Friday, April 28, 2023

Wedding Day Nails with Sally Hansen Pride Polish

Paint With Pride to celebrate your wedding with the new Sally Hansen Insta-Dri PRIDE NAIL POLISH.

100% of profits of the Limited Edition Sally Hansen Insta-Dri® x Pride Collection are being donated to GLAAD. This collection features eleven bold and bright shades inspired by the Pride flags, standing for authenticity and inclusivity. (GLAAD an acronym of Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, is an American non-governmental media monitoring organization.)


For the 2nd year in a row, Sally Hansen and GLAAD partner to celebrate pride. The largest LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. 


Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Picking The Perfect Date For Your Wedding

The average engagement lasts 12 to 18 months, and you might find you need a considerable chunk of that time to plan your dream wedding.
 One can't help but feel stressed at zeroing in on the perfect date for your wedding, but here are some tips that could help ease the process:

--Obviously, you'll want to select the season you both like best. 

--If you're planning a destination wedding, make sure your guests can make your date: you don't want to plan it too closely to major holidays that could conflict with their plans. 

--Consult the calendar to ensure you're not picking a date too close to tax filing deadlines, religious holidays, etc.

--When selecting your venue, make sure the nearby hotels where your guests will likely stay, are not undergoing renovation or major alterations.

--Consider the pros and cons of scheduling the date during peak seasons. Selecting slightly off-season dates could save you a bundle.

--Do you have a lucky day you both want to celebrate? An anniversary? You can also pick your date based on numerology. 

-Talk to your vendors and ask for their advice on the date. They might be able to save you some money, time and effort by working with you on the date.

-Don't shy away from a weekday/weeknight date. If you're planning a relatively simple affair, a weeknight could work very well. 

-Consider local events in the town/city where you will marry. Don't plan it around major event staking place such as town celebrations, horse shoes, major fundraisers, etc. Your in-town guests might have a scheduling conflict and your out-of-town guests might encounter hotel booking problems. 

-If you're wedding is in the evening, consider selecting a date when there will be a full moon. It could add an extra element of beauty to your wonderful ceremony and celebration. 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Attention to Every Detail: Don't Forget To Bring Your Marriage License To Your Ceremony

There are so many details to keep in mind in planning your wedding. 

The most important item on your list is to bring your Marriage License to your wedding ceremony. This legal document (that verifies you are able to legally wed) must be signed by your wedding officiant and returned by him or her to the county or town office that issued the legal document.


Once the signed Marriage License is returned the office will issue the Marriage Certificate.

This will serve as proof that you are legally married. You will be required to produce the Certificate if you plan to change your name. 


Your wedding officiant can help explain the process to you.  Feel free to contact me using the contact box or send me an email to if you have a question on finding the local office in your county that issues the marriage license. 


(photo Elena Ferrer)

Friday, April 21, 2023

Wedding Shower Ideas For The Two of You

(photo Amy Shamblen)

You might want to consider hosting a joint wedding shower for the two of you. Traditional wedding showers for straight couples are for the bride and are called "bridal shower." We're enjoying new territory in the marriage realm and don't need to follow any rules.  

There are many options to consider whether you -- or your friends -- are planning a shower for you. 

Consider the following events that can be enjoyed by bride and bride or groom and groom:

-A fun barbecue. Depending on your budget you could go simple and 'down home' or hire a caterer that specializes in BBQ with all the fixings. 

-An afternoon formal tea. This shower, depending on the weather and time of year, could easily be held indoors or out. 

-Host a sports outing you both enjoy--a kayak ride, a golf or tennis outing, followed by a fun picnic.

-Invite your guests to an elegant brunch in a favorite restaurant.

-Put together a city rooftop cocktail party.

-Plan A beach luau.

-Investigate planning an event in a local observatory to view the stars and planets. 

(photo Nick Fewings)

-You can also keep it very simple depending on your budget. Hosting an event in your home or apartment can be a lovely way to celebrate your love and upcoming wedding. Don't feel pressure to go 'over the top'

(photo Ian Schneider)

-Charter a boat ride with beverages and appetizers.

-Host a fun dress up event with a theme you both love: old Hollywood,  backyard badminton, any type of costume event, you-name-it. 

-An event where you learn to do something: cook your favorite meal, create a craft project, paint a landscape, etc. 

-Feature a game night with fun interactive trivia, bingo and more.

-Take a trip to a local winery for a tasting. 

Enjoy the planning process! Celebrate yourselves during this special time in your lives. 

(photo Nik)

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Getting Started: What You Need To Know to Legally Tie The Knot

A marriage license is a document 
issued by the county clerk 
that allows you and your partner 
to get married. 
A marriage certificate is a 
document that shows you 
and your partner are legally married.

Contact your local Town Clerk or City Clerk's office to obtain specific rules and regulations to get married in your state. They will help you apply for a marriage license.

For example a couple who intends to be married in New York State must apply in person for a marriage license to any town or city clerk in the state. The application for a license must be signed by both applicants in the presence of the town or city clerk.

For additional information on getting married in New York State, please visit:

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Lavish Wedding On A Shoestring Budget? Yes!

 Weddings can be costly…but there are ways to ease the bottom line.

The tried and true concept of ‘The Barter System’ can really help you facilitate

a luxurious affair with top-notch service and offerings on a shoestring budget. Trade your expertise, service know-how, or ability to write, play an instrument or another talent you possess for something another individual needs.

(Photo by Brooke Lark)

This is the making of an excellent barter system opportunity for your low-or-no budget wedding reception. Consider the following possibilities to barter your way to an elaborate but elegant affair: 


Scenario #1: You're an established hair cutter who can offer your services to a local caterer, who, in turn will provide exquisite bar setups and appetizers.

Scenario #2: You are an ace travel agent and can plan any type of trip or getaway....pair up with a florist who can provide beautiful arrangements for your tables.

Scenario #3: You're a marvelously talented singer, musician or composer...why not offer your musicality to a limo driver, a caterer, or a photographer in exchange for doing gigs for them 

at no charge. 

You are beginning to get the hang of bartering. Use your wonderful imagination and you might find that you can have the wedding of your dreams on a very limited budget. Above all, enjoy the planning, have fun! ~~Minister Sue Rakowski

(Trade your service or skill for a fun ride to

transport your guests to the reception.

Photo by Thomas Curryer)

Connect with a photographer who wants to trade services for your travel agent expertise to help plan trips to photo shoot locations. Photo by Kobu

10 Tips On Telling Non-Gay Friendly Family & Associates You're Getting Married

 How LGBTQ couples can tell detractors they're getting married.

Invite your parents to have a talk about gay marriage. Explain that same sex marriage is legal and acceptance is growing. Recent surveys indicate up to 71% of the U.S. population is supportive.”
— Minister Sue Rakowski

 LGBTQ couples have fought hard for same sex marriage to be sanctioned. Gay marriage has been legalized in all 50 states as of June 26th, 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality at the federal level in Obergefell v Hodges by a close 5-4 vote.

“But there are battles many of us must face on our path to marry the one we love: dealing with opposition from non-gay-friendly family members, employers and others in our sphere of life,” said Wedding Officiant Minister Sue Rakowski

“As a gay wedding officiant I’ve experienced first-hand the grueling struggle that many loving couples face. How do you tell the disapprovers you’re getting married and turn their condemnation into harmonious consensus? Here are my 10 guidelines to help diminish and weaken the resistance,” said Minister Sue.

1. Review the statistics with family naysayers. Invite parents to have a serious talk about gay marriage. Explain that same sex marriage is completely legal and acceptance is growing. Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs poll ( indicates up to 71% of the U.S. population is supportive. Last year 20,000 gay couples wed in churches and synagogues as an increasing number of religious leaders are open to performing same sex marriage ceremonies. 

2. Explain you’re not going anywhere. You’re not entering a ‘foreign’ legion distant from your family. You will continue to be available for get-togethers, holidays, and more as long as they can respect your choice to marry and include your spouse in family-oriented experiences. 

3. Introduce your fiancĂ© to your family. Pick a neutral setting such as a restaurant. Set a time limit. Focus on similarities. Maybe it’s the love of a sport or shared hobby. Find a way to participate in the activity as a group. Let your family get to know your intended as a person, not as your gay partner. 

4. Make a presentation. Put together a list of your family’s favorite celebrities, historical figures, artists, actors and other noteworthy figures that are gay. They might be more accepting when they realize personalities they admire are “just like you.”

5. Give your critical family member a role in your wedding. Skeptics could get more enthused if they feel connected to the ceremony. Create a role. Invite them to speak at the service or make a speech at the reception. Let them greet your guests or hand out confetti or flowers to shower you. 

6. Talk to your Human Resources Department. Make sure they are savvy about the laws. Increasingly companies are extending benefits to gay spouses. Find out what your company’s policies are. Update your retirement plans, 401k beneficiary documents, etc. 

7. Dealing with a homophobic boss. Arrange a meeting and ask that a member of the staff—your supervisor, or another co-worker—be present to verify the conversation. Explain that gay marriage is now legal in 32 countries and you are within your rights to marry. Tell your boss you are the same competent worker—straight or gay—and that your personal happiness can only inspire a more productive you. 

8. Tell the antagonistic foes in your life…or not. You don’t owe anyone an explanation about your life or your love. Feel free to pick and choose with whom you'll share your joy. 

9. You’re moving forward with…or without them. Let detractors know you’d love their support. Having them in your life to share the potential joy of grandchildren, vacation time, and outings would be wonderful, but you are going to live the best possible life you can. Let them know there will be seats for them at the service. You've done your best to be inclusive. 

10. Explain to all you’re getting ‘married’ not ‘gay married.’ Emphasize that getting married is about your commitment to your partner. It is not about sexual orientation or gender. You’re not planning a ‘gay wedding’ you’re planning a ‘wedding’ –-sanctioned by law--to marry your best friend, the love of your life, and live happily ever after. 

Minister Sue suggests one final note to ensure your day is happy and stress-free:

“Finding welcoming vendors is key to ensure your day is joyful. Hire compatible florists, caterers, bakers and a compassionate wedding officiant to perform your service. Their presence will help surround you with a circle of love on your special day," says Minister Sue.