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Gayest & Greatest: Weddings

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Harmony Strings features top-notch musicians—and they love gay weddings.

Melody Kelly, who co-founded Harmony Strings with other professional, degreed musicians in 2002, says she’s noticed something different about same-sex weddings.

“They are more free, happy, and joyous,” she says. “At gay weddings, the couples seem to be more present. They seem grateful for the experience, and they’re changing up the norms—for example, who walks down the aisle.”

Harmony Strings is an all-female string quartet that had been performing together for more than a decade when Joyce Tipton and Lucy Moyer booked them following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country.

“It was memorable because they planned this wedding the day the Supreme Court decision was made,” recalls Kelley. “It was a wish come true for them, and our string quartet was so honored to be a part of their joyous wedding celebration.”

The wedding service in the backyard of the couple’s home in Fulshear, Texas, included the following lines from the concluding paragraph of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 28-page majority opinion: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”

Harmony Strings can perform for weddings as a duo (violin and cello), trio (violin, viola, and cello), or a quartet (two violins, viola, and cello).

“I explain that a string quartet gives you the fullest sounds, similar to a choir with the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass lines for each song, or piece,” says Kelley.

The group’s repertoire as a duo or trio is strictly classical, but the quartet also performs music by solo artists such as John Legend, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Ellie Goulding, and Adele; bands including U2, Coldplay, and Queen; the Broadway musicals Hamilton, The Phantom of the Opera, and others; themes from TV shows such as Game of Thrones, Friends, and Star Trek: The Next Generation; and movie music that includes Up, Stars Wars, and Beauty
and the Beast
.

With three months’ notice, the group will learn a new song at no extra cost.

“We love learning new music,” says Kelley.

Harmony Strings also performs for other events, from a Scotch-tasting to private parties and the annual Houston SPCA gala.

“However, our passion and specialty will always be weddings,” says Kelley.

“When it comes to weddings, we are experts at tailoring the music to the moment,” she adds. “We’ve all heard horror stories of live music suddenly screeching to a halt, disrupting an otherwise beautiful wedding ceremony.  With Harmony Strings, you can rest assured that your wedding music will flow seamlessly from one song to the next, and it will sound as if each song was composed for just that moment in time.”—Don Maines

Best Wedding/Event Venue

1940 Air Terminal Museum (tie)
Water’s Edge (tie)
Finalists: The Astorian, The Centennial Gardens, Haak Vineyards, House of Blues,
JW Marriott Downtown

Best Wedding Photographer

Dalton DeHart (tie)
Yvonne Feece (tie)
Finalist: Jenna Routh Photography

Best Wedding/Event Planner

Lauren Burnham, EventSmith
Finalists: Claudia de Velasco/A Day To Remember, David Alcorta Catering, Jerred Bridges, Jim Benton of Houston, Taylor DeMartino/Live! Event Design

Best Wedding Cake Bakery

Who Made the Cake
Finalists: The Acadian Bakers, David Alcorta, Catering, Dessert Gallery

Best Wedding/Event Catering Firm

David Alcorta Catering
Finalists: Adrian Perez/Complete Eats, Jim Benton of Houston, Melange Catering

Best Wedding/Event Videographer

Seventh Ray Films
Finalists: Love Captured Productions, Pixel Studio Productions

Best Wedding/Event DJ

Bradley David Janacek
Finalists: LG Entertainment, PB & DJ Events

Best Wedding/Event Florist

Dream Bouquet
Finalists: Glenwood Weber, Petals by Design, Rexberry Luxury Weddings & Events, Ronnie Seibert

Best Wedding/Event Live Music

Harmony Strings
Finalists: Divisi Strings, Houston Heights Orchestra

Best Place to Rent/Buy Formal Wear

Al’s Formal Wear
Finalists: League Men’s Shop, Men’s Wearhouse

Best Place to Pop the Question

New York City
Finalists: Grand Canyon, Las Vegas

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Don Maines

Donalevan Maines is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.
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