James and Renos’ blue and yellow gay destination wedding: Paros, Greece
From the couple: Our first three dates ended with at least one of us tripping on the way home, and gaining a scar as a reminder of the date. After 5 years of laughter, dancing, singing, screaming, drinking, cooking, caring, shouting, crying, kissing, eating and loving, Renos proposed at the Kruger National Park in South Africa. A messy, calm, logical Englishman and a tidy, excitable, emotional Greek began the final stages of our journey towards becoming a balanced married couple.
Renos being Greek-Cypriot South African and James being English, we had a host of possible wedding destinations. We considered both the UK and South Africa, but wanted a location central to all our guests. With Renos’ Greek heritage being so important to him and with the natural beauty of Greece, it was the perfect location for us. We had been to friends’ weddings in both Mykonos and Rhodes, in previous years and seen how truly special a wedding in Greece can be. James was the one that found Mimmika, our wedding planner online, through Google but in true Greek style, it wasn’t long before Renos and Mimmika were able to figure out how they were connected in the South African Greek community. We fell in love with Paros and its charm, the first time we saw it. It may not be as picturesque as Santorini or as lively as Mykonos, but for us it was the perfect blend of fun, beauty and tradition.
From Renos: “I have definitely met my soulmate in James. He is a pillar I can lean on, that is always there for me even through difficult times. We make a great team. I have found a best friend whom I feel comfortable around and can be myself. And he is someone that is constantly challenging me to become more. He is also the perfect chef!! Always caring for me in every way and makes the best cakes and meals.”
From James:”Renos has a beautiful innocence about him. He always sees the best in people and is very open to trust. No matter how many times he gets hurt, he wears his heart on his sleeve. I find his openness refreshing and I want to support him in being himself, but at the same time I am protective of his openness. Ultimately Renos lets me see the world in a different and beautiful light.”
Photographer: Vangelis Photography
Event Planner: by Mimmika
Event Venue: Aspro Galazio
*You may wonder why we use terms such as lesbian wedding, gay wedding, queer wedding, trans wedding, marriage equality and gay marriage. We really don’t want to label our own weddings. It’s just a wedding!!! Love is love! We’re equal to our straight friends. However, if you consider the population of heterosexuals in the world versus the LGBTQ community, there’s quite a lot more of them than there are of us. Which means that in the Internet world, we’re a speck in the enormous wedding world. Which is fine. We love our speck. There’s glitter and fabulous cocktails and music on our speck. Now that we have federal marriage recognition in the United States (hooray! Marriage equality!), traditional wedding media outlets such as Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot, Style Me Pretty, etc. are covering same-sex weddings in their own heteronormative but sweet ways—and they are using some of these search terms. And guess what, our community also is using terms such as gay marriage, lesbian weddings, gay weddings, two brides, two grooms when planning their weddings online. So if our community is actually going to find the resource that is going to help them plan their wedding with tailored language, knowledge and professional expertise truly geared toward them, Equally Wed is prepared to strategically use overt marketing tools of engagement. To search for equality-minded wedding vendors and venues in your community, click here. To submit a wedding, engagement story, personal essay, click here. To sign up for our mailing list, click here.
Equally Wed is a queer-owned privately operated global wedding magazine for LGBTQ couples. Our founders, Maria and Kirsten Palladino, launched Equally Wed in 2010 after having trouble finding supportive wedding vendors and LGBTQ visibility in wedding media when planning their own Atlanta, Georgia, wedding. The graphic designer/web developer and editor/writer decided to do something about it for their community. The name Equally Wed, the heart with an equal sign in it and the phrase “equality-minded wedding professionals” are all registered trademarks of Palladino Publishing, LLC.