Marianne Puechl

Marianne Puechl

Wednesday, 03 November 2021 12:15

Riding Off Into Your New Life Together

Stylish Transportation for Your Special Day!

It’s possible to bring your own flair to every aspect of your wedding celebration:  accenting your florals with organically-grown springtime blossoms…  customizing your vows… asking special family members or friends to offer select readings from favorite literary passages during the ceremony… choosing a personally meaningful gemstone for your partner’s ring instead of the traditional diamond… developing the festivities around a particular theme that reflects the relationship you and your beloved share.  Chances are you and your fiancée will be devoting time to sample delectable flavors for your wedding cake; why not also indulge yourselves by considering all the available options about transportation?  It’s Your Special Day – travel with your new spouse in style!

Today’s limos are incredible!  Customized lighting, ambience and of course music and champagne.  As you consider your budget, you’ll need to decide whether or not you’ll want your limousine available for your entire wedding party as they make their way from the ceremony site to the reception venue… or if you’ll simply want to reserve the luxurious ride for you and your spouse as you leave the festivities and begin your honeymoon.

As you depart, your driver might play the DVD of the ceremony on the interior television screen as the two of you are whisked off to the mountain chalet for your long weekend, or serve signature martinis as you toast your new spouse on the advent of your new life together.

Costs will vary based on season, day-of-the-week and the timeframe necessary.  Be sure to ask your provider if they charge by the hour or per event, and educate yourselves about the additional costs such as mileage and tips.  Gathering all the facts will help you select your ideal transportation while still maintaining your budget!  -It’s also helpful to note that many couples ask parents (if they are chipping in with ceremony costs) to cover this particular expense.

Keeping with Your Theme
When arriving at the private beach to meet their wedding party, Maui grooms Bob H. & Ken T. were paddled ashore in an outrigger canoe.   Along with the djembe drumming, circle of tropical flower petals on the sand and inclusion of the tradition of tossing leis into the ocean in honor of their ancestors, the canoe was just one more facet of the couple’s dream-come-true:  a beautiful Hawaiian oceanfront wedding.

Other themes lend themselves to particular transportation options:  For your vintage wedding, of course you might consider a convertible Mercedes or classic Rolls Royce.  An Elvis-themed wedding might require that Mustang or 50’s Thunderbird, or perhaps a jet-black Harley.

For your Pride or rainbow-themed event, a trolley decorated to mimic an original from San Francisco might suit; for a casino-oriented reception, you’ll want to go with a high-rolling stretch limo – make sure the fuzzy dice are bouncing in the window!

Party Bus
The name says it all, and lends itself to much more than swinging through town for your bachelors/ettes party.  Party buses are a festive way to gather all of your wedding attendants, family, close friends and enjoy quality time together.  Lights and music can be rockin’, elegant or simply joyful.  The trip itself might be a 30-minute drive to the reception facility, or it may be a tour through your hometown as an unexpected gift for your guests.  –Your driver, DJ or emcee will happily customize the tour, regaling passengers with highlights from your engagement story or moments you & your partner have spent in the city or local neighborhoods.  Couples with more intimate ceremonies may even prefer the party on the bus to a more traditional reception:  the space and services onboard may astound you!  It’s worth checking into if you are looking for something unique and memorable, while retaining that lively atmosphere.

Horse-drawn Carriages
Fairy-tales do come true!  Of course a horse-drawn carriage may suit you and your partner perfectly, providing you the most enchanting way to travel from your ceremony site to your reception venue, or to depart from the reception after the festivities come to a close.  Carriages offer one of the most delightful photo opp/s – appealing for two brides or two grooms alike.

If possible, take time prior to your wedding day to take a quick jaunt in your carriage, and consider wearing similar attire to that you plan to wear on Your Special Day.  Remember, climbing up onto a high footplate can be challenging in a long gown, heels or in a finely tailored tux, even with the help of your partner, driver or attendant.  It’s good to practice beforehand!

Also, be sure to communicate to your photographer that a horse-drawn carriage will be part of the festivities, and allow for his/her/their input about when might be appropriate times for extra photographs.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment; make the most of it!

As a precaution, however, be sure to also discuss with your carriage service the available options in case of inclement weather.  This may be as simple as reserving a venue with a portico (many carriages are not strictly open-air and can provide shelter if necessary) but you’ll want to go over such details in advance.

Also, don’t be shy to inquire about the short-term and long-term care your carriage company provides to their horses.  Many couples today wish to remain savvy not only about doing business with gay-friendly companies, but also with businesses that are environmentally-aware and conscientious about their treatment of animals, as applicable.

More Adventurous
Of course ascending into the wide blue sky or rosy sunset in your own hot-air balloon is a triumphant way to make an exit.  If it’s your style, and in your budget, GO FOR IT!  The moment will leave your guests gaping with joy and you and your new spouse will enjoy panoramic views of the reception venue and the horizon into which you’re beginning your new life together.  It’s about the most auspicious means of transport there is!

Other adventurous couples may choose similarly amazing means of motion:  motorcycle, horseback, hang glider, helicopter, snowmobile, boat.  Such escapes definitely make a statement about who you are; more than that, they provide an added element of fun and intimacy for the two of you after a wonderful (yet stressful) period of weeks and months of planning this momentous occasion.  Finally, the two of you can relax and enjoy the freedom of riding off together on horseback, or sitting back as the pilot of your personal helicopter swoops you away to the airport for your honeymoon.  This is the time to hold hands, cuddle, whisper those special words to one another and take a deep breath.  You did it!  You’re married!

If traveling by horseback (or dogsled, for that matter!) remember to check with your venue staff about any restrictions regarding animals on the premises.  And, as noted before, it’s wise to practice climbing onto your horse or alternative vehicle beforehand – this will make you feel more at ease during that very special moment.

Hyping up Your Own Roadster
For many couples, the ride to the train station, airport or back home may just as easily take place in your own car.  Whether for budget reasons or personal preference, this transport option too presents unique opportunities.

Enlisting the help of a driver definitely is something to consider!  Your Best Person, best friend, or a hired driver may be just the right fit to provide you and your new husband or wife a much-deserved respite from all the activity.  Your Wedding Day will be a fantastic celebration!  …but chances are you’ll both be quite tired mentally, emotionally and physically.  And especially if the reception goes late, a dedicated driver will ensure that your travels are safe and relaxing.

The traditional tin cans and ‘Just Married’ sign really do have their appeal!  On today’s highways, the cans may not be the best choice, but it’s fun to let your guests or special friends know that you and your partner would like your car decorated.  The artist in your circle may be able to come up with something incredible… or you can leave a basket of window markers, streamers and such with your most outgoing bridesmaid or quirkiest nephew – they’ll see that the deed gets done.  Remember, your family and guests want to do things for you and make this celebration as joyful as possible; don’t think twice about asking for help with some of the happy details.

A Note about Today’s Economy
Not every wedding professional will accommodate, but it’s certainly more true than ever that many business owners today will be flexible with their rates.  Haggling over prices can get tiresome, but a courteous inquiry is worth the effort.  Keep in mind also that many wedding vendors will package their services with others – for instance, the hotel in which you’ve booked your reception may work closely with a particular limousine company and be able to help discount the publicized rate…  And if you are considering an event consultant to assist with your planning process, be sure to ask him/her/them about their own network of preferred vendors and cost-effective ways they are able to package services for you.

A Few Extra Ideas
Forethought on such a big day is a great thing!  Remember to pack snacks in your vehicle:  your nerves may have spiked during the ceremony and a few crackers may really make a difference as you make your way to the reception venue…  or, you may have only found time to nibble during your reception and need a few bites as you and your spouse are whisked off to the airport.  So think ahead about some culinary options and have someone pack them for you in your limo, carriage or other vehicle.

A box of tissues, perhaps?  It might be needed for those tears of joy!  After months of planning, you may find that once you actually relax, the emotions burst free!

A sweatshirt or comfy blanket?  You may find that if this is going to be a lengthy ride to your honeymoon venue, or to the airport, that an oversized sweater or change of socks or shoes might help you feel more comfortable.  Another fun idea is to have someone special in your circle knit a unique new quilt for this moment, and have it wrapped in your vehicle so that you and your new husband or wife can take a moment of fun to unwrap and ooh and ahh together at yet another priceless gift of the day.

Phone charger/s – don’t forget these need to be handy throughout the day!  Be sure to snap a few pics of the two of you together as you’re transported off into your next chapter together!


In many instances, the send-off at the end of your celebration will be that lasting memorable moment to top off a wonderful party.  Your guests will savor the opportunity to playfully blow bubbles, watch as you make your way through the floral archway and cheer you & your spouse on to new horizons.  Take time, as you plan this exciting once-in-a-lifetime occasion, to consider just how many diverse methods there are to whisk yourselves from one place to another… and just how you might best incorporate fun, flair and polish into the particular option you choose.  That vintage convertible, party bus or horse-drawn carriage may very well become one of the highlights of Your Special Day!

Wednesday, 03 February 2021 00:07

John & Clayton

Our thanks to newlyweds John & Clayton, for sharing their heartfelt & beautiful story with us here at RainbowWeddingNetwork!  Please enjoy this sweet & insightful Q&A with the grooms, from their first meeting online through to their honeymoon highlights in Amsterdam.  Best of Luck, John & Clayton!
(Photos courtesy: Douglas Benedict,

RainbowWeddingNetwork (RWN): 
Tell us the story of how you met... Was it love at first sight?  What were some of the qualities that attracted you to each other, and made you realize that 'he was the one'?

John:  Clayton and I met online.   It initially started as friendly chat, but as time went on we realized how much we had in common and how much was lacking in our lives.   It was not love at first sight, but rather something that grew over time.

The qualities that initially attracted me to Clayton (and still do) are how outgoing and personable he is.  I am much more shy and guarded – especially around new people – so in that way he complemented me.  Additionally, Clayton is a very kind, generous and giving person.  All these qualities were missing in my previous relationship and something I didn’t realize I could get from a partner until I met him.  That is when I knew he was the one.

RWN:  How did you propose to each other?  Did one of you surprise the other?

John:  Clayton had actually discussed marriage a few times before he proposed to me.  I had never thought of getting married when I was with my previous partner and since it was such a long relationship I pushed the idea of ever getting married so far in the back of my mind so that when he did bring up the topic I did not take him seriously at first…. That is until one night when we were out with friends.  It was an icy cold night and Clayton asked me to marry him.  For some reason this time I realized he was serious.  Being a very analytical person and one to consider both sides of any decision, my initial response was “let me think about it”.  I know, not very romantic but that is my reaction to just about any decision.  It took all of about 20 minutes to realize that Clayton is the best thing to ever happen to me and that he truly completes me and makes me a better person, so I went back to him and said “Yes!”
RWN:  How did your family and friends react to the engagement?  Any insights, thoughts or feelings you'd like to share?

John:  Nearly everyone was very supportive.  The only real negative reaction was from my father when I asked him to walk me down the aisle.  His initial response was “Are you the woman?”  Now at first that may seem harsh and my initial reaction was of surprise and a bit of anger.  But I quickly realized he was reacting to me asking him to do something that is traditionally done by the father for his daughter.  At the time my father was 85 years old and old school in many ways, yet he was always supportive of our relationship.  So I explained to him that Clayton’s mother was walking him down the aisle and if my mother was still alive I would have asked her. Once he understood that, he was completely on board and did walk me down the aisle.  Clayton’s family was completely supportive and excited about the two of us sharing our lives together.

RWN:  What was the initial ceremony planning like?  Any particular issues with non-accepting wedding vendors?  Any wonderful moments with extremely supportive wedding vendors?

John:  Neither of us ever dreamed about our ideal wedding or really ever thought of even getting married so when it came time for wedding planning details we were like two fish out of water.  After we were asked by the florist what the color of the flower girl’s hair band was going to be, we knew we were screwed.  The thought of that never even entered our minds.  After that, we made it a point to let every vendor know to not assume we thought of anything before we came in to talk with them and really ask about ALL the details.

We did not experience any issues with any vendors – all were extremely supportive and most seemed quite happy to be dealing with a same-sex couple because it is not the norm.
RWN:  What type of wedding did you have?  Ceremony colors?  Any themes?  Did you include particular rituals or traditions?

Clayton:  We actually had two ceremonies.  The first one was in Connecticut on May 15, 2009 and was a very small ceremony by a lake with a Justice of the Peace and John’s one brother and his family.  It was a very bucolic ceremony in the country and we all had a nice lunch afterward in a very typical New England waterfront Inn.  We live in Pennsylvania which does not recognize gay marriage but thankfully does not have a constitutional amendment against it and we wanted our marriage to be “legal” somewhere, hence the decision to get married in Connecticut.  We chose Connecticut because 1) John’s bother lives there and 2) there is no waiting period in order to get married.

But we also wanted a traditional wedding ceremony with close friends and family, which we did on June 21, 2009.  We chose that date because 1) it is the first day of summer and 2) it is the longest day of the year – allowing maximum daylight for our outdoor wedding.  We had a rehearsal dinner the night before.

The wedding ceremony took place outdoors at Morgan Hill Country Club in Easton, PA which is on top of a hill which provides picturesque views of the land below.  The reception was held in a tent adjacent to the ceremony area.  Our theme was “black and white”.  Being an interracial couple we thought it would be fun to play on the fact that John is white and Clayton is black.  The colors were black, ivory and red.  The men and ring bearer wore black tuxes with ivory ties and red roses on their lapels.  The women wore black dresses with ivory corset-like lacing on the back.  The flower girl wore an ivory dress with a black bow.  The bouquets consisted of white hydrangeas and red roses.

We wanted to be as traditional as possible for our “non-traditional” wedding.  We had a wedding party of 12 – 5 groomsmen, 5 bridesmaids, a ring bearer and a flower girl.  We were married by a Catholic priest who is a very good friend and also happens to be gay.

The ceremony started with a string quartet that played prior to and during the wedding ceremony and during the cocktail reception. We performed a sand ceremony during the wedding.  This is where each participant mixes sand of different colors into a container to symbolize two becoming one.  The sand colors were of course black and white.

The ceremony was immediately followed by the traditional receiving line and the cocktail hour. We took the wedding party pictures during the cocktail hour which was followed by the reception. 

We switched to a DJ for the reception who did the traditional announcement of the wedding party followed by the traditional first dance of the wedding couple.

RWN:  How did you feel on your Wedding Day?  What was the range of emotions?  Was it different than you'd expected?

Clayton:  We felt extreme happiness with perhaps a tinge of anxiety at being the center of attention.  Having family and friends witness our marriage to each other felt like we were finally recognized as being “official” and being on par with other married couples… a feeling we never thought we would experience.

Our attitudes toward other couples’ weddings also changed after that day.  Prior to the wedding, we both were a bit disinterested in the whole process knowing that we could never be part of it.  After the wedding, we now approach weddings with an entirely new attitude of celebrating the love and partnership that a marriage is.

RWN:  Describe some of your Ceremony & Reception Highlights.

Clayton:   One of the funniest moments during the ceremony occurred right after John’s father and Clayton’s mother walked them down the aisle.  The priest asked who gives Clayton away and his mother and father stood up and said “we do”.  Then the priest asked who gives John away and his father stood up and said “I do”.  After he said “I do”, there was total silence.  Out of nowhere he yells out, “Good luck fellas” which got a huge chuckle from everyone.

As mentioned, we tried to keep the wedding as traditional as possible.  We both had rainbow garters on before the wedding started which we were going to use in lieu of the traditional bouquet/garter toss.  The song ‘The Stripper’ came on and the activities began.  We each seductively removed the garters from one another, getting tremendous roars from the crowd.  We had the men and women lined up to catch the garters.  Ironically enough we had one straight male friend and one gay male friend catch the garters.  Now everything got real interesting.  Both guys were great sports about what was just about to happen.  Slow and steady in a very playful manner both men put the garters on one another.  All of our guests loved what was playfully going on.  We still laugh and joke about this today.
RWN:  Did you choose to go on a honeymoon?  Where?

John:  Just as we had two ceremonies, we also had two honeymoons.  The first one was right after the second ceremony and we escaped to Fort Lauderdale for five days.    The second honeymoon was that following September and we went to Amsterdam and Germany for 10 days.

We have a friend who lives in Amsterdam that we stayed with which was great because we got to experience the “real” Amsterdam – including riding bikes all through town.  We also took the ICE train (very fast train) to Cologne, Germany for one overnight.  We stayed adjacent to the Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) which began construction in 1248.  The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires and largest facade of any church in the world.
RWN:  Why are marriage rights important to you?  What is your advice to other committed couples, as they consider whether or not to have a wedding of their own?

John:   Marriage rights are important because we would like all same-sex couple to experience the official acceptance.
RWN:  Favorite Quote from our Happy Couple?

 John:  “When you are in a healthy relationship it should be effortless”.  We all have to work at maintaining our relationships, but a relationship should not feel like a job.


Photos courtesy: Douglas Benedict,
"I have never been to - or photographed - a more moving, beautiful or loving wedding than theirs. Their supportive families and tight-knit friends made for the perfect wedding."



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