The G Life is thrilled to announce Jason Mitchell Kahn as our resident GROOMS Channel Go-To Guy. Aside from being the author of the first Grooms manual, GETTING GROOMED: The Ultimate Wedding Planner for Gay Grooms, he has worked in the wedding events space for a number of years and is here now to share his wealth of wedding wisdom!
It’s been over 3 years since the launch of GETTING GROOMED, what has changed since then and or what would you change or add to the book that was not in it at the time of the launch?
When the book came out it changed my career as a wedding planner, so I’ve done so many more weddings since then. I learn from each and every one of them, so I feel more chock full of knowledge and experience now. I’ve witnessed more challenging family dynamics and seen bigger obstacles that my couples have faced.
While I do feel the book offers complete guidance for grooms to plan their wedding, if there was one additional chapter I wish I could add it would be on Social Media. While we were using it when I wrote the book, it wasn’t as integrated into weddings. It’s important for couples to decide now if they want their guests snapping and posting during their wedding as some prefer a phone-free event. And if they are going to allow it, it’s important to communicate the hashtag so everyone can see what other’s share.
When I was writing the book marriage equality was still passing state by state, so I intentionally kept politics out of the book knowing it would be impossible to keep it up-to-date. At the time it was hard to picture we’d ever have the Supreme Court ruling of the freedom to marry being granted on a national level. That was such an incredible moment in time, and with that feeling of progress I NEVER thought we’d ever be stepping back. But here we are with this current administration. I lost a weddings after Trump got elected by a couple who felt they couldn’t move forward with planning a big celebration, and I’ve counseled other grooms who stopped speaking to their parents after they chose to vote for him. While he hasn’t touched marriage yet, it’s so important we stay alert. And since I always try to keep a sense of humor about things, I’ve recommended a good option for a specialty cocktail is the Coffee-tini!
What got you started in this line of event planning?
My career as an artist began as a playwright, and telling some type of love story was the work I always gravitated towards. While I was creating theatre, I also began my first job in events at the Soho House New York. It was a fabulous education and opportunity to get to work on a variety of events. I got to do some really cool things that ranged from Oscar Parties, an annual Gay Pride Pool Bash, and even an intimate evening with Madonna. But I also did all the weddings in house, and it was those I loved the most. It was the connective tissue of being able to tell a couple’s love story through the event I found most exciting. And being able to create something that is meaningful to the people you’re working for is what I find most gratifying.
What are common mistakes grooms make when planning to get married?
I find I often have to remind grooms they don’t have to be so heterosexual-normative about everything. They get concerned about what their guests will judge their choices. It’s your wedding….plan it your way! That being said, I still think it’s so important we still acknowledge that it was only until very recently that marriage even became available to gay grooms. I love to plan to a fabulous party, but sometimes a I think grooms need a reminder that we are celebrating the marriage ceremony that precedes the festivities.
Your GETTING GROOMED book really takes us step by step and is The Ultimate Wedding Planner for Gay Grooms, could straight grooms use it to?
Absolutely… and so can brides! I’ve actually had many who told me they discovered the book and preferred it to the versions on the market for them. I was inspired to write it because at the time there was nothing like it. One of the most popular wedding planners for brides had a small paragraph on “same-sex weddings” where they author said she didn’t view them any differently, so just read along and translate. I felt we as a gay community had earned our own book, but the same logic can apply for anyone who doesn’t identify as a gay groom…and appreciate my sense of humor.
All seasons have their pros and cons, from the weather that’s most ideal to the holidays that surround it. It’s crucial a couple identifies what’s most important to them.
Pros and Cons to having a destination wedding?
Guest count! Having a destination wedding is wonderful way to limit the amount of people who will attend, but it can also make getting there challenging for those closest to you.
Indoor vs. Outdoor weddings/locations?
Often there is nothing more beautiful than mother nature as a backdrop, but you must always have a realistic plan b with anything outdoors. When everything is indoors it reduces a lot of anxiety related to unpredictable weather. But this varies on what region you live in.
Fashion faux pas you see done time and time again? or other faux pas??
Not having a suit properly tailored… fit is everything. I’m usually not into grooms matching from head-to-toe because I believe in showing the individual personality through fashion, but I’ve seen some pull it off look absolutely adorable.
You prefer small or large weddings?
I like doing weddings on all scales. It keeps the job interesting.
Buffet vs. sit down dinner?
It’s a matter of preference. Food stations can allow you to serve a greater variety of food and remove some of the formality to dinner service, but to really work there needs to be enough of them to prevent long lines.
Engagements dos and don’ts?
If you are surprising your man with a proposal, do not forget about what he will be wearing! You are going to take photos and trust me, he will appreciate it if you considered this.
Favorite wedding moment/s
I recently overheard a threesome in the bathroom towards the end of the reception. I knew we had put on a good party!
Most common mistake Grooms make when planning their wedding?
Focusing on small details first before having a clear idea of the big picture.