Mrs. & Mrs.
I am one half of a same sex marriage. I suppose that makes me a statistic. If so, so be it. I love my wife and I actually really like being a wife. Many questions come in from other lesbians, wanting to know the process of how we got married and what advice I can give. While I don’t know every path to marriage, I can share a step by step on our experience.
It began in June of 2006, when I ran into an old high school friend at the pride festival. She looked adorable- all tan, with crystal eyes, and perfect dimples. We very quickly became more than friends, and just as quickly entered into a serious relationship. Yes, of course in a handful of months, we were living together, and I had bought her a ring. Typical dykeship.
Within a year, we were ready to take the next step, and decided to have a small, simple wedding in September 2007. Because we live in Michigan, we were up against a barrier since our state has a same sex marriage ban. We decided to leave the country, and get hitched in Canada, where they are a little more up to speed on equal rights. We chose Windsor, Ontario because it is a feasible drive from our city.
The Process for Getting Married in Canada:
First you need to obtain a marriage license. To do this, you follow the steps in the application process. Here is the link for the city clerk’s office where we went. It explains what you need to bring.
Next you need to find an officiant to perform the ceremony. There are a number of options to choose from, including religious, spiritual, non-religious, customized, or even the option to marry in the courthouse. We chose an officiant from a Windsor wedding website that unfortunately no longer exists, but surely there are plenty of others online. Our ceremony was officiated by a gay gentleman who tailored the ritual to have a Christian influence, without being overly religious. My bride and I each wrote our own vows. It was as unique as it was special.
You need to secure a location for the ceremony. We wanted something simple and outside on the water. So that’s exactly what we got. Windsor has several parks, so we chose one fully stocked with lush flower gardens. It was a warm, sunny day and the water was sparkling. It really was perfect. One thing to keep in mind when choosing your location is that public places, such as parks like the one we chose, may require permits or require guidelines by the city. Don’t wait until the last minute to find this out.
Talk to your photographer and videographer well in advance, especially if they are required to cross over the border. Our good friend does freelance photography work and offered to do our wedding photos. They turned out beautifully!
We did not have a formal reception, mainly because there were only five of us at our wedding, and because we wanted to keep it as simple as possible. But many lesbian weddings indeed do include a reception. When planning a reception, you may want to consider having it in your state/town, as opposed to Canada, for instance. This will save on trying to coordinate catering, music, the cake, and guests. We opted for an amazing dinner at a restaurant at home in Detroit.
Now, what you do on your wedding night, after the festivities, is entirely up to you. But my suggestion is to take your beautiful bride and treat her the way a woman should be treated! I know you know what I mean.