gay weddings

Ten Over-The-Top Wedding Cakes You’ll Actually Like

I think the fanciest wedding I have ever been to was also my first gay one. My friends Tom and Drew got married on a hilltop looking a valley in southern Sonoma, CA. California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron George was there, and I sat behind San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom during the ceremony. (He arrived late.)

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Winter wedding cake from Brides.com.

It was spectacular. Once we got into the reception tent – which was actually three connected tents with different themes and lighting – my fiancé observed a striking detail. On the dancefloor, sitting on a thin wooden pedestal, was a beautiful, miniature, crimson pagoda.

It probably extended three feet into the air, and if you looked closely it had little rooms inside.

“What do you think that is?” he asked me.

“I think that’s the wedding cake.”

“No way,” he said “It has interiors.

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Eight Pieces of (Contradictory) Advice You’ll Hear When You Are Planning Your Honeymoon

Funny Giraffe

From Tambako’s Flickr.

When you start planning a wedding, you’ll quickly discover that people feel very comfortable letting you know exactly how they feel about your decisions. Particularly with regard to two things:

1)   The size of your wedding.

2)   Your honeymoon plans.

The first is the most annoying and least helpful. Perfectly polite friends who would never, ever be so rude as to reveal a reaction when you tell them what neighborhood you live in, or where you went to college, somehow feel perfectly comfortable going wide-eyed and gasping when you tell them that you plan to have 200 people to your wedding. You’d think you told them that you deliberately got pregnant with twins so you could abort one and keep “the skinnier one.” Their facial expressions make you feel like you’ve chosen a path of such extreme decadence that it borders on the improper.

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Here Is What Happens When You Agree to Participate in a Flash Mob at Your Friend’s Wedding

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I am on the far right here, ruining the synchronicity with my limp wrists.

So you’ve agreed to be in a flash mob at your friend’s wedding. What happens now?

Well, lots of things. It could go in a bunch of different directions. But as a veteran of multiple (2) wedding flash mobs, I can tell you one thing: It is not going to go the way you think it is.

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Ten Dream Suits Someone Should Wear to a Gay Wedding

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From left: Kiton Birdseye Windowpane Suit, Thom Browne Anchor Pattern Jacquard Three-Button Sportcoat, Paul Smith Byard Windowpane Two-Piece Suit, Versace Blue Slim Fit Suit.

My fiancé and I have decided to wear suits to our wedding, after a wide-ranging discussion that veered into colored-pants-and-blazers territory, then to khakis, and then back to suits again. (I realized, after all of this, that I don’t really have an opinion. The fiancé does. I’m told that in wedding planning it’s really, really important in these situations to let the other guy decide.) Now we’re into the, “How much should we match?” discussion. The only times I’ve seen a gay couple match one another exactly was when both were wearing tuxedos. Usually the guys will wear a slightly different suit or at least different ties and accessories—and at the only lesbian wedding I attended, the brides wore non-matching wedding gowns.

I am of the opinion that my fiancé always looks better in a suit than I do, so I’m starting to really do my homework. Today I spent part of the day looking at some really expressive two- and three-piece suits for inspiration. I probably wouldn’t be ballsy enough wear most of these, but I love them and think someone should.

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I Always Like to Take a Camera to Weddings

I Always Like to Take a Camera to Weddings

Even though the people getting married almost always have a photographer hired, you can sometimes capture something special, which makes a great gift after the fact. I also generally shoot in black and white if the photos are at night, because otherwise I make everyone look shiny and yellow. I asked Justin Bishop, the staff photographer at Vanity Fair and VF.com about this, and he told me it’s because I don’t have enough light. Washing people out, it turns out, makes them look better. Anyway, here’s two of my best friends, Charlie and Kent, at their wedding at Frankie’s in Cobble Hill almost exactly a year ago.

How to Really Test an Event Coordinator

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Visiting wedding venues can be a nerve-wracking experience. My fiancé and I visited five over the course of one weekend up in Maine, and it felt like there was a lot of pressure to pick the exactly right place—the spot that screams “you” as a couple, but screams it in an elegant, Derek Jacobi-type voice.

So it wasn’t great that my fiancé was feeling unwell when we started our Saturday morning off at the first venue. You want to be on your A-Game on these visits: asking the right questions, looking for the important flaws, and imagining where your stoner friends are going to scurry off to when they inevitably duck out to get high.

It was even less great, when, moments after we arrived at the second venue of the day, he projectile vomited in front of the events manager.

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That Awkward Moment: When The Times Wedding Section Makes You Choke Up

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FOR SAPS ONLY:

You know when you’re reading a story in the weddings section of the Times, and suddenly there’s a surprisingly romantic, or sweet moment, and it gives you a little catch in your throat? I’m often caught off guard by those moments, because they can even occur in the most obnoxious of Vows columns. For example, there was one about this super Type-A bride a couple of weeks ago, who spotted a cute guy on the subway and hoped he was going to get off on her stop. When he didn’t, she got off at the wrong stop and literally chased him down and asked for his name.

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Gay Wedding Videos, Or Teaser Trailers For Marriage Equality?

I love gay wedding videos.

I cry at happy movies, not sad ones. The sappier, the better. For example, I feel like the Internet has come to a conflict over Love Actually, lately, but to me the perfect movie scene is the one where Colin Firth goes to Lisbon to find Aurelia, after having learned Portuguese so that he can propose to her. She responds in English, having learned it “just in cases.” And she says yes. Please watch:

And then I sob like I sobbed at the end of the musical The Color Purple, the first night my fiancé ever pretended he didn’t know me.

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A Canoe Filled With Beer

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This is a picture of a canoe filled with beer.

I know you can see that it’s a canoe filled with beer, but I just wanted to be clear: there’s not a name for this contraption—it’s not a “thing.” You don’t see these at Fourth of July parties, and it’s not on the list of catering options when you book a soiree at the country club. It is just a canoe that someone filled with ice, into which they stuck a bunch of beer.

This also happens to be a picture from my “Wedding” board on Pinterest.

The state of affairs wherein I have a mood board where I’m pinning “inspirations” for my “dream day” is, on the face of it, a little bizarre. And then the idea that I went out, found a picture of a canoe filled with beer, and then put it on that Pinterest board, is some next level shit.

I’d started the board because the wedding planner we are working with had told my boyfriend and me to each make one, so that she could get a general sense of our taste and what our vision was. “Pin anything, it doesn’t have to be wedding stuff. It could be clothes, colors, whatever!” So I did that. I pinned painted mussel shells that someone used as seating cards. I pinned Maine-themed bottle cozies.  I even pinned those stupid hand-painted sign-boards that everyone now has, with directions like, “Drinks! Thatta Way. Dancing – Up Heah!”

I actually wasn’t really thinking very hard about it when I pinned the canoe image. I don’t even remember doing it. I think I had Googled “Maine Weddings” or had searched that team on Pinterest, and the photo turned up. I was probably pinning pictures of lobster buoys and sailing pennants when I came across it. (More on that later.) I imagine I thought, “Oh, canoe filled with beer, duh.” And then I pinned the image and moved on.

Not long after, the wedding planner e-mailed the event manager at our wedding venue, with a list of questions. One of them was this:

“We are considering bringing in a wooden canoe as a part of the cocktail hour bar service to fill with ice and chilled wine, beer, etc. Is it an issue for your bartenders to serve from this? (Have attached at photo.)”

I’m sure my fiancé read those particular sentences with great interest. Was this woman already running wild and loose with our event? Who had told her we needed a canoe? I remained mum.

Later, after some light miscommunication between the two women, we had a follow-up e-mail from the wedding planner that included the following paragraph:

I will ask [the event manager] again when I meet with her about having a canoe for bottled beer – she has not answered the question yet. I am sure a piece of it is liability. But I think if the canoe is monitored by a bartender next to the actual bar (perhaps they even grab the bottles out for service) that it really shouldn’t be an issue. Or another idea is to use the canoe as a part of the dessert display…. 

So now the canoe was a thing. Part of me wanted to say, “Forget the canoe filled with beer! I wasn’t even thinking when I pinned that!” But then another part of me was like, “Um, hello? A CANOE FILLED WITH BEER. It makes perfect sense.”

Because, actually, at weddings, I find it frustrating when the cocktail hour begins and everyone has to wait in a long line to get a drink at the two overworked bars. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just cruise up to a giant beer canoe, get a Sam Adams, and then start your chit chatting? Best canoe ever! That’s a good ten-fifteen minutes where you get to talk to your real friends instead of getting stuck waiting in line next to the couple you kind of know from that one dinner party when the couple tried to “mix up their different friend groups.” (Oh man, more on that later, too.)

This is the kind of thing that happens when you plan a wedding in the era of Pinterest, and e-mail, and when you are a gay man in your thirties. Something you click on after having thought about it for half a second becomes an “inspiration” for someone else. Communication through e-mail becomes fraught and over-serious. And when you’ve been to dozens and dozens of weddings (because you are in your thirties and you are gay) you actually find that you do have very firm opinions on the way things should work.

I’m not sure whether we’ll end up having the canoe. It sounds like it’ll be logistically difficult, and even though we’re not inviting children to the wedding, it could be a legal issue. But I do like the idea of it—I like the way it looks in the picture: so simple, functional and straightforward. There are even bows on it! It’s functional, uncomplicated, and fun. Just the way a wedding should be.