Local co. to give away free commitment ceremony

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Provence Catering has asked for PGN’s help in finding two deserving LGBT couples to win a dream Valentine’s Day commitment ceremony.

Since 2001, Provence Catering has provided custom catering to the Mid-Atlantic, offering the Philadelphia-area full-service hospitality and five-star dining and event planning that exceed expectations.

Provence Catering will provide two winning couples with a venue, catering, flowers, photography and décor for a Valentine’s Day commitment ceremony for 50-60 guests each.

Michael Yatvin, co-owner of Provence Catering, said he hopes the contest will “create excitement in an area where people are trying to live normal lives.”

Noting that gays and lesbians aren’t able to celebrate those “special moments,” he said, “That’s something that really needs to be changed. Change comes from within and taking action. It doesn’t come from protesting. We were fortunate enough three years ago to do the 12th annual Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and it was a wonderful experience for our company. The people were fantastic. We thought this was a good way to truly be able to be a part of a community that we value and show how we support people’s pursuit of happiness.”

Gene Blum, director of event planning for Provence Catering, said the company has put together a few commitment ceremonies and he finds them far more celebratory than wedding ceremonies.

“I see the incredible joy and happiness that occurs and it’s just something that everyone needs to be aware of,” he said. “I grew up with a brother who has a significant other and, within the family, there was a stigma. I though, no, this is a beautiful thing. More so than marriages, which are often simple business arrangements. I’ve never come across a commitment ceremony that was like that.”

Couples who wish to be considered for the contest should send a 500-word essay about why they should win the commitment ceremony to Kelly Root at [email protected]..com, fax (215) 925-6437 or mail to Philadelphia Gay News, 505 S. Fourth St., Philadelphia, PA 19147.

Contest entries must be received by Oct. 2. The winning essays will be published Nov. 4.

For more information about Provence Catering, visit www.provencecatering.com.

Ram’s Head Inn

Ram’s Head Inn, 9 W. White Horse Pike, Galloway, N.J., has been an area favorite for weddings, civil-union celebrations and other special occasions for more than 26 years, thanks to its stylish Colonial décor and its top-notch service.

Just 8 miles from Atlantic City, the Ram’s Head offers a picturesque and tranquil alternative to the bustle and bright lights of the neighboring attractions.

Whether the occasion calls for an intimate group of 10, a lavish gala for 250 or simply dinner for two, Ram’s Head Inn provides outstanding service, delicious cuisine and the comfortable, elegant ambiance of soft candlelight and wood-burning fireplaces.

On Monday nights, Ram’s Head hosts “Out at the Inn,” an inviting evening of live music, drink specials and a special bar menu. Book your civil-union ceremony and celebration today.

For more information, visit www.ramsheadinn.com or call (609) 652-1700.

Privé

In the heart of Old City, Privé, 246 Market St., offers a sophisticated and intimate dining experience, perfect for your commitment ceremony celebration.

Chef Peter Karapanagiotis, soon to be featured on Food Network’s “Chopped,” has created an “Inspired Mediterranean” menu and is one of the region’s most up-and-coming chefs. Pastry chef Sally Roach combines sweet and savory flavors to create complex and mouth-watering masterpieces in-house daily.

Privé’s décor is just as sumptuous as the menu. The sleek stone walls, mosaic murals and soft-colored lighting elevate your visit to the next level and complement Privé’s culinary obsession for perfection.

You can get a taste of Privé at happy hour, featuring specialty drinks infused with fruit nectars imported from Greece, along with free premium hors d’oeuvres and half-price mezze.

And if you really love the food, make sure to visit Privé on Sundays to experience the prix-fixe menu.

For more information, visit or call (215) 923-8313.

Alyssa Maloof Photography

Hiring Alyssa Maloof to photograph your commitment ceremony, civil union or wedding is like commissioning an artist to document a day in the life of your love. It is one of the most valuable gifts you could ever have.

Maloof is a Philadelphia artist who shot her first commitment ceremony last year. Her style is a bit edgier than the typical wedding photographer. Her photojournalistic images have rich contrast and deep tones. Instead of cookie-cutter poses, she works organically and lets the subjects be themselves: Beautiful.

Maloof has a BFA from University of the Arts and an MFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She recently moved from South Philadelphia to West Philly, where she fell in love with her dream home with a turret.

Her more recent work can be found at alyssamaloof.blogspot.com or www.alyssamaloof.com. For more information, call (215) 510-1770.