I don’t know if I mentioned this or not, but I did get married last October.
This is how I felt about it.
It was the best day of my life. Not an exaggeration. I wish I could have bottled up the feeling and sipped on it slowly when stress and doubt and other generic badness entered my life in the weeks and months after.
I live-blogged the day before the wedding, and it the room and person prep we did on our wedding eve. It’s fun to go back and read about the day that I didn’t know what Oxford heels were.
Like I said, our wedding was amazing. It was beautiful, touching, meaningful, amazing, and all sorts of other positive adjectives. The road leading up to it had a few bumps in it, though. I’ll mention a few of them briefly, and then I’ll get to the good stuff.
We met with the event coordinator at the hotel for our initial meeting, and we so loved him (Brad — dear, wonderful, perfect Brad) that — for me at least — his personality and skills combined with the beautiful hotel made for an easy decision. The food tasting went well, and we were on our way to our special day.
About six months before, we received a call from a woman named Kate (who sounded like someone I work with who I do not care for and who I definitely wouldn’t want to plan my wedding), who told us that Brad no longer worked at the hotel and she would be our new contact. We were…hesitant, to say the least. We met with her, and she was…fine. I flat-out asked why he didn’t work there anymore, and she replied with, “He was asked to leave. That’s all I’m going to say,” insinuating with that and a few other throwaway comments that he was involved in some shady goings-on. We (stupidly) took it at face value, accepted the fact that our part in this wedding had just quadrupled because her focus was on getting paid, not making fabulous weddings, and moved on. Fine. This was the choice we made, and we would just have to step up our efforts, realizing we couldn’t rely on her as much as we could Brad.
Six weeks before the big day, we were at the hotel for some reason — I don’t remember if it was looking at a wedding being set up, meeting with Kate (or with Kelly, the former bartender/new event-coordinator-in-training), or dropping off payment, but we struck up a conversation with one of the employees setting up for the wedding. She mentioned Brad in passing, and I conspiratorially asked why he was fired.
“He was fired because he was gay.”
Our hearts dropped. We had just sent out invitations the week before. We had been planning this day for over a year. We really felt our hands were tied and that we had no choice but to get married at a place that fired its employees for being gay, but is just fine with accepting money from gays wanting to get married.
This…cast a shadow over the hotel, to say the least. We did end up dealing with Kelly primarily instead of Kate, which was definitely an improvement, but I would not exactly use the word “professional” to describe her. She was…a step above fine, certainly. But she was no Brad.
I ended up locating Brad on Facebook and sending him a message, apologizing for not reaching out sooner and not asking more questions when it happened. He couldn’t have been nicer, both then and when we ran into him in the food court with his fiancé after it happened.
So that’s how two ladies accidentally ended up getting married at a homophobic hotel in which the event coordinators cared more about receiving their check than about the giant stain on the wall behind the platform where we got married.
Or telling their employees that two women were getting married so people didn’t ask if we were the event coordinators while we were setting up mums at 1:00am.
Or telling us to bring our own sugar to decorate the rims of our signature drinks because…reasons. This one really blew my mind. (The bartended secretly stepped in and told us not to worry about it.)
Anyway, that happened. We rolled with the punches and moved on. We bought hundreds of pumpkins (not an exaggeration) and filled the space with them and with mums (thanks for the last-minute pumpkin delivery, brother Matt!). We rocked the centerpieces and table numbers. We gourded it up until we couldn’t gourd anymore.
So all of the photos you see below were the results of the decorating skills of Chronica, and the pictures are courtesy of the extremely talented Laura Kathleen Photography (recommended by Brad, of course). I’ll go into more detail about their perfection later, but for now, enjoy their art and our vision.
One of our favorite pumpkins.
Instead of a sand ceremony, we combined beads of glass and had them made into a sculpture later. The three fullest colors represent the colors of our engagement rings, and the suggested the green would be a nice complement.
Post combining.One of the few things we didn’t do ourselves. Many thanks to Beth and Ron for making these pins! (We have extras. Contact me if you want one.)
Mums o’clock AF.
Our favors, which were a seed paper to be planted in the spring and a “Please don’t take my drink – I’m dancing!” cover/coaster. This is one of the few activities my limited crafting skills let me help with.
The lantern is from Chris’ cousin’s wedding, and we decided to do this instead of a whole dedication or memorial section. I really liked how it turned out, and it was extra proof (without being morbid) that those special people were with us.
Yeah, I was a driving force for our guest-book choice. And Chris taped and painted and sprayed about 125 of these pumpkins. I helped with the wire and also with transport and stacking.
My favorite of the centerpieces — AKA Bucket O’ Gourds.
Our sweetheart table. With no wedding party, we didn’t need a large head table. The letters were from our friend shower.
I think heels were immediately kicked off and hidden under that table.
So the moral of this story is, despite moral adversity, Chronica decorates and plans a kickass wedding.
More later about the actual ceremony and reception. And 100% less homophobia.