I’ve had a few days to process all of the phantasmagoria that was our wedding and it’s still hard for me to believe that we pulled it off. The entire process was a labor of love, and not one that could have been done alone. There are so many people that I would like to thank for their help, support and love all of which was necessary to make the evening as magical as it turned out to be. It was truly a spectacle, and I am incredibly grateful to everyone who participated.
First off, none of this would have been possible without my partner Andy. When I asked him to marry me and then told him exactly the type of wedding that I wanted, he not only supported me but shared in my excitement. He was the one who decided that he would take my last name. I believe this is a testament to the importance of equality of our relationship. It was easy for me to write our vows, because the truth of Andy and I, while it’s not always easy, is quite beautiful. He is no doubt, the absolute love of my life.
Secondly, I must give immense gratitude to my dear friend Gabrielle Chapin. She was not only the photographer for the event, but also the person who tended to me so dearly, taking care of my physical and emotional needs throughout the rehearsal and the wedding day. She is also the person who assisted me in trying on wedding dresses in my bedroom and helped me choose what I consider to be the perfect gown. Although our wedding was very far from traditional, planning the event surely brought up some sadness over my lack of family. Gabby mothered me exactly when I needed it and for this I will forever be grateful.
There are so many other people who were instrumental in making Darlings Don’t Cry come to life. So much love to my dearest friend Trixie Minx who was my cheerleader from the beginning. She assisted me in gathering all the talent for this magnificent show. Her parents, Lori and Woody are what I consider my adoptive parents. Her mother has been a second mother to me. She has always been willing to listen and give advice, as well as show me and my family constant love and support. I am completely indebted to Trixie for so generously sharing her incredible family with me.
Chris Lane, who hosted the spectacular is one of the funniest, most talented individuals I know. He knows both Andy and I well enough to really sock it to us. I couldn’t fathom having another emcee. He has been such a constant supporter of my creative works, and I have learned so much from him. I am lucky to have such an amazing creative mentor.
I cannot express enough my gratitude for all the performers who were kind enough to perform for us and our friends. I had chosen their music and given them direction, and they all accepted this with excitement and love. Thank you: Ron Rona, Eureeka Starfish, Joe Witkowski, Nari Tomasetti, Trixie Minx, Ooops the Clown, Niki Frisky, Diem Dangerous Rose, Piper Marie, Splendora Gabor, Bella Blue, Nicole Lynn Foxx, GoGo McGregor, Vinsantos, Liza Rose, Stevie Poundcake, Darling Darla James, and Brandy Bonet. So much love to Marcy and Ryan who treated all of us like family and gave us a stage to perform on.
Behind the scenes there were so many others who were instrumental in making shit happen. Andrea Heming, who stepped in as my wedding planner, was a saint with a megaphone. This event would have been a shit show without her. Her assistant Lady Walker also made sure things ran as planned. My heart, my dearest love, Daphne Loney painted the beautiful backdrop for the photobooth (which Andy fabricated) and together they made my moonbeam dreams come true. Daphne also provided snacks for the entertainers and helped to stage manage along with Rebecca Frank and Franki Salerno. Rebecca ran the show with a level of professionalism that was appreciated by all the performers. Franki killed it backstage, without her we would have been screwed. Shelley Nicholson handled my dozens of last minute revisions to the seating chart without killing me. And the queen of them all is Candice Lamb who helped to coordinate everything at One Eyed Jacks with tender loving care.
Evan Spigelman was our wonderful lighting caretaker. And I still love Jonathan Parish even if he fucked up my processional music. David White recorded the entire thing, so many thanks to him for the lasting memories. Trevor Ekanger was Gabrielle Chapin’s gracious second shooter. And Sarrah Danziger of Deep Fried Photo captured all our photo booth moon dreams. Special thanks also to all the bartenders and support staff at One Eyed Jacks who handled the hoards of bunnies with friendliness and delight.
I wouldn’t have felt as beautiful and so loved without the staff of Fifi Mahony’s. Nikki McCoy made my face not only gorgeous, but also water (and other fluid) proof. Brooklyn Shaffer created both of my beautiful headpieces, which are truly works of art. Jamie Gandy gave me so much more than just beautiful hair. All of the girls there played a special role in the evening by showering me with laughter and affection. Thank you Leah, Brittain, Sadey, Cherry, Erica, Jade & Dara.
I must mention my handlers for the evening. Amanda Mitzel, who wrote a damn book on mindfulness was there not only to hold my hand but also to hold my dresses while I urinated. She is one of my most precious friends and I am so lucky to have had her by my side. Jamie Gandy, who took care of all the little details, along with Marcy Von Hesseling who handled me with such immense love and concern, are my two champions. I choke up when I think of how wonderful these three women were and how much kindness and concern they showered me with. Also must add Cody Van Voorhis, who was the last man to see me in my last wedding gown as he helped me into my monogrammed bunny suit at the end of the night. You’ll always be my number one bunny Cody.
Respect and thanks to Andy’s sister Dawn who performed our vows with such loving sincerity. And to both Lee Kyle and Clint Bowie, Wilder’s fathers who were incredibly supportive and helpful during the entire process. And all the love in all the galaxies in all the universes in all of the space/time continuum to our son Wilder James Rue Tipton, who is the brightest star in all our skies.
And of course, we couldn’t have done it without all of our esteemed guests. Thanks to each and every one of you who dressed up and came out. It was exquisite to feel so surrounded by your love and might I mention that looking out onto a sea of bunny ears was one of the best moments of my life. Thank you to everyone who traveled from far away, those of you who took off a busy Friday night of work and especially those of you who may not have made it in right away. (I still can’t believe we reached capacity – that’s a lot of love). Thank you co-workers, friends and lovers. It was a night of incredible delight – all because of you. There were certainly a few people that I missed dearly, those who are no longer with us, and a few who couldn’t make it – but don’t worry I had a drink (or three) in your honor. We are also incredibly thankful for all the gifts we received, y’alls generosity is acknowledged and appreciated.
Life is fleeting and it will be over before we know it. Thank you all for giving me the most precious of gifts, a night to revel in my love for Andy and my love for all of you.
P.S. I’m sorry if I forgot anyone. I’ll blow you to make up for it.
Photo by Gabrielle Chapin