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DESTINATION: DETROIT “Our thunder,” adds Angott, “is that we are the closest venue west of Massachusetts that can hold your legal wedding ceremony and reception. We think this is a very powerful statement.”

On the Wedding Day: Guests arrive and park conveniently in Photo provided courtesy of downtown Detroit, Infinity & Ovation Yacht Charters boarding the yacht about 5:30 for an “But one important thing: every same-gender evening ceremony. Walking up the gangway, couple I know who has gone to the City Hall in the wedding party is greeted by the crew and Windsor has been absolutely amazed at the level offered champagne (or non-alcoholic beverages) of respect… the welcoming atmosphere and and hors d’oeuvres. A strolling violinist or the courtesy they’ve been extended.” Couples ensemble plays, setting the enchantment of the report that they’re not sure they would have evening to music. experienced similar acceptance back in the USA. Adds McParland, “I often call the staff at City Hall At departure, about 6:00pm, the yacht cruises to commend them about that.” Lake St. Clair with views of beautiful Grosse Pointe and the city skylines. By 6:30pm, Realistically, a couple can travel from out-ofthe guests are led to the Sundeck for the state for a long weekend, in creating their own ceremony and exchange of vows. Small flags, destination wedding. With prior consultations vibrantly waving with the wedding colors and with Infinity & Ovation’s planning team, and with embroidered with the couple’s names and the prior attainment of their own passports for the date, adorn the bow. The couple’s officiant (if brief travel necessary to visit Canada to file for a they so choose, Joe McParland) leads a nonmarriage certificate, the couple can easily arrive denominational or faith-based service, perhaps into Detroit on a Friday and that morning meet including a special ritual, nautical in nature. in person with officiant, Joe McParland. The Oftentimes, couples enjoy fastening their hands brides or grooms can then drive that afternoon together with a nautical knot to symbolize to City Hall and file the necessary paperwork for their union. Or, as Joe explains, “One ritual I use their marriage certificate: the trip into Ontario quite frequently is the Sand Ceremony, which is, stresses Infinity & Ovation’s Ryan Angott, a many couples just love. They each pick out a simple half-mile commute. The ceremony would vase that is filled with sand of a particular color, follow on Saturday or Sunday. which represents them individually. A third vase is chosen, which remains empty until the ceremony. Then, as I speak, they empty their “To be part of this important wedding individual vases into the one: It’s beautiful how celebration experience in couples’ the colors blend uniquely, and the one can not lives, is just a blessing. I’ve married be poured back into the separate vessels… It’s a hundreds of couples these past years very moving and symbolic moment.”

and so many of them keep in contact. I’m very fortunate.” – Joe McParland, registered celebrant

Civil Marriage Celebrations Personally customized celebrations Faith based and civil celebrations Respecting the right of all persons to marry Email: joe@civilmarriages.ca Website: www.civilmarriages.ca Phone: (519) 919-1559

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He continues, “This ceremony works really well too with kids, because then they can get involved in creating this new family unit together… And I have fun telling them, ‘Don’t worry, this is the one time you can make a mess in public!’ Most couples cherish this new vase of blended sand well after the wedding day – they set it upon their mantel or in another special place in their home.”

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After the couple is pronounced married, or spouses for life, the first mate radios the captain and he signals the horn. Immediately, the yacht is alive with exuberance and joy. “I would then mark the Record of Solemnization with the latitude and longitude,” McParland says. “The marriage certificate only requires ‘Windsor, Ontario,’ but noting the latitude and longitude is a wonderful memory to have…” And thus the event takes place in Canadian waters, so it is legally binding under Canadian law. Unfortunately, in most states back in America, the newlyweds’ union will not be recognized. If they are residents of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York or other locales with domestic partnership benefits, some options may be open to them and couples are encouraged to speak with their lawyer locally or city or county courthouse officials to best understand their current legal rights and responsibilities. The bubbling reception follows, perhaps first with a photography session and then cocktails, dinner and the cake-cutting ceremony and later, dancing. Popular bands include the Island Guys, The Kimmi Horne Show or a stylish local jazz ensemble. Rybicki says, “With many weddings, we’ve had a full band on the third deck, a DJ on the second deck and casino equipment on the main deck. And what’s nice about our yachts is that there are different places to explore. A lot of older folks might go to the Main Salon – where you can actually carry on a conversation and enjoy the views. It’s a lot different than at a banquet hall, where you may be locked at a table with the same ten people all evening, or the band is playing too loud... On our yachts there is something for everybody and lots of places to escape and explore.” Meanwhile, the yacht continues her five-hour excursion: Along the ¾ mile wide Detroit River into Lake St. Clair with views of Grosse Pointe, one of the most affluent areas in the country. The shore is dotted with sprawling estates of the auto barons and old Detroit money magnates. “There are beautiful sites for the guests,” offers Rybicki. “And this is about an hour of the cruise. We also view the skylines of Detroit and Windsor, and the Ambassador Bridge which joins the two countries.” Two islands come into view – Belle Isle and the uninhabited, pristine Peche Island – in the summer months speckled with anchored boats and kayakers. ●● cont’d, p.44

Volume 4, Issue 1  

This season's tips for your LGBT Wedding!

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