The Mad Gay Wedding

Today I bring you…. drumroll please…. the first gay male wedding I’ve ever had on this blog. Please excuse me while I skip around the house a little bit with glee.

Ok, back. So what to say about this wedding? It’s been wonderful getting to know Luis of The Mad Gay Wedding a little bit over the past few months. His wedding is beautiful and his words are so wise that they gave me little chills as I read them. I’m also thrilled to share a wedding that is a little more diverse on this blog. When I first asked Luis to write a wedding graduate post, he was worried that a wedding at Disneyland where Mickey and Minnie came to the wedding wasn’t ‘practical.’ Well, yes, it is. Luis and Mike were sane, grounded, and true to themselves, and *that* is what I care the most about. So, on that note, lets hear it for wedding diversity:Just a few weeks before Mike proposed to me we had started discussing moving in together and becoming domestic partners. We had discussed going down to the county recorder’s office and doing the deed, and afterward having a small party at one of our favorite restaurants, an intimate gathering with a few of our close friends. When Michael proposed all that went out the window.

Don’t get me wrong, the restaurant idea would have made an amazing and intimate wedding, but this was our chance to have the wedding we had never dreamed of but suddenly wanted so much. We were going to have a big-honking wedding at the happiest place on earth. Michael suggested we have it there since my family loves Disneyland and he claims my mother, my sister and I were ogling a display for Disney Fairy Tale Weddings at Disney’s Grand Californian hotel on Mother’s Day of last year.Were we ogling? Probably.

We set the date for a year later, and I started planning like a crazy man. Reading through more blogs than I can remember (which is how I came to find and love this blog) I quickly realized that there were not a lot of gay men out there getting married and blogging about it. I found a few lesbian weddings, but hardly any men, so I decided to start my own blog. I was really good about updating regularly until prop 8 passed in California, and then I was really depressed for a long time and wedding blogging fell to the wayside. Fortunately we had the good sense to get legally married nearly a year before the wedding, not because I wanted to but because we had to be prepared for the worst.

There are a whole lot of great things about being gay, one of them being that since you’re already out of the mainstream there’s not a lot less pressure to conform to custom. This meant that any traditions we didn’t like, we didn’t have. No one had to give either of us away so we walked down the aisle together to Rhapsody in Blue, Michael’s favorite song. We did have wedding parties because that’s one tradition I particularly love. My peeps were all women and Mike’s were all men. It just happens that my best friends, a group I am lucky to include my sister in, happen to be women; Mike has less female friends and four brothers. We switched sides so that during the ceremony I was on the right with the ladies, lest anyone get the impression I was trying to be a bride, which I was not.We each had different things that were important to us. Great photography for me and real music for Mike (as in being produced by instruments). It was also important to Mike that I not be a stress case the day of our wedding. He strongly campaigned against my idea of doing our own flowers. He wanted a wedding day and a pre-wedding day where we did the least amount of things possible, and believe me there were still enough hiccups to keep us on our toes.

I come from a family were we grew up without a lot of money. We became crafty by necessity. When we throw parties we do everything ourselves, from baking a cake, to decorating, to cooking and clean-up. When we have these parties I am an insufferable stress case (at times). It’s a good stress though, it’s a stress I thoroughly enjoy, running around like a madman trying to do everything at once and making sure everyone is having good time and maybe occasionally snapping at my poor husband. Mike very sincerely asked me to not be that person on our wedding day, so I agreed we should hire a florist.The hardest part for me at the beginning of the planning process was spending money. It’s not that we couldn’t afford to, it’s just that I’m not used to it. It took me a long while to get comfortable with the idea of spending that much money on anything, but I think I have made progress. Some time in the next few years I hope to buy a car with power windows.

Just because you’re spending a lot of money though, it doesn’t mean practicality goes out the window. We saved money wherever we could, and we made sure that we were getting the most for the money we did spend. I looked at a lot of florists, and for the quality of the work and amount of things we got for our money our florist was definitely the best.

Also we found a photographer who was not in the budget category, at least not at first glance, but who shot film and gave us all the negatives and also provided digital scans of all the film. Having control of our pictures was important to me as I plan to design our own wedding album.

We provided our own wine and champagne to our guests and only paid the corkage fee for bottles that were opened, and only had an open bar during the cocktail hour. We chose dresses the girls could wear again. And not the way you can wear all those other bridesmaid dresses again. They were black silk dresses from J. Crew. The quality was great, and from what I hear tell you female people always need a little black dress. The bright colored sashes and shawls were made by mom.

I took on a lot of DIY projects, but only because I really enjoy them. We made our own invitations and assembled them with the help of friends. Same deal with our Mickey head program fans. I also hand painted our ring box because I wanted something other than a pillow we could use to pass the rings around during the ring warming ceremony.

Then again some of the things we did were totally impractical, like having Mickey and Minnie come to our reception. It was worth the cost to see a room full of adults regress to their childhood. Sometimes a little impracticality is called for.Just one piece of advice? I’m much too opinionated for that, instead lots of quick pieces of advice.

1. Pay for it yourself.
2. Be true to yourself. if you’re not crafty don’t torture yourself.
3. Perfection is not an attainable goal. Fun is attainable. Simple is attainable. Elegant is attainable.
4. This is not your day. It takes two to get married, and also any guests you may have. The day belongs to all of you. Make it special for everyone.
5. Don’t break tradition just for the sake of breaking tradition. Be a rebel with a cause.
Three months after the wedding I’m still on a high from all the love people brought to us that day. It was a celebration that mirrored us. A group of so many people important to us will probably not gather again until the last party that ever gets thrown for anybody, but we probably won’t remember that one. That is the magic of a wedding.
Cheers to you both. Not only am I wishing you many, many happy years together, I’m hoping that one day soon our marriages and our relationships will be judged as equal under the law. Until then, here is to the fight for love!

Now go read much more about this wedding on The Mad Gay Wedding. Enjoy!!

Pictures by SkyeBlu Photography

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  • Sara H

    AMEN to #3: Perfection is not attainable…. I know myself, and I know I am a perfectionist, but this wedding process also helped me to try and overcome some of my own character flaws. I said try … and I am still a perfectionist after all is said and done, but hopefully a little less extreme than I was before. Congratulations!

  • Oh this was just wonderful to read. Congratulations to you both, and it sounds like you did it exactly as you wanted and needed to. It looks like you had a beautiful wedding.

    And I'd like to also say amen x 190823048 to this: "Perfection is not an attainable goal. Fun is attainable. Simple is attainable. Elegant is attainable."

  • Wow! Lovely. And such a sweet and honest wedding. I wish them all the joy in the world.

  • Kirst

    So amazing! Love the fun and the joy in this wedding. So much good advice too – I can hardly process it! Congratulations to you both, and here's to many happy years together.

  • TNM

    Love the advice. Particularly the "if you're not crafty don't torture yourself," as that is, ahem, very personally relevant… And love Minnie & Micky – even though I'm not a big vistor of Disneyland, I think every wedding should have a couple huge stuffed mascots in attendance!

  • Beautiful (and fun!) wedding, beautiful photos, and perfect advice. I wish you both all the joy and the world, and await the day when everyone's weddings are equally recognized under the law.

  • Rachel

    I really liked this bit of advice: "4. This is not your day. It takes two to get married, and also any guests you may have. The day belongs to all of you. Make it special for everyone."

    It is our day and celebration of our love, but we wouldn't be who we are without our family and friends who love us and have helped us on this crazy journey. While I won't give in completely to our families (no church wedding for us) I'm trying to tone down some of my other ideas that make our moms a bit nervous. (But only a bit!)

    Beautiful post and beautiful wedding! Congratulations!! I hope that gays and lesbians across the country will be able to have the same rights soon.

    ps As someone who just took a stack of awful bridesmaid dresses that the bride promised me I could wear again to Goodwill, thank you for being kind to your girls!

  • Congratulations! Beautiful wedding and very beautifully (and wisely) written post. Thank you!

  • K

    A lovely post and it seems to have been a very fun and bright wedding. Congratulations to you both! ♼

  • What a great post. Congratulations to you both! I loved piece of advice #4! It's so true. I don't want to lose sight of that in all the crazy planning.

    Love the cake, by the way!!!

  • Oh, thank you for #2, Luis! I had a hard time not judging myself for my failure to hand-craft 7,000 "tiny personal details" for our wedding — but we're just not crafty, end of story. And my husband also refused to tackle any projects that were going to turn us into stress balls the weekend of the wedding (specifically, we ended up rejecting the idea of making our own centerpieces).

    Your wedding looks so beautiful, and so much fun!

  • What a beautiful wedding full of thoughtful touches! Thank you so much for sharing it Meg!

  • Oh dear me. I used to follow Luis's blog, then seemed to lose it somewhere along the way. I'm so glad you posted this. I got all teary. So wonderful, so beautiful, so much love. And me oh my mickey and minnie!

  • Lori

    My God.

    That was one of the best wedding posts I've ever read. It's rare for me to agree 100%, but I agreed with Luis 100%! And I related to him.

    And the picture of them walking down the aisle brought tears to my eyes. A picture is worth a thousand words.

  • Lori

    I also agree with Rachel. This part of the post is right on . . .

    "This is not your day. It takes two to get married, and also any guests you may have. The day belongs to all of you. Make it special for everyone."

    I wish more couples truly felt this way.

  • Oh. my. gosh. I love love LOVE it! How perfect…. and for me, it's even better that it happened at the happiest place on earth!

  • Meg

    Ok, I'm chiming in, because no one has said this. Luis, #5 is my favorite, and no one ever says that. I'm all for messing with tradition if you are being smart about it. If you're just doing it to do it, blahhh.

  • grin.

  • Thank you so so much for sharing your wedding with us, Luis! It looked beautiful and your words were so perfect. The advice you shared is exactly what I would tell engaged couples if I could have articulated it. Especially #4. I can't tell you how many times my husband and I had to come back to the concept that this was not just 'our' wedding. If it were that, we'd have eloped somewhere.

    So thank you!

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    What a beautiful, heart warming, grin making, giggle inducing wedding.

    Congratulations to you both, I'm so so thrilled that it all came together so beautifully and that you decided to share it with us!

    (and Mickey and Minnie? Too effing cool)

  • Thank you everyone for all your happy thoughts! I was more than happy to do this for Meg, this blog is such a great place for people to come together and focus on the things that are really important in weddings. I love being part of the graduate series, it is such a diverse group, and every wedding and couple a beautiful one.

    It's because of people like all of you that someday everyone in this country will have all the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage. I'm often most touched by the couples who have a wedding that our government won't recognize, because they recognize that the real power of a wedding isn't in the marriage certificate, it is in the support and love of our friends and family.

  • April

    Oh, what a lovely, fun and perfect graduation recap to read!

    I'm smiling from ear to ear.

    And I seriously LOVE LOVE LOVE that Mickey and Minnie were at the wedding. OMG. LOVE!


  • Love your post. Amazing wedding pictures!

  • Lori

    Agree with Meg that #5 was also something that needed to be said.

    In my excitement at how great the post was, I forgot to mention that one, although it impressed me at the time.

  • Cate Subrosa

    Don't break tradition just for the sake of breaking tradition. Be a rebel with a cause.

    Loved that line. Congratulations, guys.

  • I adore this wedding! I have never had the opportunity to work on a same-sex celebration and if it was anything like this it would be amazing! Love, Love, Love everything!

  • What a sweet and lovely couple…thank for posting this amazing wedding.

  • Moz

    I think that bit at the end is one of the reasons we obsess over weddings so much. Because it is a big party we everyone we love and we want to make it count.

    It’s so beautiful though and I love the idea of having Mickey and Minnie at a weddings! In any case, congrats on the marriage xx

  • Jessie

    I’m late to the game, I know. BUT, my goodness, this wedding made me so happy. One, it’s beautiful. Two, it displays that love is love, and we all want the same things in the end: for our love to be recognized with those we love the most.

    Congratulations to you both. I couldn’t be happier that I stumbled on this post.

  • Dragon

    Luis, I just went to your blog. Your wedding was stunning (and fun and elegant!). Thank you so much for sharing it here. My wife and I are planning a reception in our home state and hope that someday our relationship will be recognized here. All the best to you!

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