Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Good Gay Wedding Read

Ever since Mike and I got engaged I have been wedding obsessed. I have researched nearly everything wedding related you can possibly think of. In my obsessive searching I came across this book in a little shop in West Hollywood and proceeded to go home and order it on Amazon. "The Complete Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings," makes for some great entertaining light reading but is lacking in specifics.

When I bought this book we had already been engaged for a little over a month so I already had a really good grasp on how the whole event was going to come together. This book is a great place to start if you have no idea where to even start planning a wedding, or maybe if you're thinking of proposing to that special someone soon.

I know our wedding is going to be a non-traditional event, and it is a recurring thing in this book. As a gay couple we can stick to traditions we like, throw the ones we don't like out the door, and maybe even make some new traditions of our own.

This de-formalizing of weddings isn't limited to gay and lesbian couples either. I see it more and more in the weddings of friends, so there is a generational shift happening as well. More often people want to have weddings that reflect their personal style, and not the weddings their parents want them to have.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Gay Wedding Expo

Since I started this blog after I attended the last Gay Wedding Expo I could not give all of you the heads up, but now I can. We are thinking of attending this expo on August 24, 2008 in Long Beach.

More Wedding Details After a Shaky Day - Location, Location, Location

The great thing about living in Southern California is that when we have earthquakes we can use them as excuses for nearly everything. So you see, that's why there were no posts yesterday, we had an earthquake.

Working with Disney up until now has been a really great experience. They know their business well, and it seems like their wedding operation runs really smoothly. Disneyland definitely does not have all the choices that Disney World does, but what they do have is really nice.

Usually Disneyland has two ceremony locations, one at the Grand Californian Hotel and one at the Disneyland Hotel. Unfortunately because of construction going on for the new Disney Vacation Club Villas at the Grand Californian they are not using that site, which is a shame because from the pictures I have seen it looks lovely.

Instead we will be getting married at the Rose Court Garden at the Disneyland Hotel. It has an amazing gazebo and is surrounded by over 800 rose bushes (so they claim, I'm not going to bother to count them). It's an amazing space, and although the currently unavailable Ceremony Site in the Grand Californian seems more masculine and in the craftsman style I like so much, I would probably choose the Rose Court Garden only for the topiaries.

It's going to be an amazing day in an amazing setting. I don't know if you have all deduced what a big Disney fan I am, but this is like a dream come true. I've always wanted to stay at the Disneyland Hotel, and now I have the perfect excuse to. More to follow on our reception site at a later date.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Same Sex Wedding Expo

On Wednesday of last week Michael and I had the good fortune of attending a same-sex wedding expo at the japanese garden on the grounds of California State University in Long Beach.

We had such a great time tasting wedding cake and appetizers, and just enjoying the beautiful setting. If you need a gorgeous outdoor location to have a wedding or any other event and are in the area definitely consider the garden.

It was great being able to meet vendors without all the hassle of large bridal shows. The turn-out was decent, but not overly crowded, so that really allowed some time to really talk to some of the vendors. We have already decided on lots of things, but tuxedo rental and floral are still up in the air, so it was very handy to have lots of people there we could talk to at once.

I am really excite about using Allen's Tuxedos in Anaheim. Their selection seems to be really good and the woman we met at the expo is the sort of person that seems to really know her business. Also, she seems to be the kind of woman that always says what's on her mind, and people like that have a way of getting on my good side.

We are still exploring on the floral front. I saw one florist whose work really impressed me, however I was unimpressed with his customer service skills. I'm not only buying goods and services from these people, these are people that I am going to have to work with. I feel the same way about vendors I hire at work, I need to know you can do your job, but I also need to know we can communicate.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Why Have a Theme Wedding?

The idea to have a theme wedding came when we chose our cake. From the start we knew our wedding would not be a traditional affair (we are after all two men getting married, it doesn't get too much more non-traditional than that). A white wedding cake with pastel roses was not for us. When I saw this cake I knew it was what I wanted.

The final colors will be different, but there will be a whole conversation dedicated to that in the future. Having a cake like this sets a different tone for the entire celebration, and in some way your celebration has to reflect that. By setting a theme to work around you give yourself a starting point to work with. It actually made the entire process much easier, since there was now an entire segment of invitations, flowers, decorations, and just general wedding things we knew we would not even have to look at because they did not fit in with the theme.

The most important thing when dealing with a theme is finding the balance between tying elements of a celebration together, and taking the entire thing too far. Someone suggested we could dress up like the Mad Hatter for the wedding, that's too far.

We are incorporating our theme into everything from the invitations to the floral, but still keeping it all in the realm of good taste (I hope). Here is the invitation we are having printed, we will be building our own pocket invitations, more on that in a future post as well.

And these are some of the ideas we are thinking of using for floral and decoration. The only difference will be all our floral and decorations will have more color.

Having a theme will allow us to provide the whimsical and entertaining experience we want for our guests and ourselves. We are after all getting married at the happiest place on earth, and can take some liberties because of it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

An Introduction

Planning a wedding was not something I ever thought I would be doing. Michael and I have been together a little over four years and from the start there was a connection I have never felt with anyone before.

I always assumed that at some point we would move in together and become domestic partners, you know something like marriage lite. We would go down to the courthouse, fill out some forms, sign on the dotted line and afterward we would gather a few of our friends and families and have a small dinner somewhere.

Then four years after we met two unexpected things happened. The First: On May 15, 2008 the California State Supreme Court overturned the ban on same sex marriage in California. Beginning June 16, 2008 California would be the second state in the union to allow people of the same sex to get married. This was a very exciting and historic day. While marriage had never been an option, now it was something I could seriously consider.

It was not long after that that the second unexpected thing happened. It was our anniversary and we had a romantic evening planned. Dinner at the Napa Rose at Disney's Grand California Hotel, followed by an evening at Disneyland. We had a delicious meal served with wine and then it was time for dessert. Right before dessert is served my then boyfriend pulls a ring out of his pocket and places it on my finger. What he may have said at that point in time is unknown to me. I have never been in such a dazed state. At some point he stopped speaking and I looked up at him and said, "typically you wait for a person to say 'yes' before you put the ring on their finger." He said he knew what the answer would be so he didn't feel the need to wait.

A wedding of our own was not something I had even considered until that point. Suddenly more thoughts than I could process came to me at one time. We needed a location, a date, how would it all come together, what kind of wedding did we want?

In the two months since we have been engaged we have made a lot of those decisions, and I will fill you in on them here, as well as other issues and bits of interesting news. The quick explanation for the blog title is that we decided to have a mad tea party themed wedding at the Disneyland Hotel. I am a big Disney fan and knowing how happy it would make me my new fiance suggested we have the wedding there. It has made me very happy, and I am looking to the day when we gather our friends and family and declare our love and devotion to each other for the rest of our lives.