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The Wedding Planner

The Wedding Planner


Mindy Weiss has planned weddings for Gwen Stefani, Eva Longoria, and Jessica Simpson. Now she's taking on the first, and probably most expensive, gay nuptials in California.

As one of the top wedding planners in the business, Mindy Weiss has overseen such high-profile nuptials as Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale and Eva Longoria and Tony Parker as well as baby showers for Nicole Richie and Jennifer Lopez. But in all her years in the business she has never planned a wedding for a same-sex couple. That's all about to change. On the heels of the May 15 California supreme court ruling instituting statewide marriage equality, Weiss has nine weddings booked for gay male couples -- no lesbians yet. With price tags starting at $75,000, her ceremonies are for those with high-end desires and means -- and even then there's no guarantee she'll be able to fit you in. She took the time to speak to us between meetings in Las Vegas. According to Weiss, every bride wants the same perfect day -- even if that bride happens to be a man.

Have you been getting a ton of calls? We have gotten several calls. They are all going to be quick because they all seem to want to get married before November and before the election. The first will probably be the last week in July. And so now we are looking for places and giving them options.

Is there a different style to a gay wedding? Actually, all our weddings just take on the personality of the couple. So there is truly no etiquette, because I am handling it just as I would handle any other wedding. I mean, everyone I met with said "I'm the bride." [Laughs] So there is a definitive difference in who wants to be the bride and groom. They are so concerned about the wardrobe. That is the biggest thing. I am so thrilled, because definitely there is an attitude difference here too. Number 1, they are so excited that they are able to get married, but also they want to have a lot of fun. They want a serious ceremony, but they really want to have fun at the party.

Have you done any gay weddings in the past? No, I haven't, actually.

So this is a boom. Zero to nine in two weeks. I know. And we are so packed already for the rest of the year, but I couldn't pass any of these up.

Did anyone talk about making any political statements in their wedding? One couple, Doug Johnson, who does all the entertainment for my parties, and his partner, are planning, I think, on making a statement. I am not sure what they want to do yet, but they really want to put it out there.

Are there any surprising names you are working with that you can mention? [Pause]

[Laughs]Are they all getting married in California? Yes. Anywhere from Santa Barbara to Orange County.

You wrote a book recently, The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day... Yes, and there are a few pages on same-sex marriage. At the time I stated that it wasn't legal yet, but I am so happy now that it is. But I did say that I would handle it exactly the same way.

What is the wardrobe? Lots of white tuxedo jackets, white shirts -- the only thing they may have different is their tie.

Everyone wants to match? All of the ones I have spoken to want to match. And I haven't had any women yet.

What about flowers or decor. Any surprises there? It is all what they love. A lot of white-wedding theme, but a little more hipper, kind of clubby, you know. I am doing one that is all in red. But I would say that a lot of them are leaning towards keeping it chic and a little modern.

What about the wedding party? Do your clients want people to stand up with them at the altar? I have only met with two couples personally, the rest on the phone. And those two each have men and women standing on both sides. So that is so cool.

And how do you suggest handling that as far as wardrobe? If the women are straight, they want to wear long gowns, and keeping that traditional. If they are not straight and they feel more comfortable in tuxedoes, they can wear tuxedoes. But just like any other wedding you have to coordinate with the people in the event.

What about seating? Is there a groom's side and a groom's side? [Laughs] Most of my weddings are open seating because I don't like it if it looks uneven. Like, Oh my god, the groom only had 20 people. My whole deal is, There are no rules; we make our own. So same-sex marriages are so easy for me.

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