Name of the couple: John, 36, and Wes Sherry, 39
Date: Dec. 7, 2013 (the fifth anniversary of their first date)
Venue: Mint Museum Uptown
Attending: 100 people
What were you trying to accomplish on your special day?
Wes: It may be the goal of some weddings to be unconventional. For us, we wanted to show that there is nothing unconventional about our love or commitment to one another. Legal gay marriages have been going on in the U.S. for over 10 years now, but most of our guests, ourselves included, had never been to a gay wedding. Of course, we wanted to bring our friends and family together to celebrate, but we also wanted to show our guests that our love and commitment is just as sincere, our wedding means just as much, and our marriage is in every way equal to all the conventional ceremonies and relationships they know.
How was your wedding/reception one of a kind?
Wes: During our first dance as a couple, John's parents cut in, and while John danced with his mom, I got to dance with his dad. At that moment, I felt completely welcomed into the Sherry family. The song was "Hold You in My Arms" by Ray LaMontagne. Instead of a garter belt toss, I put on a jockstrap (over my tuxedo pants, of course) and John pulled it off to toss to all the single guys. We were also able to use close friends as vendors: Eric Ennis at Livingsmith is my close friend and former co-worker; he did all our flowers and created amazing arrangements. Kathy Allen is a customer of mine and made us the most amazing cake. La-Tea-Da's was our caterer and I worked part-time for Janet when I first moved to Charlotte. Stephanie Chesson was our photographer and is a great friend through mutual acquaintances. Debbie Warren performed our ceremony and does more for the gay community in Charlotte than anyone else on the planet through her ministry and the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN).