Today I bring you…. drumroll please…. the first gay male wedding I’ve ever had on this blog. Please excuse me while I skip around the house a little bit with glee.
Ok, back. So what to say about this wedding? It’s been wonderful getting to know Luis of The Mad Gay Wedding a little bit over the past few months. His wedding is beautiful and his words are so wise that they gave me little chills as I read them. I’m also thrilled to share a wedding that is a little more diverse on this blog. When I first asked Luis to write a wedding graduate post, he was worried that a wedding at Disneyland where Mickey and Minnie came to the wedding wasn’t ‘practical.’ Well, yes, it is. Luis and Mike were sane, grounded, and true to themselves, and *that* is what I care the most about. So, on that note, lets hear it for wedding diversity:Just a few weeks before Mike proposed to me we had started discussing moving in together and becoming domestic partners. We had discussed going down to the county recorder’s office and doing the deed, and afterward having a small party at one of our favorite restaurants, an intimate gathering with a few of our close friends. When Michael proposed all that went out the window.
Don’t get me wrong, the restaurant idea would have made an amazing and intimate wedding, but this was our chance to have the wedding we had never dreamed of but suddenly wanted so much. We were going to have a big-honking wedding at the happiest place on earth. Michael suggested we have it there since my family loves Disneyland and he claims my mother, my sister and I were ogling a display for Disney Fairy Tale Weddings at Disney’s Grand Californian hotel on Mother’s Day of last year.Were we ogling? Probably.
We set the date for a year later, and I started planning like a crazy man. Reading through more blogs than I can remember (which is how I came to find and love this blog) I quickly realized that there were not a lot of gay men out there getting married and blogging about it. I found a few lesbian weddings, but hardly any men, so I decided to start my own blog. I was really good about updating regularly until prop 8 passed in California, and then I was really depressed for a long time and wedding blogging fell to the wayside. Fortunately we had the good sense to get legally married nearly a year before the wedding, not because I wanted to but because we had to be prepared for the worst.
There are a whole lot of great things about being gay, one of them being that since you’re already out of the mainstream there’s not a lot less pressure to conform to custom. This meant that any traditions we didn’t like, we didn’t have. No one had to give either of us away so we walked down the aisle together to Rhapsody in Blue, Michael’s favorite song. We did have wedding parties because that’s one tradition I particularly love. My peeps were all women and Mike’s were all men. It just happens that my best friends, a group I am lucky to include my sister in, happen to be women; Mike has less female friends and four brothers. We switched sides so that during the ceremony I was on the right with the ladies, lest anyone get the impression I was trying to be a bride, which I was not.We each had different things that were important to us. Great photography for me and real music for Mike (as in being produced by instruments). It was also important to Mike that I not be a stress case the day of our wedding. He strongly campaigned against my idea of doing our own flowers. He wanted a wedding day and a pre-wedding day where we did the least amount of things possible, and believe me there were still enough hiccups to keep us on our toes.
I come from a family were we grew up without a lot of money. We became crafty by necessity. When we throw parties we do everything ourselves, from baking a cake, to decorating, to cooking and clean-up. When we have these parties I am an insufferable stress case (at times). It’s a good stress though, it’s a stress I thoroughly enjoy, running around like a madman trying to do everything at once and making sure everyone is having good time and maybe occasionally snapping at my poor husband. Mike very sincerely asked me to not be that person on our wedding day, so I agreed we should hire a florist.The hardest part for me at the beginning of the planning process was spending money. It’s not that we couldn’t afford to, it’s just that I’m not used to it. It took me a long while to get comfortable with the idea of spending that much money on anything, but I think I have made progress. Some time in the next few years I hope to buy a car with power windows.
Just because you’re spending a lot of money though, it doesn’t mean practicality goes out the window. We saved money wherever we could, and we made sure that we were getting the most for the money we did spend. I looked at a lot of florists, and for the quality of the work and amount of things we got for our money our florist was definitely the best.
Also we found a photographer who was not in the budget category, at least not at first glance, but who shot film and gave us all the negatives and also provided digital scans of all the film. Having control of our pictures was important to me as I plan to design our own wedding album.
We provided our own wine and champagne to our guests and only paid the corkage fee for bottles that were opened, and only had an open bar during the cocktail hour. We chose dresses the girls could wear again. And not the way you can wear all those other bridesmaid dresses again. They were black silk dresses from J. Crew. The quality was great, and from what I hear tell you female people always need a little black dress. The bright colored sashes and shawls were made by mom.
I took on a lot of DIY projects, but only because I really enjoy them. We made our own invitations and assembled them with the help of friends. Same deal with our Mickey head program fans. I also hand painted our ring box because I wanted something other than a pillow we could use to pass the rings around during the ring warming ceremony.
Then again some of the things we did were totally impractical, like having Mickey and Minnie come to our reception. It was worth the cost to see a room full of adults regress to their childhood. Sometimes a little impracticality is called for.Just one piece of advice? I’m much too opinionated for that, instead lots of quick pieces of advice.
1. Pay for it yourself.
2. Be true to yourself. if you’re not crafty don’t torture yourself.
3. Perfection is not an attainable goal. Fun is attainable. Simple is attainable. Elegant is attainable.
4. This is not your day. It takes two to get married, and also any guests you may have. The day belongs to all of you. Make it special for everyone.
5. Don’t break tradition just for the sake of breaking tradition. Be a rebel with a cause.
Three months after the wedding I’m still on a high from all the love people brought to us that day. It was a celebration that mirrored us. A group of so many people important to us will probably not gather again until the last party that ever gets thrown for anybody, but we probably won’t remember that one. That is the magic of a wedding.
Cheers to you both. Not only am I wishing you many, many happy years together, I’m hoping that one day soon our marriages and our relationships will be judged as equal under the law. Until then, here is to the fight for love!
Now go read much more about this wedding on The Mad Gay Wedding. Enjoy!!
Pictures by SkyeBlu Photography