Congratulations New York! You’re now the newest state to celebrate marriage equality. And since studies show lesbians are the bulk of the married gay population, there’s a lot of things you’ll want to know before your big day. I got married in May, so I’m going to share a few of my own personal stories.
First, know it’s kind of like coming out all over again. This might be the point in your relationship that some family members or friends realize you’re not just going through a phase and that this whole gay thing might be more than a, well, “thing.” It will put some people in a position of wondering whether their showing up to your wedding is supporting you versus supporting “the gays.” Some will think it’s the latter and won’t RSVP. Others will show up and give you a card that has no mention of love or marriage, but some sort of floral landscape and a check inside that says “Be happy.” It’s basically another chance for some rejection, which can be somewhat exhausting.
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But these kinds of things can be humorous if you let them be. For instance, my best friend recently received this response from her grandmother upon receiving an invite to her wedding: “Is this some sort of sex thing?” Mind you, their invites were tasteful and showed their feet, and not in some foot fetish-type pose. But we get a huge kick out of thinking that her grandma pictures their wedding as a sex ceremony. The imaginations some people have!
As far as what kind of ceremony you have, it’s really interesting to put together something that you have the freedom to alter however you’d like, but you’ll really question yourself when it comes to some of the traditionally gender-based events that happen at weddings. I really wanted to dance with my dad, but my wife wasn’t interested in dancing with hers. She thought it might “be weird” as they were both in suits. At the same time, she didn’t want him to be offended. So while she didn’t plan on dancing with him, she ended up pulling him out half way through my dance with my dad, and no one thought it was strange. Later she danced with her grandpa, and she was glad she did.
Again, I hate to ruin the vivid imaginations of these individuals, but these events can be pretty formulaic, and if an invitee turns down the chance to celebrate you with drinks, dinner and dancing, they are definitely the ones losing out. Weddings are fun, even if there are two brides. Maybe even especially if there are two brides. (Don’t tell my wife I called her a bride.)
So you should probably come if we invite you, because it’ll be fun. If it’s not, we paid way too much for this sex thing.
Trish Bendix is the managing editor of AfterEllen.com.