Friday, August 29, 2008

Do We Really Need This?

The answer to that question when asked in relation to any wedding related purchase of course is "no." I know all we really need to get married is each other and an officiant.

But then once in a while you come across something, and you think to yourself, oh it's only $_.00.

Like toasting flutes. I saw really nice toasting flutes with Mickey Mouse in a tuxedo, and I thought it would be nice to get a pair of those and have them engraved.

The thing is the other day when we were filling out our questionnaire one question asked, will you be providing a cake cutter or would you like to borrow the venue's, and I thought to myself it was silly to spend money on a knife that we would use to slice one piece of cake and then stick in a drawer, so I said definitely borrow. Then it asked the same question about toasting flutes and I thought it would be nice to have our own.

For all the times we sit around drinking sparkling wine?

Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in all the wedding madness and be reasonable. Reasonably no one will remember what we drank out of, and I do suppose every little bit adds up. Still, I could just start drinking a lot more sparkling wine . . .

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Bit of Sad News

Del Martin passed away today. Martin (pictured above) along with Phyllis Lyon were the first same sex couple to be married in California on June 16, 2008. They were married by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom after 55 years together.

Seeing their ceremony on television brought tears to my eyes. These two people who had been each other's lives for 55 years finally being able to say, "we made it." I'm glad she lived to see the day.

Gay Wedding Cards from Hallmark

I know this is old news and many of you have probably heard it by now, I know I read the press release a few days ago. I guess I just hadn't considered it newsworthy until after getting a homo perspective from people in other parts of the country.

Being from Los Angeles I suppose I just take a lot of things for granted. Like all the small greeting card and gift boutique-type stores that carry all sorts of quirky (and in my opinion sometimes overpriced) cards. There are many neighborhoods that while not primarily gay in this city are gay friendly, and many of the businesses in this neighborhood cater to all the different types of people we have in this city.

So I suppose if you want a greeting card in some parts of this country you have to go to Hallmark or Walgreen's, and they don't really have recycled-organic unbleached papyrus cards hand-crafted by one-eyed monks. Even I admit that sometimes this city exists in some sort of parallel universe.

While most people I have talked to about this are excited, I still haven't decided whether Hallmark is to be commended for forward thinking, or if they are just out to make a few more bucks. Either way I suppose more options can only be a good thing.

Even then I am not convinced that the card above is necessarily a gay card. It could just happen to be a card with a picture of two men in tuxedos, that happen to be holding hands. Maybe they're just good friends? Yes, that must be it, good friends.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Finding the Right Balance of Traditions

This weekend we sat down to fill out the questionnaire the Disney people sent us. Some of the questions were simple, some took a little discussion (I managed to give the future husband a tension headache, yay!)

It made us think about things we had discussed before, but not at length. Things like walking down the aisle, and wedding parties. We decided the best approach for us would be to walk down the aisle together, since this whole concept of being "given away" didn't really work for us. Not to say traditions are wrong just because they don't apply to us, I just feel like the whole scene plays out like this:

"I am a father and this is my daughter, I own her and now I am giving her away to you, so now you own her. Am I glad to get rid of her, she may not look like much but girl can eat. Thanks for taking her off my hands, I'll throw in this goat to sweeten the deal."

Overall I think we are managing to make decisions that are right for us. Some things take us a little while longer, and a big part of that is that we are very different people. On the other hand if I were marrying someone just like me we would probably end up like Thelma and Louise, flying off a cliff in a classic car, which is a lot of fun, until you land.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Super 8 Wedding Videos From Layer Cake Films

This company was referred to my by a soon to be bride. One of the cool packages they offer is sending you a camera and film that you use to shoot your own wedding. You then send it back to the company and they develop and edit the film into your very own wedding video.

The only problem is asking someone to videotape your wedding and have them being stuck behind a camera the whole time. I sent them an e-mail asking them for a detailed price, so more details to follow later.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Churches Are Coming!

From the Los Angeles Times:

"Early on a late September morning, if all goes according to plan, 1 million Mormons, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, evangelical Christians, Sikhs and Hindus will open their doors, march down their front walks and plant 'Yes on Proposition 8' signs in their yards to show they support repealing same-sex marriage in California."

People can be so inconsiderate. Don' they realize I'm busy planning a wedding? In addition to the stress of choosing flowers do I really need the added worry of mounting a political campaign?

On the bright side it's nice to see that all of these organizations with such differing views on who gets through the pearly gates, or if there are pearly gates at all, can come together to fight a common enemy.


If you read the yes on prop 8 website (which I urge everyone to do as it's always good to know what the other side is up to) the list of supporters reads like a roster of California churches, oh and Monica Sheffield. If any of you gay Californians work with her or live nearby maybe you should go visit and say hi so she can put a face to the issue.

This list of supporters is one of the reasons we should all come together to vote no on Prop 8. These people want us to believe their opposition is less about religion and more about protecting "the integrity of the family unit," but from where I'm standing, it all looks like religion to me.

The marriage that I want has nothing to do with the church. I would never want to try to force the Catholic church to perform my marriage. There's an organization I would never want to give any of my money to, and not only because of their stance on gay marriage. Half of the population should be really mad at them for thinking the word of god can only be spoken by members of a particular gender, guess which gender, come on guess.

These people claim civil unions already give homos all the rights we want or need in California. If this is true, then lets get the government out of the marriage business and give civil unions to everybody, and if you want a marriage get a church to perform it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Making Your Own Pocket Invitations

I first saw these folders with pockets on the side on an excursion to Paper Source, one of my favorite (if not slightly overpriced) craft stores. It really bothered me when I was in the store that I could not buy just a few pieces of the things that I wanted as a sample. The only way was to buy everything in packs of 10.

Fortunately a bride-to-be suggested that I check out the pocket cards at Their selection of different types of cards was not as vast as Paper Source (and that's not necessarily a bad thing, I subscribe to the philosophy that sometimes too many choices are a bad thing). One of the greatest things about cards and pockets was that I was able to buy a sample pack from them that included everything I needed to create a sample invitation. The sample I ordered arrived quickly and so did my final order.

We are going to be using the Signature size pocket folders in clover. The invitation matte will be in watermelon. We are printing up the center invitation part ourselves using a laserjet printer and using off-white linen cardstock. Cards and pockets also sells the insert cards, but I will be cutting them out myself using the same paper as the invitation page. I am cutting colored cardstock to mount the inserts on.

This is a mock-up of our invites. I will post pictures of the final when we get around to making them. The blue strip on the outside will be blue ribbon that we will use to tie the cards shut, and we will probably not be using any ornamentation on the outside. I'll post pictures of the invitation party I'm planning to throw to trick.... er.... ask my friends to help me assemble these.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Flag of Equal Marriage

I found this through a link on the Disboards and thought it was a novel idea (borrowed from the suffragettes). The Flag of Equal Marriage only has two stars, for the two states that recognize the validity of our unions.

I hope someday we all look back and think this controversy was pretty stupid and that the people who are out there fighting against this feel pretty stupid about their actions. When Black people were given equal rights lots of people said, "Well this is different than when we let women have equal rights. It's a biological fact that colored people are inferior."

In a similar fashion a lot of people say , "allowing gay marriage is different than allowing interracial marriage." Well, it's not different, it's never been different, you're just looking for ways to justify your fear of change.

This concludes my rant for the week and we join your regularly scheduled program already in progress.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Disneyland's First (Legal) Same Sex Wedding

I got a really great e-mail out of the blue two days ago from a woman named Robyn. On August 2nd she and her new bride Sarah had the first legal same-sex wedding at Disneyland.

They went with Boutwell studios, which are some really talented photographers I was also considering for our wedding before I fell in love with the pictures taken by Danielle at SkyeBlu. Luckily for all of us Robyn and Sarah are featured on the Boutwell's blog so we all get a sneak peek at their fabulous wedding. The red dress is just amazing.

Wedding Flowers From Costco?

This is a little tidbit I read about in that Bridal Bargains book, but also something I noticed on one of my weekly Costco trips. does wedding flowers. You can buy all sorts of kooky things at, like caskets and urns. Fortunately we are not in need in need of either at this point and our focus is wedding flowers.

Another option I am considering for wedding flowers is a direct seller like Grower's Box. I really like their selections. You can buy flowers in bulk and arrange them yourself, or have a friend do them for you. I already had a friend that has taken a few flower arranging classes volunteer to do it.

I am going to risk angering the wedding gods here and go out on a limb and say maybe the flowers aren't that important. I still really like the idea of our tall centerpieces with the lanterns.

But if not having these saves us 1k to 2k, then isn't that worth considering? People would think they are really cool, but in the end aren't they really there to be there, and take advantage of the open bar?

The controversy continues, but either way we will make a decision, hopefully soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another Good Wedding Read

"Bridal Bargains" came highly recommended by one of the brides on the Disboards. It has a lot of really great tips on saving money on everything from dealing with caterers, florist, ceremony, reception sites and almost anything wedding related you can think of.

One of my favorite lines in the book is "this book will not teach you how to make your own wedding dress or cater your own wedding." This book has just really great advice on getting the most for your money and being sensible, not cheap, but just not getting caught up in the madness that is wedding industry juggernaut.

Mostly this book makes me happy that I don't have to buy a wedding dress. I always knew bridal shops were a racket, but I discovered scams that I never would have thought possible. It really is despicable.

At this point I am looking for things to occupy my time until the wedding, so blogging and reading wedding books are great ways to keep from driving my friends and family crazy, though my mom has been way cool and eager to lend an ear and opinion,

Monday, August 18, 2008

Some More Tea Party Pictures

I am a bad blogger. It's been a few days but it has been a crazy weekend. A good friend of mine is leaving for school at the end of the week and she will be sorely missed so we had to give her a proper send-off this weekend. Throw in the mix a birthday celebration for another friend and it turned into quite a full weekend.

I came across these really cool pictures for a tea party at Dinsey's Grand Californian Hotel. It's a tea party luncheon that you can actually have Disney plan and cater it for you. The cost I'm sure is a bit high, as character rental alone for weddings is about $700 for a half hour.

What I really like is the look of the event. The mismatched napkins, the whimsical centerpieces, and the lanterns. I think it's all really great. If the reception looked like this I would be completely happy with it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Paper Tape Wedding Videos

Well it's one in the morning here and I'm having a little trouble sleeping. It might be because I had a cup of coffee after dinner, or it might be because it's warm so my window is open but there is lightning in the distance (I'm definitely not used to it so it's very distracting). Either way I though this would be a good time to get some thoughts down and maybe that would make me sleepy.

I'm actually a little upset at our photographer for showing me this. I was, and still for the most part am, not in favor of wedding videos. I've just never liked them. They always feel cheesy and forced to me, like I can see the parts where the cameraman says "ok, everyone make a goofy face!"

Then she sent me a link to Paper Tape Films and my opinion changed. They shoot all their video on Super 8 film, so your wedding looks like the opening credits to "The Wonder Years." They do an edit job, throw some music over the footage and make you an awesome wedding video. Then you get a dvd of your movie and all of your footage on one of those big archival reels, yours to keep forever and probably not watch too often because who has the tools to play that stuff anymore?

The only problem is they cost a little more than your typical wedding videographer. Their usual minimum is four hours, but since we are getting married on a holiday weekend their minimum is six hours. So that all adds up to a video that's a little pricey, but I think this is a case where you definitely get what you pay for.

We went with a photographer that was more expensive than a lot of other photographers out there because we figured it was the way to go if we were going to skip video. That's definitely not a decision I regret because I am looking forward to having some great pictures of our big day. Who knows, maybe we'll find somewhere in the budget to make some cuts. Do people usually expect to be fed at a reception?

Well now that I've got some thoughts down in kilobytes I think I will try to get some sleep. I will not surf onto any wedding websites. I will close this laptop right now and close my eyes. Ok, maybe just one quick peek . . .

Some Great Mad Tea Party Ideas

In my endless trek through the internet in search of wedding related material I came across these pictures. I really love some of the ideas and might incorporate some of the ideas into our wedding. We were thinking of having Mickey and Minnie stop by the wedding, but maybe some of the Wonderland characters would be more in keeping with the theme?

Finally An Update From Disney

After what feels like an eternity (even though in reality it's only been three and a half weeks) I received an e-mail update from the lovely people at Disneyland Fairytale weddings. It was just a quick check-in with an attached excel worksheet. The worksheet is for names and addresses for our Save the Dates!

I am really excited to be making some progress with this. The save the dates will have information for guests about booking hotel rooms and buying theme park tickets if they choose to do so. I have no idea what will be in the planning kit so I will rush home every day this week to see if it has arrived!

In my usual obsessive wedding planning fashion I have completed my part of the data entry for the save the dates and I have sent the form off to my lovely husband to be for him to finish. He's not as obsessive about this whole thing as I am, but one of us should keep a level head, right? I sent it to him half an hour ago, I wonder if he's done yet . . .

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Love Honor Cherish to Hold Wine Tasting Benefit This Weekend

Love Honor Cherish, a self described grassroots organization to defeat prop 8 will be having a wine tasting fundraiser this weekend in Santa Monica.

This is the first I've heard of them, but proceeds benefit Equality California, whom I am familiar with as one of the larger gay rights associations in California. If I didn't have previous engagements and a wedding to pay for I would consider attending.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Let California Ring Campaign

I have no idea how long these ads have been out since I watch nearly no television, but I loved this when I saw it for the first time last night. I don't know why I was so touched by it.

I found it so easy to relate to the scenario because I think as a gay person you tend to feel like this a lot of the time. Like people you don't know and circumstances you can't control are finding ways to trip you up or make your life more difficult, and when it happens it always seems to come all at once.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What To Do With All The Wedding Photos?

One great thing about our photographer is that included in her price are all the negatives from pictures she takes, and she also scans the negatives to create digital copies of the pictures. It's the best of both worlds. Also by having your negatives you don't have to go back to your photographer to buy prints or have albums made, which is how a lot of photographers make money. If negatives are not included in your photo package some photographers will charge you up to $1000 more if you want them. As you can see a "bargain" photographer can get expensive very quickly.

So you've got all these pictures, and what do you do with them? I really like the idea of creating your own large format coffee table book. One of the companies I am considering is They have been recommended by many of the brides on and they have reasonable pricing. I just ordered a book from them this week and am very excited to see what the end result will look like.

I have not discarded the possibility of ordering one albums offered by SkyeBlu photography though. I got to see a sampling of them during our meeting with Danielle and was really impressed by the quality, beauty, and uniqueness of some of the albums we saw. One in particular was really nice and had a stainless steel cover and really thick pages, like you would find in a children's boardbook. The great thing is that all of these choices are still a long way off, so let's see how much money we end up spending before we make plans to spend more!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Prop 8 Language Will Stand As Written

A judge in Sacramento has ruled that the summary description of prop 8 that will appear in Ballots does not have to be rewritten. The judge ruled that the summary which states that prop 8 will eliminate the rights of gays to marry is in fact a true statement. I could have told you that much.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Choosing the right photographer can be one of the most daunting tasks of planning a wedding. There seem to be two distinctive price ranges for photographers, and most of the time it would seem that you get what you pay for. The Low range seems to be from $800 to $2500. Within this range you usually get a single photographer and maybe a simple album. The quality of work is usually not great or consistent, but there are always exceptions.

The higher price range can go from $5,000 to $9,000, and in these instances you are usually paying for multiple photographers, established businesses, and more high end final products. In this price range you can and should expect consistently great pictures, and if you have the money to spend all that's left is finding one that fits your style.

We ended up going with Danielle Biel at Skye Blu photography. Right now she's at the low end of the higher price range, and for the price she is a bargain. I love her attention to detail and she has a great eye for portraits. I found her by chance doing a google search, I fell in love with her work, and meeting her in person only cinched the deal for me.

There are so many things that I really loved about Danielle; one is that she shoots all her pictures using film. It is so rare and refreshing to find a photographer that uses film these days that it was definitely a strong selling point for me. Another one was that on her website each gallery is compromised of an entire wedding, and each gallery has lots of great pictures. Instead of some photographer's who will just show you some good pictures here and there. The truth is give anyone a camera, and they can take a few good pictures, so always ask to see albums that are comprised of an entire event.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Jerry Brown Says Proposition 8 not Retroactive

From the San Francisco Chronicle

State attorney general Jerry Brown has said that prop 8 can not be applied retroactively to marriages that take place before the proposition is passed, if the proposition is passed. That certainly won't stop right wing groups from trying to make that argument.

Brown is already on bad with the pro-prop 8 people for the official title his office gave the proposition. The title includes the words "eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry." Apparently the yesw on prop 8 people aren't happy to call things what they are, they would rather stick to euphemisms like "marriage limits."

I think we all owe Jerry Brown a big thank you for all he's doing! It might just be political grandstanding, but at least he's got the cojones to stand up for the rights of California gays to be married, too bad we can't say the same about Obama.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Vow to Vote No on Prop 8

There is a great campaign underway from Equality for All asking Californians to vote no on the upcoming November ballot initiative to change the state constitution and take away the right to marry from gay and lesbian people. I have a real nifty graphic over in the right hand corner that tells you how many people have vowed to vote no, and you can add yourself to this number through this very blog!

All you have to do is enter your email address and zip code. Through the graphic you can also visit the Equality for All website and make a monetary contribution to the campaign, or even form a gift registry for your upcoming wedding (in case you don't need another toaster).

Monday, August 4, 2008

Disneyland Wedding Information

For anyone out there that thinks a Disneyland or Walt Disney World Wedding might be for them, the best place to start is the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings Website. I think I have poured over every single page on this website enough to be able to rebuild the website if need be.

The website is great and shows you some general options, but is definitely lacking in the arena of specifics. My first question was: How much will it cost? For specifics you have to call the Disney people and sometimes it can take a few days to get a hold of them (this is according to other people, in my experience I've never had any trouble getting through to them).

A great source of more specific information is This woman has put together a wonderful resource for anyone trying to plan a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding. One work of warning from the webmaster herself, she does not work for Disney, and the prices she gives might not be up to date.

A Disney wedding is not for everyone, but it's also a class act all the way. Just because you get married at Disney, it doesn't mean you get a Mickey Mouse wedding, unless that's what you really want.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gay Wedding Resource from the LA Gay and Lesbian Center

The LA Gay and Lesbian Center has put together a website that's filled with really useful information for gay and lesbian couples planning to get married. The LA Gay Wedding Guide has vendors, information, and really great section with legal answers to some questions that come up often.

The vendor recommendation areas are still a little sparse, but honestly sometimes when you are planning a wedding less choices can make the entire process a little less stressful. Have you ever gone to a restaurant and they bring out a five page menu and you have no idea what you want?

This is a great place to begin some wedding planning, but seeming as there is no large gay wedding industry yet gay people are still on their own when it comes to lots of things. I find it much easier to plan because of this though, because there aren't new vendors popping up every day saying "you need this to make your day perfect." The fact is you don't need anything to make your day perfect except for your betrothed, and maybe a delicious cake.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

If I Weren't So Excited to Be Having a Disneyland Wedding

I think I would want to have my wedding at this place. The Las Rocas resort is a hotel and Spa in Rosarito Beach, Baja California. It's only a 45 minute drive from the border to Rosarito Beach and the location looks amazing.

I had the pleasure of meeting their event manager at the same sex wedding expo in Long Beach. He told me that they have been doing same sex ceremonies since 2004, and he and his partner had their ceremony there.

They have all inclusive wedding packages for 100 guests starting at $4000 for low season weekday wedding and up to $8000 during a peak season weekend. You pay a set price per guest over 100, and room minimums apply.

It should go without saying, but never book a venue sight unseen. A site visit is a must unless you live very away from the venue, and then you are completely in "at your own risk" territory.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Our Reception Site

Originally we thought that we wanted to have our reception at the Grand Californian Hotel. I was really excited at the prospect of our guests walking through the sliding stained glass doors at the entrance, entering the lobby, and feeling the sense of awe I felt the first time I stepped into the hotel. Unfortunately that sense of awe did not extend to the ballrooms that were available to groups our size at the hotel.

These rooms were not terrible by any means. They were very nice and had some very nice details, wood paneling on the walls, tiffany lamps, and carpeting, but ultimately they just looked like a typical convention room. A nicer than usual convention room, but a convention room none the less. The rooms that are used for large parties look considerably nicer, it may be because of the hight ceilings, but we did not want to have a 200 guest wedding.

It turned out the perfect reception site was at the Disneyland Hotel. The hotel is older and nowhere near as nice as the Grand Californian, but the Sleeping Beauty Pavilion was perfect, and we decided to make it the venue for our reception.

It is an octagonal shaped room with floor to ceiling windows. It is on the second floor of the hotel, so when you are sitting in the room you feel as if though you are sitting in the trees. It will make a great site for the reception, and I think all the guests will be surprised at how nice a Disney wedding really is.

The moment we booked our reception site I started thinking about ways we might decorate it. I really like the lighted draping in the ceiling, but I get the feeling it might be a bit expensive, and I can think of a few things I would rather spend that money one. If we were to go with the draping I would like to see something like this, with many different shapes, colors, and sizes of paper lanterns.

So far this is only one idea, and there are many more. I am really very eager to be able to talk to our event planner and see how much some of these things would cost us. I will make choices based on cost of having Disney do things and the cost of having an outside vendor do it. No matter what we do I know we will have a great time and a celebration our friends and families will enjoy.