A Surprise Duet
Brangelina, Bennifer And ...
When Barry Gamble and Monica Behney met in spring 2013 at a drag-ball fundraiser, he was dressed as a woman. “She saw me in a skirt and tights and came over to introduce herself,” Barry recalled with a sly grin. The quirky beginning to the romance carried through to their wedding, a nontraditional affair in every sense of the word. “There were no bridal showers, no engagement parties, no rehearsal dinners, no bridal party,” said Monica, relaxing on a sofa in the couple’s Church Hill apartment. “We did not want to do any of the traditional stuff.”
The couple walked from their home to Chimborazo Park for the May 29, 2014, ceremony. There weren't any guests — just Jonah Smith-Bartlett, a close friend of Barry’s who is an ordained minister, and photographer Carly Romeo.
Monica found her 1950s gown at a vintage and novelty consignment shop in New York’s Soho district. She made her way along the uneven sidewalk on her wedding day in a pair of Yves Saint Laurent spiked heels covered in sparkling gems, an Etsy purchase. Barry towered over her at 6-foot-5, plus three inches of hairstyle, natty in a burgundy jacket and dark pants.
The couple donned their wedding clothes once more, two days later for an outdoor celebration with loved ones at a friend’s home in rural Hanover County. After toasts, they changed into casual clothes and surprised their guests by singing and dancing to Steve Perry’s “Oh Sherrie.” The party included live music, food and drink, dancing, cornhole, and a bonfire with marshmallows.
True to form, the kindred souls “hate registries,” Monica said. Instead, they asked friends to give blood on June 1 at Virginia Blood Services Donor Center in Richmond. Other guests donated to ROSMY, a Richmond center where Monica volunteers her time to support, educate and advocate for Virginia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.
“It just made us feel like — we’re really happy, so why not spread the joy around a little bit?” she said.
May 29, 2014
RECEPTION SETUP: Party Perfect
CATERING/BAKER: Nikki Wooden, HummusCidal Maniac
RECEPTION BANDS: The Atkinsons and The Ex-Patriots
GOWN: Allan & Suzi, Soho, N.Y.
GROOMSWEAR: Men’s Wearhouse