We were thrilled to be asked by Next Magazine to give the rundown of some amazing locations in New York City for gay weddings. Gay wedding planning in New York is super fun in the right venue...check out this article to read more about my top picks.
PS - one of our clients was in the same issue, for the engagement story. Read about Brian and Toby's engagement here.
Michael and Erik came to us from Michigan with a small group of friends and family. The booked the Destiny Mini package and we set a NYC elopement date for late February. Given the unpredictable weather this time of year, we upgraded the package to include a small indoor ceremony at a boutique hotel (with gorgeous rooftop terrace). When Michael and Erik arrived in NYC, Rhen met them and helped them pick up their marriage license (and gave them an impromptu tour!)
On the wedding day, we greeted the guests with an open bar, then rounded everyone up for a custom written, very memorable ceremony with a handfasting ritual. Afterwards, the bar remained open and we served some round of passed hors d'oeuvres before everyone headed to our private club for dinner!
It was a great day for two very special men. Check out a couple of photos from Levi Stolove.
Our New York City elopement packages continue to be a big hit with Rhen at the helm. In the past few weeks, we've worked with some great couples from Texas and Michigan to create extraordinary mini weddings.
First, Bill and Nick came in from Texas with their teenage kids who didn't know they were attending their dads' wedding! They also brought the kids moms, some other family and a small group of friends for about 12 in total. We upgraded to a limo coach, rented a chapel, added in a mini orchestra, upgraded to a custom ceremony officiated by a former priest and made their experience the biggest elopement package to date! Of course, as they pointed out, everything is bigger in Texas!
Until the professional photos come in, check out this photo I took from Bill and Nick's wedding during our NYC elopement package:
Scott and Todd are always in motion. With one house in New York but living between Atlanta and Chicago, our time together was limited so we packed their trips to New York City full of meetings to plan their big NYC gay wedding. They chose to get married at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park because years ago when they first started dating, they had a memorable date at its former Rise bar. The Ritz is a beautiful property with stunning views of the Statue of Liberty. The ballroom is versatile and fun but we sought to transform it from a hotel ballroom into something truly special.
We started with a theme (New York City) and colors (yellow and purple, each of their moms favorite colors). We brought in a lighting designer/AV company who projected images during dinner which made guests feel like they were staring out at city lights. The designer also lit the dinner tables and added beautiful projections and purple uplights. The beautiful flowers totally popped on the tables!
This New York City same-sex wedding was very special and a first for us because they had a Video Jockey! Our AV company set up giant screens and speakers while the VJ mixed music videos live for the guests. Throughout the night, photos of earlier in the wedding rotated in.
Enjoy the beautiful photos by Katje Hempel. Floral by Fleurs. Lighting by Kayne LIVE. Entertainment by Wendy Kidd Entertainment. Stationery by Bella Figura. Photobooth by Fifth Avenue Digital. Cake by Cake Alchemy.
It's been a truly incredible year for marriage equality (and for our business!) Here are some things we are grateful for and excited about from 2012, in no particular order:
For the first time, a sitting US President, Barack Obama, publicly supported same-sex marriage
Marriage equality was approved by voters in Maryland, Washington and Maine, bringing the total number of states with marriage equality to 9.
Voters in Minnesota defeated an anti-gay marriage bill the very same night!
Several well known celebrities came out! Thanks to Anderson Cooper, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Frank Ocean and Lana Wachowski, among others, for bravely coming out and letting LGBT youth know that they are not alone.
Congrats to actress Cynthia Nixon, MSBNC Anchor Thomas Roberts and Good Morning America weatherman Sam Champion for marrying their partners in 2012.
Our business worked with 34 same-sex couples from all over the world on their wedding plans! The couple who traveled the farthest was from Australia!
The Gay Wedding Institute had over 250 wedding professionals from all over the world (including our first from Italy, Aruba and Ireland!) complete the Gay Wedding Institute certification course. Check out the grads here!
We successfully moved a wedding from one venue to another as a result of Hurricane Sandy...check out that story here.
I signed a deal for write my second book - coming this spring!
We launched a clothing line for lesbian, queer and trans weddings. If you haven't already done so, check out Fourteen!
And that's just the beginning...as always, we have big goals and resolutions for 2013...it will no doubt be another exciting year for 14 Stories and for marriage equality. Stick with us to see where we go next!
Lots of love,
Bernadette, Jen, Andrew, Janet, Victoria
The week of Hurricane Sandy was one of my most professionally challenging weeks. We had worked very hard for six months on an extraordinary New York City gay wedding for two amazing men, Jason and Dimitri. We were in the home stretch, the last week of the wedding, when we all heard that Hurricane Sandy was going to be serious business.
I'm generally a pretty optimistic person so I was confident that the hurricane wouldn't impact our wedding, set to be on the 14th and 21st floor of the Chelsea Arts Tower, in a beautiful space called Glass Houses. But like many people, I was surprised by the magnitude of Sandy's impact. Glass Houses was fine, except for some flooding in the basement, but what we learned on Tuesday was that the power was out. With a wedding on Saturday we didn't know when the power was going to return.
Jason and Dimitri had many guests from out of town and also plans for a two week honeymoon in Brazil two days after the wedding. Rescheduling the wedding would have been very difficult so we agreed to explore some alternate venues. I presented some office space and a few cool raw spaces as backup options. Unfortunately one of the raw spaces was over the bridge in Long Island City and the other was cost-prohibitive. The bridge was daunting given the traffic that week and with subways in rough shape, we were looking at one option: a pretty ugly office space.
The cost of that was also quite high (about $20,000) so Jason decided to ask whether his law firm's conference floor was available...it was and I orchestrated the move from Glass Houses to a Midtown Manhattan office building.
We were very fortunate that all of the fabulous wedding vendors we'd hire were still available and committed to Jason and Dimitri. The photographer's parents lost their house and were out of town, so she was personally dealing with that, but still made it to the wedding. The DJ had no power and no gas in his car but he made it. The bartenders' bar was literally under water but they made it. The floral designer's warehouse was without power and inaccessible. And on and on...I was so impressed by the efforts of this amazing team.
And the wedding itself? It was great! We beautified an office space with tons of uplights and pipe and drape. We added a beautiful white dance floor, great lounge furniture - and you'd never know we were in an office building.
I was so impressed not only by the vendors but that most of the guests were also able to make it. We had a few drop-outs because of travel issues or hurricane damage but overall, most guests came.
What do you think?
Special thanks to the amazing team:
- Shawn Rabideau Floral
- Lisa Ross Photography
- Sonnier & Castle Catering
- Cake Alchemy
- Cocktails in Motion
- Wendy Kidd Entertainment
- PBG Event Rentals
- Michael and Greg's Wedding at 632 on Hudson
- How to Get Married in...
- Your Parents and Your Same-Sex Wedding
- Delaware Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
- Scouting the Field - Great Venues in NYC for a Gay Wedding
- Civil Unions are Legal in Colorado
- Family Equality Night at the Pier Fundraiser
- Rhode Island Legalizes Gay Marriage
- How to Plan a Gay Wedding
- SCOTUS and Same-Sex Marriage
- Beginnings (11)
- Book (3)
- Boston (11)
- California (4)
- Cambridge (6)
- Celebrity (2)
- Charity (2)
- Church (3)
- Clothing (4)
- Connecticut (1)
- DC (5)
- Decor (17)
- Destination Weddings (1)
- Education (9)
- Entertainment (3)
- Estate Planning (10)
- Food and Wine (13)
- Fourteen (1)
- Gay Marriage (70)
- Gay Wedding (145)
- Gay Wedding Tradition (23)
- Gay Wedding Travel Guide (6)
- Green Weddings (6)
- holidays (4)
- Human Resources (2)
- Invitations (4)
- Iowa (2)
- Love Stories (31)
- Maine (3)
- Media (17)
- Mexico (1)
- New York (34)
- Out of State Couples (28)
- Photo of the Week (18)
- Policy (40)
- Politics (35)
- Press (14)
- Products (3)
- Provincetown (2)
- Rhode Island (2)
- Smith Wedding (36)
- Speaking Engagements (9)
- Style (20)
- The Company (47)
- Tips and Tricks (110)
- Vendors (42)
- Venues (23)
- Vermont (7)
- Wedding Planning (149)
- Wedding Story (51)
- Weddings (36)
- World News (3)