One of my favorite weddings of 2015 was the wedding of Mark and Conor who on June 19th, recited their marriage vows under the Addison’s 100 year-old Banyan trees followed by a lavish reception for 130 guests; surrounded by the historical grandeur of the famed founding architect of Boca Raton. This popular local couple could not have chosen a more historically significant setting to usher in a new progressive era for the community.
For the past decade same-sex weddings have occurred all around the US; in places where marriage equality is recognized by the state and in locations where it is not. The Addison of Boca Raton has hosted a number of LBGT couples over the years; long before the legal right to marry in Florida was established. While these commitment ceremonies have occurred in a steady stream for some time, this prominent Boca Raton couple was prompted specifically by the Florida marriage equality law to say “I do” after almost a decade as committed partners.
“As very active members of the Boca Raton community, we loved the idea of becoming a legally married couple at one of the first properties built in the city,” said Conor. “We never considered having a wedding until the law was enacted, as many of the federal protections granted to married same-sex couples become null and void if you reside in a state that doesn’t recognize the union,” explained Mark. “It was when Florida took the steps to acknowledge our partnership as entitled to the same benefits as different-sex couples that we said – its time.” he added.
Tell us about the proposal was it a romantic gesture?
It was difficult to make a proposal romantic when we did not know at the time if Florida would allow gay marriage. But it was on Christmas morning 2015; I gave Conor these Donald Pliner red crystal shoes followed by a marriage license application and he said yes.
What made you decide to host your wedding at the Addison?
Conor felt very strongly about keeping the wedding local. After meeting with Addison staff we both decided the Addison was perfect for us and it certainly proved true. The wedding was carried by local news and the Huffington Post.
What was the most memorable part of the entire day?
Pulling into the Addison and seeing our family waiting for us and just being received and feeling the love and support from all those in attendance. I never imagined this even being possible in my lifetime.
Tell us about the planning process for your big day.
The process was relatively easy honestly and that’s thanks to the amazing team we had working with us! If we mentioned something the response was “Of course we can do that”. The fact that we live less than a mile away from the Addison also proved very useful when linens and things were arriving. We were able to stop by to look at everything on a regular basis. As a matter of fact I was there almost every day leading up to the actual wedding!
Your wedding décor and theme is breathtaking what was your inspiration?
I can’t say that I had a specific inspiration other than my love of excessive over the top events! I love crystals and lavish surroundings and that’s what I wanted our wedding to be. I wanted people to walk in and say “we’ve never seen anything like this”! I always aim to exceed people’s expectations as well as my own! When it came to the Willy Wonka themed after party we wanted to create a different feel from the elegant ceremony and glitzy reception. We wanted to excite our guests by taking them on a journey of make believe and more dessert and candy than anyone has ever seen in one place. The theme would not have been complete without a bubble room and real Oompa Loompas. Guests cried with sheer joy at the sights and delights of this magical make believe world.