Images: Chris Ferenzi Photography

These last two weeks have been unforgettable, to say the least. Like so many others, I’ve struggled to find the words, but the events of the last couple weeks have also caused me to do quite a bit of reflecting, listening, and learning. As a relatively new parent, my perspective has shifted, and I know it is my & Justin’s responsibility to raise our son to be anti-racist, and to be an ally.

But we would be remiss to not highlight that June is Pride Month. This weekend was supposed to be the Capital Pride Parade, and I’ll certainly miss being along the parade route, celebrating with everyone. But we do have this amazing engagement party, with a non-traditional, plaid theme, and a Cher impersonator! Happy weekend, Romancers!

Joe and I have a passion for themed parties and  decided we wanted our Engagement Party to be a Plaid themed event. We got our inspiration from a friend in DC who has worn kilts to events around the community and was able to honor his heritage.

Our close friends helped us decorate the Club Room in plaid themed party accessories. We had a “Till death do we part” light hung on the wall in honor of our commitment to each other. We also had a Disco light and hung several iPhones around the room and hosted the event on a FaceBook Live feed for everyone to see who could not make it.

When we were planning the event, we were very excited to honor part of our LGBTY community by inviting a Cher impersonator who would host a Red Carpet entrance, and read our guests live and critique their outfits. Of course, it was all in fun and we even had ribbons and trophies to award.

I think the biggest moment we anticipated at our engagement party was hearing from each of our friends about the impact we have had on their life. So many great memories were shared. For me (Damian),  the most special moment of the night was when Joe shared with everyone how much I meant to him and professed his love. In fact, he made me tear up and then handed the mic to me to speak.

My advice on Wedding planning is to let the BRIDE do all the planning. LOL! JOE IS THE BRIDE and has great skills to be a party planner in real life. The biggest advice I can share about marriage is to always be transparent with your other half & be willing to have frank discussions about things you disagree on. When you talk openly about all topics, you can work through anything.

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