On Tuesdays, we feature a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have recently wed. Today, Thomas Tracy and Elliott Wilson from Sicklerville, New Jersey, who surprised guests with a Celine Dion drag performance at their reception at Top of the Tower (and a costume change). Read more »
We’ve done our fair share of hating on Snooki, but it’s hard to poke fun at the gal when you hear stories like this: The Jersey Shore alum took to Twitter this week to announce that she’s an ordained minister—and one of the first weddings she’s going to officiate is that of her gay besties, hairstylists Bradley Moreland and Luis Miller:
Moreland, who works at Vidov Salon in New York posted a photo of him and his fiancé with Snooks earlier this month:
HuffPo’s gay voices reminds us that Snooki has long been an advocate of LGBT rights, once even going so far as saying: “”I’m praying I have a gay little boy one day,” when she spoke at a Trevor Project event in 2013.
Sure, there are so many wedding magazines on the market (including Philly Mag‘s own fabulous Philadelphia Wedding), but imagine wandering through the periodical isles at Barnes and Noble and finding a publication dedicated totally to gay ceremonies.
It would only make sense that such a magazine would come to market, given the drastic momentum behind legalizing gay marriage throughout the country, and EQL is it. The new publication, which comes out twice a year, is a glossy, gorgeous assortment of actual couples’ wedding celebrations, offering great ideas for just about any swanky or simple party. Read more »
Elad Strohmayer (left) and Oren Ben-Yosef
Gay wedding bells will be ding-donging at City Hall this week, when Mayor Michael Nutter officiates the wedding of Elad Strohmayer, deputy consul general of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, and his fiancé, Oren Ben-Yosef, in an intimate ceremony in the Mayor’s Reception Room.
Strohmayer and Ben-Yosef are both Israeli citizens who will be living in Philadelphia throughout the former’s appointment at the Consulate.
“It is only appropriate that our marriage takes place in the beautiful structure that houses the seat of government of the City of Brotherly Love, that has come to be a second home since my appointment to the Consulate in 2012,” says Strohmayer in a press release sent out this afternoon.“We are honored to be joined in marriage by Mayor Nutter, who has done excellent work to promote Israeli and LGBT interests in Philadelphia. We look forward to sharing this special day with so many people who have made us feel at home in this city.”
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Photo by Tiffany & Co.
A real-life New York gay couple appears in Tiffany’s latest engagement campaign, the first in the company’s history to feature a same-sex couple.
The handsome fellows are sitting cozily on a stoop in The Big Apple in the black-and-white photo. In the corner is the phrase, “Will you promise to never stop completing my sentences or singing off-key, which I’m afraid you do often? And will you let today be the first sentence of one long story that never ever ends?”
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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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