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Rainboww edding n etwork M A G A Z I N E Vol. 6, Issue 1

The Nation’s First LGBT Wedding Magazine

2011

LGBT Wedding Planning Guide

A Highland Fling!

An old-world destination perfect for your modern ceremony

PLUS

Stylish Transportation

Riding off into your new life together!

$5.95 US ● $7.95 CAN

Vol. 6 Issue 1 2011 LGBT Planning Resource Guide 1


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A Highland Fling!

56

Resources by Region P06 - 15 P16 - 23 P24 - 42 P43 - 48 P49 - 53 P54 - 62

Western US Central & Midwestern US Northeastern US Mid-Atlantic US Southeastern US International

Planning Tips & Inspiration P38 Where Our Marriage Rights Are Heading in 2011 P11 Invitation Etiquette for LGBT Couples P50 Southern Charm: Celebration HotSpots in Atlanta P20

Thank-You Gifts for Your Ceremony Attendants

P56 A Highland Fling! Your Destination Wedding in Scotland P08 Western Destinations: Santa Fe & Hawaii P26 Q&A with The Highlands Inn Romantic Lesbian Getaway in the Mountains of New Hampshire P32 Basic Planning Timeline: Simple Steps to Your Perfect Ceremony! P44 Mid-Atlantic Destination: Baltimore P34 Riding Off Into Your New Life Together Stylish Transportation for Your Special Day! P18 Central & Midwestern Destinations: Detroit & Austin P47 Top Questions asked by Today’s Gay & Lesbian Couples

Photo courtesy Sarah Maren, Sacramento

Photo courtesy of LoveScotland.com

in this issue

Stylish Wedding Transportation

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RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine PO Box 17596, Asheville, NC 28816 www.rainbowweddingnetworkmagazine.com Published by Jemima Creek Signature Publications A division of Artistic Ventures, Inc. Copyright ©2011 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. 6 Issue 1 2011 LGBT Planning Resource Guide 3


vitals Founders, Cindy Sproul & Marianne Puechl Senior Editor, Marianne Puechl Photo Editor, Cindy Sproul Design and Layout Assistant, 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 Hilary Markoe/OutVite.com, Grace Newman/The Highlands Inn, Ruth Cochrane/LoveScotland.com, Marianne Puechl

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.

Contributing Photographers LoveScotland.com, Sarah Maren/Sacramento, MarkKane.net, Chris Corrie, Hawaii’s Big Island Visitor Bureau, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Tor Johnson, Ron Garnett, OutVite.com, Cindy Sproul, Infinity & Ovation Yacht Charters, PromisesYouKeep.com, DeansSweets.com, The Highlands Inn, Todd Gilman/FL, Carolyn Quan/HI, CLB Photography/NYC, Mary K Wood Photography/Atlanta

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.

Cover Image Our thanks to LoveScotland.com for use of this touching image!

PLEASE PRINT

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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.

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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 ©2011 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.

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Vol. 6 Issue 1 2011 LGBT Planning Resource Guide 5


West The West

Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State offers the perfect picturesque setting for any wedding or commitment. The park is open year round although you may want to call ahead for weather and road conditions.

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Legals & Logistics for Your Ceremony in the West ongratulations, Hawaii! Finally, the state that took up the conversation about same-sex marriage rights well before Vermont even passed civil union legislation has enacted a new law to acknowledge the relationships of its gay & lesbian citizens. On signing the bill on February 23, 2011, Governor Neil Abercrombie happily called the measure “a triumph for everyone.” Civil unions will be available beginning January 1, 2012, making Hawaii the seventh state to provide such recognition for same-sex couples.

At this time in our nation’s history, the laws and guidelines with regard to gay and lesbian commitments vary so greatly and continue to be in flux as the legal arguments are decided. Therefore it remains very important for couples to take serious time to update their own legal documents (wills, powers of attorney, etc) on a routine basis –every five years or so. Depending on your state, the city or county clerk’s office should be able to direct you to further information about documenting your civil union or registering as domestic partners, as well as other pertinent information.

The legal saga of Proposition 8 in California continues, with the state upholding 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place in the summer of 2008, while couples since that time remain unable to wed. It is estimated that the California Supreme Court will not hear the pending case until this August or September, which means that there will be no ultimate ruling until 2012.

Western States currently offering recognition to same-sex couples: Hawaii California Nevada Oregon Washington Colorado

- - - - - -

Civil Unions Domestic Partnerships, Prop 8 pending Domestic Partnerships Domestic Partnerships Domestic Partnerships Designated Beneficiaries

To find screened, gay-friendly wedding professionals in your area, visit the Orange Pages in this issue, or our extended Directory online at RainbowWeddingNetwork.com.

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West The West

Destination: Santa Fe, New Mexico

aried landscapes, historic ruins, scintillating art & culture, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets… the heart of Northern New Mexico: Santa Fe. Whether you’re considering an intimate destination wedding here, your honeymoon or simply a week’s vacation, “The City Different” is one location you’ll want to keep on the short list! Your options are endless when it comes to accommodations in and around the Santa Fe area. A trendy B&B downtown, close to nightlife and a mix of restaurants, or a 1930s era Pueblo-style bungalow… An elegant resort, in which you and your partner can pamper yourselves after a day of hiking or shopping, or a small inn set midst the glorious views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Friendly, knowledgeable hosts and mouthwatering on-site cuisine will make your home-away-from-home virtually unforgettable. Drive the Turquoise Trail and discover the old mining towns and historic Spanish villages, as well as cave dwellings where our prehistoric ancestors made their homes. Artists’ studios dot the landscape, shops, museums and markers referencing the history of the Navajo will lead your journey through the wonders of this old and sacred

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land. Yes, turquoise was mined here, as well as native copper and gold. With a high gay & lesbian population, and an ongoing commitment to diversity, Santa Fe is a welcoming locale with flavor, flair and limitless travel opportunities! Adventure Activities: Hiking, Skiing, Golf, Biking, Fishing, Snowboarding, Rafting

Creative Workshops: Cooking, Photography, Watercolors, Poetry, Jewelrymaking, Gardening, Natural Building *Just remember, Santa Fe’s elevation of 7000 feet can be challenging, especially upon first arrival. Be safe, stay hydrated and allow yourself to acclimate!

Area Highlights and Attractions ● Native American Nations, Celebrations, History & Contemporary Culture ● Georgia O’Keeffe Museum ● San Miguel Mission ● Loretto Chapel & the Miraculous Staircase ● Fiesta de Santa Fe (mid-September) ● Textiles, Jewelry, Pottery

● Southwestern Cuisine ● Santa Fe Opera ● The Original Route 66 ● Statue of Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Francis Cathedral ● 300+ days of sunshine each year!

Images of Santa Fe provided courtesy of: (Photo 1&2) - MarkKane.net, (Photo 3) - Chris Corrie

About Town ● Outdoor markets ● Casinos

Images of Hawaii provided courtesy of: (Photo 1) - Hawaii’s Big Island Visitor Bureau (Photo 2) - Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson (Photo 3) - HTA / Ron Garnett


West The West

Destination: Hawaii

awaii weddings are now legal! Beginning January 1, 2012, you and your partner can enjoy all the Aloha State has to offer in a destination wedding, plus take advantage of legally recognized civil union benefits as well. What a package! Ceremonies in Hawaii are as diverse as the thousands of couples who visit every year to exchange their vows. From a simple, barefoot beach wedding, to a luau extravaganza from sunrise to sunset, the details for your dream ceremony are virtually limitless. If you are not residents of the state, certainly consider a local wedding planner. (Being long-distance when planning your ceremony can be challenging!) There are a few event planners who have been committed to same-sex celebrations for many years; truly, their expertise will save you hours of sorting through ideas and they will have a network of wedding professionals available to work with you respectfully and with joy. As you begin to decide where and when to marry, consider the many options available on the different islands as well as how long your guest list might be. If it’s just you & your partner, the scheduling might be wide open but if you plan to invite family and friends you’ll want to brainstorm

more carefully. It can be hard to take into account which attractions may best suit all your guests – again, another reason to work with a local planner to help outline the many opportunities available not only for your ceremony, but for the honeymoon and vacation time surrounding your celebration.

The Five Islands~

Oahu

Oahu is home to the majority of Hawaii’s population, and offers lively attractions, cuisine, entertainment, nightlife as well as historic sites and breathtaking beauty. It’s the perfect blend of Hawaii’s timeless wonders and today’s luxuries & attractions! This is the land of Waikiki, the perfect wave –you can surf yourself or watch the experts... five star hotels and 112 miles of gorgeous beaches. Snorkeling, parasailing, kayaking, beach-combing, hiking, boating and whale-watching are all easily accessible in Oahu, the ‘Heart of Hawaii.’

Kauai

The oldest and northernmost island, Kauai, offers a backdrop of dramatic natural attractions. Lush tropical vegetation, waterfalls, sparkling sandy beaches. Adventure tours await you here, including boat expeditions to view the soaring cliffs of the Napali Coast or hiking trips to Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.) Snorkeling for beginners as well

as experts, horseback riding, air tours, fishing excursions, scuba diving & much more. Poipu Beach Park has been voted one of America’s best beaches.

Hawaii

The “Big Island” hosts an active volcano and many awe-inspiring natural wonders. This is the youngest island in the archipelago, and (with the volcanic activity) it’s still growing! The Big Island is a vast land of adventure, home not only to the dramatic lava-spewing Kilauea, but also the tallest sea mountain in the world, as well as lush rain forests, volcanic deserts, snow-topped peaks and the famed black-sand beaches. Small villages await, as well as posh resorts that span acres. Everything Hawaiian is possible here – you’ll just need to plan your itinerary to take it all in!

Lanai

This quiet island is a romantic paradise, filled with hidden beauties, tropical fragrances and secluded resorts. Boasting no traffic lights, Lanai is the perfect getaway – a mix of charming shops, postcard-perfect beaches, outdoor excursions, golf, spas and historic backdrops. Lanai City began as an old plantation town, developing out of the island’s pineapple industry. The offroad path Munro Trail winds 12.8 miles to the island’s highest scenic point. Keahiakawelo, also known as The Garden of the Gods, is a must-see natural rock formation.

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Molokai

If you’re interested in immersing yourself in Hawaiian tradition, Molokai is the island for you! In May, the people of this pristine land gather for the Ka Hula Piko Festival at Papohaku Beach Park, to honor the aloha spirit and the origins of the hula. Talented dancers from throughout the state join in the festivities, every movement and chant hearkening the customs of the past. Molokai also boasts untamed wilderness as well as interesting historic sites, such as 700 year old rockwall fishponds and King Kamehameha V’s famed coconut grove from the 1860’s. Modern wonders include touring a working coffee plantation or visiting Kanemitsu's Bakery in the town of Kaunakakai, where you’ll want to

indulge in their famous onion cheese bread. Small beachfront cottages offer an intimate atmosphere and a calmer view to the beauties of the Aloha State.

This bill represents equal rights for everyone in Hawaii, everyone who comes here. This is to me the essence of the aloha spirit,� stated Governor Abercrombie as he signed the recent civil union legislation. “With its signing, I want to say ‘Welcome’ to the world, come to Paradise.

“The Magic Isle� has a smaller population than many realize, which allows for convenient and elegant amenities as well as more peaceful explorations of popular attractions.

Maui

A tourist favorite, with miles of glorious beaches and the scenic Hana Highway - with 600 curves, 54 bridges, and more waterfalls along the way than you can count. Watch the humpbacks in the Auau Channel (between Maui, Lanai and Molokai) – revered as one of the best places to whale watch in the world. Spectacular sunrises await at over 9500 feet, atop Haleakala Crater. Lazily swim in the Pools of Oheo, naturally tiered and fed by shimmering waterfalls. Discover sugar plantations, flower farms, wine tasting, shopping extravaganzas and over 120 miles of beachfront.

Where couples vow to navigate life together.

For more information on destination weddings and honeymoons in Hawaii: Aloha Maui Gay Weddings www.alohamauigayweddings.com In Heaven Commitments www.inheavencommitments.com Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort www.mauisunseeker.com Weddings, Reunions, Hawaii www.WeddingsReunionsHawaii.com

Hawaii

Hawaii Volcano Vacations www.hawaii-volcano-vacations.com GayHawaiiWeddings GayHawaiiWeddings.net

With 30 years of planning events on the water, Hornblower can make your special occasion extraordinary. Impeccable service, delicious cuisine and stunning views make Hornblower an ideal location for special events. Celebrate life’s memorable moments as you sail past the San Francisco TLZMJOFBOEHB[FVQBUUIFNBKFTUJD(PMEFO(BUF#SJEHF &/("(&.&/51"35*&4t3&)&"34"-%*//&34t%":"'5&3#36/$) #"$)&-03#"$)&-03&55&1"35*&4t$0..*5.&/5$&3&.0/*&4

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Invitation Etiquette for your Gay & Lesbian Wedding by Hilary Markoe, contributing writer

OutVite.com Every couple who considers marriage has certain challenges to overcome but there are many insights and professional planning tips that are available to help make the process a little easier. First, Plan Ahead. When you’re selecting a location, caterer, florist, attire, and of course invitations, decide what the tone of the ceremony will be: Formal, informal, outdoor, family-only, etc. Keep in mind that the first contact your family and friends may have about the Big Day is the invitation. With a multitude of invitation selections to pick from, it can be a daunting task to narrow your choices. However, there are many ways to incorporate your event theme into the design. Remember that color, style and paper should match the overall theme for your wedding plans. Your guests will take their cue not only from the design, but also from the wording of your invitations, for decorum and attire. Gay and lesbian weddings, civil unions and commitment ceremonies are becoming more commonplace; however, the semantics of the invitation can be a point of uncertainty for many couples. As a general rule, following standard wedding etiquette will suffice. An example of the traditional wedding invitation is as follows:

Elizabeth Marie Corbett and Melissa Shannon Wright request the honor of your company at their marriage Saturday, the tenth of July Two Thousand and Eleven half after four in the afternoon North Chapel, Kansas City, Missouri

Numbers, such as the time, street address and year, are traditionally spelled out on the invitation. The “half after four” can be substituted with “four-thirty” or for whole hours, the number should be followed by

the word “o’clock” as in “four o’clock.” No punctuation should be present on the invitation, nor should there be any capitalization with the exception of proper nouns and the first “t” in the line denoting the year of the event. For others, who decide not to hold their ceremony in a place of worship, the wording will vary:

Elizabeth Marie Corbett and Melissa Shannon Wright request the pleasure of your company as they join in loving union Saturday, the tenth of July Two Thousand and Eleven half after four in the afternoon at their home, thirty-six Waldorf Drive Kansas City, Missouri Note the change in the line from “request the honor of your company” to “request the pleasure of your company.” The “honor of your company” is usually reserved for houses of worship, whereas the “pleasure of your company” can be used for any location. The above wording samples are typical formal invitations. Many couples today prefer to write their own verse to make their invitation even more personal. Others choose to use more lighthearted and informal wording to reflect their own personalities. Enjoy this opportunity to set the tone for Your Day!

Graphics provided by OutVite.com

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-OR-

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-OR-


To liven up an invitation for a less formal event, choose bright papers, lively inks or fun thematic graphics. Be as bold, splashy and creative as you’d like your event to be.

of their recent commitment ceremony under a beautiful Mexico City sunset....” Remember, this is your special day, so customize your invitation to fit your style!

Perhaps the most complicated invitation situation occurs when the ceremony has already taken place in another location, and the invitation is serving as both a wedding announcement and a reception invitation. The most common phrasing is as follows:

This article serves only as a basic guideline to help create your perfect invitation. For more answers to your etiquette questions, visit www.outvite.com and click on Wedding Etiquette.

In celebration of their recent marriage Christina Winthrop and Claudia Simons invite you to join them at their reception Saturday, the eleventh of November seven o’clock in the evening The Blacksmith’s Cafe

Outvite.com Your source for beautiful wedding and party invitations and announcements. Service Nationally! Website: www.outvite.com Email: customerservice@outvite.com Toll free: 866- OUTVITE (688-8483)

Overland Park, Kansas

Please join us for a Cocktail Buffet in celebration of our recent marriage Saturday, the twenty-first of April seven o’clock in the evening The Blacksmith’s Cafe Overland Park, Kansas

Christina Winthrop and Claudia Simons

Some couples also choose to be even more specific in their wording, replacing “recent” with “February” or, in another case, “Canadian” in order to give their guests a better sense of the nature of their ceremony. If your ceremony was a romantic seaside one, feel free to share that information with your guests -- it will make them feel even closer to you and your joyful occasion. Your invitation could begin with “In celebration

A custom-made satin bib to protect your wedding gown

SANDI ROMENA

OWNER ● DESIGNER ● CREATOR

209.532.1607

bib4brides@gmail.com www.bib4brides.com

%POUMFUUIJT IBQQFOUPZPV

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The Western US - Top Vendors

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RainbowWeddingNetwork proudly presents:

2011’s Top LGBT Friendly Companies -serving the Western US 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. 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 JW Marriott Sp-NV Voted Best Ceremony Site in Las Vegas and Best Wedding Venue in Southern Nevada! 221 N. Rampart Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89145 (702) 869-7777, Reservations (702) 869-7023, Catering michael.testagrossa@jwmarriottlv.com www.jwlasvegasresort.com Magnolia Hotel Denver Sp-CO Your elegant wedding setting, redesigned! 818 17th Street Denver, CO 80202 (888) 915-1110, toll-free (303) 607-9000, local www.magnoliahoteldenver.com Dance Instruction DancewithChad.com Various Locations throughout Arizona! (602) 549-1916 chad@dancewithchad.com www.DanceWithChad.com John Cassese - The Dance Doctor Learn to Dance for The Most Memorable Day of Your Life! 1440 Fourth Street Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 459-3571, local (877) DR. DANCE, toll-free johncassese@dancedoctor.com www.dancedoctor.com Event Consultants & Designers A Memory Lane Event, LLC Dazzling Custom Events for You & Yours Based in Littleton, CO (303) 513-2364 (720) 981-9331 jennifer@amemorylaneevent.com jennelizabeth15@aol.com www.amemorylaneevent.com

savvyplanners.com “A beautiful way to Celebrate” Teams in New Jersey, New York City, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Hawai’i and Key West (877) 529-0587, toll-free (732) 790-2605, local info@savvyplanners.com www.savvyplanners.com Florals Art with Nature Floral Design Serving all of Southern California & beyond! 633 W. Fern Drive Fullerton, CA 92832 (714) 457-3296 kim@artwithnaturedesign.com artwithnature@hotmail.com www.artwithnaturedesign.com The Flower Exchange.com Wholesale Wedding Flowers Direct from the Farm! We ship Nationwide (866) 423-4747, toll-free info@theflowerexchange.com www.theflowerexchange.com Formal Wear & Apparel Something Blue .... a fine bridal boutique Serving Seattle, all of Washington & British Columbia 107 West Stewart - Suite A Puyallup, WA 98371 (360) 466-0415 (253) 466-3888 info@somethingblueboutique.com kim@somethingblueboutique.com www.somethingblueboutique.com

Officiants Seattle Marriage Officiant, Frank Harlan Definitely the Officiant for You & Your Partner! Serving Seattle and surrounding metropolitan communities (206) 781-2081 info@frankonline.com www.seattle-officiant.com HeartVisions Committing to a life of loving each other. Serving the Puget Sound area (425) 402-1457 masanda@heartvisions.com www.heartvisions.com/Weddings.htm Memorable Ceremonies Customized, inclusive weddings Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia & beyond (360) 556-4849 Ruckercl@gmail.com Photographers 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 Heather Trimm Photography I’ll help you capture your moments! Based in Seattle, available Worldwide (425) 753-7389 info@heathertrimmphotography.com www.heathertrimmphotography.com

For more comprehensive information, photos & more, visit RainbowWeddingNetwork.com -over 5,000 businesses await you, each screened to uphold a policy of non-discrimination! Sp-(State)

Host Sponsor of 2011 ‘Same Love, Same Rights’ LGBT Wedding Expo, produced by RainbowWeddingNetwork

For full Event Calendar, visit www.SameLoveSameRights.com

Vol. 6 Issue 1 2011 LGBT Planning Resource Guide 15


Midwest The Central & Midwest

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Photo courtesy Cindy Sproul, RWN co-founder

The Windy City is an excellent destination for any couple who is looking to exchange vows in a location where government recognition is in place. New civil union legislation will go into effect June 1, 2011.


Legals & Logistics for Your Ceremony in the Central & Midwestern US

Iowa, with its state motto ‘Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain,’ enacted legislation in April 2009, becoming the first state in this part of the nation to support the relationships of its gay & lesbian citizens with the full rights and responsibilities of marriage.

here are now three states in the Central & Midwestern US that offer some type of recognition for gay & lesbian commitments: Iowa (full marriage rights), Illinois (civil unions), and Wisconsin (domestic partnerships). The governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, signed the civil union legislation into effect on February 1, 2011 before a cheering crowd. “Today is an important day in the history of our state because today we are showing the world that the people of Illinois believe in equality for all,” Quinn said. “We look forward to individuals and businesses from across the country choosing to move to Illinois where we believe that everyone is entitled to the same rights.” The legislation will go into effect on June 1, 2011.

Overview of Filing for Your Marriage License in Iowa: Always be sure to check with the County Recorder’s office for updated information!

• One witness necessary when filing for license

• No residency restrictions

• Proof of prior divorce decree, if applicable to either partner

• Picture ID and Social Security ID required • 3-Day Waiting Period; no tests required

• Fees app. $30

To find screened, gay-friendly wedding professionals in your area, visit the Orange Pages in this issue, or our extended Directory online at RainbowWeddingNetwork.com.

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Midwest Destination: Detroit

t’s true, the time may be at hand to name Detroit as a major wedding and travel destination. Beyond the gritty reputation of the city, and the economic concerns in the area with the automotive industry, the truth about Detroit is that it’s a dynamic locale with flavor and a transforming vitality. In the past decade, downtown Detroit has seen substantial growth and renovation, there are two new stadiums and recently constructed hotels with high-end restaurants and flashy casinos. Film industry players are building studios in the area and the city’s tax incentives tempt much in the way of new growth.

aboard your own private yacht, you and your partner exchange your vows in a legally binding ceremony in the sparkling Canadian waters of Lake St. Clair. Guests join the celebration, witnessing Your Special Day free from concerns about passports or lengthy international travel time. That evening as newlyweds, surrounded by the exuberance of your wedding party, you and yours indulge in a festive private cruise, dining lavishly and dancing under the stars. It’s all possible, with Infinity & Ovation Yacht Charters, based in Detroit. A welcoming crew is eager to join you and your fiancée in creating this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

And just imagine... a most unique destination wedding. Launching from downtown Detroit

Many other options are also available, such as a quick excursion to Ontario to enjoy a wedding

that is legally recognized in Canada. And soon, of course, you & your partner will be able to marry in Illinois then head home to Detroit for the reception later that evening or perhaps the next day. If budget is a concern, keep in mind that an event in Detroit will save you app. 35% compared to a similar celebration in Chicago. Party on!

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Your Invitation Destination Quintessence is a fresh, stylish store, offering an exciting assortment of invitations, papers 8ŒYtn¼´¼o¼bÇb±Ê taste and need.

Bagable Gifts specializes in one-of-a-kind gift bags made exclusively for your event. Everything from weddings to corporate functions, we’ll create the perfect bags for you!

8t8F†bn¼´V N312.339.4059 www.bagablegifts.com

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Photo: Infinity & Ovation Yacht Charters

The Central & Midwest

Quintessence Fine Papers and Gifts —ν¸3††È*8YN±¼|F±…V 847.498.5544 www.quintessencepapers.com


Midwest

The Central & Midwest Destination: Austin

f course you’ll want to consider Austin! The political realm of Texas may be about as far as it can be from considering marriage rights, but Austin remains one of the friendliest and hippest cities in the country. If you’re a cowboy, or a cowboy-at-heart, you must consider this capital city of the Lone Star State as a potential honeymoon or vacation destination. Live music capital of the world? You bet! A bat population greater than anywhere else? Heck,

yeah! Here in the heart of Texas lies Austin, situated on the bank of the Colorado River and surrounded by rather captivating green hills and sparkling lakes. Outdoors-y gays & lesbians will soak up the opportunities to hike, bike, rock climb and visit the Inner Space Cavern, 24 miles north of town. There are segway tours and water sports, and the famous Barton Springs – a three acre spring-fed pool in Zilker Park. Explore the trails at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, or spend the afternoon touring the famed State Capitol Building.

Cuisine of course is delightful, with multicultural influences and a colorful mix of the spicy, the casual, as well as the refined. Austin is an academic town, and an eclectic town: it’s a place

to have fun and to go about your holiday with a little less focus and a little more curiosity.

You & your partner will view history here, from dusty days long gone by to the timelessness of the vast blue sky. Visit the Jourdan Bachman Pioneer Farm to experience life in 19th century Texas... Stroll along the Highland Lakes, manmade several decades ago by a series of dams along the Colorado... Get to know the animals up close and personal at the Austin Zoo. There are impressive art museums throughout the area, notable architecture and the sense of a small town but also the air of the cosmopolitan. The LGBT community in Austin is very active and welcoming; you’ll feel at home here.

BECAUSE YOUR BIG DAY IS ALL ABOUT THE SMALL DETAILS At the Milwaukee Marriott West Hotel you can be confident your wedding will be just the way you imagined it. Picture perfect. Let our Certified Wedding Planner assist you along your journey to the perfect wedding. Relax and enjoy your wedding reception while our professional and experienced service and culinary staff attend to every detail. You say “I Do” and we’ll do the rest! MARRIOTT To view additional wedding package information

MILWAUKEE WEST

and other offerings please visit

W231 N1600 Corporate Court

our web site www.Marriott.com/mkemw.

Waukesha, WI 53186 262-574-0888

CONGRATULATIONS AND BEST WISHES!

www.Marriott.com/mkemw

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Thank-You Gifts for Your Ceremony Attendants Of course you & your partner are the sweethearts of your celebration, but there are others who also deserve a turn as the center of attention. Sending a handwritten note of appreciation is becoming a lost art, so experts in wedding etiquette strongly suggest that you make it a priority to take time to write those thank-you notes after the honeymoon. –All your guests, especially those who gave a gift, deserve a heartfelt note from you and your new spouse.

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But what about your officiant, your attendants, your event planner, your parents or closest friends? A token greater than a card may seem in order. If at all possible, budget in a few hundred dollars for goodie bags or small gifts, to show your gratitude. In fact, if your guest list is short (or if you have out-of-town guests who are traveling quite a distance) you may consider a gift for each of them! You’ll be glad that you did!

Another gift idea many couples find appealing is custom wines and other beverages. Check out AspirationsWinery. com for assistance in selections as well as personalized labels.

Consider a Variety of Gifts in Each Bag... Promises You Keep can provide specialty hospitality bags, customized with your own cartoon caricatures, as well as personalized koozies, cups and other fun keepsakes. -Colorful, signature favors that will make your guests smile. For the springtime wedding, consider packets of organic flower seeds. The blooms will be a natural, sweet reminder for your recipients of the new life you & your partner are creating together. Visit SowTrueSeed.com, based in Asheville, for radiant ideas and bulk rates.

Customized Favors & Hospitality Bags... Nancy Amster and the staff of PromisesYouKeep.com, based in Austin, proudly offer whimsical and personalized keepsakes, gift bags and stationery for your Special Day. For years, Promises You Keep has been reaching out to the LGBT community, leading the way as a company providing favors, invitations and other items specifically dedicated to samegender couples.

Proud of your new commitment? All the colors of the rainbow await you! WineOpeners.com offers custom printed corkscrews to match your ceremony theme colors. What fun! Pamper your guests with samples from the new BareBodyCollection.com, signature body butters and lotions created by New York-based Martha Choy. These thick, moisturizing creams are truly indulgent, and highly recommended. Scents include: Bare Cucumber Melon Body Mousse, Bare Chocolate Dream Cream, Bare Citrus Spice,

Very Special Thank-You’s... You may wish to gift your Officiant, Event Planner, or perhaps your Mom with a very special keepsake, such as a bracelet or pendant. Keep in mind TenderBeautyPearls.com for beautiful, unique pieces at affordable prices.

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The Central/Midwestern US Bare Coconut Lime Verbena Body Mousse, Bay Rum with Musk & Saffron, and Bare Butter Cream, to name a few. **You may want to indulge your fiancée with a handpicked selection as well! And few Gift Bags would be complete without chocolate... Visit EnjouChocolat. com for ring-shaped confections, chocolate-dipped strawberries, edible diamonds and other yummies reflective of you & your partner’s seasonal themes or hobbies. Maine-based confectionary DeansSweets. com offers elegant hand-dipped truffles, created with richly decadent cocoa and a long list of irresistible flavors, including: orange, raspberry, coffee, single malt scotch, Myers Dark rum, ginger and cayenne. These delectables are guaranteed to be nut-free and many are also vegan and gluten-free.

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The Circle of Thanks Of course, giving back to those who have played such an important role in creating Your Special Day can be very fulfilling. And a small gift often speaks volumes, even helping to set a foundation for the love you and your partner are intending to bring to the world. Consider your options in how you’ll give thanks – and have fun with the moment of celebration!

Gift Bag & Favor photos courtesy of PromisesYouKeep.com Truffle Gift Box images courtesy of DeansSweets.com


The Central/Midwestern US - Top Vendors

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RainbowWeddingNetwork proudly presents:

2011’s Top LGBT Friendly Companies

-serving the Central & Midwestern US

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. 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! Bands, Musicians & DJs

Event Consultants & Designers

Orchestra of the Americas 2500+ repertoire of 70’s disco, dance, R&B, funk and salsa! Offices and locally-based versions in 16 major U.S. cities (800) 767-6997, toll-free (773) 334-1532, local info@BacchusGroup.com www.bacchusgroup.com/Americas.html

Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions Unique Ideas, Unforgettable Events 6306 Morningside Dr. Kansas City, MO 64113 (816) 444-8372 jeff@inspiredoccasionskc.com linda@inspiredoccasionskc.com www.inspiredoccasionskc.com

Banquet & Event Facilities/Reception Sites Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza Sp-IL Chicago’s #1 value, located in the heart of the city. 350 West Mart Center Dr. Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 836-5000 flangan@martplaza.com www.martplaza.com Hyatt Regency Austin Sp-TX On the shore of Lady Bird Lake, the ideal location for Your Special Day! 208 Barton Springs Austin, TX 78704 (512) 477-1234, Reservations cory.wilson@hyatt.com http://austin.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp 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

Skyway Classic Events Serving Minneapolis to Iowa & beyond! (952) 374-5220 gbacklund@skywayclassicevents.com www.skywayclassicevents.com www.aarceeclassicevents.com Photographers Grayscale Studios, Inc. Seeing all shades of the world in equal amounts Based in Chicago (773) 459-2910 julie@grayscalephotography.com www.grayscalephotography.com Pret a Poser Photography Storytelling Photography Serving Chicago, Nationwide & Internationally (312) 642-2211; (847) 942-6262 msojdehee@sbcglobal.net www.pretaposer.com www.pretaposerphotography.com Travel Services RD Travel Limited, Inc. Gay-owned travel agency specializing in San Francisco & Wine Country Weddings & Honeymoons PO Box 165414 Kansas City, MO 64116 (816) 454-3800 Russ@RDTravelLimited.com www.weddingscalifornia.net

For more comprehensive information, photos & more, visit RainbowWeddingNetwork.com -over 5,000 businesses await you, each screened to uphold a policy of non-discrimination! Sp-(State)

Host Sponsor of 2011 ‘Same Love, Same Rights’ LGBT Wedding Expo, produced by RainbowWeddingNetwork For full Event Calendar, visit www.SameLoveSameRights.com

Vol. 6 Issue 1 2011 LGBT Planning Resource Guide 23


Northeast Northeast

Photo courtesy Cindy Sproul, RWN co-founder

Countless signature destinations await in New England and throughout the Northeast, many now providing legal recognition of your marriage.

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Legals & Logistics for Your Ceremony in the Northeast he Northeast is a picturesque and historic region in which to celebrate your wedding, and most of the states that offer full marriage rights are located here: Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire (though the law in NH is currently under scrutiny.) New Jersey provides civil unions, while Maine offers domestic partnership benefits. It is anticipated that other states, like New York and possibly Rhode Island, may soon follow. And now, nonresidency laws no longer limit couples who wish to travel from distant parts of the country to take advantage of the same-sex marriage legislation in place in states like Massachusetts or Vermont.

Missouri, these will not be upheld. This is yet another reason that personal documents or legal contracts are so important for samegender couples... preferably drawn up with the assistance of an experienced lawyer who will keep your best interests in mind, as well as your long-term goals.

However, even in states where there is legal recognition either partially or in full for gay & lesbian couples, it is important to note that there is no federal statute in place, at least not yet. Therefore, a gay couple who marries in Connecticut will have state benefits and protections, but should they move to

Northeastern States currently offering recognition to same-sex couples: Vermont Massachusetts New Hampshire Connecticut New Jersey Maine

- - - - - -

Marriage Marriage Marriage Marriage Civil Unions Domestic Partnerships

To find screened, gay-friendly wedding professionals in your area, visit the Orange Pages in this issue, or our extended Directory online at RainbowWeddingNetwork.com.

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Q&A

Q&A with The Highlands Inn

Photos throughout courtesy of Grace Newman & The Highlands Inn

A Romantic Lesbian Getaway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine (RWN): New Hampshire is obviously a beautiful state, and of course now offers full marriage rights for same-gender couples. But what are some of the particular reasons, in your mind, that New Hampshire is such a wonderful destination for lesbian couples? Grace Newman, owner (GN): New Hampshire is a beautiful 4-season destination state so it is a great destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. New Hampshire also happens to be the only state that achieved marriage equality without any intervention from the courts. The legislature voted in marriage equality as the best thing for the state. New Hampshire’s culture is that of valuing personal freedoms and many have re-located to the state to seek that out. As a matter of fact, many lesbians have moved to New Hampshire after staying at the Highlands Inn. RWN: What are some of the comments that you receive from Inn visitors? Why is it still important, in 2011, to have a resort that caters to lesbians-only? GN: I think those of us that are more out in our lives or live in places where we feel the safety to

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be fully who we are in all forums, forget that there are many women who don’t feel that freedom. Some may feel limited by geography or other obstacles that keep that door to the closet firmly fastened. Women from around the country can feel confident that they can come here and be safe, welcomed and fully respected and embraced as a couple. Within the last month a couple visited, together over 10 years, in their 50’s and they had never held hands in public. They sat in our breakfast room in the company of women feeling that liberating rush because they cannot be out in their home community. Some comments from our guests: Thank you all for a truly spectacular vacation--we hadn’t felt so relaxed in years. Not only were we surrounded by acres of beautiful peace and quiet, we also made several friends that we can’t wait to see again (not to mention the coconut pancakes)! The atmosphere and friendliness far exceeded our already high expectations. Thanks for making our civil union so unforgettable, and you can bet you’ll see us back for each anniversary! - Dayton, OH The Highlands Inn is such a safe haven, such a very special place. The atmosphere, the friendliness


and the amenities that you take pride in providing are very much enjoyed and appreciated.  We were able to relax (let’s hear it for the outdoor jacuzzi!), sleep, laugh and shop to our hearts’ content last weekend. We really needed all that. - Quebec, Canada We fell in love over and over again in your beautiful Inn. The romantic atmosphere is calming, soothing, and welcoming. It’s home. - East Haddam, CT Our experience at The Highlands Inn was above and beyond what we expected. Your place is both elegant and rustic, a very rare combination to find. Walking the grounds was peaceful as well as aesthetically pleasing. The ceremony written especially for us deeply touched our hearts ... and Grace you made sure all our needs were met and as a photographer you excelled! We want to thank both of you as well as your staff for touching our lives and hearts in this way. We will recommend The Highlands Inn to all of our friends and acquaintances. We are deeply grateful for all that you have done for us and hope to return in the future. -Kathy & Jayne, North Carolina RWN: Why is it particularly appealing for couples to take advantage of an all-inclusive wedding package? What does a typical package include?

GN: When people are traveling a distance to get married, as so many same-sex couples must do because their state doesn’t have marriage equality, it is essential that there is a good balance between the opportunity to make choices about aspects of your wedding and having someone coordinate the details. Most of our weddings are just the brides, or perhaps the brides and just a few guests. Our Intimate Wedding Package caters to weddings with 4 guests or less. It includes: • • • • • •

Services of a Justice of the Peace or Clergy person 8 inch wedding cake Champagne with two Highlands Inn flutes Fresh floral arrangement in your room when you arrive Gift basket filled with treats and surprises Breakfast in your room one morning

We are also equipped to host much larger affairs. The Highlands Inn has been a host to weddings since 1985. Then, we were privileged to be the location of choice for many women wishing to celebrate their commitment despite the lack of legal recognition. In 2008 when New Hampshire began to recognize civil unions our years of experience left us well-equipped to host weddings for the people from around the country who travel to New Hampshire to have

their unions legally recognized. Since 2010 New Hampshire now recognizes full marriage equality so there is no better place than the Highlands for a lesbian couple to celebrate their commitment with a wedding of any size, and receive the legal recognition that is their right. We have a planning guide available on our website at http://www.highlandsinn-nh.com/weddingguide.pdf - it describes all of our wedding packages and other important information for brides considering marrying at the Inn. RWN: What is the average guest count? Do many of the ceremony guests also stay on at the Inn for the night or the weekend? GN: Most of our weddings are just the brides, or the brides and a few family members and friends, but we have hosted weddings of all sizes with probably 120 guests being the largest. Although we are an Inn especially for women, all wedding guests are welcome to stay, no matter the guest count. We work with the brides to help them plan the wedding that is right for them including how many nights their guests will stay. Many brides arrive a day or two before their guests and stay on at the Inn for their honeymoon after their guests have left. Wedding guests have commented that the opportunity to gather with family and friends

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for a few days, rather than just the few hours of the typical wedding has been a wonderful experience. One time a bride’s brother and his fiancé said they needed to roll their wedding planning back to the drawing board after the time they had at the Highlands celebrating his sister’s wedding to her bride. RWN: Do you see any current trends with regard to ceremony or reception themes, cuisine or rituals? How are today’s lesbian weddings the same or different than they were 10 or 15 years ago? GN: Our weddings are very individual. We have had very “traditional” weddings with one bride in a white wedding gown with bridesmaids while the other was in a tux with her attendants attired likewise. We have had many weddings where both brides wore white dresses. It is far more typical to have a wedding where the brides choose a few wedding traditions and give it their own spin - dressed in what feels comfortable to them, gathered with a few family members and friends and exchanging vows in a short ceremony followed by a dinner out at one of the many fine dining restaurants a short distance from the Inn. The biggest change in weddings over the years is probably the number of weddings, and this of course is due to New Hampshire having marriage equality. RWN: What seasons or months are best for visiting New Hampshire? Why? What sets your area apart from other states in New England?

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GN: New Hampshire is truly a 4-season destination. The White Mountains offer yearround recreation of hiking, skiing, dog-sledding, zip-lining, moose watching, arts and culture, and even tax-free outlet shopping! With millions of acres of national forest we offer beautiful surroundings for every vacation activity. The fall foliage is unmatched, the comfortable summer mountain temperatures, the winter scenery, and the mountain springtime - make New Hampshire a great getaway any time of year. My favorite months are July, August, September, October & February. One distinguishing characteristic from other New England states is that NH does not have a sales tax - which makes that souvenir shopping just that much more enjoyable! RWN: What are some of the most popular attractions close to the Inn, that visitors like to explore while on their honeymoon or vacation trip?


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Vineyard -Designs

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GN: There are 2 major ski areas within 15 minutes, another within 30 minutes, and several more within an hour’s drive. One of the most popular is Bretton Woods which in addition to winter skiing and dog sledding offers zip-lining year round which has been very popular with our guests. Additionally many guests try things they’ve never done before like snow-shoeing, which they can do right on our property, or for the more adventurous, dog-sledding, snow mobiling or going out on an ATV. There is also horseback riding a short distance from the Inn. Bretton Woods is part of the Omni Mount Washington Hotel Resort which is one of just 4 grand hotels left in the state. The White Mountains offer many attractions for scenic walks or major hikes, such as the Flume, the Basin, Lost River, and the Presidential Mountain range and Appalachian Trail. We are just minutes from the tallest mountain in New England, Mount Washington, which offers multiple modes of ascension including a Cog Railway, a historic train ride up the mountain or an auto road. The scenery of the area also offers miles of scenic driving. Just about 1 hour away is North Conway offering taxfree outlet shopping.

Many visitors venture a bit further afield and make the 90 minute trip to Waterbury VT to see the Ben & Jerry’s factory. We recommend that guests stop on their way in Cabot VT. The Cabot Cooperative cheese factory offers yummy samples and a surprisingly interesting short explanation of how they make their products. RWN: With your many years of experience working with lesbian couples, what suggestions would you make to women who have just gotten engaged and are beginning their ceremony plans? GN: Gay and Lesbian couples, particularly those who have been together a number of years, are in a unique position when it comes to planning their wedding. We had been faced with finding alternative ways to acknowledge our commitments and some had perhaps convinced one another that legal recognition was not important. Now that we have gained this civil right, we need to design celebrations that acknowledge that legal marriage is not necessarily a beginning but just a new chapter in our relationships. My partner, Maria, became a JP when civil unions were introduced in New Hampshire. She works with couples to

design ceremonies that both celebrate the past and acknowledge the new step of being legally wed. For some couples, weddings become a renewal of vows from a time when they celebrated a commitment ceremony sometime in the past. Some couples do not exchange new rings at marriage but rather re-dedicate rings exchanged at an earlier point in their relationship. There are children and families and many other stops on the journey that can be acknowledged as part of a ceremony. This philosophy extends to all aspects of a couple’s celebration. I would encourage women to be fussy - find folks to work with who can help you design an event that incorporates every tradition that fits your story - and helps you invent new ones. RWN: Why is it important for couples to consider a legally recognized marriage (such as a destination wedding in New Hampshire) as opposed to simply having a commitment ceremony in their home state where same-gender marriage may not yet be recognized? GN: Even though all states do not formally recognize same-sex marriage, couples from those states should still get legally married

Photography by: Ashley Therese Photography

“Where Flowers Bloom... so Does Hope.”

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Fifty percent of our profits are used to make floral and monetary donations to various organizations.

781.698.9855 | BloomsOf HopeFloral.com


Northeast because it demonstrates an attempt to have a legal connection. This can provide protection that may be useful. Unfortunately you never know when you will need that protection. Courts in other states have acknowledged the legal connection of couples when they are making decisions. Of course, there are some people who have very compelling reasons not to become legally wed. We have found GLAD to be an excellent resource for couples who are wrestling with these questions. RWN: Are there any drawbacks to a destination wedding? GN: A destination wedding may not be the right decision for all couples because of the time and money involved. Friends and family may not be able to devote the time to come so the wedding may be smaller than if a couple married at home. On the other hand, when a destination wedding is the right fit, family and friends often welcome the opportunity to spend time with each other. Brides and their guests have reported to us that they have made memories that will last a lifetime. RWN: Obviously, the Highlands Inn has been an

established destination for lesbian travelers for decades now. What was your vision when you first bought the property back in the 1980’s? Has it grown to fulfill that vision, or have there been unexpected changes over the years? GN: My vision, when I opened the Highlands Inn in 1983, was to provide quality, comfortable hospitality to women and an alternative to the traditional “gay destinations.” I wanted women to not have to choose between women-only space and high-quality lodging. The many accolades from the travel industry and the many returning guests indicate that my efforts to fulfill that vision have been fruitful. As far as unexpected changes, I would not have envisioned the pervasiveness of the term “gayfriendly” and the scramble of the travel industry at large to attach that label to themselves. Travelers must be discriminating if they are interested in supporting those businesses that truly have the interest of the gay and lesbian community in mind. Because many businesses, particularly in travel and now in wedding-related businesses, think there is “money to be made” and are less interested in being truly welcoming as much

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as they are interested in getting their piece of a “market.” RWN: Do you have insights or thoughts you would like to share regarding the LGBT community’s ongoing pursuit of marriage and family equality throughout the nation? GN: I think it is just a matter of time until marriage equality is the law of the land throughout the United States. As more couples from every state join legally it will become harder and harder to deny us our civil rights. We must all work together to help make that reality happen as soon as possible.

The Highlands Inn Grace Newman, owner P.O. Box 118 Bethlehem, NH 03574 (877) LES-B-INN (537-2466) vacation@highlandsinn-nh.com www.highlandsinn-nh.com

Fertility Institute

Grow Your Family of New Jersey & New York “Where New Hope is Born”

Our Mission • To offer gay and lesbian couples equal opportunity in reproductive choice. • To help gay and lesbian couples complete families and fully realize genetic and biological lineage. • To help you achieve your dreams through the highest quality, personalized and compassionate care. The Fertility Institute is conveniently located in Bergen County, Count New Jersey approximately 12 miles from the George Washington Bridge. It is easily accessible from a number of major highways from surrounding areas including Passaic, Rockland, Orange, and Westchester counties.

Complimentary Consult & Initial Exam

For more information contact the Institute at 201-666-4200 or toll free at 877-666-4201 You can also visit us at www.lgbtfertility.com Vol. 6 Issue 1 2011 LGBT Planning Resource Guide 31


Planning M Basic Planning Timeline Simple Steps to Your Perfect Day!

Pictured above: Angel & Jay, at their commitment ceremony on May 15, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo Todd Gilman eddingnetwork MAGAZINE 32 byRainboww


Made Easy 24 – 12 ms prior to Your Ceremony

• • •

• • • •

Set Date! Create working Budget Reserve ceremony & reception sites; interview other top-priority vendors (DJ, Musicians, Officiant, Photographer, Videographer) Select Event Coordinator Begin Guest List Research seasonal restrictions regarding butterfly or dove releases Engagement Photos!

12 – 6 ms prior

• • • • • • • • • •

Refine Budget Meet & set pre-counseling sessions w/Officiant Create your wedding webpage Register for gifts Pre-plan for Honeymoon (and consider a Honeymoon Registry) Fitness Plan Set appointment with Lawyer; research Marital Laws in your state If customizing, pick out & order Rings Explore options for guest accommodations Select Invitations

6 – 4 ms prior

• •

• • • •

Order Invitations & Stationery Send out save-the-date cards & options for out-of-towners’ accommodations (if using email e-vites, be sure to look for definite confirmation of receipt!) Have fun beginning to plan Honeymoon and Shower/s Finalize arrangements with chosen Vendors, Rental Companies, etc. Begin composing original Music or choosing music selections If you haven’t yet, select your Wedding Rings

Apply for passports; reserve honeymoon travel tickets, etc. Consider a personalized caketopper (these still can be hard to find for gay & lesbian couples, so plan ahead!)

8 – 6 wks prior

• • • • • • •

Mail Invitations Create Vows Plan / Make Favors & additional Decorations Final Ceremony overview with Officiant Finalize Passports & other documents Fashion & Ceremony Accessories (guest book, goblets, etc.) Engagement Announcement to news outlets

One month prior

• • • • • • • • •

Final Fittings, Beauty & Style Appts Shower/s! Purchase thank-you gifts Confirm Reservations – remember out-of-town Guests Pick up Rings Prepare any Toasts or Speeches Plan Seating Arrangements and Name Cards Shop for Honeymoon – surprise your sweetie! Pre-pay Officiant & other Vendors to avoid carrying checkbook on Your Day

Finale!

• •

Rehearsal & Dinner Remember just-in-case supplies: aspirin sewing kit, tissues, extra cosmetics & hosiery, snacks/water, important phone numbers • Keep Honeymoon Itinerary handy • Bring the Rings! • Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

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Riding Off Into Your New Life Together Stylish Transportation for Your Special Day!

by Marianne Puechl senior editor Day – travel with your new spouse in style! Traditional Today’s limos are incredible! Customized lighting, ambience and of course music and champagne. As you consider your budget, you’ll need to decide whether or not you’ll want your limousine available for your entire wedding party as they make their way from the ceremony site to the reception venue… or if you’ll simply want to reserve the luxurious ride for you and your spouse as you leave the festivities and begin your honeymoon.

Photo taken at Gretchen & Lisa’s Garden Ceremony in CA, 2007 Photo courtesy Sarah Maren, Sacramento

It’s possible to bring your own flair to every aspect of your wedding celebration: accenting your florals with organically-grown springtime blossoms… customizing your vows… asking special family members or friends to offer select readings from favorite literary passages during the ceremony… choosing a personally meaningful gemstone for your partner’s ring instead of the traditional diamond… developing the festivities around a particular theme that reflects the relationship you and your beloved share. Chances are you and your fiancée will be devoting time to sample delectable flavors for your wedding cake; why not also indulge yourselves by considering all the available options about transportation? It’s Your Special

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As you depart, your driver might play the DVD of the ceremony on the interior television screen as the two of you are whisked off to the mountain chalet for your long weekend, or serve signature martinis as you toast your new spouse on the advent of your new life together. Costs will vary based on season, day-of-the-week and the timeframe necessary. Be sure to ask your provider if they charge by the hour or per event, and educate yourselves about the additional costs such as mileage. Gathering all the facts will help you select your ideal transportation while still maintaining your budget! -It’s also helpful to note that many couples ask parents (if they are chipping in with ceremony costs) to cover this particular expense. Keeping with Your Theme When arriving at the private beach to meet their wedding party, Maui grooms Bob Harris & Ken

Travers were paddled ashore in an outrigger canoe. Along with the djembe drumming, circle of tropical flower petals on the sand and inclusion of the tradition of tossing leis into the ocean in honor of their ancestors, the canoe was just one more facet of the couple’s dream-cometrue: a beautiful Hawaiian oceanfront wedding. Other themes lend themselves to particular transportation options: For your vintage wedding, of course you might consider a convertible Mercedes or classic Rolls Royce. An Elvis-themed wedding might require that Mustang or 50’s Thunderbird, or perhaps a jetblack Harley. For your Pride or rainbow-themed event, a trolley decorated to mimic an original from San Francisco might suit; for a casino-oriented reception, you’ll want to go with a high-rolling stretch limo – make sure the fuzzy dice are bouncing in the window! Party Bus The name says it all, and lends itself to much more than swinging through town for your bachelor/ette party. Party buses are a festive way to gather all of your wedding attendants, family, close friends and enjoy quality time together. Lights and music can be rockin’, elegant or simply joyful. The trip itself might be a 30-minute drive to the reception facility, or it may be a tour through your hometown as an unexpected gift for your guests. –Your driver, DJ or emcee will happily customize the tour, regaling passengers with highlights from your engagement story or moments you & your partner have spent in the city or local neighborhoods. Couples with more intimate ceremonies may even prefer the party on the bus to a more traditional reception: the space and services onboard may astound you! It’s worth checking into if you are looking for something unique and memorable, while retaining that lively atmosphere. Horse-drawn Carriages Fairy-tales do come true! Of course a horsedrawn carriage may suit you and your partner perfectly, providing you the most enchanting


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Northeast way to travel from your ceremony site to your reception venue, or to depart from the reception after the festivities come to a close. Carriages offer one of the most delightful photo opp/s – appealing for two brides or two grooms alike. If possible, take time prior to your wedding day to take a quick jaunt in your carriage, and consider wearing similar attire to that you plan to wear on Your Special Day. Remember, climbing up onto a high footplate can be challenging in a long gown, heels or in a finely tailored tux, even with the help of your partner, driver or attendant. It’s good to practice beforehand! Also, be sure to communicate to your photographer that a horse-drawn carriage will be part of the festivities, and allow for his/her input about when might be appropriate times for extra photographs. This is a once-in-alifetime moment; make the most of it! As a precaution, however, be sure to also discuss with your carriage service the available options in case of inclement weather. This may be as simple as reserving a venue with a portico (many carriages are not strictly open-air and can provide shelter if necessary) but you’ll want to go over such details in advance. Also, don’t be shy to inquire about the shortterm and long-term care your carriage company provides to their horses. Many couples today wish to remain savvy not only about doing business with gay-friendly companies, but also with businesses that are environmentally-aware and conscientious about their treatment of animals, as applicable. More Adventurous Of course ascending into the wide blue sky or rosy sunset in your own hot-air balloon is a triumphant way to make an exit. If it’s your style, and in your budget, GO FOR IT! The moment will leave your guests gaping with joy and you and your new spouse will enjoy panoramic views of the reception venue and the horizon into which you’re beginning your new life together. It’s about the most auspicious means of transport there is! Other adventurous couples may choose similarly amazing means of motion: motorcycle, horseback, hang glider, helicopter, snowmobile, boat. Such escapes definitely make a statement about who you are; more than that, they provide an added element of fun and intimacy for the two of you after a wonderful (yet stressful) period of weeks and months of planning this

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momentous occasion. Finally, the two of you can relax and enjoy the freedom of riding off together on horseback, or sitting back as the pilot of your personal helicopter swoops you away to the airport for your honeymoon. This is the time to hold hands, cuddle, whisper those special words to one another and take a deep breath. You did it! You’re married! If traveling by horseback (or dogsled, for that matter!) remember to check with your venue staff about any restrictions regarding animals on the premises. And, as noted before, it’s wise to practice climbing onto your horse or alternative vehicle beforehand – this will make you feel more at ease during that very special moment. Hyping up Your Own Roadster For many couples, the ride to the train station, airport or back home may just as easily take place in your own car. Whether for budget reasons or personal preference, this transport option too presents unique opportunities. Enlisting the help of a driver definitely is something to consider! Your Best Man, best friend, or a hired driver may be just the right fit to provide you and your new husband or wife a much-deserved respite from all the activity. Your Wedding Day will be a fantastic celebration! …but chances are you’ll both be quite tired mentally, emotionally and physically. And especially if the reception goes late, a dedicated driver will ensure that your travels are safe and relaxing.


Northeast the deed gets done. Remember, your family and guests want to do things for you and make this celebration as joyful as possible; don’t think twice about asking for help with some of the happy details. A Note about Today’s Economy Not every wedding professional will accommodate, but it’s certainly more true than ever that many business owners today will be flexible with their rates. Haggling over prices can get tiresome, but a courteous inquiry is worth the effort. Keep in mind also that many wedding vendors will package their services with others – for instance, the hotel in which you’ve booked your reception may work closely with a particular limousine company and be able to help discount the publicized rate… And if you are considering an event consultant to assist with your planning process, be sure to ask him or her about their

Maui grooms Bob Harris & Ken Travers were paddled ashore in an outrigger canoe. Photo courtesy Carolyn Quan

The traditional tin cans and ‘Just Married’ sign really do have their appeal! On today’s highways, the cans may not be the best choice, but it’s fun to let your guests or special friends know that you and your partner would like your car decorated. The artist in your circle may be able to come up with something incredible… or you can leave a basket of window markers, streamers and such with your most outgoing bridesmaid or quirkiest nephew – they’ll see that

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own network of preferred vendors and costeffective ways they are able to package services for you. In many instances, the send-off at the end of your celebration will be that lasting memorable moment to top off a wonderful party. Your guests will savor the opportunity to playfully blow bubbles, watch as you make your way through the floral archway and cheer you & your spouse on to new horizons. Take time, as you plan this exciting once-in-alifetime occasion, to consider just how many diverse methods there are to whisk yourselves from one place to another… and just how you might best incorporate fun, flair and polish into the particular option you choose. That vintage convertible, party bus or horse-drawn carriage may very well become one of the highlights of Your Special Day!

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W h e r e O u r Marriage Rights Are Heading in 2011 by Marianne Puechl senior editor & RWN co-founder

n some ways, our journey to equal marriage rights seems dotted with a random assortment of triumphs and defeats… but in keeping a broader perspective throughout the past decade it’s easy to discern a positive momentum. There is clearly reason to remain hopeful, despite the setback with Proposition 8 in California and the new debate this year in New Hampshire. And as always, the more cohesive our minority becomes, the stronger our position in attaining equal access to all the rights and responsibilities marriage has to offer. Eleven years ago… my partner & I exhibited at booths at Pride in Atlanta, Tampa and elsewhere, and we’d chat with people about our ideas for launching an online resource dedicated to gay & lesbian weddings. So many within the community would laugh, saying, “Do you really think we’re ready for this??” -Meaning the concept of marriage for samegender couples. Other dykes & queens would get angry with us: “How dare you suggest we homogenize the LGBT minority to fit into the traditional straight lifestyle!” It was an eyeopener, to say the least. But we continued with our plans for RainbowWeddingNetwork.com, the site was launched in September 2000 and within 6 months attracted over a million hits. Obviously, despite the mixed messages, there was some interest. Since that time, we’ve witnessed the prevailing of civil unions in Vermont and the enactment of full marriage rights in Massachusetts. We’ve seen thousands of couples married in San Francisco (2004) and in Oregon (2004) only to watch those marriages rescinded by later rulings. We’ve transitioned from laughter, chuckles and rage from the gay & lesbian public now to marches through the Castro District after the 2008 elections, when the

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general population in California voted in Prop 8. It’s been a volatile time. But such volatility indicates remarkable growth. The anti-gay movement these past ten years, in becoming so poised against marriage for the LGBT minority, has helped many gays & lesbians realize just how important equal rights really are. Sure, not every same-sex couple needs to marry nor wants to, but it should be our choice – not a legal mandate that limits our options in a way that’s different than the opportunities available to our heterosexual brothers & sisters. So what lies ahead? The recent elections in 2010 seemed to signal another refresh of conservatism… but is this really the case? Perhaps the outcome at the ballot boxes last November was simply another shake-up as we move through a time of uncertainty to once again find a happy equilibrium. Such dynamics are a natural progression. Think of a wild wave in the lake, as a speedboat races past. Then, the consequent backwash. Then a smaller wave, and another backwash. Eventually the water calms a bit once again. And the good news is that such tumultuous political dynamics encourage us to continue engaging in the conversation about how much equal marriage rights do matter to our minority and our society as a whole. In Pennsylvania, 2010 brought a surprise conservative Republican sweep of the Generaly Assembly. State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler County) says he will introduce a marriage protection bill (one man/one woman) later this year. Yet Pennsylvania does offer extremely liberal access to adoption laws for gay & lesbian couples. The dichotomy won’t stand… and ultimately, of course, equality will win out.


In New Hampshire, hearings are scheduled early this year as the Legislature considers the repeal of pro-gay marriage laws in that state. There is talk that the people of New Hampshire want to vote on the issue directly -as occurred in California in 2008- which puts the marriage laws at risk. But NH equality groups (such as Freedom to Marry) claim that recent polls show that most citizens believe that gays & lesbians deserve fair and equal treatment. Proposition 8 in California is still in process, but the outlook remains good. Other states such as Illinois and Hawaii recently passed civil union legislation, making them the 6th and 7th states to enact such laws in favor of their LGBT citizens. What are the Projections? It seems that the trend, at least for the time being, is toward ‘civil unions’ instead of ‘marriage’ when legislation is being considered or actually enacted in new states across the nation. ‘Domestic partnerships’ are still in the mix as well, as was the case recently in Nevada. But domestic partnership status does not offer the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, while ‘civil unions’ sometimes do. In recent weeks, President Obama has finally come forward to vocalize his reconsidered belief that he could

back ‘civil unions’ for the LGBT minority, perhaps an extension of his support –finally- of the overturn of DODT. Let’s remember, our President has had a great many issues to tend to these past two years; he has not overlooked our community... it’s just taking a bit of time & consideration. Nonetheless the current political and social implications are confusing, to say the least… While many pro-gay advocates are staunchly against civil unions in lieu of the word marriage, proclaiming of course that “separate is not equal,” others within the LGBT community agree that the term ‘civil unions’ is obviously a step in the right direction especially if the particular legislation outlines the same rights and obligations granted to heterosexual partners. –This can be a grey area, however, in that the exact terms of civil union legislation can vary from state to state. So it’s important to stay informed. Hotspots to keep an eye on in 2011 are Maryland, New York and perhaps Minnesota and Rhode Island. And of course it will be of interest to watch for updates about Proposition 8, especially if/when it heads to the US Supreme Court.

How can the average couple or advocate make a difference? One strength of our community is our ability to make the most of grassroots efforts, and the internet today offers innovative ways to build on that foundation. Keep informed, stay connected and find out what’s going on locally. Many of America’s LGBT youth today are amazingly active politically; others consider themselves on the sidelines. They can’t fully embrace the system and therefore don’t want to invest. Or they feel ostracized as partially acknowledged citizens and therefore have decided that participation is rather hopeless. But time and again throughout history, it’s been documented that the best way to change the system is from within: keep this in mind as you, yourself, consider becoming involved in upcoming political forums whether it’s the town council meeting or the 2012 Presidential elections. –Is there a gay, trans- or pro-gay candidate for the zoning board? Make sure you are aware & do what you can to provide support. Does your state representative need to hear your input about upcoming legislation concerning hate crimes? Be sure to make the call or send that email. Anti-gay groups are committed to organizing their members to get involved; our community needs to step up and do the same.

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Remember this awesome statistic? …The gay & lesbian minority pumps app. $600 billion per year into the US economy. That number doesn’t even include those of us who consider ourselves bisexual, transgendered, or our straight allies! Our financial muscle would sway the marriage argument in a swift torrent of rainbow-colored dollar signs, if we would simply invest our money with companies that are gay-friendly and staunchly refuse to do business with those that are not. This takes commitment and a willingness to do some research, ask some questions, and remain somewhat vocal about your choices. But it will ensure our equal rights more quickly than many other strategies: money talks. It’s not all about the politics, however. Volunteering to coach the lesbian softball league is important work, too… and inviting the local television station out to cover the playoff games is not a bad idea. Invite a straight coworker to your next gay chamber breakfast meeting. –These interconnections really do

have an impact, and continuing to bring the normalcy of our minority into the public eye -in a variety of ways- adds legitimacy to our cause. Who knows? Your co-worker might book his next vacation with the gay travel agent he met over coffee… The woman who saw the lesbian softball players on tv might remember how non-threatening they seemed when she heads to the ballot box next time. It all adds up. Equality and the individual rights of our citizens is the promise of America. Chapters in our history have been bloody and tearsoaken and unjust, but that promise remains and our society continues striving toward that lofty goal. LGBT rights are no less valid and deserve no less attention; in fact the story of LGBT equality is a reflection of our nation’s overall commitment to its people, set in the context of this time and this place.

realistic step in the journey toward broader acknowledgement of same-sex relationships and ultimately, this path will lead to full marriage rights across our nation.

For more insights, order the new paperback by Marianne Puechl & her partner, Cindy Sproul: My Dangerous Commute - Witnessing Gay Marriage Rights Across America. Available online at www.MyDangerousCommute.com

The outlook for our minority in 2011 is very good. Are ‘civil unions’ the ideal? Probably not. Separate is never equal. But it’s a

Venezia Venezia All of Our Wedding Packages Include: • Complimentary Guest Parking

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Northeast - Top Vendors

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RainbowWeddingNetwork proudly presents:

2011’s Top LGBT Friendly Companies

-serving the Northeastern US

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. 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 Courtyard by Marriott Boynton Beach The Mansion Inn Are you dreaming of finding the perfect place? 801 Route 29 Rock City Falls, NY 12866 (518) 885-1607 infodesk@themansionsaratoga.com www.themansionsaratoga.com Homewood Suites by Hilton - Newtown Sp-PA Homewood Suites. Make Yourself at Home. 110 Pheasant Run Newtown, PA 18940 (215) 550-8367 laura.macdonald@hilton.com http://homewoodsuites1.hilton.com/en_US/ hw/hotel/AVPNWHW-Homewood-Suites-byHilton-Newtown-Pennsylvania/index.do OHEKA Castle OHEKA Castle – Imagine the possibilities. 135 West Gate Drive Huntington, NY 11743 (631) 659-1400 kmelius@oheka.com www.oheka.com Pond Restaurant Perfect Private Events in the Most Beautiful Setting on the Main Line 175 King of Prussia Rd. Radnor, PA 19087 (610) 293-9411 rharman@pondrestaurant.com www.pondrestaurant.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 Sparrow Hawk Bed & Breakfast 4496 Route 209 Stone Ridge, NY 12484 (845) 687-4492 inn@sparrowhawkaffaires.com www.sparrowhawkaffaires.com Beverages Renault Winery 72 North Bremen Ave. Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215 (609) 965-2111 info@renaultwinery.com www.renaultwinery.com Cakes & Bakeries Creative Cakes by Donna Creative and Unique Serving: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York & Rhode Island P.O. Box 247 Haddam, CT 06438 (860) 345-8847 cakesdonna@aol.com www.cakesbydonna.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

For more comprehensive information, photos & more, visit RainbowWeddingNetwork.com -over 5,000 businesses await you, each screened to uphold a policy of non-discrimination! Sp-(State)

Host Sponsor of 2011 ‘Same Love, Same Rights’ LGBT Wedding Expo, produced by RainbowWeddingNetwork For full Event Calendar, visit www.SameLoveSameRights.com

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Gifts, Favors & Keepsakes Candles, Gifts & More, LLC Custom Candles & Personalized Gifts & Favors. No minimums! Service Nationwide (877) 239-0027, toll-free (636) 629-0027, local candlesgiftsandmore@hotmail.com info@candlesgiftsandmore.com www.candlesgiftsandmore.com

Elsa Jewelry Corporation Specialists in Custom Wedding Ring Designs 2263 Route 110 Farmingdale, NY 11735 (800) 440-3572, toll-free (631) 293-4500, local rings@elsarings.com www.elsarings.com www.customrings.com Officiants/Places of Worship

TheMusicHouse.com, Inc. 938 Port Washington Blvd., Suite #1 Port Washington, NY 11050 (888) 884-2533, toll-free (516) 883-4433, local info@themusichouse.com www.TheMusicHouse.com

Church of Ancient Ways - Pastor April Gismondi Let your ceremony express your thanks, your joy, your happiness. Serving New York City & Long Island (516) 785-4191 revs@optonline.net www.churchofancientways.org/commitment.html

Jewelers

Rabbi Mordecai Genn, Ph D. - Executive Director, Bet HaLevi Dignity, Warmth & Individuality Serving a 60 mile radius around Mt Vernon, NY (914) 668-8987 mordecaigenn@msn.com www.manhattanbrides.com/weddaystories/ Experts-Vows-Inv/PCMordecai.html

Bellman’s Portsmouth, A Fine Jewelry Boutique Be dazzled today, Be dazzling tomorrow! 104 Congress Street Portsmouth, NH 03801 (603) 431-9050 (603) 431-9060 kim@bellmansportsmouth.com www.bellmansportsmouth.com

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Photographers Fine Art Fotos & Videos Getting Married? Let’s have some fun! Based in Staten Island, NY (718) 273-2130 (917) 273-7883 fLINT@FineArtFotos.com fLINTfotos@yahoo.com www.weddingsByFlint.com www.fLINTfotos.BlogSpot.com Maureen Cotton Weddings Candid, Creative & Classic Photography Serving New England & Beyond (617) 501-5196 weddings@maureencotton.com http://maureencottonweddings.com Travel Services All Points Vacations, LLC Let us take you away! Located in Wall, NJ Serving Nationwide! (732) 280-7015 deb@allpointsvacations.com www.allpointsvacations.com


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Mid-Atlantic

id-Atlantic

The historic heart of America! Exchanging your vows in the nation’s capital is, given current events, a truly memorable occasion as well as a patriotic act.

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Mid-Atlantic

id-Atlantic Regional Overview, Legal Highlights and Logistics

Legals & Logistics for Your Ceremony in the Mid-Atlantic

ust think, you & your partner can now marry in our nation’s capital! What an empowering moment, to stand within miles of the White House & the Capitol Building... the Lincoln Memorial where great civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr have spoken... the Holocaust Museum, memorializing not only the millions of Jews who lost their lives to such hatred, but also honoring the gays who wore the Pink Triangle and made such sacrifice just seventy short years ago. To exchange your vows here... is to make history.

New businesses such as lesbian-owned Lovebus Events & Design (LoveBusDC.com) have established themselves since last year’s exciting legislation, catering to locals as well as out-of-towners who are traveling to DC for their legally recognized ceremonies. Intimate celebrations midst the springtime cherry blossoms continue to be a favorite, though early summer and early autumn are beautiful as well. Nightime events, photographed midst the cityscape or with your favorite historic building as a backdrop, are quite dramatic. To date, one other state in the MidAtlantic provides recognition of the commitments of its LGBT citizens: Maryland offers domestic partnership status to same-gender partners. Legislation for full marriage rights is under consideration.

To find screened, gay-friendly wedding professionals in your area, visit the Orange Pages in this issue, or our extended Directory online at RainbowWeddingNetwork.com.

Destination: Baltimore, MD he energetic city of Baltimore is in central Maryland, located on the Patapsco River, an extension of the Chesapeake Bay. The scope of attractions seems limitless; there are centuries of history in this American city. Most interesting this year however, is the state’s consideration of LGBT marriage recognition... should the legislation pass, Baltimore will become a bright new beacon for gay & lesbian couples from near and far. Gateway to the Chesapeake, Baltimore offers a host of waterfront venues for ceremonies

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and receptions, as well as hundreds of wedding professionals in the area eager to assist. Yes, Baltimore has been voted “Best City in which to Shop” – this applies not only to general merchandise but to wedding services as well. You’ll find everything you need here either for your locally-based event or for your destination wedding. Several area hotels have reached out to the LGBT community, including the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards and the Renaissance Baltimore


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id-Atlantic Let guests contribute toward a down payment on your new home with a Real Estate Bridal Registry

Daphne Allen, Realtor® Serving MD, DC, and VA

7202 Old Keene Mill Rd. Springfield, VA 22150 (703) 627-2037

Harborplace Hotel. Many other venues just outside of Baltimore are also quite welcoming: Nixon’s Farm, 40 minutes outside the city in West Friendship MD, has courted a gay & lesbian clientele for over fifty years. With rolling rural acreage, beautiful gardens, a converted barn and outdoor pavilion, Nixon’s Farm is a unique venue centrally located if your guest list includes visitors from surrounding areas. Combsberry Inn, in Oxford, is a 1730’s historic manor house majestically located on 35 secluded waterfront acres. This is a beautiful venue, with several ceremony sites and other gathering places available for all aspects of your celebration. Linger with family and friends after the wedding for a long weekend at the Inn; the property offers relaxing havens, splendid views and a variety of activities. In Talbot County, you’ll want to consider Kirkland Manor, another spectacular waterfront venue. Boasting “the most scenic sunsets imaginable,” as seen overlooking the water from the expansive deep-green lawn, this lovely estate extends a friendly Southern charm.

Whether in the city or at the outskirts, your reception cuisine must spotlight fare from the sea; the nautical heritage throughout the area insists! Chefs will undoubtedly delight you and your guests with innovative selections, tailored to meet any budget. Beyond seafood, there are unlimited ethnic influences in local cuisine; your only challenge in creating the ideal reception menu will be to pare down your choices! Music and other entertainment for your reception may be of any style you’d like – artistic talent flourishes in Baltimore. And surely you’ll want to spend at least a few days of your honeymoon in this vibrant locale, experiencing all the city has to offer: historic sites, boating adventures, delectable dining, scintillating theatre performances and a Grammy-winning symphony orchestra. Art museums abound, as well as industrial museums, sports museums and cultural museums including the USS Constellation... and certainly don’t overlook a visit to the National Aquarium. Later, lounge with your new spouse on a dinner cruise, indulging in a famous Maryland crab feast while the moonlight dances over the water. With gay marriage rights on the horizon, Baltimore’s a more intriguing place than ever.

www.perfectspouse-perfecthouse.com

 “Distinctive Music for Your Occasion” Solo Piano to Jazz Combo From ceremony music to elegant music for your reception, these awardwinning musicians are experienced and professional. Specializing in jazz, standards, ballroom, klezmer, and more, Bay Jazz Project can add a classy touch to your memorable event.

(410) 721-9480

www.seanlanemusic.com www.sethkibel.com

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Top Questions Top Questions asked by Today’s Gay & Lesbian Couples...

1. How much should we budget for catering? -Typically, a quarter of the overall wedding budget is spent on the food & wine served at your reception. But it’s always up to you! Couples today regale their guests in many different ways: cocktail-hour style reception parties… family-style service (larger portions with not as many selections can help ease your budget considerably)… tapas… home-brewed signature beer for a personalized touch. There are a variety of ways to work your reception fare around your budget, so keep your options open and brainstorm with your caterer or event consultant as necessary to create a menu that will work best for you! 2. Our households are already combined; should we still go through the motions of having a gift registry? -Remember, giving a gift to celebrate the occasion is a meaningful exchange that your guests truly enjoy. Customize a registry based on new home décor ideas (include your ideal color schemes or specify exact dream gifts to help guests pinpoint purchases.) Or, consider a honeymoon registry or bank account for collecting funds for a downpayment on a new house – these are great ways to make the most of everyone’s desire to support you & your spouse in your new life together. And if nothing else appeals to you, certainly consider a gift registry based on charities: name several organizations and offer details – it will be fun for your guests to pick and choose which charitable donations they’d like to make in your honor. 3. Some of our family members are not sure what to expect at our wedding, but we still want them involved. How should we broach the subject? -This varies so much depending on your situation. Talk with your officiant or event planner to begin outlining the traditions you’ll include in your ceremony… then take some serious time to think about how you & your fiancée would most like to include family members. What is your ideal? Have you always dreamed of your father walking you down the aisle? Or would

you like both parents to join you? Would it be meaningful to have your siblings offer a special combined reading?... Who will help with the candlelighting? What will be the role of the attendants? There are many ways guests and family members can take part. Once you’ve decided what will be most meaningful for you, then set aside a special time –such as a family dinner- to ask parents, siblings and others if they’ll join in, or if they have their own ideas. Chances are, they’ll be honored to take part and may have just been waiting for you to explain a bit about the details (remember, many still have never attended a gay or lesbian ceremony before!)… but if they have any hesitations, let them know just how important it is to you. Reassure, and remind them that this ceremony is just as sacred and important as any marriage; that it is the day you & your partner will begin your new committed life together, and that you want them to join you to make the occasion that much more meaningful. If they can understand, great! If not, do your best to allow them time to consider your invitation… if it doesn’t ultimately work out the way you planned, of course allow yourself to feel the disappointment but if at all possible try to see past the situation. Encourage them to at least witness your ceremony and chances are that once they do, they’ll realize the heartfelt and joyous celebration that the occasion warrants. And if the circumstances seem seriously stressful or challenging, remember to turn to your officiant, partner or friends for support: you deserve it! There are many in your circle who will treat you with respect and joy; focus on the positive to make the most of this festive & truly special time in your life. For more Planning Tips & Trends, visit www.RainbowWeddingNetwork.com Be sure to listen out for RWN’s upcoming Internet Radio Spotlight, featuring Q&A’s, Professional Insights & more! See the website for full details!

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Mid-Atlantic - Top Vendors

RainbowWeddingNetwork proudly presents:

2011’s Top LGBT Friendly Companies

-serving the Mid-Atlantic US

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. 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! Bands, Musicians & DJs

Hotels & Resorts

Donna Star Entertainment Female Wedding Disc Jockey, proudly serving MD, PA, DE, DC, VA (717) 246-STAR/7827 donnastardj@comcast.net www.donnastarentertainment.com

The Beacon Hotel & Corporate Quarter The perfect combination of stylish accommodations, service and ‘Absolute Hospitality!’ 1615 Rhode Island Ave. NW Washington, DC 20036 (202) 296-2100 t.glenn@capitalhotelsswdc.com p.deleon@capitalhotelswdc.com www.capitalhotelswdc.com/BeaconHotelWDC_com/

Banquet & Event Facilities & Wedding Packages Ceresville Mansion Twenty-five riverside acres exchange vows in your own Mansion! 8529 Liberty Rd. Frederick, MD 21701 (301) 694-5111 info@ceresville.com www.ceresville.com

St. Gregory Luxury Hotel & Suites An Elegant And Welcoming Hotel That Complements Your Lifestyle 2033 M Street NW Washington, DC 20036 (202) 530-3600, St. Gregory (202) 530-3608, M Street Bar & Grill M.wilson@capitalhotelswdc.com p.Koucourek@MStreetBarAndGrill.com www.stgregoryhotelwdc.com www.MStreetBarAndGrill.com

Combsberry Inn 1730 Historic Manor House & Barn on 35 Secluded Waterfront Acres 4837 Evergreen Road Oxford, MD 21654 (410) 226-5353 combsberry@yahoo.com www.combsberryinn.com

Photographers

Renaissance Washington, DC Dupont Circle Hotel Sp-DC Joy. The ever after kind. 1143 New Hampshire Avenue NW Washington, DC 20037 (888) 803-1298, toll-free (202) 775-0800 ext 6807, Sales & Catering http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wasrwrenaissance-washington-dc-dupont-circle-hotel/

CB Photography Serving Worldwide! Based in Palmyra, VA (434) 589-9674 info@cbphotography.com www.cbphotography.com Pereda Photography Serving Northern Virginia (703) 496-7942 liz@peredaphotography.com www.peredaphotography.com

Décor, Lighting & Special FX INTRIGUE - Floral Design & Décor Serving the Mid-Atlantic 98 Edgewood Ave. Annapolis, MD 21401 (443) 362-0044 (443) 362-2345 intrigueeventdesigns@gmail.com www.intrigue-designs.com

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For more comprehensive information, photos & more, visit RainbowWeddingNetwork.com -over 5,000 businesses await you, each screened to uphold a policy of non-discrimination! Sp-(State)

Host Sponsor of 2011 ‘Same Love, Same Rights’ LGBT Wedding Expo, produced by RainbowWeddingNetwork For full Event Calendar, visit www.SameLoveSameRights.com


Southeast Southeast

The city of New Orleans is the ideal location for anyone looking to add a bit of JAZZ to their commitment. While there are prime times to visit like Mardi Gras, there’s always a reason to celebrate in The Big Easy!

Vol. 6 Issue 1 2011 LGBT Planning Resource Guide 49


Southeast Southeast Legals & Logistics for Your Ceremony in the South

lesbians are now permitted under some circumstances to adopt.

t present, there are no states in the South that offer any kind of legal recognition for same-gender relationships. However, there are important differences between many regions that couples ought to consider when planning a ceremony, or choosing to grow their family.

Despite these circumstances, gay and lesbian couples continue to marry every day throughout the Southern states, in intimate ceremonies with a few friends as well as in elaborate and elegant celebrations midst hundreds of overjoyed and tearful guests. Legal rights and benefits may not be provided by the state (nor by the federal government) but couples continue to create their own meaningfulness and sense of validation. The laws will change; but for now, there is Love.

In Atlanta for instance, co-parent adoptions are permitted for same-gender couples; however, in North Carolina they are not. In Florida, laws have finally eased and gays &

Pictured above: Angel & Jay, at their commitment ceremony on May 15, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by Todd Gilman

To find screened, gay-friendly wedding professionals in your area, visit the Orange Pages in this issue, or our extended Directory online at RainbowWedding Network.com.

Southern Charm: Celebration HotSpots in Atlanta ven before the 1996 Olympics, Atlanta had proven itself as one of the fastest growing cities in America, with multitudes of transplants from all over the country. Such an influx of diverse influences has made Atlanta more than just a Southern hub; the metro area today boasts a dedication to modern thinking and with that, a general acceptance of the non-traditional. Gay marriage may not be legally recognized in Georgia, but the annual Pride Celebration is comparable to those held in cities like New York City, San Francisco and Washington DC; enclaves of Atlanta such as Midtown and Decatur are home to active and growing communities of LGBT residents… and hundreds of gay and lesbian couples plan their commitment ceremonies in this lively city each year. While the skyline evolves, and out-of-state influences sway the look and feel of Atlanta, Southern charm still remains the heart of

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this town. And whether you & your partner are local, or you’re planning a destination wedding, a variety of wedding professionals wish to serve you not only with respect and excitement but also with that signature hospitality. Enjoy! Feeling pampered is one of the highlights of this special time in your lives.

Many Venues to Choose From… City Lights A metropolitan backdrop is an easy option in Atlanta: there’s Piedmont Park (for many years the host location of Pride), the Botanical Gardens and the Aquarium are nearby… and of course there are many gay-friendly hotels throughout downtown and Midtown, such as the boutique Kimpton property, Hotel Palomar (host venue of the ‘Same Love, Same Rights’ LGBT Wedding Expos in 2010/11.) For a trendy, more industrial and

artistic location, consider the studio of Bold American Catering at the King Plow Center (also a past host of the LGBT Wedding Expo.) Several welcoming churches and synagogues are in the immediate area, such as the MCC, the First Existentialist Congregation near Candler Park, Congregation Bet Haverim in Decatur or the St Mark United Methodist on Peachtree Street. Southern Traditions When considering the more traditional facilities, especially in the South, many same-sex couples may be pleasantly surprised to find that several are in fact building reputations as being gay-friendly. If you are unsure, check with LGBT directories or other resources as you begin scouting for your ceremony and reception venue… but rest assured those mentioned below have upheld a policy of non-discrimination for some time.


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Southeast Southeast Destination: Atlanta, GA

The Payne Corley House, in Duluth, is an elegant historic venue set on four lovely acres. Magnolias, azaleas and dogwood blossoms – the burst of colors inherent in every Georgia springtime (yes, this is the favorite season for weddings in Georgia!)… The gardens are splendid and the Payne Corley House itself has been refurbished with lovely elegance: it’s an intimate setting no matter how large your wedding may be. The owners are dedicated to a sense of community as well as delectable cuisine; the event staff is ready to assist in any way possible to make your dreams come true.

the High Museum of Art to Stone Mountain Park, from touring the home where Margaret Mitchell penned ‘Gone with the Wind’ or to literally stargazing via the reflecting telescope at the Fernbank Museum (open to the public 2 nights/week), you and your partner will fill the hours with a wonderful variety of activities. And there’s so much more: the Fox Theatre, the birthplace of Martin Luther King and Ebenezer Baptist Church, the CocaCola Museum and Underground Atlanta, panning for gold in the northern mountains of Dahlonega, jet-skiing on Lake Lanier or camping at Lake Allatoona.

Another historic favorite is Carl House, situated between Atlanta and Athens. This antebellum-style home has been restored to its original appearance, with traditional white columns, suspended staircase and formal gardens. Offering an in-house floral design team as well as other a la carte services, Carl House is proud to offer as much or as little assistance in planning your event as you & your partner would like.

All types of cuisine readily await: authentic Mexican, fresh local organic, Vietnamese, Italian, Thai, Indian, Jewish, Mediterranean, American… Emily Saliers’ ‘Watershed’ Restaurant in Decatur. Local taverns and breweries abound, as well as a nonstop nightlife throughout the city.

Honeymooning in Hot-lanta There is such a vast array of attractions in and around the city – you’ll definitely want to do a little research and plan ahead. From

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For shopping excursions, don’t miss Little 5 Points (L5P), Candler Park, Buckhead and Midtown. Mall lovers will want to venture to Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, for a taste of how true Southern shoppers indulge. Atlanta is spread out, but walking downtown is fun and somewhat relaxed: it may be a thriving city but somehow it’s not quite so

densely developed as others seem to be. There is some availability of bike paths, but the mass transit system is not ideal in getting you long distances throughout the area. As for accommodations, you’ll have your pick of luxurious hotels, charming bed & breakfasts, mountain cabins (not far from the city itself), or even condo rentals in the ‘burbs. As a perk, it isn’t difficult to find petfriendly accommodations.

Make It Your Own Atlanta is a modern city, spanning mile after mile, with many unique sights and a very welcoming community. You’ll find opportunities to relax and truly enjoy the pace of this dynamic yet casual atmosphere. Expect to make new friends! And if you’re planning your ceremony here in the Peach State, expect dreams to come true.


Southeast - Top Vendors

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RainbowWeddingNetwork proudly presents:

2011’s Top LGBT Friendly Companies

-serving the Southeastern US

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. 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! Seasons 52 Celebrating living well through seasonally inspired dining… 52 weeks a year! Serving Orlando & Altamonte Springs 7700 Sand Lake Road Orlando, FL 32819 (407) 902-3164 amedina@seasons52.com www.seasons52.com

Bands, Musicians & DJs White Rose Entertainment DJs with a Balance of Elegance and Fun 9401 American Eagle Way, Suite # 200 Orlando, FL 32837 (407) 601-3765 jeff@orlandodj.com dan@orlandodj.com www.orlandodj.com

Décor, Lighting & Special FX

Banquet & Event Facilities/Reception Sites

Balloonacy Balloon and Floral Decor that POPs! Based in Atlanta (404) 351-0538 hollandmuscio@mindspring.com www.balloonacyatlanta.com

Courtyard by Marriott Cocoa Beach -Cape Canaveral A Spectacular Setting for Your Cocoa Beach Wedding 3435 N. Atlantic Ave. Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 (321) 784-4800 x605 maria.sheldon@courtyardcb.com http://courtyardcocoabeach.com/ Hotel Palomar Atlanta - Midtown Sp-GA a Kimpton Hotel Artful, sophisticated... the ideal venue for Your Day! 866 W. Peachtree Street NW Atlanta, GA 30308 (678) 412-2308 Heather.willett@pacciatlanta.com www.hotelpalomar-atlantamidtown.com Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six Resort & Spa Sp-FL Everything you're looking for, delivered with the Hyatt touch. 2301 SE 17th Street Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 525-6666 www.pier66.hyatt.com Caterers/Restaurants Food by Chef Lars Serving Miami & beyond (786) 268-0025 larsatcheflars@aol.com info@miamicateringonline.com www.miamicateringonline.com

Orlando Special Effects Fireworks, Indoor pyro, Decorative flame & fire, Fog & More! Serving the Southeast 14222 Lake Mary Jane Rd. Orlando, FL 32832 (407) 648-1867 andy@orlandospfx.com www.orlandospfx.com Formal Wear & Apparel Savvi Formalwear Gowns, Dresses & Tuxedos Nationwide & in Raleigh - Pleasant Valley Promenade 6212 Glenwood Ave. Raleigh, NC 27612 (919) 783-8911 denise@savviNC.com www.savviNC.com www.savviNCgowns.com

For more comprehensive information, photos & more, visit RainbowWeddingNetwork.com -over 5,000 businesses await you, each screened to uphold a policy of non-discrimination! Sp-(State)

Host Sponsor of 2011 ‘Same Love, Same Rights’ LGBT Wedding Expo, produced by RainbowWeddingNetwork For full Event Calendar, visit www.SameLoveSameRights.com

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Internatio International

Traveling abroad to wed inherently creates exhileration, intimacy and romance. What a fabulous foundation for your future together!

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onal Legals & Logistics for Your Ceremony Internationally

hy a destination wedding in Canada, The Netherlands or South Africa? Imagine, an entire country standing behind you & your partner, in upholding the validity of your marriage! American couples often choose destination weddings abroad in order to experience the wonderful feeling of legitimization inherent in such a declaration of vows. But there are other benefits as well: even if your homestate in America does not recognize your international nuptials, the fact that you & your partner did enter into a legally binding relationship does show intentionality, with regard to future children or assets or other possible circumstances that may arise. And, when same-sex marriage is legalized across the United States, the fact that you and your spouse married once abroad will in fact become recognized here as well! To find screened, gay-friendly wedding professionals throughout Canada, Europe and Mexico, visit the Orange Pages in this issue or our extended Directory online at RainbowWeddingNetwork.com.

International Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships Other countries that currently offer Offering Civil Unions or Same-Gender Marriage Rights: Domestic Partnership Status: ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Argentina Belgium Canada Iceland Mexico City, Mexico Netherlands Norway Portugal South Africa Spain Sweden

● Andorra ● Austria ● Colombia ● Czech Republic ● Denmark ● Ecuador ● Finland ● Some areas of France ● Germany ● Greenland ● Hungary ● Ireland ● Luxembourg ● New Zealand ● Slovenia ● Switzerland ● United Kingdom ● Uruguay

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A Highland Fling! by Ruth Cochrane contributing writer, founder of LoveScotland.com

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o, you just got engaged to your soul mate and you fancy a destination wedding, but what would be the perfect location? How about somewhere so progressive that gay weddings have been legal here for five years? What about somewhere so romantic, that celebrities flock here to get wed? How about somewhere steeped in history, full of fascinating culture, with some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, all within a stone’s throw of two of the most gayfriendly cities you could hope to visit? Scotland is having a gay revolution and GLBT couples are revelling in all of its rainbow glory. Ruth Cochrane, founder of www.lovescotland.com gives some great reasons to consider a destination wedding in Scotland.

It’s Legal! I look on with disbelief and dismay as the US struggles to cope with teen suicides, Prop 8, conservative politicking and religious debate. I deeply empathise with my American cousins, but I have trouble getting my head round the whole thing. How can so many people be so violently

against something that doesn’t affect them at all? Seriously, if you don’t agree with gay marriage, then don’t marry a gay person! In Scotland it’s live and let live and we passed our own equality laws without much fuss or objection. I’m not sure whether it’s the British stiff upper lip, or our proximity to the liberal Scandinavian countries of northern Europe, but whether you’re GLBT or S, no-one really cares. What is definitely true though is that we are always delighted to get one over on our English neighbours, and we’re extremely proud that we were the first country in the UK to institute Civil Partnerships, giving gay couples identical legal rights and responsibilities and making Scotland a world leader in equality! I know it can’t be true that prejudice doesn’t exist here at all, but I grew up here, came out here, met the love of my life here and now I’m planning my own wedding here and I’ve never, ever experienced any form of discrimination. We GLBT Scots know how lucky we are which is why we delight in welcoming couples to get married here and share in the joy!

Kilts Okay, so it might seem like a long way to go just so you can wear a skirt, but you’d be surprised how big a draw it is! Even if you think you don’t have the knees for it, or you’ve been putting off going to the gym for a while, I guarantee you that everyone looks good in a Kilt... EVERYONE! Highland

dress appeals to different people for different reasons, sometimes it’s all about discovering your heritage and donning the garb of your ancestors, for others, it’s more about the Jean Paul Gautier chic. Mostly though it’s just about wrapping yourself in gorgeous plaid, revelling in being a true Scot and enjoying the admiration of envious onlookers!

Castles Celebrities like Madonna, Pierce Brosnan and Stella McCartney have their nuptials in Scotland partly because of the seclusion, but mostly because of the castles. Scotland has a smaller land mass than New York State yet we have around 2000 castles. That’s about one for every 15 square miles! From palatial stately homes to romantic tumble down ruins, there is a massive range of venues to choose from. Imagine crossing the moat and climbing the tower to exchange vows with the love of your life, with Loch Ness and the Great Glen in the background. Urquhart Castle is one of my favourite ruinous venues. The fairytale building and the fabulous location, topped with the possibility of

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International

catching the Loch Ness monster in your wedding photographs; I’m not sure how you beat that! Well, what about hiring a 5-star exclusive use castle and hosting your guests as a real Scottish Laird for the weekend? Lennoxlove house has been in the ownership of the same family for generations and, like many old estates, they have opened their doors to welcome exclusive use events and weddings. At Lennoxlove they are delighted to host gay weddings, and just between you and me, they often tell me they prefer them, as the focus is much more on the loving relationship of the couple, rather than all the fuss and frills that seem to take centre stage at some straight weddings.

Mountains, Glens and Lochs At lovescotland.com we’re avid world travellers, but there is something about the scenery in Scotland that sets your heart beating faster. Ok, I’ll admit it, sometimes we get some rain, but if we didn’t, the place would be overrun with tourists!

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In Scotland, the great outdoors is our biggest asset and with permission from the local authorities; it’s possible to get married anywhere in the country. In the North West, we have outstandingly beautiful beaches. Some of my favourite weddings have been right down on the sand with the happy couple and all their guests in bare feet. We have mountains, glens and lochs all available as gorgeous natural venues and you can even get married aboard a sailboat floating through the gorgeous Western Isles.


International

Scottish Hospitality

The Tradition

Hospitality is in our blood and we love, love, love a party! (Did you know that we host the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration every year in Edinburgh?) So, even if you and your beloved decide to elope to Scotland without inviting a huge group of guests, you may well end up celebrating your wedding with lots of new friends! At the slightest hint of an invitation you will be surrounded by raised glasses, toasting the newly married couple.

If you’ve never been to a Scottish wedding, it’s difficult to describe the atmosphere and the revelry. Scots take great pleasure in celebrating the joy of others and the traditions that reflect this are many and varied.

The Food So, for a country that is famous for Haggis and deep fried chocolate bars, it might surprise you to know that Scotland’s larder produces some world-class fresh ingredients, attracting so many outstanding chefs that we now boast 17 Michelin stars. We have some of the world’s finest seafood from the cold waters off the west coast, excellent beef and lamb from the lush lowland pastures as well as venison and grouse from the highland estates. All this and we haven’t even mentioned the world’s best smoked salmon and, of course, the whisky. If food is a big part of your life, make it a big part of your wedding.

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The bagpipes might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I don’t think there is any better way to herald the most important day of your life and welcome your guests than a rousing tune from a skilled piper (as long as he’s not standing too close!). Lots of our couples combine their legal registration with a Highland or Humanist blessing, allowing them to make their ceremony personal while introducing some century old custom to bind their partnership. This often involves a Hand Fasting ritual, where friends and family can get involved by tying strips of tartan cloth (traditionally from the two clans being joined) around the couple’s entwined hands. The Ceilidh – Which essentially just means ‘party’ but can include traditional Scottish dancing such as the Gay Gordons and Strip the Willow which are the most fun you can have with your clothes on, and a great way

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Same Love, Same Rights® ...tours the nation! 50 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! Visit SameLoveSameRights.com to RSVP for the event nearest 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 - May 22nd ● Austin, TX – TBA ● Denver, CO – July 31st ● Las Vegas, NV – TBA

For additional event dates and locations please visit our full event calendar online at www.SameLoveSameRights.com Photos courtesy CLB Photography/NYC, Mary K Wood Photography/Atlanta, Performance by Come Out Dancing/Atlanta

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International

The Practicalities Getting married in Scotland has no legal residency requirements, so we can welcome you here to get married no matter where you are from. You do need to declare that you are coming to Scotland specifically to tie the knot, but the paperwork is pretty straightforward. to work off that wedding breakfast! Native Scots learn to Ceilidh at school and we are always delighted to show visitors the ropes. All this, mixed in with a good splash of whisky and you’ve got yourself a celebration! Photos throughout this article provided by LoveScotland.com

Budget, the same as anywhere else in the world, is completely dependent on what you want for your special day. You can be married by the registrar on the historic Royal Mile in the centre of Edinburgh’s Old Town for as little as £209 or about $340! If you’d like to hire a castle, expect prices from $1600 for a ruin or up to $12,000 for a 5 star exclusiveuse venue. July and August are the peak

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months to get married and it’s usually mild, but can be rainy, you have a better chance of a dry day in May or September. I don’t think there is anything more romantic than a castle wedding in the snow. You’ll have the best chance of a dusting of the white stuff in January or February, which is well worth considering if you’re on a budget; you’ll get a much bigger splash for your cash in the winter months. For more inspiration on gay Scotland check out the Scottish tourist board’s gay fact sheet www.bookingscotland.com/pdf/3074569 or visit www.lovescotland.com for destination weddings and honeymoons in Scotland. LoveScotland.com ruth.cochrane@lovescotland.com

http://artwork-inform.com/ (859) 448-1071

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International - Top Vendors

RainbowWeddingNetwork proudly presents:

2011’s Top LGBT Friendly Companies -serving in Select International Locations 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. 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 & Wedding Packages 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 Chateau de Challain Where Fairytales Begin... A French experience 001-908-4895005 33-241-92-74-26 chateauchallain@aol.com www.chateauchallain.com Flamingo Hotel Romantic and Intimate boutique hotel for Gay Weddings Calle 6 Cozumel, Q Roo Mexico 77600 (800) 806-1601, toll-free info@hotelflamingo.com www.hotelflamingo.com The Lodge at Weir’s Beach Victoria’s premier destination for Weddings, Family Reunions & Group Vacations Serving North America & Europe 5195 William Head Road Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V9C 4H5 (888) 478-4761, toll-free (250) 478-5000, local mlachmuth@thelodgeatweirsbeach.com www.thelodgeatweirsbeach.com LoveScotland.com Based in Edinburgh +44 (0)131 555 6337 +44 (0)7843 624408 ruth.cochrane@lovescotland.com www.lovescotland.com

Oaks Bluff Lodge Weddings & Honeymoons - One of the most spectacular views in British Columbia. 5901 Pirates Rd. Pender Island, British Columbia Canada V0N 2M2 (866) 228-4397, toll-free (250) 884-6945, local oaksbluff@shaw.ca www.bcislandviews.com Toronto Gay Weddings Private Gay Weddings, Gay-friendly Accommodations, Downtown Toronto! 33 Beaty Avenue Toronto, Ontario Canada M6K3B3 (416) 536-1455 bonne@interlog.com www.torontogayweddings.com Event Consultants & Designers An English Rose Wedding & Event Planning Bringing a European Flair to Montreal Serving Montreal, Canada & surrounding areas Let us do the running around, while you sit back & make all the decisions! (514) 448-2480 rachel@an-english-rose.com www.an-english-rose.com Florals Red Rose Florist Welcome! We’ll make your wedding flowers something to remember! 2004 Centre Street NE Calgary, Alberta Canada T2E 2T1 (800) 661-1568, toll-free (403) 276-4434, local rose@redroseflorist.ab.ca www.redroseflorist.ab.ca www.redroseflorist.net

Gifts, Favors & Keepsakes Classic Studio Labels Personalized labels for Your Special Day 653 Wilton Grove Road West London, Ontario, Canada N5Z 1Y6 (877) 668-6160, toll-free info@classicstudiolabels.com www.classicstudiolabels.com Honeymoon Getaways Shady Shores Beach Resort Beautiful Secluded Beachfront Resort and Log Home 6695 Island Hwy West Bowser, British Columbia, Canada V0R 1G0 (888) 863-4455, toll-free (250) 757-8595, local info@shadyshoresbeachresort.com www.shadyshoresbeachresort.com www.beachloghome.com Photographers Orasis Photography “Documenting life!” Based in Athens, Greece info@orasisphotography.com www.orasisphotography.com Travel Services Love to Travel with Pride Passionately Delivering An Exceptional Italian Wedding Experience 1 800 565 2238, toll-free (011)+ 403.526.6931 jclement@lovetotravelwithpride.com clemchuk@shaw.ca www.lovetotravelwithpride.com www.lovetotravel.ca

For more comprehensive information, photos & more, visit RainbowWeddingNetwork.com -over 5,000 businesses await you, each screened to uphold a policy of non-discrimination!

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The 2011 LGBT Wedding Planning Guide (Vol. 6, Is. 1)