Great Gay Wedding Guide Available Via Bay Windows!

We were pleased to be a featured resource in two articles in the recently published “It Takes Two” gay wedding guide in the Boston Bay Windows paper.
Here’s a quick excerpt article from the guide called, “Planning Your Wedding” by Laura Kirtsy (Boston Bay Windows, February 9, 2006):
Planning to propose this Valentine’s Day? Popping the question is nerve wracking enough. But assuming your mate says “I will,” getting to “I do” will be the true test of your marriage mettle. Because unless you’re willing to throw a lot of cash at a professional to do the dirty work for you, not only have you and your betrothed become aspiring brides or grooms, you’ve also become wedding planners.
So what happens now? You’re about to fall into what Kathryn Hamm, president of GayWeddings.com, a one-stop website for marriage-minded couples, fondly calls “the wedding vortex.”
“It’s that plane of existence where all you talk about and think about is your wedding,” Hamm explains. “I’m sorry for all the people that have dinner plans with you during that time. But to put together an event that involves emotional components, logistical components, budget components, is a big undertaking.” And those factors apply whether you’re shooting for an intimate gathering in your own backyard or aiming for a gala event with 200 guests. When planning your wedding, the first thing you and your partner need to do is communicate. Hopefully, if you’ve made it to the point of wanting to make a public lifelong commitment, the two of you have mastered this skill already. If not, this is the point where you might also want to consider a pre-nup (see “Everything you wanted to know about prenups but were afraid to ask”, page 17) “I really encourage a couple to actually set some time aside to talk about their vision for the day,” says Hamm, who offers consulting services through TwoBrides.com and TwoGrooms.com, which are also owned by GayWeddings.com. “What kind of celebration is it that you want to have?”
That conversation was an important starting point for Patrick Bennison and Emmanuel Souza, Jr., who held their elegant wedding and reception at the Exchange Building in the South Boston Seaport District last June. Says Bennison, “We started the process at the very beginning [by asking], ‘What do we want the day to accomplish?’ And we decided that the ceremony was about the two of us, and we kept that focus. We decided that the reception was about celebrating our lives with our family and friends and we really put the focus more on our family and friends with the reception, wanting them to have a good time. We found if we kept our focus on that then we were planning just a great celebration.”
Unfortunately, the degree to which couples must confront family homophobia can also color early discussions about the size and scope of a wedding. Wedding dreams may look markedly different for partners if one is the daughter of PFLAG parents and the other hails from a family of devout Southern Baptists. While the former may want an allout extravaganza that will see her four sisters don bridesmaids dresses, a tuxedoed nephew bearing the rings and her mother weeping in the front pew of a church, the latter may be content with a private ceremony at Herring Cove beach with just the gals from the softball team.
“If one family can’t wait to walk everyone down the aisle what do you do if the other family doesn’t want to show up?” says Hamm. “The couple, I think, needs to spend a lot of time talking about that and you have to end up digging deep. You can just elope if you want, but to really do the working through I think it takes some really deep digging to figure out what are you okay with and how do you find that balance? If one family is going 150 miles an hour, does that draw extra attention to what is missing?”
Being somewhat new to the wedding world, same-sex couples can clearly face some unique challenges when planning their Big Day. But Dennison points out that, having lived so long outside the institution of marriage and its attendant rituals, same-sex couples are free — or forced, in the case of Dennison and Souza, whose Catholic faith did not allow them the church wedding they’d have preferred — to create their own ceremonies. “The bride doesn’t have to wear white,” says Dennison. “We don’t have to follow these rules so when you kind of let yourself be free to create something that’s your own it’s more work, but there’s less stress.
“It’s different and it’s good and hopefully that’ll be our gift back to the straight community — don’t worry about the rules it’s about you guys, it’s about your family, it’s fun,” Dennison adds. “Don’t panic if you don’t have something blue.” The one thing that same-sex couples, like their straight peers, can’t escape is the endless amount of planning that a wedding involves. Hamm suggests that couples make sketching out a guest list a top priority, as it provides a framework for the all-important question of how much money you’ll be spending on things like a venue, dinner and invitations. Next you’ll want to secure a venue, which will enable you to set a date.
Dennison agrees. Booking their wedding venue was the first thing he and Souza did, he says, “because you can’t make any decisions — you can’t do invitations until you have the venue, you can’t plan things without the venue.” The second step they took was to hire a band “they book up to a year, a year and a half in advance.”
Hamm suggests that if possible, begin planning your wedding a year in advance to allow for thoughtful decision making processes. Because you’re going to be making a lot of decisions. DJ or band? Flowers? Vows? Seating arrangements? Menu? Red wine or white? Are the invitations grammatically correct? And what the hell are you going to wear, anyway?

Article by Laura Kiritsy. Boston Bay Windows (Feb. 9, 2006). Published in the “It Takes Two” Wedding Guide.

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