This summer has really flown by for me. I am one week away from our first legal wedding, and just over one month away from our real wedding. A lot of friends who have gotten married told me that planning a wedding was a ton of work, so stressful, etc. I really thought that up until a few weeks ago, I had the system beat. Things were easy breezy – picked the first place we saw, loved the first photographers we met with, went with a great DJ who was at two friends’ weddings, found a dress at a sample sale, picked invites on Etsy. It all happened quickly, and fairly easily. Sure, there were deliberations and conversations. But it was easy. Then we went into this lull where we got to talk with each other theoretically about our wedding, some hazy event floating in our future, look at pictures, dream up ideas of what we’d say and wear and eat and dance to.
The time for talking is over! It’s officially GO TIME. Now, I think I am finally at the point in planning where all of those little details pop up and take up way more time at work than they should. I’ve become that person I dread, the person who always has wedding planning in the back of my mind and the tip of my tongue. We have to track down outstanding RSVPS (no more heartbreak since that big one last week). We have to figure out where guests will stay since all the hotels in the city are full of conventioneers. We have to set up transportation from the city to our venue. We need our outfits, shoes, accessories; cute escort cards and decorations; cake toppers. We need to make use of the stack of supplies I bought in a frenzy at the craft store (time to stop bookmarking ideas and start making some junk!). We have to start finally paying for the big ticket items that were just numbers on paper up until now. And in this mess of to-dos, we need to figure out how we will actually MARRY each other – what words and promises will we make?
We met with the officiant of our September wedding this week. He is the pastor at Anne’s church, and a lovely person. We had initially ruled out using the standard wedding ceremony from the Book of Common Prayer – too religious, too man/woman, too traditional. But after speaking with our officiant, and hearing the history and intention behind the words, and hearing the ways that he has personally updated the ceremony to reflect more modern sensibilities, things have shifted. There is something about the simple, streamlined language of promises made by thousands of couples for centuries that really resonated with us. Plus, we get to put our spin on things in the selection of readings and prayers that we will include (a major task we’ll face this month along with all the tedium of the other things). Discussing our ceremony and vows feels surreal somehow, because the day that we say them is still a few weeks away.
Then tonight, while making dinner, we realized that in exactly one week we will actually be officially, legally married, at least in NY state. We still need to sort out the words and whatnot for the ceremony next week, and we’re hoping to keep that one pretty simple, straightforward, and focused on legalities. We took the first step to making it legal last Friday. We both played hooky from work and took a bus (stay away from the top deck of the doubledecker megabus unless you want to feel megabarfy all day) then hopped on the subway straight to NY City Hall’s Marriage Bureau. Once the nausea passed and we got our bearings in the city, we finally got to take it all in. It was so…exciting! We walked in, got a number, and waited for a while. The energy in there was really awesome, a palpable sense of excitement. I felt like we were in a strange and foreign place – neither of us had any idea what to expect, who we’d see, how we’d feel. There were dozens of couples all waiting to do the same thing. Some were dressed to the nines, waiting for the justice of the peace to perform a ceremony after they filed for a license. Friends and family of these couples – happy, anxious, somber – looked on, tossed confetti or flower petals as the walked out of the building and down the steps like every NYC couple before them. And we got to be there, all mixed in with everyone else, given the same rights and respect of every straight couple in that hall with us (we only saw one gay male couple while we were there).
It was really exciting, even though it was the most formulaic and impersonal part of the whole process. But it was official – we are officially ready to make this official. Our license is awaiting our signatures as well as those of our witnesses and officiant at the civil ceremony next week at YayNY (tickets still for sale!). We are eagerly awaiting September 25th when we will finally be legally, officially, for real married, for good. We can’t wait, and I hope all the stress in these last few weeks turns into some super fabulous celebrations for us!
For those of you who are already married – what words of wisdom do you have for us as we enter this final countdown of one week/month until our wedding(s)? For those of you still counting down, what has been the most exciting or frustrating part for you so far?