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.