Category Archives: Style

Fashion Felicitations From My Father’s Closet: 70s Bird Shirt

Photographs by Sean Gin

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Dear Fashion Diary,

One of the most exciting pieces of clothing I’ve taken from my father’s closet is this ridiculously awesome bird shirt my mom made for him when they were in their twenties. Shown are my parents, my father in the glamourshirt:

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It’s not something that you’d wear to, like, a job interview or anywhere fancy. But every once in a while, when you want to wear something luxuriously 70z, it’s great to put on. I love that it looks like a gorgeous Japanese watercolor painting.

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I remember in high school, like freshman year, all the cool kids were into 70z stuff. Like seriously bellbottoms, etcetera. And I just saw a little spread in LA Magazine about how bellbottoms and 70z nonsense are coming back again. Don’t you kind of feel like everything is aways coming back all the time? Like as soon as something falls out of popularity someone is like “oh my god ironic 90z Tommy Hillfiger jeans are SO cool” and then you look at them and you’re like “wait, that is kind of cool.” Maybe fashion is just an endless cycle of getting sick of stuff, forgetting about it, and then remembering it again and getting excited. Which basically means we’re all idiots with the brain capacity of goldfish but whatever. Anyway, all this is to say that I’m into this shirt, even though it’s so 70z.

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If you’re my mother, you can make this thing by hand, otherwise, check out the similar pieces I found online:

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1. Chambray Shirt, $139 from Scotch & Soda
2. Slim-Fit Emerald Chino, $115 from Scotch & Soda
3. Brogue Leather Boots, $95 from ASOS

Now go buy this stuff and dress up like me dressing up like my dad.

Love,
Orlando

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Nate Berkus & Jeremiah Brent Have Gone Bananas

Photographs by Mikael Jansson

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Dear Gay Diary,

This isn’t exactly hot-off-the-press news, but I discovered recently that everyone’s favorite design powercouple Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent are part of a new Banana Republic ad campaign. Thus, I had to share the totally cute pics of them canoodling, cuddling, and just generally making every other couple on earth look like moldy dog food. Thanks guys! Of course these images fill me with the normal amount of jealousy, bewilderment, and outrage. But they also just kind of made me glad to see a cute gay couple in an ad like it ain’t no thang. The images were shot by Mikael Jansson and are beautifully done. It appears that they were shot at their totally ugly house, which I would love to break into and live in until I am dramatically removed by violent police force.

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They’re so cute, right? Someday, when they die, I plan to taxidermy their dead bodies and put them in my living room as the ULTIMATE interior design accessories. That’ll teach them to keep their out-of-control dimples and get-lost-in-me eyes to themselves.

Love,
Orlando

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Felicitations From My Father’s Closet: Mad For Madras

Photographs by Sean Gin

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Dear Jenna von Oÿ,

I loved your work on Blossom, where you played the plucky sidekick to Mayim Bialik’s beloved character. She grew up to be kind of a weirdo, right? Oh well. Anyway, I’m doing this series where I take outfits I found in my father’s closet and show the world how they can buy new versions of them using nothing but their brains, the internet, and, like, tons of money. Below is an outfit I plopped together to go with a madras shirt with which I am in love. Madras is just classic. I feel like every year all different brands are like “we’re bringing back madras!” And everyone is all “you just did that, like, last year.” But to quote a wise band of musicians, “I don’t care, I love it.”

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Now that I’ve forced you to look at me waddling all over the beach in my dad’s clothing, I’d like to tell you how you can get the look yourself. You’re welcome.

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Madras Shirt, $70 from Orvis
Slim Fit Jeans, $43 from Levi’s
White Tank Top, $60 from Sunspel
Skate Shoes, $40 from Vans
Socks, $0 from Nowhere

Go buy something. Tell them I sent you.

Love,
Orlando

PS: Sorry I’m so squinty in these photos. It was really REALLY sunny at the beach.

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Fashion Felicitations from my Father’s Closet

Photographs by Sean Gin 

Dear My Father’s Closet,

Thanks for always providing me with some fun when I can’t afford to go shopping. I can always count on finding something cool in you. My dad has always been a stylish man, mostly classic American brands like Levi’s, Pendleton, and 80s Ralph Lauren. Also those brands that we all used to be totally embarrassed by until we grew up and realized how classic and comforting they are (Lands’ End, L.L. Bean, etc). My dad’s style has been a big inspiration to me. So I’m starting a new mini-series about clothing items I like that I found in my father’s throwaway pile and how you can find things with a similar. This week I’m showcasing this controversial sweater:

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Yup. That’s me. I’m looking into the distance wondering if my sweater is completely ridiculous and ugly. I think I’ve decided that yes, it is a ridiculous sweater, but no, it is not ugly. I admit that it looks like a Cosby sweater, but to me that’s not a bad thing. If you don’t like Bill Cosby there’s something wrong with you. He’s one of the people who you’re just not allowed to dislike. I decided to pair this sweater with some of my favorite Levi’s pants, some Jack Purcell’s, and some Warby Parker spectacles (yes, I’m one of those poser ass people who wears fake glasses sometimes, mainly to see if I can trick people into not recognizing me – it totally works).

I feel much the same way about fashion as I do about vintage – it’s good to mix vintage with new to make sure the look has some complexity. If it’s too much vintage from one era it looks like you’re wearing a period costume. Which makes you seem like you’re one of those people that wishes they lived in a different time period. And those people are totally annoying. Do you know what I mean? Like when a Gay guy is all “God, I wish I lived in the 1950s. All those cute rolled up white t-shirts and tight jeans and everyone looked like James Dean all the time!” And you’re like “If this was the 1950s you’d be in a mental institution getting shock therapy right now.” Don’t yearn for the past, because the past was totally gross. Anyway, I command you to ogle my sweater again:

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Unfortunately, we do not have the same dad, you and me. This is sad for a few reasons. Firstly, because that means we will probably never hug and squeeze each other at Christmas. Second, because it means you don’t have access to my dad’s glamourcloset. So you have a few options. You can go out and seek a vintage sweater like this one (I love Jetrag in LA or What Goes Around Comes Around in New York). Or you can just do what I’d probably do and buy this stuff on the internet:

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1. 80s Style Check Sweater, $67 from ASOS
2. Huxley Spectacles in Tennessee Whiskey, $95 from Warby Parker
3. Peacock Blue Pants, $40 from Levi’s
4. White Jack Purcells, $60 from Converse

Now stop what you’re doing immediately and go get your Cosby on.

Love,
Orlando

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Hello Mr Magazine

Photographs by Sean Gin

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Dear Hello Mr Magazine,

I am glad you finally exist. I was introduced to  your founder, Ryan Fitzgibbons, by Richard Haines, my friend the fashion illustrator. I was then introduced to the magazine itself, which is really a breath of fresh air. It describes itself as a magazine for men who date men, but I feel like it’s filled with such great stories and such beautiful images that it will appeal to everyone. These promo graphics express the magazine’s sensibility:

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For years, Gay magazines have been cheesy and gross and filled with fake tan waxy steroid dudes. It’s nice to have something that represents a different side of our culture. Ryan Fitzgibbon’s background as a graphic designer clearly came in handy in the creation of this publication – it’s beautifully designed, incredibly pleasing to ogle. Here are a few of my favorite spreads from the current issue:

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Now go subscribe. Support this magazine so it will continue to exist so that I can continue to read it.

Love,
Orlando

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The Best Music Videos Ever Made

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YOANN LEMOINE

Dear Music Video Director/Photographer Yoann Lemoine,

You know that point in the evening, when you’ve been hanging out with your friends all night, when everyone switches from wanting to catch up and find out about each other’s weeks to wanting to show each other Youtube videos? Well that happened the other night and we started by watching the video you directed for Woodkid’s “Iron.” Woodkid is your band. Which might explain why the videos for Woodkid’s songs are the most incredible videos I’ve ever seen. Just breathtakingly beautiful, so emotionally rich, the perfect combination of darkness and light and texture and contrast. You’ve done videos for everyone from Rihanna and Drake (HAY DEGRASSI!) to Katy Perry. My favorite of your videos, however, are the ones I list below. All of them cinematic and gorgeous in their own way. Enjoy!

WOODKID – “IRON”

STILLS

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LANA DEL REY – “BLUE JEANS”

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THE SHOES – “WASTIN’ TIME”

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VOGUE ITALIA & ASVOFF MILANO – “LIGHTS”

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WOODKID – “RUN BOY RUN”

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Thanks for the beautiful work! I look forward to seeing more videos from you soon.

Love,
Orlando

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You Better Work, Dish!

Dear Self,
I opened up the cupboard yesterday and noticed something. All my dishes are white. Or clear. Which surprised me. I love color. And I’ve never been one of those people who runs around yelling about how all dishes should be white. Until now. Looking at my collection made me realize having all white dishes is a really easy way for everything to always look good together. So that when you wake up in the morning you can gaze upon your beloved dishes and admire how well they all play together. In other news, I don’t know when this happened but I have a major “Dish Thing.” Like every time I am out vintage shopping I find myself salivating at antique wine glasses or unique espresso cups.

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Upper Shelf: Simple White Ramekin, $1.99 from Bargain Fair Chef Supply. White Serving Platter, $24 from CB2 (no longer available). Simplicity Champagne Flutes, $3.50 from CB2. White Espresso Cups, $40/set of 4 from Rose Bowl Flea Market. Marta Double Old Fashioned Glass, $1.95 from CB2. Biggs Large Drinking Glass, $4.95 from Crate & Barrel.

Lower Shelf: Frank Dinner Plates, $5.95 each from CB2. White Plate, $3.99 each from Ikea. Footed Serving Bowl, $36 from Maison Midi. Large Organic Bowl, $3.95 from CB2 (no longer available). Crewcut Appetizer Plate, $1.50 from CB2. Small White 365 Bowl, $1.99 from Ikea. Vintage Italian Cider Mugs, $0.50 from American Way Thrift Store, Burbank. Simple White Mug, $2.95 from CB2 (No longer available).

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I got those amazing seashell serving dishes from my mom over the weekend. I guess they’re good for serving tartare or other small salads. And since this is Coastal California, I find it highly necessary to have the freedom to eat out of a seashell whenever I want. Because being from California means you are at least 20% mermaid.

Those white espresso cups are one of my favorite things in the world. According to the random dude I bought them from at the Rose Bowl, they’re by a super famous designer (whose name I can’t read on the bottom of each cup). I don’t even drink espresso (though I do want to get one of those Nespresso things soon… Santa? You there? Buy me everything).

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Bleached Seashell Tartare Serving Dish, $20/Set 4 from Nijiya Market in San Francisco.

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Organic Bowl by Serax Maison d’être, $28 from ABC Home. Emily and snagged this bowl last year while we were in New York together working on the Lake House. It’s one of my favorites and every time I look at it it reminds me of us together on the streets of New York, gazing into each other’s eyes, loving each other.

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Elephant Tea Pot, $20 from Jonathan Wright & Company. I guess they sell these everywhere now, including Target. I grabbed mine in 2007 when I was working at Jonathan Wright & Company.

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Small Simple Porcelain Drinking Cups, $10 from Lawson-Fenning. I have to say that these tiny glasses are useless for someone like me who drinks a gallon water in one gulp but I still like looking at them. I never understood people who could take just one little sip of water and not be outraged and how un-quenched their thirst was. I drink like 75 glasses of water a day. I’m convinced there’s something wrong with me. Also, this ruins road trips with me. I have to stop constantly to use the restroom (and then buy the biggest bottle of water ever). I don’t know why If there’s ever a water shortage in this country I’m definitely killing everyone just to steal their water.

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Stemless Wine Glasses, Souvenir from Barnsdall Art Park Wine Tasting. Red Wine Glasses, $40/4 from Mikasa.

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Vintage Port Glasses, $0.75 from  American Way Thrift Store, Burbank. I don’t drink a lot of port, but now that I have these glasses I want to drink it all the time. I showed them to someone who told me they were for grappa but I refuse to believe that. I’ll never drink grappa ever again after the great Soria San Francisco Grappa Hangover of 2005. Don’t ask, it was a scary situation, terrifying for my whole family. We all together almost died. Because of grappa.

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Rocks Tumblers, $2 from Beit T’Shuvah Thrift Store. These rad tumblers speak for themselves. Every time I drink out of them I feel like Calvin Klein in the 90z. Now all I need is a new plastic surgery face and a closeted straight boyfriend who’s way too young for me.

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Butter Dish, $24 from West Elm (no longer available).

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Monogrammed Mug, $8 from Anthropologie.

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Appetizer Plates, $2.99 each from Bargain Fair Chef Supply. You can never have too many small serving plates. They come in super handy for parties.

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Japanese Sauce Dish, $36/Set 4 from Nijiya Market in San Francisco. In addition to my fetish for glassware, I also have a fetish for anything Japanese, especially dishes. I love these simple little dishes.

So that’s what’s in my cupboard. My favorite dishes. Perhaps in my next phase, my ironic neo-goth phase, I’ll start collecting black dishes…

Love,
Orlando

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Let Them Wear Cake!

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Dear Cake,

I became aware of your awesome fashion line recently and I just had to share it. In addition to your glamorously simple logo, you have a line of clothing that is just edgy enough to be classic while not screaming so loud that it’s annoying.

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Flag, $120

I want to hang this awesome flag in my apartment, so I can pretend I am the president of my own country where geometry rules and everything is in glamourous black and white.

I need the following hats for my fall look. My “fall look” is that I don’t have the energy to play with my hair for 20 minutes before leaving the house every day.

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Cake Hat $50

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Gamechanger Cap, $120

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Triangle Cap, $50

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Double Finger Ring, $295

I don’t know if I’m cool enough to wear this tough ring, but I want to be…

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NY Tank, $35

Geometry + tank top = everything I need.

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Cube Ring, $30

I don’t quite understand how this is a ring but I want it. I want it so bad.

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Gold Cross Ring, $30

This ring is like the modern version of Madonna’s cross necklace. Necessary.

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Reflections Sweater, $90

If you’ve met me, you know how vital this sweater is to my ability to continue living. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a piece of clothing that more closely represented my personality, interests, and aspirations. Love.

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Lighter, $50

After I saw this lighter I decided to start smoking.

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Cloud Sweater, $90

I can’t wear red for personal reasons (my face) but I love triangles. Confusion…

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Basic Drop Tee, $80

This tee looks like it feels like air kissing your skin. Lovely.

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Open SIde Tank, $60

A gay man can never have too many basic white tank tops. This one looks particularly perfect, like it would drape just perfectly off your rippling gay body.

Anyway, head over to Cake’s website to see all their stuff.

Love,

Orlando

PS: This is not a sponsored post, I just came across this brand and wanted to share it with you.

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Glamourtimez: My Sister’s Wedding

Photography by Stephanie Secrest

Dear My Sister,

In order to explain your wedding, I must first explain where we grew up. We grew up in the middle of the woods in Yosemite National Park. I don’t think anyone who grew up there really appreciated what we had until we left for college. When you grow up surrounded by some of the most beautiful vistas on the planet (outside my bedroom window was Yosemite Falls, through the living room window you see Half Dome), it doesn’t phase you. And you act bratty, and whine about how there’s nothing to do because you live in the middle of the woods. And then you grow up and you feel like a fool. Because you realize you were given this totally weird, amazing childhood that you took for granted. There are about 800-1200 people who live in Yosemite Village (depending on the season) and for the past 25 years my family has been counted among those people.

My parents will be retiring soon, moving to Sonoma County, so soon the house I grew up in will be inaccessible. Thus, as much as my sister’s wedding served somewhat as a farewell to her pre-wedded youth, the event itself, the last we will share at my childhood home, was a goodbye to this incredible rustic childhood I never appreciated until I had the perspective of adulthood. My brother was also married in Yosemite in 2006 and someday, if a miracle happens, maybe I’ll get married there too.

My sister’s ceremony was held at the Ahwahnee Hotel, one of America’s grand Western lodges. I grew up playing in this hotel. My friends and I would go over there and pretend to be homeless just to see what the hotel guests would do. Usually they just thought we were just obnoxious kids being super annoying. And they were right.

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This is the great room (after which some of the interiors from The Shining were modeled).

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My sister imported her makeup artist, Terresina Polizi, from San Francisco to do her face. And her hair stylist Beth Landrith (both of them work at Bateau Salon in SoMa. I like this picture because my sister looks like a mannequin.

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Of course, no hair and makeup party is complete without champagne.

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This is the reveal. When Jess (my sister’s fiancé) saw the dress for the first time. Fun fact: my mother, who is one of the most talented, fastidious, women in the world, made this dress. She sewed all those lace florets together. For hours and hours. Alone. Lots of delicate piecework.

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Apparently, there are enough A-list parties in Yosemite to necessitate a red carpet at the Ahwahnee.

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This is one of my favorite rooms in the Ahwahnee. The Mural Room.

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The ceremony was on the Wedding Lawn of the Ahwahnee.

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My sister, her dress, and my dad.

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And then they got married and then they walked down the isle and it was like ‘Oh My God.’

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The reception was at my parents’ house. In the back yard.

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And now, for the first time in internet history, the house I grew up in. Yes, it looks like a cabin. Yes, it’s tiny (but not actually as tiny as it seems – it has four bedrooms). Yes, it’s rustic. And yes, we have the tallest tree in the world in our front yard.

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This is my niece. She’s got weapons. Watch out.

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My gorgeous cousin did the flower arrangements. She incorporated a lot of succulents. Which made me happy. Because this is California and succulents practically fall from the sky here.

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We used my mother’s collection of vintage jars as vases. This one comes from a long-gone honey farm owned by old friends of my parents.

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My cousin also did these glamour boutonnières. (Also note how stylish Jess’ jacket/tie combo is).

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My sister and I made these hanging jar lanterns (which lit up the night once the sun set).

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Lanterns also helped illuminate the night.

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I gave a super awkward speech.

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But it made my sister cry so I guess I did a good job.

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This piñata, it turned out, was filled with ibuprofen, vitamins, and bubbles. All of which we used the next day to get over our crippling hangovers.

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After the sunset, the super talented Stephanie Secrest, took these amazing photos of my sister and Jess running around in my parents’ back yard.

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And then we danced until midnight in my parents backyard. And it was all over and we were exhausted.

Seriously one of the best weekends of my life. My sister and her new wife were so happy. My parents were happy. All was good.

If you grow up secular, like I did, there aren’t that many ceremonies in which you get to participate. Thus, weddings, graduations, etcetera become of utmost importance. This moment with my family is one I will cherish forever. This great time when we officially welcomed Jess into our family. When as a group we celebrated the love she shares with my sister. And, as a family, celebrated this amazing space we’ve been lucky enough to call home for the majority of my lifetime.

Love,
Orlando

PS: Answers to a few questions some of you may be having:

1. Yes, there are two gay kids in my family. My sister and me. We have an older brother who is straight. I am the youngest.

2. Yes my family is fine with that. They always have been.

3. Yes the Rim Fire was burning during the wedding. No it was not smokey. Luckily the wind was blowing away from Yosemite Valley where the ceremony was happening. Although a friend of mine went to a wedding there the week previous (two gay dudes getting married) and it was apparently like the seventh layer of hell. Super smokey.

4. Yes this wedding looks strikingly similar to Emily Henderson’s. Which is weird because I asked my sister if she’d seen any images of it and she said hadn’t. Great minds think alike.

5. Yes, my sister is a hair stylist. At Grasshopper Salon. If you live anywhere near San Francisco you should make an appointment with her right now.

Special thanks to Stephanie Secrest for her gorgeous images.

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