By Alicia Dennis
August 08, 2011 12:00 PM

And… SAVE THE DATE!

NOT EVERYONE RUSHED CITY HALL. ALL ACROSS THE STATE COUPLES ARE PLANNING THEIR BIG DAYS

We Have a Chance For Something Great

DANA LEPAGE, 25, AND CYNTHIA STALLARD, 25, ALBANY

When Stallard’s college girlfriend asked to marry her, there was one friend she didn’t want to tell-Dana LePage. “Bells rang in my head,” says Stallard, “and I knew I was more than friends with Dana.” The two began dating, and in October 2010, Stallard, a lawyer, proposed to LePage, a licensed social worker, on bended knee with a 1-carat solitaire diamond ring. They started thinking about a wedding-seven bridesmaids and one best man (Stallard’s brother) in peach and gray-and waited for New York to catch up. Watching them plan for the Sept. 24 big day, “it’s almost like they were made for each other,” says Stallard’s mom, Linda. “If there’s any disagreement, the way they discuss things and listen to each other is beautiful.”

Six Decades, Going Strong

RICHARD DORR, 84, AND JOHN MACE, 91, COLUMBIA COUNTY; 61 YEARS TOGETHER

“I first looked at Richard,” says John Mace, “and my heart went pitter pat; it’s been that way ever since.” That was 1948, when they were students at Juilliard. Since then they quietly built a life together, teaching singing, raising Mace’s son Paul from a previous marriage and grieving Paul’s death in a car accident in 1983. Dorr says they felt “engaged ever since we met,” but they are thrilled to marry, which they will do at home this year. “We are no longer second-class citizens,” says Mace. “It is wonderful to tie the knot and know that for the next generation, that’s there.” But they do find the label “newlyweds” amusing. Says Dorr: “It’s hard to think of us as newly anything.”

Love That Changed the Law

DANIEL O’DONNELL, 50, AND JOHN BANTA, 51, N.Y.C.

When the marriage equality bill that N.Y Assemblyman O’Donnell had ushered finally passed on June 24, he had Banta, whom he met 31 years ago in college, at his side. Later, “I said to John,? ‘I passed the bill, now you plan the wedding.'” Banta, special events director at the Metropolitan Opera, drew up a guest list with family, Daniel’s sister is Rosie “O’Donnell, friends and colleagues. “I hope that people who voted no will go,” says best man Michael Stiver, “and see it’s not the end of the world-it will be a good party.”

The Family Affair

MELISSA HOWARD, 42, AND DONNA DAVIS, 50, CORTLAND

The flower girl, Sarah, 7, has often asked her moms, “Aren’t you supposed to get married before you have children?” The ring bearers, sons Sam, 10, and Matthew, 12, have wondered too. “We’ve had to explain that we weren’t allowed,” says Davis, a PE teacher. “Now the kids are thrilled.” On July 28, their 22nd anniversary, the couple (who met when Davis coached Howard’s basketball team) will walk the aisle of Grace Episcopal Church and exchange rings embedded with each child’s birthstone. Since the party planning started, says Matthew, “we’ve all been really happy.”

The Perfect Match

MALCOLM HARRIS, 39 AND K. TYSON PEREZ, 33, MANHATTAN

Without marriage, “the gay community never grew up with the fairy tale of forever after,” says clothing designer Malcolm Harris. “This will be the fairy tale.” His romance with fashion editor Perez began nine years ago at a nightclub. “We were at different tables, bored out of our minds. We looked at each other and knew we were in the same pain. It was love at first sight,” says Harris. Adds Perez: “I was like, ‘He looks good on paper, but we’ll see.'” In lieu of gifts at their Sept. 8 wedding, they are raising funds for Harris’s women’s economic empowerment charity, One Dress Project. “The great thing about gay marriage,” he says, “is you don’t have to stick to tradition.”

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