Living in Utah, we knew our marriage wouldn't be recognized, but it was important enough to us to plan a wedding, not just a commitment ceremony. (We never thought in a million years that Utah would be one of the front-runners to perform same-sex marriages!) We wanted a traditional wedding with a real ceremony, so we started to look at our options. The only states at the time that did same-sex marriages were Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Vermont. New York was just about to pass a law later that year too (2011). So with those states to choose from, we decided Boston, Massachusetts would be the best place for us. We love the Red Sox, the Celtics, the history, and we love the charming city. It was a no-brainer for us. Also, it was the first state to recognize same-sex marriages and performed the first marriage. So, after some research, we decided on the Cambridge Courthouse. Massachusetts, here we come!
There was a lot of planning! I pretty much had to do it all on my own since I didn't have much support at that point. And, let's remember, these were the days before Pinterest. I had no idea what I was doing. I had never planned such a big event before! But, I was so excited and ready to take on the task. Over the next several months I figured it all out. My dress, Kris' suit, the shoes, flowers, decorations, food, and location. I felt so intimidated planning a same-sex wedding/party in Utah. Most places here, especially in the wedding department, are directed toward an LDS wedding. (Okay, that's probably not completely true, but that's how it felt!)
Let me tell you a quick story that was quite the miracle to me. When I was dress-hunting, I had been to a few places and trying on several dresses. I found a few different ones that I liked, but still kept looking, feeling like I hadn't found "the one". I went to a place in Salt Lake called "The Brides' Shop" (I highly recommend it if you live in the area and need a dress! You can also look at their website here). I was with my sister Ginger, who had been supportive and loving towards me since day one. (I sure love her!) We didn't have an appointment, but thought it was worth a shot to go and look around. It just so happened that they were able to get us in. The girl who was helping me with dresses was awesome, and I hope this doesn't sound judgmental, but I assumed she was Mormon, so I didn't really want to tell her to much about my wedding. I didn't want her to start treating me differently if she was uncomfortable with me being gay. I just mentioned the date of my wedding and style of dress I was looking for. There was another bride in the shop that day as well, getting measurements with her brother. Turned out, her brother was gay! I felt some excitement when he gave me the opportunity to share my story. He said, "You're husband is going to die when he sees you in that dress! It's perfect! It looks amazing on you!" I went for it... I said "Well, actually he is a she!" He was so excited and totally freaked out, saying all kinds of happy congratulations! It felt incredible! I loved being able to share my excitement and my story. That is when the amazing girl who was working at the shop also freaked out, telling me that she was gay too. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES, REALLY? In Utah? Slim to none. I felt like it was all meant to be! I became really close friends with the girl working at the shop, and we are still great friends to this day. (You know who you are! And I thank God for you, especially on that day!)
After I found my dress, I felt like everything started to fall into place, and by July 28th, 2011, we were ready! We were on our way to Boston, Massachusetts to get married.
I would like to mention that when I went back in for my dress measurements, I was happy to have both Kris' mom and my step-mom with me. It was nice to have their opinion on the alterations, but more than that, I loved having their support!