With gay marriage legalized in New York State and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) deemed unconstitutional, same-sex couples have become more “mainstream” and been able to go about their lives in a much more open way. While there have been great strides, many people still wonder about the nuances of a gay wedding, as far as how the ceremony is performed. Is there a bride and groom? Who gets walked down the aisle? How does a wedding party work? Will all venues accommodate same-sex couples?
Ronkonkoma resident Robbie Tursi-Masick—also known by his internet moniker “WonderRobbie,” famous for elaborate lip-synched performances on YouTube—married Hofstra University psychology professor Kevin Masick in 2009 in Connecticut, and he was able to answer some awkward questions without so much as a blink.
Tursi-Masick admits to being the more outgoing person in his relationship and notes that his wedding followed a rather traditional structure. “Kevin didn’t want to ‘walk down the aisle,’” he says. “He walked down by himself. His mother was walked down the aisle by his brother, but after that…I was the bride!” he laughs, clarifying that “I was the last one down the aisle. It was decided that he’d be up there, then the rest of the wedding party, and I’d be the last one. That was something I’ve always wanted.”
While their wedding was filled with family and friends, Tursi-Masick did encounter a few silly questions along the way. “Someone actually asked me if I was going to be in a dress! It was because of some drag shows I’ve performed in,” he says. Tursi-Masick was a featured performer in the off-Broadway show Ultimate Drag Off, but he was taken aback and insulted by the question, which he says was asked by a friend. “Our wedding was basically the same as any straight wedding, but there were no garter belts, no bouquet tossing and no chicken dance.”
The wedding may have been traditional, but who proposed? “We talked about it beforehand,” explains Tursi-Masick. “[By the time he] proposed, we were together for four years. I started talking about it two years into the relationship. He wasn’t commitment-phobic, but he was hesitant. I started the ball rolling, but I ended the conversation with, ‘When you’re ready, you are going to be the one to propose.’ And then later he dropped hints. I’d jokingly look at Tiffany rings online, he’d ask which one I liked.” On Tursi-Masick’s 29th birthday, Kevin popped the question. “Kevin surprised me with a blue Tiffany box and said, ‘This is the promise I said I’d make to you,’” says Tursi-Masick with a smile.
Two women getting married opens up the possibility of additional uncertainties. One question that comes up consistently: Is one woman supposed to wear a suit and the other a dress? When Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi tied the knot, both wore white, but De Rossi wore a traditional wedding gown and DeGeneres wore a feminine suit. Hamptonite Cynthia Nixon wore a flowing, green dress at her wedding to Christine Marinoni, who wore a suit with a matching green tie. Long Island resident Loni Livingston thinks it all depends on the couple. “I plan on wearing a dress [when I marry my partner], and I think she will, as well,” she says.
Livingston, who has been with her partner, Vanessa, for five years, thinks that she will likely be the one proposed to. “The whole wedding process, I think, is more important to me than it is to Vanessa,” she muses. “So I’m sure that when the time comes, I’m going to play more of the “female” role [in planning the wedding]. But I still plan on getting a ring for her. And as long as she wants to walk down the aisle, we both will.”
These examples may be more traditional, but there’s no set way to get married—just like straight people. Couples should do what makes them happiest, and remember that getting married is supposed to be a celebration of love, be it in a suit or a gown.