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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 1, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 9
Getting marriage right
Arts & Entertainment
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Getting marriage right

New guidebook walks Gay men through planning their dream wedding

by Jeremy Behrens - SGN Contributing Writer

THE GAY COUPLE'S GUIDE TO WEDDING PLANNING
DAVID TOUSSAINT
(Sellers Publishing; 160 pp)


Ahh, spring. It's right around the corner according to Punxsutawney Phil and a groundhog wouldn't lie to us, right?

And with spring comes the feelings of love in the air. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, rainbows are appearing, Gays are marrying ...

That's right, folks, the first wedding season with marriage equality being reality is upon us. And just in time for throwing together the wedding of your dreams comes David Toussaint's The Gay Couple's Guide to Wedding Planning: Everything Gay Men Need to Know to Create a Fun, Romantic, and Memorable Ceremony.

I know what you're thinking: 'A guidebook? Honey, I've been planning my Cher-themed eleganza-inspired ceremony since I was old enough to sashay down my childhood home's hallway in my mom's heels. I don't need a book.' And to be fair, you're probably right. A wedding is what you make it, and other than two dudes or two chicks getting married, things don't have to be much different from the straight weddings we've all drunk our way through.

Rather, what Toussaint writes about are the things that are sometimes overlooked between all the venue-choosing and cake-tasting. In chapters broken down month-by-month, he provides a checklist of things to focus on doing each month.

DETAILS, DETAILS
Throughout the book, Toussaint is respectful of the fact that, when it comes down to it, a wedding needs to be about the people and the act of commitment. However, he also notes some sticking points that you can be sure your mother worried about when you came out years ago. Choosing the wedding party, setting up the seating arrangement, and what expectations you should have about parents covering the cost are just a few of the topics Toussaint gives a bit of time to throughout. The setup of what to do each month (starting one year before the big day) is a helpful way of laying out all the tasks of wedding planning. Toussaint gives helpful tips along the way to keep the rituals of a wedding in place, but to give them a personalized homo touch. What to do with the parental dances, who to have give the toasts, or how to be announced when you enter the reception, the book covers most of the basics - and then some - when it comes to putting together a one-of-a-kind wedding.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
As I've never really had to plan a wedding, I can't speak to how successful this book is in what it sets out to do. However, as someone who hopes to one day plan his own wedding, I can say this: I walked away from reading this feeling like I know a lot more about what I need to think about going into it. At the very least, this book plants a seed for all the thinking you and your betrothed need to do for the big day.

My biggest overall issue with this book is how hetero-normative the author seems to want to make a Gay wedding. Yes, while the majority of Gay men would like to do away with the stereotypical, over-the-top soirées seen in movies, that doesn't mean those types of ceremonies are any less important - or meaningful. But I respect Toussaint's efforts to take traditional wedding conventions and fit them into a Gay context. 'Conventional' is what most people are going to want or expect when it comes to Gay weddings.

So while it may be a little late to use this book for a spring wedding this year, if you are planning one soon, you'd do well to pick up Toussaint's Gay-focused wedding planning bible. Just remember: At the end of the day, it should be all about you and your man.

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