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Rainboww edding n etwork M A G A Z I N E Vol. 7, Issue 1 Spring 2012

The New York Issue

The Nation’s First LGBT Wedding Magazine

Real Fashion

for Today’s Lesbian Bride Plus!

NY Destination Wedding Tips


Venues, Venues, Venues!

From Manhattan to the Finger Lakes, find the perfect backdrop for Your Special Day

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Your Marriage...and Your Lifetime Together

$5.95 US ● $7.95 CAN

Vol. 7 Issue 1 Spring 2012 1

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Photo by Bill Gandino

in this issue

21 Fashion Inspiration for Today’s Lesbian Bride Volume 7, Issue 1

Spring 2012

P33 A Legal Guide for New York Newlyweds Feature

P06 Easy Steps to Your New York Marriage License ...for Residents & Couples planning a Destination Wedding!

P14 Wedding Trends: 2012 Style Six Top Wedding Vendors Reveal What’s Hot for this Season’s LGBT Celebrations

P21 Formal Appeal Fashion Inspiration from Dangerous Mathematicians, NYC P39 DIY Spotlight: Keepsake Bows Unique Accents that Add Flair to Gifts & Décor P09 Town & Country Weddings - Venues throughout the Empire State P42 Simple Tips for Creating your Own Wedding Vows P40 Crystal Plaza, Livingston NJ Shimmering Wedding Packages Designed for You & Your Partner

RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine PO Box 17596, Asheville, NC 28816 Published by Jemima Creek Signature Publications A division of Artistic Ventures, Inc. Copyright ©2012 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.

P45 INSIDE Out Creatively Customizing the Backdrop for Your Unforgettable Event!

The RainbowWeddingNetwork Family Since 2000, your trusted LGBT Wedding Resource!

P27 The RainbowWeddingNetwork Orange Pages Gay-friendly Businesses screened to uphold a policy of non-discrimination. Weddings, Travel, Gifts, Honeymoons & more! coming soon!

Founders, Cindy Sproul & Marianne Puechl Senior Editor, Marianne Puechl Layout / Graphics / Technical, Ira Adams Contributing Writers, Susan Hart Hellman, Angela D. Giampolo, Kathy Calabro Contributing Photographers, Mike Ruiz, Steve O’Toole,, Tyree Curry, Sandy Ramirez, Annie Yu, Bill Gandino, Leigh Miller, Kenny Puff, Elliott Kaufman Cover Image of Renee & Annie, photographed by Leigh Miller / Provided courtesy Dangerous Mathematicians, NYC

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Portland – Convention Center

Windows Skyroom and Rooftop Terrace, located on the 6th floor of the Red Lion Hotel Portland – Convention Center is the perfect location for the bride & groom desiring a beautiful view of Portland with the surrounding hills and Mt. St. Helens. Overlooking the Oregon Convention Center and downtown Portland, Windows offers a panoramic view with a backdrop of twinkling lights in the evening. The rooftop terrace with fire pit is perfect for a summer wedding ceremony and/or reception as the sun sets behind the west hills. The contemporary interior offers seating for up to 170 people or a reception for up to 280 people, plus a lounge area and beautiful bar. Chef Oliver is happy to create customized menus if you don’t find exactly what you are seeking on his regular menu. His attention to detail not only provides beautifully decorated buffet and plated meal offerings, but also flavor combinations that will impress your guests. We consistently receive high marks in service from a staff with many years of wedding experience.

1021 NE Grand Ave. 4 Rainboww edding network MAGAZINE

Portland, OR 97232

p. 503.820.4160

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Easy Steps To Your New York Marriage License Info courtesy RWN and the New York Department of Health

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What is the Marriage Equality Act? On June 24, 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law the Marriage Equality Act. The Law amends New York’s Domestic Relations Law in the following ways:

• Applications for a marriage license shall be

granted regardless of whether the parties are of the same or a different gender;

• A marriage that is otherwise valid shall be

valid regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are of the same or a different gender;

• No government treatment or legal status,

effect, right, benefit, privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage shall differ based on the parties to the marriage being of the same or a different gender;

• No religious entity, benevolent organization

or not-for-profit corporation that is operated, supervised or controlled by a religious entity, or its employees, can be required to perform marriage ceremonies or provide its facilities for marriage ceremonies, consistent with its religious principles.

Identification/Personal Documents Required: A person is required to establish proof of age and identity by submitting to the issuing clerk one of the following age-related documents: 1. Birth Certificate 2. Baptismal record 3. Naturalization record 4. Census record And one of the following identity related documents: 1. Driver’s license 2. Passport 3. Employment picture ID 4. Immigration record

baltimore annapolis washington, d.c. maryland’s eastern shore

jean wade mayer

emily jean villarreal


If either partner was previously married, s/he will need to provide a copy of the divorce decree or proof that the former spouse is deceased. There are no residency requirements for marrying in New York State.

Where can I obtain the form for a marriage license?

What is a second or subsequent marriage ceremony?

A couple who intends to be married in New York State must apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state outside of New York City. In New York City, a license can be obtained at: html/marriage/marriage_bureau.shtml

A second or subsequent ceremony occurs when a couple can prove that they are already married to each other, regardless of where the marriage occurred and wish to remarry the same person (i.e., renew their vows) in New York State. This includes valid marriages between samesex couples that have already occurred in other jurisdictions.

The application for a license must be signed by both applicants in person, in the presence of the town or city clerk.

exclusive private event planning

Changing Your Name

A marriage license can be issued immediately upon application; however there is a 24 hour waiting period before the marriage may take place. (This waiting period can be waived under certain circumstances, and it is not enforced for second or subsequent ceremonies.)

A person’s last name (surname) does not automatically change upon marriage, and neither party to the marriage is required to change his or her last name. Parties to a marriage need not take the same last name.

A license is valid for 60 days, and costs app. $40.

One or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the surname by which he or she wishes

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Easy Steps To Your New York Marriage License to be known after the marriage by entering the new name in the appropriate space provided on the marriage license. The new name must consist of one of the following options:

• the surname of the other spouse; • any former surname of either spouse; • a name combining into a single surname all

or a segment of the pre-marriage surname or any former surname of each spouse;

• a combination name separated by a hyphen, provided that each part of such combination surname is the pre-marriage surname, or any former surname, of each of the spouses.

The use of this option will provide a record of your change of name. The marriage certificate, containing the new name, if any, is proof that the use of the new name, or the retention of the former name, is lawful. The local Social Security Administration office should be contacted so that its records and your social security identification card reflect the name change. There is no charge for this service.

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Whether you decide to use or not use this option at the time of your marriage license application, you still have the right to adopt a different name through usage at some future date. However, your marriage license cannot be changed to record a surname you decide to use after your marriage.

The officiant does not have to be a resident of New York State. Ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State.

If you plan to use your married name at work, be sure to have your name changed in Social Security records. This way, you will get credit for all your earnings. You can find the address and phone number of your local Social Security Office at You will need documentary evidence showing both your old name and your new name.

Further details are available online:

Where can our marriage take place? A New York State marriage license may be used within New York State only. There is no particular form or ceremony required except that the parties must state in the presence of an authorized public official or authorized member of the clergy and at least one other witness that each takes the other as his or her spouse.

More information?


New York State


Country Weddings by Susan Hart Hellman contributing writer

Paula M. Peterson LCSW, MSC Licensed Psychotherapist Ordained Interfaith Minister

I am an Interfaith Minister, ordained with the New Seminary in Manhattan in 1989. I have been living and working full time in the Hamptons for over 40 years and have facilitated many weddings for our Eastern Suffolk population. Together, we can create an original ceremony to exemplify your special love and relationship. My most important goal is that your wedding flows easily and your special day will be a lasting, memorable and happy experience for you and your partner.

Manhattan Penthouse pictured above offers guests a unique breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline. Alger House (left) provides a private, artistic loft space ideal for ceremonies and smaller receptions.

(631) 283-6729

ficus trees provide a welcoming atmosphere for guests, as well as a bit of history, given the venue’s previous use as office space for Reader’s Digest magazine. From East to West, North to South, and everywhere in between, the great State of New York offers a wedding venue that is ideal for all couples, whether they dream of views of waterways, wooded areas, or mountains during their nuptials, or they imagine gazing down at twinkling city lights on streets far below.   

Penthouses, Loft Spaces



For those choosing city lights, the Manhattan Penthouse, operated by Green Mansions Catering, fulfills that dream from high above Fifth Avenue, a block from Union Square. This space features immense arched windows framing Times Square to Wall Street, and Brooklyn to Jersey City views, and the beauty outside is paralleled only by the interior of the 8,000 square-foot Manhattan Penthouse. The Reception Room’s oak and stained-glass bar, grand piano, and delicately-illuminated

The Penthouse ballroom strategically seats up to 200 guests alongside the polished-to-agleam herringbone oak dance floor and next to windows that allow full city views, including the Empire State Building. Custom uplighting illuminates the dining, band, and food station areas and bar.  “Recently, we were awarded for the third time, the Best of Weddings by The Knot,” says Samuel A. Milliken, President of Mansions Catering, Manhattan Penthouse, and Alger House.  “This requires that all internet testimonials average over 4.8 out of 5.”  He says that in their testimonials couples always mention his two venues’ extraordinary spaces, planning assistance, and catering. Green Mansions Catering prepares cuisine to the couple’s exact specifications. Starting out in 1973 as “A Private Townhouse Affair,”  this company was an innovator in developing off-premises

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Town & Country Weddings catering in private event spaces and party sites, including their own Manhattan Penthouse and also Alger House, which is in the Village near 6th and Bleeker. “Both of these spaces are loftlike with broad wood floors and open spaces,” Samuel says.  Alger House is ideal for smaller events, 30-106 guests, and the Great Room accommodates both dining and dancing.  This unique venue with its skylights in high ceilings, fireplaces, chandeliers, pianos, and even antique-filled restrooms, is truly a creative space too, filled with paintings, sculpture, artifacts, stained glass, and Heriz carpeting. For even smaller events, Alger House’s Garden Room atop a grand staircase, features an indoor garden wall and bar. This room is also ideal as a changing room for brides or grooms before descending the stairs to their Great Room ceremony below.   The Brooklyn Museum on Eastern Parkway dates back to the early 1820s, one of the United States’ oldest, largest art museums. Located in the heart of Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights, a

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wedding here means being surrounded with world-famous collections from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary pieces. The Museum offers couples a variety of onsite venues, including the modern sheer-glass Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Pavilion and Lobby, overlooking the Museum’s entrance plaza. This historic location features brick piers, now excavated and restored, which once enclosed the Brooklyn Museum’s Beaux-Arts Court Photo courtesy Brooklyn Museum Museum’s entrance doors. These piers divide the Pavilion and Lobby, accommodating up to The 10,000 square-foot Beaux-Arts Court reaches 500 guests for a standing cocktail reception, up two stories toward a skylight.  This space 300 for a seated wedding ceremony, or 250 for has undergone renovations combining historic integrity with modern features -such as a bridal seated dinners. 

Town & Country Weddings or grooms’ suite- and features the original archways, brass chandelier, and from 1927, the glass-tile floor. The capacity for a seated ceremony is 880 or 660 for sit-down dinner. “Our BeauxArts Court which is where the wedding receptions typically take place,” says Special Events Manager Emilie Schlegel, “is the European Paintings gallery. You are, in fact, surrounded by art.”  


Mansions, Castles

The Mansion at Timber Point (left) and The Grand Ballroom at Bourne Mansion (right) Photos provided courtesy Mazelmoments Wedding Resources


The Mansion at Timber Point, a 300-hundred acre estate in Great River, New York, is another historic wedding venue, dating back to its origins in 1882 as a Queen Anne-style working farm. In 1905 it became a summer home for renowned New York attorney and financier, Julian T. Davies, who had it renovated and turned into the Colonial Revival Style mansion it remains today. Currently the

Mansion is owned by Suffolk County, responsible for additional renovations to restore some of the Mansion’s original historical architecture. Amenities include a bridal/grooms’ suite, valet parking, and guest accommodations nearby. Cuisine by on-site catering includes American, Asian, French, Fusion, Indian, Italian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Steak, Seafood, Spanish, Vegetarian, and Kosher.

Cigall Goldman, Founder and CEO of New York City’s Mazelmoments Wedding Resources says her couples have loved The Mansion at Timber Point. “The place is gorgeous,” she says, “with a very unique look and feel. There’s a large dance floor and gorgeous grounds. There are many opportunities for beautiful photos.” Bourne Mansion in Oakdale was constructed by Singer Sewing Machine magnate Frederick

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Town & Country Weddings

B Bari Braun Wedding Celebrant

“Custom Ceremonies For Momentous Occasions”

(201) -693-2156


INTERIOR DESIGN, LLC 212 462 4329 302 A West 12th St. #212 New York, NY 10014

Oheka Castle - View from the Formal Gardens Photo by Elliott Kaufman Photography

Bourne as a summer residence. The Mansion sits on 205 acres, lush with over 10,000 trees and shrubs, and there are over 100 rooms, most with fireplaces. One wedding site is an expansive lawn with Great South Bay views, and another is the  Grand Ballroom, with 40-foot vaulted ceiling, glass dome, crystal lighting, ornate fireplace and grand staircase.  A dining room/library combination forms the Blue Room, ideal for cocktails, as is the Courtyard Patio featuring stately columns. “One of Bourne Mansion’s strengths,” says Mazelmoment’s Cigall Goldman,“is their outdoor space.   It’s very green, very beautiful.”  She says this venue is also excellent in event-planning.  “I had a couple that was actually planning their wedding clear from China. The Bourne Mansion employees were very helpful, and the wedding went off great. The couple was really happy with the service and management.” Cigall also notes that the Grand Ballroom is very adaptable. “You can make the room look like a lot of different spaces. If you attend an event there two different weekends, you wouldn’t even know you were in the same place.” Long Island’s Oheka Castle, modeled after a French Chateau, was built in 1919, becoming the second largest private home in North America. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Ceremony sites include the French Formal

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Gardens. “If an outdoor ceremony is desired,” says Nancy Melius, Director of Marketing, “the manicured Formal Gardens, designed by the Olmsted Brothers, with spraying fountains and reflecting pools, is the perfect scenic backdrop to exchange vows and create photographic memories to last a lifetime. “The architecturally beautiful Grand Ballroom, designed by Delano and Aldrich,” Nancy says, “is ideally suited for winter ceremonies or rainy summer days and elegantly accommodates up to 160 guests.” She adds, “The palatial Terrace Room with picture windows and views of the Long Island Sound is a magnificent location to host larger ceremonies of 200 to 400 guests.” At Oheka, on-site Executive Chef Chris Cappello and Executive Pastry Chef Daniel Andreotti prepare elegant wedding cuisine, which is then presented with white-glove service.  There are 32 European-style guest rooms and suites, many offering estate views. One recently married couple had this to report: “We were in a fairytale from the moment we drove up to Oheka on Saturday morning. From the absolutely delicious food, to the gorgeous suite, to the impeccable service, everything was simply perfect... The incredible memories we have from our wedding at Oheka will last forever.” Another exciting venue for your nuptials is water-side on an expansive lawn overlooking a crystal-clear lake. The Lodge at Bristol Harbour, just a dozen years old, makes couples this offer.

Town & Country Weddings There are two wedding and reception areas. “The Main Dining Room and the Great Room,” says Sara Goff, Event Coordinator. “Each has a ceremony site outside overlooking the south end of Canandaigua Lake.” With its Adirondack-style ambiance, including rustic furnishings, The Lodge is nestled in the Bristol Mountains. Guests are surrounded with wood and stone interiors ideally complementing the serene lake views; two- and four-bedroom cottages are also available.  Rooms have either private patios or balconies, fireplaces, and heated bathroom floors.  To make the Bristol Harbour weekend complete, there is an 18-hole golf course, private beach, and marina. But the winter season should not stop couples from marrying at this Finger Lakes resort.  During the colder months, couples and up to 200 guests can enjoy the rustic Main Dining Room and Tavern and Great Room for an indoor celebration. And there is a year-round hot tub, as well as cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and downhill skiing nearby. Whatever the season, couples never forget their Bristol Harbour weddings.  Sara relays what most couples say, “Breathtaking, romantic, and a great experience.”

WeddingS on the Water

If a waterside wedding isn’t close enough to the water, couples may want to consider having their festivities on the water, on a Lake George Steamboat Company vessel in the Adirondacks. This company has operated on Lake George since 1817, with various ships including the

Mohican, one of the few surviving the Great Depression. The Mohican was joined on the lake by the Lac du Saint Sacrement in 1989, and today, both are available for weddings. The Mohican, for smaller parties, accommodates from 50 to 150 guests, while the larger Lac du Saint Sacrement can accommodate 400. “To us, the ceremony is very important,” says Lois Robinson, Director of Sales, “and making it perfect for the couple. Guests sit on the outer deck with the couple in front of them, and the lake and mountains in the background.” After the on-board, at-dock ceremony, the reception cruise can be from three to five hours, and couples may decorate the boat with their own personal style.  “Every wedding is different,” says Lois. “We’ve had lots of garlands and flowers, and one couple named each of their tables for one of the 300 islands on the lake.    “Couples say things like ‘The wedding was fabulous’ and ‘The food was excellent.’” Lois adds that often wedding guests have such a good time they book their own Lake George Steamboat Company wedding. 


earts’ Desire

Whether couples find their hearts’ desire is to surround themselves with New York City views, prestigious art, lush historic landscaping, a rustic lodge, a waterway, or even a unique French chateau, New York State offers anyone a most unique place to wed. And now, with legal recognition also provided to gay & lesbian couples, the sentiment behind the ceremony is that much more incredible. Enjoy making your dreams come true!

Lac du Saint Sacrement on Lake George, the Adirondacks Photo courtesy The Lake George Steamboat Co.

New York Venues Overview

Manhattan Penthouse & Alger House Samuel A. Milliken, President 212.627.8838 212.PARTIES Brooklyn Museum Emilie Schlegel, Special Events Manager 718.501.6423 Mansion at Timber Point, Long Island Bourne Mansion, Oakdale Mazelmoments Wedding Resources Cigall Goldman, Founder and CEO 646.669.9723 Oheka Castle Nancy Melius, Director of Marketing 631.659.1400 Bristol Harbour Sara Goff, Event Coordinator 585.396.2200 x438 Lake George Steamboat  Company Lois Robinson, Director of Sales 1-800-553-BOAT 518.668.5777 x219 __________ Susan Hart Hellman is a California-based freelance writer, who has just completed 2 novels.

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ince New York State’s legalization of same-sex weddings in June 2011, bride and bride’s, and groom and groom’s weddings are popping up like spring flowers. But couples’ thoughts concerning planning their now-legal nuptials have prompted another thought too: what are the 2012 wedding trends? Whether you’re exchanging vows before a Justice-of-the-Peace, followed by an intimate home reception, or marrying at a century-old estate, with dancing in a grand ballroom, RWN has spoken with six of New York State’s most sought-after wedding vendors who reveal what’s “hot” and what’s not this year. Destinations, Wine Showers & Cuisine Shanie McCowen started her company, Rainbow Bells, in 2011, and after spending her entire life in the Niagara Falls vicinity, mainly working in the hospitality industry, she decided to dedicate her new business to planning same-gender weddings and incorporate Niagara Falls as part of an increasingly popular trend, the Destination Wedding. “My clientele is traveling for their celebration,” Shanie explains. “When friends and family are traveling, they usually arrive a day or two ahead of time. I find myself planning parties/excursions the day before the ceremony.   For me, and my area, The Falls’ tours are always of great interest.”

Adam Lambert, hair by Davide Torchio Photo: Mike Ruiz /

Wedding Trends

2012 Style by Susan Hart Hellman contributing writer

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Shanie says she also uses the region for a new type of wedding shower. “The un-traditional shower/party is becoming popular,” she says, including the wine shower. “A wine shower is simply a party where everyone brings a bottle of wine as a gift. You can serve the wine at the party, do a blind wine tasting, award the winner with a fun keepsake (wine opener, decanter, etc). This can also be done via a wine tour,” she adds. “The Niagara Region has many, many wineries.” Wine, and food, are now integral to weddings, and Samuel A. Milliken, President of Mansions Catering, Inc. has experienced this firsthand. “I started in 1973 as ‘A Private Townhouse Affair,’ he says, “ because I literally jump-started the offpremises catering service specialty of finding private townhouses, mansions, and lofts for clients to rent with my setting up the whole party with food, drink, equipment and staff brought in for a single evening’s event.” Possibly the longest

running catering service in Manhattan, he has witnessed every trend from classical French cuisine to grilling. Samuel explains that chefs are now trying to do “something different,” thus delving into ethnic and comfort foods and even woodfired grill cooking. He adds, “‘Fusion’ no longer simply refers to the American-Oriental combo. Everyone is trying to put together surprising combinations.” Using authentic regional ingredients is important, too, Samuel believes, such as Serrano ham from Spain or a particular South American honey. “Perhaps integrity is an important factor.  Grilling is important.  Marinating is important. Finding new ingredients.  Using more oriental ingredients.” Much of his catering occurs in his own venues (Please see Wedding Venues, this edition). “We have our own two chic, world-class venues,” Samuel says. But Mansions Catering also provides off-premises catering, and for a long list of celebrities including Tyra Banks, Woody Allen, Jane Fonda, and Diane Sawyer, for companies such as Air France, and television’s Gossip Girls. Entertainment, Couture, Hair Styles According to Michael Swerdloff, DJ & Entertainer, and owner of My Unique Wedding, the trend in ethnicity and cultural diversity in foods is paralleled in other 2012 wedding facets, including the number of ethnic weddings and requested entertainment.  

These new trends can be challenging, he explains. “We need to have music for a wide range of Latin music, not just popular Salsa. Now we need Reggae, Reggaeton, Bachata, Merengue, Soca, Cumbia and Calypso.” And Indian weddings can be an even greater challenge. “Westerners think Indian music is one genre, when if you think about it, how can that be possible for a culture with hundreds of dialects and sub-cultures?” He says keeping up with Bollywood helps, but he really turns to his couples for direction. Michael says a trend he personally developed is emerging too, The Storybook. “It is a really fun experience, with me interviewing the couple before their wedding and writing their story with musical clips to add energy and excitement.” At the reception, he tells the couple’s “story”--first kiss, first date, the proposal-- accompanied by pre-mixed music highlighting their life events. “It’s a live storytelling of how they got to this day.” Michael recalls one especially unique wedding. “I DJ’d a wedding last summer with the Groom and Groomsmen dressed in kilts. They wanted Celtic, Reggae, Calypso and even some Ska to dance to.” Michele Stallings, owner of Adorned Events, says she’s seeing unique weddings too, including those incorporating another new trend, a modern twist on 1600’s Baroque styling. She says this Louis XIV-type couture includes heavy fabrics with elaborate features including prints, and that colors couples often choose are tiffany blue and black. “It’s fun,” she says. “You have a lot of options, you can see a lot depth in your design.”

“Latino and (East) Indian In general, Michele says for weddings are becoming The dramatic ‘Illusion neckline’ more popular,” Michael Photo courtesy À Votre Service Events™ LLC brides, there are fewer wedding gowns nowadays, but rather, says, “especially since we both brides may choose customare working with second generation Indian families now. They want to designed suits. combine old traditions with their American experiences. Latinos now want to reclaim some But when brides do opt for gowns, the “illusion neckline” is the hottest trend, according to Marie of their heritage as well.”

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Wedding Trends: 2012 Style

Newlyweds Bryant & Horace, Dec. 2011, at their cocktail party reception, designed with tangerine colored uplighting and highboys to encourage dancing. Photo by Steve O’Toole Photography, courtesy Adorned Events

Danielle Vil-Young, founder of À Votre Service Events, featured on TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress,” and in Weddings by The Ritz-Carlton. “Also, very fluffy, rich materials are being used at the bottom of gowns,” she adds. “There is also the use of lace, an antique vintage feel to gowns, and gowns with sleeves; the use of different colors other than white--blush is a big trend, light champagne color, etc.” Another trend she notices is the jeweled bouquet, another hot style for 2012.  Michele Stallings believes that fashion for the bridal attendants is still more traditional too, but not the traditional same dress on every attendant. However, not so for grooms’ attendants, she says. “For the guys, a lot of them are still wearing the same suit, but changing up the look with a lot of prints in ties--paisley prints, stripes--and ascots. Michele sees more color for 2012 also. “Color is a big trend, a lot of bright colors.” One, in particular stands out, tangerine, with purples and blues. “It’s Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango,” she says of the Pantone Color Institute. She adds that with any theme color a couple might choose, specialty lighting is another important trend. “Something that every single client is asking for now,” she explains. “Uplighting, especially.”

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Michele is also seeing more green weddings. But here, she’s talking about a philosophy, not a color. “More local foods are being used and there is attention to horticulture in terms of using cut flowers. Couples are choosing other options like potted plants, a lot of candles, wood carvings, things that are outside the typical floral design.” Marie Danielle Vil-Young agrees. “A big trend with weddings in 2012 will be in the use of more nature-inspired elements: nature-inspired tablescapes/settings, the use of rustic elements such as hard-wood farm tables, birch, etc. Perhaps Country Elegance and Vintage is the best way to explain.” But whether the wedding theme itself is more subdued and natural, or bright as the rainbow, color is important in 2012 hair design too. Davide Torchio, David Torchio Hair, says this includes Maria Dizzia, hair by Davide Torchio Photo: staff

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Wedding Trends: 2012 Style

strawberry blonde and redder colors, and darker roots with hair becoming lighter toward the ends. However, he believes coloring should also be seasonal. “For Spring, hair should be brighter, richer, not so dark. The outside tones, colors get brighter. For Summer, definitely lighter, then in the Fall and Winter, tone it down because skin tones become paler.” He recommends that Fall and Winter blonde tones become warmer, and darker hair tones should be hazelnut and chocolate brown. For wedding trends, Davide says, “Many brides will keep their hair naturally soft. Brides like to feel what they actually are, to enhance and bring out the best in themselves.” He adds that longer hair will be wavy. “Going for the softer look, not too crafted. It’s more the romantic loose feeling.” But brides are also returning to the glamorous 1940’s. “Like Veronica Lake,” Davide explains. “Soft waves, romantic.” For brides with shorter hair, two words might

summarize another new trend: Tracy Young. Davide has created many looks for this music guru/DJ, including recently for one photo shoot, what he calls “kind of a James Dean-feeling look. “Very popular for lesbian brides,” he says. Davide says that of course the James Dean “feel” is very trendy with men, and he recently created the style for 30 Rock and Glee’s Cheyenne Jackson. “It’s a new trend for grooms, and we add length with hair extensions as needed to achieve it,” Davide says. He sees the Rudolf Valentino look returning, and cites his recent Valentino creation for singer Adam Lambert. “A lot of grooms are going for that look, too, a more sculptured look.” Parties. . . and Parties After the Parties But after months of wedding planning, and after the “I do’s,” couples are figuratively letting

Cheyenne Jackson (right), hair by Davide Torchio (left) Photo: Mike Ruiz /

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Wedding Trends: 2012 Style

their hair down with another new trend, more relaxed receptions. “Instead of a sit-down reception,” Michele Stallings says, “it’s more of a cocktail party.” Concerning this trend, Samuel A Milliken says, “Some couples are saying they just want a big cocktail party, because that’s the most fun. Recently some same-sex couples are choosing partially-seated cocktail buffets rather than traditional dinners.” Marie Danielle Vil-Young says many of her clients are also adding an “after-party” – the smaller post-reception affair. “They want to keep the fun going, usually with their wedding party and close friends and family. I see this more and more at properties where our clients have access to guest- or sleeping-rooms.  This way they can party until late, then do not have to drive elsewhere afterwards. “  Whatever style of wedding a couple might

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choose for 2012, most wedding vendors agree, these brides and grooms are educated concerning the trends. “As a wedding planner, Michele Stallings says, “I find it much easier now. My clients know a lot more, are doing a lot of research themselves, have an idea of what they want. Having informed clients makes it easier to achieve the goals they’re going for. They send me what they find on the internet. I then add my own ideas and we narrow it down.” And Shanie McCowen says one trend she’s noticing at Rainbow Bells is no trend. “People are finally doing what they want . . . it’s a beautiful thing. Every time one of my clients does something different, following their hearts, that is starting a new trend in my world!” ______________ Susan Hart Hellman is a California-based freelance writer, who has just completed two novels.

Davide Torchio Hair (212) 737-3621 À Votre Service Events™ LLC

(800) 757-0549

Michael Swerdloff, DJ & Entertainer (973) 536-0570 Rainbow Bells (716) 777-4555 Adorned Events (877) 448-9618 Manhattan Penthouse & Alger House (212) 627-8838 (212) PARTIES

FormalAppeal Fashion Inspiration from Dangerous Mathematicians, NYC


oday’s lesbian bride wants to be hip, beautiful and perhaps most of all, true to her own style. Few apparel companies seem to offer realistic options that merge a classy look with a fit that truly suits, and works for varying sizes.

Is it possible to accent a lesbian’s best features, while at the same time tailoring a look to enhance her individuality? ...Designer Karen Patwa, of Dangerous Mathematicians in Manhattan, has been committed to her lesbian clients for years. Proudly serving men as well, Karen provides custom tailoring & design ideas to assist everyone in creating a look that’s comfortable, attractive & totally unique.

Vol. 7 Issue 1 Spring 2012 21

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Left: Paula, in white taffeta with an Italian lace overlay hand sewn with opalescent sequins. Also pictured is LaKeisha, in her complimentary wedding suit - a beautiful black brocade. Photo by Tyree Curry. Ctr: Jenn, wearing a silk 3/4 length jacket and pants. Photo by Sandy Ramirez. Right: Adriana, modeling a blue sharkskin double breasted suit at RWN’s ‘Same Love, Same Rights’® Wedding Expo Fashion Show (Gotham Hall, NYC August 2011). Photo Annie Yu. Adriana’s fiancée Sheree (pictured p. 21) models a black & white skirt suit, their daughters Gianya and Kiana (below, the “flower girls”) also modeling at the Gay Wedding Fashion Show, August 2011. Photos by Annie Yu.

► Flower Girls (and all other attendants) deserve special attention too! Customizing apparel, accents or accessories for each member of the wedding party makes it easy to integrate a coordinated theme. Photo by Annie Yu.

◄ For Tray, Karen put together a wild combination of fabrics for a three piece suit which included paisley, stripes and plaid. Here she is, pictured with Rosie, whose wedding gown Dangerous Mathematicians styled as well. Photo by Bill Gandino.

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FormalAppeal Renee, wearing a tailored, custom-designed halter vest outfit. â–ş The halter is completely fitted with an open back and silk double welt pockets to match Annie's dress. Her slim-fitted pants are made in a matching silk and cashmere herringbone.

A former math teacher, Karen Patwa (below, left) builds on her understanding of geometry, lines & curves to create well-fitted attire that is attractive as well as comfortable. Creative & precise, Karen is happy to work with couples in complementing fashion choices for both spouses, or others in the wedding party.

Photo by Bill Gandino

Photo by Sandy Ramirez

Photo by Leigh Miller at Leigh Miller Photography

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Karen Patwa, Dangerous Mathematicians 394 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 718 717 2248

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Top LGBT Friendly Companies of the Season

RainbowWeddingNetwork proudly presents:

Top LGBT Friendly Companies

- for Spring 2012

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/Entertainment/DJs Anderson Entertainment The Ultimate Experience In Wedding Entertainment Serving Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey 450 Andbro Dr. Unit #1 Pitman, NJ 08071 (800) 773-0337, toll-free SB Creative 515 East 75th St. #1R New York, NY 10021 (212) 288-0969 S.O.S. Entertainment Playing the full Spectrum of Sound, a proud family run company! Serving throughout NY (518) 878-5457

Banquet & Event Facilities Alger House and Manhattan Penthouse Two extraordinary venues for 25 to 250 people. 80 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10011 (212) PARTIES; (212) 627-8838 Carey Lake Banquet Center Sp-(Rochester) 15,000 square foot Victorian style building with all the amenities - We’re ready to make your celebration complete! Located on 200 acres in Penfield, NY (315) 986-1936

City Winery Sp-(NYC) 155 Varick Street @ Vandam in Soho’s Hudson Square New York, NY 10013 (212) 608-0555 Country Inn and Suites & Genesee River Reception Center Let us handle the details! 130 N. Main St. Mount Morris, NY 14510 Located at the north entrance of Letchworth State Park (585) 658-4080; (585) 658-2949 Crowne Plaza Orlando-Universal Sp-(FL) 7800 Universal Boulevard Orlando, FL 32819 (407) 781-2169; (407) 355-0550 Crowne Plaza Seattle Sp-(WA) 1113 6th Avenue Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 464-1980; (206) 676-3921 (206) 223-3750 Crystal Plaza Be Prepared to Fall in Love...... 305 West Northfield Road Livingston, NJ 07039 (973) 992-8100

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Top LGBT Friendly Companies of the Season Dutchess Manor Sp-(Hudson Valley) Beautiful and serene Hudson Valley setting for your special wedding ceremony 263 Route 9D Beacon, NY 12508 (845) 831-3650 Fort William Henry Hotel & Conference Center One love. One wedding day. One perfect location. 48 Canada Street Lake George, NY 12845 (888) 389-4554 Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza Sp-(IL) Uptown & Upscale, the Best Views in Chicago! 350 W. Mart Center Drive Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 529-1124; (312) 836-5000

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Homewood Suites by Hilton-Newtown Sp-(PA) 110 Pheasant Run Newtown, PA 18940 (215) 550-8367 Maggiano’s Little Italy, Old Orchard Your event deserves a warm environment, a touch of something special and, of course, the best Italian food. 4999 Old Orchard Center Skokie, IL 60077 (847) 933-9555 IL/Pages/LocationLanding.aspx Oheka Castle Exclusive Weddings & Commitment Ceremonies 135 West Gate Drive Huntington, NY 11743 (631) 659-1400

Omi International Arts Center 300 Acre Arts Center with 20 Room Retreat, every cent of the rental supports the artists’ programs 59 Letter S Road Ghent, NY 12075 (201) 683-6017 Red Lion Hotel Portland-Convention Center Sp-(OR) 1021 NE Grand Avenue Portland, OR 97232 (503) 820-4160 RenaissanceWashingtonDCDupontCircleHotel Sp-(DC) 1143 New Hampshire Ave NW Washington, DC 20037 (202) 828-7779 (202)775-0800

Top LGBT Friendly Companies of the Season South Bay Paddlewheel Cruises Bay Cruises on The Lauren Kristy Paddlewheeler, South Shore of Long Island Sailing from the Bay Shore Marina, foot of Clinton Avenue, Bay Shore (631) 750-5359 Stadium Golf Club Let us create a memorable start to your life together! 333 Jackson Avenue Schenectady, NY 12304 (518) 374-9104

B & Bs/Wedding Packages/ Destination Weddings 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 Rainbow House Bed & Breakfast and A Romantic Wedding Chapel Friendly hospitality awaits you! 423 Rainbow Blvd. Niagara Falls, NY 14303 (800) 724-3536, toll-free bbhome.php3 Seven Hills Inn Romantic gilded age luxury at an affordable price 40 Plunkett Street Lenox, MA 01240 (413) 637-0060 Sunset Hill House Where the only event that matters is yours! 231 Sunset Hill Road Sugar Hill, NH 03586 (800) 786-4455, toll-free (603) 823-5521, local Sp-(State)

The Vagabond’s House Inn Blending Artistry with Timeless Romance A Boutique Inn on the Central California Coast Dolores Street at 4th Avenue P.O. Box 2747 Carmel-by-the Sea, CA 93921 (800) 262-1262; (831) 624-7738

Dance Instruction Stepping Out Studios New York’s Premier Ballroom & Latin Dance School, in the Heart of Manhattan! 37 W. 26th Street – 9th Floor (between 6th Ave & Broadway) NY, NY 10010 (646) 742-9400

Décor & Rentals Party Line Tent Rentals Tent & Event Rental Services Serving the New York Tri-State Area since 1990 21 Vreeland Ave. Elmsford, NY 10523 (914) 592-1200

Event Consultants & Designers Ebony Connections Bringing People & Parties Together Based in Queens, NY (877)-800-5964; (631) 696-8383 Rainbow Bells Catering to Gay and Lesbian Weddings in Niagara Falls, New York PO Box 2307 Niagara Falls, NY 14301 (716) 777-4555 For more comprehensive information, photos & more, visit -over 5,000 businesses await you, each screened to uphold a policy of non-discrimination! Host Sponsor of 2012 ‘Same Love, Same Rights’ LGBT Wedding Expo, produced by RainbowWeddingNetwork For full Event Calendar, visit

Vol. 7 Issue 1 Spring 2012 29

Top LGBT Friendly Companies of the Season Florals Elite Florals Affordable Elegance 1301 Easton Avenue Abington, PA 19001 Serving all of Montgomery, Bucks, Philadelphia and Delaware Counties (215) 886-6790

Formal Wear & Apparel Bridal Reflections Catering to Every Bride Studios throughout New York City and Long Island 260 Fifth Avenue (at W. 28th Street) New York, NY 10001 (212) 764-3040 Dangerous Mathematicians 394 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217 (718) 717-2248 RK Bridal Award winning bridal store located near the heart of New York City 318 W. 39th Street NY, NY 10018 (212) 947-1155

Gifts, Favors & Keepsakes Custom Wedding Shop Personalized ceremony and reception accessories for a wedding as unique as your love! Service throughout the USA and Internationally (800) 429-2081, toll-free

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Giampolo Law Group Driven. Focused. Passionate. (215) 645-2415

Musicians for the Ceremony Elizabeth Meriwether Huntley, harpist The enchanting music of the harp... Serving the Albany/Schenectady/Troy Capital District Area & Saratoga/Glens Falls/ Lake George Region (518) 893-7495

Officiants/Places of Worship All Ceremonies Beautifully Done Reflecting Your Unique Relationship through a Ceremony Customized Just for You! Serving the Chicagoland Area (847) 491-0603 Ark Interfaith Services, Rev. MarciaGrace Tropin Personalized, sacred ceremonies since 1995 Serving Long Island (631) 924-0038 Care-Full Ceremonies Rev. Virginia VerEecke LCSW Interfaith Gay Minister, Faith Organizer for Marriage Equality NY 601 11th Street Brooklyn, NY 11215 (917) 923-6744;

Legal Resources

Church of Ancient Ways Rev. Marie April Gismondi Let your ceremony express your thanks, your joy, your happiness. Serving New York City & Long Island (516) 785-4191

Devereaux, Baumgarten Serving the Tri-State Area 39 Broadway - Suite 910 New York, NY 10006 (212) 785-5959

Hudson Valley LGBTQ Weddings with Rev. Myriam Bouchard Honoring the sacred, one ritual at a time. (845) 489-6518; (845) 750-6252

Top LGBT Friendly Companies of the Season Loving Heart Ceremonies by Risa Marlen Rites of Passage that Touch the Heart! Serving all boroughs of NYC, Westchester, Rockland Counties, Northern and Central NJ (201) 741-6056 Paula Peterson, Ordained Interfaith Minister Personalized Hamptons Weddings (631) 283-6729 Reverend Jim Covington, M.Div., M.A. Moving Ceremonies That Reflect Your Unique Relationship and Your Individual Spiritual Beliefs 251 Central Park West New York, NY 10024 (212) 799-1157

Spirited Weddings with Deborah Roth Embracing all traditions, serving all faiths, celebrating all orientations Serving Greater NY & Connecticut 270 Riverside Drive - Ste. 1C New York, NY 10025 (212) 665-9660

Photographers Glennola Photography, Inc Preserving Your Memories Serving throughout the NYC Metro Area (718) 785-9606 Dana Lane Photography Capturing Your Moments for Generations to Come Destination Weddings as well as Location Weddings-NJ, NY and PA (908) 310-3577

Images by Misti Layne Where photographs become love’s expression. San Francisco based, worldwide travel (415) 225-1128

Photo Booths Overtime Photography Photo Booth Entertainment - Add Fun Memories to Any Event! Serving Northern NY from the Capital District through the Adirondacks, all of VT, NH & surrounding regions (518) 569-7272 Time Capsule Photobooths Devoted to making your event unforgettable! Serving Albany, the Capital District and Hudson Valley areas (518) 326-2093; (518) 365-2867

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A Legal Guide for New York Newlyweds

New York, NY June 25, 2011: A day after the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State, a news crew waits outside the historic Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.

n Friday, June 24 2011 New York City’s West Village erupted in celebration as hundreds gathered outside the historic Stonewall Inn to celebrate one of the most significant victories in the modern gay rights movement – the legalization of same-sex marriage. The New York State Senate passed the legislation by a margin 33-29, making New York the sixth and most populous state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. While all this is great, before taking the proverbial “walk down the aisle,” make sure you and your partner are fully aware of the consequences and requirements within the state and perhaps that of which you are residents. Caution is required because major legal milestones must still be reached before marriage is fully recognized. For instance, at the federal level LGBT couples are still strangers in the eyes of the law. The passage of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996 codified this by first, defining the term “marriage” for the purposes of federal law as a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. And secondly,

by Angela D. Giampolo, Giampolo Law Group contributing writer

DOMA permits states to deny marriage-type relationships for LGBT couples even though the relationship may be recognized in other states. The impact of the inability to marry or to have one’s marriage not recognized at all levels of government is very significant. There are over 1100 identified Federal Statutes in which marital status is a factor in receiving federal benefits, rights and privileges. For this reason, LGBT individuals, couples and their families have particular incentive to create their estate plan deliberately. Without enforceable, written legal plans in place, the personal and financial affairs of LGBT individuals are subject to legal default rules. The legal default rules favor relationships based upon marital or biological ties and do not recognize LGBT relationships. The facts stand that twenty-nine states have enacted constitutional amendments blocking same-sex marriage. In 18 of those states, the amendments also ban domestic partnerships or civil unions. Twelve states bar same-sex

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A Legal Guide for New York Newlyweds marriage by statute, and in two, Minnesota and North Carolina, anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendments will go before voters this year. At this point, nearly 60 percent of Americans live in locations that do not protect gay couples in any facet. In New York, lawfully married individuals, including individuals in same-sex marriages, are entitled to more state rights and benefits than those registered as domestic partners in New York. It is critically important to understand the way your state defines LGBT marriage, domestic partnerships, and civil unions because if an individual lawfully enters into a same-sex marriage in a jurisdiction outside New York, they are entitled to most of the New York State rights and benefits available to people lawfully married in New York.  If you are considering entering into a marriage in a jurisdiction other than New York, you should contact that jurisdiction beforehand in order to learn about any applicable marriage requirements or restrictions. While married LGBT couples have the same benefits and rights under New York state law, the benefits and rights apply only to New York state residents. If a couple marries in NY and than returns to their home state, they must consider that under the constitution of their state of residence, amendments limiting marriage defined as between one “man” and one “woman” may invalidate the marriage in their state of resident. As such, perhaps the essential protections you and your partner are seeking by getting married in New York state will not apply to you. If you and your partner are looking to marry outside the state of which you live be thorough in your research and decision process as LGBT couples face many additional challenges. Things to consider:

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New York has a residency requirement in order to file for divorce or dissolution. At least one spouse must have lived in the state for one year before commencing a proceeding to end the marriage.

Understand that if your home state does not recognize marriage, the benefits granted will not apply in your home state.

Understand the consequences regarding how your jurisdiction treats same-sex marriage if you are looking to adopt a child that does not permit placement with LGBT couples.

If you are already registered as a domestic partnership or civil union consult with a legal counsel to help you understand the legal consequences of marrying in New York.

One of the most critical reasons behind the struggle for gay marriage is to ensure LGBT couples have the rights that come with marriage such as inheritance rights, property rights, the tax benefits and next-ofkin rights in the event one partner becomes ill. Marriage outside of your home state does not solve these problems if the marriage is not acknowledged in your state. There are some options available to LGBT couples each having unique consequence: •

Move to a state where gay marriage would have full recognition

Move to a state where gay marriage is treated as a civil union or domestic partnership in accordance with that state’s specific laws, or

Move to a state that extends no recognition to same-sex couples.

Even if you are unwilling to relocate, it is critical that you and your partner protect your rights by forming essential estate planning documents with an attorney experienced in working with the intricacies of LGBT estates. People often misunderstand estate planning as being only for the wealthy, but it is essential for all people in order to protect their wishes and assets. Estate planning for LGBT couples is crucial in guaranteeing rights that would be granted under marriage. To pass on one’s assets as they wish, LGBT individuals must take steps to create a legal framework that would exist under a marriage . Ultimately, marriage is a contract, and by documenting your wishes you form a legal partnership recognized in your state and others. This protects you and you partner when traveling outside of your home state. Through Estate Planning,

A Legal Guide for New York Newlyweds LGBT couples can resolve key issues affecting their personal and financial affairs that are not addressed in their home state. Namely major areas of concern for couples include: rights relating to medical care and hospital visitation, financial protections upon the death of a spouse and the division of your estate, rights regarding burial, and disposition of remains, and choosing the important executors of your will so that the state does not choose them for you.

marriage may not be recognized in their state you do not have rights to visit you partner in an emergency situation where they end up in the hospital. A solution to this problem would be to establish your wishes for who may visit you if you are hospitalized by a hospital visitation authorization form and a health care proxy. This would be all you would need to guarantee that you could be there for your partner in a critical moment, no matter who is at the front desk.

The following is a list of essential documents recommended for LGBT clients:

Take for example a common problem faced by LGBT couples without estate planning documents:

Because Federal law does not recognize same-sex marriages, regardless of state law, married LGBT partners will not receive the same federal income and estate tax treatment as traditional married couples. An experienced legal advisor can work with you to minimize the effects of the legal barriers that may work against you, your partner and your family.

Advanced Directive: A “living Will” enables you to provide instructions to physicians relating to prolonged life support in the event of incurable illness.

If you end up in an accident in another state, it’s best not to rely on being able to say “I’m married in NY.” In a hostile environment the people you are dealing with may not believe you, and obviously it is not common for couples to walk around with their marriage certificate, nor should it be. The people you have to deal with may be ignorant to the law and rely on the claim that because gay

Powers of Attorney: A medical power of attorney is critically important if you want your partner to act for you should you become incapacitated. Durable Power of Attorney: This gives someone power over your affairs, such as businesses, finances, and real estate.

HIPAA Authorization: If you do not have this authorization, it could potentially create a problem in the event a physician needs to release medical information in order to activate health care powers of attorney.

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A Legal Guide for New York Newlyweds how money and expenses will be managed and divided, but it also defines the duties and responsibilities of each party and may reduce taxable gifts.

Alexus and Jeremy Bertrand-Price, married July 31, 2011

Cohabitation Agreement: If you and your spouse or domestic partner live together and share assets, a cohabitation agreement is critical. This agreement is a cross between a prenuptial agreement and a partnership agreement. Not only can the contract dictate

Will: Without a Will you are subject to the intestacy laws of your state. These laws adversely affect LGBT couples because they define “heirs at law� as blood relatives or adopted children. Without a Will, your domestic partner may not be entitled to any of your assets, even assets you may jointly own!

Your personal planners in Banff, Canmore & Lake Louise


403 609 3936 36 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

Revocable Trust: This type of trust provides protection from challenges by disgruntled heirs at law. Moreover, assets in a revocable trust pass outside of probate, providing privacy as well as saving time and eliminating probate fees. Implementing a revocable trust today may mean more money to your loved ones later on. Funeral, Burial and Remains Planning: Making plans regarding your funeral, burial and/or remains guarantees your final wishes are granted. Without these plans you may not be buried next to your partner or they may not receive your remains. If there is family tension, a surviving partner may even be excluded from your funeral. Pet Directive: A combination of a Living Trust and an Advance Directive will ensure your pets are taken care of if they out live you. This will provide financial assistance to the individual(s) you name to care for your pets. In the Trust document you may name a trustee to administer the Trust.

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A Legal Guide for New York Newlyweds Planning with Minors. LGBT couples with minors have special issues that traditional families may not have to consider. Your legal advisor should adequately identify the children in all estate planning documents, especially if they are not the legal children of one partner. Moreover, gifting issues are addressed when dealing with children who are not or can not be legally adopted by one partner. Gifting. If you have spent more than $13,000 per year in gifts, services or support for your partner, you may have inadvertently triggered gift taxes. Proper Beneficiary Designations. It is important to ensure that beneficiary designations are up-to-date and in line with your current wishes. A Beneficiary is an individual, institution, trustee, or estate which receives, or may become eligible to receive, benefits under a Will, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, trust, or other contract. Be sure to consider banking,

investment, and retirement accounts, as well as life insurance policies. Put simply, with properly executed LGBT estate planning, you can avoid expensive probate fees altogether, saving time, lawyer costs, and probate fees. You can enjoy preferential tax treatment, tax deferment, and reduce overall inheritance taxes. Through proper estate planning and certain trust vehicles you may also ensure that more of your accumulated assets throughout your life are enjoyed by your partner and should you choose you can also leave a philanthropic legacy above and beyond what your liquid assets could allow. While “Cookie Cutter� Will and Estate packages exist they are not created with the intricacies of LGBT estates in mind. It is crucial to seek out legal representation to make sure your Will is legally enforceable.

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Angela D. Giampolo is an attorney, avid entrepreneur, and advocate for the LGBT community. She is a columnist for various LGBT and business publications including Philadelphia Gay News, Philadelphia Business Journal, Edge, and Echeleon. Her columns inform readers about changes affecting the LGBT community and provide expert advice on varying topics. As Founder and Principal of Giampolo Law Group, her goal is to provide a safe place for the LGBT community to service their legal needs and have their business and entrepreneurial questions answered. To learn more about Giampolo Law Group visit and to read more articles, you can visit the firm’s two blogs at www. and To contact Angela directly with your business and legal related questions email her at: angela@

variety of shapes. They’re also made of 100% recycled materials (& reusable), to help you stay true to Going Green with your wedding plans!

Gifts That Shine... Top your packages with an artistic touch – small thank-you’s for your ceremony attendants, event consultant, officiant (or for the Happy Couple!)

Beautiful, Bold, Bright. Looking for an easy accent for your reception centerpieces? Need a hint of pizzazz for your table settings or seating cards? These signature bows from Keepsake Bows, Inc. offer an ideal burst of bold color that you & your partner can add, just about anywhere, as you create your own decorative touches for your ceremony & reception.

Celebrate With Color! Available in more than a dozen different hues to match your event theme, these beautiful accents are handy: made to clip-on* so that you can arrange them in bouquets, rainbows, or a

Gay-friendly & Committed to Your Celebration! Penny Miller, founder, tells us: “Keepsake Bows treasures diversity and the unique qualities that every person brings to the world. We gladly support all couples!”

Bows priced individually @ $5.99 per; bulk rates available. *Clips are patent-pending Keepsake Bows, Inc. Penny Miller, founder (360) 352-3627

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Crystal Plaza... shimmering wedding packages

Crystal Plaza

shimmering wedding packages, customized for you & your partner f you’re marrying in the fabulous world that is New York, you can have the best of another world, too, by holding your reception at New Jersey’s historic Crystal Plaza. Or, for a New Jersey civil union event, choose Crystal Plaza for both your ceremony and your reception, joining the over 10 million guests the three generations of the Janoff family have hosted over the past hundred years.

Crystal Several words describe Crystal Plaza: glamour, elegance, romance, and of course crystal. In the Grand Ballroom, light radiates in all directions from delicate crystal stemware on banquet tables, detailed glasswork windows, and a dozen-plus sparkling chandeliers.

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Owner Allan Janoff mentions another descriptor, too. “Enchanting is what we hear frequently to describe our property. We have a tremendous number of antiques throughout the mansion, and that adds to the turn-of-the-century, old-world charm.” He often hears the word breathtaking too. “When people walk into the Ballroom, I hear that all the time.” In addition to the chandeliers, other inspiring features include the 40-foot domed ceiling. “The dome mirrors the round dance floor that is inlaid wood,” Allan says, adding that on the Juliet balcony, couples may greet guests in the Ballroom below, and brides (or grooms!) may toss bouquets.

Photos provided courtesy of Crystal Plaza

Crystal Plaza... shimmering wedding packages

Outside, Crystal Plaza is equally enchanting. “Romance continues from the reception area,” Allan says, “looking out to the beautiful acreage.” The grounds include a patio, terrace, and outdoor garden for wedding and civil union ceremonies, with candle-lit walkways winding from the mansion to the ceremony site.

prefer something from the sea: Poached Halibut served with morel mushroom ragout, sweet potato and flavored with saffron nage.

Cocktails & Cuisine

Customized For You

The glamour and elegance is further enhanced by Crystal Plaza’s cuisine, prepared by the Executive Chef and staff of Culinary Institute of America graduates. To begin the feast, options include the “Fantasy Cocktail Hour,” which can include an ice-bar martini station. “The mixologist talks to guests about martinis,”Allan explains,“and may recommend different types.” He adds that during this time, guests may enjoy a variety of hors d’oeuvres prepared on-the-spot. “From Peking Duck to sushi. All types of foods prepared right in front of the guests.”

Your special Crystal Plaza event is created personally for you and your partner, including choice of top-of-the-line premium liquors and champagne; custom-created cake; and unique ice sculptures. “We do our own onsite ice sculptures,” Allan says. “The design is personalized for the couple.”

Other delightful appetizers include: Lobster medallions poached in vanilla or Cucumber-tied Red Oak Salad, with grape tomato, miniature crouton and balsamic vinaigrette. The dinner cuisine choices are also extensive, including such delicacies as the Herb Encrusted Rack of Lamb with cream spinach and truffle mashed potatoes as well as butternut squash. ...Or your guests may

Complete your wedding feast with the International Coffee Bar, featuring such beverages as Irish Coffee with Bailey’s Irish Crème and Italian Coffee with Sambuca.

Personalized... and one more source of gleaming diamond-like radiance, adding to the brilliance of your unforgettable day at Crystal Plaza.

Crystal Plaza 305 W. Northfield Avenue Livingston, NJ 07039 (973) 992-8100

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SIMPLE Tips as you begin creating your Wedding Vows

P lan on writing your own vows? Enjoy these quick ideas to help you get started!

If you’re musical, take time throughout your engagement to relax with some of your old favorites – those songs or pieces that have been meaningful to you even before meeting your fiancée. As the music replays, and awakens your heart… you may find that the lyrics or the instrumental sounds will help bring ideas to life as you set pen to paper and begin writing the important words & phrases that will become your vows.

Set a Romantic Mood -candlelight, flowers, a special dinner- and invite your Sweetie to play a simple Q&A with you: Ask each other questions and enjoy flirting, being silly, and bantering together. Be sure to keep a pen or computer handy to jot down ideas as they develop!

In Your Words What is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever done for you? What are some of the best ways I can show you that I love you and that I support our marriage?

...Three qualities about you that always make me giggle. When it’s 20 years from now, what are five things you hope we’ve accomplished together? What’s the highlight about our marriage being legally recognized? How does my heart speak to yours? Tell me a metaphor for how that feels.

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Indulge in a shopping spree at the art store – buy extravagant paper (perhaps in your wedding theme colors), pen/s and just start writing! Sometimes the new, special artistic tools will help boost your creativity. Consider adding scrapbook accents too, such as stickers or sequins, to decorate your pages: the mixed media can truly enhance the flow of fresh ideas. Online Search! There’s no shame in browsing the internet for great ideas! …Remember those English Lit classes? Google a favorite writer, poet, philosopher or comedian and cut & paste some favorite quotes. (Remember to credit the author, it may

come in handy later for your ceremony program your guests will surely be curious!)

Broaden your Circle - Even if your parents are not 100% supportive of your upcoming gay wedding... they may be quite touched by your invitation to share some of the words of their own vows, so that you can integrate them into your ceremony. -Other special relatives & close friends are also eager to be included in your wedding plansdon’t hesitate to ask for input & insights! A Lasting Keepsake - Plan to have your calligrapher create an artistic rendering of your vows or, add the keepsake as a preferred item on your gift registry. Keeping your vows close (framed and on display at home, or in your wedding album) is a beautiful reminder of the promises behind your commitment!

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has no limit out on the water. Choose one of our three unique vessels for your Wedding Ceremony or other wedding event. Offering a unique event space with unparalleled views of New York’s world-renowned skyline. Outstanding service. Wonderful dining. Dancing. Entertainment and more. No matter which vessel you prefer, your guests will leave with a lasting memory. alsO PErfECt fOr: Engagement Parties | Bridal showers | rehearsal Dinners | Day-after Brunches ask aBOut CErEmONiEs at thE statuE Of liBErtY! Your unforgettable day awaits. Contact us today. 888.822.5997 | Cruising year-round from Chelsea Piers, Manhattan and Weehawken, NJ.

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INSIDEOut Creatively Customizing the Backdrop for Your Event!

Photos: Kenny Puff, Party Line Tent Rentals by Kathy Calabro, Party Line Tent Rentals contributing writer

Your wedding celebration should be as unique as you are! And there are so many wonderful locations to choose from in the New York Tri-state Area (and beyond) - whether you are considering the beach, a private estate or your own backyard, a tent will make any open space your own special place. Don’t be intimidated, even if you never planned an event before, setting the perfect mood for your wedding is easy. An experienced tent rental company will have consultants or designers on staff to guide you through your choices. Do you want a glittering ballroom complete with fabric ceiling and chandeliers, carpeted flooring and a wood dance floor, or would you prefer an intimate family affair with your guest-seating as a bench around a farm table? The options are virtually limitless.

It’s also true that a tented event will allow you to plan all aspects of your day without worries about the weather or unforeseen temperature changes. No matter your locale, your event date is no longer limited to just a few months a year! With advances in contemporary design, a tent can now be efficiently heated or cooled in adverse weather, and today’s tents can be almost weather-tight: you have an option for heat or air-conditioning so whether a January wedding in a park or a July affair on the beach, you and your guests will be absolutely comfortable and enjoying the festivities! Indulge in your ideal vision! Plan your Big Day at your new home, your favorite park, or that special place where you met and shared your first kiss. As a starting point, you’ll want to arrange a consultation with an experienced planner at your preferred tent company – simply share your ideas and watch your dreams start to grow and become reality.

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INSIDEOut Do they own their own equipment or are they just a middleman? Do they have their own trained employees and pay them a living wage or hire day workers?

As with any wedding vendor, it’s best to hire with confidence. Referrals are always a plus, and don’t be afraid to ask in-depth questions at your first meeting: Are they fully insured? Are they willing to give you references from previous events?

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Are they available all year or only during the party season, and do they black out overly busy dates or over sell and risk nonavailability when your event date arrives? Will they be on-call the day of your event, nights, Sundays and holidays?

Make sure you have a single contact person at the company to handle your event, and an active phone number for use the day-of,

as late into the night as your reception may require. Most important, make sure they are honest about their capabilities in what they can and cannot do. You do not want to be disappointed about those important details! Now... Go have a great wedding under a tent! Be happy and enjoy life. You are supposed to be having fun. Let the party start! Founded in 1990, Party Line Tent Rentals is a full service party and event rental company, located on Vreeland Ave in Elmsford NY and serving the entire Tri-State area. Party Line Tent Rentals 914-592-1200

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RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine: The New York Issue  
RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine: The New York Issue  

This special issue of RainbowWeddingNetwork Magazine celebrates the dawning of a new era with the arrival of Marriage Equality in New York s...