Finally, Up The Steps To City Hall


by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

We 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.And 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. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com. #NASTY

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  • From one person A to another, congratulations :)

  • 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!!

  • Congrats for your licence ! ;-)

  • Perfect!

  • 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!

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

  • Desaray

    person A's unite!

  • Dear Meg, I love you.

  • 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?

  • 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!

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

    LOVE!

  • Here's a vote for person A!

  • Meg

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

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

  • That is awesome. Hooray for you, Person A.

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

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

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

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

  • Cate Subrosa

    Nicely done, person A.

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

  • This is fanstastic!

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

  • great post.
    signed, person b.

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

  • Aw. I love you.

  • Abby

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

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

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

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

    (Congratulations, Meglet, and happies to you.)

  • 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.

  • 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. :)

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

  • K

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

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

  • Meg

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

  • 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 ;)

  • that's great.. congratulations :)

  • Way to make a statement! :-)

  • Wonderful post!! Yay for you!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

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

  • 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!!!

  • 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!).

  • 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.

  • Congrats!
    I love San Francisco ::Sigh::

  • 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!

  • 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!

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

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

  • 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.