Gay marriage guide: Getting engaged

LGBT community develops modern rainbow etiquette


MIAMI – Most typical wedding traditions go out the window with gay couples choosing to adapt to the changing times, as Florida prepares to issue them marriage licenses next year.

Without the option of legal marriage, some couples were already choosing to wear promise rings or bands from commitment ceremonies. Other couples were open to the idea of preparing formal proposals involving the traditional single-stone rings with high settings.

Jeweler Rony Tennenbaum said gay couples' demand for engagement rings has been incremental. The jeweler has been making matching wedding bands for gay couples for years and now has 18 collections including The Equality collection

Tennebaum said he usually encounters two type of couples. Some couples have a  "romantic" who likes surprises and other couples are more calculated and like to plan things together.

"One wants to surprise her loved one with a ring and proposal as is written in the storybooks," Tennebaum said. "There is no set rule which one in the couple will be the romantic."

It can take a jeweler two to three weeks to make a ring from start to finish, Tennenbaum said. The clock is ticking in Florida. Steven Petrow's of Gay & Lesbian Manners said that for practical reasons some gay couples use their engagement bands for their wedding ceremony.



The heart with the equal sign on the ring finger, the infinity sign and the Celtic knots are some of the most common symbols.

Instead of hearts, some couples use triangles to honor of the memories of those who at Nazi concentration camps were labeled with downward-pointing pink triangles after they were jailed for being homosexuals.

The latest trend is the puzzle tattoo, which comes together into one image when the partners put their arms, hands, wrists or legs together. The is always the concern that the tattoo removals. Carlos Valdez said he is thinking about the tattoo option.

"We know we are not going to end up like some celebrities," Valdez, 30, said. "Khloe Kardashian just had to get Lamar's initials removed. I think we are more like Beyonce and Jay Z. "

For information or tattoo consultations, call Eternal Truth, 448 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, at 305-397-8663.



Sarah Pease, a professional proposal planner, said that "no matter your budget, there is always a way to achieve a creative and unique proposal." She has a free proposal idea generator tool on the web. Here is the link >>

Here are 10 fun ideas from event experts:

1. Romantic picnic: A customized theme with a picnic blanket, lush pillows, framed photos of the couple, rose petals and food. You can do it on your own or hire The Hearts Bandits have a package worth about $600.

2. Helicopter over Miami: An air-conditioned Rave II is ready to give you a tour of Biscayne Bay for aerial views of Key Biscayne and The Everglades. Helicopters Over Miami Flights take off Tamiami Airport, 14250 SW 129 St., Bldg. 235, Hangar 26, in Homestead.  For more information, call 305-552-8555.

3. Para-sail adventure: You will have about 10 minutes and will be about 600-feet above sea level. There is a spot behind the Lowes Miami Beach Hotel, 1601 Collins Ave. For more information, call 305-266-4144.

4. Moonlight garden tour: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, 3251 S. Miami Ave., could be the spot. The tours are from 6 to 8 p.m., January 7 and 8, and tickets are $18. For more information, call 305-856-8189.

5. Secret garden and classical: Before the New World Symphony concerts, The New World Center, 500 17th St., in Miami Beach opens the doors to its terrace. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry designed it. For more information, call 305-428-6714.

6. NYE House party: Grand Central  will present Peaches and a Brian Butler and Jessy Nite installation. For information, call 305-377-2277. The party is free with RSVP and includes $5 drink specials, a celebratory midnight toast and a free 3 a.m. shot.

7. NYE Playboy Party: Girls who love bunnies' ears and Hef's gals hopping on the red carpet are welcome to write their proposal on a napkin at Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave. with $75 tickets sold on Wantickets.com.

8. Disneyland: The whimsical theme park proposal is a trend among undercover princesses. It also makes for the perfect setting for the happily ever after kiss. If you need the help of a professional Disney Dream Maker, call 407-939-4438.

9. Sailboat cruise: A private dream if open waters don't scare your sweetheart. For information about New Year's Eve prices from Miami Sailing, call 786-423-3131.

10. A flash mob can last from 3 to 5 minutes and includes about 8 performers. You can recruit family, friends and dance student volunteers, or get help from a flash mob service. For a free consultation with Book A Flash Mob, call 1-855-435-2746.