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Event planner from Plantation writes ‘Getting Groomed: Ultimate Wedding Planner for Gay Grooms’

 

srothaus@MiamiHerald.com

Jason Mitchell, a New York event planner and playwright who grew up in Plantation, says most gay men haven’t been properly groomed to become grooms.

Last year, Mitchell excitedly looked for how-to books as he planned his own big wedding, but found nothing but frustration.

“I wanted to get one of those handy books with checklists,” he said. “I was very disappointed because all of them were for brides.”

Mitchell’s wedding had no bride, but there were two grooms.

He and his fiancé, interior designer Michael Zahler, had to start from scratch in planning their May 2012 ceremony.

“We had a lovely wedding in New York,” Mitchell said. “We got married in a place called Angel Orensanz Foundation, an ancient synagogue standing in New York since 1849.”

After they wed, Mitchell had an idea: Since no grooms’ guides existed, he’d write one. His Getting Groomed: The Ultimate Wedding Planner for Gay Grooms has just been published by Chronicle Books.

“It’s a binder with folders [where] you can store all the important documents in a wedding,” he said.

Mitchell describes his gay grooms manual as the “first of its kind.”

He’s probably right, said New York Times columnist Steven Petrow, author of the book Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners.

“On the one hand, there really has not been a book or manual for gay male couples to construct a wedding from soup to nuts. With more gay folks marrying, there may be a big need for this book,” says Petrow, an etiquette expert.

“On the other hand, at least now, most of the weddings I know of are shotgun weddings — it’s legal in your state, and two or four weeks later you're at the altar. These couples are not planning their weddings.”

Mitchell, 33, won the 1998 Silver Knight award for drama as a senior at Dillard Center for the Arts in Fort Lauderdale.

In 2003, he earned a bachelor’s degree in theater from Miami’s New World School of the Arts, moving to New York just after graduation.

Mitchell says most American boys are not raised to plan their weddings.

“They haven’t dreamed of this day the way most brides have,” he says.

His book covers such topics as how to word an invitation and choose attire.

“It’s a definite how-to guide,” said Mitchell, who married Zahler in a traditional Jewish ceremony, complete with chuppah (canopy) and good-luck glass-breaking.

Usually, the groom breaks the glass.

So what happens when there are two grooms?

“We both broke the glass together at the end of the ceremony” Mitchell said.

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