Tie-the-Knot Tuesday: Sheri Donley + Meredith Swinney

Sheri Donley and Meredith Swinney.

Sheri Donley and Meredith Swinney.

Every Tuesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle in their own special way. Today, we feature Philadelphia’s Sheri Donley and Meredith Swinney. The couple planned their wedding for years but secretly hoped that Pennsylvania would change their marriage equality laws so they could tie the knot here; lucky for them, their dream came true.

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Tie-the-Knot Tuesday: Dana and Tracey Jones

Dana and Tracey Jones

Every Wednesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle in their own special way. Today, we feature Dana and Tracey Jones, a lesbian couple from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who incorporated their two lovely children in their marriage ceremony.

Names: Dana and Tracey Jones

How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: 2 years

When did you get married?: October 2, 2010, in Pennsylvania with a ceremony and reception. Then we did it in New York City to make it legally recognized on April 20, 2012.

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Tie-the-Knot Tuesday: Anthony Lower and Nick Scott

Anthony Lower and Nick Scott with Mayor Nutter.

Anthony Lower and Nick Scott with Mayor Michael Nutter.

Every Wednesday, we feature a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle in their own special way. Today, we feature Anthony Lower and Nick Scott from Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.

Names Anthony Lower and Nick Scott

How long have you been together as a couple before you got married? 18 years

When did you get married? May 24, 2014

Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?

Anthony Lower and Nick Scott

Anthony Lower and Nick Scott

We got our license on day two, missing the license office closing by two minutes on the first day. We walked out with the license not knowing what to do next. We wanted a big wedding, but hadnt saved for one. That Friday, City Hall called to ask if we wanted to be married on Saturday by Mayor Nutter. It turned out there were 20 couples being married. My brother and his wife came and cried the entire time. Our ceremony, vows provided by the judge who married us, was lovely. We both cried as well—though the video doesn’t show it. People on the streets were knew we were newly married. We got lots of “Congratulations” yelled out of cars and across the street as we walked to lunch from City Hall. Then there was the decrepit, sweet-looking little old man who asked me where my bride was and then called us “f*ggots”! Nick, my brother, his wife, Nick’s best friend, and I laughed our asses off.

Were there any local businesses that were helpful when you prepared your wedding?

  • The folks at Farrell’s Florist in Drexel Hill were awesome. As soon as they heard “gay wedding,” they were very excited that we’d be their first one and treated us so well.
  • The folks at Macy’s helped us find the perfect suits; like we were family members.
  • We did spend the honeymoon weekend in The Windsor Suites Hotel and even though they were booked due to some event in the city, they upgraded us to a really nice room on check-in when they realized we’d just been married. The entire front desk team was clapping.

Want to be featured in a future Wedding Wednesday? If you’re a gay or lesbian couple married in Pennsylvania, we want to hear from you. Take our brief survey!

To Do: Workout for Brides (with Cocktails!) in Wissahickon Valley Park

Photo by Flickr user Rhys A.

Wissahickon Valley Park | Photo by Flickr user Rhys A.

Getting hitched soon? Philly brides are invited to Cardio and Cocktails, a group run and cocktail tasting in Wissahickon Valley Park.

You’ll start the evening off with a run led by always-energetic personal trainer Holly Waters through the Wissahickon trails. Once you’re nice and sweaty, you’ll end your run at Valley Green Inn, where you’ll enjoy a cocktail tasting and a chat with wedding planner Kate Harron. So this event has cardio, cocktails, and weddings—can you think of a better combo?

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Woman Crush Wednesday: Colleen McDermott

Every hump day, a Philly woman shares her local picks for Woman Crush Wednesday. Today, ally Colleen McDermott, owner and officiant of Marry Me Philadelphia (MMP), a service that happily performs same-sex unions in Philly and beyond. 

Recent Woman Crush Wednesdays

Shoe Envy: The Half-Pump, Half-Bootie Hybrid

Alyse's-ShoesWhen it comes to odd combinations, there have been plenty in the fashion world, especially in footwear. (Do you recall this eye-searing precursor to the ubiquitous wedge sneaker? What about Prada’s Mary Janes with the attached leg?) But when our associate photo director Alyse Moyer waltzed into my office this morning wearing these, the idea of merging a classic, elegant black D’orsay-style pump with a rocker-ish suede ankle boot suddenly seemed like the best pairing in the world. It’s like chaps, but for your ankles. And who doesn’t wish they could rock a pair of chaps?

Find out where she got ‘em here.

J Crew Profiles First Gay Wedding

Benjamin and Ray have become the first gay couple that J Crew has profiled in its online “Wedding Album.” The two men tied the knot recently in an 11th-century chateau in the south of France – both donning their signature J Crew Ludlow tuxes. In the interview, the two say they first met in Hudson River Park on a sunny day in New York City – a meeting “that changed our lives forever.”

The happy couple (courtesy of J Crew)

Click here for more about their wedding.


First Marriage Discrimination Lawsuit Filed

For the first time since same-sex marriage became legal in New York in the summer of 2011, a discrimination lawsuit has been filed against a venue that has denied a same-sex couple the right to tie the knot there.

Melisa Erwin and Jennie McCarthy of Albany, New York were nearly all set to get hitched at the Liberty Ridge Farm when the owners found out that what they were planning was a gay wedding—then the planning came to a halt. Because while it seems like the owners kinda wished them well, they still made it clear that because Melisa and Jennie were gay, they would not allow them to marry there; that they had the right to “market” their business to whomever they saw fit.

But the thing is, while New York law does allow exemptions for some religious institutions to remain uninvolved with same-sex marriage, it does not allow for places “of public accommodation” to make the same refusal. That part of the law has yet to be officially interpreted—but it’s sure about to be, now.

Click here to read the entire story.

Gay Marriage Makes $275 Million for New York

Photo by Think Stock

It was a year ago this July that New York state legalized gay marriage, and in that past year, New York City’s economy alone was flooded with $275 million in revenue thanks to that decision.

Because the thing is, with that many more weddings going on, there are that many more people out and about and opening up their wallets—200,000 more people, it’s estimated. Those people ate, they stayed in hotels, they shopped. And they celebrated their friends’ ability to tie the knot with the government’s blessing.

“You look over the last few months and say the world has not changed dramatically,” Republican State Senator Jim Alesi said. “It still turns around 24 hours a day, but lives have changed for the better, those people that now can be married.” He, along with three other Republicans, voted to legalize same-sex marriage last year, ensuring a win of 33-29 in the senate.

“I received the usual kind of political threats that, you know, We’re gonna kill you politically,” Alesi said. “But there were also a lot of people that were just everyday people that I wouldn’t have expected to come up to me and say they were going to support me, that they believed it was courageous.”

The senator even attended a gay wedding this week.

It’s a pretty happy thing all around.

Click here for more wedding news.


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