One of things my fiancé and I most cherish about our relationship is that we lead the kind of double-life worthy of one of the superhero comic books he loves so much. Normally, we are responsible, hard-working citizens who live and parent together in a small, quiet town. But after a quick change in a phone booth (aka, when my ex has the kids and we travel), we become adventurers well-versed in kink and non-monogamy who love to find weird bars, get tattoos, and go out dancing until the wee hours of the morning.
So it stands to reason that we have to plan not one but two weddings…
Our marriage next fall will be the second for both of us, and we're both over 40 and live far from most of our family and lifelong friends. And yet we feel so fortunate to be getting married to one another. Because celebrating with friends and community is something important to both of us, we wanted to make our marriage an event — even if a budget-friendly, low-key, appropriately informal event. So we are planning two separate, small, wedding-ish elopements: one super family-friendly and the other a little NSFW.
The family-friendly wedding
The first wedding won't be legal, but we hope it will be meaningful and joyful. We are planning an officiant-free Saturday afternoon ceremony inspired by Moonrise Kingdom in our local city park (the oceanfront pavilion rents for $60 an hour!) for our area friends and a few select folks from far away.
The (simple) décor will be summer camp-inspired and retro. My dress will be mod and my shoes low-heeled Mary Janes. There will be a s'mores cart and our dogs will be there with bows on. We're involving our gender-politicized kids — our daughter plans to be our “Lord of the Rings,” and our son will be the “Flower Boy” — and want to have activities and snacks on hand so it's pleasurable for even our youngest guests. (If they get bored, there's a playground on site.) It will all be very wholesome and sweet and over long before dark.
The slightly NSFW kink-friendly second wedding
The second wedding will be legal, but it won't be so wholesome. The Friday following our small town ceremony, we'll get married at City Hall in Portland, Maine, two hours south of where we live. That way, our far-flung friends can easily fly in and we can take full advantage of what the “big city” has to offer. (It's not really a big city, but it's the biggest we have here in Maine!)
For that wedding, we plan to stay at a swanky hotel (sans kids, of course) and meet our guests at City Hall to witness our BDSM-inflected vows that also celebrate our commitment to ethical non-monogamy. We're hoping that a dear friend who is also a kink sex educator, tantric guide, and erotica writer — and ordained Universal Life minister — will be able to fly in to officiate. Afterward, we're planning a cocktail hour bar crawl, dinner at a Chinese restaurant/rock club, and dancing at '80s night at a beloved dive bar. Everyone will be 21+.
The plans are still in the works, and so things might change, of course. But we are hoping we can swing this: two small, inexpensive but still deeply personal and fun weddings that embody both sides of our superhero lives.