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Same-Sex Marriage Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

Here’s How to Change Your Name as a Same-Sex Couple

 Gay Marriage, Gay Weddings, Married Life, Relationships, Same-Sex Marriage  Comments Off on Here’s How to Change Your Name as a Same-Sex Couple
Aug 092016
same-sex marriage name change

Photo: Getty Images

Planning a wedding is all about making decisions: Should we through a causal backyard bash or black-tie ballroom affair? Plated dinner or a free-for-all buffet? Fondant cake or macaroon tower? Mini-moon now or honeymoon later? But one of the biggest decisions you may make is whether to change your last name — and when that question is posed to same-sex couples, our expert says, the options can seem endless.

"Same sex couples are the creative pioneers of modern marriage, for all of us," says Mark O'Connell, New York City-based psychotherapist and author of Modern Brides & Modern Grooms: A Guide to Planning Straight, Gay, and Other Nontraditional Twenty-First-Century Weddings. "That lack of formal same-sex marriage traditions means that our options are wide open. And that goes for the surnames we choose to use, too."

After all, O'Connell points out, there's not exactly a name-change tradition that's been set for hundreds of years, as there has been for heterosexual couples, that guides same-sex couples one way or another. "The lack of precedential standards for marriages like ours means that there are no tradition police to tell us whose name to take," he says.

Of course, one obvious option is for both of you to keep both of you respective surnames. "Most modern couples today, gay or straight, value equality and mutual recognition between partners," O'Connell explains. "And the many same-sex couples who choose to keep their own surnames post-wedding, are great symbols of this gender neutral equality within marriage. Many straight couples are following this example, too."

See More: How to Find the Right Officiant For Your Same-Sex Marriage

But as stated above, that's hardly your only choice. Together, you could decide to take one partner's surname as your own. "Some couples prefer to have one last name for the sake of coherence and for recognition by the rest of the world," O'Connell says. Be prepared for roadblocks if you take this route, O'Connell warns, as you will need to seek court approval to change your given name.

"Currently the only case in which a spouse can take her spouse's surname without a lot of complicated paperwork is when a woman takes her husband's last name," he says. "Every other case — including straight grooms taking the surname of their straight brides — involves court approval, and lots of legal paperwork depending on the state in which you live."

Lastly, you could consider creating a new last name that you both take as your own, and that, should you choose to have them, your children could one day share too. This works, too, if you're intent on keeping a professional name but want a new name for legal and personal matters, O'Connell says.

You might even consider creating a new last name that both you, your spouse, and your children share. Both spouses might consider keeping their professional names exactly as they are and creating a new name for all legal/ personal matters. This could also help to protect privacy for their family, if one or both of the spouses has very public careers.

How to Find the Perfect First Dance Song for a Same-Sex Wedding

 Gay Marriage, Gay Weddings, Planning Tips, Same-Sex Marriage, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on How to Find the Perfect First Dance Song for a Same-Sex Wedding
Jun 172016

Choosing the perfect wedding song for such a monumental moment as the first dance is a task and a half, and especially so when you're a same-sex couple.

Ahh the first dance song, the track that will play as you and your newly minted life partner sway back and forth as your friends and family snap photos and ooh and ahh about how perfect you look (and presumably are) together. It's an important moment, and it's something that takes a lot of thought. And unless you're one of those couples that's always had a signature song or one of you is an avid, avid music lover, it's also something that takes a good bit of research. How fast should the tempo be? Should you go with a classic? What about a new hit? What message should it send? What should it actually say?

It's the last point that's, often, the hardest. Say you like a song and it's on your running list of contenders, but once you sit down and actually listen to the lyrics word-by-word, you realize it's not saying what you need it to say. Hey, it happens, and especially so when you have to avoid anything written about the traditional boy-meets-girl romance. To help you out, we asked Aaron Thurston of Lucy Music in Brooklyn to share his top been-there-done-that tips on finding a first dance song that pleases you, your partner, and your crowd that's watching.

Ask your band (or DJ) to get creative.

So, what if your favorite ballad has endless uses of he and she? Your wedding band can rearrange it to fit your first dance — make it shorter, change the lyrics, and even add your names. Using a DJ? Easy: Have her hunt down a gender-appropriate cover.

Choose an all-embracing ballad.
That said, most great love songs are universal, and plenty of classics are gender free and awesome — no edits required. An easy rule to go by? "Try finding one that's about the feeling of love, not the people involved," says Thurston.

And, finally, lose the idea of the 'perfect' song.
If nothing's really speaking to you, remember that the music is just the background to the moment. "There are plenty of great songs that will work, and unlike choosing a partner, I think it's OK to settle," says Thurston.

Still not sure what jam to go with? Here are 10 songs we can get behind.

1. "At Last," by Etta James

2. "All of Me," by John Legend

3. "You Are The Best Thing," by Ray LaMontagne

4. "First Day of My Life," by Bright Eyes

5. "Make You Feel My Love," by Adele

6. "Fly Me To The Moon," by Frank Sinatra

7. "The Nearness of You," by Norah Jones

8. "Thinking Out Loud," by Ed Sheeran

9. "How Long Will I Love You," by Ellie Goulding

10. "Exception," by Paramore

See More: How to Choose Who Walks Down the Aisle at a Same-Sex Wedding

The Biggest Hurdles Real Same-Sex Couples Faced While Wedding Planning

 Brides Magazine June 2016 - July 2016, Gay Marriage, Gay Weddings, Same-Sex Marriage  Comments Off on The Biggest Hurdles Real Same-Sex Couples Faced While Wedding Planning
Jun 012016
same-sex couples

Photo: Sasha Israel Photography

Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's easy. As we approach the anniversary of the Supreme Court's historic marriage-equality decision, real couples tell us the biggest hurdles they faced in planning their wedding — and how they overcame them. Liz Feldman, writer/producer on CBS's 2 Broke Girls, along with four other real brides share what tripped them up in their wedding planning and how they solved it.

When I was asked to write some introductory lines for Brides's same-sex wedding-planning guide, I got a little choked up. Just a few years ago, it was illegal for me to get married. The government had given us civil unions and domestic partnerships, but it wasn't the same. We weren't equal.

I met musician Rachael Cantu in 2008, and within a year, I was 6,000 percent sure I wanted to spend my life with her. With Rachael I'd found true comfort and absolute joy. We wanted to give a solid foundation to our future children, but we were forbidden to marry by DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Clinton in 1996) and California's Proposition 8 (stating that marriage was between a man and a woman). All I wanted was to wear a cute white suit, stand up in front of my friends and family, and promise to love this woman forever. So in 2012, I flipped Prop 8 the finger and proposed to Rachael. She said, "Wait! Is this really happening!?" followed by a "Yes, of course!" A few months later, she proposed back with a song she wrote.

In May 2013, I walked down the aisle to that song at our backyard wedding. It was the best day of my life; it just wasn't legal.

liz feldman

Photo: Courtesy Liz Feldman

To cover our bases, we flew to New York, which had legalized same-sex marriage, and had another wedding in Brooklyn. But even that wasn't federally recognized. We'd gotten married twice and were still being denied the legal bounty that straight married couples enjoy, like Social Security benefits and hospital visitation rights. Then, in 2013, the Supreme Court overturned Prop 8 and DOMA. And last year, when the Court made marriage equality the law of the land, I and so many others experienced the moment we'd fought for, cried over, and dreamt of. So it's now my pleasure and honor to write this, as I am finally, happily, legally married in all 50 states.

father disapproved

Photo: Shaun Baker Photography

My Father Disapproved
Both Amy Kaufman and Victoria Estevez pride themselves on being ready for anything. Amy, 46, is a transportation planner handling logistics for New York City events, and Victoria, 32, is an executive producer at a marketing firm. So when it came to pulling off their Brooklyn wedding, they didn't sweat the planning. But they did worry about how Victoria's dad would react to the news that they were tying the knot. "I'd never come out to my father, but I think he knew," says Victoria. Announcing her engagement, she was matter-of-fact. "I said, 'Dad, I'm getting married to a woman in about a year,'" she says. Her dad's reply was equally succinct. "He said, 'I love you, but I'm not coming and I'm not getting involved,'" Victoria says. Neither father nor daughter ever spoke of it again. In a way, Amy says, she was relieved he wouldn't attend: "I didn't want him to ruin the day with negativity." Amy's parents helped with everything from picking out flowers and attending cake tastings to visiting venues. Meanwhile, Victoria's mother rallied the extended family. "I have an uncle and aunt — my mother's siblings — who are both gay," says Victoria. While Amy's parents walked her down the aisle, Victoria's aunt and uncle escorted her. "It was such a big deal for them," she says, that their pride overshadowed her father's absence. "It didn't seem like a 'less-than' situation," recalls Amy. "We enjoyed a gorgeous, stress-free day surrounded by people who support us."

song skewed

Photo: Sasha Israel Photography

"Our Song" Skewed Hetero
Ashley and Samantha Kiley-Roche had been together for five years when they decided to get married. "We shared a home and a dog, and the timing just felt right," says Sam, 31. Serious music lovers, they were looking forward to their first dance, but when it came to choosing a song, they hit a snag: "Our first choice was 'Home,' by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros," says Ashley, 30. But it features a man and woman singing to each other, which felt discordant. For six months they pored over their extensive music collection, and they finally came to a compromise. "Rather than the traditional slow dance, we decided to pick an upbeat option," she says. In the end, they chose "You Are the Best Thing," by Ray LaMontagne, which felt exactly right. "It's one of our favorites, and he just says 'you,'" says Ashley. There was another musical highlight: When the DJ played "Same Love," by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, a rap ode to same-sex relationships, guests formed a circle on the dance floor, holding hands and singing along. "Every few seconds, someone else would join," marvels Ashley. "Straight couples, gay couples, my mom's oldest friend from high school, all swaying back and forth. It was like the most amazing, most beautiful moment from the corniest movie ever."

See more: How to Find the Right Officiant For Your Same-Sex Marriage

resort wasn't welcoming

Photo: Shane Carpenter Photography

We Didn't Feel Welcome at Our Resort
Victoria Lanteigne, 33, and Livia Lam, 39, were scrupulous about booking an LGBTQ-friendly venue and vendors for their Baltimore wedding. But when planning their honeymoon, "we didn't give it much thought," admits Victoria. The couple chose Thailand for its culture and cuisine, plus its mix of beaches for Victoria and city for Livia. Relaxed and besotted, they arrived at their upscale resort to start their honeymoon. That they'd made the wrong choice was immediately apparent: "At check-in, when we told people we were on our honeymoon, we were met with a murmured congratulations," Victoria recalls. "We were subject to a few stares from staff and some of the other guests." And when a friend had a bottle of champagne sent to the couple's room, it was addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Lanteigne." Feeling subdued and self-conscious, they weren't comfortable being affectionate, so they left the resort, forfeiting their deposit, and checked into Phulay Bay in southwest Thailand. "We ended up having a great time and loving the country," says Victoria. "But we learned the hard way that you should think about the comfort level your destination has with LGBTQ couples."

court clerk

Photo: Ashlee Nikole Photography

The Court Clerk Refused to Do Her Job
Everything about the wedding of Shawnte and Tavia Craig-Jackson went smoothly, aside from the driving rain that forced them to move their backyard jazz-themed ceremony under a tent and the reception indoors. But when the couple relocated from District Heights, Maryland, where they wed, to a small town in Georgia, they ran into problems. "We didn't experience bigotry from a government perspective until we moved," says Shawnte, 35. The couple had decided to hyphenate their names. "I went to change my driver's license, and the clerk at the DMV refused," says Tavia, 43. Even though the couple had brought along their marriage license, "the clerk insisted that in the state of Georgia, we needed to present the application for the license," Tavia recalls. This set off a 10-minute debate between the clerk and her higher-up. "We were probably the first gay couple they'd dealt with since the Supreme Court decision," says Shawnte. Adds Tavia, "I'm from Los Angeles. We don't have this kind of problem; it's the capital of 'do what you want to do.'" In the end, the supervisor ordered the name change and the couple got what they wanted: "My driver's license reads Shawnte Craig-Jackson."

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A Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Georgetown, Inspired by a Hot Air Balloon Proposal

 Gay Marriage, Real Weddings, Same-Sex Marriage, Washington D.C.  Comments Off on A Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Georgetown, Inspired by a Hot Air Balloon Proposal
Feb 262016
Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Reception Space Interior

Photo: Jose Villa

Sometimes the very best things happen when you least expect it. Just ask David Barnhart and Kevin Ford, who first met when David hired Kevin as a personal trainer. "We became best friends, and the rest is history!" says David. In August of 2013, Kevin and David both knew they wanted to get married. They decided to propose to each other, so they took a secret trip to Napa Valley. "Kevin surprised me. He had the rings we'd bought [to eventually use as wedding bands] with him on our sunrise hot air balloon ride, and we spontaneously exchanged rings and proposed to one another," says David. Their planners, Jamie and Kate of Simply Chic Events, latched on to the hot air balloon theme, infusing the grooms' reception with vibrant hues and mixing in woven elements to mimic the balloon baskets.

An unexpected twist? The weather. The original plan had been an intimate Friday evening ceremony for 110 guests in their Georgetown backyard on June 13, 2014, followed by a formal dinner at Tudor Place, a gorgeous property across the street, and then a festive bash for 230 the next evening. "A few days before the wedding, we realized it was going to be pouring, so we changed the schedule," says Kevin. Instead, they had a formal pre-wedding dinner on Friday night, then asked the guests to come to their home on Saturday before the party to witness the backyard ceremony. Once vows were exchanged, they headed to The Powerhouse for the reception. "We were lucky that the ceremony was at our home, so we could change the schedule as needed," says David. And even with the hiccups, it was absolutely stunning. But don't take our word for it — see the breathtaking details below, photographed by Jose Villa.

Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Nuetral-Hued Custom Invitation Suite with Gold Details Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Wicker Welcome Bag for Guests Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Grooms' Notes for Each Other

Photo: Jose Villa

A combination of neutrals and textures added depth to the invitation suite, with contemporary calligraphy and gold elements blending perfectly into the modern design.

While they didn't have favors, Kevin and David put together welcome bags for out of town guests, with elements from both of their hometowns as well as their current home in D.C. They added baseballs for the kids, Georgetown Cupcakes, and milk jars as a nod to the dairy farm where David grew up.

Kevin and David wrote notes to one another to share before their ceremony, and had their calligrapher, Angelique Ink, write out the letters onto gorgeous gray paper.

Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Outdoor Cocktail Hour Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Grooms Portrait Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Wooden Place Cards

Photo: Jose Villa

On Friday, guests gathered for cocktails at Tudor Place before heading to the sailcloth dinner tent.

The grooms opted for gray and blue suits for the Friday evening dinner, reserving their tuxedos for the Saturday night bash.

As guests made their way toward the tent, servers carried trays displaying the escort cards, written on stained birch wood in white calligraphy. "The wooden cards were fresh and unexpected, while the tray presentation felt formal," says Kevin.

Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Tables with Bright Centerpieces of Peonies, Tulips, and Freesia Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Upholstered bar Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Place Settings with Wicker Placemat

Photo: Jose Villa

Inside the tent, a mix of round, rectangular, and long tables were topped with barely blue Irish linens. Punchy centerpieces of peonies, tulips, spray roses, freesia, and kumquats were arranged down the center of the table, accented with polished candlesticks and white pillar candles. In the corner of the wood-floored tent, an upholstered bar was flanked by arrangements of greenery and kumquats. At each guest's place, a wicker placemat was topped with a gold charger and set with gold flatware.

Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Woven Baskets Hanging from Ceiling Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Balloon Basket-Inspired Wicker Details

Photo: Jose Villa

Woven baskets hung from the ceiling, bringing in an extra element from the grooms' balloon engagement in wine country.

Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Colorful Centerpieces and Wooden Table Numbers Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Bright Centerpiece Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Place Settings

Photo: Jose Villa

The abundant flowers and candlelight were a beautiful combination of organic, loose elements and refined details.

Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Bright Centerpieces Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Wooden Table Numbers Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Cocktails with Kumquat Garnish

Photo: Jose Villa

Tented wooden table numbers matched the escort cards. The grooms didn't offer signature cocktails, but they did have kumquats on-hand as a garnish to match the design scheme. "We wanted our guests to enjoy their favorite drinks, not ours," laughs David.

Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Grooms Outside

Photo: Jose Villa

"We wanted our guests to feel like they were at an intimate dinner party," says Kevin. The menu included sea bass en papillote, eggplant rollatini, and a trio of miniature desserts. They also passed boozy adult popsicles in flavors like Mojito and Bourbon Peaches 'n Cream.

"We saved our first dance until Saturday night, when we had all of our guests with us," says Kevin. A friend MC'd the evening, helping them turn their celebration into an over-the-top rehearsal dinner. "She adapted her script to talk about how we were about to get married, instead of how we were just married," Kevin continues. Adds David, "It took us a while to settle in to having all of the attention. We were nervous about the changes, but it ended up being even better this way: It gave us a night to settle down and start enjoying the weekend."

Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Grooms Getting Ready Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Groom Portraits

Photo: Jose Villa

The next day, the grooms got ready for their ceremony together, an idea they borrowed from their photographer. "Jose told us how much he loved getting ready with his husband before their wedding, and we're so glad we listened to him," says Kevin. "We laughed, we cried, we even panicked — but it was together as a couple." David and Kevin loved having their ceremony in their backyard, as they were able to share a moment watching their guests arrive from an upstairs window.

Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Backyard Ceremony Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Exchanging Vows Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, First Kiss Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Grooms in Tuxedos

Photo: Jose Villa

A platform over the pool created plenty of space for stained wooden benches with linen cushions.

At the ceremony, David and Kevin exchanged traditional vows, administered by the grooms' two sisters. "We wrote our own vows to exchange during the party later that night, which were serious but also a little funny," says David. "We wrote them as the rain came in a few days before our wedding. It really centered us and calmed us down."

Kevin's black-on-black tux and David's dark blue tux with black lapels embodied their "festive formal" dress code.

Vibrant Backyard Wedding in Washington, DC, Hands

Photo: Jose Villa

At The Powerhouse, guests who weren't at the ceremony snacked on passed hors d'oeuvres and sipped margaritas as they waited for the newlyweds arrived. "We wished we could have fit everyone in our backyard, but this was a great second option," says Kevin. The videographer played a personal introduction video, then Kevin and David got on stage to exchange their personal vows before going straight into their first dance and a dance to "True Colors" by Cindy Lauper with their mothers.

"We felt that we had a lot of freedom planning our wedding, because we didn't have as much of a 'script' as a gay couple," says Kevin. "Whether you're gay or straight, just be yourself! Embrace that freedom and plan the wedding you really want, instead of being trapped in a box."

Ceremony Venue: Private Residence || Friday Reception Venue: Tudor Place || Saturday Reception Venue: The Powerhouse (now closed) || Wedding Planner: Simply Chic Events || Kevin's Tuxedo: Canali, from Barneys New York || David's Tuxedo: Isaia, from Barneys New York || David & Kevin's Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo || Wedding Bands: De Beers || Floral Design: Amaryllis, Inc. || Invitations & Paper Goods: Haute Papier || Calligraphy: Angelique, Ink || Custom Signage: Paper Tangent || Music: Elan Artists, Party On The Moon || Catering: Susan Gage Caterers || Cake: Cakes by Colin || Rentals: Party Rental Ltd., La Tavola Fine Linen || Videographer: Monachetti Weddings || Photographer: Jose Villa

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Can't get enough of this stunning wedding? Then see every aspect of David and Kevin's wedding day come to life in their video below.

Nathan Lane and Longtime Love Devlin Elliot Have Tied the Knot

 Celebrity, Celebrity Weddings, Gay Marriage, Gay Weddings, News, Same-Sex Marriage  Comments Off on Nathan Lane and Longtime Love Devlin Elliot Have Tied the Knot
Nov 212015
Nathan Lane is Married

Photo: Getty Images

After 19 years of romance Nathan Lane and longtime love Devlin Elliot tied the knot this week. According to People, the 59-year-old Tony winner and the producer and playwright wed in "a small ceremony in New York City" at City Hall on Tuesday.

"Nathan and Devlin were married in a small ceremony in New York City this week. Everyone is extremely happy," a representative told People.

The pair together shares a 9-year-old French bulldog named Mabel, and have written a children's book about their beloved pet called Naughty Mabel, according to E! News. "She's become our version of a child," Elliott told USA Today of the small dog. "Really all she wants is for you to pick her up and hold her like a baby."

See More: Famous Same-Sex Couples Who Have Tied the Knot

Lane added, "She's a little neurotic and needy at times. It's like living with a supermodel. And now that she's become a celebrity, you know, it's very difficult."

Lane famously declared his sexual orientation in 1999 after the killing of 21-year-old Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard. "If I do this story and say I'm a gay person, it might make it easier for somebody else," Lane told The Advocate at the time.

According to E! News, shortly before The Producers star started dating Elliot nearly two decades ago, he replied to an Us Weekly reporter's question about his sexual orientation with, "I'm 40, single and work a lot in the musical theater. You do the math."

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Congratulations to the First Same-Sex Couple to Be Married in Ireland!

 Celebrity, Gay Marriage, Gay Weddings, News, Same-Sex Marriage  Comments Off on Congratulations to the First Same-Sex Couple to Be Married in Ireland!
Nov 182015
First Gay Couple Married in Ireland

Photo: Getty Images

It was the "I Do" heard round the world! Following the result of Ireland's new marriage equality legislation going into effect Monday, Cormac Gollogly, and husband, Richard Dowling, became Ireland's first same-sex couple to officially tie-the-knot! The elated grooms, who have been together for 12 years, officially married at 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, marking a historic moment in the country's history after Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage via popular vote in May.

"It's really made our relationship better and stronger, and it means so much," Gollogly told The Huffington Post about the monumental news. "We're so thankful to the people of Ireland for voting in favor of marriage equality."

First Gay Couple Married In Ireland

Photo: Getty Images

The iconic couple, Gollogly, a barrister from Dublin, and his official hubby, Dowling, an Allied Irish banker, met at one of Dublin's most popular gay bars, The George, over a decade ago. Before saying their "I dos" in a South Tipperary ceremony, the couple entered into civil partnership in September after the law was passed due to the future uncertainties of a marriage equality referendum in Ireland.

See more: 5 Sweet Ceremony Readings for Same-Sex Weddings

The loving couple shared a video of the momentous day, having been officiated by Ireland's Senior Registrar Mary Clare Heffernan, and spoke about the doting details surrounding their first encounter, The Irish Times reports. The rest is history!

After following the Netherlands lead in 2000, which was the first country to legalize gay marriage, more than 20 countries worldwide (including the U.S.!) have passed laws allowing same-sex couples to marry, according to CNN. Since then, thousands of couples have made it official, including some very familiar faces! Funnyman, and How I Met Your Mother star, Neil Patrick Harris, married his love of 10 years, fellow actor, David Burtka, in a breathtaking Italian destination wedding back in 2014. Modern Family front man, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and husband, lawyer, Justin Mikita, tied the knot in a New York City ceremony back in 2013, after being engaged for nearly three years.

Since Ireland has officially opened its doors to gay marriage, we're expecting some of Ireland's most stunning ceremony sites, like the historic Ashford Castle, and the endless gardens of Clomantagh Castle to be filled to the brim with love and equality from here on out!

So happy for these two, and the many more to come!

The Most Beautiful Moments In a Same-Sex Wedding

 Gay Marriage, Gay Weddings, Planning Tips, Same-Sex Marriage  Comments Off on The Most Beautiful Moments In a Same-Sex Wedding
Nov 112015
Gay Wedding Vendors

Photo: Getty Images

"Same-sex weddings," says Mark O'Connell, New York City-based psychotherapist and author of Modern Brides & Modern Grooms: A Guide to Planning Straight, Gay, and Other Nontraditional Twenty-First-Century Weddings, "are unequivocally beautiful because they reveal what weddings and marriage are all about at the core."

So if you're preparing to soak in the beauty of a same-sex wedding, here are a few moments in particular that might just take your breath away.

The moment the parents give away their children.
"It's always a beautiful moment to watch as parents give away their children as brides and grooms," says Erica Taylor, co-owner of New York City-based Tinsel & Twine. But in a same-sex wedding, the act of a parent giving away his or her child represents something more, she says. The act "underscores the parents' support of the same-sex union," Taylor says.

The moment the couple exchanges their vows.
"There's something really special about a couple of brides or grooms finally getting to say the same vows their parents and grandparents have done at their own weddings," says Taylor. Plus, adds O'Connell, "hearing their officiant tell a bit of their story, and, of course watching them kiss the way we see and have seen endless straight couples kiss, is so beautiful."

See more: 18 Beautiful Wedding Photos Celebrating Same-Sex Marriage

The moment the couple walks back down the aisle.
"The chance to witness a same-sex couple coming back down the aisle after they say 'I do' is quite an honor," says Taylor. While the walk goes by in just a moment, it's filled with such energy and excitement.

The moment the couple gets creative.
Because so many wedding traditions revolve around having one bride and one groom, they don't always translate to a same-sex wedding. "So many of the rituals have to be adapted or re-created from the ground up," O'Connell says, "whether that means changing how the couple enters their ceremony, what music or text they will use, or who dances with whose parent at the reception."

WATCH: Amy Poehler and Carrie Brownstein Conduct On-the-Spot Marriage Ceremony — at a Book Reading!

 Celebrity, Gay Marriage, Gay Weddings, News, Same-Sex Marriage  Comments Off on WATCH: Amy Poehler and Carrie Brownstein Conduct On-the-Spot Marriage Ceremony — at a Book Reading!
Nov 042015
Carrie Brownstein, Amy Poehler Conduct Spontaneous Marriage Ceremony

Photo: Getty Images

Carrie Brownstein and Amy Poehler are up for anything! When two fans requested an on-the-spot wedding ceremony at a book reading in Pasadena, California on Tuesday, November 3, these two funny ladies stepped up to the plate, Us Weekly reports.

In honor of the release of her new book, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir, Brownstein — who stars in the hit show Portlandia — hosted a discussion at the Pasadena, California Presbyterian Church with the help of her funny gal pal, Poehler. It was during an onstage Q&A, following a brief book reading, when a couple of adoring female fans asked the Brownstein and actress a question that they will never forget!

"The couple told Carrie they'd heard from a friend that she was an ordained minister," a member of the audience told Us Weekly, "They asked if they could get married on the spot, as they'd come prepared with their marriage license."

See more: Things to Remember When You Go Wedding-Dress Shopping

"Amy was visibly excited and shocked, and turned to Carrie [and said] 'You gotta do it!'" the source said. "The crowd cheered and applauded wildly."

The same-sex couple, Kendall Oshiro and Genevieve Hernandez, joined the celebs on stage to get married by Brownstein, who recently obtained her ministry credentials to marry some friends in the coming weeks. Poehler grabbed a couple of bouquets for the brides, who were dresses casually in jeans, from a nearby flower arrangement.
And of course Poehler had to entertain the crowd (a.k.a. the wedding guests) with a piano ballad. "I only know the first part of 'Greensleeves," she broadcasted to the laughing crowd.

The source told the magazine that, "The entire ceremony lasted under 10 minutes," delighting in the delivery of Carrie's speech which was, "sincere, thoughtful, and impressive."

Talk about a wedding that doesn't go by the book!

5 Things Guests Shouldn’t Say At a Same-Sex Wedding

 Etiquette, Gay Marriage, Gay Weddings, Same-Sex Marriage, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on 5 Things Guests Shouldn’t Say At a Same-Sex Wedding
Nov 022015
Gay Wedding Vendors

Photo: Getty Images

Being a good guest is about more than showing up on time bearing a gift and a smile. It's about saying the right things — or not saying the wrong ones. And just like no groom wants to be asked if he's ready for the ol' ball and chain when he's welcoming you in the receiving line, there are a few things that are better left unsaid at a same-sex wedding. So for those well-intended sentences best never spoken, we turned to Mark O'Connell, New York-based psychotherapist and author of Modern Brides & Modern Grooms. Here are five.

1. "This is a lovely party."
It's not a party, O'Connell quickly points out. It's also not a commitment ceremony or a celebration. It's a wedding. "Don't refer to the event as anything other than a wedding," says O'Connell. "The couple is sharing a special moment with you, and they want to be seen for what they are — lovers, spouses, and a family unit in their own right, just like any two people who get married. Please respect that."

2. "That was a beautiful bride."
If you gender-stereotype individuals in the couple, your comment may not be taken as a compliment, O'Connell warns. "At a same-sex wedding there are two brides or two grooms — that's it," he says. "If you project traditional gender norms onto the couple you are telling them that you are uncomfortable with them as they are, which is a lousy message for anyone to hear on their wedding day."

See More: The Dos and Don'ts of Planning a Same-Sex Wedding

3. "What a different experience."
If you've never been to a same-sex wedding, you may simply be making an observation about what you saw. But "be careful with your saying 'different' and 'interesting,'" O'Connell cautions. "Some people do pay closer attention at same-sex weddings than straight weddings, because they are less common, and are therefore more deeply moved by what the ritual is all about. That is a great thing to share with the couple. But there is absolutely no other reason to tell them that their wedding is unlike any other."

4. "You're just like everyone else."
Reality check: "They already know that," says O'Connell. "That's why they chose to have a wedding and to invite you to it. While it's a wonderful thing to suddenly understand the plight of gay couples on a deeper level while attending a same sex wedding, the best thing to do in such a revelatory moment is to channel all of your emotion into simple compliments. Think, 'I'm so happy for you both,' or 'can I get a picture with you two?'"

5. "What normally happens at a same-sex wedding?"
In truth, nothing normally happens other than what you'd expect: A couple who loves one another ties the knot. "Don't put the couple in the position of being gay wedding experts," warns O'Connell. "They have not invited you to a weekend workshop on the art of gay weddings. They invited you to their wedding. Just be present, loving, and supportive."

Comedian Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne are Married!

 Celebrity, Celebrity Weddings, Gay Marriage, Gay Weddings, News, Same-Sex Marriage  Comments Off on Comedian Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne are Married!
Oct 292015
Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne Wedding

Photo: Getty Images

How do you know when a comedian gets hitched? When she's cracking jokes practically down the aisle! The always-hilarious Tig Notaro married her girlfriend, Stephanie Allynne, in a hometown ceremony last weekend, reports Us Weekly. And whether it was from laughter or from sweet, lovey-dovey moments, we're sure there wasn't a dry eye in the room!

The couple, who met on the set of the 2013 indie flick In a World and became engaged on New Year's Day of this year, finally tied the knot in Notaro's hometown of Pass Christian, Mississippi. And of course, the comedian couldn't let the occasion go by without a few of her trademark quips. "I'm getting married today," Notaro tweeted on Saturday. "My only fear is that instead of 'I do,' I'll say 'I do do.'"

Wedding guests included celebs like Alicia Silverstone, Sarah Silverman, Jessica Williams, and Lake Bell — and Notaro made sure to note how some of her guests were nervous about ending up in her next act! "Everyone at my wedding reception danced like I was watching," she later tweeted. If you're lucky enough to be invited to the wedding of a super funny comic, guess that's just the risk you have to take!

See More: 9 Tricks to Keep the Dance Floor Packed at Your Wedding

The hilarious bride even joked about the, ahem, wedding night on Twitter, writing "Wedding night sex is better than regular sex cause you finally have an excuse to not have it." Too funny! And also kind of true... But even without all the laughs, we seriously couldn't be happier to see this sweet couple wed. Their recent Netflix documentary, Tig, that showcased their romance during Notaro's battle with breast cancer, proved them to be head-over-heels in love, even when there was nothing to joke about. Here's hoping that the perfect pair will continue to laugh through marriage! Congrats, ladies!

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