draft a guest list and send out invitations. Register for gifts beforehand. Choose your wedding party (if you decide to have one), including your attendants, flower girl and ring bearer. Also consider roles for other key people (ceremony readers, guest book attendants). If your venue doesn’t have an in-house caterer, interview candidates and select one. Hash out a rough price per head; then start thinking about the reception menu.
Finalize your flower proposal with your florist. Decide on formalwear for you and anyone in your wedding party who is wearing it. Finalize your rental list (tables, chairs, extras) for the reception. Book a room for your wedding night. Book honeymoon flights and rooms. Make sure your passports are up-to-date if traveling internationally. Address invitations or drop them off with the calligrapher, so they’re ready to send at the six-to-eight-week mark. Work with the hosts to choose the rehearsal dinner site, finalize the menu and order the invitations.
Finalize your guest list.
Design and order the grooms’ cakes (if you’re having them).
Research stationers and choose one.
Arrange for day-of transportation for you, your wedding
Choose and order your save-the-dates.
6 to 8 months Plan out the ceremony with your officiant and discuss any requirements. Research and book your florist, lighting designer, photographer, videographer and reception band or DJ.
party and guests (if needed).
2 to 3 months Buy or rent any ceremony decorations that aren’t included in your flower proposal (aisle runner, program basket). Shop for and buy your wedding rings. Decide on wedding favors and order them.
Research and book ceremony musicians.
Choose accessories for anyone in your wedding party.
Interview and book a cake baker.
Finalize the reception playlist with your band or DJ.
2 months Send out wedding invitations at the six-to-eight-week mark. Work on your ceremony vows (if you’re writing them). Finalize your wedding accessories. Decide on your “something old, new, borrowed and blue” (if you’re including them). Order or start assembling the ceremony programs. Order your guest book and any supplies for your escort card display. Confirm room blocks for out-of-town guests. Write thank-you notes for gifts you’ve received already.
Confirm the day-of schedule and contact list (with phone numbers for all vendors) and distribute to all parents, attendants and vendors. Put final payments and cash tips for vendors in envelopes and give to an attendant (or your planner) to distribute on the wedding day. Compile a must-take photo list for the photographer, including who should be in formal portraits. Deliver to your DJ or bandleader your list of special song requests and any songs you definitely do or don’t want played. Give your videographer a must-shoot list (if needed).
Attend food tastings and finalize the reception menu. 2 to 3 days 1 month Finalize the ceremony lineup and details. Schedule a follow-up meeting with your officiant to go over final details the week before. Finish putting together (or pick up) your ceremony programs. Make sure the host has sent out rehearsal dinner invitations (if you didn’t include them in your regular invitations). Create a day-of schedule to time out all of the details (hour by hour).
Arrange and confirm transportation to the airport for your honeymoon. If the caterer or planner will be arranging escort cards, place cards, menu cards, favors and the guest book, hand them off. Reconfirm that the florist received your (correct) flower order and knows where and when the flowers should be delivered (e.g., should the personal flowers go to the ceremony site or to your home?).
Purchase gifts for parents, attendants and each other. Order or prepare welcome baskets for out-of-town guests’ rooms.
day before Bring all ceremony accessories and décor to the site.
1 to 2 weeks Follow up with guests who have not yet returned
Present attendants with their gifts at the rehearsal dinner or earlier (especially if they’re accessories to be worn at the wedding).
their response cards. Work on your escort cards (or send them to your calligrapher). Put the seating chart together and give it to your caterer, site manager, planner and photographer. Give your caterer, cake baker and site manager the final
day of Present parents (and each other) with gifts. Give an attendant an envelope with the officiant’s fee, to be handed off after the ceremony.
head count. Include vendors, such as band members and the photographer, who will expect a meal. Supply the site manager with a list of requests from other vendors (table for the DJ, fridge for the cake). Confirm all final payment amounts, details, and delivery and location times with all your vendors. Prepare your wedding toasts.
after the wedding Send your vendors a thank-you note and submit online reviews. Send out thank-you notes as soon as possible.
Get a more complete and customizable
checklist at TheKnot.com/checklist
Rehearse the ceremony.
Plan any night-before activities with friends and/or attendants.
“ We were filled with
joy and love,
surrounded by the company of our
friends and family. —JOSEPH
Joseph & Lallo; Sonoma, CA; September 15; photography by Adi Nevo Photographs
gay weddings from invitation etiquette to planning the procession,
has everything you need to make your own traditions. For more information, go to: www.theknot.com/gayweddings
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