Keiji, Musician & Michael, Artist
sum-up of the wedding vibe: Fabulous, fun, and full of glittery Gay Magic.
Planned Budget: $45,000
Actual Budget: $60,000
Number of Guests: 180
Location: The Loeb Boat House Central Park, New York, New York
photographer: Weddings by Justin
Where we allocated the most funds:
The venue (which included the food and open bar), florist, and DJ. It was extremely important for us that there was fantastic music all night long, great food, and plenty of drinks flowing.
Where we allocated the least funds:
Cake and printed materials. We had a dear friend make his incredible gooey cake bites that formed the wedding cake tower with a bit of a friends-and-family discount thrown in. We got crafty with invitations, programs, menus, and table cards with my decently advanced InDesign skills and my father is a printer, so he was able to do all the printing for us. We definitely lucked out there!
What was totally worth it:
Being in theatre means that your friends can do literally anything. Having a friend who is a stage and production manager be our day of coordinator was perfect. The whole day was planned so well that everyone could just relax and have a ball as it unfolded. The music! We cannot say enough good things about the music. We’re both artists and performers and because of that, most of our friends are too, so we knew that the music had to be brilliant. Having our friends sing, read Shakespeare (and Harry Potter!) during our ceremony, and having my brother sing our first dance was beautiful and powerful.
After that, people were on the dance floor the entire time and had to be told to go eat before their food was cleared from the tables! That’s how we knew people were having a fantastic time. Keiji’s mom made around seventy-five temari (ancient Japanese knit balls) by hand for the centerpieces. Each one was unique and beautiful and people were fascinated by them. Having an iconic venue that we could throw our own glittery Queer twist on was also worth it. You couldn’t have asked for a more New York setting—elegant, stately, warm—with a heck of a party going on inside! The open bar. That’s all.
What was totally not worth it:
It might be cheesy to say but everything was worth it! We produce theatre and events so we know how to plan. We took our time throughout the planning process to talk to everyone involved, to each other especially, and plot out a day that would be the best day full of love, laughter, and a whole lot of fun.
A few things that helped us along the way:
Our parents. They’re the absolute best. We couldn’t have done it without them. The fact that my father was a printer was enormously helpful (thanks Dad!). Our wedding party—having a support group of people who can do anything and will be there to help before you finish asking the question is just amazing. We are endlessly thankful for them. Lastly, we helped each other along the way—helping each other to destress when family tensions ran a little high (only like once or twice, luckily!), and were never afraid to tell the other when we were going a little overboard (mainly Keiji telling me that).
My best practical advice for my planning self:
Have. Fun. The planning process can be enjoyable and really creative, let it be that! Take your time, think about everything, ask for advice from married friends (or theatre producers), write it all down (so many spreadsheets!), this will all help you really be able to chill out on the day of the wedding.
Favorite thing about the wedding:
It was so fun. Getting to share such a celebration with our family, friends, and chosen family was incredible. Watching people dance all night long and not want to stop, and people dressed so fabulously. There was so much love in the room. People keep telling us how it was one of the most fun weddings they’ve ever been to.
Having our friend Zia officiate our wedding was literal Gay Magic. It was a beautiful, touching, personal, and funny ceremony. We included readings from Shakespeare and Harry Potter, our friends sang a song from The Color Purple, Keiji’s niece threw rainbow petals down the aisle, and then Zia handfasted us using a rainbow braided cord. Glittery Gay Magic is real y’all.