Getting Married In America

Marvelous Matrimony: Marry Your Man In A Midwestern Mansion

In response to efforts to pass laws that allow businesses to refuse to serve LGBT customers, Queerty and its sister site, GayCities created a column, Outlander, to highlight businesses that embrace the LGBT community in unheralded places around the US and the globe. This week: Outlander visits unique places to host a wedding, featuring Simpson House, in Kansas City, Mo.

There are those people who think of a wedding as just a contract to be signed at city hall, a few vows to be said while standing in front of a judge, and that will suffice.

Outlander is not among those kind.


Whether it be a formal cathedral or on the beach, or even a gazebo in your backyard, the best weddings are luxurious affairs, not huge and ostentatious, but tasteful. Polished. Quality before quantity.

Getting married in a historic mansion certainly adds a touch of panache. Couples in the Kansas City area can say “I do” at Simpson House, a three-story mansion built in the early 1900’s as a private home, and now open to the public as an event space. The enormous house boasts impeccably maintained interiors with the original furnishings of cherry, walnut and oak, stained glass windows, and an outdoor garden near the posh Country Club Plaza district.


The walls of Simpson House are packed with really good karma. The mansion is owned and operated by the Unitarian Universalists, a church whose doctrine includes recognizing “the inherent worth and dignity of every person” and embracing people of all faiths. Long before the term “gay marriage” became a catchphrase in the American dialect, the Unitarian Church embraced all rights of same-sex couples, including the right to get married — as far back as the 1970s, when the church created its office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Ministries. Among the countless court cases filed and Supreme Court amicus briefs filed by UUA, in 2004 when Massachusetts fully legalized marriage for same-sex couples, the lead plaintiffs were married at the Unitarian Universalist Headquarters in Boston.

Politics aside, a gay wedding is still just a wedding, so make it memorable. Marriage equality is not legal in Missouri (yet), so couples can drive up to Iowa a few hours north and get a signed marriage license, then come back home and have the big event at Simpson House. Descending a walnut staircase with hand carved wooden balusters is a marvelous way to enter your ceremony of lifelong commitment.