Posts Tagged ‘wedding’


Finally, the Honeymoon!

November 26, 2008

Way too long ago, I promised that I would report on the events that took place after the Big Gay Wedding.  After much procrastination, here it is!

Monday morning, following our Saturday evening nuptials, Scott and I headed out to the airport, boarded our plane for Boston.  We took a water taxi to the dock where we would find our ferry.  In spite of some rain in Boston and gloomy skies while we were on the boat, we eventually arrived safely in Provincetown MA. 

on the bay

on the bay


Skies cleared as we pulled into PTown.  We found our bed & Breakfast, the Black Pearl, and checked in with no problems.  Soon we found ourselves walking Commercial Street, enjoying the sights and sounds of what is quickly becoming a home away from home for us.  Of course, we grabbed some seafood for dinner, and we planned our evenings, deciding which shows we might want to see. 

Most days, we spent our time at the beach.  We would pack our bags, grab the bus to Herring Cove, and make the trek through the moors to get to our destination.  This particular part of the beach is unofficially “clothing optional”  so we managed to tan some parts of our bodies that don’t see much sunlight! 

Scott took this from atop the dunes

Scott took this from atop the dunes


One day, we were concerned about the weather forecast.  The local stations were predicting rain.  For most of the morning, it looked like it the skies might open up and drench us.  We hesitated to make the trip to the beach, but hated to miss a day of fun in the sun.  We opted to rent bikes and ride through the Cape Cod National Seashore, a National Park.  This was one of the best things we did while on our honeymoon.  The dunes are incredible, the bike trail is enjoyable, and at times, a bit challenging. 

The Dunes

The Dunes


Scott entering the tunnel

Scott entering the tunnel

Steve coming out (again???) of the tunnel

Steve coming out (again???) of the tunnel


However, the very first thing we did when we arrived in Provincetown, was to visit the Town Hall, where we registered for our marriage license. 

PTown Town Hall

PTown Town Hall


Massachusetts requires a 3 day waiting period for marriage licenses.  We wanted to be sure to get ours, and allow an extra day for any glitches that might arise.  Monday afternoon we applied with no problems, and returned on Thursday morning to retrieve our official, legal, marriage license. 

We like to think of our legal wedding ceremony as the yin to the yang of our sacred celebration.  It was everything that the sacred ritual was not.  Our ceremony was performed by the Justice of the Peace, outside on the lawn of the Bed & Breakfast.  Our witnesses were the innkeepers, and the guests of the inn, a group of women on vacation together.  We asked the JP to use our vows from our wedding back home, and she added some additional, beautiful words about equality, and her personal joy of presiding at the weddings of gay and lesbian couples.  Champagne was poured, the license signed by the JP, and now, Scott and I are joined in both sacred and legal matrimony.

Steve and Scott with the JP

Steve and Scott with the JP

Repeating the Vows

Repeating the Vows

A Kiss Seals the Deal

A Kiss Seals the Deal


We are legally, sacredly, and happily married!  Each ceremony holds a special joy for us, the formality of one, the casual atmosphere of the other; the friends and family witnessing our love at home, and total strangers sharing the joy of our love at the b&b.  The elaborate meal and dancing to celebrate the sacred ritual, the sharing of wine with temporary friends who toasted our life together, followed by an intimate meal at a nearby restaurant, all of these weave themselves together to create a seamless memory of the week in which we got married, twice.  God grant you the same joy that we have found.


Perfect Wedding Part 2

September 13, 2008

I left you hanging at the end of the ceremony, as if that was all there was to the wedding.  There is much more.  It just seemed like too much to put into one post.  I’ll warn you now.  It’s very likely that there will be two more posts about the wedding.  So, it’s time to party!

The celebration continued with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.  We greeted our guests, got our drinks and posed for some pictures.  Before long, it was time for the meal, which started with a blessing from our minister, followed by the most incredible toast offered by my daughter, Stormie.  I know I blew her mind when I asked her to give the toast, but I explained that she is the one who knows our relationship better than anyone else, and as the eldest child of the seven in the blended family, it simply made sense that she receive that honor. 

Stormie’s toast is worthy of a separate blog entry.  What stands out for me is the way in which she affirmed the welcome of Scott into our family, then spoke of the lessons of love she has learned from us.  For instance, I believe that one can not receive emotionally what one is not willing to give:  you want love?  you’ve got to give it.  A particularly moving part of her toast was when she identified with me saying “I am my father’s daughter.”  How well I know this.  It has given us an incredible emotional intimacy, while also creating some tension as we confront in each other, the things we don’t like about ourselves.  If you think this would make for a teary-eyed moment at the wedding, you’re right.  I couldn’t see most of the people around me, but word has it that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. 

Fabulous dinner was served, and Scott and I made the rounds to each table to chat with our guests.  We were honored to hear such glowing compliments about our ceremony, our selection of music, our table settings, and even the choice of the venue.  The wedding cake was so elegant with blue-green ombre ribbon around each square layer and the hydrangea to separate them.  Our pictures topped the cake.  It looks like Scott smeared the cake as we fed each other, and yeah, he did a little, but not enough that I would be wearing cake all evening.

I was feeling a bit self-conscious about the first dance as a married couple.  I had so wanted to get dance lessons, but time and money prevented us from getting into a dance class.  We took to the floor and danced to “Someone Like You” from Jekyll and Hyde.  The lights were dimmed and once again Scott and I were in our own world, chatting, laughing, and moving effortlessly around the floor.  I don’t remember fighting each other to lead, or for which direction to go next.  I don’t even remember what I said that had Scott laughing, but it produced one of my favorite pictures of the evening. 

When our dance was done, we invited our guests to join us on the dance floor.  We chose “At Last” by Etta James.  It certainly sums up our feelings about find each other.

At last, my love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
Oh, yeah, at last
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clovers
The night I looked at you
I found a dream that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to rest my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known
Oh, yeah when you smile, you smile
Oh, and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
For you are mine
At last

Then it was time to party!  Shirley Bassey does a great cover of “Get the Party Started” and as the first mysterious strains began it evoked a masculine James Bond image.  The grooms, in their tuxes, coaxed the rest of the guests to the dance floor.  When the beat kicked in, the party took off and never stopped until it was time to pack up and go home.

Now, what do 2 grooms do about the traditions associated with a wedding?  We change them!  We make them our own.  No one carried a bouquet and no one wore a garter.  We had nothing to toss.  That didn’t stop us though.  We bought 2 pair of boxers, rolled them tight and tied them with a ribbon.  We then had the DJ invite all the women to the dance floor, not just the single women, but all the women.  The single women are usually embarassed to go out for the bouquet, and the married women resent not being eligible.  We took care of that by not discriminating.  Scott tossed the first pair of boxers.  We did the same for all the men, and I tossed the second pair to them.  We rewarded the winners with a bottle of homemade wine and a cd of music that included songs played at the wedding as well as some of our favorite club remixes. 


We danced the night away with our friends and family.  We filled that room with love.  And now, weeks later, we still hear how much fun our guests had, and Scott and I feel the effects of having those closest to us affirm our marriage with their presence.

note:  there’s more to come:  a unique twist to the honeymoon!


The Perfect Wedding

September 3, 2008

The ceremony finished with one of our ministers introducing us as a couple…partners for life.  That one phrase marked the beginning of our life together as husband, and well, husband.  Three weeks later, we find that we are still learning to say “husband” instead of boyfriend, or partner.  We even use our new term for our relationship and giggle, just like most newlyweds. 

Our wedding day started with a list of jobs to be accomplished.  Our music room was stacked with boxes full of decorations that would grace the tables, the favors, the candles, and the placecards.  We would be hauling all of this and my digital piano, the music stand and more to the restaurant.  We kept breakfast light, and went about the business of the day.  I cut the flowers from our gardens and arranged them in the vases purchased just for our wedding.  By 10:00am, we were loading the van and heading to the venue. 

At the restaurant, the tables were set and ready for us to place the centerpieces.  There were many helpers, so the job went quickly.  Everything was completed, including the set up of the sound system, the communion table, the guest book and place-cards within 90 minutes.  We couldn’t believe that it had gone so smoothly and so quickly.  There was nothing left for us to do but return home for a light lunch, then prepare for the ceremony that began at 6:00pm. 

This is where our day begins to blossom.  I make a light lunch for Scott, our guest Daniel, and myself.  We chat a little, then decide to relax outside in the warm sun.  We find that we have time to soak up the sun’s rays, and even nap a little.  The time just seems to slow down for us.  All of the jobs are accomplished and it’s still not time to prepare ourselves for the wedding.  I thought the wedding day was to be a mad rush, a whirlwind of activity, and here we are napping and sunbathing! 

Eventually, as in 2:30pm, our children start arriving.  We’ve chosen to dress 5 of the 7 kids at our house, keeping their new wedding clothes with us until this day, for reasons that other divorced folks might understand.  The older 2 kids are able to take care of themselves for this task.  It seems that by 3:30, we’ve got 5 boys, 10-18, showered and dressed.  Let’s take some photographs.  We’ve got more than enough cameras, digital, disposable, and even an old Nikon SLR.  We take pictures in the music room in front of the fireplace and in every conceivable combination of dads with kids, dads with stepkids, and of course, the grooms.  There’s still plenty of time remaining, so we head out the front door for a family portrait that includes both grooms, all seven of their children, and a girlfriend of a son. We head out back to use the backdrop of sunflowers and cellphone cameras are used to share these early wedding pictures. 

The New, Blended, & Gay Family

The New, Blended, & Gay Family

And we still have time to sit down and have a glass of wine at the dining room table. 

By 5:00pm, we start thinking about heading to the wedding.  This is about the point where time decides to speed up.  We arrive before 5:30 to discover that many of our guests are either anxious, or unable to read.  The 15-20 minutes we thought we had to organize, and perhaps take a few more pictures was lost to attending to those last minute details and playing hosts to our guests.  Before we realized it, it was time to begin the prelude music and start the festivities. 

I could write an entire article on the music for our ceremony.  The musicians were incredible.  I asked Jim, our pianist to play something to get the music started, then Daniel took the floor to sing “Red is the Rose”.  I moved to the piano to accompany Stormie on her French Horn for the Beethoven Adagio Cantabile that I had transcribed a few weeks earlier.  Daniel sang again with a show tune, “Will You” and Sterling followed with “Dream a Little Dream of Me” singing and playing his guitar.  Finally, Daniel finished up with “Not a Day Goes By” which was perfect for describing how we feel about each other:

….As the days go by, I keep thinking when does it end,

that it can’t get much better much longer,

but it only gets better and stronger

and deeper and nearer and simpler and freer

and richer and clearer, and no,

not a day goes by…….

the vows

the vows

At that point, Pastors Tracy& Janet, Scott and I moved to our places near the communion table and we began our ceremony.  We kept things simple, a brief invocation, two scriptures, our vows, the exchange of rings.  There were some unique features to our rites, like the Loving Cup, and a Druidic vow of unity.  We asked that communion be one of the first things we do as a couple, and in a very moving part of our service, Scott and I served our guests communion.  It was all I could do to keep from crying. 

Loving Cup

Loving Cup

More than the parts of the service, was the way in which Scott and I seemed to be in a world all our own.  After the invocation, we joined hands and locked in on each other with a gaze that none could distract.  In the weeks leading to the wedding, I could barely watch our video, or read through our vows without breaking into tears.  At the rehearsal, I could hardly say the words without my voice breaking with emotion.  Yet something mystical, perhaps magical, and very assuring took over.  I was able to speak out my vows loud and clear, and give that strength to Scott as his voice wavered with the emotion brought on by the love we felt at that moment.  We held each others’ hands and slipped the rings on each finger.  We picked up our Loving Cup and spoke the ancient words that would bind us as each other’s anam cara.  We briefly allowed our friends and family to enter our world as we served communion.  Then we turned to each other once more to make one more vow of unity in the Druidic tradition.


Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now

Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now


We swear by peace and love to stand

Heart to heart and hand in hand

Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now,

Confirming this our sacred vow.


Wedding Wine

August 2, 2008

This is my last weekend as a bachelor.  Next week at this time I’ll be married to the man I love, my anam cara, my soulmate.  The big drive is on to accomplish all the plans for the Big Gay Wedding.  I also note that I’ve not written nearly as much these past few weeks.  There will be at least one more post before the celebration, I know this because I’ve got it filed away, waiting to be posted.

Here’s some of what has been achieved this past week:

  • more cookies have been baked.
  • food for the rehearsal dinner has been purchased.
  • the guest room has been painted and reassembled so that it now reflects a mature point of view.  No more bunnies.
  • flowers for boutonnieres and corsages have been purchased.
  • we’ve bought clothes for the rehearsal, and for the kids to wear to the wedding.
  • I’ve transcribed a piece of music for my daughter to play on French Horn for our ceremony.
  • a singer has backed out on us, but the other, Daniel, has learned one of her songs, and my daughter has learned the other. 
  • Centerpieces have been prepared, but not completed.

Today.  Ahhh, today I was feeling peaceful, relaxed.  Then the stress got to my future husband and that got transferred to me.  We’ve been walking around with chips on our shoulders since about 4pm.  At the moment, a truce has been called.  In light of the peace treaty, a few more things were accomplished.   Scott works for a factory that creates envelopes and greeting cards, and has access to overstock inventory.  We had a choice of place-cards, so this evening, I got to work on that excess card stock.  It is a lovely white card embossed with a wave and starfish.  They were just a bit too big, so I cut them down, and scored them so they fold easily. 

I also created our guest book.  It’s really a high end photo album from Hallmark.  It has interchangeable pages so that it can be customized and expanded.  We’re using it not only for our guest book, but also as a wedding album.  I created a few photos to go into the pockets of the lined pages.  I lifted a few of the pictures from photobucket, but added the text.










Each page will feature one of these photos with room for a number of guests to sign beneath the picture.  Later, we’ll add the photographs from the wedding. 

Finally, the whine, I mean, wine.  We’ve made a beautiful white zinfandel with exotic fruit flavoring from a kit.  We’ll be using this wine as our favors for our guests.  It really is a lovely color, and has been somewhat hassle-free from start to finish, but it took a lot of patience.  [Here comes the whine] We bought 2 kits and started both at the same time.  For some reason, one was cloudier than the other at the earliest bottling date.  I stirred it vigorously again and let it sit another week or so.  Everything is fine.  We ordered 100 5oz bottles and some fancy shrink wrap capsules.  Months ago, I made the labels with our clipart and wedding date on them.  Not one step of the process has been overwhelming, but there have been a lot of steps!  Today, I wiped the bottles clean and applied the labels.  The wedding wine is done. 


Now, I am reminded of this:  the first miracle that Jesus performed was at the Wedding in Cana.  We offer this gift of wine in celebration of our wedding, honoring a tradition that Christ himself endorsed as he began his public ministry. 



My Gay Wedding

July 8, 2008


We are at the one month point on the countdown to the big gay wedding.  There’s so much to do, and emotions are running high.  Fortunately, that hasn’t resulted in any arguing, but let’s just say physical encounters of the intimate kind are, well, super-charged. 

Invitations were mailed out about three weeks ago and the rsvp’s are coming in.  I’m keeping track of them at an online wedding planning site.  It’s been fun seeing who is prompt and who isn’t, who is coming, who has declined and what their preference is for the meal. 

One of my singer’s may be backing out through no fault of her own.  Her husband accepted a job in Texas and is moving the family there about 3 weeks before our wedding date.  It’s hard to let her go, but it’s not easy trying to guilt her into staying her until after the wedding.  I hope she can fly back for the ceremony, but I don’t have the cash to finance that trip!

The wine bottles arrived today.  I ordered 108 5-ounce bottles for the favors.  We’ll sanitize them and fill them with the homemade wine that we’ve made just for the wedding.  With any luck there will be some left over and we can share a bottle on the honeymoon. 

I’ve been playing with the  Windows Movie Maker software and put several of our pictures into a sappy and romantic video.  I showed it to Scott this evening and we made a decision about the song we wanted to accompany the pictures.  We chose Barbra Streisand’s I Have Dreamed/We Kiss in a Shadow/Something Wonderful from her 1985 Broadway Album.  Once I put the music with the video and reviewed with Scott, he stated what I noticed while I was working on it:  We look so happy in all those pictures.  It didn’t take me long before the tears were flowing.  Yes, we are happy in those photos, and we’re happy now as we begin our life as a married couple. 


Yes, we’ve heard that gay is a misnomer and that gay couples aren’t happy.  That’s just not true.  30 days until we say “I do.”  Who could be happier?


Pittsburgh Blog for Equality Day

March 31, 2008

Blog for Equality Day


So I was out doing some tag surfing and discovered that today is Pittsburgh Blog for Equality Day, thanks to Irene over at Eleventh Stack.  I commented on her blog, and realized then that I needed to write something here today about marriage equality.  After all, my partner and I are in the thick of planning our own wedding.  (note:  we still don’t have a photographer; know anyone available on August 9th?)  I did a little more research and found that this event is being sponsored by The Pittsburgh Women’s Blogging Society, and though I’m not a woman, I do live near Pittsburgh and I certainly have an interest in obtaining marriage equality.  My partner and I deserve the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to getting married.

It is interesting that this topic comes up today.  A few things have happened that seem to feed into this particular topic.  First off, there is my procrastination on calling my state Senator, Richard Kasunic.  I had intended to do that on Friday morning, but somehow neglected to do so.  It’s been almost 2 months since I contacted that office trying to get an appointment.  The secretary was to call back when the senator was taking appointments, and of course, that never happened.  I need to get on this again, and soon. 

I’ve spent the past few days working on our wedding plans, calling the dj, thinking of the guest list, contacting someone who might have been able to photograph our event.  So the wedding is very much on my mind.  With that, comes the thought that this is a ceremony for us, and our friends to share in our joy, but we will gain nothing as far as legal benefits are concerned.  Not only are same-sex marriages illegal, or not civilly recognized, but there is currently a bill in the state senate to amend the constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. 

I stayed at work a bit later than usual today, and as I headed back to my classroom after having a long conversation with a colleague, I could hear my cellphone vibrating.  It was Scott, my soon-to-be-husband.  He was quite excited, words rushing out of him, and ideas all over the place.  I kept asking him questions and finally figured out what had happened.  It seems we’re the talk of our little town.  I’ll go with exaggeration on this point, but it does seem that word is out that we are planning our wedding.  An aunt took it upon herself to visit Scott’s mom and quiz her about our upcoming nuptials.  Mom didn’t offer much information because she doesn’t have all that much to offer.  She knows we’re planning a wedding.  She might know that it is in August.  The rest of the conversation was spent talking about mom’s disapproval of the wedding and how the “kids” are taking it.  We both have children from when we tried to “choose” heterosexuality and married women. 

I doubt this meddling aunt would have grilled Scott’s mom if this were another straight marriage.  Families can be strange systems, and sometimes relatives swoop in to cast their opinions on matters that don’t concern them.  I suppose dear auntie would express her dismay if Scott were marrying the crack whore who lives down the street.  I’m even willing to guess that when pressured, this woman would have glowing things to say about me;  she knows me, and always speaks to me when I meet her out in public.  There’s no reason to be concerned about Scott marrying a character like me.  So that leaves the gay issue, and the mistaken belief that heterosexuals can declare who is worthy of a marriage license based on the gender of the 2 people involved. 

Please, if you believe in equality, if you believe that marriage is good for individuals, couples, families, and children, contact your state senator and ask them to oppose SB1250, the Marriage Protection Act.  Marriage doesn’t need protected from loving committed same-sex couples;  it needs protected from heterosexual couples who meet no other requirements for marriage except that one of them has a penis and the other has a vagina.  Find out more at Equality Advocates Pennsylvania.