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But many couples are turning to jewelers who make rings especially for same-sex couples. Loveandpride.com sells The L Word and Queer as Folk rings designed by Udi Behr, as well as many other bands that range from more overt symbols of pride (some with the word pride inscribed on them) to more subtle and sophisticated designs that get their message across to those who look closely. At Gaymart.com, an Internet resource that sells rings with rainbows of precious stones, Celtic themes, traditional bands and some cute rings featuring two women intertwined.
Some gay couples choose to wear their engagement rings and wedding bands not on the customary ring finger of the left hand, but on the pinky, the fourth finger, of the right hand. “Couples choose this since it is similar, but not the same as the heterosexual symbol,” says Hamm of gayweddings.com. “Those who have chosen the left hand have often wanted to make a statement that they see their relationship as equal to a heterosexual relationship and want to be clear with that statement.”
And for couples wanting to give something back to their guests, how about some yummy Chocolate Favors with either two joyous grooms or two dancing veiled brides on the wrappers from gayweddings.com? One gay groom told us he hired L.A.-based Timothy Jay Candles to make wax gifts for his guests and was really impressed — “He’s a great guy, and the candles were beautiful.” (www.timothyjaycandles.com). Gayweddings.com also sells “Same Soap Marriage” bars, featuring two 3-inch brides or grooms encased in pure-glycerin soap.
Gayweddings.com has a good selection of wedding invitations, with various designs including “Handsome Brides” and “Elegant Brown Brides.” “There’s a butch-femme couple in that Marlene Dietrich style, and two brides in tuxes,” says Hamm. “Couples seem to really enjoy taking that traditional notion of bride and bridal gown and playing with it a little. It’s a twist on tradition.” Groom variations on the same-sex wedding-invite theme are available at TwoGrooms.com and Outvite.com.
Piece of Cake
If you want to get really creative with your cake, try Cake and Art on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, where “no idea is too outlandish or too esoteric.” They regularly work with movie studios, so if you recently saw a weird and wonderful baked creation in a film, chances are they made it. One man who hired Cake and Art to make his wedding cake said he overheard someone ask for three life-size Bambi cakes, and “they didn’t bat an eyelash.” And featured on their Web site is a six-tiered rainbow wedding cake, perfect for couples looking to show their pride. 8709 Santa Monica Blvd. (310) 657-8694. www.cakeandart.com
Looking for cake toppers? Online is a good place to start. Again, we loved the selection at gayweddings.com; they have toppers to match every type of couple, the physical and personality traits of all kinds of couples. We found one topper that features a 5-inch-high clay butch bride with a protective arm around her femme wife, who holds the bouquet. Another topper had a white-suited butch sitting on her wife’s lap. For the more traditional-minded, there are Victorian brides complete with lacy dresses and floaty veils, with similarly themed, equally fun equivalents for grooms.
If you want your cake toppers to actually look like you and your sweetheart, you can hire the artists at Clay Figurines House to custom-make one for you (www.clayfigurines.com).
We talked to many couples who recommended gay-friendly photographers and videographers, including Denny Nelson in Pasadena (www.dennynelson.com) and Stephanie Houfek, the wife of Rev. Pat Langlois from West Hollywood MCC (www.mccchurch.org). But Tim Courtney — a celebrity portrait photographer who now shoots weddings — got the most votes. “He’s quite a character, and amazingly talented,” one groom told us. Check out both of Courtney’s portfolios online: www.timcourtneyphotography.com, and www.timcourtneyweddings.com.?