It’s not legal to get married in Michigan, but that won’t stop us. BTL is producing a same-sex wedding expo on Sunday, and we are inviting everyone to come join in the fun and show support for marriage equality.
The politicians don’t get it. Polls show a majority of people think it’s just fine for same-sex couples to marry. Companies that provide services for weddings are particularly supportive, because it means more sales of gowns, tuxedos, wedding cakes, honeymoon trips, invitations, catering, wedding rings and all the other accoutrements that go with a wedding ceremony. Michigan’s economy could use a boost from more wedding celebrations, and the LGBT community is a ready-made market – if only our near-sighted leaders would clear the legal path.
To celebrate the inevitable legalization of same-sex marriage in America, BTL, in partnership with the Detroit Marriott Livonia, has invited an amazing array of exhibitors and entertainment, food and drink. There will be beautiful celebrity models – many of whom are well-known in the LGBT community – donning exquisite gowns and tuxedos.
“You’re fulfilling all of my modeling dreams,” said Laura Hughes, executive director of the Ruth Ellis Center, upon accepting the invitation to model formal wear. She will be featured in a fantastic gown from B. Ella Bridal Salon in Northville. Tara Cavanaugh, BTL’s news editor; Curtis Lipscomb, executive director of Kick; and Emily Divendorf, Equality Michigan’s policy director are among the other celebrity models. But you will have to come to the expo to find out who will wear the gowns and who will wear the dashing tuxedos, provided by President Tuxedo of Birmingham.
Kat LaTosch, chief operating officer at Affirmations, is launching her modeling career with the whole family. Her partner, Jennifer LaTosch, will model with her, along with their two sons who will be playing the parts of ring bearers.
We expect exhibitors to engage in some friendly competition, such as between the bakers for the tastiest wedding cake. Elite Sweets of Livonia and The Pastry Palace of Wixom will have their delicacies to sample, and it will be a delicious decision-making process to pick between them – or maybe The Cupcake Station will take the cake!
Sweet Lorraine’s is catering the Expo, so no one will leave hungry. The menu (see sidebar) looks scrumptious. In addition to delicious food, each person attending will be treated to two drinks, compliments of Hard Luck Vodka, Detroit’s newest specialty vodka distributor.
At the May 1 Expo, Stephanie Hasley and Lisa Sarno of Lansing will be looking for an officiant and a tailor for Sarno’s suit. The couple is planning a wedding in June 2012.
Hasley will walk down the aisle in a traditional gown to join Sarno, who will wear a dark, three-piece tuxedo. They’ll exchange non-religious vows and rings as friends and family look on.
“Stephanie really wanted that ritual, that day, that rite of passage,” Sarno said. “I wasn’t really into it until I did the engagement ritual.” She popped the question, complete with a diamond ring, in a Lansing restaurant. “It really changed me. There’s something to be said about these rituals we have. How important they are to our moving forward.”
“There’s something to be said for doing these ceremonial things with your loved ones to witness that further solidifies your relationship,” Hasley said.
“We have this rule: I don’t have to attend bridal shows,” Sarno said. “Stephanie is making me attend this one.”
Everyone at the Expo will be entered to win one of the many prizes, including gift certificates to some of the finest restaurants, a weekend getaway to Chicago and the grand prize of a romantic weekend package at the Motor City Casino Hotel that includes dinner for two at Iridescence. Tickets are $10 at the door, or $8 in advance at www.PrideSource.com/events with the special discount code of BTL1993.