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Northeast

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

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An expanded issue of the nation's first Gay and Lesbian Wedding Magazine. This issue features the latest tips and trends for 2011 along wit...

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