And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Leanne and Anne’s wedding (half) graduate post. The ladies (as we’ve taken to calling them around these parts), are getting married in just three weeks in Philadelphia, and they’ll come back with the end of the story then. But for now, they talk about the personal and political nature of Yay New York, what it felt like, what they learned, and what they have to say to you, the APW community. You might want to get out your tissues. But what I have to say to Leanne and Anne is simple: thank you for trusting us. They took a leap of blind faith; we told them the wedding would be amazing, they just had to show up. Not many people would put such an important moment in our hands like that, but they did, and I’m still overwhelmed by the honor. Photos are by the amazing calin + bisous photo (APW Sponsor) out of Boston, who along with her husband Alessandro, outdid herself. Enjoy.
Now that we’re into our first whole week of married life, we’ve had a chance to reflect on what we are calling our first wedding, but which many of you know as Yay New York! Our experience of this day has been so hard to put into words because it was such a multilayered day. Emotions, politics, family, legalities, rings, community, confetti, logistics, history, promises, and the love that we have for each other and felt from every person in that room and every person who was following along on APW were all layered up on top of each other like that beautiful, delicious cake that was made with such care for us by a person we’d never met. This has been very difficult for us to write, but we are going to try to sum up our experience for you.
Our day started off rocky. Our bus from Philadelphia to New York was late due to a turnpike accident, and while we waited we were drenched in a torrential downpour. Our suitcases, including our fancy wedding clothes were soaked, and so were we as we sat on a freezing cold bus for the two hour drive to New York.
We were anxious to be starting our wedding day late and soggy, but we made it to our hotel with just enough time to take a hot shower and blow dry our clothes. (Our weekend didn’t end any more glamorously, as we were run out of town by Irene who ended the mini-moon early with evacuations and public transportation shut downs instead of a nice dinner and a Broadway show.) When we arrived at 320 Studios with our families, it was a whirlwind of activity—flowers, cameras, people who were familiar and strangers all at once, piñatas, string trios, cake, aisles to walk down, excited family, introductions, rainy day light streaming through the windows, marriage licenses to sign. It was all so much to take in, and it still is.
I don’t think that the impact of last Thursday really hit us until it was over, and it sinks in a bit more each day. Now that the excitement has settled, we are starting to appreciate the scope of what happened. We had a general sense of the forecast and what to expect—walk down an aisle, say a vow, exchange some rings, and you’re married! That’s it! People have been married for centuries, weddings happen every day. But this was no typical wedding. We had no hand in planning it—we’ve been talking over every detail of our Philly wedding. We had no idea how beautiful the space would be, that we’d walk down an aisle hand in hand while a string trio played, what it would be like to see Anne’s mom happily ring bells as we were pronounced married by our officiant—these were all surprises for us however well planned and thought out they were by those carrying them out.
Our wedding was atypical, too, because we were going to be married not once, like most people aim to do, but twice! Last Thursday was our first wedding in New York to make it legal, and on September 25th we’ll have our second wedding in Philadelphia with our families to seal it with love. We knew that our New York wedding would have a major impact on us because of the legal contract we’d be entering with each other. It had an impact because rather than it being a private event shared with just our closest friends and families, we were experiencing it in the moment with all of you. But the biggest impact of what we did was that we made history—our own personal history, APW history, New York history, and gay rights history.
To be married in New York was exciting and deeply satisfying in a way we didn’t anticipate. Our legal wedding has brought with it a profound sense of gratitude and gravity. At the same time, however, it left us feeling a little hollow because we know that the commitment we made to each other last week is not honored throughout our country, nor in our home state. We live two short hours away from New York, but here in Pennsylvania we’re a lot farther away from marriage equality.
Continue reading Wedding (Half) Grads: Leanne & Anne