I really didn’t know.

Last Thursday, Rothweiler Event Design celebrated gay marriage becoming legal in New Jersey by giving away the first all inclusive wedding to a same sex couple. Over the past few months, couples would write in with their stories and talk about why they deserved the wedding of their dreams. On January 9, 2014, we put together a fabulous party at The Wilshire Grand to celebrate and announce our winner. 

Before gay marriage became legal in New Jersey, I had the idea to host this giveaway. I have a large group of gay friends, and I never understood why they wouldn’t be allowed to get married. I knew that when it became legal, I was going to want to celebrate and put together an over the top party. So, when the law finally passed, I got to working on the event, and the stories started pouring in. 

Each of the stories really touched me, and I wish we could’ve given a wedding away to all of the couples. My friend, and reality star, Danielle Staub was there to support the community and announce the winners, Kris and Wesley (pictured above). 

I knew this was important. I had no idea how important it was until Thursday night.

On Thursday night I was greeted by the couples, vendors, and many people in attendance, who all told me what this meant to them. I was told stories of how important this giveaway was, and how the support was incredible. I saw it on the faces of the finalists that this party, in celebration of equality, was a huge deal. 

It didn’t really click for me until then. It was always important to me, but I feel so moved, blessed and honored that I now understand, at least a little bit, of what it meant to the gay community in the room. I could never presume to understand the struggle of not being “allowed” to get married until recently, but I think I feel it more now than I ever did. While I could never put myself in the shoes of a same sex couple, the connection I feel to the cause is now even stronger than before. 

I want to thank all of the couples that shared their stories, and for each and everyone of you that talked to me on Thursday night about what it means to you. You really touched my heart, and I am so happy that I get it…even though I already thought I got it before.

Thank you….best wishes and love always.

Danielle Rothweiler

One thought on “I really didn’t know.

  • Thank you Danielle for organizing this historic event! As one of the wedding pros involved with the giveaway, I share your sentiments of knowing, but not really knowing until experiencing the love in that room last Thursday night. All of the couples had great stories to share. I was touched by Mitch the Minister’s offer to officiate for free the weddings of all 8 of the remaining couples who didn’t win – and by the free tickets extended to all of the couples by the cast of My Big Gay Italian Wedding.

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