Just going to break a few things down. Here we are, a West Coast same-sex couple getting hitched in the Midwest. We were a bit worried about how people would react to our relationship and the concept of our marriage in the Heartland.
We fully appreciate that not everyone is in love with the idea of same-sex marriage, and honestly that is fine because everyone is entitled to their beliefs. But we do care that every vendor involved in our wedding is open to the concept, and we hope our guests are down for it, too.
So we tested the waters: we started telling friends and family. The shocking part—when we told people on the West Coast the response often was “But that isn’t legal, right? So you aren’t really getting married.” The Midwest response: “That is awesome. It is going to be a great party, We love you guys!” It wasn’t an across-the-board response on the West Coast, but it was in the Midwest. We absopositively did not foresee that difference.
We really are getting married, in our eyes and in the State of Iowa’s eyes (and maybe Washington’s if legislation is passed)…but we will have to wait for another day for California and Missouri to support our marriage. But we are going to have a marriage; we are going to work toward our commitment day in and day out. We are going to push each other to be better people, and when things are scary we are going to hold on tight. We are going to support our loved ones, they are going to support us…and just maybe if we are lucky we will have a family of our own. Married people do those things. (Unmarried people do them, too.) But we are going to have a marriage.
After testing the waters with acquaintances, family, and friends, we branched out to vendors via email. (I didn’t want to hear the rejection immediately over the phone or in person.) Our emails were all pretty similar to this one. And guess what? NOT ONE single vendor said “Well, you aren’t really getting married,” or “I don’t believe in that.” By and large the people we met with genuinely support same-sex marriage and are open to the idea of participating in one.
Now it’s true we really researched vendors and had some standards that I mentioned earlier. I do think those standards helped us find vendors that were open and interested in working with us. There was only one vendor we met with who couldn’t look us in the eye, and we still aren’t sure if it was because he just can’t look people in the eye or if he was uncomfortable with the idea of working with lesbians. It may be funny that looking people in the eye is important, but growing up, when my dad really wanted to get through to us, he always said, “Look me in the eye.” I kind of think there is something to it…
So after all of our worry about how people in the Midwest would react, the reality was they welcomed us with open arms. Our experience on the West Coast has been a little different…