33

Planning a wedding as a fatherless bride

Despite the joy and enthusiasm I felt about getting married, not having my dad there meant there was a shadow, which for me made wedding planning — especially some of the emotions and complexities — as if I were planning both a wedding and a funeral. Death and life. Beginnings and endings. Joy and grief. It was all wound up together in a giant ball of messy emotions.

84

How "all about the bride" is not about the bride at all

I knew going into wedding planning that there would be a lot of cooks in the kitchen, we knew there would be a few things where we just couldn't compromise and would have to put our collective foot down. I offered, early on, to be the bad guy in these situations, since I could just say "I'm the bride, and this is what I want." Turns out, no one cares if I'm the bride unless I want what "the bride" is supposed to want in their minds. "I" have been erased from the process. Let me give you some examples…

27

Queer femme hearts trans man: the legitimacy of love

Being fully, unapologetically ourselves comes with risks and can be both contentious and dangerous. We are violated, belittled, deprived of love, victimized, isolated and left wanting… both by larger systems and communities, and by people we thought we could trust. Amidst the pain or discomfort, we have to remember that there is hope.

44

When family tragedy strikes during wedding planning

To every cloud there is a silver lining — and the silver lining to my father's stroke and the fear that we were going to lose him was that when, five months later (six months until the wedding), my fiancé's mother died suddenly and unexpectedly. I was much better equipped to understand what he was going through. And I was better able to support him. In those first few days after she died we talked about many things, some trivial and some very important…

9

Pics or it didn't happen: Celebration versus validation

Between making sure my makeup is "photo-worthy" to chronicling the planning progress (Offbeat Bride, you are my enabler!), the era of instant documentation and weddings is a match made in heaven. Who doesn't want an excuse to show off pictures of their wedding day? Now you have a reason to take photos of the knitting project you've been toiling over for months. Who doesn't love to get feedback from others fawning over your dress, décor, music, etc? But when does celebrating a day become validating an event?

35

Embrace the jealousy of other people's weddings

About one-and-a-half years into what is shaping up to be a four-year engagement, my future brother-in law proposed to his then-girlfriend. I love these people very, very much, so naturally, I was filled with excitement, happiness, love, and… jealousy? I was filled with guilt about my reactions. It ate into me, and fighting them caused me hours of anxiety. It got to a point where the positive emotions I did feel were getting blotted out. So, I just gave in to my jealousy. I embraced the emotion and allowed myself to fully experience it…

26

Male wedding privilege as seen from a transgender groom's perspective

I have been thinking about the weird privilege I've held as the male-presenting person in this relationship. I believe this is because people want to honor my identity and respect my maleness, yet it feels uncomfortable and untrue… because it erases the fact that those images don't actually fit our queer relationship, and they don't include my trans-ness.

21

The end of marriage as we know it, or: Why I won't be making it legal

We do not currently live together, we have three cats between us, only one of us (me) has US citizenship, oh and she doesn't fly… During those many anxious months, we were often asked if we'd get married so that she could immigrate. Every time it came up I had such vehemently negative response. I recognize that at some point I may have to sign papers, because the state has a nasty way of making itself necessary. But I'd prefer not to and I plan to avoid it if at all possible, and here's why…