Thursday, July 30, 2009

The veiled bride

I promise this will be the last post about my veil - because I bought it last night!

I had toyed with not wearing one, I'd toyed with wearing one, I'd toyed with making one... but in the end, I decided to slap that $85 AUD down and buy the one I loved - which happened to be the first one in the pictures below (I'd post it again, only I am feeling lazy!).

So I went to bed last night excited that I'll get to wear the kind of veil I truly love. For my first wedding I wore a Cathedral veil for the ceremony - one that goes longer than the dress? I took the Cathedral part off and wore a finger tip veil for the reception. I just love veils, but I knew I didn't want that kind of look this time around.

I'm so excited! It's stupid that I'm so excited about a veil... but even though these kind of veils have made their way around the wedding blogs and are obviously becoming popular, no one I know has ever had one, so I'm excited because I'll be kinda different. In my circle, at least.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ballroom dancing classes for lesbians

2) What do you find the most different about planning a gay wedding as opposed to a straight one?

I'm not actually going to answer this question completely.... but I will get to it. It's just that something has happened that to me highlights one of the differences. It could be reactions, or it could be my paranoia!

Recently C suggested we contact a company about doing ballroom dance lessons. I did ballroom dancing at school, but C didn't, so I figured I'd find a place online. We found one nearby and I contacted them asking if we had to dance with other people if we did group lessons, and whether two women could dance together. I explained we were actually a couple (rather than two friends/ sisters/ whatever who simply wanted to dance together). The thing is, neither of us wanted to dance with men, but we were also concerned about whether they'd allow us to do group classes in a same-sex union.

I didn't hear back from them in a week. So, being a little disappointed, I decided that perhaps they were simply an organisation that doesn't check their emails frequently. Or was it the two women thing?! I decided to test this and using a generic email address I have (an a nickname, rather than my real name) I asked a similar question about the dancing together, and didn't mention the two women part. I got a reply immediately - very friendly and encouraging.

I wondered if I was simply being paranoid, and consequently, I decided to try again with the two women question (from my normal email address). I simply asked if it was ok for two women to dance together if one played the role of the male (didn't mention that we were romantically involved)... and my reply today (nearly 24 hours later) was a simple "yes". Nothing more, nothing encouraging, nothing friendly.

Now... it's not a foolproof experiment. I didn't ask the same questions in the last two emails, and the first one might not have gotten to them (technology has a way of doing that sometimes). I can't compare the responses 100% - it could be that they were busier today than yesterday. It could even be a different staff member. Whether we'll go to this dance class, or find another, is still be to determined.

There are other examples of how planning a gay wedding (for me) is slightly different from planning a straight wedding, but one could also argue that planning a second wedding is different from planning a first (oh, can you tell I'm a researcher here, all this talk about control and experiments!) I'm going to give this some more thought and get back to this question.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How I met my girl

I'm a writer, by nature, and when I'm asked a question - watch out. I don't just go with a short answer.

A at Accordians and Lace recently sent me five interview questions (after I requested them). But rather than respond to them all in one post, I've decided to do different posts for each question, so I can respond more deeply. If anyone wants interview questions for their blog, let me know, and I'll give you some!

So... question 1) How did you meet your partner, and how did you know you were goingto marry her?

And because calling her "bride-to-be" or "my girl" is getting clunky, I'll call her C. The funny thing is that our celebrant just asked us to write answers to these questions (separately) so she can incorporate the stories in our ceremony. C - if you happen to be reading this post... you should look away now! (She's not meant to be reading my answers).

We’ve had a bit of a whirlwind romance, but to me "whirlwind" implies spontaneous and not thinking through the reality and magnitude of this. In reality, we've thought and discussed every part of our day.

We met online. I was online just to meet a few women, and C sent me a “smile”. Normally if someone sent me a smile, I replied with another smile, inviting them to email me. For some reason though, I looked at C’s profile and just HAD to contact her. So I quickly emailed her and sat at the computer, hoping she would reply. She did, and there hasn’t been a day since that we haven’t spoken – at least on email.

We talked for about ten days, and I was heading to Hong Kong. I kept saying I wanted to meet her, and she said she was “busy” and “shy”, but I’m quite persistent. Finally, 3 days before I went to Hong Kong we met for a coffee. I went to her sister’s engagement party the next night unsure as to whether I was her “date” or just a friend. And after the party, she sent me a text message to tell me she enjoyed my company, and we texted back and forth. I was so happy …

On our first “date” (coffee) she barely looked at me! I figured she wasn’t interested in anything more than friendship, but it turns out she was just shy. I knew I’d liked her from her emails – we clicked. She was a thinker, and that showed through her emails, and that was what had attracted me to her in the first place. So nervously I walked through to the backyard and found C with a bundle of friends. She was holding court with her friends, which surprised me, as she’d been so shy. But I sat down next to her and she organised everything – she’d gotten a chef friend who worked in a vegetarian restaurant to organise me a meal. She waited on me with drinks, and she just seemed nice and everyone seemed to like her. But I wasn’t sure how silly she was, how much she let loose… I’m a little silly and I guess I felt like I need a little bit of silliness in my partner. But we had a great night, and then she walked over to get a drink and danced her way back, laughing at herself. I was instantly attracted to her when she did that – I do enjoy someone who can laugh at themselves and not take life too seriously.

There was a moment, fairly early on, where I was lying on the grass in (our wedding location) looking up at the sky with her. And I thought to myself “I am utterly, hopelessly in love and it scares the crap out of me because I’ve never felt this way before and I don’t want to be so vulnerable to a person”. But I didn’t tell her, because it was so early on, and because she’d dated other women and maybe it was normal to feel this way when you’re with the right gender. But I knew then that when we were ready to celebrate our love publicly, I wanted to do it right there - at the beach. And there were lots of tears in the early days…. I wasn’t prepared for the magnitude of feelings I was having, I didn’t understand. If this was something everyone felt for their partners, how on earth does the world function?! How did people go to work each day and concentrate if they felt this way? I would listen to a love song and cry happy tears. It was truly biazaare.

As for how we decided to marry.... there's more on that... for another day!

The Bride Runner

Many bridal bloggers mention their weight concerns at some point or other. Here's my point!

I'm still too fat for my gown, and while the boutique lady says she can alter it in a matter of a week or so, I don't really want to do that. Instead, I want to lose weight and manage to fit my gown. This is not just about the dress - it's about health and about the fact that I hate the way I look in photos. I have a double chin and my arms are chubby. My hips and legs are relatively slim, but that hardly matters under a wedding gown! (Why didn't I go for a knee length dress, I wonder). My sister, who was the same size as me (admittedly she's more of a pear) has lost weight and tried my dress on last time she was here, and it actually did up on her. My goal, therefore, is to have it do up on me, just the way it easily zipped up on her.

So this week I commenced the Couch to 5K running plan. I've actually been running! It's pretty amazing, and today I did my work out, felt less hungry and am sitting her typing while my belly feels all taunt and tight. I've also been watching what I've been eating and have lost 3kg (or about 6lb) over the past few weeks. Here's hoping the weight loss continues.

I'm seriously considering the low carb milkshake diet! I've done it before, and in 3 months lost a load of weight. I know, it's not healthy, but gee, wouldn't it be great if I could just lose this weight quickly. We have four and a half months. Is there any other way?!

My girl is lucky. She's wearing a 3/4 sleeve shirt, and when she moans about wanting to lose weight, I tell her to shut it! I love strapless wedding gowns, but having worn one for my first wedding was reluctant to do it again... till she mentioned her vision of me was in a strapless gown. So my gown is strapless, after all, and my shoulders are the envy of a professional football player! Even at my slimmest, I have the broadest shoulders. People assume I'm some kind of Olympic swimmer! I don't want to look like some kind of giant to my partner... but I am taller, and will be wearing heels to her flat shoes.

Moan, moan. I was a skinny little thing til I turned about 23 and ballooned. I just want to be slender for the remainder of my life. I'll never be petite, and I'm happy not to be - in fact, I love my body's strong, muscly frame when I'm not carrying extra kilos, and I just want to be back there.

Anyone lose weight for their big day? Can I do it in four and a half months, I wonder?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The veiled bride

I've been trying to decide about whether to wear a veil. I think I'll regret it if I don't wear a birdcage veil, but I know my girl doesn't actually like them - she thinks they're kind of weird. I'm working on the fact that once she sees me all dressed up, she'll love it. Fingers crossed, eh?!

I have three I'm deciding between... Cast your vote, please?




Which do you prefer? I'm inclined to go with option one, but think Option 3 might be good if Bride-to-be is worried about my face being too covered.... And option 2 is a great price.

The lady in red

Originally we couldn't decide between red or pink as our wedding colour.

Red is a favourite colour of us both, and I was secretly hoping for red. I knew that bright red bridesmaid dresses would make for great photos, and the fact that I had purple bridesmaid dresses (with pink flowers) in my first wedding means I was a little reluctant to go all girly again this time around.

Turns out bride-to-be was also hoping for red, but I wasn't aware. I guess because she thought I was campaigning for pink. Plus, we both felt our eldest sisters preferred to wear pink.

Because we coudln't decide, we sent a text message to the six bridesmaids asking for votes between: fuschia, pale pink or red. Mostly we got votes for red or fuschia.... and because one of the girls said she hated red, we opted to fuschia. Somehow I also got it in my head that my sister didn't want to wear red.

When she was visiting in February, I showed her a dress I loved. "If you were happy to wear red, I think this would be the dress". She loved the dress too - and said "I said I liked wearing red!"

With that knowledge, Bride-to-be and I looked at each other and swiftly changed our wedding colour to red, while my sister tried the dress on and fell in love with it.

So now our wedding colour is red, and I'm so excited. Accents of red are scattered throughout our entire house - cushions, bar stools, towels, curtains for starters. We even have red kitchen appliances. It's really us, and having pink just wouldn't have felt right.

We have a few little things to plan now - mainly the cake topper. I got a cake topper made in China, but the little model of bride-to-be has HUGE boobs and she's embarrassed by it, so we're trying to find a new same-sex cake topper. Any suggestions?

We also have to finalise our invitations, but I've got a graphic designer from work helping us with that...

And our favors. We're giving away CDs with our favourite music on it. 19 songs. 5 songs are wedding related (what I walk down the aisle to, what she'll walk down the aisle to, signing the certificate, walking off and our first dance) and then the other 12 songs... well we've decided to pick six each from mix CDs we've made each other. But we have to finalise our decisions with music and start to make the CDs.

We're just under the 5 month mark, so we still have plenty of time, but I'd rather finish things like the cake topper and the favors and so on because nothing in terms of that can go off or change, so it won't matter if we're storing it for a few months.

One thing I'm torn about is stationary - whether we need to do an order of service program or anything like that. I haven't decided....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Square peg, round hole

On a recent post, Desaray mentioned that she likes reading the differences between my former "hetero" life and my current gay lifestyle in this blog. When I first joined the lesbian community, I promised myself I'd try to avoid mentioning I was once married to a man as much as possible in case people judged me. Now days, I realise how silly that is and that by mentioning it, I might actually help some women who are questioning themselves. A lot of lesbians were once with men - it makes me no less a lesbian than those that knew from the early days and were never with men.

As a result, this post is less about me as a lesbian and more about me learning about men chasing women.... apologies for those of you who've stumbled across my blog and want to read about the gay gay gay stuff.... scroll down! :-D

Anyway... I do regret the time I spent with men because I think there were obvious clues before I started dating men and I think I could have spent a lot more time exploring my sexuality instead. I must confess I even became a bit "boy-mad" for a while - at least that was the reputation in my family. Once guys started paying me attention, I lapped it up... but I'm just that kind of person. I do happen to like attention. More than that, I know what I find sexy in a girl, and I went with that. Guys used to say all the time "you know what the guys want". Yes, because I wanted it too!

I often think back to the clues, and there are many. Some are embarrassing, or perverted. Some just show my tom-boy and hidden butch side (I'm a femme on the outside, but I think I'm quite masculine on the inside).

I still remember the first time a boy hit on me. Or at least, the first time I realised it. These days I'm overweight and not at all self-obsessed, but as a teenager I was quite stunning - tall, slim and so on (I realise that's quite egotistical to say, but I think talking of the past, it's okay). Basically my point is that I was never short of male attention. I always hung out with the guys, but it was about 14 when I realised they felt differently. I didn't.

I was 14 when I was swimming in a lake with my family. Always one to test my limits, I started swimming across the lake, proud of the fact that I was so independent. I was lying on my back in the water when a boy, a little older than me, came over and asked me about my holiday, and whether I'd like to hang out with him. Normally hanging out with the boys came naturally, but it occured to me by the way he was leering at me that he wasn't interested in skipping rocks or swimming together. I had absolutely not interest in boys, didn't find them attractive at all, and politely decline and swam back to my sister, who teased me about the boy who hit on me. It was like my innocence had suddenly smashed into little pieces, because that leer was something I noticed for years to come. Boys had changed, and were interested in me. My sister encouraged me to pick a guy to have my first kiss with. The idea of kissing a boy had never occured to me, and as I mulled it over, I decided I didn't want to do it.... but then friends of mine started kissing boys, and it seemed like the thing to do if you weren't prudish.

So when I was 15 a boy lunged at me with his mouth, and I let him. I figured it was time. It wouldn't be til I was 19 that I first kissed a girl - actively persuing a girl on a dance floor.

There were plenty of clues I was into girls prior to that, and plenty of clues after that, and one day I'll write about them... but I got my first boyfriend at 15 and was with him on and off for years. During that time I kissed plenty of girls and knew I was definitely into women (bi?), but figured that given the choice, I may as well be with men and have all those hetero prilvedges. I finally married and was married for five years, separated by the time by 30th birthday party rolled around.

It never felt right. I never once relaxed into that marriage. I was always trying to understand what I needed to do as a wife, and how we should interact. I felt more like best friends than lovers, but not in a good way. We had sex, but... there was something missing. A connection.

And now... I don't question my connection with my girl. I analyse by nature, so of course I analyse parts of our relationship to see what we could improve, or where we work really well, but that's just me. But I'm happy, content, and it feels natural. More natural than when I tried to fit into the hetero world. That never came naturally to me. It hurts to think I didn't listen to myself more carefully, didn't analyse my feelings more deeply, didn't pay attention to those niggling doubts. All I can say is that at least I did it... that at least one day I woke up and realised I'd tried to force myself into the hetero world and didn't fit, and I could remedy that.

And I have, and it feels ... right.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The same, but different

Recently this blog was reviewed on one of those blog catalogues and the reviewer commented that it was more of a general blog and less about the "how to" of creating your lesbian wedding. This got me thinking...

* what is a lesbian wedding?
* how does it differ from a hetero wedding, or a gay (boy) wedding?
* does it have to differ at all?
* are there any "how tos" in creating a lesbian wedding that a web site like couldn't provide (just change the gender when you're reading it).

Of course, I often seek out gay wedding sites... I love seeing pictures of two gals or two guys making that committed leap. I love seeing if the girls are both in dresses or not. Are they both carrying bouquets? Are there veils involved?

Bride to be and I have talked about what our day is a fair bit. We see our day as a fairly traditional day (I'm wearing a white dress, she's wearing a white pants suit, for instance) but we also acknowledge that we don't have to do everything cookie-cutter style. Not that brides and grooms have to do everything cookie-cutter style, of course, but many do, because that's what a wedding is.

When my older sister got married, I saw her as a bit of an off-beat bride. She wore a black and white dress, the bridesmaids wore black, they had music that was a little bit dark and so on. But ultimately, she still followed the rules - speeches, bouquet toss and so on. She says now that if she had her time over she would do away with a lot of the rules that even she felt she had to follow... like seating charts and bouquets.

What makes a wedding a wedding? What makes a commitment ceremony a wedding? At the end of the day, Bride to be and I want people to recognise our union, support it (though most do already), and understand it a little better.

We won't be legally married, but in our eyes, our union will mean the same, and ideally our guests will also believe that. We had to be careful therefore not to throw away too many of the traditional wedding traditions, because we do want our guests to recognise that our day is similar to that of a marriage... and marriages tend to start with
(1) a ceremony
and finish with
(2) a party

The ceremony and the party tend to follow a structure...

Groom waits down the front, bride walks down the aisle. Nice stories, readings and thoughts are exchanged. Bride & Groom kiss, certificates and rings are exchanged, photos are taken and then there's the party. With speeches, dancing and cake. With guest books and favours and the like.

Hetero couples can toss any aspect of the traditions out the window, but a wedding day will still be a wedding day....

I read something about gay weddings which said that often gay couples are creating a day from scratch, and not thinking about what their best friend or sister or cousin did. We've never been to a commitment ceremony, but we've been to many weddings. We want our day to resemble a wedding, but ultimately our day is about us. Oh, and we want people to have fun... lots of fun...

We're known for having parties, though. We have plenty of fun parties, and plenty of opportunities to have even more parties. So while our day is "fun" and a "party", for us, the symbolism of the day is more important.

So with our goal in mind of people seeing us as a married couple, we've created a day that resembles a wedding, but mostly resembles us. We're keeping some traditions, and tossing some.

Firstly, we're both doing an aisle walk. We'll be staying in the same hotel the night before, but plan not to see one another before hand. Who knows - in a small hotel, in a small beachside location, we're bound to get a glimpse of one another before our aisle walks. Our intention is that Bride will walk first and wait for me down the front. I will then do an aisle walk.

Our ceremony isn't following any set structure. Our celebrant is creating it from scratch for us. The ceremony is about us, and we're not using any published readings or prayers. Unlike my first wedding where I had about six friends and cousins say a short reading, the only people that will be speaking at our wedding will be the celebrant, and my fiancee and me. We will sign a certificate despite the fact it won't be a "marriage" certificate. We will kiss, even though my little nephew has said he'll have to look away because it's two girls (ewww!). And then we'll have photos by the beach while our guests mingle.

Our reception will follow a set structure, with speeches and the like, but we've decided to scatter speeches through the night rather than having a bundles of speeches just prior to dessert. For instance, I plan to do my speech straight up first, to welcome all our guests.

We will be doing a bouquet toss, and I will be carrying a bouquet, but the bridesmaids will be carrying parasols which match their dresses. We're using favours, we're having set tables (but not set seats) and there will indeed be cake and dancing.

So all in all, that's us, and that's our day.

So, how to plan a lesbian wedding? That's both easy and hard.

1. Think about things that are important to the two of you. If you're at the VERY early stages of planning - is there a location that means something to you? (We picked our first holiday destination as the place we're marrying at). Who do you want involved? We have an evenly matched bridal party (admittedly all girls) but we didn't need to. How do you wish to celebrate?
2. Think about a traditional wedding day and think about what's important to you in terms of that day. Are there particular traditions that you feel are important? Are there particular traditions that bother you?
3. What are your goals for the day?

This blog was never created as a "how to" guide, but there are plenty of helpful resources on the new. is a great site with lots of gay-friendly vendors and photographs, but there are heaps of others a google search will help you with.

All in all, though, I think it's important to remain true to why you're having your day....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Burlesque. The show for lesbians?

I recommended a Burlesque show I'd heard about to my girl. Two lesbians watching sexy women dancing, what could be more perfect than that?! Turns out my bride isn't so into the sexy women dancing thing, and it struck me that just because we're both gay, it might not make sense that we partake in semi-naked-lady watching together. It would make my girl uncomfortable. Now I should point out that I'm aware that Burlesque isn't the same as stripping, and it's not erotic so much as artistic... but Bride-to-be is unsure about how much nudity would be in a Burlesque show, so we have to investigate it more.

I think it's an ideal show for women, really. Not too much nudity, a bit of a story, but fabulous outfits, music and so on. Classier than a strip show, but still sexy. Of course, I may not be the right person to form an opinion, as I do like the naked (and semi-naked) ladies...

I've always appreciated the naked female form. Before I was married (to a man, mind you) before I was ever out (even to myself), I used to go to strip clubs and watch sexy women dance to trashy music. I even partook in a couple of private dances. I didn't understand why I was "straight" but wanted to watch naked women. It should have been a clue, but then again, so should the magazine purchases I made for my husband on our honeymoon as a gift! In contrast, my girlfriend has never been to a strip club, even though she's Gold Star. She finds it pervy and uncomfortable.

Just after I came out, I went to a strip club to celebrate my coming out. I was already dating my girl, but away for a girl's weekend (no partners) when I asked a bi friend if she wanted to come with me. Being out, I felt it was suddenly ok to look at naked women, where pre-coming out, I felt guilty and like a pervert.

My girl is gorgeous and I don't need naked dancers or models in my life, but sometimes it's a bit of fun. I considered it for our Bachelorette party, but my girl is uncomfortable with that and I don't want to make her uncomfortable.

Anyway, it got me thinking... are you into this kind of thing, or do you think it's pervy and degrading? Or are you simply uncomfortable sitting watching women naked? Is it something you'd feel comfortable doing with a partner... or not? Are you going to stop reading my blog now I've admitted to being a big 'ol pervert? And any other comments welcome!