>> Couples gather to set record for largest lesbian wedding
En robes blanches ou smokings ajustés, 53 couples de femmes, originaires d'une quinzaine d'états américains, se sont réunis ce samedi 15 octobre à Provincetown dans le Massachusetts, pour une « Bride Pride » (la « Fierté des épouses »), et tenter d'établir le record mondial de « la plus grande cérémonie de mariage et renouvellement de vœux lesbiens ».
Il s'agissait au début de célébrer simplement notre propre anniversaire, soulignent amusées Ilene Mitnick et sa femme Alli Baldwin qui tiennent une maison d'hôtes dans le village. Mais, nous avons finalement partagé nos invitations à toutes les femmes, à l'occasion justement de la Semaine qui nous est dédiée depuis 32 ans, le plus ancien festival lesbien du pays.
25 couples se sont ainsi mariés et 28 ont renouvelé leurs vœux, en présence de la comédienne Kate Clinton, dans le rôle de la « l'irrévérencieuse révérente » et de la chanteuse Suede qui a interprété pour l'occasion « Over The rainbow », avant l'échange traditionnel des alliances et une envolée de gants arc-en-ciel.
Les épouses ont récupéré leur licences de mariage ce mardi 18, mais le record n'a pas été validé par le Guinness Book qui requiert un minimum de 100 couples pour reconnaître la catégorie. Qu'à cela ne tienne, les organisatrices se sont relancées le défi pour l'année prochaine.
>> Brides from 15 states gathered in Provincetown on Saturday for Bride Pride — an attempt at a Guinness Book of World Records entry for the largest lesbian wedding and renewal ceremony.
These brides wore floor-length white gowns, lace, leather, tuxedos and feathers as they assembled for one very big day.
Since the category « largest lesbian wedding and renewal » hadn't existed in the Guinness book, the 53 couples did set a world record; it just won’t count because the Guinness book staff requires a minimum of 100 couples to qualify for the recognition, said Ilene Mitnick, co-organizer of Bride Pride.
Still, Mitnick and her wife, Alli Baldwin, owners of the guesthouse Roux, were busy enough with 106 women. The couples filled the Bradford Street inn and spilled into town during Women’s Week, the 32-year-old festival geared toward lesbians.
« In Tennessee, we’d never be able to get away with this, » said Amanda Phillips, 35, who married Tammy Turner, 42. The couple from Clarksville, Tennessee, wore white shirts and white pants with matching rainbow neckties.
The women said they had enjoyed the accepting nature of Provincetown all week, where they could hold hands in public, something they cannot safely try in Tennessee, Turner said.
Since they had nothing to fear here, they did not hold back on their wedding attire.
« Let’s go gay, » Phillips said.
In all, 25 couples got married and 28 renewed their vows. Those who were marrying had to be in Provincetown on Tuesday to get their marriage licenses from the town clerk. They had a few days to enjoy a wedding shower at the Seaglass Inn & Spa, which featured gifts and treats from businesses all over town, Mitnick said.
There were receptions and parties just for brides, along with other comedy and musical events that were part of Women’s Week. Turner and Phillips particularly enjoyed Women’s Week Idol, a local version of American Idol with local celebrity judges.
« It was awesome, » Phillips said.
On the big day, brides arrived at Roux, where they sipped champagne and took photos in the back deck area of the guest house. And at 11 a.m., they paraded into the front yard. Family, friends, rubberneckers and photographers watched the ladies commit en masse.
A drone circled overhead as the performer, Suede, sang « Somewhere Over the Rainbow, » what comedian Kate Clinton — the « irreverent reverend of the day » — had earlier called « the LGBT national anthem. » After kissing and slipping rings on fingers, all the brides waved a rainbow-colored glove. Viewed from above, these gloves are intended to resemble one large rainbow.
This large lesbian wedding began with Mitnick and Baldwin’s desire to renew their vows.
« We wanted it to be simple and quiet, » Mitnick said. « But then we decided to invite every woman on the planet. »
The innkeepers wanted to attract new people to Women’s Week, which is the oldest women’s festival of its kind in the country, Mitnick said.
« We are particularly touched by the couples who came from the states where it may be legal to get married, but it’s not comfortable, » Baldwin said. « We wanted to give people an affordable way to get married with community. »
As for the Guinness Book of World Records, there's always next year, Mitnick said.