Jay and Jeff Tie the Purple Knot at Freddie's Beach Bar
By, Justin Ayars, JD
Many of you have either heard of or been to Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant in Crystal City. As the only gay bar in northern Virginia, Freddie’s offers patrons great food, tasty cocktails, lots of live entertainment and a fun atmosphere that’s unmatched in the region. Over the years, Freddie’s has hosted all kinds of events ranging from birthday and anniversary parties to wedding receptions and spontaneous celebrations as major LGBTQ legal victories were won. February 28, 2016 will go down in history for Freddie’s because on that date, Freddie’s hosted its first gay wedding ceremony for Jay Seligman and Jeff Davie! Although the couple has been together for many years and even participated in a civil ceremony back in 2005, they wanted to officially tie the knot at their favorite local establishment: Freddie’s! Unite Virginia was lucky enough to be invited to attend the ceremony and participate in the celebration.
Preparing for the Big Event
Prior to the ceremony Freddy Lutz, the proprietor of Freddie’s, noted, “We’ve done a number of wedding related events here, but this will be the first actual marriage ceremony.” When he was first asked if Freddie’s would host the ceremony, Freddy exclaimed, “Sure! I love weddings!” Freddie’s is a remarkable place that’s always decked out with purple walls, Barbie dolls, rainbow flags and disco balls. So how does a place that’s normally “classically kitsch” transform into a place where a loving couple will exchange vows before friends, family and the community? “Well, we over decorated, as usual,” Freddie says with a smirk. “As I always say, it’s not done till it’s overdone! The purple scheme in here goes well with all the white and lavender so it really came together pretty easily.”
It’s worth noting that Freddy was recently named one of this year’s OUTstanding Virginians by Equality Virginia. “It was quite an honor to be named,” Freddie says. “The news came as a complete surprise!”
The Happy Couple: Jay Seligman & Jeff Davie
Jay and Jeff met in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in October of 2004 on gay.com. Jay was working on his doctorate degree at the time, so he would often leave a window open on the website. “All of a sudden,” Jay recalls, “I got this private message saying that I had a nice smile on my profile picture. I looked at the picture of the guy that messaged me and thought it was one of those fake autobots because the guy was really hot. But I figured I’d play the game.” They began having a conversation and, eventually, Jay invited the mystery man over to his place to watch a movie, Supersize Me. Jay points out, “I’m nine years older than Jeff and people back then would say that because I was in my late 30s, I would never find someone. I simply said that it would happen when it happens.” When Jeff came over, Jay remembers, “For me, it was love at first sight.” Not wanting to ruin his chances of finding true love, when the movie ended he made every effort not to hop into bed with Jeff and instead asked if they could have a second date.
Jeff recalls their meeting much the same way, with one exception. “I went over there thinking I was going to hookup, but that did not happen.” Instead, Jeff found himself spending time with “an absolutely gorgeous, kind, polite, good mannered guy. So I definitely wanted a second date!” The duo had their much-anticipated second date and within two short months of meeting, they were living together.
A native of Ft. Lauderdale, Jay now works for the United States Public Health Service doing work with “different communities that are disenfranchised and special populations.” On their second date, Jay told Jeff that he was married to his occupation and, eventually, he would have to move from Ft. Lauderdale. Jay jokes, “I say Uncle Sam is my pimp because he doles me out to agencies that need experts in health care.” Jeff, an analyst for immigration matters, chimes in, “It’s true. Uncle Sam is my sister wife.” Due to the nature of Jay’s work, the couple have moved about four or five times over the past 10 years.
Before their marriage at Freddie’s, Jay and Jeff had a commitment ceremony on October 22, 2005 onboard a casino boat in international waters off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale, two days before Hurricane Wilma. Jay recalls, “Because of the hurricane, no one else was on the ship so it seemed like it was a cruise ship for just us and our party who came to participate in our civil ceremony, so it was really neat!”
Raising a Glass (and then Breaking it) at Freddie’s!
Jay and Jeff wanted a nontraditional wedding. Jay explains, “We told our guests to wear a little bit of white. Typically, the guests are not supposed to dress in white, but we encouraged it so that they could feel like they were a part of the ceremony. We wanted to share this event with everyone.”
According to Jeff, the wedding “was AWESOME!” Echoing Jeff’s feelings, Jay notes, “Freddy did a wonderful job having a wedding cake for us and decorating to make it even more special for us. He did all the planning. We just had to show up, so it was wonderful!”
As for a honeymoon, the couple did things a bit backwards. “We just came back from a two-week honeymoon where we went to Barcelona, Morocco, the Canary Islands, the Island of Madeira,” Jeff explains. Jay confesses, “We’re actually a little bit jetlagged for this ceremony, but we’re glad that we did it. Now that we’re legally married, we can be as happy or as unhappy as every other heterosexual couple!”
Jay and Jeff had 40 guests witness their big day. In fact, Jay notes, “Only three of our guests are gay, so 37 of our heterosexual allies came to celebrate our ceremony and I’m really happy about that.”
Jackie Marks Nutter was one of those straight allies. She went to high school with Jay and also said a few words during the ceremony. “When my husband, Rob, and I got married three years ago, Jay spoke at our wedding, so it was only fitting that I spoke at their wedding today. Rob calls Jay my gay husband! They’ve been talking about getting married since the Supreme Court decision last year. I’m so thrilled that they’ve finally done it and that Jeff can now get the benefits that are due to him.” Although neither Jay nor Jeff are particularly religious, Jackie was glad to see Jay bring his Jewish heritage into the ceremony by stomping on a glass. “I almost started crying,” she says with a sniffle.
Summing up the couple’s big day, Jay concluded, “Freddie’s was the perfect place for us to get married. It really speaks to both of our personalities. I doubt this will be the last wedding that Freddie’s sees. I hope they get one every weekend!”
Freddy Lutz certainly outdid himself by hosting a beautiful marriage ceremony at Freddie’s that was truly flawless. We at Unite Virginia echo Jay’s sentiments and congratulate both Jay and Jeff on their wedding! Mazel Tov!