Mardi Gras and Rainbows Inspired This Glam Wedding at Fort Conde Inn in Mobile, Alabama
For their wedding at Fort Conde Inn in Mobile, Alabama, Jaron and Brian planned a glitz-and-glam-filled wedding inspired by Mardi Gras and rainbows. "The original theme for our wedding was rainbows everywhere to celebrate our gay love. After Brian suggested we wear our Mardi Gras tails, I jumped on the Mardi Gras train while still sticking with the rainbow theme," says Jaron. "We handed out miniature Philadelphia pride flags (LGBTQ+ Pride along with black and brown stripes to represent people of color) to guests." To reinforce the Mardi Gras inspiration, Jaron and Brian placed special emphasis on bringing purple, yellow and green into the otherwise rainbow-filled day. Notably, the couple's Alabama wedding included a Mardi Gras-hued cake and purple vests to complement the grooms' formal top hats and tails.
While the couple brought in many Mardi Gras- and rainbow-themed details, they also let the natural beauty of Mobile, Alabama, shine. "Fort Conde Inn is so beautiful we really didn’t have to do much decorating," recalls the couple. "Given that the wedding occurred in December, they had Christmas wreaths and décor which we elected to keep up for the ceremony. We ordered personalized masks for the wedding and gave out gift bags that had chocolates and a personalized Mardi Gras doubloon (doubloons are traditionally given out at Mardi Gras balls to mark the occasion). The only 'big' decorating involved our day of wedding planning draping purple tulle on an archway for our actual ceremony. As our wedding was outside and Fort Conde has gorgeous trees draping the sidewalk we thought we would make use of Mobile's natural beauty since it is a city well-known for its oak trees."
For Jaron and Brian, the actual wedding ceremony was an especially important part of their Mobile, Alabama, wedding. "The state of Alabama passed a law in response to marriage equality that eliminated the requirement for a formal marriage license since the state did not want to participate or endorse same-sex unions. Instead, couples fill out a form stating that a marriage has occurred, which is then notarized and brought to the county records office for 'noting' by the court," explains the couple. "For us, an interracial gay couple with the means to have a wedding and getting married in the south, holding an actual ceremony was important for all of those who had fought for our right to do so. One of our good friends is a notary public and a local drag queen. We hired her not only to be our officiant but also to walk us down the aisle to the Whitney Houston classic 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody,' which has special meaning in the gay community. This was important to us to represent that our rights have been hard-won and fought for not only by the LGB community but also by those who are T and who are gender non-conforming. We wanted our community to celebrate not just us as a couple, but all of the progress we have made together."
Looking back on their wedding day in Mobile, Alabama, the couple recalls how fast the day goes by. They advise current to-be-weds that "having both a photographer and videographer is really the best way to remember your day. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, just go ahead and assume you’re going to lose the tent rental fee. It will keep you from checking the weather 100 times the week of your wedding. Also, remember that rain is good luck! It started raining as our walk-out music started, and even though our wet unity candle wouldn’t light we now have a forever keepsake. Have fun, eat, drink, and be merry. It's your special day, but it's equally about bringing communities together to celebrate a new union. Recognize your roots and your people when you plan your big day to make it even more special and memorable."