On July 27th, 2014 I had the honor of working a same sex wedding in NJ.
It was a first for me, as we all know same sex marriage was not legal in NJ until recently.
Well, it all started back in late 2013 when Rothweiler Event Design wanted to celebrate marriage equality by organizing New Jersey's first Same Sex Wedding Giveaway.
Many couples sent in their story submissions in hopes that they would be the lucky winners of this incredible offer.
In support, numerous wedding professionals donated their time and skills so that the winning couple would enjoy a free, all-inclusive wedding reception at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, NJ.
The winning couple for the giveaway was determined by the vote of each of the participating vendors.
In January 2014 an event was held to announce the winning couple.
DeeVa Beauty had the pleasure of both working and attending this cocktail party at the Wilshire Grand Hotel who offered its trendy 'Loft' space for the celebration and to cater the event.
(For photos of that event please see Blog post "Wilshire Grande Hotel Same Sex Event"
I was so happy and proud to be a part of this contest.
I am a huge believer in equal rights and marriage equality…for ALL!!
I just want every living being in this world to be happy.
Men, women, dogs, cats, I want everyone to have love and companionship.
In my book love is love, makes no difference if it walks on two feet or four.
The only thing that matters in the end is love…..and that goes for two men or two women as well.
I mean seriously, why would anyone want to deny another person the opportunity to commit their life to another person regardless of gender? (shaking head)
However, it is no surprise I’m sure, to all that know me and what I love to do that I would be in favor of two females winning the contest, and was hoping for this.
Of all the vendors that participated, it wouldn’t matter to any of them who won, except for the hair and makeup team.
I mean after all, DeeVa Beauty is all about ‘glamour’, smoky eyes and sexy pouts…who wants two men to win right?
Well, two men won, and I was heartbroken.
I sulked for a bit.
There went my dream of having awesome pics of a gorgeous wedding dress and glamorous looks.
But I, and my company, am totally committed to seeing things thru, and when I give my word to something I don’t back down. I don’t back out.
However, I still sulked some more.
And then I remembered who I would be working with…some of the BEST wedding pros in the business, and I felt better.
AND THEN I remembered who would be taking the photos of this wedding...Al Ojeda Photography…and I knew I would get me some awesome photos regardless.....even if not a bride in a gorgeous, white glamorous dress.
But it wasn’t until I actually reached out to speak to one of the grooms, Wesley, that I really got excited.
Wesley was so appreciative, so upbeat, fun, and so kind.
I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him and his fiance Kris the night they announced the winner. But in the phone conversation I got to know him and Kris a little bit better.
Kris Longwell, a native of Texas and Wesley Loon of South Dakota.
They met at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City in 1989, and have shared a friendship and a deep love for each other for 25 years.
Faithfulness, mutual caring, respect, and sharing both good times and challenging times are the characteristics of a good marriage.
Integrity, common interests, laughter. These are all things that matter in a relationship…and these two men share all of these.
The day I officially met them was the day of the wedding.
Myself, and my stylist, Lillian, arrived for hair and makeup to do the two grooms and some of their female friends.
In fact Wesley is such a gentleman, he even carried my makeup bag up to the wedding suite.
We were immediately embraced by them and their family in a sea of joy, warmth, laughter, and heck, they are just plain fun!!
And if I ever get married again I want them all to come to my wedding to party.
During conversation I was honest with them.
I told them straight up I was hoping for a female couple.
They laughed. They understood. And we all had some fun and jokes over it.
But to tell you the truth, after meeting them, after being with them for 5 minutes, I was glad they won.
Truth be told, THEY DESERVED to win.
Oh, I wish ALL the couples that submitted their stories were able to win.
I never like to see anyone lose, or be disappointed or sad.
But these are two very nice, decent human beings who are best friends and you can see the love in their eyes.
…….and they have a sweet miniature Daschund named Doris to boot that they love and adore.
What’s not to love?
Check …..and double Check.
So hey, in the end I didn’t get two brides with pretty bouquets, long flirty lashes, and glamorous veils.
What I got though was to see true love head on, to witness incredible support from family and friends, to spend a fun afternoon laughing and joking, and to meet two fabulous grooms that deserve to live happily ever after.
AND ……I still did get awesome photos.... only of two dashing and handsome men by Al and Ida, who beautifully captured all the love and the laughter.
Congratulations again Kris and Wesley, and to all of the committed same sex couples who are now able to have their marriages recognized by the State of New Jersey!
You fought for it. You won. History was made, and let all live happily ever after.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. ~ Margaret Mead
Please enjoy the love...........
DeeVa Beauty was proud to work with some awesome and talented event pros listed below.
3:. DJ Entertainment Ambient DJ Service (Gregg Hollmann) www.ambientdj.com
4. Videography: Gabelli Cinema www.gabellistudio.com
5. Makeup and Hair: Deirde Mahon and Lillian Burgos from DeeVa Beauty www.deevabeauty.com
6. Photo Booth: Goodwin's Goodtime Photo Booth (Gus Goodwin) www.goodwinsgoodtimephotobooth.com
7. Media Sponsor NJWedding.com (Erik Kent) www.njwedding.com
8. Invitations: RSVP to Me www.rsvp-to-me.com
9. Ceremony Officiant: Mitch the Minister www.mitchtheminister.com
10. Wedding Cake: Confectionary Designs www.confectionarydesigns.com
11. Cupcake Truck: Polka Dot Cupcake Shop (Little Ferry) www.polkadotcake.com
12. Horse & Carriage: Tania Lawson of Dream Horse Carriage www.happytalespets.com/carriagerentals/
13. Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music The Smokin Section www.smokinsection.com
14. Event Planner Rothweiler Event Design
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