Tropical nuptials in a gigantic mass wedding give Tommy Layman and Brett Parker – and all of gay Atlanta – just one more reason to love Southern bear, part time Atlantan and “Top Chef: Masters” alum Art Smith.
On Saturday, Smith played host to more than two-dozen same-sex couples on Miami Beach to celebrate Florida’s new entry into marriage equality. The pairs walked down the aisle as part of Smith’s #101gayweddings event during the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Besides the ceremony, the couples enjoyed celebrity guests, eye candy (top photo with Smith) and famous drag doyennes working hostess and DJ duties. And with Smith and Food Network friends like gay “Chopped” host Ted Allen in the mix, you know the food spread was incredible.
When Smith heard that Florida judges had lifted the state's ban on same-sex marriage last month, he set out to throw an over the top-wedding officiated by chef Guy Fieri, with a stunning cake from Duff Goldman, and a dance party spun by local star Chi Chi LaRue. He invited the first 101 couples to participate in the free wedding, noting he chose the number after the movie “101 Dalmatians'' to shame Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has ardently fought to keep same-sex marriage from becoming legal.
“We have our own Cruella De Vil, Pam Bondi. She was determined that she was going to prevent equality from coming to Florida,'' Smith said.
Time to shine
Even with all those famous faces working the room, it was the couples’ day and their chance to shine. MiamiRacked got up close and personal with gay Atlanta’s own Parker and Layman (second and bottom photos) to get the scoop on their story.
How did you two meet?
Brett: He was a bartender when I was in beauty school. He gave me free drinks.
Tell me about your wedding attire.
Brett: I went with a little Miami chic, a little South Beach, a little tasteful tropical print.
Tommy: I wanted something that was a little casual but upscale. So navy blue, no socks, a T-shirt. I thought it was a good combo.
What are you guys doing next?
Brett: Not quite sure yet. We're probably gonna go out and get more drinks. Maybe a drag show!
Chalk up another win for the tireless gay chef. Whether he’s cooking equality into every bite at his Atlanta restaurant, winning local LGBT awards, securing a spot on the gayest rolodex in town, or titillating everyone with that hunky newsman bromance, you gotta love him.