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Helen & Lindi


I’m trying to find something really profound to say about Helen and Lindi’s wedding, but you’re going to get it from the first second. I get asked a lot, “What’s the point of even getting married these days? If you’re not religious, if you’re fighting for marriage equality… if, if, if, then why? What does it mean?” And I think Helen answers this better than I ever could, both in words and in pictures. And the story of her godfather stepping in as a replacement bridesmaid at the last minute. Well, that kills me. And with that, here is some magic for you to ride through the day on:

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

This is the first thing I have to say about weddings: things will go wrong. For our wedding, things went wrong. Lots of things went wrong: we went on a month-long trip to Italy two months before our wedding and ran out of time to make the invitations to send out before we left. We forgot to invite some people. Some people refused to come, because they did not agree with “our lifestyle choice.” We made all the favors (magnets of our engagement and bridal photos), and the glue ran on approximately 90% of them, and our faces were all smudgy and green. In the midst of baking for the reception, we found out that our oven in our new apartment heated to 125 degrees higher than the dial said, and then, some of the cookies burned, and others fell out of the fridge and onto the floor. A few days before the rehearsal dinner, we found out that the chef we’d planned to have cook for us couldn’t do it. At our rehearsal, we couldn’t find our walking down the aisle song and had to rehearse without it, which made some people very nervous. Someone stole the road sign on our country road the week before the wedding, making it even harder for people to find their way to our location. The day before the wedding, my best friend, who had spent the summer at a Christian camp as a counselor, told us tearfully that she had recommitted herself to God and could no longer be my bridesmaid. The next morning, as she was doing my hair and pinning in my veil, she told us that she couldn’t come to the wedding at all. During the reception, the formerly 99-degree, fully sunny forecast day turned into a torrential downpour.

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

So, things went wrong… but now, even just six weeks after the wedding, it was hard to remember most of the things on that list, because everything worked out. We divided our invitation list into those who needed to make travel arrangements and those who lived in my hometown, and finished making the invites for those who lived closer when we returned from our trip. They still got them almost a month before the wedding. When we realized whom we’d forgotten, we called and e-mailed them, and everyone important got invited in one way or another.  Some people who are important to us didn’t come because they chose not to support us in this, but there were so many amazing people who did support us, that we hardly even noticed their absence.

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

We scrapped all the magnets that were smudged and started over, and still had enough magnets to go around. We bought an oven thermometer and learned to set our oven cooler, threw away the cookies that fell on the floor, and still had more than enough baked goods to have leftovers after the reception. We had lasagna for our rehearsal dinner, and it was delicious.  We re-downloaded our song, and rehearsed two hours before the wedding. Our guests started arriving as we were finishing, and instead of leaving and returning just before the ceremony, we stayed and greeted everyone as they came in. It was better that way.  We e-mailed everyone very specific directions, put a big sign with balloons where the road sign was missing, and no one got lost. With my best friend, I cried when she told me she was backing out and then cried again when she said she wouldn’t be there at all, and then my godfather offered to step in as a replacement bridesmaid- and he did, and it was fantastic. (We didn’t make him wear a dress). During the reception, we went outside and played in the rain in our wedding gowns and our photographers got a lot of great photos.

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

Of course, people had said that things would go wrong and things would be fine, but I don’t think you really understand how much that is true until you’re there in the moment. When I think about our wedding, and the days leading up to it, I think about the incredibly transcendent happiness I felt – and still feel- and how overwhelmed I was by the love shown to us by all of the people around us.

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

The most common question asked of me when I told people that I was marrying my partner in Oklahoma was “Isn’t that illegal there?” (along with “Are you wearing matching dresses?” which is really funny to me…) It’s true that Oklahoma is a long way from recognizing gay marriage. However, we still wanted to have that time in which we voiced our commitment aloud in front of our loved ones, and so we did. Lindi said, on the drive home after the reception, that the real answer to why we were having a ceremony in a place that doesn’t recognize our right to be together was because everyone should have a day when they feel that overwhelmed by love, and we did.

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

The biggest, most important piece of advice I can give – or, really, repeat, since so many brides on this site have said this- is to ask for help! Our wedding was VERY low-budget and do-it-together, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. We both tried on lots of bridal gowns, but ended up going with formal dresses from a department store because they were lighter and far less expensive- and no one could tell the difference. We didn’t have colors (which people seemed to think was very weird), and instead, we just used fabrics and papers and flowers that we liked, antique mismatched platters that we already owned, lots of ribbon, and everything looked stunning.

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

We rented the community center near my parents’ house, put everything we didn’t like in the spare rooms, and decorated the main hall to our hearts’ delight. We ordered our flowers in bulk from Sam’s Club, and my aunt (who we found out used to be a florist), my sister, and Lindi and I made beautiful arrangements in mason jars that included grass and juniper from the field outside the building. We made our favors, our decorations, and all the food. I continue to be amazed by my mother, who took on the task of feeding the 20+ out-of-town family who came several days before the wedding and making more than half of the nearly-1000 cookies we had at the reception, with my sister’s help. My sister also made and decorated our simple wedding cake (just a 9-inch layer cake, in our favorite flavor- carrot!) and the cupcakes for our guests.  We made hearts to decorate the walls and bunting for the front of the building out of scrapbooking paper that we already had. We bought muslin to make the tablecloths and my grandmother, who is a quilter, gave us about 25 yards of patterned fabric to make curtains and table runners, and then helped me make the curtains when I ran out of time to make them myself. After the reception, we folded up all the fabric from the tablecloths and table runners and gave it back for her to quilt with.

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

Our officiant, a family friend who I’ve known since I was a teenager, wrote a beautiful ceremony that made pretty much everyone cry. Two of our close friends from college, who are both enormously talented, took our photos. We did our own makeup, as it felt silly to have anyone else do what we’ve both been doing ourselves for many years. We asked our bridesmaids to wear a black dress that made them feel pretty and fun shoes. (They came out in style: their shoes were red, yellow, purple and snakeskin, among others!) I know that not everyone has a sister who likes to decorate cakes, an aunt who used to be a florist or friends who are photographers—but there are almost definitely people in your life with talents that you perhaps don’t know about who want to help you, and for everything else, find some lovely wedding elves.

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

This wedding was the most perfect wedding possible for my partner and I, but I know it wouldn’t be for everyone. We love to craft and bake, and so making our save-the-dates, invitations, decorations and food for the reception made sense for us. I think you really have to figure out what matters to you, and stick to those basic things. Do you love yellow roses, letterpress invitations, or have you always wanted to get your makeup professionally done? The things you want do matter, and you will probably have to compromise on some things, so talk to your partner and narrow the really important things down. We wanted homemade desserts, and we took the time to make them. We wanted to have our wedding and a picnic reception outside, and although it was too hot to actually do so, we worked hard to make it as close to what we wanted as possible – and had to stand our ground when people tried to convince us to move the wedding to a church. We didn’t want to go into debt as a result of one day, albeit one very important day, and so we worked hard to find beautiful yet inexpensive dresses, decorating supplies on sale and a location for the wedding that wouldn’t cost thousands of dollars to rent. We wanted the wedding to reflect who we are, and it did.

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

At the end of this most wonderful, exhausting, spectacular day, all I could do was think over and over: this happened! We’re MARRIED! She’s my WIFE!  And then giggle helplessly at how filled with awe I am by the reality of it. I can only hope that this is how others feel after they’re married, because it is one of the most breathless, beautiful things I’ve ever felt. This is the most important thing I learned from the beginning of our marriage: in the end, it’s not the invitations or the flowers or the cake that matters. It’s not the way your hair is done, the people who couldn’t or didn’t come, or the number of times the punch almost ran out. It’s the fact that you stood there, in front of the people you love, with the person you love, said the words you said, and felt that uplifting joy.

Helen & Lindi | A Practical Wedding

Photos by: Stephen Ironside of Ironside Photography and Darby Gieringer

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  • http://onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

    I think this has made it to my top ten fave graduate posts. Very real, honest and beautiful.

  • http://etsy.com/shop/CorrineONeill Corrine O’Neill

    Gorgeous! Things may have gone “wrong”; and I’m really sorry for your friend who missed an important and beautiful day, BUT those rain photos are amazing.

    Absolutely drop dead blow your mind away crazy amazing. Please blow those photos up and put them on your wall!

    I think it’s amazing that your godfather stepped in and I hope your grandmother makes you a wedding quilt from the fabric! How awesome would that be?

    • Helen

      You’re right on the money: We DID blow up the photos to hang on our living room wall, and my grandmother surprised us with two lap quilts made out of the vintage-looking fabric we used as tablecloths! They are quite fantastic. :)

      • http://www.moodeous.com Kristy

        Love that!

      • http://etsy.com/shop/CorrineONeill Corrine O’Neill

        lol well you know what they say about great minds ;)

        You have a fabulous grandma. There is something something so charming and wonderful about homemade quilts. Now you can literally wrap yourself in a loving reminder of your wedding day.

  • Carbon Girl

    Those rain photos are some of my favorite ever. I love how you say that things go wrong but by showing each problem had a solution, you show that things going wrong doesn’t mean things are broken. Congratulations!

  • Benny

    Maybe I’ll have something more eloquent to say later on, but all I can think right now is that this gave me so much hope. Thank you. Yes.

  • starkville

    as someone who is in the middle of things going horribly wrong, thanks for this.

    • Helen

      You’re welcome. Just know that things will go right. :)

    • Helen

      ps. Although, I will say, the process was not without its panic attacks and crying jags. But, in the end, the important things still happened and the joy was overwhelming.

  • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

    oh, girls. i tried to write that SAME list after our wedding, and you’re right! there are zillions of things that went wrong, yet it was hard to remember in all of the giddy post-joy.

    and i absolutely LOVE your “love is…” cards. really.

    • Alyssa

      We did a version on those for our wedding and they are my very favorite thing ever. We’ve got them in a photo album. I think they’re needed at EVERY wedding.

      • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com Koru Kate

        I have to chime in & say I adore your “Love is” & “We Wish You” card too! It must’ve been so fun to read what people wrote. I’d love to do something like that at the wedding or maybe the rehearsal dinner.

        And I can’t get enough of the pure joy in that second photo! It’s great you rose above what went wrong & enjoyed your day. Congratulations!

        • ddayporter

          we put an index card at every place setting with a note requesting that guests write us a note or draw us a picture, and provided pens and crayons.. oh my word I couldn’t believe how awesome it turned out! almost every single guest wrote/drew something (one of my aunts wrote out a recipe!), and if we ever get our act together they will all be in a photo album.

  • http://made-of-sun.tumblr.com/ Trisha

    What a beautiful wedding! I also love the cards. We did something similar at our wedding, and they became one of our favorite parts of it.

  • LeahIsMyName

    Yay! You’re both so lovely, and the wedding sounds amazing. And I’m so excited to see a couple from Oklahoma on here! I grew up there and went to college there, and since I’m bisexual, I know that it’s not the most accepting place for gay people. But as a matter of fact, I’m getting married there myself next month (my family all lives there).

    You’re both strong and brave women, and the more people who stand up for civil rights in places like Oklahoma, the sooner everyone will be able to legally marry in those places.

    Your story made me smile, and made me a little nervous too. I’ll be baking cupcakes for our wedding, and I know things will go wrong. I know it, but I’m a little afraid of it! Thanks for the reassurance that it will be okay anyway.

  • Lethe

    Helen, you have such a lovely down-to-earth attitude toward wedding planning and all its pitfalls, and your beautiful wedding is really an inspiration to me! Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • http://suburbaliciousliving.blogspot.com/ Lauren

    That first picture? In the rain? With the kissing and the wet hair? Oh. My. God.

    • Chantelle

      I know right? It made me tear up at my desk! What a beautiful wedding, with such an inspiring message. Thank you!

    • http://bunniesnbeagles.blogspot.com Ms. Bunny

      It’s stunning. Like something out of a movie.

  • http://abouttobe.wordpress.com Mary

    One might think that being told that things will go wrong would frighten me, but I actually find it really reassuring. Thanks so much for this post!

    Also, your photographer friends are AWESOME.

    • http://onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

      I think the chaos and madness of the wedding day makes them more enjoyable in the end. They’re things to think about, laugh about and share. Plus, making out in the rain?! FTW!

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com jolynn

    Gorgeous, gorgeous. I was heartbroken about the bridesmaid, but so happy that you had other love to surround you. Those amazing rain pictures…and the love is cards…!!!

    • http://onecatperperson.blogspot.com Angie

      Yea, so amazing the godfather stepped up. Both fortunately and unfortunately, our friends and family surprise us with things like this on our wedding days.

  • saveroomforpi

    Congratulations, Helen, to you and your wife. You both (and your guests) look so very happy in the photos :)

    Thank you for writing your post.

  • margiemive

    “I can only hope that this is how others feel after they’re married, because it is one of the most breathless, beautiful things I’ve ever felt.”

    This was true for me. Sometimes I think – life can be such an ugly slog filled with a lot of things that make me terribly sad and upset but weddings are a moment for hope and joy in the face of all that and that’s why I love them, and why I loved mine, and why I loved reading about yours, Helen.

  • KP

    I have never commented before (lurker, un-engaged, like to read this site to see all the kick-ass women building their lives on their own terms), but as a PROUD ally and native of Oklahoma, I just want to say how thrilled I am to see this beautiful Oklahoma wedding featured on APW! Looks like it was beautiful, I wish y’all many happy years together.

    • Helen

      Thank you! :)

  • http://twitter.com/dmrkns dev

    I’m so sorry that your friend let you down so profoundly. But I have to say, having your godfather act as a bridesmaid is just such a beautiful show of love- it really choked me up just reading about it.

    Your wedding looks so genuine and wonderful. Congratulations to you and your wife!

  • http://www.puppiesnpancakes.blogspot.com Kristi

    YES YES YES to this. One of my very favorite wedding grad posts. And the photos?! The amazing photos? Awesome. Congrats!

  • http://www.msawesome.com ms. awesome

    Before our wedding I would joke that if we could (if it was legal) we would just go down to city hall and get hitched. Just the two of us. And I still LOVE me a city hall shindig, but I have to agree with you that the huge joy and overwhelming amount of love pouring from friends and family on your wedding day makes a wedding worth it. Legal or not. And that’s precisely the reason we had a wedding (although we didn’t even know how amazing it would be at the time).

    So thank you for putting the simple reason to have a wedding so eloquently into words and pictures (glorious, *gasp, pictures). Your wedding was stunning, and your words so true. And the rain? OMG. Totally amazing!

    Big congrats!

    • meg

      WHERE IS THE WEDDING GRADUATE POST??? Hummmm???

  • Michael R. Peters

    Helen, My Darling…

    You got married for the best and most wonderful of reasons…

    You are in love with Lindi and she is in love with you.

    I love you both, so I was there.

    Thank you for letting me share in your love of each other.

    It was the best wedding I have ever been to, and the Heavens know how many I’ve been to…

    ;0)

    Michael

    • Helen

      Thank you so much for being there and making our special day even more special. I love you. <3

    • Maddie

      I’m crying at work again (for God’s sake, I work in a *cubicle*. I can’t even close the door…)

      I’m just so overwhelmed by the love that is pouring through your post and your pictures and this comment. To me, this is what it’s all about. Your Godfather stepping in for the bridesmaid who could no longer be part of the wedding. I mean, that is WHY we get married. We build our baby family, and we develop our bigger family from relatives and friends, and one day we get to *be* those people who support the younger tiers of family members when they most need it.

      I will promptly stop weeping….now.

      • ddayporter

        yep, tears. amazing.

  • Phyllis

    I’m so glad I got to share this day with you two! <3! And the pictures did turn out really amazing. I'm actually glad it rained!

    • Helen

      And you being there made it extra wonderful. <3

  • McPants

    Gorgeous. I’m not sure how I’d handle some of the things that happened before your wedding, and I’m just so impressed by how gracefully you seemed to navigate the obstacles and concentrate on the important things. Way to focus on the blessings in your life. It’s definitely a good lesson for those of us who tend to freak out over like, invitation wording.

    Also, people keep asking my fiancee and I which of us will be wearing pants (answer: neither) so your matching dresses remark cracked me up.

  • http://www.katiejanephoto.com Katie Jane

    I’m on my honeymoon in Italy – married last Saturday! – and shouldn’t even be on the internet at all, but I couldn’t help but sneak a quick read of APW and I just have to say… yes… a thousand times yes. Things will go wrong and you will not care at all because somehow it will all come together and at the end of the day… you’re married.

    Your wedding sounds amazing, and you sort of captured my own experience so perfectly.

    Ok… back to honeymoonin’! ;-)

    • meg

      First, wedding grad.
      Second, say hi to Italy for me!!!!
      Third, WHY ARN’T YOU AN APW SPONSOR??? Email me when you get back, girlfriend, geeze!

      • http://www.katiejanephoto.com Katie Jane

        Yes, you will be getting an email from me upon my return!!

        And Italy says, “Buongiorno!” to you.

  • Alyssa

    I can’t get over what a great attitude you had about your wedding AND what amazing pictures you have! I mean, REALLY, they’re all just stunning.
    And your story, especially your friend and how completely non-hateful you are about the whole thing. I don’t tear up at grad posts, but yours made me. (JUST A LITTLE THOUGH. Don’t want you thinking I’m a sissy.)

    You’re both gorgeous and stunning and one of my favorite posts.

  • http://ridiculouslyeverafter.blogspot.com Nikki

    HOLY SHIT.

    I can’t decide whether to comment on all the things that went wrong or the gorgeous photos or the amazing shoes or the DIT-ness or her extremely positive attitude. Just… HOLY SHIT!

  • http://bride-sans-tulle.blogspot.com Sharon

    I saw the first picture in the rain and my jaw dropped. Then I got to this: “It’s the fact that you stood there, in front of the people you love, with the person you love, said the words you said, and felt that uplifting joy” and started crying. So very, very true. Congrats to you and your wife, Helen, and thanks for sharing your story with us!

  • http://twentyfirstcenturynomad.blogspot.com Kortney

    This was the first APW grad post I’ve cried over. You two definitely face one hell of a shit storm but it was worth it–sooooo worth it! To be married to the person you love most… It’s such a special thing. I really, really love that despite the state laws, you went ahead with a full on wedding anyway. That’s how it should be. No one can keep you two from committing your lives to each other and loving each other endlessly. Which is so obvious! It’s clear from your faces and the way you hold each other that you two love each other so very much. Everything here is beautiful–the photos, the cards, the dresses, the family, the friends, that kiss!!! Congratulations and best wishes for the beautiful life you’re going to spend together. <3

  • april

    “It’s the fact that you stood there, in front of the people you love, with the person you love, said the words you said, and felt that uplifting joy.”

    SO. TRUE. I was totally choking back tears reading this lovely grad post and sighing over the joy-filled photos… then I got to that last bit at the end of the post and just broke down! Ahhhh! ;)

    You both are gorgeous. Congrats on a beautiful wedding and many years of happiness to you!

  • Kristen

    “…the real answer to why we were having a ceremony in a place that doesn’t recognize our right to be together was because everyone should have a day when they feel that overwhelmed by love, and we did.” I love this line and I love your post. Congratulations to you both!

  • Sunny

    This post is so touching and beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  • Sarah

    what gorgeous photos. I LOVE the ones in the rain. LOVE LOVE LOVE them. You two rock.

  • http://www.facebook.com/savingsymmetry Sheryl

    Lindi and Helen, what can I say that hasn’t already been said? This post just made me love you both more – if that is even possible. I was so upset with myself for not being able to make it to the wedding, but reading this almost made me feel like I was there. You both know how much I love and support you. I cannot wait to share my own wedding story – and hopefully it’ll include you both!

  • http://roughit.wordpress.com Miranda

    It makes my day to just see same-sex couples out in the world, and same-sex weddings just light everything up! Thanks for sharing and saying it all so simply and wonderfully. I don’t think you can hear too much of, “It may suck now but it won’t matter in the end” – so true. Congratulations, Helen & Lindi!

  • http://www.agirlandaboy.com/journal agirlandaboy

    I love everything about this.

  • http://www.ironsidephotography.com Stephen Ironside

    You can see more photos from their wedding here :)

    Congrats again, you two.

    http://www.ironsidephotography.com/1010/

    • Helen

      And what awesome photos they are. :)

  • http://bunniesnbeagles.blogspot.com Ms. Bunny

    It is a great testament of your godfather’s love for you that he stood up in place of your backed-out bridesmaid. That’s the part that moved me the most, that he would be willing to do that for you. It must have felt so wonderful to have him volunteer like that. And not to mention how priceless the pictures of him with all your lady friends are.

  • rachel

    Love you! I’m glad everything ended up working out perfectly / just not perfectly to plan lol. And I love your writting , you both have a way of saying things incredibly well. You have so much talent and I’ll always be jealous of that : )

    rachel

  • http://girlsgonechild.net GirlsGoneChild

    This is so perfect I can’t even… wow. That first shot? Knocked me out.

    • meg

      It’s funny. Something about this post made me think, “This post would probably make even GGC like weddings.” I don’t know why. You can have an anniversary party with epic rain kisses and kidlits one day (even better!)

  • http://commuterchan.blogspot.com/ Chan

    If this is what it looks like when things go wrong, well I just hope more things go wrong like this in my life.

    Holy Beautiful Wedding, Batman!

  • Lor

    LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about this post!

  • http://onaquilt.wordpress.com Erin Robertson

    Helen and Lindi – I am so thankful to know you both. What a gorgeous, heartfelt ceremony, and what beautiful hearts you both have!
    (Also, thanks for being a good example of DIY budget-brides!) Love, Erin

  • Irene

    Please let me know what department store you found those beautiful dresses in – they are amazing! It all looks so beautiful. I’m sorry about your friend – surely love, in whatever form, is the point and aim of Christianity, no? At least, that’s what I believe.

    • Helen

      JCPenneys! We looked at so many dresses at bridal stores and other department stores, and I actually bought a second dress from Dillard’s. (Floor length teal silk! So pretty! But it didn’t really coordinate with Lindi’s.) I’m an avid sale shopper, and it makes me quite gleeful to think about the fact that my dress was only $23 since I bought it after prom season. Lindi’s was more expensive than that (about $160) but obviously still quite inexpensive- especially compared to dresses sold as wedding dresses. Hooray JCPenneys!

      We’re both still in college, so money was pretty tight (we spent about $2000 total on the wedding)- but honestly, I think I would have felt uncomfortable wearing a several-thousand dollar dress, even if we had been able to afford it. I fully support people who choose to buy expensive dresses, if that makes them happy- I would just rather spend it on, for instance, a trip!

  • http://www.cuteanddelicious.com miss alix

    this post and wedding are so beautiful. it really did make me cry a little. i’m so happy for you both. everything looks so full of joy.

  • SarahAustralia

    “I think you really have to figure out what matters to you, and stick to those basic things.”

    I know that has been said before, but I think it is probably the most important message that APW promotes. Everything else ties back to what matters to you: tradition or not tradition, marrying your love whether it is legally recognised or not*, what you choose to embody in the term wife, if you elope or throw the biggest darn family do in the history of the world, if you keep your sanity by doing it all together or hiring wedding elves, its all what works for you.

    Congratulations Helen and Lindi on a beautiful wedding that, through the power of the internet, made my day on the otherside of the world!

    *and in Australia it isn’t be we are trying to change that one mind at a time.

  • rose

    this post was gorgeous and very heartfelt. and i love your attitude – things go wrong, some of which can be righted, but go with the flow and live in the moment!
    the bridesmaid side story made me a bit sad, but clearly you did not let it ruin the day and mood…perhaps her opinions will change over the years, but if not you obviously have supportive and loving people in your life!
    as someone who is planning a wedding, i take heart in your words. sometimes i make quick/snap decisions to minimize stress, and some have criticized my style, but its really all about our commitment (which we already have – phew!) and the wonderful people in our lives.
    so anyway, thanks – great post!

  • Moz

    Congrats on your marriage girls! And your pictures are beautiful xx

  • Jess

    LOVE your dresses and how they were different colors!

  • Natalie Bea

    We don’t know each other, so please excuse the intrusion into your private life. I was researching wedding ideas for a friend of mine and I came across the beautiful and inspiring story of your wedding day.

    Tomorrow I will be officially separated from my partner of 12 years. When I met her I didn’t consider myself gay or even bi-sexual, but the moment I laid eyes on her my world turned right-side-up. Life became bright and hopeful and full of promise.

    Our families had mixed reactions and we lost almost all of our “friends” and that was the toughest most heartbreaking thing. We chose not to get married or have any kind of ceremony because we didn’t want to shake the delicate balance we had with our remaining friends and family.

    After reading your post I see we made a grave mistake. It’s sad to admit that although we still love each other it is too late for us. We should have been brave. We should have been true to our love for each other. If I ever get the chance again, I am going to honor the gift and declare it to the world.

    You and your wife did it right! Thank you for the lesson.

    Best wishes and blessings on your marriage.

    Natalie Bea

    • Helen

      I just read your comment out loud to Lindi, and it made both of us tear up. Thank you for the kind words. I’m sorry for the loss you are now experiencing, but we both wish you the best of luck in finding someone to share your life with. <3

  • Helen

    I just wanted to thank everyone who commented on this post (who happens to still be reading the string) for your lovely comments. This is such a great community, and you are all such great and inspiring people. Go Team Practical!

    • Benny

      So clearly I’m checking back on this post to read more joyful comments…and I just read that you guys are still in college (!!!!!!!) and that made me really excited! Although my partner and I are a few years out of college, it’s still great to read about/see another young same-sex couple getting married. So often I read about same-sex couples who have been together for 10, 20 years, have children, etc. getting married (which makes sense, given our culture and the fact that marriages have only been legal for a few years.) But still, it’s AWESOME to be able to identify with a couple so much more closely because of age.

      This wasn’t as eloquent as I hinted to/promised earlier, but thank you. Again.

  • Shivani

    Dearest Helen,
    You and Lindi are so amazingly beautiful in your photographs as well as in life. I was delighted to read about the special day. Making this special commitment deepens your relationship. I was hoping you would experience that deepening -how wonderful you have!
    Love you always

  • http://www.stofnsara.com saartjie

    wow!

  • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

    Those pictures are amazing!

    Congratulations to you both! You both look beautiful, and it’s obvious that the day was filled with love. Good on you for being able to get past the set-backs, as well (I’m so sorry that your best friend wasn’t able to be there for you, that’s a big deal).

  • Kate

    I had to comment so I could say “Exactly” to your last paragraph. We got married 3 weeks ago (yay) and I felt just like that. Just before the ceremony started I felt so clearly that there was a hard shiny kernel that was what mattered – we loved each other and were committing to each other – and around that kernel was fluff – nice fluff, fluff I was glad we had, things like my dress and the flowers and the food and the DJ and the favors – that was ultimately unimportant. The fluff made the day nice, and everything went well, but it could have been the two of us by ourselves in the middle of nowhere (with someone to make it official, I suppose) and it would have meant just as much. Nothing I worried about beforehand was essential, and I credit this site & all of you on it with helping me feel like that as I walked down the aisle.

  • http://dynsmiteweddings.com Dynamite Weddings

    LOVE the kissing in the rain! So Passionate!

  • http://www.ofra-t.com Kay

    Wishing you both health and happiness forever.
    What a stunning post !
    Tremendous photos
    And more than that – a real grasp of what’s important in life

  • Heather L

    Wow…amazing that you had so much time for crafting/baking! I’m envious of your mad skills!

    Also, RE: Your friend that backed out of going to your wedding. I’m so sorry. That’s horrible, and if she’s really your friend she should be supportive of your relationship/marriage regardless. I wish I could kick her through the internet.

    But, I guess you know who you can really count on now. And kudos to your godfather for stepping up, though I must admit, a pic of him in a dress would be PRICELESS.

  • http://southernbeth.blogspot.com Beth P

    This is beautiful and it made me really really happy. My state is Oklahoma’s neighbor and some times I get frustrated (being that I’m from California) at the walls some citizens run into when they try and get married and/or start a family. Seeing a couple say, well this is what we want! makes me SO happy, because isn’t that what it’s about?!

  • Alexandra

    You two are so lovely and I’m so happy for you! Sorry about the friend. I do hope that religions will recognize love in more forms, in our lifetime…
    Gorgeous photos. The attendants’ feet photo is great, too! ;)
    Best Wishes in married life!

  • Tessa Frey

    I have to say, I think you are a very strong person. I completely understand why your best friend would feel the need to back out as a bridesmaid, because honestly, everyone has their beliefs and while we may not agree with everyone else, she has a right to express her beliefs. BUT, to not even come to the wedding?? And she is your best friend?? I think that was a poor decision on her part, and I was appalled that she did that. I commend you for not letting your wedding be spoiled because of it, I don’t think I would have been able to handle that as well, and I am sincerely sorry that you had to deal with that right before your wedding.

  • Ryan Mary

    I only hope that my partner and I have as beautiful of a ceremony. I’m even hoping for rain! God, I love that woman.

    I applaud how you invited people knowing that they may not agree with the “lifestyle.” We’re struggling (mostly me) on who to invite. I don’t want to send invitations to people who are going to make our beautiful day and ugly protest on marriage equality.

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