Page 1

Rainboww edding n etwork M A G A Z I N E Vol. 5, Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010

The Nation’s First LGBT Wedding Magazine

Real Couples Real Weddings

Where Happiness Dwells: Ed & Erwin’s Celebration

California Dreamin’ Prop 8 Timeline

Delectable Trends in Wedding Cuisine Very new, Very you!

$5.95 US ● $7.95 CAN

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 1


2 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE


Photo: Three Lights Photography

Photo courtesy Events at Sunset Bay & Boston Magazine

in this issue

34 Delectable Trends in Wedding Cuisine

7 Where Happiness Dwells... Volume 5, Issue 2

Autumn/Winter 2010

P34 Delectable Trends in Wedding Cuisine Feature Very new, very you! P07 Real Couples, Real Weddings Where Happiness Dwells... Ed & Erwin’s Wedding TM

P14 Q&A Spotlight / Wish Upon A Wedding P42 My Dangerous Commute: Witnessing Gay Marriage Rights Across America P16 California Dreamin’ - A Proposition 8 Timeline P21 Sex and the Wedding... Storied Romance vs Reality! P44 Customs Inspection Incorporating Both of Your Pasts As You Look Toward The Future P31 Same Love, Same Rights / LGBT Wedding Expos Tour the Nation TM

P33 RWN Online Poll / What’s Hot, What’s Not... You Decide! P06 Letter from the Editor P25 The RainbowWeddingNetwork Orange Pages Gay-friendly Businesses screened to uphold a policy of non-discrimination. Weddings, Travel, Community Resources, Gifts, Honeymoons & more!

RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine PO Box 17596, Asheville, NC 28816 www.rainbowweddingnetworkmagazine.com Published by Jemima Creek Signature Publications A division of Artistic Ventures, Inc. Copyright ©2010 Artistic Ventures, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written consent of its publisher. RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine, its parent company, subsidiaries and advertisers will not be held responsible for any errors found in this publication. The publisher accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by interviewees or advertisers, nor for the accuracy of photo credits. References to third parties contained within this publication, including but not limited to photographs, advertisers and interviewees does not imply sexual orientation.

▼ The RainbowWeddingNetwork Family Since 2000, your trusted LGBT Wedding Resource! RainbowWeddingNetwork.com RainbowWeddingNetworkMagazine.com SameLoveSameRights.com RainbowParentNetwork.com coming soon! Join us on Facebook: RainbowWeddingNetwork RainbowWeddingNetworkMagazine SameLoveSameRights Join us on Twitter: GayWeddings RainbowWedding

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 3


vitals Founders, Cindy Sproul & Marianne Puechl Senior Editor, Marianne Puechl Photo Editor, Cindy Sproul Layout / Graphics / Technical, Ira Adams Sales Associate, Brian Fifield Web Assistant, Carol Puechl

An Investment We Can All Live WithAre all of the businesses that participate in RainbowWeddingNetwork lgbt-owned? No, in fact 70-85% of them are not. All of them, however, are actively screened as lgbt-friendly.

Contributing Writers Susan Hart Hellman, Donna Schaper, Dawn Smith-Camacho Contributing Photographers Laura Luis / Three Lights Photography, Lorraine Kourafas, Boston Magazine, Bella Pictures, Sweet and Savory Bake Shop, Events at Sunset Bay, Matt Hall, Mary K. Wood, istockphoto.com Cover Image Our thanks to Ed Urbaniak & Erwin Lobo, for sharing the beautiful photograph seen on this issue’s cover. Cover Image by Laura Luis, Three Lights Photography

Why is this important? The issue of Equality is much bigger than any one minority. Advocates, allies & friends must stand together in order to enact real change. How can I make a difference? Take an active role, every day! Each of us can make the choice to spend our dollars with companies that support non-discrimination. Whether you’re planning your ceremony, going on vacation or simply choosing new home décor… take time to invest your purchasing-power with companies you’re sure are lgbt-friendly. By supporting the businesses in this magazine, and online at RainbowWeddingNetwork.com, you can rest assured that your dollars are at work in promoting Tolerance and Equality.

PLEASE PRINT

1 year/ 4 issues $29.99

2 years/ 8 issues $48.00 (20% OFF THE COVER PRICE)

Name ___________________________________________________________________ Address __________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip _____________________________________________________________ Telephone ______________________________ Fax ______________________________ Email Address*_____________________________________________________________ *email address is required for access to complimentary online membership

Please make checks payable to: Artistic Ventures, Inc. ● PO Box 17596 ● Asheville, NC 28816 Subscribe online at rainbowweddingnetworkmagazine.com or call 866.251.1564, toll free

Distributed by Ingram International, Inc. a divison of the Ingram Group. RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine, PO Box 17596, Asheville, NC 28816 www.rainbowweddingnetworkmagazine.com Published by Jemima Creek Signature Publications, a division of Artistic Ventures, Inc. Copyright ©2010 Artistic Ventures, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written consent of its publisher. RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine, its parent company, subsidiaries and advertisers will not be held responsible for any errors found in this publication. The publisher accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by interviewees or advertisers, nor for the accuracy of photo credits. References to third parties contained within this publication, including but not limited to photographs, advertisers and interviewees does not imply sexual orientation.

4 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE


Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 5


from the editor past two years have not worked hard enough on behalf of LGBT rights. As it turned out, millions who went to the polls in 2008 in favor of Obama in fact did not vote in these recent mid-term elections. How is it possible that so many Americans can believe that nonparticipation is an Puechl (rt) with partner Cindy Sproul and daughter, Kestin option?? How can so many within the I recently became a cancer survivor. A sobering experience, a scary one, a LGBT community (and our allies) believe veritable roller coaster ride for both myself that forwarding our own civil rights can and my family. At times, people ask what I be achieved by turning our backs on the learned from the process. Honestly, there system to which we are pleading our case? are a few key things… but probably the most notable is something I’m considering We’re all in this together. It’s kindergarten printing on a bumper sticker. It’s an ideal math; it’s cancer survivor group dynamics. that’s short, it’s simple, it’s obvious but in Basic stuff… And yet the implications are the day-to-day grind of things we often far-reaching, perhaps cosmically so. distract ourselves away from the wisdom It’s our responsibility to put out the effort and meaningfulness of it. to find ways to work together, to help each other succeed so that we can continue to “We are Meant to Uplift One Another.” strive for higher goals, one after another As I mentioned, it’s short and simple. But and another after that. -Whether we’re it’s worth taking a moment to think about. interacting with our town councilman The recent election cycle proved this to or our neighbor, our life partner or our be the case. …Our general population’s President. And the journey is that much unwillingness to rally around our President more comfortable and happy and sweet, in recent months proves this to be the case. when we engage in this way. We can trust Maybe I’m just a dreamer (and obviously a one another’s intentions; we can rely on the loyal Democrat) but isn’t it true that a great security that we do not face the challenges deal more productivity can be attained alone. We all become healthier and more by helping each other achieve our goals vibrant; that’s how it works. rather than cutting each other down, or disagreeing so staunchly that we’d rather sabotage someone else’s plans instead of finding a middle ground? There was talk prior to Election Day that the Gay Minority would boycott the vote, in part because our political leaders these

6 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

American Institute for Cancer Research

Choose a wedding favor that changes lives. Because a wedding is such a personal celebration for a couple, together with the friends and family they love, it is a perfect moment to honor or remember a loved one who has faced cancer with a donation that funds this critical research and helps change lives. As a part of their wedding reception, newlyweds honor a loved one or simply show their commitment to ending cancer by choosing a charitable donation in lieu of (or along with) traditional wedding favors. Our favors are elegant white tokens that can be placed on the guest tables to inform guests of the couple’s donation. We offer a table tent, a bookmark or a scroll, with a variety of artistic and font options and custom control over the message on the favor. As you can see, there are as many ways to display the wedding favors as there are unique couples.

The American Institute for Cancer Research provides funding for innovative research at leading universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR research focuses on the links between diet, nutrition, exercise and all types of cancer, with the goal of helping people prevent – and survive – cancer. To learn more visit: www.aicr.org/weddingfavors or email weddings@aicr.org


REAL COUPLES | REAL WEDDINGS

Where Happiness Dwells:

by Susan Hart Hellman contributing writer Photo courtesy Three Lights Photography

Ed and Erwin’s Wedding

T

“Weddings,” “civil unions,” “marriages”...

he public sometimes flounders at the choice of words to use when describing the celebrations of commitment between same-sex couples. The couples themselves, however, do not have difficulty. At the heart of the matter is Love, any gay or lesbian partner will proclaim, without a moment’s hesitation. Our ceremonies and celebrations may not have a definitive legal name at this time, in this place, but they are as common and as stressful, as unique and as moving, as sacred and as wonderful as any wedding has ever been.

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 7


REAL COUPLES | REAL WEDDINGS Over the front door of 1929 Meridian House at Meridian International Cultural Center, Washington D.C. the quotation, “Quo habitat felicitas nil entret mali,” is inscribed. It might be said that “Where happiness dwells, evil will not enter” has been the motto of Ed Urbaniak and Erwin Lobo of Sterling, Virginia, who passed through this door to marry on August 14, 2010. The day was also a tribute to their tenth anniversary two months before, a decade of shared love, laughter, and joy.

First Meeting Ed and Erwin met in a chatroom in

the artist ry of your e v e nt b egins he re. s av e t h e date s i nv i tat ion s al l things pap er

February 2000, shortly after Erwin had arrived from the Philippines, and later that year, they met in person in New York City, where Ed was working for a photo production company. The occasion was so special, every detail can be recalled. “We met in person for the first time on June 13, 2000 at The Big Cup —a coffee shop in Erwin Lobo (left) and Ed Urbaniak (right) along with their two children Ilo and Leon. Photo courtesy Three Lights Photography. Chelsea,” Ed remembers.  “We then went to ‘Eighteen and Eighth’ for dinner.”    Soon, their special date “But I told Erwin that we were running had turned into a special summer, and early,” Ed reminisces, “and that we’d stop by they knew they were meant to be together. a friend’s house for a party.  Unknown to “Forever,” they add. So when Ed received Erwin, I’d asked all of his friends to be there a job offer in IT Consulting in Virginia, he with a banner that said, ‘Erwin, Marry Me’.”  asked Erwin to join him. Erwin said yes, packed, found a job as an office manager, When they entered, their previously-hidden and they made the move. friends jumped out and Ed proposed.  Erwin, again, said yes.  “I think our friends “The evolution of our relationship seemed might have been even more excited than very natural,” Ed says. “I think that we both we were,” Ed recalls.  knew from the start that we’d have a long future together.”

The Proposal On their first anniversary, Ed asked Erwin shopannabel les.com (702) 364-1 1 84 4280 s. hual apai way l as vegas, ne vada

8 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

another question, again hoping for an affirmative response. But initially, all Ed revealed was that Erwin should dress up, be ready by 6 p.m., and be prepared for a surprise. At 6 sharp, a limo pulled up and whisked them away for what Erwin assumed was a night on the town.

Starting a Family Ed and Erwin’s lives became even more

exciting when in 2004, they adopted a special-needs child, Leon, now age 7, from Guatemala, and their already-joyful life became even more so. “We knew that Leon would have some developmental issues and some vision issues before he came home,” Ed explains. But they’d been unaware of the extent of his disabilities, including Leon’s extreme far-sightedness,


asthma, delays in speech,  motor skills  and learning problems.  After  additional evaluations,  it was discovered that Leon also had mild epilepsy, ADHD, and memory issues too.

the thought of a legally recognized wedding ceremony didn’t cross their minds often, until January of this year. It was then that everything changed.   They were told that Erwin only had a few months left to live, and began research on hospice care.

Photo courtesy Three Lights Photography

REAL COUPLES | REAL WEDDINGS

But even with the hundreds of hours of care and love Ed and Erwin bestowed on Leon, they knew one child was not enough, and in 2007 they adopted another Guatemalan boy, Ilo, now age 4. “We describe having children as the hardest/best thing that we have ever done,” Ed explains with a grin. “There is always something that needs to be taken care of with the children—extra shopping, activities, doctor appointments, school appointments.  But it is all worth it for that spontaneous laugh or hug and seeing them grow and learn.”

“In 2008, I noticed an unusual pain in my back,” Erwin explains. “I saw a few doctors and they detected a mass in my right lung, but were unable to diagnose specifically what the problem was.”

Living together, having children, Ed and Erwin led what they believed was a typical married life. “We considered ourselves married in every way,” Ed explains. In fact,

In March of 2009, that specific diagnosis was made: Erwin had stage IIIB lung cancer and had six to twelve months to live.   The cancer had also metastasized

to his brain and bones. In addition to the children and Erwin’s illness, Erwin and Ed now had a wedding on their minds.

A Wedding Contest Ed had noticed an ad for a voter-driven

wedding giveaway, and to surprise Erwin, he entered. But in the age of quicklyspreading news, within hours Erwin had

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 9


Photo courtesy Three Lights Photography

REAL COUPLES | REAL WEDDINGS

learned of Ed’s surprise on a mutual friend’s Facebook page. So he and Ed began blog postings of their own, encouraging family, friends, and friends of friends to vote.   An early posting read: “Help Ed and Erwin Win Their Ultimate Wedding. Wow! In the past 24 hours we had over 2000 people invited to the voting event. Vote and share, vote and share.” But a few weeks later, their standing didn’t look very promising, and they blogged: “Voting is still open for 44 minutes. Please vote. We are fighting for 10th place.” Weeks later, Ed and Erwin had finished in 11th place, but their blog post revealed nothing but joy: “We just had better news than winning any contest yesterday. Erwin’s treatment is working better than we ever hoped.” 

10 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

After six rounds of chemotherapy, 14 rounds of whole brain radiation, and medication, the cancer was responding well! “But the future remained uncertain, as lung cancer at this stage is always terminal,” Ed explains. Having their wedding soon had become imperative.

Wishing Upon a Wedding As if by way of a miracle, the couple learned

of another resource, Wish Upon a Wedding, an organization that grants wishes to those with life-threatening illnesses (diagnosed with less than five years to live.) All wedding services are donated by wedding professionals who offer their time, services, or products, according to Shelby TuckHorton, WUW’S Washington DC Chapter President, and owner of her own wedding

business, Exquisite Expressions & Events. WUW was reviewing their request, and Ed and Erwin were greatly encouraged by this and some other news too. “FYI: We saw Erwin’s oncologist today and had the first good news about his cancer since October of last year. Thanks to everyone who is praying for us.” The favorable news continued:   “Thank you everyone for your continued prayers. Erwin’s last CAT scan was a little suspicious in his brain. So, he had an MRI and the news was incredible. It is as if his brain NEVER had cancer!” And more:  “Some good news from Wish Upon a Wedding!” As a brand new organization, WUW had been around only long enough to grant


Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 11


Their next blog read, unsurprisingly: “Sorry that it has been more than three weeks since our last update. We have been furiously planning the wedding.”

Ed’s Vow to Erwin

For more than ten years, I have held this promise to myself and you. Today, I share it legally with the world before God and those gathered here. I, Ed, take you Erwin to be my husband. I promise to always be here for you. I promise to love and to hold you, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer In sickness and in health until death do us part.

Erwin’s Vow to Ed Today I join my life to yours. From this day on, I will be your partner and companion,for you are my dearest love and my best friend. I look forward to the joy we will find In each other’s separate successes, As well as our shared ones; I welcome the challenge of whatever obstacles we encounter, for I know that whatever we face, we face it together. Because your happiness is vital to me, I will help you to grow as an individual, Because you deserve no less than the best of me, I will also strive to be more fully myself. I pledge that I will listen to you when you speak, encourage you in times of doubt, comfort you in times of sorrow, and be your refuge of strength in times of uncertainty. I will be faithful to you all of my days, will be honest with you always, and will cherish and adore you every moment of my life. This is my solemn vow.

12 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

would be provided by wish granters – from the invitations, attire, rings, music, catering to the menu cards, and programs, including the Louis XVI-style Meridian House venue. “All of the vendors were great.” Ed says. “We sometimes felt guilty as they have been so giving - total strangers all just pitching in to help us have a very special day. They asked our opinions and worked very hard to get us everything that we could want… and then they did more!” 

four weddings by that time, and the group’s fifth was to be its first DC Chapter wedding, and its first same-gender ceremony, granted to Ed and Erwin within days of their request. “We were surprised and honored that WUW granted our wedding wish,” Ed says. “We don’t think that being gay had anything to do with their decision. Their priorities are in the right place.  They want to do something nice for a couple that is having a difficult time.  Sexual orientation shouldn’t and as far as we can tell didn’t even play into their decision.” He adds, “It is a shame that the rest of the world can’t be this blind.” The couple was so grateful, they immediately posted: “Thanks to our several fans that suggested Wish Upon a Wedding. We have told WUW about our wish and they have granted us a wedding. If you can spare it, we’d like to suggest a $25 per fan donation which would help Wish Upon a Wedding continue their great service.” And next:  “We have set a date and location with Wish Upon a Wedding! It will be August 14 at the Meridian House.  Our wedding planner is a wish granter who is also donating her services.” Every aspect of their wedding

Ed remembers thinking at the time, “Anyone planning a wedding in 7 weeks is absolutely crazy! Add two active boys and a serious illness and the stress level was off the scales.” Not to mention two active jobs: Ed is leader of The Chin Sells Team at Weichert Realtors, and Erwin is a construction company Marketing Coordinator. But Ed adds that he and Erwin handled the wedding stress the way they have handled all situations. “One day at a time.” With the assistance of WUW, they handled it all beautifully, and their pre-wedding blog Photo courtesy Three Lights Photography

The Vows

Photo courtesy Three Lights Photography

REAL COUPLES | REAL WEDDINGS


said, simply: “We are nearly ready for our wedding.”

The Festivities On August 14, 2010 in allwhite attire, Ed and Erwin married in the glow of a white-themed wedding, with Leon and Ilo by their side.   Completing the wedding party were two matrons of honor and two best men, Debbie Menzer and Mike Gary standing up for Ed, and Tey Cueto and Joel Sioson for Erwin, and flower girl, Marina Story.

Photo courtesy Three Lights Photography

REAL COUPLES | REAL WEDDINGS

Amid white flowers, white parasols, and 50 white-clad guests, a harpist played Only Time as Ed and Erwin repeated personallywritten vows and exchanged diamondstudded titanium rings.

The festivities continued with a very special wedding banquet prepared by WUW volunteer caterers, which included a buffet of Beef Medallions with Shallot-Brandy Sauce and Chicken Breast Picata.  And of course, a wedding cake, topped with caricatures of Ed and Erwin. Just prior to the wedding, Ed and Erwin had issued another blog post  - “If you would like to watch our wedding live, join us at this link at 3:30pm EST on Saturday.” –And Ed explains why they decided to make their wedding so public.   “People too often see a samesex marriage as a political statement.  We are not in love to make a statement.  The love happened on its own.  We are not a

family to make a statement. God brought us together because we need each other in some way.  We live our lives the best we can.  Hopefully, people will see our love and boring-normalness and realize that we do not threaten traditional marriage.  Hopefully, some young gays and lesbians will see us as an example and know that they can have a family of their own.” “Quo habitat felicitas nil entret mali,” reads the inscription at the Meridian House, donated by the Meridian International Cultural Center for Ed and Erwin’s wedding. “It is truly a beautiful venue,” Ed said. And inside, on August 14, as with every day of their lives together for the past 10 years, happiness dwelled.   (As of this writing, Erwin continues treatment with daily at-home medication for the lung cancer which is now considered stage IV.  He is receiving quarterly routine scans as ongoing care.) Susan Hart Hellman is a freelance writer based in California. Susan@SusanHartHellman.com

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 13


REAL COUPLES | REAL WEDDINGS

WISH UPON A WEDDING

“Romantic Wish”

Wish Upon a Wedding (WUW), an organization founded by Liz Guthrie in January 2010 in Santa Clara, California, offers couples facing terminal illness and critical life-altering circumstances the gift of a dream wedding or vow renewal. The group celebrates these Wish Recipients’ courage and spirit and helps them create cherished memories. Volunteers from the wedding/hospitality industries provide the products and services to make these dreams come true. 

Location:   Can be a destination wedding   (upon approval of the Wish Recipient’s physician and the WUW board.)

Who Can Apply:

Contact Wish Upon a Wedding 877.305.WISH P.O Box 1141 Santa Clara, CA 95052 www.wishuponawedding.org

Includes: (see “Boutique Wish” above) Extras: (as funds allow) Transportation to wedding for up to 4 people; up to 3 nights’ accommodations (two hotel rooms) for up to four 4 people (including Recipients.)  ___________________

Adults 18 and over.

Wish Upon a Wedding Chapters:

Legal United States citizens.

Couples must reside in any of WUW’S chapter locations, or marry within 300 miles. For same-gender couples, WUW may provide transportation to one of the “legal” states, at this time including Connecticut, District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont.

At least one person must be diagnosed with less than five years to live, or be experiencing serious life-altering circumstances. WUW and affiliates do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, gender, national or ethnic origin, physical limitation, disability, or sexual orientation. How to Apply: www.wishuponawedding.org   Types of Wishes:

“Boutique Wish”

- An intimate event where one of the recipients has been given less than three years to live. Guest Count (including Recipients): 25 people Location:   Wedding conducted within 100 miles of the Wish Recipients’ residence. (Please see “Chapters” section below regarding special circumstances allowing same-gender couples to marry in “legal” states.) Includes:  Wedding planner, venue, caterer, rentals, photographer, videographer, cake, gown{s}, tuxedo{es}, officiate, florist, stationery designer, DJ/musicians, hair/makeup, and transportation as determined by couple and WUW. May also include: Lighting design, entertainment, event designer, child care. Extras: (As WUW funding allows): Transportation to wedding for up to 4 people; up to 2 nights’ accommodations (up to two rooms) for up to 4 people (including Recipients.)

14 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

- A larger event for up to 50 people.

Chapter locations: Atlanta California, Northern California, Southern Carolinas Chicago   Colorado Houston Las Vegas Ohio Orlando Philadelphia {Delaware, Pennsylvania, S. Jersey} Portland Seattle South Florida Washington D.C. {Maryland, DC, Virginia, W. Virginia} Launching in 2011: Dallas Indianapolis Massachusetts Minnesota New Jersey   New Orleans New York North Carolina South Carolina Coming Soon: Arizona Memphis Michigan Nashville


REAL COUPLES | REAL WEDDINGS

Select Wish Granters, who graciously volunteered their talents & services for Ed & Erwin’s Wedding:

Vendor

Name

Telephone

Email

Website

Bellwether Events (Wedding Planner)

Janice Carnevale

(703) 851-9622

janice@bellwetherevents.com

www.bellwetherevents.com

1929 Meridian House (Venue)

Maria Canellis

(202) 939-5592

MCanellis@meridian.org

www.meridian.org

Mary Kate McKenna Photography Mary Kate (Engagement Photographer) McKenna

(202) 213-1272

MK@MKMcKenna.com

www.MKMcKenna.com

Three Lights Photography (Wedding Photographer)

Laura Luis

(703) 868-6895

info@threelightsphoto.com

www.threelightsphoto.com

Humanstory (Videographer)

William Gaff

(804) 349-6432

William@humanstoryfilms.com

www.humanstoryfilms.com

Elegance and Simplicity (Florist)

Katie Martin

(301) 656-5560

katie@eleganceandsimplicity.com

www.eleganceandsimplicity.com

Bridal Images (Tuxedo)

Brian Patterson

(301) 738-9080

tux.bridalimagesrockville@gmail. com

www.bridalimages.com

Hunt Country Jewelers (Jeweler)

Logan Cutshall

(540) 668-7700

logan.cutshall@gmail.com

www.huntcountry.com

Washington Talent Agency (DJ)

Marc Wilner

(301) 762-1800

Marc@WashingtonTalent.com

www.WashingtonTalent.com

R&R Catering (Caterer)

Anne Portell

(703) 451-2798

Anne@rrcatering.com

www.rrcatering.com

Cakes by Cynthia (Cake)

Cynthia Knox

(410) 779-6925

cakesbycynthiashop@gmail.com

www.cakesbycynthiashop.com

Capital Ceremonies (Officiant)

A.C. Warden

(202) 494-7855

acwarden@capitalceremonies.com

www.capitalceremonies.com

Diamond Limousine (Transportation)

Kim Mosher

(301) 870-4550

kim@diamondlimo.com

www.diamondlimo.com

Chariots for Hire (Transportation)

Courtney West

(703) 790-5466

courtney@chariotsforhire.com

www.chariotsforhire.com

DC Harpist (Ceremony Music)

Cheryl Roeske

(240) 676-9919

cherylroeske@gmail.com

www.dcharpist.com

Little Bit Heart/Heartcarry Press (Invitations)

Jenna Butler

(443) 336-4451

info@littlebitheart.com

www.littlebitheart.com

Michelle’s This and That (Favors)

Michelle Ribaudo

(716) 297-4782

Paloma’s Nest (Ring Bearer Bowl)

Caroline Vásquez

DC Rentals (Rentals)

Amanda Smith

(703) 671-7300

asmith@dcrental.com

www.dcrental.com

Cloth Connection (Linens)

Roxanne Sonder

(540) 636-4161

rsonder@clothconnection.com

www.clothconnection.com

Grooming Lounge (Grooming)

Michael Gilman

(202) 466-8900

info@groominglounge.com

www.groominglounge.com

DKS-Custom Poetry (Custom Poetry)

Melinda Lancaster

(508) 360-3781

Melinda@dks-custompoetry.com

www.dks-custompoetry.com

Elite Platinum Affairs and Events (Cake Knife and Server)

Yvette Albury

(301) 254-0219

Exclusive Elegance by Elise (Unity Candle)

Elise Newton

(301) 249-5546

www.michellesthisandthat.etsy.com www.palomasnest.com

www.ElitePlatinumAffairs andEvents.com elise@elegancebyelise.com

www.elegancebyelise.com

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 15


California Dreamin’ A Proposition 8 Timeline

by Susan Hart Hellman contributing writer

16 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

Photo courtsey Matt Hall


F

orty-five years ago, in 1965, the legendary music group the Mamas and the Papas had a hit song, “California Dreamin’” about a man supposedly somewhere in the East on a winter day. The leaves were brown, he laments, and the sky was grey, and his dream was to be in California. L.A. promised him safety and warmth, the song continues, if only he could get there. For same-gender California couples, their dream has been similar. The continual promise of the right to marry has been dotted with bright interludes promising that this right would actually become a reality. But, invariably, skies again turn grey, leaving couples wondering about the warmth of California, one of the few states to officially recognize “Juneteenth,” June 19 in 1865, the date Texas abolished slavery... and one of the states that officially celebrates June 12, “Loving Day,” that date in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned laws banning interracial marriage. But the battle to make the California climate

Proposition 8 fails to advance any The History of the rational basis in singling out gay men Dream and lesbians for denial of a marriage 1999-2004 license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than “Getting there,” in this case the legalization of same-gender marriage, enshrine in the California Constitution has had a long and eventful history. the notion that opposite-sex couples In May 1999 the California State are superior to same-sex couples. Legislature approved domesticBecause California has no interest in partnerships, but in 2000, 61% of voters passed Proposition discriminating against gay men and California 22, supporting only man-woman lesbians, and because Proposition 8 marriage. Thousands of others prevents California from fulfilling its disagreed, and in 2004, Legislator constitutional obligation to provide Mark Leno formulated his “gendermarriages on an equal basis, the neutral” marriage bill, AB 19, eventually rewritten, resubmitted, court concludes that Proposition 8 is and vetoed several times. unconstitutional. Meanwhile, on February 12, 2004, under the approval of San Francisco - Judge Vaughn Walker Mayor Gavin Newsom, hundreds of same-gender couples married, many safe and warm for same-gender couples continues on, leaving many in the LGBT at San Francisco City Hall. community sincerely hoping that some day California’s Supreme Court halted the soon, the Sunshine State will “get there.”

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 17


2005-2008

California Legislative Timeline February 12, 2004: Under the approval of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, hundreds of same-gender couples marry, many on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. March 2005: County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer declares the latest marriage ban unconstitutional. May 15, 2008: California’s Supreme Court declares that a new ban barring same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, marking samegender marriage again briefly legal. August 4, 2010: Judge Vaughn Walker rules that Proposition 8 provides no rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. August 12, 2010: Judge Walker is unconvinced by Proposition 8 proponents that the ban should remain in place while they appeal. Marriages may begin on August 18th. August 16, 2010: A hold is placed on Judge Walker’s August 4 decision until a threejudge panel can work on an appeal. The case will not be heard until December 6, 2010. How long will it be before the rainbow pointing to same-gender marriages in California is complete?

18 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

John Lewis & Stuart Gaffney wed at San Francisco City Hall (6/17/2008) midst a media frenzy, marking the first historic day same-gender couples are permitted to marry in California. (Lewis & Gaffney had previously wed in 2004, under the decree issued by Mayor Newsom, but that marriage was later nullified.) Photo: Bella Pictures

weddings on March 11, 2004, stating that Newsom lacked legal authority. Although several discrimination lawsuits were filed, including the City and County of San Francisco v. State of California, on August 12, the more than 3,000 marriages were declared null.

In March 2005, a ray of sun again appeared when County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer declared both the marriage ban and Proposition 22 unconstitutional. With that, Mark Leno introduced AB 849, but in spite of Senate and Assembly confirmation, it was terminated by Governor Schwarzenegger, as was another Senate/Assemblyapproved version in September 2007.

The barring of samegender marriages was again declared unconstitutional on May 15, 2008 by California’s Supreme Court, and the joyous announcement was made, “Same sex marriage in California is legal now!” Thirty days later, on June 16, 2008 at 5 pm, California became only the second state to


California Dreamin’ - A Prop 8 Timeline legalize marriage between same-gender couples, and the first to allow out-of-state residents to marry as well. Rainbow flags waved throughout the land, high in a sunny sky, and approximately 18,000 gay & lesbian couples throughout California legally wed.

In the roughly five short months after California began issuing marriage licenses on June 16, 2008, over 18,000 gay and lesbian couples wed prior to the passage of Proposition 8. Remarkably reminiscent of the civil rights battles of the 1960s, Proposition 8 once again placed the rights of a single minority up for a popular vote.

the US District Court. At the end of the thirteen-day trail, same-gender couples worldwide waited for Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision. His decision was released on August 4, 2010:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any But in the November 4th election rational basis in singling out gay men that year, 52% of those voting passed and lesbians for denial of a marriage Proposition 8 in an attempt to prevent license. Indeed, the evidence shows future same-gender marriages and Proposition 8 does nothing more than revoke the rights of the same-gender enshrine in the California Constitution couples just newly wed. The American Perry v. Schwarzenegger seeks to the notion that opposite-sex couples Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian overturn this decision in the belief that are superior to same-sex couples. Rights charged that Proposition 8, in it violates the equal protection clause Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and attempting to prevent marriage for a of the U.S. Constitution. lesbians, and because Proposition 8 targeted group, was not just; and that prevents California from fulfilling its radical changes to state government constitutional obligation to provide principles cannot occur through Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo in Los Angeles simple majority vote and initiative - such County were denied marriage licenses marriages on an equal changes must begin with the legislature. because they are same-gender couples. The basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 couples filed a case claiming that Proposition is unconstitutional.

2009- 2010

In May 2009, Kristin Perry and Sandra Steir in Alameda County, California, and Paul

8 violates the U.S. Constitution by denying same-gender couples equal protection under the law, and on January 11, 2010, Perry v. Schwarzenegger opened in San Francisco, in

However, Judge Walker also issued a stay. He gave both sides until August 6th to submit arguments on whether his ruling should be suspended during the appeals process.  But on August 12, another decision was made. Judge Walker had been unconvinced by Proposition 8 proponents that the ban  should remain in place while they appealed. Beginning on August 18th at 5pm,  California’s ban on same-sex marriage would be lifted. “An injunction against enforcement of Proposition 8 is in the public’s interest,” he said. His order allowing Proposition 8 to stand for the additional week was to give the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals a chance to review his order. Two days before the marriages could once again take place, that court issued a hold on Judge Walker’s August 4th decision, claiming that the prohibition on same-sex marriages would remain intact until a three-judge panel can begin wrestling with an appeal later this year. The case will not be taken up again until the week of December 6, 2010.

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 19


California Dreamin’ - A Prop 8 Timeline couples. But the number of those times is less than the number of colors in the Pride Rainbow. We haven’t yet reached the end of that rainbow, or in this case, the beginning. There have not yet been enough positive motions to enable citizens to reach the final violet rays meaning safety and warmth for samegender couples. How Nancy Tannahill & Sharon Petty exchange vows in a small backyard ceremony in much longer before their home county of Santa Clara on 6/28/2008. They were the first lesbian couple in the couples wishing that county to obtain a marriage license. to marry get there, to that bright time and In California, there have been a number of place in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San sunny days, brief periods of time when the Diego, or anywhere else in the state... where legislation favors marriage for same-gender

20 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

their California Dreamin’ can finally come true? Susan Hart Hellman is a freelance writer based in California. Susan@SusanHartHellman.com


Sex and The Wedding by Donna Schaper contributing writer

ay too much has been made of the wedding night, that storied moment when we lose our virginity, have uncomfortable sex and live happily ever after. Way too little has been said about real sex, about the 90 year old single gay man who goes to therapy for his impotence, because he still hopes to find a “life long” partner, or the real wedding night of two mature women who are just too tired to do anything but sleep. Many people wonder if they have a normal sex life. Very few do. That’s because there is no normal when it comes to sex, not even a new normal. Instead there are many private behaviors that qualify as sex and some are done with eyes and ears, others with more private parts, still others that qualify as erotic and not sexual – and finally some that are both erotic and sexual, both bodily and bodily plus. Ironically, before, during and after the wedding festivities, sex (as we normally minimize it to the actual act) is often rare. Before, we get that breather known as the engagement period when the initial rush of excitement of knowing a new partner fades. Something newly erotic develops, which is a safer kind of sex, one where we know what our partner likes and a little bit more

about how to communicate effectively with each other about what our own needs are. During the wedding itself, which is now a weekend and not an hour, couples are usually exhausted from the non-erotic obligations of tablecloths, napkins, and what Aunt T might say to Uncle B. Two dynasties are merging, whether they are royal or not, and these mergers often change our focus. I often joke with my partner that if the family visits, sexual opportunities will diminish. We enjoy before, and after, but rarely during the obligations of family, many of which head us straight to our psychic memories of being eight years old and consequently less inclined to be sexual. Friends are a differently complicating matter. It is the rare wedding today that does not include our old friends, some of whom were our partners. I have had many couples tell me that they felt “guilty” because they were not dressing for their fiancee on their wedding day so much as their ex. The last thing they wanted to hear one of the guests whisper was, “You look great but you used to look better.” -By the way, these articulations rarely happen out loud. Instead they happen in that inner dialogue which often eclipses whatever we appear to be saying while holding a glass of champagne, and they may or may not be what the other person is accurately thinking

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 21


Sex and the Wedding it can be overwhelming and, as a consequence, the craziness can overshadow any thoughts of romantic interaction.

but that never matters. Perception is what matters, in cases like this when we question ourselves. On the other side of things, most in the circle of wedding guests can make us remember fun times, unexpected quirky and wonderful moments… the varied joys and triumphs of life… and that does energize us. This sweetness is absolutely much of what the experience of the wedding celebration is about, and brings on a beautiful flow of feelings and inclinations. But add friends to the recipe of family and you often get such a diverse mix of emotions that

22 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

Sex after the wedding also can have its limitations – and not just in the terrible jokes people make about the inevitable deeroticization of marriage and commitment, joint mortgages and the arrival of the actual gifts we so enthusiastically posted on our registry. “Home Making” becomes housekeeping, which can infringe on personal time, much of which becomes short when the new bills stack up, or the mundane sets in a few months or years after the wedding. On the other hand, the natural progression of a relationship brings new opportunities for creativity and exploration. Committing to a lifelong partner means we can continue

to delve deeper into communication and our own ideas of what our own sexual identity might evolve to become. We have years to explore together; we have nights and nights of going beyond the casual sex into something even more intimate and -oftentimes- more interesting and more fulfilling as well. What About the Marriage Vows? For many couples, there is an implicit assumption that marriage is about moving from the possibility of several partners to a commitment to one. Many actually vow this promise as part of their ceremony. Remember, the opposite of “adultery” is not “commitment” so much as it is eroticized partnership. Eroticized partnership over time is alive and alert mutuality, which involves first an alive and alert self, then a partner. The best way to talk about the ethics of commitment is to swear that if one of you starts getting turned on to an outsider, for whatever reason, that you will speak of it. That act of trust will probably get you back together – or to the truth and the therapy you need.


Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 23


Sex and the Wedding When you have made a promise, you can still have a private life but not a secret life. Why? You are lying to yourself when you’re lying to your partner. Don’t lie. It is the seed to personal doubt and personal prison. Sex before, during and after marriage has as its counterpoint the faithfulness notion of adultery. By considering a larger and more truthful version for adultery – namely truth between dynamically interactive partners – you may have a chance at avoiding its damage. Ethically speaking, adultery is not good. However, adultery’s temptations can lead us to personal growth and deep interpersonal intimacy. The route is the truth, not some notions of privacy or normal or abnormal. How? Be honest with yourself first and with your partner as well. Courageously commit to your relationship as a married couple. Put forth the effort to sow that tender longing you initially felt for your lover, when the stars were first in your eyes and you chose to say “I Do.” Couples getting married will continue to talk about whether their sexual relationship

24 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

qualifies as normal. They may even be people who identify themselves as queer, which is a marvelously adamant way of saying we are ‘not normal.’ My favorite understanding of sex is that it is a behavior that allows us to be focused for a while. In a world of a thousand stimulations, the ability to stop multi-tasking for a while is rare. Sex is simultaneous attention, not split attention. Sex focuses our attention at its best and minimizes distraction at its second best. For people about to marry, which is to say add commitment to the mutual pleasuring of their bodies, talking to each other about our hopes for sex is the best route to intimacy. If we can assure each other that we are okay snuggling, or okay talking, or okay giving a massage that doesn’t lead to more, we may even find ourselves catharting. In other words, less pressure is more freedom, especially when partners may be approaching the stressors of the Wedding Day differently. One may need the affirmation of a “quickie” while the other feels used by it. One may need nothing more

than a little butt caress while the rest of the room is babbling about who put the frog in the punch bowl, and the other may want to exit immediately and strip off the tuxedo. I notice a new practice among couples today. It is the practice of spending some time alone either right before the service or right after it for the pure sake of relaxing with each other, for another kind of gathering of the forces. If we can find ways to talk to each other, touch each other, enjoy each other, and stay as far away from the eight-year-old psyche as possible, ultimately we may be surprised with unexpected ab-normal sex before, during and after our wedding. Donna Schaper is Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church in New York City. (212) 477-0351 www.judson.org www.DonnaSchaper.org


Top LGBT Friendly Companies of the Season

RainbowWeddingNetwork proudly presents:

Top LGBT Friendly Companies

of the Autumn/Winter 2010

Since 2000, it’s been our goal to screen wedding, home, travel & family-related businesses all across North America for you & your partner. After all, planning your wedding, dreaming about your vacation or meeting the unique needs of your growing family should be FUN, free from awkwardness and instead filled with moments of sincere respect and excitement. The companies represented within these Orange Pages have taken the step forward to welcome you, your partner and your family and wish to celebrate in the joy of your occasion. Remember, the categories listed here are general guidelines. Many of these businesses offer several services, so be sure to call them directly or visit their website. You won’t want to miss any fabulous details!

Banquet & Event Facilities/ Reception Sites Ballroom on Fifth Warm and sophisticated space Manhattan’s premier rental facility! 37 West 37th Street New York, NY 10018 (937) 608-2626 alwaysballroom@aol.com www.ballroomoff5th.com/studio_rental.html Courtyard by Marriott Cocoa Beach-Cape Canaveral “A Spectacular Setting for Your Cocoa Beach Wedding...” Orlando, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, Melbourne, Titusville, Rockledge 3435 N. Atlantic Ave. Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 (321) 784-4800 x605 maria.sheldon@courtyardcb.com http://courtyardcocoabeach.com/ The Douglaston Manor Memories are Made at Douglaston Manor! 6320 Marathon Parkway Douglaston, NY 11362-2300 (718) 224-8787 thomas@thedouglastonmanor.com www.thedouglastonmanor.com The Emerald at Queensridge Where Memories of a Lifetime Begin 891 S. Rampart Las Vegas, NV 89145 (702) 242-5700 info@emeraldatqueensridge.com www.emeraldatqueensridge.com

Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel Beautiful TAG approved Historic Hotel close to everything in DC 14th & K Street NW Washington DC 20005 (202) 682-0111 richard.secord@ihrco.com www.hamiltonhoteldc.com www.hamiltonhoteldc.com/glbt/ Lincolnshire Marriott Resort From joyous celebrations to fairytale ceremonies, we bring your visions to extraordinary reality 10 Marriott Drive Lincolnshire, IL 60069 (847) 634-5931 (847) 634-0100 linda.shafer@marriott.com www.lincolnshiremarriott.com www.bookmarriott.com/451/index.html Midtown Loft An upscale venue in the heart of New York City 267 Fifth Avenue @ 29th Street 11th Floor, Suite 100 New York, NY 10016 (888) 435-4979 toll-free sales@midtownloft.net www.midtownloft.com Petruzzello’s Banquet and Conference Center Unsurpassed Value, Personalized Service 6950 Rochester Road Troy, MI 48085 (248) 879-1000 toni@petruzzellos.com www.petruzzellos.com www.petruzzellosspecialevents.com

- Categories ● Banquet & Event Facilities/ Reception Sites ● B & Bs/Inns/Wedding Packages for Intimate Ceremonies ● Beauty Enhancement/Fitness ● Cakes & Bakeries ● Caterers/Restaurants ● Event Consultants & Designers ● Financial Services ● Florals ● Formal Wear & Apparel ● Gifts, Favors & Keepsakes ● Hotels & Resorts ● Invitations/Calligraphy/Ketubahs ● Jewelers ● Limousines ● Officiants/Places of Worship ● Photographers ● Rentals ● Salons, Spas & Cosmetics ● Wedding Packages For more comprehensive information, photos & more, visit RainbowWeddingNetwork.com -over 5,000 businesses await you, each screened to uphold a policy of non-discrimination!

Vol. 5 Issue Autumn/Winter Vol. 52 Issue 2 Autumn 2010 25


Top LGBT Friendly Companies of the Season Wood Ranch Golf Club Spectacular views of rolling greens, sparkling lakes, and the Conejo Mountains 301 Wood Ranch Parkway Simi Valley, CA 93065 (805) 527-9663 catering@woodranchgc.com www.woodranchgc.com B & Bs/Inns/Wedding Packages for Intimate Ceremonies Applegate Inn of the Berkshires Savor the Tranquility 279 West Park Street Lee, MA 01238-1718 (413) 243-4451 info@applegateinn.com www.applegateinn.com Highlands Inn One of the most romantic lesbian destinations on the planet! 240 Valley View Lane Bethlehem, NH 03574 (877) LES-B-INN (537-2466), toll-free (603) 869-3978, local vacation@highlandsinn-nh.com www.highlandsinn-nh.com SparrowHawk Affaires 4496 Route 209 Stone Ridge, NY 12484 (845) 687-4492 mh@sparrowhawkaffaires.com www.sparrowhawkaffaires.com Beauty Enhancement/Fitness Judith Hellman, MD 30 Central Park South, Suite 2D New York, NY 10019 (212) 751-0577 jhderm@gmail.com www.bigappleskin.com Cakes & Bakeries Chocal8Kiss “Let them eat cake” - Marie Antoinette 7 South Main Street, Suite B Marlboro, NJ 07746 1-888-YUM-CAKE sonam@chocal8kiss.com www.chocal8kiss.com

26 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

Caterers/Restaurants Gails Vegetarian Catering/Kit’s Catering Local, Sustainable, Organic, Veggie, Vegan & more! Washington Metropolitan Region including Baltimore 11307 Elkin Street Wheaton, MD 20902 (301) 949-7602 catering@gailsvegetarian.com www.gailsvegetarian.com José Andrés Catering with Ridgewells Now you can experience the inspired creations of celebrated chef José Andrés Service throughout the DC Area and Beyond 5525 Dorsey Lane Bethesda, MD 20815 (301) 652-1898 info@joseandrescatering.com tdunn@joseandrescatering.com www.joseandrescatering.com Le Moulin Event Planning & Catering, Ltd. Quality cuisine & atmosphere for the simplest to most elegant affair New York Metropolitan and Tri-State Area 75 Main Street Irvington, NY 10533 (914) 469-6762 (914) 591-4680 josyane@lemoulincatering.com www.lemoulincatering.com McCalls Catering & Events San Francisco’s Premier Caterer Since 1980 San Francisco Bay Area & Beyond 350 Florida Street San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 552-8550 info@mccallssf.com annas@mccallssf.com www.mccallssf.com Taste America Catering A Taste For Every Occasion, A Flavor For Every Taste 455 N. City Front Plaza Drive, Suite 610 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 644-0606 dbrucks@tasteamerica.net www.tasteamerica.net


Top LGBT Friendly Companies of the Season Event Consultants & Designers A Fancy Fiesta Production Catering & Event Planning Exceeding your every Expectation... Miami-Dade, Broward and The Palm Beaches 6616 SW 24th Street Miami, FL 33155 (305) 443-4828 afancyfiesta@msn.com www.afancyfiesta.com In Any Event Unique Solutions for Your Special Event New York, Long Island, Hudson Valley, Connecticut and Destinations across the Globe (212) 472-7751 info@inanyevent.biz www.inanyevent.biz The Wedding Wizard Day-of Consulting Services, to Polish the Day of Your Dreams! PO Box 9307 South Burlington, VT 05403 (802) 598-0716 wizard@together.net Financial Services Christopher Street Financial Gay Money. Straight Advice. All 50 states, but with a concentration in the New York Metropolitan Area 215 Park Avenue South, Suite 1402 New York, NY 10003 1-800-262-6644, toll-free (212) 242-2800 (212) 405-1619 www.christopherstreet.com Florals All Seasons Floral Preservation Transform your wedding flowers into a lasting work of art VA, DC, MD, & Nationwide (703) 283-9447 mb@allseasonspressed.com www.allseasonspressed.com American Floral Distributors Wholesale Bulk Wedding Flowers Nationwide USA / Canada richard@americanfloraldistributors.com afd@americanfloraldistributors.com www.americanfloraldistributors.com

Flowers by Candle-Lite Creative Floral Arrangements Tailored to Your Good Taste 559 E Main Street, Suite 6 Denville, NJ 07834 (973) 625-0010 georgelite@aol.com todd@flowersbycandlelite.com flowersbycandlelite.com Formal Wear & Apparel Highcliffe Clothiers Quality, Service, and Value. 16 South Madison St. Middleburg, VA 20117 (540) 687-5633 customtailor@aol.com info@highcliffeclothiers.com www.highcliffeclothiers.com Gifts, Favors & Keepsakes Candles, Gifts & More, LLC Custom candles & glass etching. No minimums! Crystal Ice Buckets, Glassware, Candle Holders & more. Service Nationwide (877) 239-0027, toll-free info@candlesgiftsandmore.com www.candlesgiftsandmore.com Hotels & Resorts Echo Canyon Spa Resort A Special Place for All Seasons 350 Lawton Ave. Sulphur, OK 73086 (580) 421-5076 ecmanor@brightok.net www.echocanyonmanor.com Holiday Inn Atlanta Capitol Conference Center The Ideal Choice Of Downtown Atlanta Hotels 450 Capitol Avenue SW Atlanta, GA 30312 (404) 591-2015 craig.hurlbut@hiatlanta.com www.hiatlanta.com

Vol. 5 Issue Vol. 52 Issue Autumn/Winter 2 Autumn 2010 27


Top LGBT Friendly Companies of the Season Omni Parker House Historic and Timeless Charm in Downtown Boston 60 School Street Boston, MA 02108 (617) 227-8600 khorton@omnihotels.com bosparleads@omnihotels.com www.omniparkerhouse.com Invitations/Calligraphy/Ketubahs Pen Paper Ink Completely custom designed ketubahs and hand-lettering for envelopes/invitations Serving the Hudson Valley, NY, NJ, CT and Nationwide (845) 876-7334 jsavo@penpaperink.com www.penpaperink.com Sue’s Calligraphy Stuff Hand Calligraphy to Enhance Your Special Event 34 Oneida Road Acton, MA 01720 (508) 331-1591 SWEL18@verizon.net www.SueFunk.com Jewelers #1 Diamond Source Wholesale Loose Diamonds Source 36 West 47th Street New York, NY 10036 1-877-YourDiamond (968-7342) (212) 575-5260, local service1@1diamondsource.com www.1diamondsource.com Judith Foster Custom Jewelry One of a kind jewelry that makes a statement. PO Box 10055 Rochester, NY 14610 (585) 288-8134 judith@judithfoster.com www.judithfoster.com METALS IN TIME Fine Jewelry and Timepieces 400 S. Main Street Royal Oak, MI 48067 (888) 582-9344, toll-free (248) 582-9344, local info@metalsintime.com metalsintime@aol.com www.metalsintime.com

28 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

Limousines Phat Daddy’z Limousine Service Serving all of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties 4152 Charlton Avenue Hemet, CA 92544 (951) 692-1039 (951) 492-9700 phatdaddyzlimo@yahoo.com www.phatdaddyzlimo.com www.perfectstylelimo.com Officiants/Places of Worship Colorado Weddings by Keith Rocky Mountain Memorable. Romantic. Uniquely You. Serving the Greater Denver Area 12565 Critchell Lane Littleton, CO 80127 (303) 717-5600 keith@coloradoweddingsbykeith.com www.coloradoweddingsbykeith.com Rabbi Kenneth Shuster Happy to Officiate on Your Special Day Serving New York City, Long Island and Westchester NY, and will travel elsewhere (718) 544-3451 kenshuster@aol.com Weddings by Sandy “I do, I dos!” Serving Maryland and Southeastern Pennsylvania P.O. Box 2394 Columbia, MD 21045 (410) 340-3224 (410) 599-3224, cell info@weddingsbysandy.com sandy@weddingsbysandy.com www.weddingsbysandy.com Photographers André Maier Photography Wedding Photojournalism that Captures the True Essence of Your Event 511 6th Ave # 298 New York, NY 10011 (212) 388-2272 andre@andremaier.com www.andremaier.com


Top LGBT Friendly Companies of the Season Becky Johnson Studios seriously. fun photography. Service Internationally! 13194 US Hwy 301 South, Suite 199 Riverview, FL 33578 (813) 310-0361 becky@beckyjohnsonstudios.com www.beckyjohnsonstudios.com Brooke Moore Photography Home of the $1295 Wedding Package! Serving the Hudson Valley & beyond (845) 561-3757 brookemoorephoto@aol.com www.brookemoorephotography.com Digital Photo Girl LLC Sassy. Unique. Fabulous. Serving the San Francisco Bay Area & Nationwide 672 Grand View Ave. San Francisco, CA 94114 (415) 672-6023 rc@digitalphotogirl.com www.digitalphotogirl.com DM PHOTOGRAPHY The Dream Makers Metropolitan Kansas City 2731 S 55th Street Kansas City, KS 66106-3163 (913) 432-1044 dmphotographykc@aol.com www.dm_photography.homestead.com Event Digital Photography, Inc. Award Winning Complete Event Coverage Since 1990 6817 Carlynn Court Bethesda, MD 20817 (301) 229-3305 info@eventdigital.com kristin@eventdigital.com www.eventdigital.com www.thegreenscreenbooth.com Glenn Currie Photography Fusion or contemporary photojournalism capturing candids, details, emotions and expressions. Local and Destination Events (877) 454-2012, toll-free glenn@glenncurrie.com www.glenncurrie.com Holly Redmond Photography 24 Edsel Rd. Littleton, MA 01460 (978) 339-5144 haredmond@gmail.com www.hollyredmondphoto.com

Images by Berit “A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art” –Cezanne New Jersey and New York (908) 221-9440 berit@imagesbyberit.com www.imagesbyberit.com J&J Photography Your Life is Our Focus. Serving the Tri-State and Beyond 247 W. 115th St., # 3A New York, NY 10026 (212) 591-0642 jared@jandjphotography.net www.jandjphotography.net Lifestring Photography “live your life. share your self.” Based in Seattle (206) 265-0437 lifestringphotography@gmail.com www.lifestringphotography.com Lindsey Buchleitner Photo Capture Joy! Serving New England 62 Samoset Avenue Hull, MA 02045 (617) 827-5288 inquiry@LindseyBuchleitner.com www.LindseyBuchleitner.com LP Productions Wedding Photography ~ Preserving your memories, today and always. Huntingdon Valley, PA (215) 272-5164 yourphotographer.rafaello0@gmail.com www.lpproductions.biz Saskia Photography Pictures Beyond Amazing Based in Middleburg, VA (540) 272-6769 saskia@saskiaphotography.com www.saskiaphotography.com Seth Kaye Photography Documentary Wedding Photography Serving Western Massachusetts and all New England 165 Front St. Chicopee, MA 01013 (413) 455-9146 seth@sethkayephotography.com www.sethkayephotography.com www.sethkayeblog.com

Vol. 5 Issue Vol. 52 Issue Autumn/Winter 2 Autumn 2010 29


Top LGBT Friendly Companies of the Season Whitney Lee Photography creative & fun wedding photography! Austin, TX (512) 940-4362 whitney@whitneyleephotography.com www.whitneyleephotography.com/ www.whitneyleephotography.com/photoblog/

Candlelight Wedding Chapel & Banquet Hall Elegant & Affordable 2108 Auburn Road Shelby Township, MI 48317 (586) 997-9798 downtown135@msn.com www.candlelighthall.com

Rentals

Ceresville Mansion Twenty-five riverside acres; exchange vows in your own mansion! 8529 Liberty Road Frederick, MD 21701 (301) 694-5111 info@ceresville.com www.ceresville.com

The Rental Company Renting is an environmentally friendly solution to weddings! 967 South Washington Ave. Holland, MI 49423 (616) 396-7300 robyn@wmrentalco.com www.wmrentalco.com Salons, Spas & Cosmetics Pure YL Organics Vegan Spiritual Retreat Salon 910 Glenneyre Street Laguna Beach, CA 92651 (949) 294-4416 nikita@pureylsalon.com www.pureylorganics.com www.pureylsalon.com SkinSerenity Expert Make Up Artist, SkinCare and Hair Removal 1301 Springdale Road Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 (856) 366-7676 lisa@skinserenity.com skinserenity.com Wedding Packages Angel Mountain Events Where great beginnings never end... 178 Pine Tree Loop Bastrop, TX 78602 (512) 626-7233 info@angelmountainevents.com www.angelmountainevents.com Banff Gay Weddings Same Sex Weddings in the Magnificent Rocky Mountains of Canada (403) 609-3936 info@banffgayweddings.com www.banffgayweddings.com www.rockymountainweddings.ca

30 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

Hummingbird House A tropical retreat for your special event 12805 Arroyo Doble Drive (South Austin) Manchaca, TX 78652 (512) 934-0201 danny@hummingbirdhouse.info tom@hummingbirdhouse.info www.hummingbirdhouse.info www.gonursery.com RD Travel Limited, Inc. Gay-owned travel agency specializing in San Francisco & Wine Country Weddings (816) 454-3800 Russ@RDTravelLimited.com www.WeddingsCalifornia.net Smolak Farms Individually customized weddings for an ultimate serene experience 315 South Bradford Street North Andover, MA 01845 (978) 380-8241 events@smolakfarms.com www.smolakfarms.com Victoria’s Mansion Guest House 68 Gloucester Street Toronto, Ontario CANADA M4Y1L5 (416) 921-4625 info@victoriasmansion.com www.victoriasmansion.com


Same Love, Same Rights® ...tours the nation! 40 LGBT Wedding Expos since 2003! If you haven’t yet attended one of our Same Love, Same Rights® LGBT Wedding Expos... you’re missing a wonderful day filled with unique resources, joy, elegance & grassroots activism. Thirty exhibitors participate in every show -each of them has been screened by our staff to ensure that they uphold a policy of non-discrimination. Other highlights include Interactive Presentations, Tips & Samples, Resources for Planning Your Home and Family Life together, Music, Fashion and much, much more! Always, our Expos turn out to be a dynamic mix of celebrating our community as well as rallying for true Equality, all founded in the local flavor of the city in which they are held.

Come Out & Join Us! We can’t wait to meet you!

2011

Event

Calendar

● Atlanta – February 6th ● Minneapolis – February 13th ● Ft. Lauderdale – February 20th ● Bucks County, PA – March 6th ● NYC – March 12-13th

● Chicago – March 27th ● Washington DC - TBA ● Austin, TX – TBA ● Denver – TBA ● Las Vegas – TBA

For additional event dates and locations please visit our full event calendar online at www.SameLoveSameRights.com

Vol. 5 Issue Vol. 52 Issue Autumn/Winter 2 Autumn 2010 31


32 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE


Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 33


34 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE


DT

Delectable Trends in Wedding Cuisine

Very new, very you!

“Secrets of a Restaurant Chef,” “Behind the Bash,” “Ace of Cakes,” and hundreds of other programs reach out to us from our TV screens every day now, bringing us the latest “foodie” information. That includes weddings, and to explain the new trends in wedding cuisine, we have sought the advice of three cutting-edge companies - Events by Sunset Bay, in Accord Massachusetts, Sweet and Savory Bake Shop, Oxford Michigan, and Boston’s Wolfgang Puck Catering at the Museum of Science.

Because we do attend to the media, one change noted is couples’ increasing involvement in their wedding cuisine. With the names of foods we’ve never even heard of before, such as croque en bouche (French wedding cake), and jargon such as evoo (extra virgin olive oil) now slipping easily off our tongues, the chief ingredient in wedding cuisine planning, now, is you. Clark Wickersham, Head Chef at Events by Sunset Bay, explains, “Couples are definitely becoming more involved in menu planning. “ He, along with wife Christine Bowker-Wickersham, Events Specialist, and Nicole Kelly, owner and Creative Director, believe that given the current culinary exposure, the profession has taken on a more glamorous appearance. “With the added entertainment factor,”

by Susan Hart Hellman contributing writer

Christine says, “more people are tuning in. As a result, people are more aware, educated and informed of food trends, flavors and worldwide cuisine.” Concurring are husband and wife team Debbie Meyers and Scott Eschelbach, owners of Oxford, Michigan’s Sweet and Savory Bake Shop, which has appeared on the “Best of the Knot” list for the past three years. “What most influences our work now,” Debbie says, “would be our clients; their themes and personalities impact each design. The current array of cake programs is hugely entertaining and is great exposure for our industry.” Debbie, whose training includes French pastry classes in Berkeley and San Francisco, and Scott, a graduate of OCC’s culinary program, who found that pastry arts was his passion, believe that cake and wedding “reality” TV programs have definitely affected their business. “Fondant, a sugar dough that envelops the entire cake,” Debbie explains, “is popular now due to the TV shows and magazine photos. So although the majority of our wedding cakes are done with a buttercream finish, we offer a French-style buttercream that we make as smooth as a fondant finish.”

G reen” Cuisine

Along with couples’ increasing input, new trends also involve environmental concerns. Rahul Moolgaonkar, chef at Wolfgang Puck Catering at the Museum of Science, has seen a move toward local produce and sustainability. “There are questions around fish and meat, and low carbon footprint events,” he explains. Clark, with a degree from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, has noticed that trend too. “Sustainable agriculture, as well as organic, pesticide-free food sources are becoming much more of a deciding factor in menus these days,” he explains. “Also in the past year or so couples have been leaning towards more local, seasonal ingredients.”

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 35


Delectable Trends in Wedding Cuisine

Photos courtesy Events at Sunset Bay & Boston Magazine

Rahul, who was educated in Bombay, concurs. “Seasonality is huge. It factors in menu choice - fall  for example and the use of pumpkins, squash, etc.” There are also more requests for cultural and ethnic cuisine today, as many couples now include their combined heritages in their wedding, which often leads to a combination of two or more ethnic cuisines. “I have definitely seen a trend in this direction,” Clark says. “Not only involving a couple’s heritage but also perhaps a place they have lived or visited that is special to them.” He says this is one of the many factors that keeps his professional life interesting. “Staying current on various world cuisines is an important part of my job.”

36 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

H ealth and Nutrition

Rahul, who is guided by Wolfgang Puck’s recipes, also addresses new trends that now embrace nutritional and health concerns. “Requests for all-vegan, gluten-free menus are becoming popular,” he explains. Clark, Christine, and Nicole also receive such requests at Events at Sunset Bay, and Clark says, “In almost every wedding, there are a few people with special dietary concerns. In this day and age, with the variety of grains, produce and agriculture in general at our disposal, putting together a fabulous vegetarian/ vegan menu is really quite effortless.” He mentions another type of special request as well, explaining that carbohydrates are a consideration for some couples now.


Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 37


Delectable Trends in Wedding Cuisine

Wedding Celebration Cocktail Party Working closely with two cuisine-savvy grooms, Clark Wickersham, Head Chef at Events by Sunset Bay in Accord, Massachusetts, and his design team, created the following menu for the 300 guests invited to the grooms’ five-hour reception.

Served Plates ●

oriental chicken & soba noodle salad, crisp asian vegetables, sesame soy vinaigrette served in chinese “to go”

maine crab, lobster & avocado salad with romaine and lemon infused extra virgin olive oil - served in chinese “to go”

mini burger bites served with well-done shoestring fries and housemade ketchup

grilled flatbread pizza with grilled seasonal vegetables & vermont goat cheese & grilled served with pineapple & balsamic syrup

thai marinated beef and chicken kabobs with miso aioli & asian sweet potato salad

shrimp & sweet pea risotto with chive & chili oils, scallops wrapped in apple-smoked bacon and vine-ripened tomatoes, baby mozzarella, fresh basil & evoo

bbq pulled pork sliders with housemade coleslaw & baked macaroni & cheese

southwestern spice-rubbed chicken quesadilla and avocado aioli

Stationary Hors d’Oeuvres ●

antipasto - selection of marinated vegetables, olives, cheeses and meats with assorted breads

selection of international cheeses & fruit cracker selection

Desserts ●

chocolate mousse martinis

key lime tarts & lemon meringue mini pies in graham cracker crusts

coffee & tea station

38 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

Photo courtesy Events at Sunset Bay & Lorraine Kourafas

But Clark has an underlying philosophy concerning every wedding and cuisine he creates. “I always make sure everyone’s needs are met at any length. After all it is a special day and nothing should be overlooked.”

D essert

One menu item that couples never seem to overlook is dessert, and although there are occasional requests for sugar-free or vegan cakes, Debbie says, “99% of my clients do not ask for what you might consider a healthier choice.” “Everything in moderation!” she adds. “A small indulgence at the end of the meal is still expected.” One new trend in the area of “indulgences” includes cupcakes. Lots of cupcakes. “Cupcakes have become a popular option, using a chocolate monogram or buttercream flowers or just a swirl of buttercream with the wedding color scheme,” Debbie says. She discusses another new dessert trend too. “The individual cake at each table as the centerpiece

is another alternative to the traditional stacked cake. And, the addition of a sweet table with miniature pastries and tortes can also be an option.”

M aking the Economy Work for You

Does the current economy affect wedding planning? It does, and Clark explains. “The economy has had its impact on menu choices. I am seeing more interest in the lesser known cuts of meat, as well as more focus on scrumptious flavor combinations and interesting serving ideas, rather than the old standbys such as lobster and filet mignon.” Clark, Christine, and Nicole add that some items are essential, however, and couples simply won’t give them up. “We do a lot of wedding tastings that include items that couples are not sure about financially,” Clark explains. “A big one this past summer was our lobster and crab ‘martini.’ Lightly poached local lobster tails and claws tossed with Maine crab, zesty shallots and silky, smooth avocado and dressed with a delicate lemon infused evoo,


S etting the Stage

In addition to new trends in food, the way in which couples want food presented is changing too, including a trend away from so much formality.

Photo courtesy Events at Sunset Bay

Clark says, “With this I have seen buffets on the rise and plated dinners on the decline. Fun small plates and interactive tapas bars with chef ‘tenders’ have also become quite popular. I would also attribute some of this to the economy.”

served elegantly in a martini glass. Once couples got a taste of this dish, more often than not, they would rework other areas to ensure this appetizer could be featured.”

At Events by Sunset Bay, the group is also seeing what they call an ‘Attitude Adjustment.’ “Couples want to have fun. Many are shying away from place cards and formal seating charts and are selecting open-format timelines, where eating and dancing is up to the guests – not the DJ.” Clark adds that couples are leaning toward more interactive food stations too. “We have seen a move toward cocktail partylike atmospheres. These include large

quantities of passed appetizers and small tastes of appetizers, interactive stations such as a mashed potato bar, and tapas bar. Every guest is able to try the different items at their own leisure. Our clients love this – they can walk around and socialize, eat, drink, and dance when they want to and their event is the talk of the town!”

T hemes and Cuisine

The popularity of themed weddings is on the rise, and perhaps no facet of the wedding cuisine follows a theme more closely than in the cake. Debbie provides an example from among the Sweet and Savory Bake Shop clients, a couple that used “the fig” as the wedding theme. “After much research,” Debbie explains, “I created a cardamom chiffon cake brushed with Pedro Ximenez brandy, filled with handmade dried fig marmalade and white chocolate mousse with delicate pieces of fresh fig folded in.”

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 39


Photos courtesy Sweet and Savory Bake Shop

Delectable Trends in Wedding Cuisine

Cakes, cakes, and more cakes Looking for a delicious wedding cake flavor combination? Debbie Meyers and Scott Eschelbach, owners of Sweet and Savory Bake Shop in Oxford MI, provide their insights about the latest trends in flavor combos. ● Vanilla

cake with Swiss raspberry marmalade and French buttercream

● Cardamom

chiffon with white chocolate mousse and fresh figs

● Chocolate

cake with Belgian chocolate mousse and fresh strawberries

● Marble

cake with espresso buttercream and rich chocolate ganache

● Yellow

chiffon with pineapple rum, apricot marmalade and coconut buttercream

● Yellow

chiffon with lemon mousse and fresh raspberries and blueberries

● Chocolate

soufflé pastry with alternating circles of white and dark chocolate mousse

● Vanilla

cake brushed with Grand Marnier filled with dark chocolate mousse and espresso buttecream

● Hazelnut

and almond chiffon filled with praline, chocolate and vanilla buttercream

● Yellow

chiffon filled with peach mousse and fresh blackberries

Clark says that for his clients, décormatching is more widely requested when the décor is very seasonal. “If the wedding has a summer feel with pastel blue and white fabric, white wicker chairs, beautiful hydrangeas and sea glass integrated into the table center pieces, we find that menu selections incorporate seasonal food items such as fresh seasonal berries or locally harvested heirloom tomatoes, and fresh local shellfish.” He adds that following another new trend, some couples want their signature drinks to match their color scheme. Rahul explains that couples often use the inherent “theme” of the science museum, or as the Museum’s website states, “dine with dinosaurs; sip cocktails while surveying virtual sea life; accent an occasion with a large-format film or a journey to the stars.” One example of how food can incorporate a “scientific” theme, Rahul says, is making ice cream on-site using liquid nitrogen.

W ine Options

When it comes to wine selection, couples have also become well-informed. “Most of our clients are educated and do not look for the ‘expensive’ bottle,” Clark explains. “Rather they look to our expertise in helping

40 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

them select the perfect accompaniment for their menus. We also find that a red, a white and sparkling is not enough – couples want their guests to have options and often select 2-3 varieties of red and white wines.”

T he Interactive Menu...

With more couple involvement and couples’ increased culinary knowledge, chefs must now explore one more new trend: how they feel about working more closely with these brides and these grooms. “I personally enjoy meeting with couples to work on menu design,” Clark says. “The personal interaction with couples gives the whole event a more intimate experience, and ensures that I can give them both the menu they desire and deserve!” As an example, he describes a recent wedding in which the two grooms were highly involved in their wedding and reception for 300 guests, created by the design team at Events at Sunset Bay. “It was totally out of the box!” Clark says. “They decided to do all small, combination plates. Some passed, some displayed in a continuous flow for the duration of their five-hour reception. Essentially this meant that each plate was comprised of two


Delectable Trends in Wedding Cuisine entirely different items, which had to flow harmoniously together. For example: one plate was a spicy, thai marinated beef satay with a bold miso aioli and a sweet chili chicken tenderloin skewer with a key west inspired lime-chili dip both served with a delicate Asian sweet potato salad.” Debbie enjoys the new trend in couple involvement too. “Many people bring in pictures of cakes that they have seen in magazines or on the internet. We try to use them as a springboard to design something unique to our clients that fits both their personalities and their budgets.”

T he Old,

Becoming The New

But it appears that the old saying, “Something old, something new . . .” can also be applied to these modern wedding cuisine trends. As Debbie explains,

requests for cupcakes and individual cakes represent only about 20% of her weddings, with most couples ordering traditional cakes. “Out of the hundreds of wedding cakes I create each year, only a few incorporate an unusual theme, such as a huge haunted house for a Halloween wedding.” Rahul explains that couples still bring in their great-grandmother’s recipes too. “Or some food they choose specifically because it will spark the best memories,” he adds. Whether you choose a sit-down plated dinner with prime rib, station dining featuring East Indian curries, or your family’s historically favorite recipe, these chefs’ comments can be summarized in one statement: It’s all good. And will remain so throughout 2011 and beyond. The best

memories will be the new ones created by your own personalized wedding cuisine. Events by Sunset Bay Based in Accord, Massachusetts (781) 740-1170 christine@EventsBySunsetBay.com www.EventsBySunsetBay.com Sweet and Savory Bake Shop 9 S. Washington Street Oxford, MI 48371 (248) 628-4210 sweetsavory@sbcglobal.net www.sweetandsavoryonline.com Wolfgang Puck Catering at the Museum of Science 1 Science Park / Boston, MA 02114 (617) 589-3192 www.mos.org www.wolfgangpuckcatering.com Susan Hart Hellman is a freelance writer based in California. Susan@SusanHartHellman.com

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 41


My Dangerous Commute

My Dangerous Commute Newly Published Book Spotlights the Gay Wedding Industry!

‘...Many within the LGBT community see the world in such a way. They’ve come to believe it’s not quite okay to hold hands in public, or that deep-down we are in fact sinners, or that we ought to remain somewhat invisible to spare the mainstream. To some degree, we’ve successfully internalized the prejudice. Note to those opposed to the gay lifestyle: Mission Accomplished. Minorities do this to themselves, as do others who have felt less-than, or victimized or disempowered. It’s natural. And it can be silently unrecognized for lifetimes, like a thin haze in front of the eyes, virtually unseen. It can skew the way we interpret our own experience; our own reality. It can be passed down, through generations. And the result can be utterly detrimental, obviously, concerning the ability to envision a clear and justifiable reason for the desire for equality, fairness and non-discrimination. It can hinder an entire group’s collective ability to believe in itself. Legalizing same-sex marriage presents the opportunity to heal at such a remarkable level, well below the surface. Individually and culturally. There are indeed broad implications.’ –Excerpt from Chapter 22: Layers of Shame

elebrate the 10-year anniversary of RainbowWeddingNetwork.com with the founders’ new book, “My Dangerous Commute: Witnessing Gay Marriage Rights Across America.” Authors Cindy Sproul & Marianne Puechl detail their unique experiences as pioneer entrepreneurs for the past decade midst a business venture never before charted. Through touching accounts with samegender couples from Massachusetts to ­­­California, candid comments from gayfriendly and non-gay-friendly wedding professionals, Sproul & Puechl outline many of the landmark turning points in the history of gay marriage rights, from the down-to-earth perspective of those living with the issues every day. “It’s been a unique experience, to say the least!” comments Puechl, about the newly released paperback. “From death threats to teary-eyed and spontaneous engagement proposals, in state after state throughout America, Cindy and I have witnessed firsthand the controversy

42 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

and triumphs surrounding the issue of gay marriage rights. Obviously, it brings out the worst and the best in people, and we’re honored to share some of our own insights as business owners, activists and also as lesbian moms.” The short, pointed chapters provide an easy read, while also highlighting many of the vital themes and subthemes associated with marriage and family equality for the LGBT community. “My Dangerous Commute” targets the heart of the matter, on many levels, and inspires a fresh view to the issues... yet leaves the reader uplifted and poised for a revitalized focus. ‘Sometimes, when we meet couples today,’ the authors write, ‘we end up chatting about activism and involvement and how to feel like one is actually making a difference in the endless span of time. (We) tell them to come out of the closet. Not as gay or lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer or questioning… We invite them to come out as an equality advocate;


My Dangerous Commute In 2003, RainbowWeddingNetwork began producing many of the nation’s first LGBT Wedding Expos in cities such as Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco and in Cambridge just two weeks prior to the enactment of full marriage rights for same-gender couples in Massachusetts. To date, the company has produced over forty such events in nineteen different states, some of the most popularly attended in areas with the least access for LGBT citizens to equal marriage, adoption and family rights. In April 2006, publication began of the quarterly RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine, the first appearance of a fullcolor glossy magazine dedicated to Gay & Lesbian Weddings. someone who believes in the absolute of equal rights for everyone in our nation and around the world. (Our) two cents’ worth is that they’re already involved, with whatever actions they’re taking everyday: they’re already making an impact. Environmentally, socially, personally… The question is whether or not they’ve taken responsibility for those everyday actions, whether they’ve taken ownership for the motives underneath. With clear and mindful choices leading to clear and mindful action, activism begins. That’s where the substance of history is born. We’re all a part. Whether we consciously realize it or not, that’s the distinction.’ In December 1999, Sproul & Puechl first conceptualized the idea behind RainbowWeddingNetwork.com, and the website was launched in 2000 as the first wedding gift registry dedicated to the LGBT community. Through grassroots marketing efforts, the website received over 1 million hits in its first six months of operation. Surviving the dot com crash of 2000-2001, the company continued to stand out as a viable resource offering uniquely targeted services to a growing niche market, virtually untapped prior to that time.

Today, the company continues to expand its resources, building on its mission to serve as a bridge for LGBT couples and their allies to access the resources necessary to successfully plan their weddings and committed lives together, free from discrimination. Sproul and Puechl, along with a core group of dedicated staff members, run the business and extend the vision of RainbowWeddingNetwork to include a diversity of means to support the LGBT community, equality advocates and business professionals who uphold a policy of non-discrimination, and to offer a higher degree of legitimization for same-gender couples within American society. “My Dangerous Commute: Witnessing Gay Marriage Rights Across America” is 90 pages, available in paperback for $12.95. To purchase, visit www.MyDangerousCommute.com.

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 43


Customs Inspection Incoporating Both of Your Pasts As You Look

Toward The Future

Rev. Dawn Smith-Camacho contributing writer

aybe you and your partner are totally into Chinese food or love the same pizza joint. Maybe you’re both fans of Japanese Anime. But how similar are your backgrounds? If ever there was a time to highlight the unique aspects of your cultural heritage, and the fantastic journey that brought your two worlds together, it would be at your wedding!

accessories and decorations —the Chinese consider red the most auspicious color and it is believed to represent love, happiness and prosperity. Or awe your guests with a traditional French wedding cake, or croquembouche—not actually a cake, but an impressive tower of vanilla cream-filled puffs bound with ribbons of caramel and decorated with sugared almonds.

From tasty international treats to the era of your dance music, to flaunting your favorite celebrity inspirations, here are some tips for incorporating your unique backgrounds, values, and traditions into your ceremony and reception.

● Honor your ancestors:

● Think globally, act locally:

Take inspiration from weddings around the world. Consider incorporating red

Vineyard -Designs

44 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

Find out what your parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents did at their ceremonies—or wish they had done! Choose one element from their unions to replicate in your own. Do you have relatives who have influenced you in love? Maybe your centerpieces resemble those that graced the tables at your mother’s wedding. Maybe you have a great aunt

who was never able to publicly celebrate her own commitment to her truelove, and you can honor her by playing her favorite song or wearing one of her bracelets. This can be a great opportunity to learn more about your partner’s family and to involve relatives on both sides in the planning process. Also consider famous authors and activists who came before you on a similar path—incorporate quotes from your mentors in your ceremony and program or include readings from famous authors whose stories exemplify your background and feelings about commitment. Consider these for inspiration: “All mankind love a lover.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson “I love you not only for what you are,


but for what I am when I am with you.” -Elizabeth Barrett Browning “If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.” - Johann von Goethe “The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals.  It’s just that they need more supervision.”  -Jewish, lesbian comedian, Lynn Lavner

● Eclectic treats:

Set up a goody station with sweets from each country reflected in your heritage. Include little flags or description cards, so guests know the country of origin along with fun facts. Invite each guest to fill a bag with whatever global mix suits their fancy.

● Religious freedom:

If you are having a ceremony outside of the church/synagogue/mosque, you can incorporate elements from a variety of religions that may be represented in your heritage or your partner’s, or that are otherwise meaningful to the two of you. Consider including a reading from religious texts of two or three different

religions. If you aren’t sure where to begin, a nondenominational or Interfaith minister can usually make great suggestions. You might also consider incorporating a ritual from a tradition not directly represented by your heritage but that is symbolic to the two of you in some way—perhaps lighting a candle for each relative that has passed on, whom you would like to honor (as is often done in European cathedrals) or calling in the four directions as in the Native American tradition.

● Equal rights:

Your commitment ceremony doesn’t have to make a political statement, but it can be an opportunity to showcase what matters to you—in however broad or subtle a way as feels right to you. Work with LGBTQ friendly vendors. Ask specifics about their experience with same-sex unions, and their commitment to equality. How about inviting the local gay or women’s choir to perform at your wedding? Consider doing a theme of equality, incorporating homages to your favorite activists and politicians, or showcasing your

Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 45


Customs Inspection

pride with a rainbow wedding featuring a rainbow cake, rainbow decorations, and inviting your guests to dress in the colors of the rainbow!

â—? Community center:

Chances are, the guests who will be present are only there because they’ve played a big part in your journey. Here are some ideas for showing your tribe how much you value their support. Incorporate a sense of community with the following foundations: Your theme - create a theme around the concepts of community, family, or gratitude. Invite your guests to write wishes or blessings for you and to put them in a box. Return the favor by sending each of them home with a personalized fortune cookie! Your ceremony - Honor your community through a ritual at your ceremony—you can invite all guests to greet and acknowledge

each other through a variation on the traditional Catholic church ritual of “Passing the Peace� or involve your guests in a ring warming, in which your rings are passed around, in a small pouch, through the hands of each of your guests as they take a turn offering a silent wish for your lives together. Your gifts - give back to those who gave to you. Invite guests to contribute to a favorite charity that exemplifies your values. This offers them, and you, an opportunity to give back for your blessings, and to make a difference in your community.

â—? Blaze a trail:

Why not make your wedding day the start of an on-going tradition exclusive to you and your sweetie? You are trailblazers! Why not flaunt it by making this the theme of your wedding—incorporate quotes from favorite trailblazers, name your tables after

area trails or landmarks, include nature elements throughout. Sneak off and share a private moment with your partner - some kind of small but meaningful ritual you can repeat again to honor the start of each new day together, or each future anniversary. This is a magical moment... Embrace It! Rev. Dawn is an Interfaith Minister, spiritual counselor, and writer. She has conducted workshops on goal manifestation around the country and her articles on spiritual living have been featured in Whole Life Times, LA Yoga, Awareness Magazine, Oracle20-20 and on GetMarried.com. She is proud to be listed with Rainbow Wedding Network and proud to guarantee that if she performs your commitment ceremony in a State that has not yet legalized same-sex unions, she will gladly perform your legal ceremony at no additional cost once they are. Rev. Dawn Smith-Camacho, Interfaith Officiant Seventh Sense Weddings & Events 404-729-0640 (Based in Atlanta) seventhsenseproductions@gmail.com www.SeventhSenseProductions.com

g]c`eSRRW\U g]c`Z]dS g]c`abgZS

:]QOZ2SabW\ObW]\:50BESRRW\UaW\EOaVW\Ub]\21 Z]dSPcaRQQ][  "%$"$&

46 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE


Vol. 5 Issue 2 Autumn/Winter 2010 47


48 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

Volume 5, Issue 2  

Autumn/Winter 2010