Congratulations Brides

Posted: 6 April 2008 in DC, joy, other folks, queerlife

We went to a wedding this weekend for one of D’s friends that she’s known since college.  Different than most weddings I’ve been to, it was two women and it was on a boat.  I was delighted to see a commitment ceremony for two women – although we know other partnered women, I haven’t had the opportunity to see how they decide to do a wedding.  We, of course, eloped (here and here) and had a beautiful, private ceremony on the beach.  Frankly, I don’t think anyone should have to go through the stress of planning a wedding for a hundred guests unless you’re going to get the benefits and marriage license to go along with.  They are braver than I am though, so off we went to the boat. 

The ceremony took place just before we set off, the ship idling under the setting sun, glass walls and ceiling filled with a backdrop of cherry blossoms.  The brides looked happy and after a short exchange of vows, we all moved to tables for supper while the boat began to move.  Though I’ve been on dinner cruises before, it has always been in foreign countries; odd little clipper ships with a plate of rice and chicken on your lap as the boat rocked in the blue green water, a linen/fine china/full silver place setting on a deserted desert island in the indian ocean while a sailboat tugged on its anchor nearby, barbecues on motorboats cutting up alligator infested rivers, alcohol soaked sunsetter cruises on big open air flat bottomed ships.  This was sophisticated and truly Washington, braised short ribs and lobster bisque, as the monuments – Capitol Hill, Washington, Lincoln – slipped past. 

D looked phenomenal.  She picked a gorgeous light silk suit, pin-striped, tan and bone, with a contrasting striped white crisp shirt underneath.  I must not have been the only one to think she looked nice – a complete stranger motioned to me across the room, wondering where she got her suit.  I was flattered that he knew I was with this perfectly dressed human.  I do wonder if he knew she was a woman or if he was simply hoping to get a similar suit for his wife.  Admittedly, we look awfully straight together, she has a hybrid carriage and attitude that confuses people who expect to see a man and a woman.  I think it’s too easy sometimes, for people to assume you are just like them rather than to stretch their minds a bit.  In the end, for being a wedding between two women, it was an awfully straight seeming crowd. 

While I dreaded being trapped on the boat, I had a lovely time.  It’s always fun to dress up and get compliments, she two lovely women get married and do something new.  Spring in Washington really is beautiful.

  1. Why get married even though you don’t get a marriage license? Because for me, the wedding was about the social aspects: in the eyes of our family and friends, we are married. Heck, in the eyes of whichever deity you choose, we are married. We care about whether we can get married legally, but we weren’t going to let that keep us from affirming our partnership in front of our friends and family.

    Plus which, did you know that people will actually give you *presents* when you get married? Like dishes and small appliances, sure. But also *cash*. This was amazing to me, after our wedding. All these people gave us *PRESENTS*. Just for having a party (some of them didn’t even *come* to the party, because they had to be elsewhere, but they sent us presents, in the mail!)

    If we’re going to do the work of being in a committed relationship, we may as well get some loot, too! 😉

  2. backlist says:

    Oh, I’m all for having the wedding – not only for the loot but for the simple fact that it raises the level of awareness in the eyes of the rest of the voting population and promotes understanding, even if you can’t or don’t vote. But being an introvert, it’s the party I object to…seems like so much stress! We sent out announcements after the fact and did pretty well in the cards/cash/toaster oven area, which was a respectable compromise for us. We were loud and proud about it, but we didn’t have to dance the chicken dance 😉

  3. dylan says:

    My mom is getting married this summer so I’ve seen and participated in many of the aspects of planning a wedding. I agree with you that most of the time it’s way over done and the stress just isn’t worth the few hours of festivity. Also, it seems like a ton of money to drop on a single day, especially at a time when most people are usually thinking about starting a life together in the tangible sense too; homes, furniture, cards, babies maybe… as a sensible person, the wedding party just doesn’t seem sound to me.

    Not to mention they say the two most stressful things a couple can do together are plan a wedding and buy a home. Why do something that might add tension to your relationship in a time when you both feel it is at its best!

  4. Smiley smiley smiley from reading this.

  5. MKD says:

    No chicken dance? Then you really aren’t married.

  6. backlist says:

    Ah, but I’m also not scarred. for. life. 🙂

  7. linaria says:

    Still late! But better late than never.

    I was long of the opinion that marriage was a primarily political institution, most useful for the securing of tax breaks, real estate arrangements, and custody issues. Because if you and your partner know you love each other, and your friends already know it, there is no point in getting a marriage licence other than said legal benefits. And that it was evil and selfish for straight people to get married, while the rest of us are denied those privileges.

    Figures I would be from Massachusetts. Now my argument has a big hole in it…and since I can’t help but coo over all the cute queer couples getting married, it’s softened my heart towards the straight people too;)

  8. backlist says:

    I don’t begrudge the straight folks their right to get married. I begrudge them the right to think it’s their’s exclusively. But that’s still awhile in coming and, in the meantime, they sure look cute in their suits and dresses.

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