Gay-Friendly Resource: Red Bank Wedding Walk

From the Red Bank Wedding Walk Team:

With fabulous riverfront venues, world-class shopping, gourmet restaurants and a fun and funky vibe, Red Bank, New Jersey is THE place for your LGBT wedding celebration!

The Red Bank Wedding Walk is the perfect occasion for you, your partner, family and friends to explore our downtown and see what over 40 wedding-related businesses have to offer!

This FREE one-day event begins on March 24, 2012 at 9:00 AM with registration and Continental Breakfast at the historic Molly Pitcher Inn, followed by a exciting day of shopping for all your wedding needs.  Champagne and Prize raffles @ 3:00 at the Oyster Point Hotel wrap up the party!

Your dream wedding awaits!!   Click here to register!

A Letter of Support from a North Carolina-based Officiant

An open letter to same-sex couples by Rev. Jacqui Weiks:

To all loving couples:

In my mind, love is the only thing that is real. But, how long will it take before everyone will be able to express their love in the same fashion and celebrate that love equally?

By entering into a union of marriage you are not only committing yourselves to each other but you are simultaneously committing to work to see this right extended to all those who enter. Only then will the institute of marriage truly be defined by love.

Remembering that currently not all are afforded a right to legal marriage, we must continue to be a voice for and stand up with those who have been discriminated against simply for loving their chosen partners. We cannot deny a person, human being, taxpayer, or worker equal rights.

If you are planning your wedding, be sure to find out what you need to know, where to go, and how to create a wedding day to remember. There are so many professionals that are honored to work with you on special touches that you have always envisioned. There are numerous professional wedding planners, ministers and resources and they are there for you to help guide you every step of the way.

~Blessings of Peace, Love & Joy~
Rev. Jacqueline Weiks, MSS
North Carolina

 

Editor’s note: Gay and lesbian couples can choose weddings pros from more than35,000 lgbt-friendly vendors via GayWeddings.com .

Real Gay & Lesbian Weddings, Real Couples

Photo by Ralph AlswangOutside of attending a same-sex wedding in person, there’s no better way to learn more about what couples are thinking, feeling and choosing in their ceremonies and receptions than to view the images from and articles about recent gay and lesbian weddings.

Last year, in addition to our free Wed Pages and Wedding Stories submissions on GayWeddings.com, we launched a new Real Weddings section, thanks to the many professional photographers and couples who have been willing to share their experiences with us.

We hope you’ll visit the section often, submit your weddings, and return here for the occasional Real Gay Wedding feature!

Photo credit: Ralph Alswang Photography

Event Designer Spencer McCormack on Getting Started

We asked Spencer McCormack, of Main Event Caterers, to share a few tips with us about what a couple should keep in mind when getting started with planning a wedding. Here’s what he said:
So, you’re engaged? Congratulations! Now what do you do? An increasing number of gay and lesbian couples are finding themselves in this very predicament. The processes, the research and the expenses can be overwhelming at first, but if you take a deep breath and break down the process into digestible segments, you will be fine. People have been successfully planning their weddings for hundreds of years, now it’s your turn.

One of the most important first steps is to identify a realistic budget. Wedding costs vary wildly and the celebration can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish. First, identify the amount you are willing to spend on the total event, and then work backwards. Carefully take into consideration all of the necessary costs associated with organizing a wedding. Invitations, the venue rental, a catering company, a wedding cake and a DJ are expenses you are likely prepared for. However, there are other substantial costs to consider as well; chair and table rental, the renting of glassware, flatware, china and linens, floral arrangements, venue lighting, décor and valet parking, to name a few.

After identifying a big picture budget, research and identify reasonable costs for the individual components of the event. Perhaps flowers are really important to you. Speak to several florists and share your thoughts so that you get a ballpark idea of where your vision and budget intersect. If you and your partner fancy yourselves “foodies”, the caterer you select will be very important. Research caterers and find out what their past clients are saying about them. In addition to the food, many caterers will provide the food, service staff, tables, chairs, linens, all necessary service ware, and more.

Research and visit many venues. Renting a space can be a substantial percentage of your budget. Oftentimes, overzealous couples will rush out to secure the “perfect” venue, not considering what the remaining percentage of the budget must still accomplish.
Overspending on a venue without realistically considering the remaining expenses can force a couple to compromise on the quality of the food and even have a forced cut in number of invitees. Remember to consider the cost of a venue in terms of your overall budget.

Excellent advice! Looking for a list of vendors in your area? Check out the GayWeddings.com Vendor Directory.