FeaturesGayest & Greatest 2021

Gayest & Greatest 2021: Weddings, Events, Travel, and Vacations

Tiffany Scales helps couples from all backgrounds get married.

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Tiffany Scales (photo by Alex Rosa, makeup by Vanesa Contours)

Best Wedding Officiant and Favorite Female (Community) Radio Personality

“I’ve always been a person of service.” 

Variations on this theme come up over and over when you talk to Tiffany Scales. Whatever she’s doing, she’s doing it to help someone. 

Take Mærry Us Tiffany, which is her business that helps couples get married. She saw an approaching need, and she started preparing. 

Years before marriage equality became the law of the land, Scales participated in marches to City Hall in the company of local supportive clergy who were advocating for same-sex marriage. In 2014, she got the feeling that marriage equality was close at hand, so she set out to become an ordained minister. She performed her first wedding in November 2015 for two lesbian friends of hers. From there, word spread that she was available for wedding officiant duties. She has married cis, trans, and nonbinary couples in locations both traditional (such as chapels) and creative (such as in front of the West Gray Barnes & Noble. 

Scales is also a poet, and one of her poems begins with the line “Love is the religion I practice.” She sees her wedding-officiant service as a way of practicing that belief. Her services are available couples of any religious background, or no religious background. “I understand there is such a thing as ‘church hurt,’ and people have different [life experiences],” she says. “That doesn’t change [our desire] to unite people who choose to love and have peace.” 

Beyond simply conducting marriage rites and signing marriage licenses, Scales also does couples counseling. She wants people who choose love to remain in love, so one of the services she offers through Mærry Us Tiffany is a couple’s assessment. The goal is to make sure couples know how to communicate and navigate their emotions so they can avoid serious conflicts that lead to breakups.

Besides being voted Best Wedding Officiant, Scales was also voted Favorite Female (Community) Radio Personality. Her radio show, Long Live the Arts (on The New Amazing 102.5 FM), discusses art and music, and how it connects to broader life. As a graduate of Texas Southern University, the show allows Scales to use her degree in entertainment and recording-industry management. In addition to her show, she serves as the radio station’s liaison to Houston’s queer community. 

On top of these two endeavors, she also runs two nonprofit organizations—The Arts Advocate (an organization that helps people work through personal issues like grief and develop social skills) and Toiletries for Families (which provides families in crisis with the basic hygiene supplies needed to maintain personal dignity).

“I’m a very busy woman,” Scales says, laughing. “But it’s fun. Everything I do, I do with passion.” 

For more info, visit tiffanyscales.com.

WEDDINGS & EVENTS

Best Place to Pop the Question

Discovery Green
Finalists: Avant Garden, Gerald D. Hines Water Wall

Best Place to Rent/Buy Formal Wear

Men’s Wearhouse
Finalist: Al’s Formal Wear

Best Wedding Officiant

Tiffany Scales
Finalists: Robert Hahn, Johnny Peden, Wendy Taylor

Best Wedding/Cake Bakery

David Alcorta Catering & Custom Bakery
Finalists: Cake Fine Pastry, Leona’s Bakeshop, Who Made The Cake!

Best Wedding/Event Catering Firm

David Alcorta Catering & Custom Bakery
Finalists: A Fare Extraordinaire, 210 Fusion Cuisine

Best Wedding/Event DJ

Darker Side DJs
Finalists: B&B Entertainment, Peyton Dolan, PB&DJ Productions 

Best Wedding/Event Florist

Rexberry Luxury Events
Finalists: Scott Michael Designs, Alex Torres

Best Wedding/Event Live-Music String Quartets & Bands

Harmony Strings
Finalist: Divisi Strings

Best Wedding/Event Photographer

Sebastian Gutierrez
Finalists: David Troung, D. Jones Photography, His & Hers Photographers

Best Wedding/Event Planner

Rexberry Luxury Events
Finalists: A Day to Remember, Lauren Burnham, Wedding Bliss Events

Best Wedding/Event Venue

The Ballroom at Bayou Place
Finalists: Avant Garden, Bell Tower on 34th, Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel, The Parador

Best Wedding/Event Videographer

J&D Productions
Finalists: Jay Clarke Films, Kirk Surber Photography


TRAVEL & VACATIONS

Best Airline

Southwest Airlines
Finalists: JSX, Spirit, United Airlines

Best LGBTQ Cruise or Tour Company

Aquafest Cruises
Finalists: Concierge Travel, Olivia Cruises, Vacaya

Best Local LGBTQ Travel Agency

Concierge Travel (tie), Cruise Planners (Peter & John) (tie)

Best LGBTQ Honeymoon Destination

Puerto Vallarta
Finalists: Las Vegas, New Orleans

Best LGBTQ Travel Destination

Puerto Vallarta
Finalists: Costa Rica, Palm Springs, Provincetown

Best Local Hotel

Le Méridien Downtown
Finalists: Hotel ZaZa, Hyatt Regency, Sam Houston Hotel


For a full list of winners, go here.

This article appears in the October 2021 edition of OutSmart magazine.

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Neil Ellis Orts

Neil Ellis Orts is a writer living in Houston. His creative writing has appeared in several small press journals and anthologies and his novella, Cary and John is available wherever you order books. He is a frequent contributor to OutSmart.
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