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The Wedding: Planning

In late October 1996 we decided to get married in September of the following year. After messing around with dates for a few months we decided on Saturday, September 6. Next came the decision of where to get married. After many decisions and changed minds, we settled on the Ferndale Rep because it was were we met and beyond that, it was free. With the Rep set came a date change because a show was closing on September 6. Hence, hasty calls were made to all involved thus far to get the date changed to September 7. Now everything was full steam ahead.

When our friends Chris and Peggy got married in May 1997, they passed on to us a wonderful book, The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Weddings. We read that book front to back — sometimes in the car to each other during road trips. It helped us get things lined up, caterer, a place for the reception, when to mail invitations, etc. It also helped us with the basic things like setting up a guest list.

We were pretty calm during the whole planning, no fights (maybe a few snippy comments here and there, but nothing major), no disagreements over food or who to invite. It was a fairly smooth undertaking.

About a month before our ceremony, our friend, and wedding coordinator, Bonnie, threw us a bachelor-bachelor party (following on the heels of her highly successful bridal-bridal shower for Peggy and Chris). Our shower had a Hawaii theme since that’s a progressive state where we might actually be able to get married some day. We got many excellent gifts, including some 100 small bottles of bubbles (a gift from Bonnie) that would be used in our ceremony instead of rice.

It was also this time we got to learn first hand about the kindness of strangers. Even in late July we were still struggling on where to have the reception. We’d finally settled on our caterer’s house (we know him very well). But then the caterer was visiting a friend who ran the shop next door to the theatre. Here was a perfect place — trees, flowers, close proximity and lots of space. The shop owner let us use his backyard for an extremely reasonable fee.

The only other major trauma we had came with the cake top. It’s hard to find something that is “just right” for a cake that involves two grooms. So Jeff hit the Internet one night, just 10 days before the ceremony, in hopes of finding a miracle. And there it was: Family Celebrations (sadly, they have since gone out of business). The company specializes in wedding stuff for gay and lesbian couples. After an e-mail and a couple of phone calls, a personalized, cut glass cake top was in the works. It was (and still is) gorgeous.

Now all we had to do with sit back, keep count of the RSVPs and wait for the out-of-town guests to arrive (including Jeff’s mom from Alabama, Will’s parents from Oregon and friends from as far away as Idaho, Palm Springs and South Florida). By our count 80 or so people attended the ceremony and reception.

Read about the ceremony.