A Colorado City Hall Wedding

Complete with rocking fauxhawk

Cherie, Physical Therapist & Large, Education Administrator

Photographer: Harper Point

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: “I don’t know, a day of bliss? There was bliss.” — Large

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My partner and I are simple and budget-conscious. We bought a fixer-upper home recently, and felt that city hall would be a practical wedding for us. (Did you see what I did there?) I think I hoped the bureaucracy would dilute the pressure and romance, seeing as how this wasn’t the first wedding rodeo for either of us. City hall can be the WIC equivalent of a hair shirt gown and ashes blush, and feel free to self-flagellate with that bitty birdcage veil. (I’m not knocking the birdcage. I wanted one, but it didn’t complement the fauxhawk.) But I was sorely mistaken about the bureaucratic dilution factor. Despite my grim determination to have a low-key day, we couldn’t stop smiling. As it turned out, swearing in at a government counter was exhilarating, and ultimately I grasped that it’s more about the partner than the venue. Emotions for the win. I thought I’d just know how to make the Sexy Face at our amazing photographer. But I have resting bitchface and the truth is, I can’t do Sexy Face unless I’m seducing myself in the bathroom mirror. We fell out laughing instead of mastering the American Gothic photo trend—we look better smiling anyway. Tip: if you want the Sexy Face photos, practice. I drove myself a little nuts looking for a simple-but-special city hall dress. Bridal store consultants talked me into lovely poofy numbers I specifically did not want. Ironically, the perfect dress was already in my closet. I got it for a friend’s wedding, but never wore it because I felt it had too much white. If you’re going the casual route, you might want to check your closet first. We are de facto orphans, so I wanted to give our post-city hall walk a communal reception vibe. We rode a bus, visited favorite landmarks, and tossed a bouquet. I got the idea to throw flowers at strangers from a joke someone made here on APW—in fact, it’s the only reason I made a bouquet. I personally dislike the toss tradition, but it wasn’t about All the Single Ladies; we wanted to celebrate wedding conventions with folks around town. We met some awesome women, who totally went for the bouquet, for complete strangers. I was touched. We ordered Large’s wedding band from a disappointingly late etsy seller. (It didn’t arrive for another six weeks.) I wasn’t going to wear my band that day unless he had one too, arguing that it would make me feel like chattel. He protested, rightfully so: it wasn’t a sinister patriarchy plot that his ring was missing. So we used a leather strap for a stand-in. It encapsulated the day: off the cuff, happy. We’re legally married, but we still have the community celebration to organize: a mountain getaway for 20, with incidental handfasting. I picked up a wedding magazine the other day, and all I felt was relief—those voluble to-do lists just don’t apply. We’re not planning a wedding, just a weekend, and Costco will be our primary vendor. Our biggest concerns will be choosing the craft beer and renting a big enough home. I’ll probably get Type A about it (making individually knitted beer cozies so people can ID their drinks all weekend… I feel strongly about this) but city hall was a lesson for me. Bobby McFerrin was right.

FAVORITE THING ABOUT THE WEDDING

Cherie: Being Type A, I believed that our wedding would be a legit bummer without painstaking Pinterestesque details and event planning. Plus, no one would want to come to our little Friday lunch, so the day would be intimate and calm. In actuality, it moved with a life of it’s own, from brewery lunch to billiards tourney to fancy dinner to lively bar. Folks rolled with us for 12 hours, yet not a single paper flower was folded. Your people love you, not the centerpieces.

Large: The courthouse. Playing pool and laughing with everyone. Dinner. We stayed in a hotel that night, so we had cable. In the morning, Cherie crawled over me looking for the remote so she could watch Sportscenter.

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