Christina & Meighan, Part I

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

Today’s wedding graduate post is from two long time APW readers, and it comes in two parts. The first part is from Christina (the brunette in the lace dress). It deals with profound issues like: figuring out you want to get married in the first place; realizing you’re worthy of all of it; pretty dresses; a party; receiving the love of your community. It’s a must-read for all of us, wedding planning or not, as we struggle through owning our fabulous selves. Add to that, the wedding was shot by Kelly Prizel Photography (more on that in Meighan’s Part II) and is shockingly lovely. And now, Christina:

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

I struggled for a long, long time with the idea of getting married. Actually, that’s not true. I always figured I would get married eventually; I just never thought it would be to a woman. And then I fell in love with one.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

And without realizing it, she set about wrecking all of the preconceived notions and bullshit I had built up about myself. We moved in to a fourth floor walk-up in the city and six months later, we had lived to tell the tale, so we talked about weddings. I didn’t see the need. My family thought of us as married, gay marriage wasn’t government sanctioned, and weddings are expensive. My work considered us domestic partners, we had joint checking and a lease, and we were partners, set, done. We would continue on as we were until federal law recognized all marriages, then we’d have a fabulous wedding. We already had two anniversaries (long story), why add a third? What’s the point?

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

The point was that it made a difference to her. Unbeknownst to me, she had been looking at rings and was testing the waters about popping the question. That talk was long and awkward and emotional and we left it with our relationship in good standing, but I needed to think about us and our relationship and if (not when) I was ready, to propose.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

So, I thought about it for a good six months. And then we went ring shopping. And then I proposed, and then we started talking about weddings. And I got uncomfortable very quickly. It took me a long time to figure out why I had this resistance to having a big party with all of the trimmings of a wedding, but when I did, it was kind of life changing. When it boiled down to it, I couldn’t help but feel that because our partnership was different because we were two chicks, somehow we were not as good or deserving as all the straight couples. That because we didn’t have the blessings of the federal government to file joint taxes, because there was this big debate, because people felt the need to label gay marriage as shameful and wrong, we were somehow “less than” everybody else. When I realized that my negative voices were an internalization of homophobia as spewed by the RNC and Fox News, I put my should-monster to rest. Mostly.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

Shopping for my wedding dress was another life-changing experience. I know that sounds ludicrous, but it’s true. I’ve been at war with myself about my body since I was 13. That’s 17 years of self-destruction, including times where I yelled at myself for not loving myself more. When dress shopping came around, I didn’t want to think about how I wanted to look because in the end, I knew I’d look fat. So who cares? Buy the polyester satin off the shoulder dress with side ruching. Whatever. Done.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

But I kept looking at this one picture I found of a lace mermaid dress and wanting it. Even after an unfortunate trip to New York to be filmed for Say Yes to the Dress with the fiancée, bridesmaids and both sets of parents.* I put down a deposit on a dress that looked fine, showed the pictures to friends and was kind of excited. But I still found myself stroking the picture of that other dress, talking about it with Meigh and wishing I wasn’t such a giant heifer and could wear it.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

I kept telling myself that because I was so fat, ugly, unfortunate, etc… the dress I wanted wouldn’t look good on me. And then I tried it on. And I liked it. And I realized that I didn’t have to be 80 pounds lighter, 3 inches taller, smarter, more articulate, etc… to have what I wanted. I could just be me. I felt something uncurl inside me when I let myself have it. It was freeing. It was not the magical cure all for body image issues, but it helped me change the way I viewed myself. For once, I didn’t let my dress size exist as a punishment. It was just my dress size. Even with the $250 plus size charge.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

Meigh’s dad has a great quote: It’s not an ordeal, it’s an adventure. And this wedding sure was a hell of an adventure. I work in theatre fundraising, so I’m used to running around behind the scenes Getting Shit Done. When you DIT a lot of your own wedding, that’s not possible. I had a moment in the planning where I realized that no, I wouldn’t be able to turn around the speakers in between the ceremony and the cocktail hour because I’d be a) in a wedding gown and b) taking couples portraits. Having to let go of that aspect and assign tasks to friends and family was hard. I tend to take things on myself rather than impose on others, but it’s amazing to realize that you can’t because it’s YOUR MOTHERF*CKING WEDDING and that your friends and family are more than willing to roll up their sleeves and join in.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

It’d be really easy to look back on the actual wedding day and just see the things that went wrong. Our catering manager no showed due to an issue at an earlier wedding and sent a pastry chef to manage our day instead. As a result, we ran way behind and half of the crafts Meigh had meticulously worked on for months were left out. The seating arrangements dissolved into chaos. The divine Kelly Prizel made info cards for the guests, and I had a great place to distribute them—which I neglected to mention to her or the friends we had decorating. My father-in-law decided to hand out cigars just as we were about to start toasts, putting us even further behind.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

And then there was the weather. If you asked younger me what I thought my wedding would look like, I wouldn’t have any idea except outside under a tree. And the fabulous venue we found had a gorgeous garden and a beautiful tree that would be just perfect. Except for the part when it spent all Friday and Saturday afternoon misting rain. I was so, so upset. And then, as Meigh so perfectly put it, “Screw it. If it rains, it rains. We’ll do couples shots in rainboots and it’ll be adorable.” We got married in the tent. And it was OK. It was still OK when the skies opened up at 9pm, and when the thunder and lightning started at 10, though packing out a wedding in a thunderstorm leads to some seriously damp goods the next day.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

My mantra for the wedding day was simply “Enjoy this,” and I have to use it when looking back. Yes, all of those things happened. Yes, it was upsetting. Yes, I wish a lot of things had happened differently, that I had hemmed my dress higher, that the signage for the photobooth was better, that I’d picked better shoes. I made a conscious choice to roll with whatever happened. This was my wedding and I had more important ways to spend my emotional energy than being upset that something I was promised wasn’t delivered. Getting caught up in the things that go awry means that you miss the fabulous things. Like my parents dancing to “Sexy Back” or being gifted a gorgeous quilt made by Meigh’s maternal family or my introverted brother busting several moves on the dance floor or watching our guests interact.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

Because a wedding isn’t about the things or the food, it’s about the people. There’s something truly inspiring in looking at a tent full of people and realizing just how many people have come together to celebrate your relationship. And that your relationship is worth celebrating! People from every aspect of your life and your fiancee’s life have made a sacrifice of some kind to be there to see it.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

But there are those who aren’t there. I spent our RSVP process slowly realizing that all of the people who gushed over how excited they were for our wedding and how much they were looking forward to it were not, in fact, coming. Some reasons were been perfectly valid (couldn’t get time off of work, family emergencies) and some… could have been phrased more sensitively. We’ve got friends and family scattered all over the country, and I understood that not everyone can make the commute or put up for a hotel room, but as more and more of the “no’s” came in, it got harder and harder not to take it personally. And, you know, I know the whys. But still. It hurt. And it’s hard not to read your own reasons into why someone’s not going to be there. But in the end, I had to realize that, as APW so perfectly puts it, your friends and family don’t stop being themselves for your wedding. If anything, it highlights their best and worst qualities. And that’s why you love them. They are, for better or worse, themselves.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

And you, for better, worse and weddings in a thunderstorm, are you. And that’s why they love you.

Gay Maryland Outdoor Wedding

Pictures by Kelly Prizel Photography

* The less said about the SYttD filming, the better. They never aired our footage, which was the best present TLC could give me. Ladies, reality TV shouldn’t be a part of your wedding.

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  • Where to start… Congratulations to both of you!
    I am glad you went for the lace dress, you look beautiful, and so happy, you shine.
    And then this: “Because a wedding isn’t about the things or the food, it’s about the people”. Yup… that’s how it feels.

    • the first thing i thought when i saw the pictures? the lace dress is incredible. it looks like it was made just for you.

      • My first though when I opened this post was, “I love how it is so damn normal to open up a wedding website and see a gay marriage.” It should be just this way, always, with everything. I love that on APW, that is normal. And maybe it shall redefine everywhere else!

        My second thought was: “That lace dress–KILLER.” And when you wrote about it, Christina, it made me want to weep. You wearing that dress made MY day, all these days after your wedding, all these miles away. Long distance high-five for bravery. And sexy!

        And now I’m going to read about putting the “should monsters to rest.” Because I believe I have some of those that are very, very tired.

        • OH! Of course it has to do with the Shame Blasters…pew! Pew! pew! (Still makes me giggle.)

  • Esme

    Where is the lace dress from it is GORGEOUS. And you look gorgeous in it. And I completely echo the words on RSVPs. You know why, but you can’t help your reaction. Lovely xx

    • Esme, it is Jim Hjelm 8663. I LOVE IT. I want to wear it to the grocery store.

      • Manya

        Ha! Awesome!

        I love my dress too… I want to wear it to the grocery store. I just dropped it off at the dry cleaners 2 hours ago, and I stroked it and thought about where I might be able to wear it again. I think I’ll put it on from time to time just to remember….

        I also had a little short dress I changed into, which I also LOVED. I’m going to dye that one navy blue and TOTALLY WEAR IT AGAIN.

        Both of you look incredibly beautiful and happy. Congratulations!

        • Julia

          That dress is everything I have been looking for. You look just stunning.

          • Girl’s got sweet curves, no?

      • Robyn

        Oh man! As soon as I saw this post I immediately scoured the internet looking for that dress (not knowing the designer) and found the Jim Hjelm 8663. LOVE IT but so out of my budget… wondering if I should take a gamble on a China-direct factory where I could get a knockoff for $200…

        • There’s always preownedweddingdresses and oncewed!

          Also, I feel you on the budget. That was the most money I’ve spent on anything in my entire life. I still have some residual guilt about it, but it was totally worth it.

          • Edelweiss

            I’m shame-blasting your guilt. The journey you went to in order to realize you were WORTH this wedding and WORTH this dress will impact you the rest of your life.
            I’m also not a fan of big bucks for wedding dresses, but I don’t believe in absolutes. I think in your case it’s not the dress (which was lovely!) it’s the symbol and the journey to your dress. That adventure was priceless and worth more than most anything else you could have done with that money.

        • I got my dress from China! Helene Bridal…mine was awesome. I only had good things to say about them!

      • Aine

        You should wear it again. It is just absolutely breathtaking! I also love the shot of you two coming back down the aisle with the bows on your dresses mirroring each other- was that on purpose? It looks amazing.

        Also- zomg tandem bouquet toss!

        I kind of wish I was at your wedding- it looks like so much fun, and you both look so amazed and happy.

        • The bows were very much unintentional (Meigh had been thinking about taking hers off at one point) but we loved it. The hardest part about finding two dresses is that they don’t have to match but they have to go.

          • This amazing wedding grad post AND you just quoted Stacy and Clinton? You are my new best friend, Ms. McPants! :D

        • McPants

          “I kind of wish I was at your wedding- it looks like so much fun, and you both look so amazed and happy.”

          This is like the best possible compliment, thank you.

      • I used to wear my wedding dress every year on my anniversary. And whenever I needed a pick me up. And once to walk the dogs. Because. I. Could.

        Wedding dresses are clothes too. They need love just like the rest of your closet.

        • Molly

          Oh, my God, I would LOVE to see you walking down the street in your wedding dress, stopping to pick up your dog’s poop. Hilarious! Please tell me you wore your veil, too.

  • Casey

    Amen sista, to everything, everything, everything. This is a beautiful post.

  • Ariel

    SO BEAUTIFUL. Thank you.

  • starkville

    I *LOVE* the animated expressions in all your photos. It really cracks me up for some reason.

  • What a beautiful wedding, you both look lovely. So sorry you had to deal with hurtful reactions – roll on the day when we have a level playing field and all our relationships have the same value and standing in the eyes of society.

  • Cat

    “I couldn’t help but feel that because our partnership was different because we were two chicks, somehow we were not as good or deserving as all the straight couples.”

    Ugh. This was a huge, huge part of the first three years of our relationship. I even said no to three proposals (though I never mentioned that reason out loud until I eventually realised it was ridiculous and said yes).

    Absolutely gorgeous, also. I love everything.

  • Thank you for this post! So much of it rings true for me. I’m dreading shopping for a dress for the same reasons, and I’m struggling in the aftermath of learning that my aunt is refusing to attend because of her beliefs. It is so encouraging to see how happy you and your wife are, and that you came out the other side. Congratulations!!

    • McPants

      Meigh here, and Diana, I totally feel you. I had family members that chose not to attend the wedding, and have since decided they don’t want to see me/us. But I have to tell you it made time with the family members that did come so much more special. You won’t be worried about who’s not there, just all the love of the people who are.

  • Kayakgirl73

    Beautiful. Your venue looked beautiful, was it a historic property? Ugh rain, we had rain too, washed out our outside pictures with us together and us with the wedding party. We do have some individual outside shots. I didn’t have rain boots, wished I did. Good idea to have them and a decent umbrella on hand. Although you can’t plan for every contingency, I’m still working on that. I tend to plan too much and worry and forget to enjoy myself or to just run with it.

    Both of your flowers, are amazing.

    • We got married at Woodlawn Manor in Sandy Spring, MD. It’s an historic property run by Montgomery County. It was super affordable, comes with a caterer kitchen and a tent and everyone there was really, really nice. Highly recommend them.

      It’s also right next to where the Maryland Park Police keep their horses, so we definitely got wedding portraits with PONIES!

    • And I forgot to mention, flowers were done by us, mainly Meigh and my aunt, the Friday before and they turned out AMAZING.

      • JEM

        Flowers look amazing and definite yay for pony pics!

      • Kayakgirl73

        Wow. Talent.

  • Kai

    Thank you for this! It’s really heartening to know others are thinking those same self-defeating thoughts. I keep getting stuck on the “why should we do this, it’s not even legal, people are going to ask me why we’re bothering to get married” thought-circle. It’s ridiculous, because that question would never bother me if I were in the exact same circumstance with the opposite sex.
    Did your family ever voice those same concerns? If so, how did you deal with it? I feel like we have to have this arsenal of Really Good Reasons to get married to answer all those people saying, “but why?”
    Beautiful photos – you make that dress look gorgeous. :)

    • Kai, I didn’t really have those issues with my family. Immediately upon moving in with Meigh, I had family ask me how married life was treating me. When I told my mother that I was going to propose to Meigh, she was surprised, because to her, for all intents and purposes we were married. Which is so funny, because that was basically my reaction and Meigh’s reaction of “no, we’re not married until we have a ceremony” was the exact same as her mom’s.

      I don’t presume to know how your family works, but on the occasions I’ve had to deal with the occasionally insensitive passerby who’s asked “but why,” I’ve just responded “because we love each other.”

    • Lethe

      I might answer – “well why did YOU get married?” Cause like, MAYBE they’d say “for the social security benefits,” but….more likely they know it was about much more than that. :)

      • McPants

        And since we can’t even get most of the gov’t benefits, doesn’t that mean we’re that much *more* serious? :)

    • Sarah

      Jen and I had the same fears. It took a long time to get over it. And really – who has a wedding for the government benefits? Yes, people get married just for the benefits, but that’s not really what *weddings* are about. I was ready to point that out to anyone who asked… but then no one actually cared. They were just happy for us. Sometimes people surprise you.

  • Gimme some of that amazing-looking cake!!

    Also Christina, I hope you are okay with the fact that I’m taking your wife’s picture to my hairstylist and saying “This – this is the color that you need to give me.”


  • Congratulations on your beautiful wedding – you both look stunning and so happy, the top two photos are perfect.

  • I cannot get enough of your expression in that second photo!! And this: “I felt something uncurl inside me when I let myself have it.” was beautiful. Thank you for this post!

    • I loved the facial expressions in ALL of the photos. Props to Kelly Prizel – so much emotion and detail.

      • Seriously, I do not have enough kind words about Kelly Prizel.

        • McPants

          Me either, she is beyond amazing. Although it was kind of startling to see my trying-not-to-cry-and-failing face as the first picture. :)

          • JJ

            Oh, Meigh, though, the one of you walking down the aisle…absolutely perfect.

  • First of all: congratulations!
    Second of all, if you hadn’t mentioned that some things went wrong I would have never guessed, everything looks so beautiful…and I loved the tent with the bounty flags! Really pretty. You looked gorgeous in your lace dress, and you all look happy (which I think is what matters in the end).

    • Edelweiss

      LOVE the flags!

      • Melissa of craftgasm

        Meigh made all the bunting herself; isn’t it amazing? I’m gonna go ahead and say she’s pretty effing fabulous. Also, she could probably make some for other people’s weddings. (I haven’t asked her this, but I’m going to pimp her out anyway because I firmly believe in her crazy crafting ability.)

  • Yay, Christina and Meigh! I am so happy for you guys and your wedding looks LOVELY.

  • ElfPuddle

    Thank you for getting the mermaid dress. You look beautiful. Here’s to the day when we curvy girls do not have anything to uncurl…because we’ve never been told we aren’t beautiful.

    Thank you for this. I needed it this morning.

  • “I realized that I didn’t have to be 80 pounds lighter, 3 inches taller, smarter, more articulate, etc… to have what I wanted.”

    OH YES! I wish I knew this on my wedding day. I kept thinking, “this would all be different if I was just a little thinner.” Which is ridiculous, because I was absolutely gorgeous.

  • You are my wedding guru! I seriously want to staple your sage wisdom to my forhead as a reminder. Thank You!! I constantly let self defeating thoughts weasle their way into my brain.

  • SeptBride

    Congratulations on such a great post! I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing your wedding plans develop at our DC meet-ups and am so happy to see you both looking so overjoyed and in love.

    First off, your dress is AMAZING! And you look absolutely phenomenal in it. I am terribly jealous because that is exactly the dress I wanted and it looked completely terrible on me. You absolutely rock it.

    Second, what in the world is with the way they hem dresses??!?!? My first piece of wedding advice is now “Get your dress hemmed an inch shorter than they tell you to.”

    Finally, on a more serious note – I feel you on the RSVP thing. My husband and I knew we wanted to have a relatively small wedding, but that just makes the “no” responses hurt more. Especially when a “yes” turns to a “no” unexpectedly, at the last minute, and will shady explanations. I agree with what Meg says and what you have so eloquently quoted, but it still hurts (even almost a year later, I am sad to admit). It hurts very deeply.

  • LPC

    Beautifully written. One of my favorite wedding posts of all.

  • Aaaaaaah so gorgeous! That dress looks 100% PERFECT on you, for reals. Talk about a relationship worth celebrating – you two should have a permanent sky-writer!

    I appreciate how well you narrate your (ongoing) journeys with body-acceptance, guest list disappointments and letting go of what “went wrong” on the wedding day. As another newlywed, I’m totes with you on all counts . . . and I’m so happy that you’re on your way!

  • Arya

    First off, what a beautiful wedding. Congrats to you both.

    Second, this post really got me crying, the part about the mermaid dress and not having to be 3 inches taller or several pounds lighter. I’ve been having a minor meltdown over trying to lose weight for my upcoming wedding…and seeing how beautiful you both look in your gowns (I am of a similar build) makes me realize that I can be just as beautiful at my current size as I would be thinner, and that I have nothing to be ashamed of. I can’t tell you what that means to me. You guys are so gorgeous!

    • McPants

      Massive hugs to you; you are going to be *gorgeous*!

      • Arya

        Thank you so much. :) I bet you will be/were/are right now, whatever state of the whole marriage thing you’re at, if you indeed want to get married.


    • Oh, I so feel you. Here’s the thing though and it’s a thing I struggle with every time I see my wedding photos – you can criticize how your body looks (though I’m sure you’ll be a knockout) or you can just see how happy you are (and I guarantee you’ll be happy).

      • Arya

        Yeah, I guess my biggest struggle is that I am just so uncomfortable at my current weight. I gained 30 lbs. back in the last couple of years and it has been really stubborn in getting off. And I made the mistake of buying a too-small dress off the rack. (Was only $168, thankfully…) but I have a backup purple dress that currently fits me, and if I get married in purple, well, so be it. Hahaha.

  • yayyy Christina & Meigh! I have been dying to read about your wedding, so excited we get a two-parter for this one. you both look absolutely gorgeous, and this post was so beautifully written.. ahhh. you are both coming to happy hour on 8/8 riiight? :) I think we need some high fives.

    another plug for the DC facebook group, if you haven’t joined please do! we are organizing a happy hour on 8/8.

    • McPants

      I’m pretty sure we’ll be there, but probably not until like 6:30. See you then!

      • JEM

        Whoo! Can’t wait for the HH!

  • “My mantra for the wedding day was simply ‘Enjoy this,’ and I have to use it when looking back.”

    You put words to my current relationship with my wedding right here. We really do have a lot of control over what and how we remember, don’t we?

  • This post makes my heart happy :) What wonderful things from dress shopping and embracing your own body to realizing that the wedding you had was perfect, though not how you imagined it!

  • Thank you so, so much for sharing. I’m a little too emotional to craft a coherent comment at the moment, but please know that I’ve been moved by your post and can’t wait to hear from your wife. Also, CONGRATULATIONS!

  • Thank you so much for sharing so deeply with all of us. I feel so lucky to be able to have wonderful wisdom like yours (and all the wedding graduates) coming to me every few days as we plan our wedding.

    P.S. You both look fabulous.

  • Sarah McNeil Weschler

    Ummmm is it a problem that I feel proud right now? I am so PROUD that 2 fabulous ladies from the DC-APW crew are just ballin’ outrageous and rocked the pants off of their wedding. I could gush all day over the pictures and how gorgeous and joyful you both look, but really I wanted to stop in here and say I’m just so happy for you both and CONGRATU-F*CKING-LATIONS! And Christina, this post is so eloquent, I didn’t want it to end! (Can’t wait for Meigh’s this afternoon :D)

  • JEM

    The first picture kills me every time I scroll by…tears welling right up in my eyes.

  • charm city vixen

    You both look absolutely beautiful… seriously, more beautiful and genuinely happy than any wedding magazine cover I have ever seen!

    Thank you for sharing this gorgeous wedding with us… and I especially love your story about your dress. I’ve been in this spiral of guilt and shame (which isn’t really anything new, it’s been going on since I was a kid) about my weight recently, and it’s been worse since I got engaged. Your story struck such a chord with me, because I’ll look at wedding dresses and think “Oh, that will look good when I’m 40 pounds lighter.” Thanks for helping me to stop hating on my body (for now, at least!), and to get excited for wedding planning again :)

  • “There’s something truly inspiring in looking at a tent full of people and realizing just how many people have come together to celebrate your relationship. And that your relationship is worth celebrating! ”

    This. This made your post for me. I found out last week that none of my fiance’s family is coming to my bridal shower, and I’ve been in a little ball of hurt and anger since. Your post helped ME uncurl a little bit. Thank you so very much. Your day is incredibly gorgeous, as are both of you.

  • I am buckets in love the cake photo.

    And such wise words. I didn’t think you looked fat in your photos – and it was a gorgeous dress! Kudos!! I was terrified to try on a mermaid style because I’m not a stick… so I’m currently bowing down to your bravery. You rocked that dress.

  • k

    Argh, I wish we could all stop equating skinny with beautiful. Two of the most gorgeous women I have ever known in my life are seriously plus sized girls. And you both look stunning.

    And FWIW, I am 5′ 9″ and weigh about 145 pounds, and my Mom STILL called me up the other day to suggest my wedding dress would look better if I wore control top pantyhose or something to “hold my stomach in.” WTF?

    • Melissa of craftgasm

      I am getting married in October, and my mom (who is very slender and who did not pass that gene on to me) has been critical of my weight ever since I got engaged. It’s so.frustrating. to have to hear it from someone I love so much, because if she were anyone else I would have decked her.

  • Adi

    I just wanted to thank Christina for writing this. Halfway through I started crying, because I’ve been engaged for six months, and I haven’t gone dress shopping yet. Not because I don’t love dresses, or because I don’t know what I want, or because I’m worried about who will disapprove of what I pick, but because I’m fat. I’ve always thought, when I get engaged, that’s when I’ll lose the weight. I’ll magically have the willpower to eat right and exercise daily because I’ll have a reason. (I’m fat, but I’m healthy by all other standards, so it’s hard to feel like I should be skinnier..) I want to look beautiful in my dress. I want my fiancé to think I look beautiful, I want my parents to think I look beautiful, and I want to FEEL beautiful. And Christina, you are -gorgeous-. If I look half as amazing in my dress I’ll call it a good day. To know that you went through what I’m going through, incredibly hot as you are (AND with an incredibly hot wife! HOLY COW I want her hair!!) makes me feel like maybe I can do this. Maybe I can find my dress. So thank you. And congratulations. I’m sending huge piles of love to you both <3

    • katieprue

      ME TOO! My sister is DYING to go dress shopping with me, but I haven’t even been able to tell her (she’s one of my closest friends, too) that I can’t get to a place where I want to go because of the way I feel about my body. I, too, thought that once I got engaged it would all fall into place, that I’d lose weight and look HAWT and I’d suddenly have 5 gorgeous BFFs to be my bridesmaids. And unicorns and rainbows all around, of course.

      I will be carrying many sentiments of this post with me through the process. If I can make my fiance’s jaw drop with a $5 dress from Target, why am I worried about what my wedding dress will look like? It’ll be the most expensive, only professionaly altered piece of clothing I’ve had in my life. It had damn well better make me feel gorgeous!

      • Adi

        GOD I LOVE THIS SITE. The “me too!”s I feel here are amazing.

    • You totally can! And you’ll look awesome! Unfortunately, there are a lot of bridal stores and consultants who are unwilling to work with and unkind to larger brides. It sucks, but it’s definitely a “vote with your dollars” kind of situation.

  • Kashia

    What a gorgeous wedding post! It made me all teary and I that’s saying something. Christina, thank you so much for sharing your wise words and those amazing photos. The whole time I was just floored by how beautiful you and your wife look in those fabulous dresses. Love and joy to you both!

  • Your wedding was so, so gorgeous. I know that navigating the wedding world as a same-sex couple can be odd at times and daunting at others (my wife and I are about to celebrate our one year anniversary!) but it looks like you two did just fine. Congratulations. :)

    • If one more person asked us which one of us was the bride or wearing pants…

  • Christina, for the record, even before I read the part about the dress and body image stuff? My immediate reaction was “She looks gorgeous and I love that dress!” And when I did read the part about dress and body image, I just wanted to give you a big hug. Thank you so much for writing so honestly about that. I definitely needed to hear it.

    And I’m so, so happy you ended up wearing the dress that made you feel beautiful. Because you are beautiful. In fact, both you and your wife are beautiful! You look so radiant and joyful in every photograph.

    I kind of teared up when I read the part about you being given a quilt made by Meigh’s maternal family. For me, it illustrated the love and celebration and support all around you at your wedding. Your writing about that was so amazing. “There’s something truly inspiring in looking at a tent full of people and realizing just how many people have come together to celebrate your relationship. And that your relationship is worth celebrating!” Yes. This. Exactly!

  • katieprue

    “* The less said about the SYttD filming, the better. ”

    Understood. But I am still curious as hell. :)

    • Hee. We got filmed to be the gay couple on Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss (the plus size mini-series they did)… at least, that’s what I think. We got there at 10. Our appointment was at 11. We left at 5pm. There was no food during that time and I tried on 3 dresses (Meigh tried on 2, but one twice). My consultant really didn’t get my style and told me the dress I wanted (yes, the one I’m wearing) was $3K more than it was. Meigh’s consultant didn’t want her to look at any dresses they didn’t have a plus size sample for. We both bought dresses and then the next week were like ‘… wait, what did we just do?’ So we put the orders on hold and came back 6 months later and found new ones.

      The most awkward part was the interview, where they ask you a question and want you to answer the question while framing it into your response, while in present tense. I picked my dress first and they asked Meigh questions like “Now that Christina has said yes to her dress, do you feel like she’s set the tone for the wedding?” and other ridiculous things.

      And the other awkward part is that we made the mistake of telling people and now, over a year after the filming, people are STILL asking us if it’ll go on the air.

      • katieprue

        Yowza. The interview question… oh, my. I just don’t even know what to do with that. I knew it was a cheeseball show, but DANG. That is a whole new level of cheeeeezy. And you still made it out with (GAWGEOUS) dresses, albeit 6 months later. You two are like wedding dress superheroes! :)

        • Speaking as another “thank god it didn’t air” reality tv survivor, I think that’s actually pretty standard — and it makes the strange way people talk about each other on reality shows make more sense.

  • Gorgeous! The emotion on their faces… incredible.

  • Congratulations! And thank you so much for the wonderful post!

    I would say something more meaningful than that, but I just can’t get over how gorgeous you look in that beautiful lacy dress!

  • marbella

    “my introverted brother busting several moves on the dance floor” – a definite highlight of ours too! You both look gorgeous and are rocking those dresses.

  • I cried. And then I cried some more. Tears of joy for you finding your perfect wedding and the love of your life and being surrounded by family and friends who support you. And also because you are both gorgeous and so was your wedding and OMG I love the colors and the pennents and the flowers on the chairs! PERFECT.

  • You are a breathe of fresh air as I’m struggling with some of the very same things Christina! Congratulations to the both of you….you looked radiant and gorgeous on your wedding day! Thank you for your candidness and sharing all of this with us!

  • X


    I love the redheaded bride’s veil. Can you tell me where she got it and what it cost?

    • She made it! I think she just sewed some netting to a comb, but I’m not positive… McPants?

      • McPants

        Yep. There are about a thrillion birdcage veil tutorials on the interwebs, and it’s easy to do. I just kind of winged (wung) it.

  • I loved this post so much, this is so beautifully written and the photos are amazing! (the first two are unbelievable, so touching). You both looked gorgeous and so much of what you said resonated with me, wise words. Congratulations!

  • Jo

    I almost didn’t read this because I’m so overwhelmed with emotion over our wedding. And not the good kind. The good kind is in there, but right now I’m angry at myself for things I could have done better if I’d just thought about it. Angry at the four people who came and shouldn’t have because they were total @$$hats (oh yes, someday I’ll tell). Angry about so many of my people not being there. I know I’m angry because I’m sad and it’s a secondary emotion and I am choosing to look at and count the positives, but right now it’s all twirled up together and I can’t handle anymore.

    But I’m SO GLAD I read this. So much in this spoke to me, touched me. I’m so happy you got your dress, you’re absolutely beautiful. I’m so glad that you were able to have things go wrong and move on. To me, that was the most magical thing about the wedding. Big hugs. Meg’s right, this is a must-read.

  • Can I just say that it makes me smile to hear someone else use the phrase “MOTHERFUCKING WEDDING?” That’s what I called mine all the time.

  • Paige

    You COMPLETELY summed up how I felt about the RSVP situation. I’m getting married next weekend (wait, REALLY! next weekend?) and there were a lot of people that I ALWAYS thought would be at my wedding, no matter what. But they aren’t coming. Some of their reasoning is legit, others is a little shady… BUT the amazing part is the people that we sent invites to that we never imagined would come are SO EXCITED to come to our wedding! It took me a couple weeks to get over the negative RSVPs, but at one week out from our wedding I don’t even think about it anymore. I am so excited for the people that are coming and wouldn’t have it any other way!!!

  • That dress is SO GORGEOUS! What a dream! This whole essay is beautiful.

  • Beth

    Wonderful! What is better than a beautiful bride? TWO! Gorgeous!

  • The dress! Is beautiful! Well, they both are! You both look amazing. I am so glad you chose the one that really resonated with you … and your post resonated with ME, as I too have trouble ‘letting go’ and delegating to people, though it’s not only necessary, it makes them feel good to be a part of it. I love your attitude and good spirits through the weather. Congrats!

  • Molly

    All I have to say is: THAT IS MY DREAM DRESS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ashley B

    It looked like an amazing day from the giant smiles on everyone’s faces! Thanks for the encouragement/inspiration as wedding dress shopping looms ahead.

  • What a beautiful wedding story! Your dresses are gorgeous and you both look STUNNING!! Congratulations :)

  • *hug*

    You look great in that dress. Being comfortable with your body is a beautiful thing.

    I agree with everything else said, especially the note about reality TV.

  • Becca

    I have to tell you, well before I scrolled down to the part about the weather, I was thinking, “that tent looks so awesome!”

    We are also getting married in Montgomery County, MD, though not at one of the county venues (though we thought about it, and ended up with something pretty similar actually). Our ceremony is supposed to be outdoors, followed by a reception with a tent. I looove the outdoor space there, so I have been mildly freaking out about what will happen if it rains. Now I know: the show will go on and be just as awesome.

    You look fantastic in the dress, btw.

  • Christina,

    I have a new view of you based on this blog. And it makes me love you even more and know that your are the perfect partner for Meighan. Thank you for being so honest. And for having the courage to do such a public event.

    I have also been “around the block” a few times. I have never been to a wedding (mine own included) in which I thought two folks were totally dedicated to each other. I have told many folks back in NC about it. And I realize that to do such a public event, you have to be really, really certain about the relationship.

    Once again, love you and I am so looking forward to your and Meighan’s future with whatever it brings! Your “anut” Joy.

  • Class of 1980

    I am here a day late and a dollar short. It’s late night and I’m finally reading this.

    I just want to say that I’m so tired, I quit reading half way through and just really enjoyed these photos. It’s a beautiful wedding.

    Christina, you ROCKED that lace dress and Meighan looked just as wonderful in hers.

    Pretty pretty girls. ;)

    • Class of 1980

      Also, the photo with you coming down the aisle with your parents and Meighan following with her parents gave me a chill . . . a sense of ceremony and heartbreaking beauty is written all over it.

  • Szerdi

    What an absolutely stunning wedding! You guys looked absolutely stunning and so in love!!
    Looking at your wedding pics really made me feel quite emotional (in a great way)
    You so deserved a rocking wedding :)

  • OMG.
    I wish this had come out this time last year. I needed it.

    Actually, I still need it. Its full of lessons I am still trying to learn from our wedding. (and for life in general. I need to get over feeling like I am too fat to wear nice clothes…)

    Thank you.

  • Claire

    Wow. The emotion in these photographs is powerful. That first picture gives me goosebumps. Gorgeous!

  • You are both lovely, and I am so happy that you had a perfectly imperfect wedding day. I hope your marriage is filled with all the joy you felt that day!

  • Moz

    Lots to say! I am so glad you chose that dress, you were a beautiful bride. And I am so glad you realised you and your relationship were a worth a wedding.

    Congratulations on your marriage xx

  • Mag

    Thank you for sharing a beautiful story. Everything looks so magical, from the dresses to the decor to the pictures. I particularly like picture 9. Meighan looks stunning!

    My girlfriend really wants a big wedding, but I don’t care enough to go through the trouble. I feel like the short-lived joy is not worth the money and energy.

    Perhaps if I keep reading stories such as yours I might change my mind. :)

  • What a GORGEOUS wedding ! Love your gown, and those bouquets… Loved the way you described your experience about finding your dress and so glad you picked the one you loved because you ROCK it.

    Totally get it about the “no” to RSVP too, I got a few that hurt, especially one where there was no valid reason from people I’d thought would have been glad to come…

  • Amy March

    Watching you girls on Say Yes to the Dress right now- understand you didn’t love the existence, but you are both charming.

    • Yay! It was highly edited, but at least we didn’t look crazy. And we spent a couple weeks referring to ourselves as ‘Fashionista Meigh’ and ‘Casual Christina.’

      • So I randomly saw you guys watching a marathon of Say Yes to the Dress and literally just screamed “It’s Christina and Meigh McPants…I think. I’m pretty sure their last name is not McPants. Must go archive APW.” And I was right. That is all.

      • Joyce

        I enjoyed watching your episode, though I get it must have been tough to film! Just curious, did neither of you end up with a Kleinfeld’s dress? Would you recommend going there? My partner and I are thinking about it, but want to have a non-awful experience… :)

        Congratulations on a beautiful wedding, btw!

  • This is EXACTLY how I felt about my own wedding process – rain and all. :o)