I'm Gay — So Can I Have A Traditional Wedding Anyway?

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gay wedding
Gay weddings are relatively unprecedented. In the meantime, I'll make my own traditions.

I was never one of those little girls who dreamed of her wedding day. I never 'pretend-married' any of the neighborhood boys — or even the neighborhood girls. As an adult, I’ve only vaguely considered my wedding day. I've thought about what my grandparents' wedding must have looked like: simple, with my grandfather in a suit and his bride-to-be in a white dress, both of them standing nervously in a small Catholic church in front of friends and family.

That’s what I want: an elegant and traditional ceremony. I imagine my future wife in a white dress, bouquets of lilies and guests who have come to see the most important day of our lives. My hope of a traditional wedding, however, ends there. There’s no such thing as a traditional gay wedding ... not yet, anyway.

I remember a phone conversation I had with my mother once, in the aftermath of a close family friend’s nuptials. We were discussing how much we loved the idea of passing out small containers of bubbles and asking wedding guests to blow bubbles as the newlyweds walked out of the church. My mom is definitely the organizer in my family, and I always hoped she’d play a major part in the planning of my wedding.

"We’ll have to do something like that for my wedding," I suggested. There was a brief hesitation on her end, as she slowly said, "We’ll have to be careful when that time comes. Those things can turn out really … cheesy."

True confession: I have never been to a gay wedding. My mother could be right. For all I know, gay weddings might be consumed by glitter bombs and lesbians in rainbow dresses. 

When I saw an article on Advocate.com about J. Crew using a gay couple in their weddings section, it gave me a sense of relief. Featured are two men in suits, looking like just a couple of traditional grooms. There was no glitter, rainbows, or shirtless groomsmen. Their wedding was clearly elegant and tasteful.

Slowly, LGBTs are being granted their civil rights across the country. In the last election, Maine, Maryland, and Washington passed gay marriage, making nine states where such marriage is now legal. In fact, we’re now waiting to hear whether the Supreme Court will take on cases against DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, which restricts marriage to heterosexual couples only. Keep reading...

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