On being involved

The other day, a friend of mine said, “people are pretty involved in your wedding, compared to other weddings.” I was actually completely perplexed when she said that. How are other people involved? We’re planning everything, we’re paying for (nearly) everything, and every single artsy DIY “party” turns into my personal art project with occasional Turtle help.

Then we talked a little bit more, and I realized that she’s right. We are asking a lot from our guests, and not just in terms of requesting their presence at our wedding – not to mention the various pre-wedding parties (engagement, showers, bachelorette). We are asking them, if they’d like, to make pies for the reception, to make squares for our quilt, to come to our post-wedding events, even to draw us pictures or write us a nice message on the back of our RSVP cards. This is our wedding, and people cannot just show up for it!

Turtle and I were talking about this a little more recently, and we agreed that while we didn’t set all these tasks up with the specific, conscious goal of forcing people to be involved, it has evolved nicely that way.

Here’s the thing: if our wedding was just about us and no one else, then we would just go to town hall and be done with this whole thing.  It would be much less expensive and involve far less planning, and I’m sure I would spend a lot less time stressing out about music or the diameter of hair flowers (can you tell the hair flowers are still on my to do list?).  But, for us, the wedding is not just about us.  Yes, it’s about our marriage, and it’s about the creation of our new family.  But an enormous part of that, and of our family, is the recognition and support that our community of family and friends give us.  And, yes, they can show us that they support us by just showing up, but they can also show their support – again, if they want – in making pies or squares or funny little pictures on RSVP cards.

We are incredibly grateful to be able to legally marry each other in just 31 days. In our happy little Massachusetts bubble, we can often convince ourselves that this is something everyone can do, that of course you can walk around your own town holding hands and kissing each other and tackle each other in the grass in public.  But, of course, this isn’t something everyone can do.  I’m not sure if any of you have been following the Prop 8 trial in California, but essentially the judge voted that marriage is a constitutional right that is being violated if same sex couples aren’t allowed to marry.  Hooray! It was decided through some legal process I don’t understand that everyone could marry starting August 18th – that’s tomorrow.  And then somehow the 9th Circuit did something (again, I don’t get it) and now there’s a wait at least until December.

Can you imagine, two days ago realizing you could maybe, possibly, finally marry your person tomorrow and then get an “oops, never mind” today?!

A portion of our families who are invited and who are coming do not approve of same-sex marriage, and their reasons are theirs.  They are our family, and we are theirs.  And honestly, it was hard to decide who to send invitations to – who would come? Would people still recognize us as ourselves, as their family? How many people have to deal with this question when putting together a guest list? Count your blessings, guys.

Well, it turns out that even the family members who don’t necessarily approve of what we’re doing love us, and want to support us, and are doing their best to do just that.  They are coming or they are sorry not to come, and they are supportive.  And this, I think, is an enormous part of what the wedding is about.  It’s a time for your family to say they love you, that they support you, that you are their family.  It’s a time to be surrounded by your community and hear them show their support for your relationship, even if your stupid state refuses to do the same.

I am so excited to stand up with the woman I love and make promises to her about our life together, and then to be a legal family*.  But just as much as that, I am excited to feel the love that I’m sure will be there that day with our friends and family.  And I hope that our asking them for little contributions can be seen as our weaving them into our day.

*at least in the state of Massachusetts, recognized by a few other states

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2 Comments

Filed under Marriage/Wedding/Engagement, Relationships

2 responses to “On being involved

  1. Pingback: On not scrapping this whole thing and running away: a guest post « Roughing It

  2. This is exactly why I want to have a wedding. I want to be supported by my friends and family when I take such a big step. I also hope people end up doing more than just showing up. I would love it if they ended up getting as involved as your guests are.

    Your family who does not support same-sex marriage, but is trying to be supportive of you may learn a thing or to at your wedding. Who knows…maybe their eyes will be widened a little. Maybe by watching you get married, their tolerance will increase.

    I think it is incredibly sad that our country can’t just get itself together and declare same-sex marriage legal. You are lucky to live where you do, but you shouldn’t have to be lucky. Everyone should have the same rights. I feel so bad for the people of California too.

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