Gretchen & Kathryn Hamm Share Their Thoughts On Gay Weddings on XM Radio Show: The Agenda with Joe Solmonese

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On Monday, October 23, we had the pleasure of joining Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign, and his co-host, Mary Breslaur, on HRC’s satellite radio show, The Agenda, on XM Radio.
We sat in on the opening segment, Cup of Joe, and enjoyed 15 minutes of banter about how my straight mom, Gretchen, founded the original online boutiques for same sex weddings, TwoBrides.com & TwoGrooms.com, and how the business has grown into its bigger parking spot on the web at GayWeddings.com. And I, Kathryn, talked a bit about gay weddings and how radical they can be through the end result of transformation through a traditional ritual.
If you have XM Radio and haven’t checked out The Agenda on Monday nights (6-8 pm ET), we encourage you to do so. It’s a great, weekly show which covers all sorts of fun & informative topics with the help of its engaging hosts.
If you didn’t get a chance to catch us during the show, then feel free to tune in now and listen via the web. You can hear the first half of our interview here and the second half here.
You can also catch the entire show, including guests comedian Karen Williams, author John Harris, and dog trainer, Zach Grey, by visiting the blog for The Agenda.
Photo credit: Steve Reed
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How Can We Find A Ceremony Site?

Tiffany, a Gay Wedding Fodder reader, posted this question on one of our recent blogs:
How can I find out where me and my soon to be wife can have a ceremony and reception for gays?
The first place I recommend you start is in our vendor directory on one of our sites — GayWeddings.com, TwoBrides.com or TwoGrooms.com. Simply click on the directory link and then head toward your state to find some gay-friendly vendors. (Our directory is a work in progress and we are always adding new vendors so check back or drop us a line if you can’t find what you’re looking for.)
You can also check your local listings for park spaces, bed & breakfasts (or boutique hotels), general event spaces and call to inquire about their willingness to host a gay or lesbian wedding.
Or, you might begin by looking for an officiate, or justice of the peace, to conduct your ceremony (again, check out our directory for folks in your area). That person may also have some great recommendations for you.
If you’re looking for something other than a civil ceremony, I recommend you check out your local synagogue (Reform tradition), if you are of th Jewish Faith, or well-known gay-friendly churches — Unitarian Universalist, MCC Church, Unity Church, some Episcopalian churches, etc. Many of these organizations, understandably, encourage you to become members of the congregation so visiting a few services might help you know a bit more about the faith and your interest in pursuing that route.
And, finally, if you are still stumped, consider signing up for our introductory or a short-term consultation package and we’ll do the work for you!
Good luck, Tiffany! And, congratulations on your engagement!
Kathryn

A Little Solitaire Confinement For Lesbian Brides

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We recently received this question from a client:
Hi, I just came across your site on the internet, and I think it’s a great resource! My partner and I have just decided to tie the knot, and we’re unsure of how to proceed on the ring front.
I like the idea of giving her an engagement ring, especially because we don’t plan on having a ceremony
for over a year. We have been shopping for a solitaire, but now we have some reservations. The primary reservation is that a solitaire engagement ring is fairly “straight.” Neither of us is particularly hesitant to
appropriate straight traditions, but my partner worries that having a fairly traditional engagement ring would only help to foster other people’s assumptions that she’s engaged to a man.

The alternative we’re considering would be for us both to wear engagement bands inlaid with diamonds, and exchange plain bands during the ceremony. The fact of the matter is that we like the look of the solitaire better, but don’t want to deal with any added assumptions that come with it.
What are other lesbians doing? If we do go with the solitaire, any suggestions for avoiding third-party assumptions? Any help would be very much appreciated!

My reply:
Congratulations on your engagement! We would be honored to help you and your partner any way we can…
I have seen a wide range of choices made by our lesbian clients. I know many who choose bands as an engagement and/or as a wedding ring. Many of my friends have chosen variations of bands with different proportions of diamonds to platinum.
I, for example, have a platinum band set (stacking rings), one of which has a row of channel-set diamonds. I wear it on my left hand so it’s traditional, yet different and still has lots of bling!
I have other friends who have gotten full diamond bands (antique or prong set) and others who have done two-tone bands.
And, of course, I know of many who have opted for the traditional solitaire setting with a diamond or another stone to mix it up a bit, and then have matched it with a band during the ceremony.
I guess my basic advice is this:
It’s your commitment to each other and you are going to be the ones who will be looking at your fingers for the rest of your life. Get the ring you most want to have and which best represents your feeling about your relationship.
No matter what type of ring you purchase, someone will make an incorrect assumption. And, that’s OK. You’ll just have to take a second to lovingly correct that person with the correct pronoun.
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Contact us or review our partial online selection if you would like more information on ordering rings for your wedding or commitment ceremony.

Where Do We Begin?

You and your partner have come out (in most cases!), met each other, fallen in love, gotten engaged, and picked a date. Though you’ve covered great distances, you are now coming to find that you’ve actually only just begun and “square one” is staring you in the face. You are asking yourselves:
We’ve come this far and know we want to build the gay wedding of our dreams, but what is next? Where do we begin?
This is actually one of the top 5 questions we receive from our brides and grooms. And, generally, one of my first answers is: check out a gay wedding specific wedding guide.
An introductory book like this can really help you understand the many “moving parts” involved in creating a wedding day.
I find that most couples are so excited about beginning the process that they jump ahead of themselves and are already shopping for invitations with a date in mind before confirming an officiant or securing a location for the ceremony or reception. Generally, it all works out in the end, but I can’t advise couples enough to start with some of these basic questions:
* How much money do we want to spend? Do we have access to that money?
* What kind of wedding & reception do we want to have? Small, medium or large? Day or night? Formal or informal?
* What time of year do we want to do this?
* Are we both in agreement on what the day will represent and how we’ll both be involved in the planning and development of the event?
By setting a realistic budget (money goes fast in preparing a party like this!), spending time communicating with each other about what you have in mind, and thinking about the parameters of your event, you can then begin taking steps toward finding a location and setting a date.
Perhaps, at this point, you may also have realized that you’d like some extra planning support. Wedding planners can be expensive, but, if you want to be able to turn some of the legwork over to someone else, this can be money well-spent. Wedding planners have connections and ideas through their work in this industry and can help you overcome or avoid hard lessons learnes the first time you plan a wedding (yours!), which is no small feat and requires a skill set all its own.
Or, perhaps, you realize that doing a bit more research on your own and booking a facility for your reception which includes a planner or coordinator is actually a better course of action for you.
Either way, having a good sense of what you want your day to represent and spending some time with the “boring” details early on can make all the difference in how the planning plays out!
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Still have questions and interested in a bit more assistance? Consider an hour-long introductory consultation session with us over the phone to help you get pointed in the right direction!
Or, contact us.