It is not often that one gets a chance to be part of history, but thanks to superstar lifestyle and wedding designer Colin Cowie, I had that privilege last week. For any of us involved with weddings, there could not be a more significant day than Valentines Day, but this was a Valentines Day like no other.
As an introduction and celebration for his lush new website, Colin Cowie Weddings, four fantastic, deserving, and very diverse couples were chosen to be married (and “recepted”) at New York City’s most famous historical Icon, the Empire State Building. Each couple’s wedding was customized to fit their story and personality. And each wedding, as you might imagine, was gorgeous. (Did we expect anything else from Mr. Cowie? Of course not.)
I was chosen (how did I get this lucky? I’ll never know….) to marry Lela and Steph, the first gay couple to have their wedding ceremony there. Weddings are always exciting, joyous and a little nerve wracking, but when legions of international press photographers and reporters, an army of makeup artists (Estee Lauder’s wizards even made ME look good!), stylists, caterers, musicians and florists are added to the mix, the atmosphere becomes electric. I don’t think any of us could have predicted just how compelling and monumental their ceremony would be!
I always have the same advice for my couples; concentrate on each other, no matter what else is happening. Within the swirl of happy chaos, you will create a private island that is yours alone. Now, this is great advice , but even more meaningful when the entire world is watching. And watching they were. Minutes after their “I DO’s” were done and the license signed, photos of this gorgeous, happy couple were circulating the globe. Even as they enjoyed an intimate breakfast reception with their friends and family (it WAS before 9 AM afterall!) congratulations were coming in from every corner of the planet.
Even though I always considered Mr. Cowie a dynamic creative force, an arbiter of matchless taste and just a really class act, my tiny part in this experience proved that belief as clearly as the crystals adorning every branch. His vision shone as intently as the romantic, symbolic purple light cast on our ceremony. By including two gay couples (Lela and Steph were followed by Phil and Shawn, married by my amazing colleague Kim Kirkley), he has said to the world, that by the authority granted to HIM, these couples are as deserving, as loyal, as devoted and as legitimate as any committed couple, and deserve all the rights and responsibility of legal marriage. It was inspiration; inspiration amid such beautiful trappings (always the best kind of inspiration)!
As they walked down the aisle, we all cried (yes, even me……and I usually think I’m immune…..); tears of excitement, tears of joy, tears that come with the recognition of just how significant a marriage is. Surrounded by their friends, the family they’ve inherited and the family they have so carefully chosen, Steph and Lela showed us that love prevails. True love will never lead us astray. Love is worth fighting for; not only our own, but for all couples everywhere.
And now the voting begins! You can go to this link to read about all four fabulous couples and vote for the one you love the best. But it’s no secret who I’m voting for! (This beautiful photo, and all the photos on the site, are from Christian Oth Studios, and we appreciate the chance to share them.)