Dinner and Dancing in Queens

Justin Chapple & Jason Sarnoff
The Foundry
September 26, 2008

It didn’t start out as a wedding. “We wanted a fifth anniversary party,” says Justin. (They had met five years earlier at the Stonewall Inn and moved in together after two months, when Justin’s lease was up.) So they booked a space, found a caterer, and sent out invitations. “The invite said commitment celebration, because when we had them printed, marriage wasn’t an option,” says Jason. Then current events intervened: Soon after Governor Paterson issued the directive for New York to recognize same-sex marriages, they flew to California to legalize their union. “We didn’t tell many people. We wanted it to be a surprise,” says Jason. At the party, the rabbi revealed that they’d wed in San Francisco. “Everybody screamed!” recalls Justin. “We talked a lot about how we should be pronounced: husband and husband? Partners for life? We decided on ‘united in marriage.’ ”

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Justin’s Tuxedo: Dolce & Gabbana
Jason’s Tuxedo: John Varvatos
Shirts: Thomas Pink
Justin’s Tie: Zegna
Jason’s Bow Tie: Thomas Pink
Caterer: Marcey Brownstein Catering & Events
Flowers: Melarosa
In-House Tent: Ace Party Rentals
D.J.: D.J. Gaza
Getting-Ready Suite: Ravel Hotel
Officiant: Marcia Rappaport

Justin Chapple and
Jason Sarnoff “There was a storm. I freaked out. I was like, “This is horrible!’ But we had to make a decision, and $5,000 later we had a tent”one we had ordered, literally, the day before. It stopped raining as our ceremony began, so we put the sides up.” Photo: Dave Robbins

“Up until the last minute we were talking about doing just candles. But it looked too spare. A lot of florists were already booked, so we were stressing. Our caterer recommended this woman from Long Island; she said, ‘She doesn’t have a Fifth Avenue showroom and passes the savings onto the customer.’ Melanie was amazing”we got green, masculine lotus pods and hydrangea.” Photo: Dave Robbins

“We’re totally into food; Justin’s a culinary student. We looked at a lot of caterers, but Leslie Russel [of Marcey Brownstein] blew us away. She doubled as our party planner”even if it wasn’t about food, she helped. She’s expensive, but worth every penny.” Photo: Dave Robbins

“Jason’s Jewish; I’m not. We had Hebrew in the ceremony to honor his mom, but our rabbi kept the tone more spiritual than religious. She was funny, quirky, and had experience with same-sex ceremonies.” Photo: Dave Robbins

“We had a joint mother-and-son dance to the Beatles’ “In My Life,’ and then the D.J. had the crowd hoist us up in chairs. It opened up the dance floor. He played a lot of awesome eighties, early-nineties dance music, and classic jazz. It was Dance Party USA.” Photo: Dave Robbins

Dinner and Dancing in Queens