The Good, the Bad, and the Jewnicorn

Three couples explain what worked and what they’d do differently for their spectacular gay and lesbian weddings.



Cecilia Perez-Matos & Michelle Santill, Cleveland, OH – December, 2013

Cecilia Perez-Matos (above right), the youngest daughter of former Venezuelan president Carlos Andrés Pérez, married hair stylist and educator Michelle Santill (now Santill-Perez) in a legal wedding in New York City followed by a ceremony on December 28, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio.

What did you get right? Cecilia Perez-Matos: The first dance. We had actually never slow-danced before, so when it came to making a decision on whether we were going to do a first dance, it wasn’t a simple yes. We had to figure out logistics. Michelle is taller than I am, even when I get on my tippy toes! In the end, it was a magical moment. To hold her in my arms and hear the song we had gotten engaged to one year prior; to know that she was now my wife and regardless of what the future held, our lives would be connected forever; to know that I was now dancing with Mrs. Perez — it was beautiful! I remember at the end of the song I dipped her, and as I did, time stood still for a moment. I stared into her eyes and finally felt secure that this was my heart’s forever home, and we had the rings and the license to prove it.

Is there anything you’d do differently if you had a do-over? CPM: We had originally planned to have Master Chufei Tsai, our Buddhist teacher and friend, appear via Skype during the ceremony to perform a Buddhist prayer and blessing, but we had some technical difficulties right before the wedding and were unable to have her appear. In hindsight, we would have made sure to work out all the details and kinks beforehand and had a plan B to ensure her presence was there.

What advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? CPM: For us, I really think it was an added bonus that the vendors involved were gay and gay-friendly.