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D.C. schedules largest Gay wedding in history
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D.C. schedules largest Gay wedding in history

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

The largest Gay wedding in history is scheduled for Saturday, march 20th in Washington, D.C. Up to 400 couples are expected to exchange vows, breaking the current Guinness World Record.

The celebration is part of an all-day series of events called Our Time Has Come, a title chosen to signify the long road that many couples have traveled to marriage. Other events slated for March 20 include a large group ceremony, individual private ceremonies and a gala-style reception. All portions are scheduled at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, a historic venue on Constitution Avenue. The history-making event is being hosted by GLBT Wedding Services.

The GLBT community has always found strength in numbers when it comes to advocating for equality, said Mike Wilkinson, director of Wedding Services for Event Emissary. Now we can finally stand together to affirm our love and have it recognized legally by the District of Columbia.

According to Our Time Has Come officials, although the event is big, the concept is being carefully designed so that the experience is special for every couple involved. The reception is open to friends and family to celebrate alongside the newlyweds.

Every aspect is being planned with sensitivity to the GLBT audience that will be attending, Wilkinson said.

Our relationship and our lives could not wait for our marriage to be legal in DC, but we are both excited and relieved that our marriage will finally be recognized in the city we call home, said Drew Parker, who will marry his partner Dalin Holyoak at the event. We singed up to be part of the mass ceremony as soon as we could.

The centerpiece of the festivities will be the group ceremony titled Standing Proud Together. The nondenominational, contemporary service will be held in a manner that will be solidify the unions of long-term partners as well as to commemorate the marriages of those who are more recently engaged. A limited number of smaller private ceremonies are also available.

A reception will follow in the evening after the ceremonies.

We celebrated our personal vows nearly two years ago, but we know the importance of this day to our status as fully equal citizens of the District of Columbia, Parker said. We are so thankful for the people that sacrificed to make this day a reality, and can only hope that one day the entire nation will follow.

The entire event is contingent on the legalization of same-sex marriage, which is expected early next week. The organizers are working with Destination DC, the official convention and tourism corporation for the District, to help out-of-town couples with travel arrangements.

Once the law is official, couples can apply for their marriage licenses. There is usually a three-day waiting period, but due to high volume, it may take longer. Wilkinson said that his team will work with couples to make sure they receive their licenses on time. Were not going to do anything if its not official. Weve waited too long for that.

Gay advocates are applauding the proposed ceremony. Not only will a world record be broken, but the 400 same-sex marriages (taking place in the nations Capitol) are scene as a positive step in the right direction; mixing activism with love, to send a message that the Gay community in intent on realizing marriage equality in the U.S.

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