Eric Lane Barnes and Paul Rosenberg's Big Hitch
Eric Lane Barnes and Paul Rosenberg's wedding at the Triple Door was, as Paul described it, "a variety show with a wedding in the middle—with Mexican wrestlers." Paul kicked off the evening playing piano beneath constellations of tiny lights. The couple said they chose singer-songwriter Lisa Koch as their officiant because she's hilarious, and she was—she introduced singer Lee Bocklund by saying, "He has a velvety, chocolaty voice. It will make you touch yourself. I have been, backstage, all night." Paul and Eric are both members of Captain Smartypants, a gay vocal comedy group. They sang a beautiful a cappella version of Roy Orbison's "In Dreams," causing the woman next to me to sigh, "Oh, I love that song." Soon afterward, she yelled, "I want to see their butts!"
Video congratulations were sent by Eric's out-of-town family members, including their toddler nephew, who sang "Buenas Noches" and did an adorable dance. Eric's mother sent her love to Paul and Eric and their "sweet, sweet dog." The couple's best men, in spandex luchador suits, led a series of toasts that ranged from hilarious ("Their heads are so shiny... I just want to rub them") to heartfelt (a toast to marriage equality that elicited resounding cheers and much happy crying). Three archaic wedding traditions were performed: the eating of an oatcake (okay, maybe it was an oyster cracker), the sacrifice of a (ceramic) duckling, and the tickling of the mother-in-law, who was giggling before the "traditional" feather boa even touched her.
During the ceremony, the couple drank from a water bottle used at their commitment ceremony in Chicago 19 years ago, when their families first welcomed their beloved "out-laws." "We're here today to complete that commitment made in 1994," Lisa said. "Because we can. Today, it becomes real." Eric and Paul kissed, and their loved ones roared applause for a long, happy marriage being honored at last.