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Elisabeth: What Will We Remember?


Memories from Elisabeth's wedding

by Elisabeth Snell, Contributing Editor

Elisabeth: What Will We Remember? | A Practical WeddingElisabeth: What Will We Remember? | A Practical Wedding

What will we remember in the years to come of our wedding? When I think of it now I see it like a bell curve: the two of us, then dear friends that descended early to help set up, a larger crowd welcoming us on Friday night, and a great wave of love and support on Saturday. And then, after good-bye coffee the next morning, just us, again, in our little car, exhausted but elated, heading north. I’m still having a hard time articulating how extraordinary it was, but there are moments around the edges that are clear as day.

It was sprinkling as we left home on Saturday, but by the time we got to Union Square, the sun was streaming down into the subway station. We stopped by a flower stand at the farmers market to pick out a bouquet for me. “Are you getting married today? I’m getting married too!” A guy who looked like he’d had a bit of a rough night stood between the snapdragons and sunflowers, grinning, arms full of grasses and dried hydrangeas. We greeted each other like old friends—Congrats, you too, can you believe it, I know—and he was on his way uptown. “Married! Today! So many blessings, and you will have many children,” an older lady buying a dozen sunflowers admonished us. After that, K’s stomach got nervous, so we bought a gluten-free blueberry scone, which was about as good as it sounds, and made our way to our favorite cafe for one last espresso before the ceremony.

As we walked in, a New Yorker ran up to us and asked to send us a picture he’d caught through the glass as we stood outside. “I want you to have this, so you remember it always.” Of all the pictures of that glorious day, it’s my favorite. For how it felt to walk the streets of New York and see cabbies hanging out their car windows, honking their congratulations; to smile back at staring babies and smiling passerbys and realizing, much later, that we hadn’t heard a single homophobic comment on our way from home to St. Marks. Most of all, for the pure joy on K’s face.

When we got home that night, before heading to a local bourbon bar with close friends, K heaved a pan of fifteen leftover lobsters onto the kitchen counter with a satisfied sigh. What are we going to do with those, I said incredulously. Shell them and save them for later, she said, of course. She didn’t want to take off her finery because she said she’d never put it back on, so she put a hooded sweatsuit on over her custom suit, and I stripped down to bike shorts and a threadbare t-shirt from the late 90s, and our first activity as a married pair was shelling lobsters side by side. Laughing now and again, talking quietly. Remember when we walked into the garden after the ceremony, gripping hands, and turned the corner to see our Brooklyn friends beaming and an Old Town canoe in the middle of New York City waiting for us?

Elisabeth: What Will We Remember? | A Practical Wedding

The next afternoon on our way to the little upstate cottage, we stopped by a farm stand. We picked out tomatoes and garlic, and I grabbed basil from the overgrown plot outside, while K whipped up an impromptu basil-tomato-roasted garlic-lobster sauce over gluten-free pasta. We sat at the table that night, beaming at each other, marveling at our good fortune for the hundredth time. “I might dismount cry,” K admitted, still smiling, a little teary. I’d never tasted anything so good.

Photos from Elisabeth’s personal collection

Elisabeth Snell

Elisabeth is an MPH working in public health in New York City. Her old okcupid profile said she’s really good at: fixing socially awkward situations at parties, return trips to Ikea, whipping up excellent mac and cheese on camping trips, leaping into the ocean, being chronically late, and having Friday night adventures all over Brooklyn. In September 2013, she married her introverted, punctual K.

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  • One More Sara

    AH THE TEARS!!! love you guys :) may I also be so bold as to request an “after” post from K as well?? We heard a little bit about her complicated feelings about weddings/marriage before, and would love to hear a little more of her perspective after the wedding.

    CONGRATS AGAIN!! YAAAAAY

    • Elisabeth

      ooooo…That’s a GREAT idea. I’ll ask her if she’d be up for it!

  • js

    I was waiting for this! Yay! Congratulations, and I second the idea of an after post from K. Also, left over lobster FTW!

    I love the intimate moments in your relationship and how clearly you describe them. It makes me think of my own little moments of magic in my relationship and smile.

  • Teresa

    This was really lovely. One of my most favorite things about living in NYC is the random kindness and kinship of strangers. Many happy years to you both!

  • Rachel

    Unsurprisingly, I’m crying at my desk. (It was the part about the flower stand that did me in.)

    This was so beautiful, Elisabeth! I don’t have anything constructive to add so just…congratulations to you both.

    • Elisabeth

      Ah thanks you guys! The flower stand was one of the best parts of the WHOLE day.

  • http://nerdycare.blogspot.com SelkieKel

    So many CONGRATULATIONS!!

    Only the best possible wishes for you and K!

    Also, this: “For how it felt to walk the streets of New York and see cabbies hanging out their car windows, honking their congratulations; to smile back at staring babies and smiling passerbys and realizing, much later, that we hadn’t heard a single homophobic comment on our way from home to St. Marks. Most of all, for the pure joy on K’s face.” just made me sob at my desk. So beautiful for so so so many reasons.

  • NF

    Love this, and congratulations! I’d also like to make a request for a “What I/we remember” open thread….

  • Shiri

    Love this SO much! Congrats, you too!

    • Shiri

      Woah, I’m not awake. You two. Two. 2. T.W.O.

  • Stephanie

    I just have to say I LOVE your dress. Bettie Page, right??

    Also, yay! Married!

    • Laura C

      Agreed. Love the post, love the dress.

      • Elisabeth

        Yes! Bettie Page, from Modcloth. It is the I found this after that epic dress search and wanted to tell you guys immediately, but somehow managed to hold off. There were a number of dresses I found that I loved, but when I tried this one at home we both were like “oh yes. That’s the one.” I will love and cherish it FOREVER.

    • http://www.lulamaespecialevents.com Meigh McPants

      I own that dress, and I was like “YAY, we are dress friends!” She looks gorgeous.

  • http://www.wrightremedy.blogspot.com Addie

    Ok so I’m going to be that girl. You, my friend, look beautiful in that dress. Good choice. And K looks particularly dashing in that bespoke suit.

    • Elisabeth

      DOESN’T SHE?!!!

  • Moe

    You guys, come on! I’m crying on the freakin’ train!

    Congratulations doesn’t quite express it, but it’s close. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

    I’m grinning and crying happy tears for you, Elisabeth! congratulations to you and K – your wedding day sounds perfectly happy and wonderful!

  • Nina

    Congratulations!!!
    Your writing is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing so many little magical moments with all of us. Wishing you and K all the best.

  • SJ

    Congratulations!!! Many blessings over and over!

  • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

    Joy and continued blessings to you both!

  • http://www.lulamaespecialevents.com Meigh McPants

    Super massive fantastic congratulations to you two!!! I have so enjoyed reading your journey. Your writing is wonderful, and I hope we’ll still hear from you!

  • ART

    <3 <3 <3! LOVE the canoe!

  • Sarah

    Dismount cry! Oh my goodness how perfect!

  • Blimunda

    Congratulations! I must say that going to a coffee shop for one last espresso with my partner before the ceremony is something I really want to do on my wedding day :)

    • Elisabeth

      I’ll write more about this, but having the morning to ourselves and going to all our favorite places before walking into the church, well. That will go down as the best Brooklyn-Manhattan commute of all time.

      • http://partialto.tumblr.com LIZ (SINCE 1982)

        Oh my god. Oh my god. Are you me?? This is EXACTLY what we did, and also, was the local bourbon bar Sycamore? Because that is also EXACTLY what we did (the next night, though). I can’t wait to see your piece on the epic commute – for us it was the single best decision we made, having that time to ourselves (well. And the city. Which was part of the point).

        Congratulations to you both, and best wishes for all your future adventures!

  • A Girl

    Congrats on your happy day!!! <3

  • meg

    Tears. And <3 New Yorkers.

  • Karen

    Tears, happy tears. Thank you so much for your writing.

  • Emily

    I’m so happy for both of you! You look so happy. :)

  • stefanie

    mazel tov! you both look gorgeous, and this post makes me so happy. wishing you lots of blissed out rest now!

  • http://butnothanks.blogspot.com NB

    Eeep! Hooray, hooray, a thousand times hooray!

    Elisabeth, this post, too, is such a delight: I feel like I’m peeking outside your florist windows, getting little happy-stranger-flutters of joy for you two. Big happy squeeze to you both!

  • Ella

    All the very, very best! So happy your day went off without a hitch! :) Cheers to many happy years together.

  • lady brett

    hooray!

  • CLAIREKFROMTHEUK

    I am what my family like to call ‘dead inside’ ie I NEVER cry at stuff on the interwebs but you got me.

    Congratulations, I truly hope that you two people whom I have never met and never will, remain as happy together as you are now.

    Claire xox

  • http://newcomfortfood.wordpress.com JenMcC

    So many congratulations!!! What a wonderful post. I love the little moments, the random things you remember – they are somehow the most special, maybe because they are so personal. You share them so beautifully. I’m totally tearing up.

  • sallie.beth

    Happy Blessings to you both! And I freakin love your dress.

  • Mandylou

    I feel like I know you, after reading all your posts tonight. I am a 50 y.o. second time bride to be. I struggle with similar body issues and desires to be together and separate from my love, who is as different from me as your K is from you. This particular post made me cry, why? Because you did such a wonderful job of making the most important thing, the most important thing. On our wedding weekend in June (surrounded by the love of my two mouthy, his three rather meticulous grown children, their spouses and the three small but rowdy grandchildren), I will spend the weekend wrestling to the ground my need to manage things, so that Dave and I can remember similar things: walking hand in hand, laughing, taking our time, sharing a task side by side. Congratulations on doing it lovingly, with your hearts and minds in the best place. I hope we do it half as well.

    • Mandylou

      teens. LOL mouthy teens.