We love when two worlds collide, especially when both of those worlds have to do with gay Philly. Today’s “The-The-Knot Tuesday” is a perfect example of that fusion.
Peter Reynolds and Brandon McShaffrey, both of Mauckingbird Theatre Company, got hitched in a lovely ceremony at the Patrick C. Haley Mansion in Joliet. Although McShaffrey and Reynolds are now both Philly-based, they were originally from Illinois.
Reynolds is the co-founder of Mauckingbird and McShaffrey is the company’s artistic director. Mauckingbird’s mission is to produce innovative, affordable, and gay-themed theater in the region, and have had recent hits such as a gender-bending version of The Importance of Being Earnest and a very gay production of Much Ado About Nothing.
Photographer Luis Fernando Rodriguez was on hand at the special wedding ceremony to capture the happy couple, and shared some of his snapshots with us.
One of our favorite new columns, Tie-the-Knot Tuesday, has featured a host of Philadelphia-area gay couples who have shared their marriage stories with our readers. We thought it was fitting to capture some of the best vendors, the venues, food, and florists that our couples selected as being gay-friendly and fun. Below you’ll find some of our favorite picks of where you and your wedding guests can enjoy a great meal, a hot dancefloor, yummy food, and beautiful flowers.
Dana and Tracey Jones raved about the floral arrangements from this Harrisburg-area flower shop. "The Garden Path florist gave us the most gorgeous floral arrangements ever," the couple wrote. After a brief browse through their website, it is easy to see why Dana and Tracey loved their flowers: the sheer amount of choices, colors, and arrangements makes this florist one to cherish. (3525 Walnut St., Harrisburg, PA. 800-467-0561)
The gay-friendly stationary designer was the pick of Adria and Stephanie Bartash, our first-ever Tie-the-Knot couple. The company, based in Conshohocken, promises "to have exactly what you are looking for in order to make all the elements of your invitation ensemble come together." A local favorite, the papery has been named to PHL17's "Hot List" for best stationary. (235 Cardinal Dr, Conshohocken, PA. (610) 940-1100)
Sure, we've all been in the mega department store many times, but for married couple Anthony Lower and Nick Scott, Macy's provided outstanding service as they found their wedding-day attire. "The folks at Macy's helped us find the perfect suits," they said. "They treated us like we were family members." With over a dozen locations in the greater Philadelphia area, there's a shop near by to help meet your suit and tie needs. (1300 Market St., Philadelphia, PA. (215) 241-9000)
This Philadelphia-based wedding planning agency wowed Em Sov and Kat Nuguyen, who used the studio to decorate their reception space. "They totally transformed Tai Lake Restaurant," the couple said. The website for the studio is gorgeous, and provides a host of pictures and portfolios of how they created beautiful weddings for both gay and straight couples. (600 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA. (215) 271-7160)
When you have two gorgeous brides like Ethelda Makois and Wendy Sheppard, you don't need to worry too much about make-up and hair! But, nevertheless, the couple selected this Warrington salon to complete their wedding look. Of note, they recommended their friend Rayna Philbrick, who did both their hair and make-up. The salon offers wedding packages, including champagne and orange juice! (1432 Easton Rd., Suite 1B, Warrington, PA. (215) 343-1900)
Tucked away on 14 acres is this gorgeous venue, selected by Sheri Donley and Meredith Swinney as the location for their special day. The club, which promises "a unique blend of delicious food, atmosphere and superior service," has just about everything, from a Grand Ballroom to a private bowling alley. It's also on the National Historic Registry, meaning guests will experience old-world charm with modern amenities. (411 W. Maneim St., Philadelphia PA. (215) 438-9900)
John Brady and Trent Williams claim that they "are not easily impressed," yet found that the services of Michael Hagan were "truly perfect." The Drexel Hill-based photographer has shot numerous weddings, portraits, sporting events, and art pictures, and has been in the business since 1994. In fact, he has shot over 1,000 clients and events and has taught over 3,000 photography students. (4106 Rosemont Ave., Drexel Hill, PA. (610) 405-4112)
We could not finish this round-up of vendors without mentioning this fabulous idea from Melissa Cooper and Lauren Schmucker, who held their reception at the world-renowned museum. "There were many memorable moments, from our ceremony under the stars in Fels Planetarium, to the cocktail hour in the new Brain Exhibit, followed by dinner and dancing in front of Ben Franklin himself," the couple said. Now, that's cool. (222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia, PA. 215.448.1200)
Want to be featured in a future Tie-the-Knot Tuesday? If you’re a gay or lesbian couple married in Pennsylvania, we want to hear from you. Contact us here.
Ethelda Makoid and Wendy Sheppard
Every Tuesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle. Today, Wendy Sheppard and Ethelda Makoid, a couple from Ambler, Pennsylvania, one of the couples who married last summer when same-sex marriage became legal for a split-second in Montgomery County.
Names: Ethelda Makoid and Wendy Sheppard
How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: 10 years
When did you get married?: Officially on May 10, 2014 in Connecticut; unofficially in Montgomery County on August 8, 2013.
Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?: We got married on our 10-year anniversary in Greenwich, Connecticut. One-hundred of our closest family and friends traveled to be with us from 15 states and two countries. Prior to getting married, our son produced an award winning documentary (see clip below) detailing his experience living with two moms. His film won him the Greenfield Youth Film Festival award for best producer and he was nominated for best documentary at the mid-Atlantic division of the Student Emmy’s. The most memorable part of our wedding is the fact that we got nearly a dozen thank-you notes from guests, thanking us for including them in our celebration.
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Larry Benjamin (left) and Stanley Willauer on their wedding day.
Philadelphia novelist Larry Benjamin and his longtime partner, Stanley Willauer, were married at the Philadelphia Wedding Chapel in East Falls on June 28th. The date, Benjamin tells me, has particular significance—not only is it the day of their original commitment ceremony 17 years ago, but the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Here, he shares a little more about their day:
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Newlyweds Steve Meyers and Scott Rollick. Photo by Debbie McGeorge of Art + Life Photography.
Steve Meyers and Scott Rollick were all set to tie the proverbial knot in January, when Scott came down with an illness that landed him a two-month stay in the hospital. Needless to say, the couple, who had been together 27 years, were forced to put off their big day a little longer. That wait came to an end on May 3, 2014, when they became husband and husband in a lovely ceremony at their home in Marlton, New Jersey.
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It’s a Federal Donuts wedding cake!
Sometimes you just don’t know you need something until you see it. But now that we know Federal Donuts wedding cakes are a thing, we definitely will be disappointed by the next wedding we go that doesn’t have this at the dessert table.
Philadelphia Wedding has all the details on the Fednuts Wedding cake.
We’re Obsessed: It’s a Federal Donuts Wedding Cake! [Philadelphia Wedding]
Federal Donuts [Foobooz]
Let me confess: I’m a lucky guy. When I started courting my soon-to-be-wife back in 2005, she quickly let me know she wasn’t a diamond kind of gal. So when I proposed, it was with a (very inexpensive) garnet ring, made by a local jeweler, of her choosing. When we got married, we sealed the deal with simple gold bands. And we did so at a wedding that we did our damndest to make as cheap, fun and low-maintenance as possible. All of which proved, as far as I was concerned, that we were a good fit.
So it’s possible that I have a bias when I ask the following, very-serious question:
Are American weddings destroying our economy and our society?
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On Nov. 3, Tamika Sherman & Griselle Morales were joined in marriage at the Talamore Country Club in Ambler, Pa. The wedding officiant, Colleen McDermott of Marry Me Philadelphia, shares the story:
A description of the day and photos after the jump »
Photo | Shutterstock.com
First thing’s first: I’m sure that Seth Adam Smith is a really, really nice guy. If you’ve seen the pictures on his website and read his writing, it’s clear that Smith has got a kind of earnest, freshly scrubbed All-American handsomeness, along with an intense desire to be a Good Man that one finds in really popular youth pastors. It’s a combination of qualities that is winning and should take him far in life.
But man, I cannot stand his most popular piece of writing. You’ve probably read it. It’s a blog post titled “Marriage Isn’t For You,” and in the last week it’s been linked in a million Facebook timelines, been featured on the Today show, and generally been applauded as a font of wisdom about what marriage should be.
Only: It’s not.
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