It turned out while our friends were supportive, a lot of our respective family members were hoping this was a phase and we would outgrow it – Marriage? That’s permanent! What were we thinking?! We were young! Surely we couldn’t be serious??? – We were.
In the six months that followed, we realized that if we were going to get married it would be on our own so we tried to look at that in a positive way – it would be on our terms! We could do anything that we wanted and our day would be only ours. We planned at least a dozen weddings:
- The super small wedding – Theresa is from a large Catholic family so who wasn’t getting invited? Next!
- The church wedding – was there a church that would marry two women? At that time? Not really. Next!
- The campsite wedding – pretty sure we were the only ones that would enjoy camping…
- Up the mountain – too far for one family
- The beach wedding?
- Backyard wedding?
- In a theatre? (this one stuck for a while!)
- On a boat?
- The vineyard wedding?
Every time we came up against a roadblock. Who would come?
Would they come for the obligation of a family event or because they actually supported the commitment?
The kicker was hearing the term “fake wedding” from one family member. Ouch.
At this time we turned to our friends and colleagues who rallied behind us. It became common knowledge that we were in need of some familial support and we got it. Advice, suggestions, questions, offers of help for venues or celebrants – the works. But we couldn’t settle on a plan that would work for both of us. The stress set in.
Then one night we were watching an episode of ‘The Office’ (the American one – don’t judge us) and a long-time couple decided to elope to escape all of their drama. I looked at Theresa and said, “I wish we could do that” and from that moment it was like a big weight lifted off our relationship.
The pressure was gone. We were going to run away.
And that night we were introduced to a word that would define our wedding to vendors: Elopement.
Our original plan was to do exactly what Jim and Pam did and get married on a boat in the spray at Niagara Falls, with one noticeable difference – we were going to get married on the Hornblower rather than the Maid in the Mist because then we could get legally ‘married’. I know it’s semantics but for me the word is very important. I understand Domestic Partnership and I respect Civil Union but I wanted to get MARRIED. Just like everyone else. So Canada it was!
Then on June 24th 2011 the Marriage Equality Act was passed for New York State.
I was studying for my Post-Grad, Theresa had just graduated from her Masters, we were struggling to pay rent, our power bill was so late that our power had been turned off… and we decided that it was New York. Of course it was New York! That’s where we were planning on honeymooning. We were going to get married in New York. Someday.