First comes love. Then comes marriage. But first, there's the wedding! This month, two local organizations are hosting events to help same-sex couples navigate the exciting (and sometimes confusing) world of nuptials.
First up is "To Marriage Equality and Beyond," hosted by Equality Maryland, the state's largest LGBT civil rights group. The event will be held Thursday, Jan. 10 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Chase Court in downtown Baltimore. It will feature catering by Chef's Expressions, wine from Barefoot Winery, music by Absolute Entertainment and a wedding cake created by Baltimore Cakery among other sponsors.
"All of these sponsors are supporters of the LGBT community," says Jean Wade Mayer, co-owner of Boutique Events, which is producing the event. "This community is pretty nervous because they've never been able to get married before, so they're unsure of who supports us and who doesn't. This is a way to say, 'we have your back and we want to help you plan and make your day special.'"
A silent auction to benefit Equality Maryland will also take place. Tickets are $25 for students; $40 in advance at www.eqmd.org; and $50 at the door. Chase Court is located at 1112 Saint Paul St. For more information, visit chasecourt.com.
On Saturday, Jan. 19 from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., The Cloisters and Atlantic Caterers are teaming up to present the LGBT Wedding Event, which is free and open to anyone interested in more information about the legislation surrounding Question 6 as well as wedding planning.
"We at The Cloisters are advocates of same-sex marriage and have been doing commitment ceremonies for the six years I've been here," says Annie Applegarth, director of facility operations for the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.
The event will include panel discussions with an attorney, accountant, real estate agent, insurance agent/estate planner and an officiant to answer questions about the new law and the rights available to married same-sex couples. Meanwhile, the wedding expo will include vendors who are experienced in working with same-sex ceremonies, according to Applegarth.
"It's really exciting and really great to support this now that the law has come to be," she says. "It's a great opportunity and it's the right thing to do."
Space is limited, so registration is required. To register, contact Applegarth at 410-821-7448 or email@example.com.