Big Wedding, Small Budget

November 6

Tomorrow is Election Day. Regardless of your political beliefs, I hope all of the American citizens here will vote. Voting is our chance to make our voice heard, to participate in our democracy. I’ve always been disheartened by the low turnout in the US on Election Day. Let’s not take that right for granted.

Disclaimer: I’ll now be talking some partisan politics. Be prepared.

I know, you’re probably thinking, “What do politics have to do with a wedding blog?” Normally, I might agree with you. But when the right of all couples to marry is such a salient issue this year, I can’t plan my wedding and keep quiet about it.

Everyone who reads this blog should already know my stance on marriage equality. I’ve written about it before, and I even chose one of my wedding vendors based on their inclusiveness. Getting married next year has thrown this issue into even clearer focus for me, and I feel compelled to shout to the rooftops about it in this election cycle.

I recognize, through every step of this process, the privilege that Steve and I have as a mixed-gender couple getting married. Although we’ve had a few small struggles due to my choosing intermarriage, they are nothing compared to the couples I’ve heard from who have been rejected from wedding venues due to it being a same-sex wedding. That’s right; they were denied the chance to give a venue their business. Same-sex couples have to worry about telling vendors what kind of wedding it is, about rejection from family, about people choosing not to attend because they don’t agreed with the couples love.

On top of all that, their marriage is not legal. They are not recognized by the federal government, even if they happen to get married in one of the few states that have marriage equality. That means that they will probably have issue with insurance, taxes, hospital visits, divorce, and children, just to name a few. They also are denied legitimacy from the county in which they live.

This is starting to change. People are coming around, choosing to believe in equal rights. The polls show growing support for marriage equality. And I think it’s about time, although I wish it would move a little faster. Having legalized discrimination in this country is absolutely horrifying to those of us who believe all people are equal.

One concrete way to support marriage equality is in your vote. Marriage rights are on the ballot in Maine, Washington, Maryland, and Minnesota. If just one of those ballot measures passes, it will be an historic step in the fight for equality. And for those of us who live elsewhere, we can support equal right by supporting candidates (especially for President) who do. Candidates who will not support things like a Constitutional Amendment that restricts rights instead of adding them. Candidates who have (finally) spoken out in favor of marriage equality.

This issue has always been important to me. But now that I’m participating in an institution and being given a privilege denied to so many, I feel even more compelled to fight for the right of all couples to marry. Supporting stronger families helps us all. My marriage rights would mean more if everyone were allowed to have them.

Please note: Not that I get many comments on this blog, but just in case…I welcome discussion, but I will absolutely not tolerate homophobic comments. So, just don’t.

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Supporting Marriage Equality

I’ve written before here about marriage equality. It’s something that’s always on my mind, but even more so now that I’m planning a wedding. As an ally, I think it’s important not just to vote in a way that supports everyone’s right to get married (not that there is much opportunity to do that in Florida), but to also let people know where my beliefs lie. And that one is tricky. I want to use the privilege that I have in being able to legally marry Steve to support others who can’t. But how to do that? The thought of making a statement in our wedding doesn’t really resonate with me. I do talk about marriage equality quite a bit, but it doesn’t seem like enough.

One way to further the cause of equal rights is to support businesses that are LGBT friendly. Not only does it help those vendors do more business, it also sends a message that non-discrimination is good for the bottom line. Also, it helps normalize same-sex marriages, making them part of the ordinary American landscape instead of an anomaly.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing a lot of research about ordering my invitations. As I’ve explained before, we’re planning on buying a printable invitation from an independent designer, then using an online printer for the actual paper invitations. One of the printers I have been looking at is Vistaprint. I’ve used them for my business cards before, and they always have amazing deals (and Groupons!), so they were definitely a contender.

Vistaprint offers a free Bridal Sample Kit, where they send you samples of all the different options for wedding invitations. That way, you can check out the various size and paper options before actually ordering. This is really helpful since ordering online means I would have had no idea what the paper looked or felt like. When I received the kit in the mail, I was, well, not over-excited by the paper choices. They were fine. Just not wonderful.

Then I looked a little closer and realized that one of the sample invitations was for two grooms. That’s inclusivity for you. The same-sex wedding was not included in a special LGBT wedding kit. It was in the normal wedding kit that goes out to everyone, just like any other wedding. And just like that, my mind was made up. We’d be supporting Vistaprint’s inclusivity by buying our invitations from them.

Companies, especially wedding companies, need to realize that when they market to LGBT couples, they are also marketing to their allies. I am more likely to support businesses that I know support marriage equality. There are a lot of us out there. And with this kind of inclusivity becoming more and more common, our numbers can only continue to grow.

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Marriage Equality

I’ve been trying to write about marriage equality lately, without much success. I think it’s important to write about, especially as I get ready to participate in an institution that is not available to everyone. I think it’s important to examine what I think about marriage in society when there are so many people fighting for the right to marry.

So, then, why am I getting tripped up in trying to write about it?

The truth it, I find it totally disheartening that I even have to address it. I feel ashamed that it is 2012 and I live in a state with an amendment stating that marriage is only between a man and a woman. It makes me so angry that we still have legislated inequality in this country.

Rick Santorum is a serious candidate for President of the United States of America and that makes me want to scream.

There are hopeful signs. Washington and Maryland are legalizing marriage equality. A bill passed the New Jersey legislature, even though it was vetoed by the governor. Proposition 8 was just declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. And by the way, do you know who the two lawyers fighting Prop 8 are? David Boies, who represented Gore in Bush v. Gore 2000, and Ted Olson, who represented Bush. They are working together for civil rights. Olson said in an interview recently that their true mission is not just to defeat Prop 8, but to convince the American people that marriage equality is the right way to go.

So, things are changing. But they’re not changing quickly enough.

I’ve never considered being one of those people who chooses to wait to get married until everyone can. Personally, that doesn’t feel like the right way for me to fight. But, I will continue to speak out in favor of civil rights for everyone. I will use my vote, my mind, and my voice to stand up for equality.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” When all couples, gay or straight, can be married, my marriage will be made stronger. When all families can be recognized officially by society, my family will be that much better off.

from: The International Business Times via Reuters. According to the article, this couple had been together for 51 years before they were finally able to get married.

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