Sunday, June 28, 2015

Same Sex Weddings in New Orleans

 A gorgeous New Orleans Same-Sex Wedding at the Benachi House and Gardens

I have a good friend who is gay.  He had a long-term boyfriend in Los Angeles who was in a terrible plane crash. They'd been together for years. My friend wanted to go to the hospital to find out if he was OK, to sit with him, and to be by his side whatever happened....just as any good boyfriend would do.  But when he arrived at the hospital, the nurses didn't let him in.  They said that he wasn't next of kin or legal family.  They wouldn't even tell him if his boyfriend was alive or dead.  Thankfully, a nurse who sympathized with my friend, overheard the arguments at the nurses station.  My friend was very upset and the situation was escalating to desperation.  This caring nurse pulled my friend aside and gave him the heartbreaking news.  His boyfriend had passed away just a few hours before.
I still tear up just thinking about how awful that moment must have been.  I can't help but think...if gay marriage was legal at that time, would my friend have gotten the chance to say goodbye? 

This time of our lives is monumental.  Its grossly overdue. 

It would seem that, in a city like New Orleans, with its free spirit and laissez faire attitude, that gay marriage would have been acceptable long ago.  But no...the old-fashioned outweighed the open minded.  However, the celebrations of commitment still happened.  I remember the first time I planned a gay wedding. It was 2011, I think.  The client called me and was timid on the phone. I could tell she was worried about being judged and had maybe even been rudely shot down by other planners.  I immediately felt her longing to be understood. I can't say that I can understand.  After all, I'm not gay so why would I?  But I could be someone that didn't judge her.  I decided that, no matter what the budget was for her commitment ceremony, I was going to help her.  I made sure she knew that I had never done a same sex wedding before.  She joked...neither had she.  We agreed to learn together.  What was surprising, in this learning experience, was that we both found that gay weddings, from a planning perspective, are pretty much exactly the same as straight weddings.  We fumbled over her fiance a "groom"?  Will there be a groom's cake and groomsmen?  For her fiance, the comfort level was that yes...she would take the title of groom and all the tradition that came with it.  The "groom" wore a suit and waited at the end of the aisle for her bride, who wore a beautiful white dress.  They cut both a bride's and a groom's cake and during their first dance, the groom obviously took the lead.  It was a beautiful day and the air was filled not just with love but also with accomplishment.  This couple had endured so much to get to where they were.  Beyond the typical trials and hurtles that every couple getting married has to overcome, these women also had to bare the burden of ridicule and judgement.  But they didn't care.  Their commitment was that strong.

I've done a few same sex weddings since then.  All far. Some decided to both wear dresses and walk up the aisle together as two brides (see photo). Some changed the wording of their typical ceremony to include phrases like "each other" in place of "husband and wife".  We are still in an era where that story is being written, but now the plot is unfolding and finally the characters in these fairytale love stories are legally allowed to live happily ever after.
Bravo, US Supreme Court!  Welcome to the 21st Century!

If you're planning a same sex wedding in New Orleans please consider All About Events for all of your wedding planning and management needs!

310-733-7600 or email

Wedding Welcome Gifts--My "Aha!" Moment...

Wedding Welcome Gifts --my "Aha!" Moment...
I've designed, created, and delivered hundreds and hundreds of wedding and event gift bags over the years and I've come to a decision.  NO MORE BAGS!  While they look pretty and are easy to stuff, they are a pain in the neck to transport!  In the past, I would have an order for maybe 100 gift bags for a wedding.  Even in my SUV, I would have to make two trips to deliver 100 bags because I can only transport one layer of bags on the one level of surface in my vehicle. I considered doing some sort of custom contraption to create a second level in the back of the car, but I'm no carpenter and storage of large items in a New Orleans shotgun is a limited commodity.  The solution to the problem hit me in one of those "duh..." moments.  Forget about bags!  Use boxes for welcome gifts.  Nobody saves the bags that you get at the hotel anyway and they always look so ratty by the time they get to a guest after being handled by no less than 3 people per bag. I've even had issues in the past where the guest's bags were "lighter" when they were delivered to the room than they were when I delivered them to the hotel.  Maybe it was a ghost who really likes zapps potato chips, or maybe it was a hungry overnight worker at the hotel...the jury is still out.  With a box, however, I can seal it with a lovely ribbon and a custom tag.  I can customize the colors and the theme of the box.   Hotels can stack boxes behind the front desk and save valuable real estate, also avoiding any issues of front desk staff accidentally stepping on the gifts and crushing their contents. But what if you really want the guests to have a tote bag to walk around the city and declare their reason for travel is because "Tony and Tina's Wedding" is happening that weekend?  Simple...fold the tote and include it in the box! To show you what I mean, here are some boxes I've done recently, including the outside, the contents, and the beautiful tetris-like stacking in the back of my car!
If you need welcome gifts for your out of town guests or swag bags for any special occasion, give All About Events a call or send us an email!  We currently provide gift services in New Orleans, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Orlando!
"Guests are still raving about the welcome gifts- who remembers a gift box?! They were That Good!"   ~Tiffany B. (bride)
310-733-7600 or email