If you voted to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland, congratulations! You're invited to Chris and Shawn Riley's "Big Gay Public Wedding."
The Rileys, who married in a civil ceremony in Washington, D.C. in 2010, decided they wouldn't hold a traditional wedding ceremony in their home state of Maryland until same-sex marriage was legal. So they took to Reddit with a proposition.
Chris (who changed his last name from Rochford to Riley after the couple married) posted a thread last month titled, "If gay marriage passes in Maryland, I will invite ANYONE that votes YES to my wedding ceremony!"
“I thought that it would maybe help sway votes in our favor if people [who would not ordinarily have the chance to attend a same-sex wedding] got the opportunity to witness first hand what a gay wedding looks like,” Chris told Southern Maryland Online.
Now that Maryland has legalized same-sex marriage, the Rileys have some planning to do. Their Reddit post now has more than 100 comments from well-wishers eager for an invitation. They've even created a website to share the wedding details, and plan on asking guests to donate $5 to the Human Rights Campaign in lieu of gifts.
“It’s sort of turning into a two-sided story here. One side of it is thanking all of the ones in Maryland who did vote for our marriage and would like to actually see the fruits of their labor...and the other side of it is to raise the money to keep the fight going," Chris said.
Thousands of same-sex couples are expected to get married in the next several years, thanks to voters approving gay marriage in Maine, Maryland and Washington. Research suggests that Maryland couples will spend $62.6 million on weddings within three years.
Watch a video of the Rileys explaining their "big gay public wedding" above.
Planning a wedding? Check out these gay-friendly vendors.