Celeb Chef Art Smith toasts couples at “101 Gay Weddings” event

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Celebrity Chef Art Smith toasted about 40 couples who came to exchange or renew at the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead Sunday, two days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.

“It’s been a long road,” said Smith, whose restaurant empire includes Southern Art, the restaurant in the InterContinental lobby. Sunday’s event was the third “101 Gay Weddings” event Smith has hosted, and planning took a few months. He could never have known the event would take place two days after the historic ruling.

“God shined his light on us,” Smith said.

Retired MLB player Billy Bean, one of the first pro baseball players to come out publicly, served as officiant following a nondenominational prayer offered by author and spiritual teacher David Ault and comments from Georgia Equality executive director Jeff Graham.

“Welcome to your wedding day,” said Graham, who read from Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion legalizing gay marriage throughout the United States: “They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law and the Constitution grants them that right.”

 

Here are some photos from the event:

Crystal Jackson and Ashley Roland were first in line as the couples processed out into the InterContinental courtyard. Photos: Jennifer Brett

Crystal Jackson and Ashley Roland were first in line as the couples processed out into the InterContinental courtyard. Photos: Jennifer Brett

 

Kia and Kenzie McCall-Barnes were married in Washington DC a year ago and renewed their vows on Sunday. Photos: Jennifer Brett

Kia and Kenzie McCall-Barnes were married in Washington DC a year ago and renewed their vows on Sunday. “We just wanted to be able to share this moment with so many other couples who have fought for this,” said Kia, left. Photos: Jennifer Brett

Guitarist Reed Waddell sang "Time After Time" at the event. Photos: Jennifer Brett

Guitarist Reed Waddle sang “Time After Time” at the event. Photos: Jennifer Brett

 

Jessica Smith, left, and Cait Howerton plan to marry sometime in the future but attended Sunday's "101 Gay Weddings" event to show support and celebrate. Photos: Jennifer Brett

Jessica Smith, left, and Cait Howerton plan to marry sometime in the future but attended Sunday’s “101 Gay Weddings” event to show support and celebrate. Photos: Jennifer Brett

 

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Couples exchanged vows, rings, and kisses in the InterContinental courtyard. Photos: Jennifer Brett

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Couples exchange rings in the InterContinental courtyard on Sunday, two days after the US Supreme Court ruling made gay marriage legal in all 50 states. Photos: Jennifer Brett

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Retired MLB player Billy Bean was the celebrity officiant. “Let’s not forget the historic nature of this day,” he said.