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‘We do!’ Brooklyn pulls off its first same-sex wedding expo!

Brooklyn Daily
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Photo gallery

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Brooklyn says, “We do!” at the love-filled expo at Borough Hall.
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Only Line’s Lois Elise (left) and Antonella Avena send a message to sweethearts with pride-inspired undies while donating a portion of their proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign.
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The Rev. Dianne Kraus, director of the wedding and commitment site, “A Loving Wedding,” provides answers for sweethearts looking for a spiritual setting to tie the knot.
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Who’s the odd one out? Borough President Markowitz, who oddly holds court in jeans.
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Chris Klein of Model Bartenders provides some of that eye candy we were talking about.
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Adam Czosnowski of “Who Do You Love?” displays his equal opportunity T-shirts.

“We most proudly do!”

Brooklyn took the slogan to heart and boldly went where none have gone before by hosting Gotham’s first LGBT Wedding Expo over the weekend.

Borough Hall flung open its grand doors free of charge to more than 70 borough-forward, pride-inspired vendors — from Brooklyn’s world-class hotels to its glamorous fashion houses — offering altar-bound same-sex couples cool ideas on how to pull off their big day, complete with all the bells and whistles.

The Jan. 15 event, presented by the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, came seven months after New York legalized gay marriage, and featured lots of eye candy and information. There were men’s and women’s fashion shows by Sposabella Boutique of Park Slope and Bay Ridge, honeymoon deals from travel agents, and trusted wedding planning tips — all to transform your nuptials from ordinary to extraordinary.

Lois Elise, founder of Only Line apparel, took recycling to new heights and brought the house down by exhibiting a wedding dress made from old World War II parachutes, while designer Adam Czosnowski entranced visitors with rainbow-hued T-shirts emblazoned with, “I Don’t Give a F... Who You Love.”

The boring stuff was made interesting, too. Experts led seminars on investments and legal issues, and Brooklyn newlyweds Christopher Herbert and Tim Long were among those who helped to unravel the jargon by speaking at a session held by the law firm of Chemtob Moss Forman and Talbert.

“Planning a wedding is relatively easy, but navigating the legalities of it is the hard part,” said Herbert, who wed Long in Massachusetts before the New York ruling and celebrated on the Westchester estate of his world-famous aunt, Martha Stewart.

Other heart-warming stories were also waiting to be shared.

A chance meeting at a party for the Roger-McDonalds translated into love, marriage and a deal to be marital spokepersons for World Yacht Dinner Cruises.

“We were married in Boston and [later] had a small beach wedding on Fire Island with 30 of our closest friends,” says the couple, which modeled at the fashion show.

The expo cemented Brooklyn’s reputation as an equal-opportunity booster, trilled one of its biggest champions.

“It’s an opportunity for New Yorkers to witness firsthand the evolution of the community’s newfound freedom and to showcase Brooklyn as the proud borough that welcomes, accommodates and commits to all couples,” said Borough President Markowitz.

Elise agreed.

“It was a quality event,” she commented.

CNG, which co-sponsored the expo along with TD Bank, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, and Cunard-Princess Cruise lines, generated a buzz of its own.

Our inaugural Wedding Pride magazine last year — the first of its kind, we’re told — was so successful that same-sex sweethearts made a beeline for our news booth to relay their love stories and drop off their photographs for our next one!

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at sabruzzo@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2529.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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