What advice would you give newly engaged couples?
John: The wedding is about YOU. Take all the advice you can get but ultimately, do it your way.
Steve: Secure a wedding planner – early in the process – that you have a connection with. Let the wedding planner focus on all of the detail and work through the stress so your wedding day is relaxed and fun. Find a great photographer as you cannot be in all places at one time.
Steve and John met attending Dignity Washington services at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, which is Washington, DC’s Faith community for LGBTQ Catholics. After several weeks of talking after church services they agreed to dine together. On August 24, 1998, Steve and John met at Raku, in Dupont Circle. It was a long dinner that they now look fondly on as one of their most favorite memories. Certainly an evening filled with excellent conversation and laughter. After dinner they walked around Dupont Circle and then agreed to meet a few days later for a second date. Steve and John dated for 15 years but only because they were not legally able to marry in the Commonwealth of Virginia. They have a tradition of celebrating their anniversaries with champagne al fresco on their patio and on their fifteenth anniversary of their first date, John got down on one knee and proposed. They gave each other wedding bands after private vows to one another and faithfully wore the rings on their right hands in protest. Both were crying tears of joy. Marriage was still not legal in the Commonwealth of Virginia but the appeals were being heard at the State level. They agreed to wait a year and then if nothing had moved forward in the struggle for marriage equality that they would get married in the District of Columbia. Steve and John were preparing to look at wedding venues in Washington, DC when on October 6, 2014 the Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear an appeal of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Marriage was now legal in the Commonwealth and that is when the planning began….