Book Review: Equally Wed

Between The Covers | August 2018

By Terri Schlichenmeyer, August 2018 Issue.

Your beloved asked. And you said “yes.” That’s all it took: so simple, yet so momentous and now you’re getting married.

But even though LGBTQ couples have been legally tying the knot – read: entering into nationally recognized matrimony – since the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality three summers (and four wedding issues) ago, this can still be considered relatively new territory in some aspects.

Kirsten Palladino (left) and her wife, Maria, on their wedding day. Photos courtesy of equallywed.com.

In the new book Equally Wed: The Ultimate Guide to Planning your LGBTQ+ Wedding Kirsten Palladino details countless ways to make your big day a reflection of you both. In short, your vows will wow!

“What was once a distant hope for millions of gay and lesbian couples was now a fully realized right for all,” Lance Bass and Michael Turchin share in the book’s foreword. “For the first time, all LGBTQ+ couples could begin the exciting yet daunting task of planning legally recognized weddings, and as we began to plan our very own wedding, we were faced with a whole new set of questions and challenges.”

Like many people, Palladino grew up dreaming of the perfect wedding. She could just picture it – but making it happen started out wrong: when she got engaged to her now-wife, Maria, and went looking for help getting started, she could only find books for straight couples. That was definitely not going to work, so the Palladinos created an online wedding magazine equallywed.com), and this book.

So, you just got engaged. As you might guess, there’s a lot of planning that goes into a wedding, starting with whom (and how) you tell about it. Palladino advocates being gentle with family members who may feel uncomfortable. She says, “… give them some time” and know how to decide to invite them or not.

Time management will be your friend in this process, so find a system that works for you and be faithful to it. Keep phone numbers, contracts, ideas, lists, worksheets and budgets in the same place, and keep track of all gifts received. Take a look at Palladino’s list of possible items needed, then remember that nothing there is mandatory.

Equally Wed by Kirsten Palladino, foreword by Lance Bass and Michael Turchin. Seal Press, 2017 | $17.99.

Decide on the kind of wedding you want, the venue you’ve dreamed about, and the size of your ceremony. Remember that age and gender of attendants isn’t cast in stone, and the only requisite for attire is comfort.

Know which “wedding pros” you’ll need – a planner, photographer, videographer, the officiant, baker, bartenders and DJ – and what questions to ask them to make your day special.

Remember that flowers are optional or you both can carry bouquets; in fact, your decorations and what you carry down the aisle can be anything unique to the two of you. Personalize the ceremony in ways that make you happy; there are all kinds of options ­– it’s your wedding.

Ever since you were small, you’ve dreamed of getting married but, if you don’t have a model to follow, it can be hard to know where to start and where to get what you want. Equally Wed shows prospective “grides” and “brooms” the path.

Beginning with gender-neutral terms for wedding participants, Palladino progresses through the year-plus-long preparations for the perfect wedding, and beyond.

Prospective newlyweds will find lists, bullet points and useful reminders for things they may never have considered, including ideas that some may consider “over-the-top.” But it’s your day, so you decide. Still, Palladino stresses that individualization is what makes a wedding special and that “Something will go wrong on your wedding day,” but nobody can ruin it unless you let them.

This is an easy-to-use book that covers all bases, from “will you?” to “I do.” If there’s a wedding in your future and you need a starting point, Equally Wed is a big “YES!”


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