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Finally, Up The Steps To City Hall


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Finally, Up The Steps To City Hall | A Practical WeddingWe walked into San Francisco’s city hall today, put down our bags at security, and the security guard beamed at us and said, “County clerks office is down the hall and to the left.”
“We… um… what?”
(Grin) “Down the hall to your left.”
“Um, we’re here for a marriage license?”
At which point the guard totally cracked up, “Girlfriend, please. With a grin like that on his face? Like you could be here for anything else.”

It felt like a tiny taste of what the wedding might be like, and it did feel auspicious and giddy and free. I was so excited and shaky that I made David double check my part of the form, because I was sure that I’d gotten something wrong.Finally, Up The Steps To City Hall | A Practical WeddingAnd then, there was a moment where it was really bittersweet. We got our number, and all I could think of was this wedding. I stood in line, feeling on top of the world, and then realized that there was a huge chunk of our community, and many of our nearest and dearest who didn’t have the right to stand in the line at the county clerks office, who didn’t get to be grinned at by the security guard. We got our form, and I immediately asked David, “Have they changed the forms back after Prop 8?” It turned out they hadn’t. David and I each filled out our names, and then we had a choice to designate ourselves as bride and groom. We didn’t. It was a small protest, but it was the protest we had available to us. We will have a un-gendered marriage. And next time someone tells me “But you *have* to, you’re a BRIDE.” I can say with total honesty, “But I’m not actually a bride. I’m Person A.” And that feels really wonderful.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09945813943336222370 Luis

    From one person A to another, congratulations :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07139166570585803286 Momma A

    Meg, I have had your blog in my google reader for a while. I love reading about your journal. I about died when I saw you link to my cousin's wedding!! Tracy (of Tracy & Leslie) is my only female cousin on my father's side of the family. How awesome to see her wedding being celebrated on a blog I read!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04454278674225963467 AnnC

    Congrats for your licence ! ;-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09719798812778250015 Nicole

    Perfect!

  • http://www.moderngirlinvitations.com Autumn

    Our officiant refused to sign our marriage license on the day of the wedding because she felt that if she couldn't sign everyones, she would sign none at all. I thought she had the right idea and I think your mini protest was great as well!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06939935590766216936 Bridechka

    Congratualtions. What a fantastic post. I felt like I took the trip down to city hall with you.

  • Desaray

    person A's unite!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05750659066802561501 Erika

    Dear Meg, I love you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    Hum. I think Team Practical is really made up of Person A's, not so much brides, huh?

    I wonder what blog Person B's read?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12977525202055990615 MaryKate

    This whole post is fabulous. I love the part about the clerk, and I love the Person A part even more. I don't know what PA licenses look like, but I hope that's an option!

  • Anna

    YAY! I admire you so much right now!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14677671802746260768 Shayna

    I wish there was a "love" button you could click for entries. Oh well…

    LOVE!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17630812969476483227 Chic ‘n Cheap Living

    Here's a vote for person A!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18362733965636625696 Meg

    ooohhhhhhhhh, congratulations! On the wedding cert. and the stand.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08169407356570837365 D-Day

    eeeee what a great post. I can't wait to be person a.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15080583721005285729 the un-bride

    That is awesome. Hooray for you, Person A.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03422424697050612621 love-v

    Person A is more your style, I love that you were grinning at the court house.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13811559996670448379 Emily Takes Photos

    You two are just lovely. Ed and I are cheering you on from here!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14021725591075968558 KatieF

    Congratulations Meg!!! It's the little celebrations along the way!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12051581432652556410 Marina

    Dude. That's what we're doing this afternoon. Crazy.

  • Cate Subrosa

    Nicely done, person A.

  • http://snpdragn.wordpress.com/ snpdragn

    That's awesome.
    lol, if you were having a cake topper, a great big A & B would be perfect.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13016196445046472900 Mrs. Melberry

    This is fanstastic!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10933407474487393296 The Broke-Ass Bride

    Momentous! Congrats! You're getting so close now, love, enjoy every second of it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14757441474371776203 {The Perfect Palette}

    great post.
    signed, person b.

  • http://mildlycrazy.wordpress.com/ mildlycrazy

    Congrats! That's terrific, and I wish Maryland would let us be person A and person B!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18182268757502634911 sera

    Aw. I love you.

  • Abby

    I think this might be your best blog yet! Thanks for posting!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03198269471630176197 Danger Jane

    you just made me cry. that's so beautiful. congratulations!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01205206558999482765 Mariss

    You just got me a little verklepmt at work :) What a sweet idea. Congratulations to you and Person B.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15899239356088557995 Amanda

    How about Thing One and Thing Two? I would like Thing One and Thing Two.

    (Congratulations, Meglet, and happies to you.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    It's snark you want P&P;? Oh I see, you want me to talk about how I feel about the term "branding your wedding?" There is still time yet.

    Hee.

  • http://accordionsandlace.wordpress.com/ accordionsandlace

    I loooooove that our paperwork allows for this kind of language as well. Hooray for Person A (and let us not forget the oft-forgotten person Bs).

    Also Meg, I definitely do want to hear how you feel about the term "branding your wedding". That would be fun. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06206689296805893265 east side bride

    Here's to all the Person A's & B's. We'll get there.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06529652450620062626 K

    We had a similar situation happen to us at City Hall! :D

    Haven't you already branded your wedding, though? Practical?!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    Practical was never a brand, it was a accident, if a happy one. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    PS
    David had his chance to be Person A, but he gave that up. He noted that he might have given it up for life ;)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08863648359710609750 Rebecca (Dog-Eared)

    that's great.. congratulations :)

  • http://www.allthingsadored.com Ellen

    Way to make a statement! :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07964067874449854147 Heather

    Wonderful post!! Yay for you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16290402258318654939 Kate

    My fiance and I just applied for our license last week. We felt equally giddy, but during our oath I felt a twinge of sadness when Aaron had to swear that we were one man and one woman. I hope that changes soon in MN.

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    please stop making me cry with all your lovey dovey happy moving posts. Do you not have a little snark for us please? Just a little. Thanks. xx

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00811942860512021126 kahlia

    Oh, that's so wonderful! Congratulations! <3
    I'm very glad you were able to remain "Persons A & B"… and wish Michigan didn't suck so much and actually put "Male" and "Female" right on the form. :P

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12997875522614810785 Mouse

    Nice, Meg.

  • Anonymous

    Reading things like this reminds me why I'm so lucky to be Canadian- the Ontario licence just asks for the Applicant and Joint Applicant- I don't even see an option to include your gender.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13372723390462443849 1LoveJOY

    Best Wedding Blog I read today. Love It Congrats!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12095127115348973647 Jessamyn Harris

    you're making me cry! and remember my wedding there, and remember shooting tracy and leslie's beautiful, beautiful wedding, and remember shooting all of the other beautiful same sex weddings I got to shoot last year… enjoy those big grins and filling out the giddiest paperwork ever! it's like a gorgeous, emotional DMV ;)

    I also remember filling out the form and thinking, wait… are we kinda married now?! it's a different feeling, I think, when you get the license and then get married in the next 15 minutes. but since you sign the license before actually getting married, maybe you and david are already sorta married, and therefore the time between now and the wedding can be your first honeymoon?

  • redfrizzz

    MAZAL TOV for making a day that was sweet and wonderful a gesture of protest and point!!! MAZAL TOV!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17730505987602276835 Noemi

    Awww, shit, now I'm crying at the office. Thanks, Meg, for letting me know that people who CAN get married DO think about those of us that "can't" (legally speaking, anyways)- it means so very much. My girlfriend and I will be heading to Canada for our Person A and Person B, as our own otherwise lovely Washington doesn't recognize our marriage. Let me also say thank you for being the first blog I encountered that made me feel normal in the face of the WIC (even gays get the affliction!).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13029405069047968579 Maria’s yoga

    omg that is so smart. I wish I had thought of that! I didn't even think of not designating bride and groom as a way of taking a stand.
    geniuses!

    to my credit we got our marriage license in the middle of a anti prop 8 thing. So we were able to join in. Although frankly, I think its dumb that we even had to join in, there shouldn't have even been a need to oppose prop 8. Prop 8 shouldn't even exist!

    with that said, congrats and best wishes.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11597736474722027874 Ms. Green

    Congrats!
    I love San Francisco ::Sigh::

  • http://www.albertabride.blogspot.com Kristie

    At my desk, here at work, you just made me shed a tear. While I might be marrying a man, I'm not OK with the hetrocentric forms. Every registry forces me to choose bride & groom – why no bride & bride choice? You are really lovely.

    Congrats on everything!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04603937756401903984 Jeff

    Congrats! How exciting! And thank you for this post. To be honest, I went through a little emotional roller coaster reading your post. After the first few lines, I was like, sigh, I wish my partner and I could go to City Hall and get a marriage license. And often I've asked myself, should've we gotten married in 2008 when it was legal?

    And then I continued reading, and basically started tearing up knowing (as I've previously known of course) that your heart and voice and those of so many others are with us. Marriage equality will return someday soon in California and elsewhere. As I breathe, I hope!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12970174883950192618 Spinning Ninny

    really great post. it made me tear up a little bit.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10260615221471924302 Al_Pal

    Great post. I hope that Person A and Person B are still [or again] the options whenever I do get married!

  • http://www.projectmateforlife.com maura

    do you see comments on old posts? i hope so!
    we applied for our license in Mass, and I’m Party A. He’s Party B,and it will always be that way.
    Felt great- they were so neutral with their language, and careful to explain to both of us about name changes. It screamed marriage equality, and I’m proud to be married in the state.