‘Bride & Prejudice’ Stars Open Up About Unsupportive Family
What’s it like to plan a wedding when your parents are vehemently against it? While this scenario is familiar to too many folks in the LGBTQ community, it can be foreign to others. A new reality show, “Bride & Prejudice” on FYI will explore this dynamic with three couples who are planning weddings without the support of their family. Lou and Chris are the show’s only gay couple, and, while Lou’s mother is totally in favor of the relationship, Chris’ father is not. Along with other couples facing family rejection (for religious beliefs, or beliefs about interracial marriage), the two celebrate their union amidst family strife.
Here’s a preview:
We spoke with Lou about his experiences planning a wedding as a gay man, and without full family support.
GayWeddings.com: How did you meet? What made you fall in love with each other?
Lou: We met in Boston, in passing at the airport. Chris looked super-sexy in his flight attendant uniform and had a smile that wouldn’t quit. It also didn’t hurt he was from SoCal. I always say the happiest people live in Cali. I invited Chris out for coffee and conversation. It was an instant connection. I first fell in love with Chris’ mind. His ideas, goals and passion for life intrigued me—unlike anyone else I’ve ever dated. After getting to know him, I fell in love with his heart. He is the most compassionate person I know. It’s refreshing.”
GW: Did you always know you wanted to be married? (In other words, did marriage always seem like something that would be available to you in a same-sex relationship?)
Lou: Truthfully, with family aside, we’ve always felt that the odds were against us. The government, media and some religious organizations have made it incredibly difficult for our community to be married. I was raised to stand up for what is right and equal. Getting married did become a priority for me after becoming aware of all the ongoing issues and meeting the person who completes me.
GW: What’s been your experience wedding planning?
Lou: Initially, I thought it would be a breeze since my day job is booking hair and makeup artists for weddings and other related events. It’s an industry I understand. I had a strict vision and was confident I was going to deliver it. As the planning went on I started feeling the pressures of budgeting, coordinating and family. It felt like I took on another full-time job. It really weighed on me as the date neared. Our vendors were super-professional and the best in the business. We had the support of some members in our family and not so much from others, which put an additional strain on what should be the happiest day of our lives.
GW: How is it being two grooms in a bride-centric wedding market?
Lou: There were many times where we made phone calls inquiring about wedding-related services and the person on the other line would automatically assume we were in a heterosexual relationship. After learning we were a gay couple they quickly apologized. Society is still conditioned this way and learning. We also heard a lot of people say it was their “first gay wedding” and “Who is the bride in the relationship?” Our rule of thumb is that labels are for cans and boxes.
GW: What are you most excited to do/say/see on your wedding day?
Lou: I am most excited to hear “I do!” Chris is most excited to see his family support his decision to marry. We are most excited to feel loved.
GW: What advice do you have for other couples who don’t have supportive family?
Lou: Our advice is to be patient. Things do not happen overnight. Be mindful that everyone processes information differently. People are a product of their environment and may have had different upbringings. They may not understand everything you say or do. Remember to follow your hearts and be each other’s support system. Love always wins.
Although I've spent the last decade riffing on everything from suburban politics to race in media, documenting love stories as content manager of GayWeddings.com definitely takes the cake. A proud alumna of Howard University's journalism program, I've written for Parents.com, The Huffington Post, xoJane and Essence magazine. When I'm not writing, I'm debating the merits of Drake, obsessing over frozen yogurt or plotting my next international adventure. I want to feature you on GayWeddings.com! Always feel free to drop me a line at community [at] gayweddings.com to share your engagement, wedding and love stories.