Pantone, the global color authority and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, has announced is color of the year for 2014: PANTONE® 18-3224 Radiant Orchid. The captivating hue is magical and enigmatic, and we love it for weddings! It'll produce a gorgeous glow for both men and women, enlivening the skin as it blends both cool and warm undertones. Try pairing it with red for an air of sultriness, as well as sister shades of lavender, purple and pink. We'd even love to see it alongside turquoise, teal or bright yellow. The vibrant color is a lovely primary shade for coupling with a neutral such as gray, beige and taupe.
The color of the year selection requires careful consideration and, to arrive at the selection, Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.
For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. Previous Pantone colors of the year include PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013) PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012), PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011) and PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010).
“While the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society. An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”
Family Ties star Meredith Baxter is equally wed!
Baxter, 66, and her longtime partner, contractor Nancy Locke, were married in an intimate ceremony on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Close friends and family—including Baxter's five children—witnessed the couple exchanging handwritten vows.
Baxter and Locke have been together since 2005. This isn't the first time Baxter has tied the knot. She was married three times before—Baxter was wedded to Robert Lewis Bush from 1966 to 1971, to David Birney from 1974 to 1990 and finally to Michael Blodgett from 1995 to 2000.
The mother of five had three children with Birney—Mollie, Kate and Peter—and two with Bush, Eva and Ted.
Baxter came out as a lesbian in 2009, although she has been dating Locke for seven years.
"I feel like I'm being honest for the first time," she told People at the time.
Locke, who is a building contractor, has a band that reportedly played at the wedding reception. The women also wanted to be sure they took the right steps for their first dance and reportedly prepared with lessons before their big day.
"Now I understand why marriage caught on!" Baxter tells People.
Photo: Laurie Schenden
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Practice group of Marcum LLP, a top national accounting and advisory firm, today released its Top 10 Tax Planning Tips for Legally Married Same-Sex Couples. The guide provides a preliminary roadmap for same-sex married couples in the first year they will file taxes since the federal government officially recognized same-sex marriage for tax purposes.
“Since the Defense of Marriage Act was invalidated by the Supreme Court in June, 2013 is the first tax year same-sex married couples will be able to file joint federal tax returns,” said Nanette Lee Miller, National Leader of Marcum’s LGBT Practice. “We are advising all our clients to take full advantage of the tax planning opportunities now available to them and to be proactive in leveraging tax provisions previously accessible only to heterosexual families.”
“Estate planning is also an essential component of effective tax planning and wealth preservation,” said Janis Cowhey McDonagh, Co-Leader of the firm’s LGBT group and a trusts and estates attorney. “2013 is a brand new environment for same-sex married couples looking to minimize their tax exposure. It is important to consider the full range of options for protecting their families and their assets.”
Marcum’s Top 10 Tax Tips for LGBT married couples is a companion to the Firm’s Top 10 Non-Traditional Family Estate Planning Checklist. The tax tips start with these basics:
To download the complete guide, or for more information about tax and estate planning services for same-sex married couples, visit www.marcumllp.com. An interactive map providing state-by-state information on same-sex marriage unions is also available on the website.
Related articles: Expert Advice: How to Legally Protect Your Relationship
Anita and Annebel had a lovely winter wedding at the Morrells in Northcliff Johannesburg, South Africa. We adore the elegant touches paired with vintage elements and all the florals.
Marriage equality in Illinois was signed into law on Nov. 20, 2013, but the law won't go into effect until June 1, 2014. But that's not soon enough for Vernita Gray, 64, a Chicago LGBT rights activist who suffers from life-threatening brain and bone cancer. She wants to marry her girlfriend of five years, Patricia Ewert.
The couple, left, had a civil union celebration on Aug. 13, 2011.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and Lambda Legal brought the case to court Nov. 22.
“Vernita is terminally ill and she wishes to marry the woman she loves before she dies—and now she won’t have to wait another day,” said Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project director for Lambda Legal. “These two women, who have loved and cared for each other in good times and bad, through sickness and through health, will get to know what it means to be married.”
U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin ordered Cook County Clerk David Orr, a longtime marriage equality supporter, to issue a marriage license to Gray and Ewert.
Their marriage will relieve Ewert from having to deal with estate tax should Gray die. (The basis of the lawsuit of Edy Windsor vs. United States of America, which resulted in the overturning of a key section of DOMA.) This marriage certificate for Gray and Ewert also allows Gray to die with the dignity of full legal recognition of her relationship.
H/T: Daily Kos
Photo: Kat Fitzgerald
Genevieve Shingle, owner of My Little Vow, offers 10 quick tips to writing your wedding vows
Genavieve Shingle is the founder of My Little Vow, a lesbian-owned wedding vow writing company.
Photo by LeahandMark.com | Sarah and Dawn's Real Wedding
I think Amy would agree we had both known we would become engaged and married to another a long time ago and it became a joke sort of – who would beat who to the proposal.
I ultimately thought she would propose but one day it occurred to me that I didn’t have to wait for her to propose to me. My future/our future was up to me as much as it was up to her. When I decided I wanted to propose I reached out to some of my friends and family for their blessing and support as well as her sister and parents. The next few weeks I spent brainstorming the perfect proposal. To me the perfect proposal was something romantic, full of special meaning, a genuine surprise, and heavily involved our son Grayson.
A Mother’s Day to remember sprung from those items. Grayson LOVES to read books before bed so I thought he and I would create a book for Amy. I wrote the story and added images he could color then sent it off for printing. The story line was such that Grayson wanted to give her the BEST Mother’s Day gift but those things like a Movado watch, English bulldog, jewelry or a robe didn’t seem special enough. The last page of the book reads that Grayson is giving her a family. By the time she got to the last page she was crying and I was on one knee.
Speaking of the ring. I spent lunch hours and evening hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays skipping around to several local jewelry stores. Because of her profession she actually wanted something pretty simple – a channel set diamond band. But I wanted round diamonds that didn’t wrap the whole way around the finger and if it’s going to be a band it still had to pack some pretty shine. Funny, after all the running around, it took only 15 minutes to look at the final ring Murphy Jewelers had found for me and sign the papers.
The final details and coordination were the most difficult. I wanted to propose at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in honor of her late friend Burgi but Mother’s Day was rainy and cold and Amy wanted to do so many errands and house jobs that I had to convince her it wouldn’t take long. My sister and brother-in-law joined us for breakfast and I purchased some Gerber daisies and told her I wanted to start a new tradition of leaving the flowers at Hawk Mountain in honor of her friend Burgi, our grandmothers, and all mothers so we headed up the mountain after breakfast. Grayson handed his mom her Mother’s Day gift. It was perfect. And I think we actually did surprise her. We had an impromptu family gathering to celebrate that afternoon!
Amy and Val plan to marry in May 2014, and we can't wait to cover their big day!
In an average year, more than 2.1 million American couples get engaged—and the number of gays and lesbians marrying is rising, too, thanks to the increasing states offering marriage equality.
Because there are so many details that go into planning a proposal, it’s easy to forget a critical step: insuring the ring! This is the very first step you can take to guarantee the ring will always be a reminder of your love and commitment. A recent Jewelers Mutual survey of 650 recently engaged men found that 50 percent of men did not insure the ring after purchase, leaving the jewelry without protection in cases of loss, theft or damage.
Look, we know it’s an extra cost that you might not want to deal with—but imagine if the ring was stolen or lost? It can happen easily—especially the losing part.
So when should you insure the ring? Experts agree that applying directly after purchase is the most ideal time to get protection; it's fast, easy and more affordable than you may think. Get a free Perfect Circle Jewelry Insurance quote from Jewelers Mutual and see for yourself. Once it’s insured, you will feel confident that the ring is ready to dazzle your future spouse.
A marriage proposal is a stressful event for a hopeful future bride, broom or groom, but ensuring the ring is kept safe until the question is popped doesn't have to be. Here are five tips on protecting your ring until the big day:
Store the ring in a safe place. 66 percent of men reported in the survey that they stored the ring at their place of residence after purchase. This may not be the safest option.
Ensure she or he doesn't find it. Hiding the ring at home raises the potential that a future bride or groom will discover it. Keeping the ring at a bank safety deposit box will prevent this from happening and also keep the ring safe from theft.
Document it. Have you made a list of all of the things you will need for a proposal? Flowers, music, location? Don't forget to also keep an accurate appraisal of the ring. Make two copies and store one separate from your jewelry. Also be extra smart and include a photo or video of the ring. (Though be sure to delete that photo from your phone after you snap it.)
Keep it with you and don't leave it unattended in a car or suitcase. If traveling to a special destination for a proposal when you arrive at a hotel or restaurant, don't hand your jewelry bag to a hotel or restaurant staff. Carry it personally.
Insure it right. Perfect Circle Jewelry Insurance from Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company provides personal jewelry protection against loss, damage, theft and mysterious disappearance wherever your travels take you, worldwide. So get the right insurance then relax and wait for the “Yes!” you are expecting.
Underwritten by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, Neenah, Wisconsin. Coverage is subject to underwriting review and approval, and to policy terms and conditions.
Photos (top to bottom, left to right): Courtney & Katie Real Wedding, Boro Creative Visions Photography; Breken + Carter Real Wedding, Jessica Hill; Emily + Charlyn, Amanda Hedgepeth Photography
Marty + Charlene's Royal Blue and White Minnesota Yacht Wedding
Marty and Char live on a small hobby farm in rural Arlington, Minnesota, with their dog, Jake, four horses, one donkey, five house cats, and numerous chickens, peacocks, guinea hens and barn cats. The women have been together since 1989, and got engaged in a closet after Governor Mark Dayton signed the marriage equality bill into law on May 14, 2013. Marty had already begun to plan the wedding when she suddenly realized she had not asked Char if she wanted to marry her. “Isn't that a funny thing, proposing in a closet?” Marty jokes. “But she said yes, and I was able to continue the planning. We were able to put together a fantastic wedding in just three short months that all of our friends have said was the best and finest and most fun wedding they have ever been to.”
About the day (Marty):
Our wedding day was simply splendid. The weather was gorgeous, the lake was calm and the sun was shining through some very high occasional clouds. Char's sister Wendy and her husband Dale picked us up and took us to the meeting place where a limo bus picked up the entire wedding party and took us to the Port of Wayzata where the cruise yacht the Bella Vista sailed from. The wedding party consisted of two best women (my best friend from work and my favorite soon-to-be sister-in-law) and 2 best men (Char's two brothers). Many people were already there and we spent our time chatting and enjoying people we had not seen in several months, some in several years. We boarded the yacht and set sail for a cove that was calm and beautiful. The Reverend Pat Williamson was the minister. He was delighted to be the one to perform the ceremony, and he did a beautiful job of it. Char’s uncle Harlan accepted the honors of giving her away. Char’s brother Kevin was the first best man and was one of the witnesses, and my best friend Michelle was my best woman and also signed as a witness.
TJ the DJ was a delight. He picked out the first dance song. I asked him to pick one that has a good beat that Charlene could feel. You see, she is deaf and dancing is not something she does a lot of. So he found one that worked wonderfully, but I cannot remember what it was. I was a bit caught up in the moment. The only song I really remember is the Chicken Dance song. It is a bit of a Minnesota tradition to be played at weddings. Of course, it was a huge hit.
Final thoughts (Marty):
We wished the day could have lasted forever, it was so much fun. The photographer was truly able to capture our fun and joy and for that we will be eternally grateful. Charlene and I have been together for more than 23 years. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine this would ever come to fruition, but then it did and we capitalized on it. We had the wedding of our dreams. We had the moment, and lived it to the fullest and Kelsey Thompson Photography captured it for us forever. We both agreed it was singularly the best day of our lives together.
Wedding venue: Al and Alma's Cruises on Lake Minnetonka
Music: TJ the DJ
Photographer: Kelsey Thompson Photography
Officiant: Reverend Pat Williamson of Christ Unity Church
Find equality-minded wedding vendors in your area.
Same-sex marriage makes headlines every day, and this week the cartoonists are getting in on the action with two major news stories. Signe Wilkinson takes the side of Methodist pastor Rev. Frank Schaefer, who was suspended from ministerial duties for officiating his son's same-sex marriage, while Matt Wuerker illustrates a Thanksgiving dinner at the Cheneys now that Liz Cheney has made vicious public statements about gay marriage, even though her sister, Mary Cheney, is a married lesbian.
Q So we’re two women in love, and we want to get married. We each want to surprise the other with a ring and ask the question…
If this were a straight relationship, I guess the guy would propose to the girl. Neither of us is a guy, so how do we do this? Whoever goes first gets to be the one who does the surprise, and then what’s the point of the second person doing anything?
Is there a solution we’re not thinking of? Has anyone else come up with a workable idea? How have other same-sex couples become engaged, if both wanted to do the asking?
A Let’s think of this like surprising each other with an invitation to go on a date. Both invitations are equally special, though who does it first might be considered the braver or more prepared of the two—as well as the one whose story is told first when people ask to hear your engagement story.
Many Equally Wed readers have talked to us about this very issue, and the solutions are as varied as the couples themselves. But it usually boils down to most couples choosing to select their engagement rings together, and then knowing proposals are imminent. Some, like one of our Real (Gay!) Weddings couples Jesse and Fernan, have been so in sync they actually proposed to each other on the same night—unplanned!
You could also plan a proposal evening together if neither of you likes the idea of getting to be the one to surprise the other. It would be like a wedding ceremony where you write your own vows, so what’s being said by each of you is a surprise, but you both know that in the end, you’ll be asking her to spend the rest of her life with you and vice versa.
The purpose of the second person in the relationship proposing is usually if the original proposer wants to also be swept off her feet with a proposal or has the need to wear an engagement ring. It’s not necessary, and not all lesbian or gay couples do it. But if you both want it, that’s all that matters.
Q We’ve invited everyone in our social circle to our wedding, except one fairly new guy who I—and my fiancé—really can’t stand. He makes mean jokes and drinks a bit too much. We don’t want him at our special event, but it’s gotten rather awkward with our friends, who don’t seem to understand and keep suggesting ways to get him invited. How can we settle everyone down and still come out looking like the good guys?
A You’re under no obligation to invite anyone you aren’t comfortable with at your wedding. Of course, sometimes you may want to keep the peace with people who really matter to you, such as your folks who may be helping foot the bill for your shindig and are insisting that their neighbors be invited. But this so-so friend of yours, or rather it seems a friend of your friends, shouldn’t get an invitation to the exclusive day of yours, and it’s your decision—no one else’s. Often times, friends who haven’t planned a wedding really have no concept of how much money, time and planning goes into the day, and that an extra eater really can raise your costs. But probably most important is that you should only invite guests who you feel a good connection with and want to bear witness to your unwavering commitment to each other for the rest of your days, and this dude clearly isn’t one of those people. Take the ring leader of your friends out to lunch and state your case without insulting the other guy. It’s always easiest to blame the budget—no one can argue that in this economy. Explain how you and your fiancé have to draw the line at some point on the guest list in order to stay within budget, and you’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t invite every Dick and Harry that you have a good time with socially. Be firm, be polite, and don’t feel like you have to apologize. This is your wedding day, and your close friends should want to support you in all your wishes.
Kirsten Ott Palladino is the co-founder and editor in chief of Equally Wed, the nation’s leading gay and lesbian wedding and honeymoon magazine. Follow her on Twitter. Connect with her on Facebook. Write her with your gay wedding questions. If she can't answer it, she'll find another expert who can!
Q Who walks down the aisle, who waits at the altar, does it matter if you’re in a suit or a dress? What’s correct for our gay wedding? For background, both my fiancée and I are wearing simple white wedding dresses. Neither of us are particularly butch or femme.
The beauty of gay weddings—well, there’s much that’s beautiful about our weddings—but at the core of planning one is that it is a celebration of love and a lifetime commitment between two consenting adults. It is not a straight wedding, yet we can look to the history of their weddings for traditions we want to keep and, similarly, things we’re not interested in claiming as our own. That being said, how you approach the altar is up to you. I’ve seen lesbian brides walk up holding hands.
In our Real Weddings section, we feature two butch brides, Stephanie and Julie, who walked up separately with their fathers. We also showcase Jonathan and Steve, two grooms who walked up the aisle together hand in hand. For my own wedding, Maria, who’s totally masculine and loves the traditional stuff as I do, wanted to wait at the altar for me in her white suit. And that allowed me to shine as the bride. The point is all our weddings are perfect because we’re doing what is most comfortable for us—and you should, too. Whether you’re in a gown, a suit or a grass skirt and a lei at an island-themed destination wedding. Do what feels right, and it’ll all come together naturally. Plus, when you’re at ease, the guests will be at ease.
Kirsten Ott Palladino is the co-founder and editor in chief of Equally Wed, an award-winning wedding and honeymoon magazine for gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, queer and allied couples. Follow Kirsten on Twitter. Connect with her on Facebook. Write her with your gay wedding questions. If she can't answer it, she'll find another expert who can!
By Kirsten Ott Palladino
The wedding industry is full of frothy gowns, heavily iced-out bling, slinky draped column dresses and layers of lovely lace. But what if you don't want all that on your body on one of the happiest days of your life? Even if your mother, grandmother and aunt are insisting that you should wear a dress, you can say no. No to a gown, and yes to pants. Brides, no matter their sexual orientation, should have the right to consider wearing pants on their wedding day and still be considered a bride (if you want!). Or at least know that pants are a viable, acceptable option. That's what Meg Keene, beloved editor in chief of APracticalWedding.com, wants you to know. She's even launched a photo-submission campaign called 1,000 Brides in Pants to support the mission.
"Many of the most prominent feminist voices have given into the idea that weddings are simply not worth the fight — that feminist weddings can't be a thing," says Keene. "But I believe that weddings are an excellent entry point to feminism. Many women get engaged and find themselves facing traditions like being given away, traditions that they may not have thought twice about before, but that are suddenly very discomforting." It's Keene's aim to prove that weddings can indeed promote feminism. A Practical Wedding's newly minted project Brides in Pants aims to break the commonly held belief that a bride is only a bride if she's wearing a dress.
At Equally Wed, we primarily serve same-sex couples, and our gay and lesbian female readers run the gamut from feminine brides to sporty, tomboy brides to butch brides to butch brooms. The broom term came along as a shortened version of bridegroom when our editor in chief and publisher married in 2009, and Maria absolutely didn't want to be called a bride, nor did she identify as a groom. And the word broom was born. (Although we also heard it later in the Sex and the City movie.) In many of our two-women weddings we've featured, more than half of the couples have at least one woman wearing pants, whether they're of the masculine styles from the likes of Express for Men, Armani and Men's Wearhouse or feminine looks from Sarah Jassir, Theia (left) or Lazaro (below).
“1,000 Brides in Pants was born of a bit of a verbal barroom brawl,” says Keene. She was discussing APW's mission of promoting feminist weddings over some whisky, and a friend asked, "How can feminist weddings even be a thing, if women don't feel like they can wear pants on their wedding days?" Challenge accepted, and 1,000 Brides in Pants was born. “One of the early feminist fights was getting women the right to wear pants,” says Keene. “As hard fought as that right was, most of us don't think about when we pull on our jeans in the morning. On our wedding day, however, different rules apply. Outside of the queer community, very few women even consider pants to be an option when getting hitched. You may not own a single skirt, but when it comes to shopping for your wedding outfit, the only acceptable option seems to be a dress.”
"One of the (many) blessings of the marriage equality movement is the way that the queer community has made all of us question and re-shape the traditions around weddings," Keene continues. "A very visible example of this is women getting married in pants. That ground has been broken by people more masculine of center, who would never consider wearing a dress on their wedding day. But for those of us who are more femme (queer or not), we still feel like a dress is our only real option. The best way to honor the progress that's already been made is to keep moving the conversation forward. So you self identify as a bride? Great. How would you rock pants on your wedding day? Our aim is to make a frothy wedding dress, or a lacy jumpsuit, or a sexy pants suit all equally viable alternatives for wedding wear. Or hell, jeans. After that, the sky is the limit."
To celebrate the re-launch of A Practical Wedding (it used to be a pretty blog for planning a practical wedding while staying sane, and now it's a gorgeous online magazine still offering tons of wedding advice for all couples), Meg Keene and her team of editors have launched the 1,000 Brides in Pants project. They aim to collect inspiration to prove that you can wear a (hot as hell) pants ensemble, and still feel as bridal as you want.
They'll be sharing photos of women who wore pants to their weddings, along with information about that First Wave Feminist fight to give us sartorial options. The goal is not to convince women that they should wear pants to get hitched (because many of us still love a good dress), but to start a conversation about why we feel like our wedding options are limited to dresses. Beyond that, we hope to discuss the basic rights that the feminist movement has gotten us, and where we can go next. Submit your photos at bridesinpants.com.
Photos: top, Ralph Alswang Photograpy; center: courtesy of Theia; bottom, Dan Lecca
Shane Bitney Crone is a hopeful romantic. His partner Tom Bridegroom was, too. They were hopeful romantics together until one day the unthinkable happened: Tom died. On May 7, 2011, the 29-year-old had a tragic accident and just like that, he was gone. Tom, the man Shane devoted all of his love to and shared all of his deepest secrets and wildest dreams with, was instantly removed from Shane’s life. In addition to this terrible thing, other unthinkable acts took place, including the hurtful behavior of Tom’s family. Because Tom's family would not accept that he was gay and because Shane and Tom were not married, Shane was excluded from the funeral, and he was denied any survivor benefits, despite owning a business and a home with Tom. The two young men shared everything together, saving money wherever they could so they could travel the world. They dreamed of one day becoming legally married when California would once again allow for gay marriage. Tragically, the overturning of Proposition came far too late for Shane and Tom.
On May 7, 2012, the first anniversary of Tom's death, Shane posted a video on YouTube titled "It Could Happen to You." He created it to honor his partner and show the world what can happen when two people committed to each other are legally barred from the rights and protections afforded by marriage. The video had a profound effect and quickly gathered more than 3 million views. (Now it's up to almost 4.5 million.)
The quest to turn it into a documentary rapidly became one of the most funded film projects of all time on Kickstarter. It has garnered attention from a host of celebrities, including Neil Patrick Harris, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Cher. And now that it's attracting viewers from all over, it's even got some titallating Oscar buzz.
I spoke with Shane Bitney Crone, now 27, in a transcontinental phone call—he in Los Angeles, me in Atlanta—and we came together for a discussion about how the movie Bridegroom came to be, moving forward after the loss of a loved one and what it’s like continuously revisiting a painful story.
Only a few weeks after the YouTube video was up, Linda Bloodworth Thomason, the Emmy-nominated creator of TV hits Designing Women and Evening Shade, called Shane. “She convinced me that this was story that needed to be told,” says Shane. “A lot of people don’t know this, but Linda’s mom passed away from AIDS after contracting the illness from a blood transfusion, and she witnessed firsthand the discrimination toward the gay community. This was personal for Linda, and it made me feel comfortable and trust her.”
Shane says that Kickstarter was the “right platform” for raising funds for Bridegroom because “so many people wanted to help.” It easily became “the people’s film” because it really could happen to any LGBTQ American not fortunate enough to live in a state where their marriage is legally recognized and have a supportive family.
The emotional and influential documentary—which Shane tells me took 12 months of working 10-12 hour days for 7 days a week to make—explores the outpouring of feelings that so many people, including Shane but also his family as well as friends that he and Tom shared and Tom’s childhood friends, felt. The film takes the audience through all the heart-shattering emotions that occurred with Tom’s death, Tom’s family’s shunning of Shane and the aftermath of it all. The takeaway—the available talking and thinking points—from the film is enormous. It speaks to being gay and young in America; coming out (or not); marriage equality; and homophobia in families, hospitals, schools and society at large.
Reliving the nightmare that he endured isn’t always easy for him, Shane says. His inspiration to forge on comes from the love he and Tom shared. “Tom always encouraged me to stand up for myself and believe in myself. I didn’t always do that, and I think he would be proud of me. Even though it’s not always easy, I feel like I owe it to him. […] I feel a sense of responsibility to continue sharing as long as it helps people. When I hear from suicidal teenagers who tell me [Bridegroom] gave them hope, I know I’m doing something good. This is bigger than me. This story represents a lot of people. It’s not just about me and Tom.”
Bridegroom’s message isn’t just for the LGBTQ community. It speaks to equality as a human right, which is why Bridegroom won the Audience Award at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, where it was introduced by former President Bill Clinton. Oprah debuted it on television on OWN, and it’s available on Netflix. On Nov. 19, Virgil Films released it for sale on DVD through Amazon and iTunes. (Go buy it now, rate it, review it, help get this important story get out to the masses.)
TALK TO SHANE
On Wednesday, November 20, Shane Bitney Crone will be giving an Ask Me Anything interview on Reddit. Join him at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT and ask him anything! Shortly before the AMA interview begins, Shane will post the link to the live thread on Twitter. @ShaneBitney
WATCH THE VIDEO
"It Could Happen to You," Shane Bitney Crone's video that inspired Bridegroom
Liz Cheney's declaration against gay marriage yesterday on Fox truly hurt her sister, Mary Cheney, and understandably so.
Liz, one of former Vice President Dick Cheney's daughters (pictured far left), said gay marriage is an area where she and Mary, her openly gay sister and also Dick Cheney's daughter, "disagree."
Mary Cheney, who married her wife, Heather Poe, in June 2012, responded on Facebook: "Liz—this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree you’re just wrong—and on the wrong side of history."
Her wife, Heather Poe, chimed in, too: “I can’t help but wonder how Liz would feel if as she moved from state to state, she discovered that her family was protected in one but not the other,” Ms. Poe wrote on her Facebook page.
“Yes, Liz,” she added, “in fifteen states and the District of Columbia you are my sister-in-law.”
Today at NewRepublic.com, Noreen Malone comments on Liz Cheney: "Her 'family values' position has very publicly made her actual family values (love, loyalty) look pretty rotten. Worse, it looks like the position she's ruining her relationship with her sister over isn't really one she holds, making her not just heartless but a hypocrite—which doesn't play well just about anywhere."
Mary Cheney, 44, said in a phone interview with The New York Times on Sunday that "she presumed her sister shared her father’s views on marriage, and that view was reinforced because Liz Cheney 'was always very supportive' of her relationship with Ms. Poe and the couple’s two children.
"She learned otherwise in August when Liz Cheney declared, shortly after announcing her Senate candidacy, that she was opposed to same-sex marriage rights. Mary Cheney said it is now 'impossible' for the sisters to reconcile as long as Liz Cheney maintains that position."
Photo via Queerty.com
We might be in the lowering temps of fall, but wedding companies are releasing their spring wedding products now, and we're pretty excited about the always gay-friendly Wedding Paper Divas offerings for the upcoming season. See all the newest designs, from sun-kissed, floral romantic illustrations to stylish statements, by clicking here. —Kirsten Palladino
The city sky is the limit at Faculty House, located on Columbia University’s pristine campus, where couples can customize their multiple event spaces to create the wedding of their dreams.
As any Manhattanite will tell you, New York City has a special “magic” to it—a city where you can get almost anything your heart desires.
Faculty House brings that essence into their iconic location on the Upper West Side of the urban island. Nestled on the esteemed, tree-lined Columbia University campus, the 1920s red-bricked landmark offers couples the opportunity to truly customize their special day, a trait that is difficult to find in New York City venues. “It’s where cosmopolitan meets campus serenity,” says Leslie Robinson, the Catering and Events Manager at Faculty House. “We’re this urban gem in upper Manhattan where you have great architecture near the park and a lovely terrace with skyline views.”
The 30,000 square feet of space is aptly divided into four floors to tailor to the needs of individual couples and allowing them multiple options for their ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and everything in between.
As guests pass through the landscaped courtyard, they enter the garden-level reception area which boasts original terrazzo flooring, a cascading marble staircase, and a lounge perfect for a relaxed cocktail hour. The second floor is favored for casual events, such as a rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch, while the third and fourth are designed for larger, formal affairs. The third floor, the Presidential Level, can accommodate up to 250 guests for dinner and dancing. “For our more traditional events, our Presidential ballroom is definitely ideal because of the amenities it has to offer: a built-in dance floor, great panoramic views of the city, and a monotone look that goes with any brides’ or grooms’ color palette,” says Robinson.
|The team doesn’t take LGBT concerns lightly, ensuring that each of the vendors they use are LGBT-friendly. “The entire staff at Faculty House understands that every client has to be greeted with a level of respect. Understanding their background and where they’re coming from and how they want their event to be executed,” says Hernandez.|
“Our fourth floor is really for the modern brides or grooms,” says Robinson. “It has that New York chic feel to it with the outdoor terrace.” Guests can dance the night away underneath vaulted ceilings and elaborate chandeliers in the dramatic, intimate space, while the terrace wraps around one side to offer breathtaking views of Manhattan’s sweeping skyline.
“You can choose which floor to use based on your own personality and the kind of event you want to have,” adds Kristina Hernandez, Director of Marketing at Faculty House.
Along with top-of-the-line atmosphere, Faculty House has partnered with some of the city’s hottest names to execute each event. The menus are envisioned by in-house executive chef Uwe Toedter, whose impressive culinary resume boasts stints at city staples such as Essex House and the Hilton New York. His farm-to-table mantra ensures that his creations are nothing short of genius and full with imaginative flavors.
Wedding cakes are provided by Ron Ben-Israel, well-known around town as the “Manolo Blahnik of cakes.” His lifelike confectionery couture is always one-of-a-kind bursting with flavors that melt in your mouth.
Along with the high-quality features of Faculty House, it’s their respect for the LGBT community that gives the gem that extra sparkle. “We’re a part of Columbia University, which is a very richly diverse and open community comprised of people from all walks of life—all cultural backgrounds, all religious affiliations, all sexual orientations—and I think the events we hold here are reflective of that,” says Hernandez.
The team doesn’t take LGBT concerns lightly, ensuring that each of the vendors they use are LGBT-friendly. “The entire staff at Faculty House understands that every client has to be greeted with a level of respect. Understanding their background and where they’re coming from and how they want their event to be executed,” says Hernandez.
Photo credit: Tom Crane
Dress Code: A Woman’s Guide to Custom Suits
Fashion-forward lesbians are turning to the gentlemanly tradition of bespoke suits.
Over the last five years, the bespoke suit industry has gained a cult following from fashionably clad lads fed up with off-the-rack labels, and now, the market’s couture umbrella is opening to more and more women, in particular, those who prefer a dash of masculinity into their wardrobe.
However, as women enter the tailors’ shops filled with their chalk-dusted patterns, the bespoke jargon and intimate, often unapologetic appraisal of the body can be intimidating.
“The first step in getting a bespoke suit is to congratulate yourself that you are going to invest in something made how things used to be made, of superior quality and fit, and just for you,” says Seyta Selter, owner of Duchess Clothier, which specializes in custom suits for butch brides.
As with any aspect of your upcoming wedding, you want to feel comfortable and assured that the vendor is creating a craftsmanship that you and your soon-to-be wife will be completely enamored by, all the while relaying your desire for a strong, structured suit as opposed to one that hugs the feminine form.
|While your tailor should thoroughly explain every detail, here’s a quick vocab lesson in bespoke terminology:
Break: The break is the fold that happens with lengthier trousers where they touch the shoe.
Cuff: A turned up hem, as found at the bottom of the leg of trousers or at end of shirt sleeves.
Cummerbund: A broad waist sash, usually pleated, which is often worn with a black tie.
Cut-Away Collar: Style of shirt collar that is more cutaway towards the shoulder, in varying degrees. Also referred to as Windsor collar.
Drape: The way a fabric hangs in folds.
Double-Breasted: Can be worn in place of the single-breasted in most situations. It is considered less formal, but that formality is more of an anachronism these days. It can be worn with a stiff front and wing collar, or a soft, turn-down collar. No waistcoat is ever necessary with a double-breasted jacket.
French Cuff: Style of cuff on a dress or formal shirt, which is folded back and then closed with cufflinks rather than buttons. Also known as double cuffs.
Gorge: Refers to the depth of the where the first button of the jacket or vest lands. For busty women, it is usually most flattering to have the gorge land either mid-chest right at the bustline, or a few inches below.
Handle: The feel of textiles when handled.
Interlinings: Jacketing lining made of a variety of fibers depending on usage and weight, often Bemberg, pure silk, twill, satin, rayon or viscose.
Lapels: Commonly known as the collar, a notch lapel is triangular in shape (and most common), while a peak lapel is v-shaped that points upward and a shawl is rounded (least formal).
Linen: Natural vegetable-based fiber, often seen in spring or summer styled suits.
Luster: Term used to describe the intensity with which light shines on a piece of fiber.
Made-to-Measure: Garment made from a pre-existing stock pattern that is altered, usually by machine, to fit the customer's measurements.
Melton: Felt-like cloth used to complete the under collar on a jacket or coat.
Merino Wool: Fine, silky and super soft, it is the finest grade of commercial sheep's wool available.
Mohair: Luxurious, lustrous and durable fiber produced by Angora goats.
Pleat: Fold of fabric generally pressed flat to allow extra room in the garment.
Puckering: Tendency of cloth to gather in runs, often apparent on the lapel and trouser seams and most common in fused apparel.
Single Cuff: Cuff normally found on business and long sleeve casual shirts.
Sleeve Pitch: Angle at which the sleeve is pitched to the sleeve head. In a bespoke suit the sleeve is pitched to match the angle at which the arm hangs naturally from the shoulder.
Taper: To become narrower, as in a trouser leg that is narrower at the ankle than the knee.
Tweed: Rough twilled woolen weaves and cloths used for suits, jackets and overcoats originally produced in Scotland.
Twill: Strong, woven fabric characterized by a diagonal weave.
Vents: Slits in the fabric either in center or side, based on preference.
The terms you use when describing your vision play a huge role in it becoming a reality. “Definitely ask if they have made masculine suits for women before,” explains Selter. “A good way to phrase this is to say you are looking for a ‘masculine silhouette.’ If they haven't, or seem uncomfortable or confused, turn around and walk out the door.”
Another good rule of thumb for brides wanting a handsome fit is to steer tailors away from princess seams. “These are the vertical seams you see on a lot of ladies' garments that give them an hourglass shape,” she adds.
Also ask about what the fitting process is like, and what they guarantee with fit. Since this outfit is an investment, nothing less than hand-stitched heaven, you want to make sure that if it isn't exactly as you want it when it is complete, that they are committed to fitting it on you properly.
Photo: Jessica Watson Photography
Dress the Part
The best way to give your tailor a true reflection of you is to dress like you. “Don’t try to dress up for the tailor,” says Selter. “Wear clothing that is as you as possible.” The tailor may request what they would like you to wear, most often to get an idea of how you prefer your pants fitted, and if this is the case, be sure to wear your favorite pair, whether they be hip-huggers, high-waisters or skinny jeans. “Your personal style coming into the consultation should alert the tailor of what you might like, in addition to what you verbally communicate to them.”
Selter also recommends wearing the undergarments (or something similar) that you’ll be wearing on the big day when you go in for your measurements. If you bind your chest, or plan on doing so for your upcoming wedding, be sure to do the same when you get fitted. “Breasts can vary in size so much from undergarment to undergarment, especially if binding is involved,” she explains. The same with the bottom half, whether you prefer loose boxers, briefs or anything in between, wear the pair you prefer.
Three months before the big day, mark on your calendar to start the bespoke suit process, starting with a consultation and ending in what is hopefully your dream suit.
“At Duchess, expect a really fun meeting where we get to find out about your event, your tastes, your fit likes and dislikes and then dive into books and books of swatches,” she says. “Each meeting is different, depending on how much the client knows what they are looking for, and what they have already thought about.” Regardless if you’re well-versed in suit lingo or a bespoke novice, your tailor should thoroughly explain each step in detail as you wind through style, fabric and detail decisions. “Different tailors have different methods of working with styles and details—some have books of style drawings; others have photos of details such as pocket styles to choose from,” she explains. “We have made our process friendly to both generalists, who aren't sure what they want, and detail-oriented people, who want to choose every style element separately.”
During the first fitting, you can expect about 30-40 intimate measurements taken of your body in order to ensure you receive a custom suit that is flawlessly fitted. Once style preferences have been voiced and measurements taken, the tailor then stitches a suit to baste stage, which is a suit temporarily stitched together so it can easily be taken apart for alterations. Your baste fitting will take place approximately 4-6 weeks after the first, at which your tailor, armed with chalk, pins and a measuring tape, will make adjustments. Afterwards, 80 rigorous hours of labor are put forth toward your custom creation. Once the suit is completed, you’ll go in for one final fitting and approval.
Then it’s time to take one well-dressed step toward forever.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday signed a bill into law that extends marriage rights to same-sex couples in his state, making it No. 15 in the lineup of U.S. states that legally recognize same-sex marriage. Illinois has passed the bill in the Senate and the House, but Gov. Quinn hasn't signed the bill into law yet (he is expected to do so on Nov. 20).
“What happened in this Legislature is people… listened to what their role was in terms of upholding the constitution,” Gov. Abercrombie said during the signing ceremony that took place at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. “It’s not a question of if it's a special interest. It’s a question of if it promotes the public interest.”
Hawaii’s same-sex marriage law will take effect on Dec. 2.
Read more on Washington Blade.
Photo: Hawaii United for Marriage