We are only two weeks away from our wedding and everything is pretty much planned and organised to a tee. I wonder if there is a need for wedding fayres dedicated to our LGBT community. Where we can be sure that the people we are talking to understand our lives, our relationships, our love and who are accepting. They don’t make assumptions about who is getting married to whom.
People wonder why we want equal marriage in Northern Ireland. Let me tell you it certainly isn’t so we can stress over the planning of a wedding, or who is getting the pleasure of sitting beside my brother on my seating plan.
Laura and I have had it relatively easy in our planning. We have very luckily only been asked about 50 times the following question at wedding fayres, and every time it seems to go in this specific order:
Provider: Who is the bride?
Laura: We both are.
Provider: When is the big day?
Laura: 21st October
Provider, looking at me: and when’s yours?
Me: Eh, the same?
Provider: You are getting married on the same day? awk are you’s having a joint wedding? how lovely, you must be great friends to want to share your day with each other!
The first time, I played along as I thought it was a bit funny to automatically jump to this conclusion. I do not think I have ever known any opposite-sex couples to share their wedding day. But after the third or fourth time I would always be pulling Laura’s arm, urging her to just walk away, please just walk away, this is our wedding and we want it to be perfect. We don’t need to be dealing with this heteronormativity while trying to find suppliers.
Laura: We are getting married to each other…
Provider: (Very red faced) Oh erm, I am sorry. Isn’t that great! Awk how lovely, congratulations, awk that’s amazing, really fantastic, so lovely. Sure it is going to be a stunning day, are you both wearing dresses?
By this stage, after the over congratulating, I have usually walked away, because I cannot be bothered with a hearts and minds chat with someone whilst trying to plan my wedding. Laura will usually engage, having more patience to deal with these people than me. It is maybe not patience, but more a need to put them right and educate.
Please do not get me wrong, there are suppliers who have been stunningly accepting, unfazed and taking it in their stride, it made no difference to how they spoke to us, reacted, engaged, who have treated us both with the respect and as the brides we are.
The countdown is on, with final fittings, last minute amendments, vow writing and nerves are kicking in. And I didn’t have to invite all the 53 MLAs who voted yes to Equal Marriage in November 2015, as that still didn’t make our love equal. But we will continue to fight, to press, to push forward. We will continue to demand our equality. We will continue to fight for our love to be recognised equally under the law until it is. And believe me it will be. I cannot wait to marry the love of my life at our wedding in just two short weeks.