On May 14, 2013 Minnesota voted to legalize same-sex marriage in the state. This is a day that I have been waiting for since November when the marriage amendment was voted down. You see, my sister is a lesbian and has been with her partner for 17 years, so it is a subject very near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately she lives in Wisconsin, so the law doesn’t affect her, however, I felt the need to celebrate!
(to read more about my sister and her partner, and my personal story: http://www.amyzellmer.net/love-on-trail-part-one-my-personal-story/ )
That evening I posted a video on my website stating that I wanted to give away a photography package to a lucky LBGT couple who wanted to be one of the first to marry in the state. Little did I know that by the next morning that video would have gone viral and Fox9 news’ Leah Beno would be contacting me to run a feature story on it!
(to see my videos and the Fox9 segment: http://www.amyzellmer.net/lgbt-wedding-giveway-gay-marriage-in-mn-rainbow-weddings/ )
Before calling Leah back, I started to think “this could be so much bigger. What if I could manage to give away an entire wedding??” I have plenty of friends in the wedding industry who I think would be on board! I contacted Julie Lyford of Fabulous Functions and Bruce Karnick of Maveric Music right away, and they gave a resounding YES. From there it snowballed and I was blown away by the true-to-form “Minnesota Nice” of everyone who was wanting to be a part of this historic giveaway! I managed to secure a venue and everything literally fell into place!! I have an amazing team of vendors to work with:
Custom Creations Photography ~ photography (myself)
Fabulous Functions ~ event planning
Sarah Elizabeth Artistry ~ hair and makeup
Paper Thick Ink ~ invitations
Maveric Music ~ DJ
Muddy Paws Cheesecake ~ wedding cheesecake
Indulge & Bloom ~ flowers
Tippy Top Creations ~ cake topper
Luna Earth ~ Decorations
Tiny Diva Princess Party ~ Candy buffet
fotofilm Studio ~ videography
Travis Johansen Photography ~ Photo Booth
Pinstripes ~ venue
Residence Inn ~ Hotel Rom
Simply Beautiful Weddings ~ Officiants
On June 1st I announced the winners: Howard Austin and Rodney Stark. I couldn’t have managed to find a more deserving and wonderful couple if I had tried!! At 61 and 49 they have been “out” for decades. The two have been together for over 3 years and are SO excited to be getting married! I knew right away that we would become fast forever friends, and I honestly can’t imagine them ever not being a part of my life from this moment forward! Rod commented that he knew he always wanted to get married, and Howard added that he too always felt that way, but never thought he would find someone to spend the rest of his life with!
The wedding date of August 6th, 2013 was originally chosen, because at the time there was going to be a 5 day waiting period from when their wedding license’s went on sale on Aug. 1st. It since changed to going on sale in June, but we already had the date secured with vendors so the 6th it will be!! They will still be one of the very first couple’s in the state to get married.
I am so incredibly blessed and honored to be a part of this special and historic day. Putting this wedding together and getting to know this couple has forever opened my heart. I am proud to say I know some of the greatest wedding vendors in the state of Minnesota who also opened their hearts by giving the gift of their time and talents. Getting to know Rodney and Howard has been a blessing, and they will forever be in my heart and life!!
I wish you two many years of PEACE & GLITTER!!! I love you both so very much!!!