Real Gay Wedding: Russ & XiQi
Russ Gavin & XiQi Ma
September 10, 2010
You clearly put a lot of thought into the symbols used on your wedding day (the rings, the location, the cake tops, etc.). Can you tell us about the most meaningful symbols incorporated into the ceremony and/or reception?
Because we are in an interracial marriage it was very important for us to make sure my husband’s culture had it’s place in our special day. He is Chinese and because of that we used the symbol for “Double Happiness” on everything from our invitations to our cake. Our invitations also were very special because they were enclosed in a “moon” envelope which was red and very Asian inspired.
The location had to be something different for us, too. As neither of us is religious, we did not want to be married in a church setting and opted instead for a castle (ironic, I know!). We were married at the Carriage House at Dundurn Castle in Hamilton and wandered the gardens and grounds for our photos which just gave it an extra little something, made it just that much more initmate and personalized for us.
What was your most favorite response a wedding guest shared with you about being a part of your Big Day? Any special shout outs to the friends, family or vendors who supported you in your planning?
We did something very different and rented a school bus (yes, a big yellow school bus) and took that with many of our guests from the venue to the reception. Everyone was laughing and having a great time on the bus and, for some of our friends, it was there first time ever on one. Our dinner was an intimate gathering at my friend’s restaurant. Just a little hole in the wall that serves the most amazing food (thank you to Alice and the ladies of Karolina’s Polish Restaurant in Hamilton!). They made an incredibly special dinner for us right down to flaming crepes for our dessert.
Many of our guests remarked on how incredible the service was at our wedding. They loved the fact that it was very customized and heartfelt. People from three generations were in attendance and they all said how sweet and touching it was and that it was “just perfect.”
The best thing about the entire day was that our family insisted they HAD to be there. Originally, we were going to just go with my folks and a few friends and get married in Niagara Falls. To us, having a wedding means having your family (and friends who are just like family) there to support you, so when we told them we were getting married the guest list suddenly went from 6 to more than 50 in the blink of an eye.
What’s your best piece of advice to couples who are planning their weddings?
Planning your wedding does NOT need to be the difficult, all encompassing stress-fest that so many people make it. It is about you and your partner. It is about love. It is about acceptance and joy, laughter and tears, support and celebration. Make smart choices, things that in years to come you will look back on and be proud of, like you are about your lives together. Oh, and remember, it isn’t brain surgery so if everything doesn’t go just perfect… life goes on!! Take things slow, smile, laugh and listen. Listen to both yourself, your heart and to the love around you!
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Submitted via TwoBrightLights