Wedding Feelings I’m Powering Through: 40 Day Countdown

I told her upfront, possibly even in the OkCupid profile, that I wasn’t looking for a longterm relationship. I said I wanted a friend who would go places with me (by which I meant that I wanted a friend who could successfully make me go places with her), and wouldn’t care that I spent approximately 700 hours a week staring at a computer and shoving expensive cheese in my face. She said she didn’t want anything longterm either because she was busy and focusing on herself these days and was also just looking for a friend. Everything was sweet and cool. We were sweet and cool. And then? Then that sneaky little shit like, totally fell in love with me and asked me to MARRY HER! Who does that?? I mean, we had an agreement. So I said noooo-ho-hoooo.

“No, sorry. I’m not getting married again,” I said.

I had done that once, for all the wrong reasons, and then I’d swan dived into another committed longterm situation for some other vaguely wrong reasons and just NO. No we’re not getting married not now not everrrrr. Because I thought love was a lie we told ourselves and that marriage was a real cute way of setting everyone up for failure and who has that kind of money, anyway?

But the thing about Megan is— ok actually it’s several things. One, she’s hot. She just is. She’s very attractive and we need to get that out of the way first. Two is that she’s literally the kindest person I’ve ever known, and that includes elderly grandparents, school teachers, innocent doe-eyed children, and Mr. Rogers. She’s just spilling over with it. Three is that she’s a total fucking weirdo and I’m somehow, by the grace of the sparkling universe, fluent in Meganese, and speaking her language is like a party in my heart.

Four is that she is persistent as all heck.

look it just illustrates all my points

look it just illustrates all my points

I knew I loved her and I knew I wanted her to be the one who hollered at me from the other side of the house when we were in our eighties and she was looking for some wine to go with our mashed potatoes. Also I’m a total fucking weirdo too, and she’s fluent in whatever language I speak. She doesn’t gloat when she’s winning at Uno and she once gave me an artichoke for Mother’s Day. I stuck to my guns because I didn’t want to rush or do anything for the wrong reasons, but I’m only able to resist so much until I crack. On a summer morning in 2012 when I was getting out of my sweat-soaked workout clothes and into a shower, there she was, this time with a ring, and I cracked. I said yes — or actually I said, “…Ok” and she said “OK? Yeah?” and I said “Yes!” and then we probably had sex. Sweaty hot lesbian sex, write that down.


Everyone’s response when you tell them you’re engaged is to ask when you’ll get married, which is a totally normal thing to ask. Honestly, there really isn’t much else to say besides that and “Congrats!” I know they’re just being polite and following protocol, but it was also enough to unravel my whole entire brain because our answer was always “Hahahaha we don’t know yet?!?” and that got old fast. We replaced it with “In two years!” because that seemed about right — two years is plenty of time. I wanted to get married in a clearing in Tennessee, swatting away mosquitos and watching lightning bugs in the tree line, so two years felt far enough away that maybe I’d figure out how to get back there by then, how to make that happen. I was also assuming a pile of money would land in my lap with a nice thud, I think?

So I was the definition of Not In A Hurry/How Could We Even Do This Anyway, and Megan was the epitome of Still Not Yet, Huh? And it was sweet and cool. We were sweet and cool. Then one night this past January before falling asleep, I said, “What if we just got married in April?” Megan probably said something like “That’s cute, you’re delirious. ‘Night babe!”

It was still on my mind the next morning, and I wondered when the next lunar eclipse would be, because for whatever reason that seemed urgent to find out. Lo and behold it would be on April 4, right over our darling dear Pacific Ocean. I realized April 4 would also be a Saturday, and I’ll be damned if Saturdays aren’t just prime days for weddings. So I really thought about it, and I imagined us promising things to each other somewhere other than a Tennessee clearing. It honestly broke my stupid heart, but it also felt real like the solid ground. Like I could spend the next five years imagining a party in the woods, or I could just augment that dream a little and make it real right here. I waited until she was awake with coffee in hand before saying, “Hey what if we got married on April 4? After a lunar eclipse? Out here in the desert?”

“This year? Here?”

“Yeah. Does that sound crazy?”

“Not in Tennessee?”

“Right. We do the ceremony here and have a reception in Tennessee later, in the summer.”

“Fuck yeah let’s do it.”

And do it we shall, little baby beans. FUCK YEAH DO IT WE SHALL.

 


I like a quick turnaround because I can’t imagine having months and years to actually plan for something. I know I’d change my mind about all the details and back-burner projects until the last minute anyway, so this functions better for me. We’ve been figuring things out since late January and we’ve got 40 days left to finalize how we’ll throw a wedding party for ourselves in her parents’ backyard. Invitations are being printed and table rentals have been reserved. Other details been hammered out: it’s happening at 7pm (sunset is predicted at 6:50 and my third panic attack of the day is predicted at 6:10) followed by appetizers and drinks and maybe dancing. Like who knows, there could be dancing! Who is ever to say, really, whether there will or will not be dancing?

But what about the lighting and the menu and the ceremony? What about the CENTERPIECES, hm?? Who will invent them out of thin air and then round them all up and pack them in boxes and then stack those boxes in their living room next to the sofa for two months? Who will consider, even for a moment, the escort cards? Who will decide on benches or chairs? White or eggplant tablecloths? Are succulents too obvious a choice for Arizona? Do we need a DJ? Do I hate myself yet? Does a bear shit in the woods??

The answers to all these questions and more will be revealed in this miniseries I’ve nicknamed Really Wedding, Really? but that I’ve officially named Wedding Feelings I’m Powering Through, because one time I did a series of personal blog posts titled Feelings I’m Powering Through and it was so cathartic I almost turned into a willow tree and never spoke again.

Wedding Feelings I’m Powering Through: 1-10

A couple of these feelings have already been powered through because I’ve been writing this post for three weeks and it keeps becoming outdated before I can publish it, so pretend it’s three weeks ago or something, ok? You omnipresent superhuman, you.

1. Make It alsdkkfjjalsdkfj?

In the “real wedding” stories on wedding blogs, they ask the bride something along the lines of, “What’s your best advice?” or “What would you do differently?” and most of the time the bride answers with a version of, “Don’t get caught up in the [whatever they got caught up in that they wish they wouldn’t have]! Try to have fun and enjoy your day!” or “Make it yours! Don’t worry about [whatever self-imposed standard they held themselves to] and just make it yours!”

“Make it yours” is my favorite because it’s just punchy enough to sound like real life advice, but vague enough in this situation to be TOTALLY USELESS TO ME. It’s like telling me to make this yacht vacation mine. Really get in there and make this space rocket launch YOURS! Don’t hold back, make this snowy self-guided tour along the Aonach Eagach Ridge YOURS YOURS YOURS! After about 160 real wedding posts, “make it yours” is starting to look like the Have A Nice Day they have printed on the side of gas station bags.

When you have no idea what you’re doing and no long-standing dreams to guide your way, there is no ‘yours’ yet, so you just start borrowing from someone’s/a million someones’ ideas until something mercifully clicks.


2. Hangout Vibe or Dance Vibe or ???

What if all I want played at the reception is depressing indie folk music?  Nobody can dance to that, but also we’re not having a dance floor or a DJ, right? Are we? Megan are we getting a DJ or not oh my god.


3. The Dress

I’ve seen other people online being married in my wedding dress, which is not technically a “wedding” dress. Do I care?

dress

Jury’s still out. I don’t think I care? I’m mostly just not thinking about it. Other people wear other wedding dresses and you don’t see them freaking out about it! Jeez!


4. Officiants and the Ceremony Script: How Even

How do people choose their ceremony script and vows?? I’ve read so many and most of them make me cry after the first three lines, so clearly I’m not cut out for this!

We’ve chosen an officiant, which was so weird I can barely talk about it. Not because she’s weird — she’s perfectly lovable and excellent — it’s just bizarre to actively find someone you’ve never met and then ask them to lead you through one of the most deeply intimate and weighted rituals you’ll ever be part of? I want to feel as close and dependent on this woman as I did my obstetrician or my mother’s hairstylist (she gave me my first pixie cut in ’97, so I don’t have to tell you the kind of bond that cements between two people), but I’m not. I know she loves the queer community and wants to help make this day as tailored and special as possible, but I don’t know if I’m capable of getting out of my own way long enough for that to happen!

In my totally unreasonable mind, I want our ceremony script to be 100% original and something only we have ever said, but I’m thinking that might be outlandish and maybe impossible. I don’t write wedding scripts, I write personal essays and emails. Most typical ceremony scripts make me itchy and I’ve had more anxiety attacks over this in the past month than when my grandmother was on her deathbed! I’ve read accounts of people stressing out over vows and scripts, only to go the traditional route in the end, and they breezily tell me it was the best decision they made for themselves — to give up that control and say the words a trillion zillion other people have said. I can see that being my truth.

But then I know me, I think. I know I cringe at 298347 things I’ve done because a lot of times I don’t follow my instincts and I take the Ok/Easy Route instead of finding out what I’m made of on the WTF Route. What if I just tried to script this thing from scratch?

I realized last night that wedding vows and ceremony wordings are necessarily things that have been passed down and repeated (almost) verbatim, because that’s kinda the deal: we’re putting our names on the unfathomably long list of people who once made the same promise. It’s the ritual of the thing that grounds it and gives it weight, and I talk/write/think enough already. Maybe on this day I should say some words other people have said, because I feel the weight in them and they feel true without me having to fuck with them.

This is just some unfiltered honesty here.  A feeling I’m still powering through la la la.


5. I… Don’t Know What I’m Doing

It’s a party and I want it to look like one, but I don’t want it to look like yours or theirs. Again, how do I know when I’m having a real idea or just mentally vomiting up something I saw on Pinterest three weeks ago? How am I supposed to have an original idea in this whole world ever. ARE YOU THERE GOD IT’S ME MARGARET HOW DO I MAKE IT MINE??

 


6. Linens

Megan thinks she wants the white linens with white chairs and I’m pretty sure I want the eggplant linens with black chairs. Who will prevail? Who will cry into their pillows? (me probably, either way)

UPDATE: Eggplant linens and black chairs it is! And I’m not even gloating about it.


7. Where Will Everyone Park?

There is no answer to this question because there is simply nowhere for them to park. They will put their motor vehicles wherever they put them and they’ll walk from that space to the house and I will never know how they made it work or where they parked or who received a citation from the city of Gilbert, AZ. Sorry. Let go and let god etc.


8. Is There Enough Room for [x] People in This Backyard?

an early seating chart

an early seating chart

Did you know that Intern Nikki used to be a wedding consultant?? Like I’m sorry but did you know you’re surrounded by geniuses at every level here at Autostraddle dot com? Nikki says to allow 10 square feet per person, so I texted Megan’s dad.

me: hello happy Saturday! I was wondering if you knew the square footage of your backyard (minus the pool)?

Megan’s dad: Not off the top of my head. When not raining will figure it out.

And then I decided to let go and let god on that one, too, because some people are couples and they probably won’t need 20 square feet to feel comfortable, right? That’s how that works I think.


9. Giftz

I don’t want people to feel like they’re obligated to get us gifts, but I also don’t want to make someone feel weird for giving us a gift. We had three separate people laugh out loud when we told them we weren’t registered. How do we balance this awkward thing?


10. The Look, The Feel of Moss, The Forest Fabric of Our Lives

testing out table stuff

testing out table stuff

The look I want skews Deep Inside a Wet, Overgrown Forest in Late Autumn/Early Winter, yet this is taking place in spring in the desert! Those are two very opposite things. What do I do? Can I decorate the place like it’s a magical mossy forest floor and just pretend not to notice the palm trees and dry night air? Or do I have to use the season and location that the universe has given me and just play up this desert thing? I mean obviously I can and very well should MAKE IT MY OWN, but with what limitations? Is it just that winter was the latest season I’ve experienced, so while I’m planning this party those aesthetics are still stuck in my brain? Or do I really truly want this look? I don’t know! I don’t know anything anymore! I had to get out a calculator to divide 26 by 8 yesterday!


 

Do you have advice? Are you powering through your own wedding feelings? Luckily Ali, Crystal, and Mari are also planning their weddings, and Rachel, KaeLyn and Whitney are already married, so we have a lot to talk about if you want to hash anything out! Email us at youneedhelp @ autostraddle dot com or leave a question/feeling in the comments!

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here. She's 37, has two kids, two dogs, one cat, one Megan, and some personal essays.

Laneia has written 872 articles for us.

105 Comments

  1. i’m super pumped about the eggplant/black, like i’m sitting on a quilt with similar color concepts right this minute and it feels good. IT FEELS LIKE LOVE. you know what else feels like love? this post.

    i think what you said about the wedding vows feelings is spot-on, i was nodding like YES. i think that people say these words because these are the best words, the words we’ve all decided upon for centuries forever and ever amen. also i think as writers we obsess over these things so much more than other people do. because non-writers can write down their thoughts and be like “there they are! those are my feelings on that page!” and writers are like “okay, those are my feelings on that page, but what about this feeling? or this image that i could describe in this way? and maybe i should move that here? maybe this could be better. this isn’t the best sentence i could write, is it. i could write so much more about love than i wrote here!” i mean think about how long it takes to write an email.

    i think instead of a DJ you can just put songs on an ipod, right?

    ALSO: I love you and your dress looks so nice!

    • “i think that people say these words because these are the best words, the words we’ve all decided upon for centuries forever and ever amen.”

      and

      “i mean think about how long it takes to write an email.”

      yes. this is how i’ll talk myself down off the ledge every time i find myself on it. the officiant sent the first draft of the script yesterday and it has our names in it and i couldn’t finish reading it.

      self-djing via ipod is definitely on the table.

      • As a person who has dj’d 100s of weddings you will totes be fine with an ipod for background music. also i think there is a setting in itunes that fades songs to cut out the intros and such. you can set that up on the dance playlist and be fine. you will be fine.

  2. Hello Laneia this post inspired several near-meltdowns (OH MY GOD WHAT ARE ESCORT CARDS DO I NEED THEM!?) (A: no) but now I have found my chill and feel incredibly blessed that we’re all on this wild wedding planning ride together and that I get to read your thoughts and feelings about every little wedding thing. also I’m really feeling what you’ve said about vows. thank you x

      • If you have more than 20ish people and there are place cards, you proooobably need escort cards. It’s not necessary, though. I like them, though, because they can be really pretty? You can string them up on ribbon/string, or you can have them attached to favors laid out on a table, or you can hang them like garland? So many things to do with escort cards. Woo!

    • there was something always romantic and exciting about the idea of planning my wedding – getting to decorate and throw a big party and i’m at the center of it! and then i realized that i hate being the center of attention and party details are complicated and oh my god how is this tiny wedding even this expensive already and WHY AM I DOING THIS – and then i remember her face and i get excited again. anyway, it’s nice to read someone else’s panic and feel normal in my panics. thank you.

  3. Because of circumstances, my ladyperson and I had to bring our wedding-type-thing forward from when-hell-freezes-over to approx 7 weeks ago. It was tricky to balance our desire for a patriarchy-snubbing non-event with the rabid expectations of our families.

    So, I can empathise very much with your mixed feelings about the whole marriage malarky, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how you go about it. Also, congratulations and everything!

    p.s. fuck gifts, just ask for cash.

  4. I love that this is happening. Also, I just wanted to validate your feeling that some couples will be perfectly comfortable in <20 square feet of space. Like the bed my girlfriend and I share is wayyyy less than 20 square feet, and we do just fine.

  5. “…speaking her language is like a party in my heart.”

    I am so happy about this wedding deal and also super anxious with you because WOW there is so much to think about! (how DO you know if an idea was really yours or something from Pinterest?) But, I am sending positive, productive, and calming vibes into the universe for you!

    Also, asking for gifts is totes weird, BUT think of how nice a new blender or something would be (people always get housewares for weddings…)

    • thank you for these vibes alaina! i wish we could register for like “more storage space in our kitchen” because then i would have somewhere to put a new blender bc you’re right, a new blender would be really nice.

    • no yeah it seems pretty fucking weird. it’s almost like you’re bragging about your relationship, which of course we’d never actually do. but like shenae said, i’m just pretending it’s a party. a really important party where i’m asking some people i care about to publicly acknowledge how much i care about someone else… so yeah super weird but also ok!

  6. You are a lot bravier then I ever was.my brain couldn’t handle all the details that go Into a wedding.. Thus my wife and I got married at s.f. hall by the Harvey milk statue. Me in my wedding dress and her in her amazing suit.. Extra kuddos for planning a wedding, being married is awesome!

    • yes! we thought about this but ultimately decided that we wanted our friends and family to just be our friends and family that day. but yeah it’s crazy how relatively easy it is to make yourself into a person who can perform legal weddings! especially in arizona — it’s truly the wild west out here.

  7. Yay, Congrats Laneia and Megan!

    Re: gifts. Gifts make me super uncomfortable, and when Abby and I started planning our wedding she had to convince me that we needed to register somewhere (where that is: still undecided) because the gifts aren’t even really about us? It’s about our guests feeling like they have a hand in launching us, is what we decided about gifts as it relates to our wedding. If that helps, I dunno if it does. Plus we feel like the people who don’t want to bring gifts or can’t or whatever will know that’s totally cool because it’s us and we’re inviting them to our wedding and so we figure they’ll know us reasonably well to truly understand that we don’t give a flying saucer.

    In short, I am super happy for this column because we too are planning a wedding and I like reading about other people’s queer weddings.

    • “because the gifts aren’t even really about us? It’s about our guests feeling like they have a hand in launching us”

      ali this is really beautiful! i’ve never thought of it that way but you’re right. and everything else you said about the other people knowing you both well enough that they wouldn’t feel obligated. i feel very calm right now.

  8. laneia i love you so much and this is great, you’re great. i think eggplant is gonna look great and i’m super into the moss, like it’s obvs fine if the moss doesn’t work out but how perfect, a moss oasis in the desert bc of love.

    i don’t think you need to worry that much about the dj or about whether it’s a hangout time or dance time! i think you can designate one or several people to man an iPod and i think that the natural flow of life will determine the quotient of dancing to hanging out. i feel strongly that that part of it is gonna be just fine.

  9. You will be fine. I planned my wedding in 4 months from abroad. Flight delayed for two days due to snow. Got home 4 days before the wedding to find out the dress was too small, and got a new one for $30 at Ross, I think it was. Like, it will all work out just fine. We ordered good pizza and salad and a root beer keg, and had blue solo cups. And it was a blast, even though my dad was hospitalized that morning (he’s fine) and missed the whole darn thing. And most importantly, we ended up married.

    So you don’t actually sound like you’re honestly panicking, but if you secretly are inside, just remember it will be fine. You’ll have an amazing wedding no matter how rushed it feels.

    As for ceremony/vows: My father-in-law did our ceremony and as a pastor, he’s done plenty of them before. He was able to modify it to a non-religious and unique-to-us ceremony. Your officiant should be able to work with you to see what parts of the typical ceremony you like, and what parts you don’t. You can certainly use/say things whose weight you like, but you don’t have to. It’s not good or bad to use tradition vs making your own words. Just go with the parts (all, some, none) that feel good to you. We wrote our own vows, but definitely used some parts of the traditional service. Most of ours was original, though, because that worked for us – and my father-in-law/the officiant was able to do that. Yes, he knew us better than your officiant does, but you can work together to modify it as you see fit. It’s perfectly ok to mix traditional and original stuff.

  10. Congratulations! I’m really excited to read your updates. My wife and I got married (okay, civil partnered, whatever) two years ago and we had pretty much a regular Irish wedding, except it was two sexy ladies (if I may say myself) and we had a personalised ceremony rather than the traditional Church one (obvs).

    I know attitudes and expectations r.e. weddings are different from country to country, but my main advice is this: there are three things that people talk about after weddings, and those are the food, the music and the craic. If you make sure people are fed and make sure the music is good, the rest will fall into place. As much effort as you might put into party favours etc. (we hand sewed ours and honestly, the effort seemed disproportionate to the outcome), no one will really remember those in years to come, but if people were hungry they’ll say “Remember how scabby Snugglor’s wedding was? Barely a cocktail sausage each”.

    For our ceremony we picked readings we liked (we had Gabrielle from Xena’s version of the soulmates story from Plato’s Symposium because we’re gay like that, and also the lyrics of ‘I Wanna Grow Old With You’ from The Wedding Singer 😀 ) but we used pre-written vows. Partly because it was hard to come up with something better, and partly because for me anyway, trying to tell this amazing woman in a few short sentences how much I love her and how great she makes every day feel and how kind and wonderful and beautiful she is would never ever ever feel adequate, no matter what I wrote.

    Oh, also, set aside some time to spend together during the day. It’s really easy to get swept up in shaking hands and giving hugs and catching up with Auntie Mary, but the day is really about you and Megan. Make sure you get to savour the moment!

    Are you having a photographer? If so, make sure you like them as a person as well as liking their portfolio. This person is going to be sticking a camera in your face all day, the last thing you need is to not like that person, no matter how good their photos are!

    I think that’s it, I’ll post again if I think of anything else!

    • well obvs i had to look up the word craic and just wow, that’s a damn perfect word.

      also this is all such great advice! i keep reading that the main thing is to feed the guests and take some time for ourselves, so i’m putting big neon lights around those things on my list.

      megan’s sister has hired a photographer for us as a wedding gift, so i’m actually unsure whether i like her or not! and that’s not freaking me out at all, not even a little bit. nope.

      • It’ll be fine! You should both meet her for a coffee (or at least exchange emails if distance is an issue) and talk about what’s important for you. If you prefer a reportage style then go with that. If there are family and friend combinations and portraits that you absolutely must capture, make a list for her. Are there any moments (sand ceremony, hand binding, etc.) that are central to your day? Tell her! If there are photos that you really hate and think are too cringy (e.g. I hate kissy photos, I just don’t like them, so there are none of me and my wife kissing in our album) then let her know that as well.

        It’s a great excuse for getting photos with people you don’t see enough too. Plus you’ll look awesome on the day so take advantage and capture that forever!

        If your photographer is based near your venue you could also invite her over to see where the wedding will be taking place and let her know your ideas for staging, etc. That way she can start to think about where she’ll capture the best shots. Even if she’s far away, having a chat about that will make it easier. Also, since it’s not happening until 7pm there may be some issues with lighting later in the day (or not, I don’t know what time it gets dark where you live!) but you can ask if there is anything you (or a delegated friend) can do to make things easier for her in that regard.

  11. OMFG, thank you for validating all my wedding feelings. We just bought our dresses this weekend, and my partner isn’t wearing white, so now I have to coordinate our whole color scheme around her dress, which is a pale blue/greenish color called “seaglass”.

    Also gifts! So effing awkward. We’re two adults who’ve been on our own for a long time, so we have two entire houses full of stuff. So registering just felt weird, because we aren’t very “stuff-oriented” people. So we went out on a limb that we hope people won’t hate us for and set up a “honeymoon registry” where people can help us fund our totally ridiculous cross-country road trip honeymoon. And now we’re just crossing our fingers that no one yells at us for it being a “tacky money grab”.

    Also, planning a queer wedding is hard enough, but doing it as a trans girl is…something else. Wedding dress shopping was TERRIFYING.

    • “We’re two adults who’ve been on our own for a long time, so we have two entire houses full of stuff.”

      yes! i just looked into zola last night because they have a honeymoon/cash fund option, but i haven’t heard of anyone else using it. also like, i could use some new blinds for the one living room window, if we’re being super honest.

      what if i registered for window blinds and a summer honeymoon fund?

      also mari have you considered writing something about planning a queer wedding as a trans woman i’m just saying.

        • We used honeyfund, my mom was super against it because she thought it was tacky but as it turned out people loved it, even my older, very traditional boss. She wouldn’t stop talking about how great she thought it was. But it was just one of a bunch of options – we asked people to give to a fund for a local nonprofit, or just give us books (there’s always room for more books), and we had a traditional registry too with a few items things we really wanted. It worked really well. Just saying to donate to a nonprofit in your name is a good option too, if you really don’t need anything or any money.

          My wife was really against registering or saying anything about gifts but we were convinced into it by that same logic – people want to show their love and support, so it’s for them, not you. Also if you don’t say anything, you run the risk of getting a hundred blenders.

          And, we has wanted to do this trip for a long time and now we actually can because we called it a honeymoon and people gave us money for it. Highly recommend that route.

          • Was going to also suggest the donating to a non-profit in your name thing! If I ever have a wedding or baby or other life circumstance in which a gift registry is expected then I think that would be my preference.

  12. This is so exciting! Congrats Laneia and Megan! Your wedding already sounds beautiful. I see your vision Laneia and I like it, a lot! Thanks for sharing all your wedding feelings, I’m sure I’ll revisit this column whenever I’m planning mine.

    <3

  13. Your confusion and stress makes me feel better about the fantasy wedding that I plan on pinterest and freak out about. BTW I’m not engaged. Also I want to attend a bridal expo just for fun. Is that weird? #allmyfriendsareengaged

    • PLEASE kid! I recently started buying bridal magazine after friggin bridal magazine like a crackhead man. At first I felt kind of self conscious cuz I’m not engaged either but like..so what. It’s time for me to think about these things. And more importantly, I like the friggin pretty pictures.

    • I hit 30 and realized I do want to get married one day after all, but I am also single and therefore am sure it’s nit happening. … and yet I think my future wedding is completely planned in my head including the dress so yea, not weird at all…. I would hit a bridal expo if I wasn’t sure someone would ask about my wedding and I’d crack!

  14. This is my favorite and I love how Autostraddle is very relevant to my current life things at the moment.

    We were going to wait to get married but mostly because we wanted to get married in Kansas and then it was legalized and we were like, “Okay, now we will plan a wedding in <two months." It turned out so lovely and I had the best time, and at the end we were married so mission accomplished.

    We were going to use the traditional sample ceremony provided by the judge but when she gave it to us it was very straight and had weird religion bits that made us uncomfortable, so we kept the basic traditional structure and edited it to be gaygaygay and then added a few sweet lines.

    Congratulations and can't wait to read more!

  15. My best advice, after 10 weddings as Bridesmaid and one as the Best Man is: Be the Best Man. That shit is a breeze.

    Relevant to you? Deep breathing into paper bags is totally a thing that helps.

    Re: Gifts: Recently a couple I stood up for just said “if you want to get us something, here is a way to contribute to our honeymoon.” And another years ago said “We’re not really into the whole “gifts” thing, cause we already got it all,but for those of you who have Dear Abby induced breakdowns at the thought of no gift here is a list of things.”

    That list veered from kitchenware to plastic zombie toy soldiers.

  16. Laneia your wedding sounds like it will be fantastic & wonderful & lovely and like everyone will have a great time celebrating you and Megan. but also somehow your feelings are making me actually want to get married at some point, so I guess in [X] years when I am stressin’ about my wedding I can come back to this piece and feel strong/validated/calmed/like I’ve made good life choices.

  17. OH MY GOODNESS! IDEA! WHAT IF I JUST BECOME A GAY/LESBIAN/BI/QUEER/LABEL YOU USE WEDDING COORDINATOR? LIKE, CAN I? THIS IS A THING, RIGHT?

    I COULD DO IT ALL: INVITES, PROGRAMS, COORDINATAION, IF YOU WANT TO YELL AT ME ABOUT TULLE. YOU CAN YELL AT ME ABOUT TULLE. I WILL LET YOU! I COULD START MY OWN SIDE BUSINESS LIKE I WANTED TO. WHY AM I NOT DOING THIS?

    I mean, sorry to yell. (excited) I mean would anyone let me coordinate their wedding?

    Anyway, Laneia, good luck with all the wedding things! I know it is a stressful time. (See above, being yelled at about tulle, I can’t even count the number of times someone has yelled at me about tulle).

    • NIKKI WHY ARE YOU NOT DOING THIS??

      this is maybe the best idea you’ve ever had oh god we could sell your wedding planning packages through the goodsie store and you could write advice columns for making spreadsheets for the day-of timeline and everyone would be like, “oh i hired nikki and it went AMAZING. best wedding ever. i want to get divorced and then married again just so i can hire nikki a second time.”

  18. CONGRATS!!!!! This makes my heart happy. Idk how to plan for a wedding yet…but Christine and I are totes engaged since Jan 27. Shes all up for a civil wedding and MAYBE a church one after a few years? We dont know.

    Zines can be your centerpieces!!!

  19. Hey Laneia, can you please write a book? Because I’m pretty sure I’d absolutely devour it.

    Also, I have some advice as far as whether or not to go hangout vibe or dance vibe. I haven’t ever been married and might not ever be. My expertise level on this subject is basically “A person who has been to parties occasionally”. But anyway, DO BOTH VIBES.

    Don’t hire a DJ. Just cram an ipod full of a lot of different types of songs, hook it up to some decent speakers and put the ipod on random. This way you can have some low key hangout vibe songs and then occasionally a song will come on where some people will get up and say, “OH HELL YEAH, IT IS DANCING TIME.” You could even do separate playlists for dinner time and afterwards so the party doesn’t turn to chaos while people are eating and then Bad Romance or whatever comes on.

    Oh, also, congrats! I hope the two of you have many happy years ahead of you.

  20. This made me smile a lot and also reminded me how excited I am for Autostraddle to start doing more “grown up” type articles (even though I’m not anywhere near getting married or queer parenting or even, honestly, buying a decent vacuum.)

    It is still something that I really appreciate … having on my radar, I guess? Especially because y’all are so great.

  21. Reading about your feelings gave me so many feelings of my own that I had to go write a mushy Tumblr post about it. I can only look forward to having more ridiculous emotions as I hear more about your wedding planning process! Also, A++ on the eggplant/black win.

  22. Congratulations, Laneia, Ali, Crystal, and Mari. All of your weddings will be beautiful because you are all beautiful people. 4 months is more than enough time to plan an awesome wedding. It is just a party. What makes it special is that you know what this party means.

  23. Hey, so I was engaged for like barely seven months and planned a wedding in less than four. It was a whirlwind. My wife (god bless her heart) basically did nothing aside from put finishing touches on my invitation design in Photoshop, call bakeries until someone could make us an armadillo cake (Steel Magnolias what up), and pick out her dress with way too much help from me. We got married at my grandparents’ house in the mountains of New Mexico, so basically everyone had to drive from East Texas or fly in. So coordinating that was greaaat. But that aside, I had 12 people at my wedding. My officiant was aaamazing even though we pulled a bunch of last minute crap on her, including starting the wedding about 20 minutes late. She sent us about 15 scripts she uses, so we picked one and rewrote and edited it a bunch, including using lines from Waylon Jennings’ Good Hearted Woman as our vows because we’re the worst. That was cool because we MADE IT OUR OWN without starting from scratch. Oh, any Albuquerque-area queers in need of an officiant, look up Kelly at Amor, she’s an angel.

    As for the flowers, I ordered dry larkspur and made our bridesmaids bouquets myself. I got our bouquets from the florist at Whole Foods for a total of $100 and they were beautiful. As for table flowers, we went to Trader Joe’s and bought a few bags of sunflowers and put those suckers in mason jars. And if you couldn’t tell already that I can’t be bothered with vendors, I did my own hair, makeup, and nails, and my family took photos and videos. My grandmother picked up Rudy’s bbq, we had a beautiful seven minute ceremony, I plugged in my iPod, we ate our armadillo cake, everyone got to know each other and had a great time, and that was our party.

    Anyway, some ~wisdom~ I can share is to let your family help you! Use your bridesmaids! Seriously! Send them to the store if you need something. Make them pull up your spanx if your nails are wet. Have them be your messengers. Get them to make sure your wife starts getting ready more than two hours before the ceremony. Also, I recommend registering somewhere, even if it’s just for a honeymoon fund, because people are happy and want to give you something that’ll make y’all happy too. People like tradition.

    I don’t know if you’ll be having a rehearsal or not, but we didn’t and maaaybe we should have. But if little mistakes happen during the ceremony, just laugh and go with it. My wife put my ring on the wrong way because she was so nervous and I had to stop her and turn it around, but it’s actually one of our favorite memories of the day. You might set up beautiful Pintrest worthy tables and end up moving inside because the desert wind doesn’t give a fuuuuck and your sunflowered mason jars keep falling over and your wine glass shatters.

    Obviously, it’s really great to plan everything down to the last tiny detail, but people (including you and your wife) will hardly remember the last tiny detail. Use whatever help you have, don’t feel ashamed to ask for things, try not to go into debt, remember how much you love your almost-wife when things get crazy, and also remember that dresses and flowers and sunsets are always beautiful.

  24. If I were any good at planning things I think I would be a wedding planner. Just the best, most celebratory party ever with (mostly) only people you like and if you’re the bride you get to be literally the most beautiful person in the whole room and dress like a princess (if you’re into that)… just the thought makes me teary. Laneia, you are going to make the most beautiful bride and gahdammit I’m already getting teary eyed.

  25. All of your plans sound wonderful! The dress is lovely. I am nowhere NEAR being engaged, but from hearing about my parents’ wedding, I have the following pieces of unexperienced advice:
    1) make sure there are enough hors d’oeuvres
    2) if something goes wrong, it won’t ruin anything. At worst, you’ll have the memory as a charming anecdote for your friends, grandchildren etc. (see: hors d’oeuvres). At best, you won’t remember it at all because IT WAS YOUR WEDDING and there was other, cooler stuff going on.

  26. WEDDINGS! that’s fun.

    I am also planning a wedding but I have the heavy involvement of my mom and her extended friend network that are like, divorced ladies in their 60s that are like WE LOVE TO PARTY so I am doing a certain amount of lining things up but mostly just redirection and being like “Mom, if there is going to be any cherpumple at all and you think we need it, I think the shower is the best time for that, it seems like a bit much for the wedding.” etc.

  27. When I got divorced and came out, your article “How To Leave Your Husband (Because You’re Gay)” was my saving grace. Reading this made me so happy, because I not only related to the never getting married again mentality, but realized in time that it was something I might do again because the right person came into my life. So thank you, first of all, and I couldn’t be happier for you!!

    Not only have I gone through a big, overdone, ridiculous wedding myself, I’ve been a bridesmaid in about 10 weddings, this summer will make 11. I’ve also performed at countless weddings and have attended too many to count. Whether or not you take ANY advice from anyone, your day will be fantastic. Really. In case you want advice, my type A self who loves to plan things would love to give some! 🙂

    1) “Make it your day” to me basically means don’t let the people who truly love you (but will drive you f*&^(*&$ crazy while you plan because they have an opinion about everything) influence your decisions. If your gut is telling you that you don’t like something, DON’T DO IT. This is about you and your fiancé. Sadly weddings sometimes bring out the worst in families. I don’t think ‘Make it your day’ is as much about the decorations/dress/music/etc as it is about you just making sure you are happy with the decisions that you do make.

    2) DJ or Hangout – you do you, it’ll be great either way. If you decide to do a DJ but don’t want to splurge, there’s a great app called WeddingDJ that I used for a friends wedding – it rocked. They designated me to be the unofficial DJ who announced things that needed to be said (releasing tables for dinner, first dance, etc) and then the app did the rest.

    3) Your dress looks awesome!

    4) The words you say – do both. Mix in a little tradition with a little you and your fiancé. My favorite weddings I’ve been to are the ones where the bride promises the groom that she’ll “make sure to never drink the last gatorade because she’s learned her lesson” or when the groom promises the groom that he’ll “always separate the whites from the darks because that shirt was not meant to be pink.”

    5) This is where wedding planners come in handy, because a good one thinks outside the box. My wedding planner was my favorite part of my big ridiculous wedding (should have been a sign). I compiled a bunch of stuff I thought looked cool onto a Pinterest board (I know I know, gag) and then she put it together to make it look interesting and unique. If you have a creative friend who rocks at this stuff, use them to help you come up with cool shit.

    6) AWESOME COLOR IDEA with the linens

    7) Parking sucks. Best of luck. Encourage those you are close with to carpool and say best of luck to the rest!

    8) Nikki is spot on for the 10 square feet – and most people will get up after dinner anyway and end up sitting in a different spot or standing anyway.

    9) REGISTER. Even if it’s for a few things. Some people are not good at thinking of unique presents and will stress about it (I lived with one of those people, trust me). You could also ask guests to contribute to a charity, which I love doing. If you really DO NOT want gifts (a wedding I’m going to specifically asked guest not to get them anything) then relay that. If you didn’t say that in any of your invites or websites, then register for a few things.

    10) Whatever you decide to do as far as the Moss goes, try to work it in there somehow, if it’s important to you. Examples: make it part of your centerpieces, do a makeshift PhotoBooth and have it as the background, if one of you is carrying a bouquet include it, etc. Just go with your gut – if you like it, put it in there.

    Additional words of wisdom from a perfect stranger 🙂

    – Designate a bossy (but kind friend) to take the reigns and be your “day of planner” if you don’t already have one – otherwise people will be bugging you and your fiancé about details that you do NOT want to know about at that moment. Let someone else be in charge of dealing with the issues that pop up that day.

    – Based on the size of your wedding, you may want to eat what you have planned for dinner before you make your ‘entrance’ into your reception. I still don’t know what my food tasted like. Have the caterer make you both a plate and scarf it down before you make your entrance.

    – Take anything that’s important to you and incorporate it into the wedding/reception somehow – THAT’S how you make it unique. I wrote all the music for mine and a friends wedding. I went to a wedding where the couple met doing a scavenger hunt, so we did a scavenger hunt at the wedding and it AWESOME. When you ‘do you’, it means you never have to second guess your decisions!

    Congratulations, best of luck in your planning, and your day will be fantastic! 🙂

  28. All of the yes to Lindsey’s advice to get a day-of planner. The most valuable thing you could possibly have is someone managing your time on this one day.

    Here are the answers that saved our wedding-planning lives.

    1) Make it yours.

    Drop the imposed expectations. For one day, only your feelings get to matter. Give them space. You and Megan rock at life together, so you’re making a thing together and sharing it with the people you want to share it with. Just do that.

    Refuse to do anything you think is really stupid. Stop hashing it out.

    Own your decisions. Confirm them out loud with your Megan and then end the conversation. You can’t entertain conversations that make you feel insecure about things that you’ve already decided.

    Set expectations. Write down those things you’ve confirmed with Megan are decisions. You’ll want to put them into your program and start communicating to other people the ones that involve them meeting the expectations you need them to meet on event day.

    2) Vibe

    The important thing about your vibe is that it be engaging. Indie folk music has its place, but for most people it needs some help. Prop it up with interactive things like your guestbook, an iPod photo booth with props, mad libs, a thumbprint tree, etc. Consult Pinterest, and only engage your guests in ways you and Megan don’t think are stupid. (Our first dance was “May I Suggest” by Susan Werner. That shit has its place! We also walked in to an instrumental version of Rainbow Connection and out to the Peanuts theme.)

    3) The Dress

    You don’t care.

    4) Script

    What it is…
    This is the out-loud part that everyone listens to. Curate some material that conveys what the hell it is you and Megan are actually doing. Affirm it to each other, and let all your people understand a little better this union they’ll be supporting for the rest of their lives. Use whoever’s words are meaningful for you.

    What it isn’t…
    Supposed to be a certain length.
    Anything you think is stupid.

    5) What you’re doing

    You’re doing your thing. Do the things you feel compelled to make yours.

    7) Parking/Space/Seating

    Delegate to the willing and able. Once delegated, abandon all willingness to take responsibility. Some details will get bunged up. You can’t control which ones. Practice radical acceptance. (Also fire people who prove themselves unable. Right before we fired her, our wedding planner advised that we set up decorated buckets with wood chips in them to supplement our venue’s restrooms.)

    9) Gifts

    Tell people exactly how you feel about it. Making an Etsy registry was the. best. thing. we discovered in our whole process.

    Potential words:
    “We have a functional life and most of the things we could possibly want. If you feel compelled to send a meaningful token, please do so by supporting the wonderful artisans on our Etsy registry. Mostly we just want you to show up.”

    10) Moss

    Yes, all of the moss all of the time. It sounds like you could use a ring nest.

    You don’t have to engineer the environment. It’s all about your and your guests’ experience of the event. Engage the senses to invoke the essence of things. Pick foods that feature mushrooms. We used burlap for texture and sprigs of lavender for fragrance. Don’t forget your own senses!

  29. I love how you two love each other. My advice consists of the same words that you’ve said to us (and we’ve had carved into ourselves) time and again – be right here. Just remember what it’s all about.

  30. First of all…. F Yeah for getting engaged and all that!

    As far as not knowing what you’re doing, no one knows what they are doing, we all fly blind in the wtf does that mean? or how do know what I want regarding this? Arrrg!

    The biggest piece of advice I could give you is this. Talk to your vendors, ask them about things they know about. Wedding photographers know their shit when it comes to wedding photography, in fact they actually know their shit about many wedding related things because they have seen wedding after wedding after wedding in it’s entirety and plenty of different types of weddings too.

    Celebrants can suggest options for the ceremony, DJ’s or bands can suggest what get’s a general crown on the dance floor etc.

    If you’re hiring vendors, make use of them. That’s what you pay them for. To know their shit, to get the job done, and to do it well. If they don’t know what they’re doing then maybe they are not the right vendor for you.

    On a side note (and feel free to delete this pug if you wish), we have plenty of info on our website, feel free to check it out.

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