Yay New York = A Mass Reception for Marriage Equality

When New York State, the place I lived for a decade, announced that it had legalized gay marriage, I was so overjoyed that I didn’t know what to do with myself. The next morning, still hungover and happy, I got an email from APW sponsor and sane wedding planner Elizabeth Clayton of Lowe House Events. She was also overjoyed, and she wanted to do something about it. She wondered if I’d be into her planning a free courthouse wedding for a LGBTQ couple in New York in August. And I was into it. But I thought we could do better. So, over the last two weeks Elizabeth and I have been slaving away, working to put together a plan. And today we’re launching the first ever APW events, and I think you’ll agree that they’re good ones.

On August 25, APW and Lowe House Events will be in New York, and we’ll be hosting legal marriages for five couples. There will be a beautiful 14th floor terrace with a city view, a legal officiant, flowers, cake, bubbly, room for friends and loved ones, professional photographers, and lovely invitations. We’ve designed the celebration with the idea that lots of you are already married, but after the New York decision you will be going to the courthouse to make it legal. And we decided, you know what? You’ve waited a long time to make it legal, and we’d like to help you celebrate. We think you should have flowers, cake, booze, and a photographer documenting the first day that your partnership is legally recognized by the state of New York. So we’re going to make that happen. We know a few people.

But that’s not all. The night of August 25th, we’re hosing a 200 person Mass Reception for Marriage Equality for the APW community. We’ll honor the people who got legally hitched that morning, we’ll dance our faces off, raise money for LAMBDA Legal, and we’ll party as a community for the very first time. I can’t wait!

These are the dates you need to know and how you can help:

  • The Couples. This Wednesday, we’ll open up applications to find 5 couples who would like to get hitched in the great state of New York. If you think this might be you, chat with your partner, and meet us back here on Wednesday. If you think you know exactly who deserves this, send them our way. I’ll be honored to stand near by and cry while you finally sign that legal paperwork.
  • The Tickets. Tickets for the Mass Reception/Fundraiser/Dance Party will go on sale on July 26th. I have a feeling those tickets are going to get snapped up in a few short hours, so look for details as we get closer. And please come! I can’t wait to meet you!!
  • The Tote Bags. How are we paying for this party, you ask? Well! A ton of wonderful people are helping us out (more soon!), and we’re writing some rather large checks ourselves. But! We’re also going to be selling awesome APW Mass Reception for Marriage Equality tote bags, designed by And Kathleen of Jeremy and Kathleen, so you can help us get people legally married. (And ohmygod, I’m already pondering how many of the tote bags I’m allowed to horde for myself, so trust me, you’ll want one.)
  • More coming soon. Will we need more help? You bet! This is a community party. Are more exciting details coming soon? Yup! So stay tuned.

Till then, I would like to send massive love to Elizabeth at Lowe House Events, who’s making this party happen, and to Kathleen of Jeremy and Kathleen (one of my favorite ladies and favorite design bloggers), who designed all of our amazing art work. They are excellent women, putting hard work where their hearts are, and I’m honored to be working with them.

See you on August 25th, ready to celebrate.


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  • AWESOME! I’m crying a little on the inside that I don’t live in New York, or even America and so I’m not eligible to come photograph it or be a part of it, but I’ll bet I’m not the only one who wants to support it in any way that I can. Go team practical! What a great community event.

    • me too! Would totally LOVE to be there, but will have to make do with seeing the photos after I guess…

  • Woow ! Congratulations for a great idea, really, wooow ! Wish I was in the same country and could go and celebrate with you people ! Will keep tuned in :)

  • katie

    Really moving. I’m m glad this community can make this possible and can’t wait to see it happen.

  • What a fantastic idea! Can’t wait to see all the beautiful designs and the awesome couples.

  • Julianna

    Yay New York! Will keep my eyes peeled for ticket info!

  • oohhh wow!!!!!! This has excited me no end!!! One day (HOPEFULLY) we’ll be able to do something this amazing in Australia!!!

  • TOTE BAAAAAAAG! [Sorry, it’s early. I’m having trouble being coherently excited.]

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  • Meg, this is so touching! I think you’re getting major points in heaven but also…HOW EXCITING FOR THESE COUPLES! And for everyone who’s going to party with them too, of course. I’m harboring a little hope that some men will take you up on this offer as far as making it legal goes. It’ll make me smile and sob either way.

    Can we get some live streaming for all the ladies tackling grad school that week?

  • Amy


    PS – I clicked the editz button but nothing happened (maybe because I’m on my phone?). Anyway, “hoard” is what you do with lots of totebags, but a “horde” is a large crowd of people.

    PPS – Hooray!!!

    • ElfPuddle

      I clicked it for you. Yay for hordes of hoarded tote bags! :)

  • Speechless. Wow. Go APW.

  • This is awesome. So proud of you, dear Meg.

  • WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT. if I don’t get one of those tickets I might just have to come to new york and peek inside the windows..! so exciting!! AAAHHHHH

    • Zan

      You should come! And crash at my place!

      • Um … done and done. It seems I’ll be spending half of August in New York, and I am COMPLETELY OK WITH THAT. =)

        Also … hello carpool. Cheap and easy. Woot!

    • ka

      Omg, you and Sarah have to come. We are all going to HANG OUT. Yessssss.

      (And the supporting gay marriage/raising $$$ thing? That’s fucking awesome too. ;-) )

  • Awesome. Just awesome.

  • Amazing. What an event. I wish I could come :) I will have to make do with buying a tote bag and waiting for the photos.

  • Trudi

    Wow. I’m speechless.

    I will have to TRY to snatch tickets before they sell out.

  • WOW. What an incredible announcement! So beautiful and so wonderful. I’m already looking at my budget to see if I can get to New York that weekend.

  • Abby C.

    I won’t be able to come to the reception, as I’m only five months out from my destination wedding. (Hoping we’ll have the contract signed this week, cue manic laughter.)

    But I absolutely want to buy a tote and support the reception. Go Team APW!!

  • Wow, this sounds amazing! I only hope I catch the ticket sale before they’re all gone!

  • This is _so_ incredibly awesome.

    Let me go tell my NYC friends, I’m sure they know people who would love to apply!

  • Hooray!!!

  • Nicole

    MEG. KEENE. I am adding you to my running list of people and things I am grateful for today. You are doing good work in this world, lady!

    • Nicole,
      Sort of off topic but thanks for inspiring me. A list of people and things I am grateful for is something I should make more often!

  • Julia

    Let me see. My favorite life things go something like this:
    1). NYC (sorry, honey)
    2). My fiance
    3). APW
    4). Tote bags
    I cannot wait!!!!!

  • Whoop whoop! Go NY & GOOOOOO APW!!

    What an awesome, awesome thing! Wish I could be there to help celebrate. I’m already anticipating fabulous pictures & wedding grad posts! EE!

  • This is awesome!!!!!

  • ElfPuddle




  • Zan

    Yahoo!! I know where I’ll be on the 25th!

  • How nice! I wish I could be in NY to join you in the celebrations!

  • Jen W

    Yay!! I love tote bags. And big parties. And supporting marriage equality. Why, Meg, you were right: this *is* kermit-arm-flail worthy!!

    • Jen W

      Also, should you need help with the event in some way, I’m in Brooklyn and have a background in event production (theater and theater benefits, yo) and would be happy to volunteer my time.

  • Becky

    This is amazing! I’m feeling New York home state pride right now in a major way. If I wasn’t so broke I’d be there in a hearbeat. Actually, I’ll just use my gobs and gobs of Wisconsin teacher money I make to get there! We teachers are all lazy but filthy rich, you know.

    • Amandover

      Ha! stupid governor… Thanks for being a teacher in an unappreciative state. : )
      Btw, I’m from Chicago and live in New York, so I will happily celebrate your home state pride!

  • I WANNA GO I WANNA GO I WANNA GO! Apparently my impending move to NYC could NOT come at a better time!

    • I had the SAME REACTION when I heard. Now I just have to scheme to get my butt to NY….

      • Zan

        You have a place to stay when you get here!

  • Jen


    anyone want to carpool from….Madison?


  • Mel

    What awesome news! This was worth waiting the weekend for, can’t wait to hear more!

  • This is amazing! Will definitely stay tuned as more details are revealed, I’ll be in town that week so I can volunteer my services if you need extra hands the night of!

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  • Rymenhild

    OMG SO PRETTY and if it weren’t both too soon for my lady and me, and overlapping with a week I’m teaching in Berkeley… I can’t put my name in. But I bless you all and your work and wish joy to all involved!

  • Shae

    HUZZAH! Can’t wait! Putting notes on every calendar I have to remind me to get tickets on the 26th! Luckily it’s the day after my birthday, so hopefully that will remind me ;)

  • Kermit arm flailing INDEED! Damn, that’s going to be one fine party!

    • robin

      Agreed. I think we may need to have a bay area party at the same time, just to celebrate, and not feel left out.

      • YES. (I would suggest we all re-wear old bridesmaid dresses to this party, but maybe it should be a swank get-together ;))

      • OH OH OH i might be out of the country on that date but if i’m not, it would be much easier (ie cheaper) for me to come to SF than NY from LA… i would loooove to be part of a celebration up there! could we also turn it into a fundraiser somehow? and could it be super swanky?

  • Kate

    Further proof that this is the absolute, 100%, most definite best wedding website out there. You are the best.

  • Rad, Meg – this is rad.

  • Sarah

    So will those of us who definitely can’t go to to New York to celebrate (me) but are still interested in supporting financially (me) be able to buy tote bags/swag? Or are they a reception-attendants-only kind of thing?

    • meg

      Nope! Those will be on sale for everyone. We need y’all to help make this happen (and damn are they stylish).

      • Sarah

        Woohoo! :D

  • Bessa

    Oh. Man. This is so amazingly awesome! I am all for tote bags, and I will buy one faster than you can say “Kermit Arm Flail,” but I’d also love to get a little more involved if I can. Being here in Chicago my options are limited, but I’d love to send a larger donation or donate my time to help do some coordinating from a distance if that’s something you all need.

    I’m sure I’m not the only member of Team Practical who wants to lend a hand (or some dollars) to this awesome cause–is there a way we can help?

    • meg

      So, in terms of dollars to actually put the party on, all you can do is buy tote bags (but you can buy lots of them as gifts). That money is not a donation, it’s just a purchase in support of APW, that will help make the party happen.

      We’ll also have a link live on the site the day of the party so y’all can give to LAMBDA Legal, and then we’ll announce a final tally of how much APW raised all in. Hurrah.

  • THIS blows my mind and swells my heart. THIS is why I have faith in humanity. THIS proves that there really are people in the world who are full of love and support for total strangers. I love THIS.

  • Yay! So excited. Already thinking what shoes I can wear that are sparkly enough for APWers but I can boogie (and work) in.

    Anyone who doesn’t live in NYC and promises they aren’t an axe murderer can stay with me if they come in for the party.

  • Gaahhh I want to be a part of this! Please share lots and lots of photos and stories!

  • Right F*cking On!

  • I could not LOVE this more!

  • Karen

    Hooray for all of this, except —

    WAAAAAAHHHHHH! I am going to be out of town on the 25th! No fair no fair no fair no fair no fair!

    (I will attempt to stop pouting now.)

  • april

    *Le sigh* I just got goosebumps reading this today! OH. MY. WOW!!!!!!! And oh how my heart wishes I could be in NYC in August to hoot, holler and celebrate with y’all.

    Cannot wait to buy the tote bag – WHEEEEE!!!

  • This is the first time I’ve really, truly cried while reading a post. Right into my egg sandwich. A big–and excuse the language here, but I think it’s necessary–fuckin’ HELL YA to the fighters. And another big fuckin’ HELL YA to the celebrations.

    I hope the tote bags will be grocery fetching size and that they’ll be here before mid-August. That swag is going to be displayed with my equality bracelets.

    Whoop! Whoop!

    • meg

      They will be grocery fetching size, and they will be around before mid-August!!

  • Jeannine

    this is so thoughtful and lovely. one of the nicest things about weddings is that they really make you take the time to celebrate something, when it is so easy to press on from one accomplishment to the next battle in life. so yes to celebrating exultantly!

  • I volunteer to organize/host a party (where we can raise even more money!) in Chicago for those of us here who cannot get to NYC celebrate in person. We’ll organize and post details on the Chicago APW group on Facebook. Join here: http://facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_224903617525050

  • Suzanna


  • Meg, this is a super awesome, amazing thing you are doing, but also, DO YOU EVER SLEEP?!!! Didn’t you just finish a book and now you are planning a 200 person reception? You are making us lazy girls look bad! ;-)

    • meg

      I know. I need to slow down! I’m actually in final edits for the book right this second, and there is this other project I haven’t announced yet. I just got a little over-celebratory about self employment.

      I do sleep though. I always sleep.

  • Amandover

    Oh my God! This is beautiful and I am so there! The ultimate APW NYC meet-up, for the best reason!

  • ML

    Amazing! I’ll be there – my first APW event, and such a momentous one at that! Amazing.

    Would love to help, too, however I can.

  • Meg et al., THANK YOU for being such a vocal supporter of marriage equality and once again standing out amongst the sea of wedding bloggers for the most wonderful reasons. My partner and I can’t wait to enter the contest on Wednesday, and even if we’re not among the lucky 5 couples to be a central part of the celebration, we will be supporting those who end up there (with our tote bags in hand).

    • meg

      You know you guys are the first people who have said you’re going to ENTER! (My little heart goes pitter pat!)

  • Oh hell yes. This announcement was worth waiting for. I love it. I’m going to send it to my friends who were married in NY 2 years ago, but might love to make it legal through this. And then I’m going to see if my work schedule permits my going. And then I’m going to buy the crap out of those tote bags. What else can we do? :)

  • Kristin in OR

    Great job APW! Way to take it and run with it not to mention raising the bar! You know this means all of the rest of us need to get to work legalizing marriage equality in our states so we can have our own APW receptions!

  • KC

    What a fantastic idea that will bring so much joy to a lot of people. I’m excited to hear more about it (and to snatch up one of those tote bags!)

  • Marchelle

    Aw, sweetie. This is beautiful. I’ll be there in spirit.

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  • This is just sooooo awesome :)

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