2013 LGBT Wedding Expo is "Destination: Brooklyn"
During the first year same-sex marriage was legalized in New York State, more than 7,000 such marriage licenses were issued in New York City. Brooklyn, "the lesbian capital of the world," celebrates the Empire State's progress on January 18 with the 2013 LGBTQ Wedding Expo, themed "Destination: Brooklyn," to be held at Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Community Pride Center Development Director Todd W. Fliedner, coordinator of the event, commended Borough President Marty Markowitz for not only being so supportive of gay marriage in general for urging the expo to come to his borough.
Fliedner said that when the marriage equality legislation passed in 2011, Markowitz held a special event at Borough Hall with champagne and cake to celebrate the win.
"He was so happy," said Fliedner. "I don't know how many events I've been to where I've heard him call Brooklyn 'the lesbian capital of the world,' and that's very true, but Brooklyn has always been very family-centric, with little Meccas like Park Slope for gay couples raising families."
Fliedner also credit Markowitz with helping initiate Brooklyn own gay center. "When he discovered that it was the only borough without a gay community center, he took it on as a mission to get us started up," he noted.
The wedding expo will feature Brooklyn caterers, florists, DJs, cake makers and photographers, plus a bevy of wedding planners. "We have four or five exclusively gay wedding planners who will be there," Fliedner told EDGE. "Last year, so soon after the marriage equality legislation was passed, there was not this kind of focus. But now we have ones that specifically plan gay weddings. We also have great photographers who do beautiful photos and videos of gay couples. One, who participated last year, did a beautiful video of a couple, filming them in the weeks up to their marriage, about what it meant to them and their family."
Brooklyn Men Connect and Marriage Equality USA will be there. So will on-site HIV testing, because, "if you're going to get married, you should find out what your status is," Fliedner said.
Entertainers include Brooklyn's own Angela "Big Ang" Raiola of the VH1 reality show "Mob Wives," drag queens Peppermint Gummybear and Strolling Tables and Kirsten Holly from the Broadway hit, "Forever Dusty," the stage musical biography of singer-songwriter Dusty Springfield. As Fliedner noted, "You know, Dusty Springfield was a lesbian."
Financial advisors and planners will be on hand to let perspective couples know how getting hitched will impact them at tax time. If it all gets to be too much, Green Spa in Brooklyn will offer free neck massages.
With Brooklyn' wealth of great restaurants and service providers, couples from the Tri-State area will probably find all they need for a perfect wedding. "Just because you can get married in New York State doesn't mean it has to be in Manhattan," Fliedner said,
When GQ Magazine anointed Brooklyn the coolest city in the world, it was only the latest acknowledgement by the media that the borough once known as the "city of churches" (back when it was a city) has evolved into the epicenter of urban hipness. Not only do Brooklynites no longer look toward Manhattan for dining, dancing or shopping, but Manhattanites routinely make the reverse trip into the borough.
The 2013 LGBTQ Wedding Expo will be held from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday, January 13 at Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street in Brooklyn. For more info, visit www.lgbtbrooklyn.org