Do not double-check your calendars. This is not an April Fool's joke. City Paper really is putting out a wedding issue — in time for Valentine's Day, no less.
I know it seems unlikely. But the idea of marriage is not what it was a year ago. Last year, at this time, we were a state with a sitting Republican governor who was not only against same-sex marriage, but vowed to challenge it all the way to the Supreme Court.
All of that changed on May 20, 2014. A federal judge ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. A day later, to the shock of a lot of people, then-Gov. Tom Corbett announced he would not appeal the ruling, and marriage equality arrived in Pennsylvania. (That's only half the battle, of course. Pennsylvania is still one of the few states that allows both same-sex marriage and discrimination against LGBT individuals.)
The face of marriage has changed. Wedding customs, however, are another story. A lot of the time-honored customs are still in play, but couples today are making them more personal: making them fit in more with their own sensibilities and beliefs.
Groom Travis Hunt, whom you'll hear from elsewhere in this issue, says he and his fiancé, Stephen Simpson, were "a little bit stumped" about their ceremony when they began planning it. But they, and others you'll read about in the coming pages, figured out one very important thing: It's "whatever you want."
From the food to the dress to the cake, personalize it and make it your own.
And that's what we've tried to do with this issue — from the front cover to the story selections — make it our own.
The front cover was conceptualized by CP's art director Lisa Cunningham, and brought to life by photographer John Colombo and Kevin Nelson, a.k.a. Lola LeCroix, a local drag performer (and wedding-makeup artist). Nelson portrayed both the bride and groom for this photo shoot.
We thought it was a fun concept, putting a new spin on wedding traditions, and one we tried to carry throughout this issue — from upcycling your wedding gown to throwing a vegan reception. It's your wedding day. Make it your own.
Bride and groom cover photos by wedding photographer John Colombo
Bride and groom model: Lola LeCroix a.k.a. Kevin Nelson
Tux provided by Eons Fashion Antique
5850 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside
Wedding dress provided by Style Exchange Boutique
4211 Saw Mill Run Blvd., Brentwood
Wedding Cake photographed by Heather Mull and provided by Oakmont Bakery
531 Allegheny Ave., Oakmont