Walden Pond Wedding

Shannon and Mandy came all the way from the Bay area to marry at Walden Pond after booking our Destiny Platinum package.  Two teachers, they chose Walden Pond specifically because of their love of Thoreau and other transcendentalist writers of his time. 

Kristin Korpos was the photographer.  Janet married them.  It was a perfect day for these two brides.  

Chatham Gay Wedding

Beautiful photos from last Saturday's mini wedding on Lighthouse Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts.  These brides came here from Michigan for a small wedding with 10 guests.  They booked our Destiny Silver package, which was customized for them.  Photos by Doreen Birdsell.

Congrats to the newlyweds Jessica and Nida!

Boston Common Gay Wedding

Meet Candice and Cherri who came to Boston from Maryland earlier this year for a mini luxury elopement in Boston.  The ceremony was held in Boston Common.  I love these photos!!

Photos by Kristin Korpos

Winner of the Free Gay Wedding Contest!

Our contest for a free gay wedding was a big hit!  We had a bunch of great entries from some amazing same-sex couples and the panel of judges really enjoyed reading all of the wonderful stories shared with us.

 Without further ado, we are very pleased to announce the winners: April and India from Nashville, Tennessee. We loved April and India's stargazing story - from the beginnings in Chicago to their current life now in Nashville.

Says April:   "'Conundrum', that would be the word of the day, every day that can describe the story of our lives together. There is not a day that has passed that we have not learned something new about one another. I have two children, ages 8 and 4, girl and boy. India has a 17 year old son. We have slowly merged our families together and now are inseparable. The kids fight just as any brother and sister would fight, India and I discipline them, nurture them, teach them and create family time frequently for our family of five just as our parents did with us.

We come from totally different backgrounds, environments and parenting which brings us diversity and creativity inside of our home. I am 9 years younger than India, I bring energy, motivation and a new generation of thinking that makes her call me crazy often. We have fun together, we cry together, we hope, dream, pray and inspire together. We see our future as clear as day and strive daily to overcome hurdles and obstacles which have came and went...Our future is bright, twinkling just as the stars will be that we observe in the sky. We are still a unit, still in love, still stargazing."

Gay Weddings in Bed and Breakfasts

Most gay weddings are smaller than straight weddings.  The average wedding size of 14 Stories clients is somewhere around 75 guests - but many gay weddings fall below 50 guests.

For small gay weddings, a bed and breakfast or an inn can be a great place for a wedding.  We've worked in the Taylor House in Jamaica Plain several times and have a wedding booked at the Kemble Inn in Lenox later this year.  Like many inns, these have nice sized dining room and foyer spaces and provide options for a beautiful ceremony backdrop and magnificent outdoor gardens.

Some things you should consider when having a gay wedding at a B&B or inn:
  • the best style reception is a cocktail reception or food stations
  • you'll have to buy out all of the guest rooms - so be prepared to host some guests overnight
  • you'll have to bring in lots of rentals - typically tables, chairs, china, flatware, stemware, etc
  • you'll need to bring in your own caterer and bartender
Still, having your gay wedding at B&B or inn can be a very affordable and elegant option.

Taylor House

Kemble Inn

Would you consider an Inn or B&B for your wedding venue?

Wedding Ceremonies in Boston-area Parks

I had a call from someone yesterday looking for help with her wedding at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain.  Jamaica Plain is a neighborhood in Boston and the Arboretum is a beautiful park with lots of scenic places to marry.

Unfortunately, in the Arnold Arboretum and other Boston and Cambridge-area parks, you can't have a ceremony in the park with any structures.  This means:  no tent, no tables, no chairs...well, maybe one or two chairs.  But you get the idea - your guests have to stand and you'll have to have a rain plan and be able to communicate it to your guests very effectively at the last minute.  

I personally love these types of wedding ceremonies which have a more casual, informal, organic feel - but keep in mind the needs of your guest list if this is what you have in mind.  85 year old grandmas often have a hard time standing for an outdoor wedding ceremony.

I've done extensive research and nearly all of the City of Boston's parks have no covering.  This means that, as much as the idea of a casual wedding in the Boston Public Garden sounds divine, you may get wet.

My advice:  if you are having a wedding with more than 20 guests, don't plan for the ceremony in a public park in the Boston area.  There are some really nice venues which have their own outdoor ceremony space where you can have chairs and where you can retreat in the event of rain.  But if you decide on a park, you'll need a permit.  The fee for Boston parks for Boston residents is $50 and $100 for non residents.

Are you planning to get married in a park?

We're Giving Away a Free Gay Wedding!

Jen and my first anniversary is in July and the company just turned six!  Jen and I are very good at always finding something to celebrate.  This time, we're giving away a free gay wedding (valued at $1850) for one lucky couple!

photo by Michael Manning

All of the contest details are over here!  Check it out and enter to win!

Good luck - we can't wait to hear your stories!


Certified Copy of Your Marriage License

It sounds like such a boring topic but the reality is that if you want to change your name or get on your spouse's health insurance plan, or get new passports after your gay marriage, you need a certified copy of your marriage license.

After you get married, the state of Massachusetts and the cities don't send you a single thing in the mail.  It's all on file in some ginormous filing room somewhere.  As far as they're concerned, you're married and they don't need to remind you of that fact.

But you still need that certified copy.  Since many of our clients live in other states, sometime after the wedding, they have to send a self-addressed stamped envelope to City Hall with another form filled out, and a few weeks after that, they'll get the certified copy in the mail.  It's one more step couples have to go through.

Beginning in 2010, 14 Stories will obtain certified copies of your marriage license for you, saving you the time and hassle.  You won't even have to think about it anymore.  The certified copy will come in the mail about a month after your gay wedding.  Pretty easy stuff, so you can then go get your name changed or just frame it for posterity.

The Post-Elopement Party

I work with many couples who live in other states.  Some come here to Massachusetts or New England for a basic elopement which just includes getting their marriage license in one day and having the wedding ceremony performed for them.  Some want to add on cake, professional photography and accommodations.  And some will bring 50 of their nearest and dearest for a big wedding celebration (for which the Massachusetts economy thanks you). 

I've done it all, and it's always a great time.  For those couples who come here for a basic elopement, I usually hear that they are throwing a big party for their friends and family once they return home to wherever they came from.  It's a nice compromise since it is hard to get all of your loved ones up here to Massachusetts.

I was with two gentlemen this morning from the DC metro area who legally married today but are throwing a big party in their second home in rural Virginia (the Shenandoah Valley) next May and asked me to plan it.  I'm looking forward to working in a new area of the country, meeting new vendors and transforming this gorgeous home with views of the mountains into a stunning wedding space.  It's exciting for me to finish the circle of bringing their dream to reality - they have the legal paperwork here but now they get to have the rest, in the comfort of their own community, with the guidance of a gay wedding planner who will make sure they are safe.

Good times for all.  I have the coolest job!

If you are coming to marry in Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut or Iowa, are you planning to have a party for your friends and family once you return home?  Tell me about it in the comments!

What Inspires Me?

I'm filling out a form because I'm speaking about gay weddings at an upcoming wedding industry event, and the question is: What inspires you? What challenges you? And what have you learned from your experiences to date?

Here's my answer:
I am inspired by the stories I hear from my clients – stories of what it’s like being gay in their hometown, how their families have responded to their engagement (which is usually different than how families respond to the relationship); and how they are redefining what a wedding looks and feels like. 

I am inspired by my clients who tell me stories of discrimination, heterosexism and hate, or share their fears of that with me.  I have seen much of it myself and it’s my mission to make the wedding industry fully inclusive, with no assumptions about the gender of the engaged couple – and that is also what challenges me. 

In the past five years, I have learned a lot: I have seen gay wedding trends evolve into traditions.  I have seen the hearts and minds of families change before my teary eyes during a gay wedding ceremony; and I’ve seen how much the wedding and hospitality industry still has to learn about the unique challenges and needs of gay and lesbian couples.