My Wedding Was Done Before Breakfast, and It Was Perfect
The best weddings are a reflection of the two people swapping the vows, I believe. Mine certainly was — with one exception. The story of our wedding day, as you’ll see below, gives people the false impression my husband and I are morning people.
You see, he and I got married at 8:30 a.m.
From the outset, we knew we didn’t want a traditional wedding. Part of being queer, we believe — and part of having just gotten our union legalized nationwide — is that we get to make our own rules.
Hoping for inspiration about unconventional ceremonies, we attended a Barnes & Noble workshop for gay wedding planning, but the book author onstage only had ideas for stereotypical weddings.
So instead we did our own planning. And it didn’t take months or even days. It took only hours.
And on November 7, 2014, our best-laid plans went off without a hitch.
He and I woke up at daybreak and quickly got dressed. No tuxes, not even suits. Flannel shirts. Jeans. Leather jackets. Suede shoes.
Our subway chariot rushed us downtown to the Manhattan Marriage Bureau at the City Clerk’s Office, just across the street from City Hall.
Our photographer (and now friend), Sarah Hoppes from Smitten Chickens, arrived shortly thereafter. While our bestie Emily generously held our spot in line, Sarah walked with us around the area, taking photos in the early-morning light as the city woke up. He and I goofed around, played in the leaves at her request, and solicited photography tips from her.
By the time we got back from our photo session, everyone had arrived, excited if a little bleary-eyed. My parents, my brother and his girlfriend, my groom’s parents and grandmother/best friend, the aforementioned Emily and fellow BFF Julie. Our party was first in line for weddings that day.
We took a number and sat down to wait for the action to start. Even the wait was a joyous occasion. Every groom and groom, bride and bride, and bride and groom were waiting in the same long hall, all of whom seemed to be having the happiest days of their lives.
As we had decided beforehand, he and I asked his grandmother if she would be our witness. She happily agreed. When she passed away eight months later, after over nine impactful decades on this planet, my husband and I were happy to have had that quiet moment of bonding with her, just us three.
Before long, the big moment arrived. We were ushered into a “chapel,” a brightly-colored but nondenominational room. We met our officiant, a kind mustachioed fellow named James Mitchell.
Later we found out James had been profiled by the New York Times for having performed 27,000 marriages at the Bureau by the time of the article — all with the same signature style on display on our happy day. (The Times calls it “a mix of 19th-century orator and hopeless romantic.”)
With eyes admittedly misty, we quietly said our “I do’s” and exchanged our rings — titanium rings with Koa wood inlays by Boston duo Minter + Richter, the insides engraved with the words “My Person” in Neutraface, a favorite font of ours.
My person. What better two words to convey the other human on this earth who will always be my best friend, my love, my advocate, and my support system.
(I will also say I don’t mind the not-totally-unintentional Grey’s Anatomy connection.)
After the vows, the kiss, and more family photos, we migrated en masse to Starbucks for some much-needed caffeination, then to Chinatown for much-needed refueling.
On the way to the restaurant, he and I made our holy matrimony Facebook-official. A colleague told me a cheer went up at the Wetpaint offices.
In case you’re not aware, dim sum really is the most efficient way to dine out. It’s even faster than buffets because the food comes to you. My mom surprised us with wedding favors: metal, fortune-cookie-shaped boxes hiding slips of paper with marriage quotes she had curated.
And that, ladies and gents, brides and grooms, was our reception — or the first part, anyway. We all headed back to our respective beds to recharge for the evening’s festivities: dinner and karaoke.
We didn’t need for our wedding to be so efficient, but we certainly didn’t mind having extra time with our families in New York City, the city we love, the city in which we fell in love.
You don’t have to follow our example. You arguably shouldn’t, in fact. You should spend your special day in the way that best suits (or jeans) you.
But starting your marriage at the start of the day does have a certain appeal…