Meet Rony Tennenbaum
From the Editor: We are so thrilled to include Rony in our list of talented columnists providing expert advice in our special expert advice series. We first began working with him in 2009, when we approached us to join our lgbt-friendly vendor directory. One thing led to another and we began collaborating on custom ring designs for our clients and have a few new exciting plans in the pipeline as well.
And now you, Dear Reader, will have the pleasure of getting to know Rony just a bit better yourself and hearing his first-hand tips for considering, selecting, designing (in some cases!), and buying your rings.
He was kind enough to take some time out of his weekend to answer a few questions about his professional background and his thoughts on same-sex marriage.
Q & A With Rony Tennenbaum
When someone asks what you do for a living, how do you answer?
I am a fine jewelry designer that specifically reaches out to the LGBT community with trend setting, inspiring engagement rings, wedding bands and more.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The part I most enjoy about my work is the satisfaction of working together with couples who will wear my rings as a symbol of their love for the rest of their lives together. That is so powerful to me.
What do you remember most about the first gay or lesbian wedding you attended?
The first lesbian wedding I attended was over 15 years ago. I will never forget the comfort and love I felt at the event. I remember thinking, this is the most normal and natural thing to witness as two people are committing their love to one another in front of their friends and family. No feeling is as wholesome as sharing that joy with two people.
What do you think makes a same sex wedding different from a straight wedding?
Nothing. My most famous mantra: “Love is Love, No Matter How You Spell It,” applies here beautifully. A same sex wedding does not differ from a straight wedding. There are two people in love, friends, family, flowers, good food, and exchange of rings. I do not see a difference. Love is Love.
What is the most valuable planning advice you can offer two grooms and/or two brides?
Knowing that preparations for the big day will be well taken care of (and in excellent taste I might add), if the couple are of same sex, my strongest advice to a new couple is be aware of your states laws that protect you and seek good guidance on how to live as normal a life as possible through alternative documentation, UNTIL such a time that your state will view your marriage as equal to heterosexuals.
What do you think is the single biggest challenge to gays and lesbians attaining marriage equality?
The biggest challenge I believe to attain marriage equality is probably gaining positive thinking from non-believers. The GLBT community may know and feel the pains of not being granted benefits like any normal couple, but it’s explaining or convincing the other side that no one institution or government has the right to determine who gets equality and who does not that is the challenge. Again I defer to my mantra: having to prove that “Love is love no matter who the two people are,” is the challenge. It should not be something that needs “proving” to anyone.
What strengths and/or improvements do you think same sex couples are bringing to the institution of marriage?
It is my belief that we have seen a huge rise in the past two decades of same sex couples committing to a lifetime together. These numbers are staggering in comparison to heterosexual couples who quite the opposite – divorcing at an alarming rate. Perhaps it is same sex couples that are actually more valuable to show and prove what real commitment is and how to live truly “Till Death Do You Part.”
What has most inspired your passion for helping same sex couples who wish to tie the knot?
I believe that everyone has a natural birth right to wed anyone they choose, under their personal belief system. In turn I also believe that society has an obligation to accept and tolerate every union, commitment, partnership or marriage equally without prejudice or judgment.
In his 25 years experience in designing and creating engagement rings and wedding bands, Rony has dedicated more than a decade of service toward helping same-sex couples translate their sentiments of commitment into meaninful custom rings, symbolizing their unique love.