Great Officiants, Shari Altmark and A. Mauricio Lubong, while participating as vendors at the Los Angeles Lesbian and Gay Wedding Expo, were interviewed by LA Weekly staff writer Gendy Alimurung. The first of its kind expo was held at the Los Angeles Athletic Club downtown on Sunday, November 10. Parts of the interview were included in an article Alimurung uploaded to the publication’s Thursday, November 21 Arts & Culture Blog. Here is the link to the article.
Plenty of people stop to chat with ministers Shari Altmark and A. Mauricio Lubong over at the Great Officiants booth. They haven’t been asking too many questions, though. Mostly because it is tough to get a word in edgewise.*
“Our goal,” Altmark says, “is for every guest to leave going, ‘Oh my God, that was the most amazing wedding,’ instead of, ‘Oh my God, another fucking wedding.’ ”
She and Lubong are warm, funny, sincere, charming and talkative. Out tumbles anecdote after anecdote.
Did you know that the owner of their award-winning company married the first gay couple after the law changed? True story. Or how about the wedding in which the butch lesbian bride got her high heels stuck in the mud when the sprinklers accidentally activated during the ceremony — she ran off without her shoe. Or the one about the disapproving Catholic mother of the lesbian bride. Mom sat in the front row praying her rosary in protest for the entire wedding.
“I just ignored her,” Altmark says, rolling her eyes. “She was busy with God.”
“Really?” Lubong says. “I would’ve been, like, ‘Honey, you keep those prayers coming. We need them!’ ”
Gay weddings, both agree, are much more emotional than straight ones. When Altmark asks friends and family to do “a blessing of the rings” — where people reach out and lay their hands on the rings as a symbolic gesture of support — she swears, “There’s not a dry eye in the house.”
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