Fall industrial line dancing wedding with colorful touches
Frank and Will they fell for each other at Giddy Up Philly‘s free line dancing lessons so their industrial fall Philadelphia wedding heavily featured line dancing.
Who proposed or did you both?
Will: I proposed to Frank while we were on a cruise in the Caribbean. It was on the cliffs overlooking the ocean at the ruins of Tulum. It wasn’t a complete surprise, we had talked about it for a few months before the cruise, so Frank knew it was coming, but he didn’t know exactly when or where it would happen (but I couldn’t wait longer than our first port).
Frank: I remember us talking about it and us agreeing to “make it official” over the course of the cruise. I knew Will was going to propose but I didn’t know when or how. I was a little nervous throughout, but it turned out to happen on the most beautiful day and location. I still remember the view. You could see clear across a small bay into the ocean; it was breathtaking. He also proposed with a pocket watch instead of jewelry which meant a lot because I really like clockwork pieces.
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
Will: I think the one thing that made everything easier was finding a venue that we knew was LGBTQ-friendly and that was something we looked for from day one. From there, they were able to direct us to vendors they had worked with in the past and we were reasonably confident that they would be on the same page. Even then, we still looked for vendors who were advertised as LGBTQ-friendly where we could. One piece of advice that isn’t LGBTQ+ related specifically… get a planner. We thought it would be easy because we didn’t have really strong opinions about most things, and while that was true, we really could’ve used someone to help keep us organized and make sure we didn’t forget anything. On the day of the wedding, we both needed to buy undershirts because we forgot they weren’t with our suits.
Frank: One of my groomsmen had been recently (in 2-3 years) married and he was a real life-saver. There were a number of logistical elements we didn’t really think about or have a plan for and he not only quickly figured that out but helped us find out the right solution. Having someone with experience involved definitely helped make things go smoothly.
Advice for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?
Frank: Especially in the case of ceremonies that may not follow any specific religious or cultural traditions, I would suggest the vendors ask some probing questions about logistics early. There were a number of things that sort of all came together at the last minute for us because we didn’t really think to ask about them or organize ahead of time. And our experiences were mostly coming from the straight weddings of our friends and family, so we couldn’t always use those experiences fully as they were to help us prepare for ours. Everything worked out beautifully, but in retrospect, there could have been some better planning.
What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
Will: The only real LGBTQ-related challenge we ran into, oddly, was getting our rings. I’m not sure if it was because we were a gay couple, or just because we were looking for men’s rings, but it took us more jewelers than I can remember before we found one who was eager to help us. That said, at least in Philadelphia, there are plenty of jewelers, and no one was abusive about it, a lot of them just seemed disinterested once they realized we weren’t looking for a woman’s ring.
Frank: I agree. I will say, the jeweler we chose, the Sydney Rosen Company, was very helpful and I felt went above and beyond from the moment we entered their establishment. I think another challenge we ran into since we had decided to avoid performing a specific religious ceremony was organizing the structure of the ceremony itself. We ended up using a template we found online.
Did you encounter any pleasant surprises as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
The best surprise was how few issues we ran into. Philadelphia is a big city, so I don’t think we really expected problems, but we both grew up in the 90s. I think there’s at least a small part of all of us that still expects and braces for issues even if they’re becoming rarer.
Photographer: Shannon Collins Photography
Venue: Power Plant Productions
Jewelry: Sydney Rosen Company
Catering: JPM Catering
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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