By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
“The RMS Queen Mary ocean liner down in Long Beach looked very beautiful because you can do the service right on the back deck overlooking the ocean. We checked out the Aquarium of the Pacific down in Long Beach, but they were quite expensive.” 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach. (562) 435-3511.
If you want to go the Sin City route, there is the Gay Chapel of Las Vegas; though your ceremony won’t be legally binding, you can throw a party your guests will never forget. Choices include a Blue Hawaii–themed ceremony, complete with an Elvis impersonator, hula girls and a lush tropical set, or the new “Liberace Impersonator” theme where couples light unity candles on the faux ivory tickler’s candelabra. And so much more; see their Web site. 1205 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas. (800) 574-4450. www.gaychapelof?lasvegas.com.
The Wedding Planner
Contrary to the Queer Eye stereotype, not all gays are skilled at putting together a party. Many consider hiring a wedding planner, and there are some who are specifically LBGT-friendly.
April Whitney, of April Whitney Events, was a DJ at KROQ for about 20 years until 1994, when she moved into event planning. “I figured who better to plan the party than someone who has partied?” About 25 percent of her clients are gay or lesbian. (562) 597-5270.
Want to do it yourself? Now there’s software out there to help. This month, “My Gay Wedding Companion” was made available on-line in downloadable form to help you track RSVPs, create seating charts and construct your own personal wedding Web site. www.five?starsoftware.com/gaywedding
They’re Playing Our Song
Anyone who has ever been to a wedding knows that the right band or DJ can make or break the affair. Tretta recommends DJ Pros in Sherman Oaks. “Once you register with them you get a log-on and password and you get to choose the songs you want from the Web site. Personally, I want no Gloria Gaynor, no Weather Girls and absolutely no Village People. Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean my wedding soundtrack has to be.” (888) 868-6417. www.thedjpros.com.
Community DJs in West Hollywood specializes in commitment ceremonies. Fill out a short questionnaire on their Web site and tailor your ceremony to suit your needs, or call and talk to someone who can help you plan your special day. 13010 Moorpark St., Studio City. (323) 876-0170 www.communitydjs.com.
Tuxes, Tuxedas and Gowns
In Recognizing Ourselves, author Ellen Lewin describes gay and lesbian commitment rites, ranging from traditional church ceremonies to the wedding of “Bob and Mark,” a leather-fetishist couple who exchanged vows in tuxedos, leather bow ties, and knee-high police boots. Clearly, just like hetero weddings, gay nuptials come in all shapes and sizes. And for many women, gay or straight, the last time they wore a gown was at their high school prom. Those looking for a wedding dress but wanting to avoid the Princess Di–meets-Cinderella effect could look for antique wedding gowns and vintage dresses, like those offered at the White Dress. Their selection ranges from “sexy sheath to regal traditional.” It’s in Corona Del Mar but well worth the drive, says wedding planner Shonya Stein, who adds that most bridal salons will also offer tuxedos for women — the so-called tuxeda. 2853 E. Coast Hwy., Corona Del Mar. (949) 723-0121. www.thewhitedress.net.
I Do Too in Huntington Beach touts itself as a “non-traditional, full-service bridal store” for “alternative” brides. Its seamstress can add ruffles and embroidery to your female tux, and if you’re on a budget they will sometimes work on trade, swapping services like Web-site design for bridal wear. You can rent your tux or gown, or have one custom-made to keep. 4941 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach. (714) 840-0488. www.idotoo.net.
For the boys, try After Hours Formalwear for friendly and great service. You can even create a virtual tux on their Web site mixing and matching colorful options. 8726 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 645-1342. www.after?hours.com.
And then there’s always old faithful — The Men’s Wearhouse. Not only can you create a tux online, but if the multitude of choices has you stressed out, you can chat with a Formalwear Consultant, a trained expert who can “help you create the style that suits your day.” We’re guessing the pun was intended. 13161 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. (310) 657-9816. www.menswearhouse.com.
With This Ring
Yes, you can get your wedding bands at Macy’s like Tretta and Richardson did. “I’ve got a two-tone white-gold and yellow-gold ring with a diamond-cut pattern in the top,” Tretta says. “And for Rob, I got him a black-titanium ring which is very sleek, stark and masculine.”
Perry and Bowling got their bands from weddingbands.com; Gershick and Barrett got theirs at Accents on Main Street in Santa Monica. “We looked at some of the rings that have triangles on them, and some people do the rainbow-colored stones, but we went for traditional bands in the end.”