Thursday, February 12, 2009

"We bought the kids' outfits already!"

We've been sending out our versions of "save the dates" - basically a chatty email, telling them that it's in December and therefore close to Christmas... and because we're in Australia, it's Summer, so ... well Summer at the beach.

So we've sent out emails. My mother asked me not to use the term ''wedding'' so I obliged and called it a ceremony. All cool. A bundle of people are keen - even people who I had as "probably nots" on the guest list are coming.

I emailed a friend and she said "we wouldn't miss it" then went on to tell me she's already sorted out outfits for her children.


We had tossed up the idea of inviting children, and had then decided against it. I guess we're now inviting children!

On the one hand, a destination wedding may seem to scream "children should be invited". I was conscious of the fact that seeing two women kissing, dancing and touching one another might mean the kids ask lots of questions. But then I figure that parents bringing children to something like that would be willing to have their children see that. We still haven't decided what to do.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The wedding venue

When my sister and brother in law visited, Bride-To-Be and I decided to take them to our wedding destination... a couple of hours away from where we lived. My sister was on the phone to our mother as we drove in to the destination, and I was disappointed. I wanted to see her reaction as we came over the hill and saw the ocean, but she was too busy discussing some point or other that was probably irrelevant.

I wanted to scream "get off the phone!" but I didn't want to look like Bridezilla either. So when she finally got off the phone, she looked around. "Oh, it's lovely" she said.

We took her to the ceremony location, which was already set up for another wedding. We took photos, and Bride-to-be and I went and stood where we'll stand on the day. My sister snapped photos away. It was quite emotional to imagine that in about ten months we'll be there for real!

We went up to the reception spot, too. We loitered around the bar, and finally I got the courage to ask. "I'm having a reception here," I turned to Bride-to-be and gestured. "We're having our reception here... in December. We just wondered if we could run up and have a look at the room all decorated".
"Well, sure," the guy behind the bar said, and I instantly wondered if he were gay himself. "Just take a peek up there - it's stunning!"

So we did, and he was right, it was completely stunning!

"Now," my sister said, "accommodation options!"
We went across the road to the hotel Bride-to-Be and I were keen to stay at. Chatted to the lady, who was lovely and friendly and suggested the Honeymoon suite to us. Gay male couple were in the hotel also investigating prices. "That's a coincidence" I said on the way out.
"Not really," my brother-in-law said. "You've chosen a gay friendly hotel". He showed us a brochure. We didn't know it, but our hotel is a gay friendly travel hotel of some kind. So there you have it.... we didn't even plan to spend our wedding night at a gay friendly resort!

My sister realised she had another question, so went back in. The woman told her that the honeymoon suite had no cooking facilities, and to let us know. "The girls probably won't care," the middle-aged woman behind the counter said. My sister was shocked when the woman added "They won't be eating much... or rather, they'll just be eating each other!"


Our wedding may not be ultra traditional, but Bride-to-be has always pictured somewhat of a traditional wedding. Having been married before myself, I could have quite happily run away somewhere and eloped with just a few witnesses. Actually, I lie. I'm so excited about the day of our dreams.

"Six bridesmaids?!" everyone exclaims. But really, it's three each. My two sisters and a cousin. Bride-to-be's three sisters.

How on earth do you get a dress for six girls of varying sizes? I was panicked.

My sister came to town the other day and I showed her a dress. "I'd love something like this," I said. "It's pretty cheap, attractive, and red!"

Bride-to-be gave it her nod of approval and suddenly four girls had tried it on. Quick text messages and the other two had tried it on.

Now we have a dress!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"That changes everything"

We've been a little apprehensive about mentioning that it's a "gay wedding" in our inquiry emails. Don't get me wrong - it's not that we're not proud of it. It's just that I fear them writing back "sorry, we are unavailable for your date" and me wondering whether it's because of the gay thing. By telling them afterwards, I get the truth.

I emailed a celebrant about our "ceremony". She replied "I'm unavailable, sorry". Bummer. She'd been recommended to us, so we emailed her back asking if she had any suggestions, given it was a gay ceremony. She replied straight away. "Oh, that changes everything. I will move some things and try to be available". I nearly cried.

When I called her the next day, she explained. She loves gay ceremonies. "The love is so evident. People truly want to be together. I believe gay couples should have every chance" etc. etc. We were just thrilled. It was kind of nice to think that someone was so excited about marrying the two of us.

Chatting to her on the phone was a lovely experience. She's friendly, she's fun, she's a laugh. We had a good rapport (although I'm dying to know if she's gay herself).

Bride-to-be and I hope to meet her soon, to see whether my telephone instincts are correct. A destination wedding means we have to plan these things in advance, but it's certainly not impossible.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Romance and roses

I have to confess... our relationship has been completely rosy since we met. Until now.

Tomorrow I have plans to meet another girl for a drink... another femme actually. A femme I met online. I've never met her in the flesh and that's fine. I have no interest in her, and I'm not particularly interested in dating anyone else, nor being with a femme. But it marked the first time my Bride-to-be has been jealous of me with another woman.

It raised all sorts of feelings - the feeling of being flattered. Bride-to-be has been jealous of me with men, but I'm gay. I always found that kind of confusing, so when Bride-to-be became concerned about me with another woman, I was kind of impressed. I also felt flattered - she is fearful of losing me. No matter how you see it, it's kind of flattering. But on the negative side of things, I was concerned... concerned that she was getting possessive. I've had a possessive partner in the past, and I struggle with that.

We're getting married... she needs to trust me. And ultimately she does. What I've been impressed with is how open our communication is, how much we've talked. There have been tears, I won't deny that, but ultimately I'm happy with how we've talked about it.

Can there be a winner in this situation? I don't know. I don't actually think so. If I don't go, I'll feel controlled. If I do go, she'll feel jealous. Hmmmmm...

The engagement - part two

Though she didn't know I'd bought her ring, my Bride-To-Be asked me to look at rings. I found two I loved - one a pink sapphire and diamond ring, and one a diamond ring. I told her that as I was proposing, I'd just get the ring at the ceremony, and I wanted the diamond one. I loved the sapphire ring, but ultimately if I was just wearing one ring for the rest of my life, my heart was set on the diamond one.

Her ring was delayed. I had anticipated proposing prior to Christmas - at our romantic dinner. But I didn't want to do it without the ring as I knew she'd be so surprised I'd bought it. So I decided I'd do it once we moved into our home in January. I planned a treasure hunt, with the treasure at the end being a proposal. I was being secretive, and it was fun.

On Christmas Day, I received some amazing gifts, but the most amazing of all was a poem asking me to wear her ring. We were apart on Christmas Day, and didn't know for sure whether this was a proposal... after all, I was meant to propose, right? I rang her to ask, and she laughed. "Of course it is" she said. "In that case my answer is of course!" I laughed down the phone. My mum and sister were waiting for me when I returned. "Look at the grin on her face," Mum said.

We were engaged, but not together. So I was dying to pick her up from the airport on New Year's Eve. And as she got off the plane, she was intending on getting down on one knee, but she was nervous, as she hates flying. She looked like a ghost when she'd landed, and went straight to the bathroom. On the way home, she asked me to pull the car over and presented me with a ring... a ring that she'd moved Heaven and Earth to order in less than a week. She had people running all over the shopping centre, jewellers breaking the rules for her and one of her sisters was by her side every step of the way, supporting her decision to surprise me. The pink sapphire and diamond ring! I was amazed.

I told her my proposal plans, and within a week of returning home, the ring I'd ordered for her was available. So I bought that and gave it to her. Here we are now.

Engagement officially announced, plans on the horizon. Photographer picked, venue picked, celebrant (hopefully) picked, flowers won't be a drama (Mum-in-law to be is a florist). We've picked songs (but no DJ yet). No cars needed. What else is required? Dress (painful!), bonboniere, invitations. It just seems so simple... maybe because it's my second time, or maybe because there are two brides....

The engagement - Part one

Although our face to face meeting wasn't love at first sight, I'd started to get an inkling I'd fall for her prior to that, as we'd met online. Weeks of chatting till all hours of the night allowed me to see that this was someone I'd clicked with. She dazzled me.

We never made a conscious decision to live together. In fact, every aspect of our relationship has come naturally. We planned in the early days to spend three nights a week together. That soon changed to three nights apart, then two, then one. Before we even had a routine of that, we were spending every night together and it hadn't been a decision. Even buying our house came naturally. Rather than discussing it in advance, we just went house hunting for an afternoon activity and suddenly we were in love with our home and thought "why not?" We did discuss our expectations of living together, and what that meant to us both, but it was never a "time to move in together" conversation.

I mentioned my love for zucchini fritters on one of our first dates at a Turkish restaurant. She's a chef and said "I used to make them. I could make them for you"."Marry me!" I said gleefully. When she agreed, I decided that was too easy. "No, actually. Make them once a month for twelve months and I'll propose". I'd pretty much decided I was going to "marry" this woman from the beginning, so making her cook 12 months worth of fritters was just a bonus for me.

(I should point out I'm calling it marriage/ wedding etc. It's actually a committment ceremony. Sorry if that offends anyone).

At her birthday party, a family friend said to her "I love this girl! You should marry her!" and she replied "I'm working on it". So it hit me.... sitting chatting to her family, it hit me. I was going to propose at her birthday party in 2009 with all her family and friends around. Then I struggled with the "public" nature of that. Perhaps something more intimate, something more at the beach. Maybe at home. Either way, I knew I would marry this woman. I just didn't tell anyone... even my Bride-To-Be.

We went away for the weekend to the beach, and I lay on the grass by the ocean thinking "this is exactly where I want to marry this woman". But still I didn't say anything.

A month or so passed, and we went to the movies together. I can't recall what we were seeing, but prior to the movie starting, I mentioned weddings. I said "when we're ready, I think we should do it at (beach name)". She grinned, but didn't say much.The next night, she sent me the wedding brochure for the venue. "Okay," I said, "but I'm proposing when the time is right". I'd been engaged before, she hadn't. I thought she should get the nice proposal. I was no longer worrying about the twelve months. By this stage we'd bought a home together, and I was ready. We were ready.

I went online, I researched ways to do the proposal. We went Christmas shopping and she innocently pointed out a ring. I did a special order for it the next day. The jeweller said she remembered us and thought it was really cute that I rushed back in. I'm not great at keeping secrets like this, but I did so well... didn't tell anyone!

And that's it for now.... the rest to follow!