Lynn says that the best achievement of the whole wedding was that I hadn’t managed to see the reception space until after the wedding. That our family took care of that and somehow managed to make me stay out of it was a monumental achievement for which I am grateful. Everything was gorgeous. Even though I planned it, secretly I didn’t think tulle would work (I mean, ick—tulle) but it covered the shelf with our childhood photos and made everything kind of floaty and magical along the mirrored wall. The flowers were lovely, and the colors all came together nicely.*
We came into the room and went straight to the dance floor for our first dance. We took lessons, but there is no overcoming our most serious ballroom impediment–I’m not meant to lead. And, since Lynn is too short to see over my shoulder (bless her), I have to even though I’m really bad at it. My lack of skills only got worse once we got in there and I started to get nervous with all of those people watching. Luckily Lynn caught on and started to twirl me around, rather than sticking to our routine. Everyone clapped and we loosened up for the rest of the dance.
When we got to the ceremony site we were greeted with the most pleasant problem I can imagine—not enough chairs! The rain had stopped just in time to set up the ceremony outside at the gazebo in the garden, and they hadn’t put out enough chairs for all of our guests. So we waited while my step-brother ran some more out there, and got through most of our pre-ceremony jitters while our moms pinned flowers on anyone who walked by.
images by Karl Knize and Connie Kalsch
Once the chair problem was solved our friends lined up, Lynn and I grabbed our birth parents to walk us down the aisle (our step-parents were waiting at the front) and stepped out into the sunshine.
On the day of the wedding one of Lynn’s friends came over early and did our hair (and my sister’s) as a gift to us. We decided to have something that honored our families in our hair–Lynn wore a hairpin from her great-great-grandmother and I pinned in some orchids from my grandmother’s garden. While we were getting our hair done (and the phone calls started pouring in asking when and where to go, announcing arrivals, and asking for advice) my friend Katie set up a secondary hair station for everyone else, and Minna began doing all of the makeup.
images by Karl Knize and Connie Kalsch
Initially we had planned to go to a salon to have everyone’s hair and makeup done, but I’m really glad we skipped it. Everyone looked much more like they do normally, and not pulled back into elaborate updos. It was more casual, and more comfortable to get ready this way.
Out on the porch everyone who wasn’t getting beautified started making the flowers, and my family headed over to the site to put together the decorations. I was so touched by the number of people who showed up to help!
We finally got married! And (more importantly) finally got the pictures back! So here, without any further ado, my Real Gay Wedding, in several posts. First, the days before the wedding itself:
My mother and I flew down to Florida on the Tuesday before the wedding to try to get all of the loose ends tied up before the big day. Planning from a distance meant that a lot of the things I’d bought I had shipped directly to Lynn’s mother’s house, and she had piled them into a spare bedroom (she got so many packages that at one point the UPS guy came back looking for a missing box that had been delivered accidentally two months before).
I’m not going to lie—getting things pulled together at the last minute was a lot more work than I’d hoped it would be. Part of the problem was that we didn’t know the area that well, so it was impossible to plan routes that took in more than one errand at a time. But eventually we found enough thrift store vases and candle holders, flowers and citrus fruits, and, most importantly, enough booze to keep us all in signature drinks all night long!
Our wedding posse stayed with us at the house, and were amazing. They went out on bushwacking missions in the yard looking for exotic leaves, helped us make key lime curd from scratch, and then bake it into 200 hamantaschen cookies (the wedding was on Purim, which is traditionally associated with all-out, drunken, gender-bending parties, and about coming out even when it’s dangerous—things we wanted to share with our guests. Hamantaschen are the official Purim goodie) to give away as favors. And, when our dj friend got stranded in new york with all the music, our friend Joe even helped put together the playlist for the wedding, working with a baby on one knee and a cheese Danish on the other. It was fab.
The most stressful thing about the pre-wedding day prep was the last-minute dressmaking. My sister and mother ended up working overnight the two nights before the wedding finishing our dresses, almost entirely by hand. I wouldn’t recommend it, except that we LOVED them when they were done, and they were exactly what we wanted.