Love is Love Event at the W Ft Lauderdale Hotel

One of my favorite hotels in the country is the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. On February 4, I was invited to visit the hotel and facilitate a one hour training for the catering sales staff, the general manager, and other team members. The training covered all aspects of same-sex weddings, to ensure this hotel is totally equipped to be great advocates for the LGBT clients, and understand the latest trends in same-sex weddings. The team was very enthusiastic and excited, and I love this beautiful property. It's going to be a great destination for same-sex couples.

The next day the hotel was one of the sponsors of the Love is Love event, hosted by the Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. This event featured Lance Bass and his husband Michael as ambassadors, while I was an ambassador representing the W Hotel. About 100 same-sex couples married that day in a beautiful sunrise ceremony. Although the ceremony was supposed to be on the beach, the threat of rain brought us indoors. It was still a beautiful morning, regardless. It's always a pleasure being around same-sex couples who are finally waiting for the right to legally marry. What an honor to be there that day, and represent the W Hotel as an ambassador. Thanks to the W for being a great advocate of marriage equality, and for inviting me to participate in this wonderful event.


 



Rachel and Sarah's Wedding at the Liberty Warehouse



Rachel and Sarah share many passions: social justice, judaism, queer culture - and Brooklyn! So it was only fitting that we planned their wedding at one of Brooklyn's most spectacular venues, the Liberty Warehouse.

Rachel is from New Orleans, so we even had a traditional NOLA style second line in from cocktail hour to dinner. The brass band led the way and we went directly into the first dance. This was one of the most fun weddings we've ever planned and it was a joy to be a part.

Enjoy beautiful photos by Araiza. Cake by Cake Alchemy




Anna and Joanna's Wedding on Martha's Vineyard

Anna and Joanna live in Brooklyn but have spent many long weekends and vacations on the beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard. It was there, at this incredible farm to table restaurant, The Beach Plum Inn, were they married.

We worked with Ladyfingers Letterpress to create wedding stationery that was a reflection of Anna and Joanna's experience on Martha's Vineyard. Nothing nautical or typical, but elements of the island and the venue that spoke to them, specifically the spectacular sunset views directly from the Inn, and the adorable swing you can see in the photo below. The floral design was local and seasonal and fit with the rustic elegance of the Beach Plum. Music was provided by 45 Riots.

    


Photos by:  Silver and Salt Photography

Brian, Toby and Madonna

The Associated Press wrote this great story contrasting the same-sex couples rushing to the altar to secure their freedom to marry in states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with couples taking their sweet time to plan. Our clients, Brian and Toby (who had a wedding in a Broadway theatre) were prominently featured in the story. We love this story because it shows just how traditional (or not) our weddings can be. It's extraordinary.

The article was in the Washington Post, San Francisco Gate and others. I love the freedom we have with same-sex weddings to make up our own traditions and rituals or do as our parents did. It's very liberating and we had an awful lot of fun planning Toby and Brian's wedding.

Lesbian Couple's Guide Wins Gold Medal

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine, June 3, 2014—Sellers Publishing and the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) are pleased to announce that The Lesbian Couple's Guide to Wedding Planning by Bernadette Coveney Smith, is the Gold Award Winner in the LGBT category in the 2014 Benjamin Franklin Awards.

Author Coveney Smith has written the first wedding guide dedicated solely to lesbian couples who are planning their wedding. She is the founder and president of 14 Stories, the first company in the US specializing in legal same‐sex weddings. Her expertise on the subject has been sought after by the TODAY Show, The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and NPR.

The user‐friendly guide features a comprehensive 12‐month wedding countdown format, practical advice for a wide range of weddings for all budgets, plus more than 100 full color photographs of real weddings.

The IBPA is a not‐for‐profit trade association serving the independent publishing community for more than 30 years.

Jeannie and Lisa in The Knot

This week The Knot released its second ever LGBTQ wedding magazine (digital) and we are honored to be included in both the articles, as well as having one of our weddings featured. We just love Jeannie and Lisa's wedding from last year at the Bowery Hotel. Such gorgeous brides and spectacular flowers from Fleurs NYC!

You can read the entire issue of The Knot here and see some of Jeannie and Lisa's wedding in the images below!


The Provincetown-Boston Wedding

Crissy and Ellen live in Boston's South End and wanted 14 Stories to design and plan a chic, urban wedding, preferably with a view. These ladies don't love being the center of attention, so we actually had the short and sweet ceremony in Provincetown the day before the reception in Boston. The Ptown ceremony was just a small group of family + of course the dog, Murphy.

In Provincetown, the small group gathered at the Harbor Lounge which we closed for a few hours. We started with some drinks and the ceremony happened very organically with most of the guests standing. The photographer then followed the guests and brides around town while the ladies were congratulated by all the locals and tourists. Provincetown is, of course, one of our very favorite places to work.

The next day, we were at the Taj Boston for the reception. The venue, the Taj Hotel Rooftop, has these large black and white tiles so we decided to work with that, and add Ellen's favorite color, purple. While the view provided plenty of decoration, mostly purple flowers and lighting (and that VERY GAY cake!) really made the room pop!

Crissy and Ellen have a high-energy crowd of friends who were entertained all night by the DJ and even had a bouquet-toss-fight!

Enjoy the beautiful photos by Kate McElwee. Floral by Spruce. Lighting by Boston Uplights. Entertainment by DJ Addam.

Introducing the Destiny Chicago Package

One of our favorite things to do as a company is to work with same-sex couples from all around the world who travel to one of our locations and legally marry with our team of talented and brilliant professionals. Each year, we work with an average of 40 LGBT couples who are looking for a fun and easy way to get married with a small group of friends and family. We've worked with couples from most of the 50 states and about a dozen countries.

Our LGBT mini destination wedding experiences have been a big hit in Boston and New York, and we are pleased to now introduce the Destiny Chicago experience for gay elopements!

This new package for gay weddings in Chicago is so comprehensive and includes things like in person help getting your marriage license, photography, cake, flowers, a wedding officiant, wedding planning, a car service and much more!  It's booked right through our website.

You can read more about the Destiny Chicago gay wedding package right here. Don't forget to check out the FAQ!

photo by Julia Franzosa Photography

A Monumental Moment in Provincetown

I was thrilled to see the new issue of Bliss Celebrations Magazine featuring our clients' Anthony and Chad's beautiful wedding at the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown. That was an incredible day and we had a fantastic team. You can see the feature on the wedding in the images below or read more closely at the Bliss link. The magazine is annual so Anthony and Chad's beautiful faces will be inspiring readers for the coming year! We love our clients.

3 Days of Parties

Three days of parties.  That's my term for what most people call "the wedding weekend."  You know, where you have a bunch of out of town guests and plan something like a rehearsal dinner on Friday night, the wedding on Saturday and brunch on Sunday.

I think we can do better than that...that's very typical.  Let's have three days of parties.  Our clients do it all the time.

Think about it.  Your wedding is probably the only time in your life all of your loved ones are in one place - and they are there to celebrate YOU.  Might as well enjoy it all.  Here's what three days of parties looks like for many of our clients:

Day 1 - Guest arrival

  • Receive fun, whimsical and creative welcome basket upon hotel check in
  • If you're in a city, evening cocktail party with heavy passed hors d'oeuvres and a very fun, casual vibe.  We've done rooftops, boat charters, restaurant buyouts and more
  • If you're somewhere more remote, a casual cookout style event with a bonfire on the beach, s'mores, etc

Day 2 - Tourist stuff and wedding

  • If you're in a big city, arrange tickets to a game, tickets to a museum, tickets on some fun and cheesy tour with lunch.  We've even had Segway tours.
  • If you're somewhere more remote, coordinated group activities (kayaking, games, hikes)
  • If you're somewhere like Provincetown, group shopping and dining excursion, possibly a whale watch or Dune Tour
  • Everyone freshens up and the couple gets ready for the wedding
  • The wedding!
  • After party!

Day 3 - Brunch and departures

  • Most of your guests will head out on Sunday but send them off with a really sweet brunch with bloody marys and mimosas to aid in recovery - and be sure to be present at the brunch yourself to say goodbye to your guests!  Oh, and don't forget to bring leftover wedding cake to brunch!

How are you planning to show your guests a good time?

(Photo by Jag Studios, of a bonfire and s'mores at a private vacation rental on Cape Cod)