Sunday, November 30, 2008


I have good intentions, but life takes over. This week was just plain ole fat. I've been indulging myself with the delusion that it's okay for the holidays. Between our families meeting, work and the wedding, food an drink has been the comfort. No more. This upcoming week is the week of being good to myself. The families loved each other, my bff for life just got engaged on Thanksgiving, and I'm dancing today in honor of a man who shaped my fabulous black gay self.

So this week:

1. No Harolds ( I swear they put crack in the hot sauce)
2. No Cocktails
3. No restaurant food

This next 28 days I will live by the bar method, loose 15 lbs, and care for myself like the blushing bride I'm supposed to be.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

On the Married Gays

Last night was amazing! I was supposed to be at a dance rehearsal for an upcoming perfromance but only 3 of us showed up so me, the fiancee, a long time friend/fellow dancer and his fiancee/husband decided to have cocktails in the attached restaurant. Life, love, and the pursuit of happyness.

It is amazing how life just intervenes in all of the best laid plans. I met the fiancee in a city I was just passing though and knew she was the one. They had a similar story of fate. Over two and a half Red Velvet Martinis I saw my relationship mirrored in maleness and realized that we were on to something. I think the black gays are coming a long way in realizing that there is a life beyond the stereotype of promiscuity and detachment. We can form attachments that are just as lovely and just as screwy as the straights. The white ones have figured that out already and that's why the Prop 8 demonstrations seem totally devoid of color. But we need to be more visible, love more, be more open so it's known that yes, we do exist and no, we aren't going anywhere any time soon.

34 days to go.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

35 days

Man oh man, it's been a week. Usually I'll have time to read my favorite blogs and update my own, but not this week. From meeting my mother to figure out if we can fit the doubled guest list (that's right, doubled), to running hither, thither, and yon to get the last details of cake and food, to meeting with our lovely officiant who is located across the world on Harlem and 63rd, I've been a bit of everywhere this week.

The DIY list is getting smaller without me doing anything. Everything I can outsource for the cheap is being done (thanks Sam) or eliminated. 35 days is nothing in the scheme of wedding planning.

Great news though, we are going to NOLA on our honeymoon!!!!! WHOOOO - HOOOO for the lushly overfed, southern fried, creole spicy week long honeymoon in the most decadent city in the country. Beginets here I come!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One Upon a Wedding

300 guests + food and liquor + 40 mi outside of the city = this wedding I went to last night

The fiancee and I had a marvelous time at a wedding last night. It was everything a good girl would hope it to be, and as a guest, it was a great time to get politely smashed on free liquor. As with everything in life, there is always a running commentary going through my brain so I can never just enjoy the simplicity in anything and this wedding has given me plenty of fodder. As much as I would love to recount the night with catty play by plays a la Queer Eye, the couple seemed so happy and in love that I don't have the heart. But I do have a few lingering questions:

1. Between the two of you, are you really that super tight with over 300 people?
2. Why do DJ's have to be obnoxious as all hell while you and the now spouse are having the first dance?
3 Does the vidioegrapher have to carry the tripod while he's filming said dance, instead of picking the dang thing up and acting like he knows what he's doing?
4. Should your planner really be walking around your ceremony in socks?
5. Why does some catered food taste like cardboard? (just for the record, my salmon was good)

On a side note, I also had a makeup assignment in the suburbs before the wedding and did the makeup for a bride and her mother. The bride seemed genuinely disinterested in her big day. I can only speculate from the 30 minuts I spent with her, but it didn't seem like she wanted to be getting married. Now, I'm NOT trying to make the point that she didn't love her fiancee and want to spend the rest of her life with him. She seemed to have given into the idea of a wedding of tradition that did not fit her personality. Her hair was done in a beautiful updo that she seemed uncomfrtable in. She stressed to me that she didn't want any makeup but I managed to convince her to add a bit of color for the pitures. She just went with what her family said to do with not much joy or any other emotion.

I think it is so important that a wedding reflects the personality and desires of the couple as a whole. No one elses will, not tradition or family, should impose on those desires. A wedding is a celebration of committment that two people are making to each other. I always believed that how you go into something determines the outcome. I hope that bride does not encounter in her marriage what she encountered in her wedding.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In Desperate Need of Color

What possessed me to have my wedding in the wintertime in Chicago? Six years in the sunny state of Florida must have made me delusional about just how grey and depressing winter really is. So for all of the winter brides who will not be touched by the sun for months before and after your wedding, this inspiration board is for you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Attire: The Dress

Wedding dress = Princess for a day

When this whole shebang started, I was the bride who was dead set on bucking tradition. A right hand ring for engagement, a slinky, sexy dress with colorful, killer pumps, and absolutely no bridesmaids. No aisles or giving away. Then something called the wedding bug hit me. Maybe it was all of that Knotting and Wedding Beeing that I did like a good little bride. The online browsing turned to shopping which turned into a full fledged wedding complete with dress, shoes, and attendants (not bridesmaids, more on that later)

As a newbie to this wedding thing I had absolutely no idea that the wedding dress industrial society was so, shall I say, involved. Mothers and best friends making a day of helping you put on and take off dresses that cost as much as two semesters of tuition at FAMU (Go Rattlers!). It was all so overwhelming to think of spending $2,000 on a dress when our budget was only $10,000. Then I learned of the sample sale, which actually should be named the cattle call for stylishly frugal brides.

Not knowing what to expect, I got up early, dropped the fiance off at work, and drove to Oak Brook in rush hour traffic, thinking I would be the first one there at 9:00 a.m. Not so much. There were about ten other brides and their mothers and best friends squealing and fawning over the most amazing dresses. The wait for a dressing suite was about 30 minutes so I continued to browse while trying not to drown in the taffeta and silk the other girls were slinging.
THE dress was the first one I tried on. Princess AJ took over as soon as the silk hit my skin and the dress lady zipped me up. At that moment I realized just how my practical, non-traditional lesbian wedding turned into this amalgamation of who knows what. But the great part about that princess moment is that it only set the budget back $215 + $100 for alterations. (hint: one of these dresses is the one I'll be wearing)

Photos from

Friday, November 7, 2008

MakeUp Love

The holidays are upon us and it's time for a new face people! In addition to having a fabulous artist designed DIY wedding in 50 days, I am an Aveda Freelance Advisor and will be at XOX Salon at 4458 N. Milwaukee tomorrow for their Holiday Celebration doing complementary (meaning free) makeup touches for attendees. This is only the beginning of my busy makeup season so I'll try to keep my dates and locations posted.

It's going to be amazing to work on all of these beautiful people going to holiday parties and getting inspiration on how to wear my own makeup for the big day. As a makeup artist it is so hard to decide how to wear my own makeup. I also have this dislike of having other makup artist work on me. It's kind of like a hairdresser going to another hairdresser, there's a lot of intimidation and expectation that goes along with it
Photo from Aveda

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Creative Cocktail Redux

It is a new day and I'm through pouting about those amendments.  Staring into my beloved's eyes this morning made all that bitterness melt away and made me realize the only way people will see that love is love, is for us to love each other with our whole beings.  That's what makes a marriage.

So our guest list is at the limit with even more RSVP's coming in and still more inquiries on Creative Cocktail Attire so this is the real beginning of a wedding etiquette and attire primer.  I love this wedding featured on Once Wed Their attire is such a fresh and creative alternative to traditional wedding attire.  I love it when people step outside of the box and really let their personalities show on their big day!

photos by Max Wanger 

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Proposition 8 and Amendments 2,nth 102

How do you put peoples rights up for a vote?  How do you install within a constitution the denial of rights for anyone?  Will it be you next?  Will there ever be a vote on how you excercise your chosen religious views?  Will there be an amendment banning churches who fuel hate against me from recieveing my gay tax money?  Will there be a constitutional amendment that bars infertile couples from getting married, because we know that marriage is only for procreation?  I am flabbergasted at the unmitigated moral superiority that the proponents  of these measures have over the lives of others.  How many of their husbands and wives are cheating, abusing, distant, divorced, and unloving?  How many of their marriages are perfect pictures of domesticity?  Why does my relationship affect theirs?  I'm so sad right now.

Yes We WIll

We did it!!  My president is a black man that lives down the street from me.  Who's wife had coffee in the cafe attached to my job.  His children have taken art classes there.  He sat in the same classrooms in law school 18 years ago that my best friend sat in 1 year ago.  He is urban, accessible, a scholar, reflective, and steady.  He believes that Ms. J and I should have the same access to all legal rights that married couples are afforded. I will pray for his health and safety throughout his presidency.

We were so taken aback and amazed that the eagerly awaited engagement pictures sat on the computer paused at the slide show.  But as McCain conceded, we sat cuddled up on the couch, basking in pride and our amazing pictures, hoping that this signals a paradigm shift for the country
"It feels like a shift in conscience." Oprah Winfrey

P.S. And it's a sunny 65 degrees in Chicago on November 5. God is working.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Votes and Amazing Intern Photography

I VOTED!!!! The fiancee and I got in line at 5:30 and were the 6 or 8th people to vote (we were too excited to count). By the time we walked out the line was through the hallway and out of the building. Black folks are taking this seriously! (I'm not being biased when I say that because I live close to Bronzeville which is occupied almost exclusively by bronze people). But after the voting frenzy, real life resumes. I clean the house, check email, watch Oprah look like she is about to blow a gasket over Obama, and contemplate how to keep this wedding under budget. It's also way too exciting to be receiving the CD of our engagement photos today.

So what is the budget? As far under $10,000 as we can get it without sacrificing the design concept. As an artist it is hard to compromise on aesthetic vision, and Ms. J is soooo super supportive of my need to be a control freak on this issue (only this issue).

So with a budget that small there is no way we could pay some fine art photojournalist wedding photographer $5000 to document 6 hours of our lives together. Next best option: use the resources at our disposal. I work at an art center surrounded by artists, even some of our college interns are amazing artists. One of them is our wedding photographer. Her amateur work is amazing and because we are using her at the beginning of a possible career in photography the fees are considerably more affordable.

For all those brides who are stressing about how to have amazing photography that fits within your budget.

1. Look for upper level students at local art schools, at colleges, and universities
2. Seek out students and instructors at local art centers that aren't necessarily wedding photographers

If you have any other ideas let me know!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day Personals

After much resistance I became . . . a blogger! So on this soap box, on November 3, 2008, I am standing to make a statement: Lesbians and Gays, more specifically to me, black Lesbians and Gays do get MARRIED. Just because the state does not recognize our unions does not mean that we don't find the ONE and want to celebrate that with friends and supportive family.

The amendments on the ballots of California, Arizona, and Florida are seeking to enshrine in the constitutions of these states the denial of rights to a segment of the population. Now living in Chicago none of these amendments and propositions affect me, but after six years as an undergraduate in Florida, I have many "family" friends up and down the state. Some who are in long term relationships, and some who one day would like to get married in the state, and country, they call home.

It's not just about the word marriage. I'm getting married no matter what the State of Illinois calls it because I will be making the ultimate commitment to my fiance. It is about the 1000+ rights that accompany the word marriage in the eyes of the government. Even before our "unmarried" wedding we have to prove that we are committed to only each other for me to receive her domestic partner health benefits. I have to pay the Cook County Circuit Court $318 to change my last name, plus more BS and money than anyone could imagine after we are "unmarried" married.

So as I step off my soapbox and reapply my MAC Lipglass, if you live in Cali, Florida, or Arizona please vote no on your respective ballots. Thank you!

Creative Cocktail Attire

So everyone for the wedding wants to know what exactly creative cocktail attire is. My ideas for winter creative cocktail are perfect multi-hued, patterned items like these.

dress: anthropologie shrug bonzie on, boots: nine west

Paired with some textured tights and you have creative cocktail!

Crinkle Rust Autumn Embellished Wrap

dress: , necklace and shrug:

Ask LaMont: How to dress 'creative cocktail'

Monday, May 12, 2008

By LaMont Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Q: I recently was invited to a work-related evening affair. The invitation described attire as "creative cocktail" and I wasn't sure what that meant. How should I dress?

A: That's not a common dress code. Gone are the days of formal, informal, cocktail or even business casual. People are coming up with all sorts of new things like "creative cocktail."

Newfangled dress requirements don't have to be stressful to navigate. My guess for creative cocktail is something that fuses a less-structured side of evening with a funky sartorial twist. It's polished but not overly dressy, unexpected but not inappropriate, witty but not self-aggrandizingly over-the-top.

What might that look like? I recently helped attire a friend who attended an affair that requested creative cocktail attire. He showed up at the function in navy trousers, a blue-and-white striped shirt with an open collar and a navy-and-white polka dot silk hanky tucked in the breast pocket of his sleek khaki-colored blazer. He completed the look with black loafers and was the picture of debonair.

He also could have gone with khaki pants, a multicolored plaid jacket and a pastel shirt with a skinny bow tie and a Panama hat. Or a two-button business suit with a colored polo shirt and cowboy boots.

A woman dressing for creative cocktail might want to put on a fitted skirt with high heels, interesting hosiery, a bold blouse and numerous ropes of pearls. Or wide-legged solid slacks with a colorful scarf for a belt and a long-sleeve knit top with stacked bracelets. Or a little black dress with colored peep-toe pumps and a straw fedora in the same color family.