You completely and absolutely reassured me that hitting publish was the right thing and that we (almost all of us) are ready for same-sex marriage, gay marriage, marriage equality and any other positive term you choose to use.
Somewhat unintentionally, this post is also about same sex marriage. Very specifically OURS.
|Back in the day, the photos were sent to us, you know in the post.....covered with PROOF written on them.|
Even tho we ordered copies and they're great- I LOVE these ones.
It's PROOF that we actually did it !
You see after 3 1/2 years together, G and I repeatedly teased each other about 'getting married'.
We loved each other. We'd travelled well together. We'd bought a house together. Perhaps more impressively, we were living together well. Traditionally, it was the obvious next step.
Of course, tradition had no part to play. 10 years ago, I wasn't officially "out" to my family.
Of course, they knew. We just didn't talk about it. There was also no blue print (or for that matter, pressure) for us to follow.
Cue the international wedding tour. Our very, very good friends were getting married in BC Canada and then G's sister was getting married in England. All within two weeks.
And then we decided to travel and holiday via Las Vegas. A city we'd had lots of fun in previously.
A city also very well known for couples randomly getting married in.
So, it was decided. We were getting 'married'. The ' are because, despite almost EVERYTHING being legal in Las Vegas, until recently, same sex marriages were not legal 10 years ago.
We had a few very amusing conversations with hotel concierges capable of procuring ANYTHING, but blushed when we asked about the logistics of getting married. I have a clear and vivid memory of a lovely Concierge of a very well known and expensive hotel looking at us aghast. You could see her wishing that instead we had asked for 7 strippers, 12 illegal drugs, a case of Champagne and a tonne of caviar to be delivered to our suite instead of directions to the nearest gay-friendly wedding chapel !
We were close to giving up (seriously, it was proving IMPOSSIBLE) til we met a gorgeous, unflappable, genuinely kind soul. A lovely gay gentleman working at an information desk booth in a shopping mall on the Vegas strip. He was BEYOND excited to book us our wedding.
Which might have explained the miss up that happened next.
We'd moved to New York New York hotel and casino, dressed in our best lesbian chic and headed to the bar !
Reinforcements were required ! Shots at the piano bar and then to the lobby to meet our limo.
Oh yes ! Travellers cheques (it was TEN years ago) go along way in Vegas.
At this point I should mention that Las Vegas was experiencing a heat wave. The kind of heat wave where outside work is cancelled and breakfast TV segments fry an egg on a car bonnet.
The limo picked us up and we headed down the strip to the decidedly dodgy, chapel lined part of town.
We arrived. Fabulous gay proprietors of Viva Las Vegas Chapel greeted us.
I mean this place was something else !
Close your eyes........ picture a Las Vegas wedding chapel, and......yep. You have it !
Fake green foliage. Elvis Presley officiating. 7 minute ceremonies. Celebrity photos on the wall (Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob if you don't mind).
This was the bulk billing of weddings. With a fee.
We opted for Elvis (well, obviously) gender neutral vows and 3 songs. (Middle range price tag my friends, there was also a no song option and 5 song option)
We arrived just before our 2.30 appointment.
This conversation happened.....
Us : Hi Glass/Wild, we're here for our 2.30 'wedding'
Viva Las Vegas : Yeah, we have you booked in for '4.30'
Us : no 2.30.
Viva Las Vegas : no 4.30.
Us : Ok, can you fit us in now, at 2.30,
Viva Las Vegas : No, we're fully booked. But you can come back at 4.30
Cue getting back into the limo and G declaring, "it's a sign ! It's a sign. We shouldn't be doing this!"
To which I replied, "It's NOT a sign ! It's fine, we'll just go to Hooters first, cool down and get married at 4.30. All good !"
Instructed the limo driver to head straight to Hooters. If you've been to Las Vegas in the last 7 years, you'll know there this a huge Hooters Casino, bar and restaurant ON THE STRIP. Back in the day, you had to go to downtown to seedy-ville to get to Hooters.
Did I mention the heat ? About 7 minutes into the journey, the limo made some strange guttural noises. Unhealthy noises.
The limo over heated.
Once again G chimed in with "it's a sign ! It's a sign. We shouldn't be doing this!"
And once again I countered with "It's NOT a sign ! It's fine, we'll just go to Hooters via another limo, cool down and get married at 4.30. All good !
Surely enough, Las Vegas is not short of limos and another limo and driver were soon were whisking us to Hooters. Where, we intended to order the ultimate Hooters menu item.
A bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne and a bucket of wings. This was a classy day !
"Oh, I'm so sorry, you have to order the Champagne three weeks in advance" the scantily clad, gum cracking waitress announced.
To which G, predictably declared "it's a sign ! It's a sign. We shouldn't be doing this!"
And once again I countered with "It's NOT a sign ! It's not a sign. LOOK ! It's happy hour ! Cheap beer and wings! Perfect. Order up"
So, replenished and a limo driver who spent that hour chatting up the entire restaurant, we headed back to Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel.
The affable and entirely lovely gay gentlemen greeted us warmly and confirmed our details. G piped up ensuring that we weren't about to commit to forever and ever were we ?
And no mention of wives or obey thank you very much !
I'll be honest. I don't remember a whole lot from our ceremony.
I remember Elvis was quite thin. He definitely sang Love Me Tender. And we definitely promised, among other things, not to step on each other's blue suede shoes.
I mostly remember looking into G's eyes and knowing. Knowing that I was meant to be with her. Knowing that, yes, there would be hard times, but we'd work through them. That this wasn't the wedding I'd dreamt of as a little girl. But this love. This commitment, this undeniable strength and passion and belief and friendship and LOVE. This was actually what that childhood dream was about.
She was my person. I wanted to cement that. Even if it was just for her and I to know about.
A foundation to build on. A future I couldn't wait to experience. The love of my life and the one I wanted to grow old with.
Of course, G had made the aforementioned gay gentlemen promise that the words FOREVER, LIFE LONG, NEVER TO BE SEPARATED were not to be mentioned in our ceremony.
My funniest memory is them laughing as they explained, instead of "Best Wishes Georgina and Deanne" they desperately wanted to type,
"Committed Forever and Ever With no Escape" as we happily posed underneath said sign.
And then we were married ! Limo back to the hotel and the trotting out of marriage certificate (signed by Elvis) to procure every free dessert and drink that we could !
With rings on our wedding fingers, we boarded flights to Canada and celebrated two very different weddings as our friends and G's sister were married.
A couple of things that strike me today, 10 years to the day (plus one)....
I'm not sure we had any idea of the trials that were ahead of us
I tend to think that a wedding is MORE than the vows. It is about the hoopla, party, surrounded by family and friends, the planning, the event.
And yet, despite that, I love that we had that day, with all it's hiccoughs, just the two of us.
We don't tend to celebrate this day, we celebrate our actual anniversary in January.
It was SO hot.
I wouldn't change a thing.
I love G more today than I ever thought possible ten years ago.