Everything’s bigger in Texas — except marriage equality laws. So when Dallas duo Martin Sigler and Timothy T. Thomas were ready to tie the knot in 2012, they did not know where to wed.
“We definitely weren’t going to get married in Des Moines,” says Thomas. “For me, there was just a lot more attraction to New York City.”
The couple decided to take a weeklong “preemie-moon” to Manhattan and end their trip with a wedding at the Carlyle, a hotel that Thomas describes as “the height of elegance.”
On their first day in town, the couple spent three hours posing for photographer Jen Lynne all over the city. And like most, they fell in love with the Big Apple in a New York minute.
“When she was taking the pictures, one of the things I was uncomfortable with was that she asked us to kiss at several locations,” Thomas remembers. “And each time we did, people would come by and clap and cheer and send us good wishes. And it was one of the most positive experiences of my life.”
Sigler recalls the incident a little differently.
“Well, I don’t know if they cheered,” Sigler says. “But it was sure nice to have people so accepting of us.”
The wedding ended up being huge success — the two men got married on a beautiful spring day in a suite that overlooked Central Park. Yet the road to their dream wedding at the Carlyle had a few bumps.
First off, even after four years together the two weren’t sure they wanted to make it legal — mostly because gay marriage is not legal in the Lone Star State.
“Why get married in Texas where it will be meaningless?” Sigler remembers thinking. “I just thought it was empty for us, because it didn’t matter in the state we live in.”
But when several states started legalizing same-sex marriages, the men decided to make it official and took the idea of actually getting married very seriously.
“We called ourselves ‘husbands’ before,” says Thomas. “But I switched over to ‘partner’ before we were really going to get married, because I wanted the next time I said it to be real. This wasn’t a commitment ceremony — this was all our family witnessing us become married.”
The men also decided to have a traditional wedding for a very symbolic meaning. They wanted to hear a very specific phrase: By the power vested in me by the State of New York.
“Those words made it feel validating and official and important,” says Sigler.
And at Wedding Pride, we feel that marriage should always feel that way — for every couple.
Photos by Jen Lynne Photography.
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