Thompson Island Wedding - Before and After

Here's another series of amazing before and after wedding transformation shots, this time from our wedding on Thompson Island.  Our primary decor elements were LED votive candles (in pillars on the dock, hanging from trees, and hanging from the pavilion), an abundance of flowers, including tons of petals, and of course, those amazing linens and place settings you see in the photos.  Pretty amazing transformation...

Professional photos by Katje Hempel.  Flowers by Spruce Floral. Lighting by Boston Uplights. Rentals by Be Our Guest.

Transforming a Space for a Wedding - Summer Camp

It's really fun for us when we are hired to make a place look much different than it did before for a couple's wedding.  I'm going to give a few examples of that in the next few posts. 

This wedding below took place at Chimney Corners summer camp in Becket, Massachusetts.  We had the camp for the entire weekend and all of the meals were held in the dining hall below.  After lunch on Saturday, we completely transformed the dining hall for the wedding reception.  

Every time we work in a space, there are some fundamental decisions that happen.  We start by deciding what, if anything in the room, needs to be covered up.  For example, are there particularly ugly walls we need to drape?  Then, we decide if the room(s) need distinct spaces like a lounge or a bar area, and if so, whether or not we need screens or drapes to create sections.  Then, we work through the flow and I create a floor plan (to scale) in our software program.

Once we make these decisions and agree on the flow of the space, we choose decor for the dinner tables.  We start with the linens, and then add each layer on top including charger plates, stemware, flatware, china, napkin (what color), menu at each place setting?, table name signs, table escort and/or place cards, and floral.  And then come the chairs, other furniture and any additional floral and decor elements (like the lighting) throughout the room.

For this summer camp wedding, you can see the results below.  When the guests arrived after the ceremony, they were treated to a dramatic transformation from the room where, just a few hours earlier, they had lunch.  I think the images also illustrate what a powerful team effort wedding production is - we literally can't do any of this without an amazing team.

Photos by Ilene Perlman.  Flowers by Jessica's Country Flowers.  Lighting by Boston Uplights.  Graphic Design by J Sherman Studio.

Getting Your Parents Excited About Your Gay Wedding in Seven Steps

Last year I wrote a blog series about how to get your parents excited about your gay wedding plans.  I used Jen's parents as examples.  They required some convincing at first but I can promise you that as long as your parents are not completely homophobic, these steps really work.

If you are newly engaged and your parents are a little underwhelmed and under-excited by the news that you're planning a gay wedding, check out these steps below!

Step One: be patient
Step Two: tease them
Step Three: ask for practical advice
Step Four: get the emotional hook
Step Five: ask for financial support (if applicable)
Step Six: give them a simple project
Step Seven: distract them

Are your parents excited for your gay wedding?

Gay Wedding Planning Vermont Workshop

We are very pleased to be presenting our wedding planning workshop for engaged same-sex couples Weddings Redefined  at the Vermont Wedding Salon on Saturday, February 5 at 3pm.  This workshop will help engaged LGBT couples get a great handle on how to plan their own wedding. We have presented this workshop in Boston, DC and Chicago in the past and are excited to work with couples in Vermont!  

This two hour workshop will talk about the nuts and bolts of planning your own wedding; gay wedding traditions; where to find gay-friendly wedding vendors and how to design and personalize your wedding.  We get terrific feedback on the workshop and hope you enjoy it too!

The cost to attend is $30/couple and includes hors d'oeuvres, beverages and a great packet of materials.  Space is limited and pre-registration is required.  To sign up, simply complete the form right here!

Let us know if you have any questions!

Taking the Trolley to Your Wedding

Why settle for a boring bus, or even a boring limo?  It's fun, and about the same price, to rent a trolley for your wedding...

Photos by Kristin Korpos

Which Wedding Vendor is Right for Us?

How can you tell if a vendor is the right fit for you?  In addition to the obvious (LGBT-friendliness), pay attention to the following things when you're meeting with them:
  • Does the vendor listen more than talk?
  • Does he or she seem flexible or rigid?
  • Does he or she support your ideas or shoot down your ideas?  
  • Your gut instinct.  Do you just click?
Many of my clients' weddings require vendors to think outside the box and be creative.  Some vendors are always used to doing things the same way every time.  I like to push the envelope. 

What do you look for when hiring a wedding vendor?

Questions to Ask Wedding Officiants

Whether you choose a friend or someone else to marry you, to help you find the person who is best for your needs, here are some questions to ask when meeting with officiants:
  • What is your experience with marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples? 
  • How do you charge? (You’ll notice that some officiants charge a fee and others accept donations or honorariums, which often go toward the house of worship that they’re affiliated with. Most often these fees are paid in advance, but if not, the payment should include a note of appreciation. This is traditionally presented by the best man, but in gay weddings, can be presented by your wedding planner, best person, or even yourself.)  
  • Do you provide a ceremony microphone for yourself and readers? (I recommend a microphone for weddings with more than fifty guests.) 
  • Will you attend and run the ceremony rehearsal? If the officiant performs several ceremonies in one weekend, find out whether he or she will be at your rehearsal. Some may not, and if you and/or your planner are not comfortable with that, choose someone else. 
  • Do you write custom ceremonies? 
  • Do you require pre-marital counseling? 
  • Can we write our own vows? 
  • Do you have sample readings? 
  • How long do your marriage ceremonies usually last?  
  • Do you have any audio or video footage of a ceremony you officiated? 
Note that it’s traditional for the officiant and his or her spouse (if applicable) to be invited to the rehearsal dinner and wedding. The officiants I know usually decline because they have their own families and perform at many weddings. But it is a nice gesture to invite them nonetheless.

Tips for Using a Friend to Officiate Your Wedding

Many states will authorize a specific person to perform marriages on a specific date. There is typically a nominal fee and some light paperwork required for the privilege. It often takes sixty ore more days to process the application. In many states, a loved one can get a “day pass” to officiate your wedding ceremony. There’s some paperwork and a fee but it is perfectly legal and is a great way to personalize your wedding.  

My clients Andi and Meredith who were married last Saturday had a friend officiate and she did a truly excellent job! She was clear, articulate, humorous, and perfectly reverent. Here are some tips if you are using a loved one as your guest officiant: 

  • Make sure you choose someone who is comfortable speaking in front of a large group. 
  • The guest officiant should be prepared to take on all the responsibilities of a professional officiant, including coordinating with the musicians and ceremony venue and running the wedding rehearsal. 
  • Be sure to make arrangements for a sound system. I always recommend a sound system with more than seventy-five guests and this is something often provided by a professional officiant. If your loved one is officiating, make sure to rent the proper equipment so he or she can be heard. 
  • Warn your guest officiant that this isn’t a toast and that they should keep it clean, not tell inappropriate stories, and otherwise be appropriate and well behaved. 
  • Ask your guest officiant to speak slowly. Guest officiants have a tendency to get nervous and speed through a marriage ceremony. Remind the officiant to take his or time and speak slowly, not at a hurried pace. 
  • If you’re worried about any of this, hire a professional!

14 Stories on TheKnot!

I believe I've neglected to tell my faithful readers of this blog that invited me to be the blogger for their gay wedding website,  For the past few weeks I've been blogging over there in addition to here and I'll be keeping up this blog.  This is a big honor for 14 Stories.  As the first company in the country to specialize in gay wedding planning, it's great to be acknowledged as gay wedding experts by the #1 wedding website in the world,!

Thanks for all your support and please follow me over on
and comments on those posts as well! 

The Ring Bearer Bowl

The little guy serving as the ring bearer usually isn’t asked to do too much. He will often walk next to the flower girl during the processional while holding the pillow with the wedding rings.

If you do have a ring bearer, there’s a product that’s a great alternative to the traditional ring pillow. Our clients love it!

Paloma’s Nest is a company that created the Original Ring Bearer Bowl, a ceramic bowl that can have your choice of wording. It’s adorable and truly an heirloom wedding item. The bowls can be purchased at

Note that we do not accept paid endorsements so our love of this product comes from the kindness of our heart!