Ten Years Ago: Wedding Advice to Same Sex Couples

I was reminded (by Boing Boing, interestingly enough) that today is the tenth anniversary of me having written my advice to soon-to-be-married gays and lesbians, this being about the time that Massachusetts had allowed same-sex marriage to proceed. The advice works pretty much the same now as it did then, and I’m happy to say that it now applies to even more people in even more states and commonwealths here in the US. May the tide keep turning toward equality and love.

23 Comments on “Ten Years Ago: Wedding Advice to Same Sex Couples”

  1. And, by happy coincidence, C j Cherryh and Jane Fancher are marrying today; many congratulations to them and every other couple!

  2. I would like to offer a personal opinion on ignorance, hope and goodness.

    Working to be good, in my experience, requires hope within oneself, so that one can self-start. For reasons I cannot understand, society at times appears to try to quash hope in many folk who appear “different” to it’s views. If society says different folk are “bad” for whatever reason and such folk listen, then their hope for betterment gets quashed. Sometimes that keeps one from becoming better, whatever one’s situation! Well, does this sound like the making of a vicious cycle or what? Let’s give all folks hope.

  3. If you had asked me ten years ago, I would have told you what I told my partner. “It will happen in our lifetime, but not for 25 years or so”. I’m so happy to be wrong about this. We still can’t marry in Colorado, but it is likely to come soon. We do have civil union, but, as I told a friend of mine, it’s like agreeing to sit at the back of the bus.

  4. Also happy at progress in the last decade – in which period the UK (where I live) has gone from no formal gay relationships, to civil partnerships, to marriage. And: you’ve been married nearly 19 years? Good going!

  5. First time I’ve seen wedding advice that has /wedding/ advice.
    Which doesn’t say much as I tend to roll my bachelor eyes about relationship advice with a “that’s what Mom taught me about fighting with my sister when I was six” or “wow, that poor woman” and stop reading that genre again.
    This would be less wedding advice than party planning, but? If everything is going perfectly, don’t worry, you’ll wake up soon and the problems you’ll have aren’t as bad as your nervous/panicky makes them feel, you’ll do fine.

  6. Still good. I find it strangely gratifying to read back over something I wrote long ago and find that I still like it; hope you’re feeling the same way.

  7. As was no doubt your intention, your advice works equally well for straight couples. (Then again, what do I know – I’m a confirmed bachelor.) It is with great glee that I note we are approaching the point where nearly half the states now regard same-sex marriage as being legal (as opposed to actually being legal, which it is in all fifty states {some of them just haven’t gotten the memo yet}).

    WRT peeing – that’s good advice for any public activity. Whenever I am about to make a presentation, the last thing I do before going into the room is go into the bathroom.

    And a firm second on the “smashing cake is for amateurs”; since when does getting married mean that you should act like a six-year old?

  8. Also, make sure that the suitcases you’re taking on the honeymoon are in the trunk of the correct car before the reception, so you don’t have to head over to your mother-in-law’s hotel on the way to the airport/highway because it was in her trunk. (Happened to us, and to friends who got married a week after we did. Wasn’t a big deal either way,)

  9. I would like to throw a humorous comment into the mix (I say this to all the people I come across who are newlyweds no matter what orientation they are) if I could.


    Please note that I’ve been happily married for 25 years this coming June, so no sarcasm is intended.

  10. @JohnD “advice works equally well for straight couples”
    Well yeah: Are 10 types of people: Those who recognize binary and those who don’t.
    Perhaps better is what some guy remarked about. ~An editorial about survey results, I think?~ Dude was surprised about reported hobbies which was either none or a bunch of ’em and he concluded — are two types of people: those who do things and those who don’t.

    BTW, when I followed psych 102 (basics of, 101 required) with social Mom disapproved and told me that abnormal psych was much more ‘interesting’ (I’d say “fucking scary” but OK).

    Note to self: Don’t create logic chart that has what set/sets/null of sex organs the baby is born with versus who the baby doesn’t puke on.

  11. And yet another piece of evidence why John Scalzi is a mensch.

    Thank you for sharing this. Again.

  12. @ Elr: He’s awesome, what did you expect? ;)

    Yup, it’s still very good advice ten years later.

    I had to attend a wedding once where the groom just wouldn’t stop shaking, and he quit breathing halfway through and actually fainted from lack of oxygen.

    His not-quite-wife was pretty pissed at him, but she still did CPR on him, which everyone felt was very romantic in a crazy sort of way

    Moral of the story: Unless you want to be every guest’s favorite wedding humor story for decades, be sure to breathe as you walk up the aisle and stand in front of the imam/minister/rabbi/best friend who has the appropriate legal powers/Satanic cult leader/whoever. ;)

  13. Report from Massachusetts, 10 years after:

    Sky is blue, with a few clouds — still has not fallen.

    Nice day, actually.

  14. Unsolicited Wedding Advice for Everyone: That Game of Thrones themed reception? Don’t.

  15. Advice from my father-in-law, which we followed- Make sure that only one or two people that you trust implicitly know where you and your spouse are staying after the wedding. *Somebody* needs to know, in case of emergency, but you don’t need any gatecrashers.

  16. I wonder how many gay spouses got in trouble this weekend for forgetting their anniversaries… If they do, then it means they are just like guys in straight marriages.

  17. Guess: Um — the Brom and I have not-quite-jokingly suggested that if we get new rings, we should have the date engraved on the inside so that both of us stand a chance of remembering it: as it is, when asked, we look at each other and say “Okay, the Acorn is x years old, so that means it was y years ago, and it was the last day of that trade show — ”

    So, not just het cisgendered guys. (Our wedding was “Meet you at the County Clerk’s at lunch to get the license and schedule a time tonight with the judge; you grab a couple of your friends, I’ll grab a couple of mine, meet you down there after the last session?” Seems to have worked out all right, as we’re still happy to see one another every morning and the Acorn is now crowding 30.)

  18. And in a nice bit of synergy (although a few days late to be perfect), marriage equality has come to Oregon today.

    The closing of Judge Michael McShane’s ruling in Geiger vs. Kitzhaber:

    “I believe that if we can look for a moment past gender and sexuality, we can see in these plaintiffs nothing more or less than our own families. Families who we would expect our Constitution to protect, if not exalt, in equal measure. With discernment we see not shadows lurking in closets or the stereotypes of what once was believed; rather, we see families committed to the common purpose of love, devotion, and service to the greater community.

    “Where will this all lead? I know that many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other…and rise.”

  19. Muccamukk: mazel tov! May you both be as delighted to say “good morning” to one another as the Brom and I are, every day.

    And since Don Hilliard gave us McShane, I’ll offer Jones’ closing in Whitewood v. Wolf, which has added Pennsylvania to the roster:

    “The issue we resolve today is a divisive one. Some of our citizens are made deeply uncomfortable by the notion of same-sex marriage. However, that same-sex marriage causes discomfort in some does not make its prohibition constitutional. Nor can past tradition trump the bedrock constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection. Were that not so, ours would still be a racially segregated nation according to the now rightfully discarded doctrine of ‘separate but equal’. […] In the sixty years since Brown was decided, ‘separate’ has thankfully faded into history, and only ‘equal’ remains. Similarly, in future generations the label same-sex marriage will be abandoned, to be replaced simply by marriage.

    “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”