Modern Brides & Modern Grooms

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How to make any celebration liberating, brave, and meaningful.

All of us face the question: How do I become something new without losing myself? Mark O’Connell reflects on conflicts that arrive during wedding transitions, as well as various other transitions throughout your lives. 

As a psychotherapist, O’Connell offers ideas to bridge relational gaps with your partner, family, and friends. As a professional actor, he also offers insight on how to increase creative collaboration in all of your relationships.

Audio Sample:

Praise for Modern Brides & Modern Grooms:

Review in The Knot

Part planning guide and part memoir, Mark O’Connell weaves anecdotes of his own experiences into useful tips for navigating wedding planning and marriage. The book’s impeccably inclusive writing makes it relatable for all couples, regardless of race, orientation or religion.”  

Review in Out Magazine

“[T]he most impressive aspect is the book’s inclusivity.  Not only could it be used as a very practical wedding guide–regardless of your religious background, income level, or sexual orientation–it could function as a broadly insightful text for anyone interested in reflecting on their relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners (past, present, or desired future).”

Review in Journal of GLBT Family Studies

“More than a guide to planning a wedding, Modern Brides and Modern Grooms is about opening up communication and deepening your relationship. Published in 2014, a year after DOMA was declared unconstitutional, it emphasizes the “nontraditional” ways GLBTQ people have been portrayed and the importance of opposing established norms. O’Connell honestly shares experiences from his own life and comforts readers with whatever struggles they may have during this process, making it an essential read for anyone wanting a better understanding of themselves by way of exploring the emotions that accompany the planning of a wedding.”

Editorial Reviews

“No matter what circumstances surround your relationship or what kind of wedding you want, Mark’s perspective and advice will prove invaluable to working out the kinks and having not only your dream wedding, but better communication with your significant other, family, friends, and in-laws.” —Liza Monroy, author of The Marriage Act

“This is the most timely book published this year. O’Connell’s book is a breeze to read, filled with wonderful examples of what he calls ‘queer marriage’ and illustrated with examples from his own marriage to another man, as well as from other marriages. It is a pleasure to read. I expect his next book will be about queer adoptions. And why not?” —Charles Silverstein, PhD, gold medal winner for lifetime achievement from APA and coauthor of The Joy of Gay Sex

“So, your wedding day . . . It has to be perfect.  Mark O’Connell’s book immediately allows you to take a deep breath and say, ‘We can do this!’  It’ll help make your dream a reality with stress-free planning, communication, and love for your wedding day.—Del Shores, award-winning director and writer of Sordid Lives


In conversation with author Liza Monroy at Diesel Bookstore in Oakland, CA.

Interviews and Press:

Interview with Psychology Talk Podcast with Dr. Scott Hoye

Interview with The Atlantic: Why More Couples Are Getting Married By Friends

Interview with Gay or Straight, Modern Couples are Choosing Similar Paths

Interview with Mashable: The Golden Age of Same-Sex Weddings Has Finally Begun

Interview with Brides Magazine: 5 Marriage Misconceptions

Interview with Brides Magazine: How to Choose Who Walks Down the Aisle at a Same Sex Wedding

Interview with Brides Magazine: Do You Have to Wear Your Wedding Ring Every Day?

Interview with Brides Magazine: How to Find the Right Officiant for Your Same Sex Wedding

Interview with Brides Magazine: 5 Things Guests Shouldn’t Say at a Same Sex Wedding

Interview with The Knot: Name Changing Advice for Same Sex Couples

 Interview on Gay News Radio with Brandon Carmody following the historic Supreme Court decision on Marriage Equality: 6/26/15

Gay News Interview Preview: “Why did you write this book?”

Radio Interview on The PLAYroom with Coach Casey: 3/10/15

Imago Relationship International Think Tank
with Dr. Tammy Nelson: 1/28/15

Imago Interview Preview: Who is this book for?

Full Imago Interview

Same Sex Wedding Tips for All Couples 
in Inside Weddings

Modern Weddings Explode Gender Roles

Planning a Same Sex Wedding and Getting Unsolicited Advice in The Knot

Oped and Excerpt in

Modern Brides & Modern Grooms Launch Gala: A Broadway Cabaret to Benefit IHI Therapy Center