Eileen Piccolo, Director of Sales at The Exeter Inn, specializes in weddings at the intimate and warm property. She lives in Maine with her wife Lisa. The couple has been together for 25 years and raised their four children together in their home in Brookfield, Connecticut. “We have been judged and ridiculed by some. That, unfortunately, was never easy for us or our children. We all grew from those experiences. The bond between us & our children is very strong. Our children take care of each other, they counsel each other, love each other, and respect each other. They have all grown into incredible humans. We are truly blessed. ‘That is all that really matters. Love is Love,” says Piccolo who shared her thoughts about LGBTQ weddings with World Bride.
Why is it important to educate the public about LGBTQ weddings?
It is important for everyone to know that if two people of the same gender want to get married, it shouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, you can’t educate a person who doesn’t want to be educated. There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with your choice of a partner. Whether that be same-sex or heterosexual marriage. I don’t say love is love because it’s a popular thing to say. I am a hopeless romantic and I believe love is love. When I have a same-sex couple, I let them know that I have a wife. I believe it makes for a great connection. It also puts some couples at ease. They don’t have to try to explain themselves to me.
What are some of the aspects of a traditional wedding that are similar to an LGBTQ wedding?
The thing that makes each wedding different and unique is the couple.
What are some of the differences?
Some of the differences with LGBTQ weddings are the couple, either two women or two men. And I would also say the guests. When we got married some guests turned down our invitation due to their beliefs. At the time, we honored their choice and felt that we only wanted to be surrounded by those who loved us and accepted our relationship. The most important people in our lives were present the day we got married. Our families love and admire us. They are all fully accepting of us and our beautiful-blended family. Every couple should be surrounded by those who love and support them.
How can you make sure your vendors are okay with working with couples?
To make sure that vendors are ok working with couples, you have to ask them. You make them very aware. This goes for your staff as well. Everyone who will be in attendance on the day of a same-sex wedding needs to be accepting and non-judgmental. If someone has an issue with a same-sex wedding, they should not be in attendance in any way, shape, or form.
Where can you find an officiant?
You can find an officiant online. You can search The Knot, Wedding Wire. Equally Wed, the Rainbow Network, Gay Weddings & Purple Union are a few as well.
Can you talk specifically about proposals, wedding rings, wedding parties and duties, and outfits?
Proposals, wedding rings, wedding parties, duties, attire, etc. are all dependent upon specific preference, just like all weddings.
How are the following elements handled: walking down the aisle, being “given away,” where the couple stands in front of the officiant?
This is the same for all couples. LGBTQ or straight. All dependent on your religion or lack of religion, parental relationships, etc.
What are some popular symbolic acts?
Some of the popular symbolic acts at weddings of all orientations are planting a tree, tying a wedding knot, a sand ceremony, or a rose ceremony.
Do couples typically write their own vows?
What else would you like our readers to know?
Before you judge a couple or an individual for their sexual orientation, try to get to know them as individuals first. They may pleasantly surprise you!
Stacey Marcus is a Boston-based freelance lifestyle writer, publicist and content strategist. Her work has appeared in Boston magazine, Boston Common, Bride & Groom Magazine, Destination I Do, Modern Luxury Weddings Boston and Chicago, Ocean Home and playboy.com among others. A former senior editor at New England Bride Magazine, Stacey is also a publicist for non-profit organizations and small businesses. She is the author of a children’s book, A Bed for Every Bear: Tuck’s Tale. Stacey enjoys writing about travel, trends, and romance.