Wedding Planning, Part 1: Making It Up as We Go

The fun (?) thing about gay marriage is that it’s pretty much still the wild west, so there aren’t really any established rules that we’re supposed to follow. And since I’m an improviser, I’m more than comfortable making the rules up as we go.

From the beginning, TJ and I agreed we’d do everything our way anyway. For example, we both proposed to each other. I did it at the Book of Mormon in New York. TJ did it at a Legwarmers concert in northern Virginia two weekends ago:

(Point of order: Yes, we wear standard issue 80s gear to Legwarmers shows. And yes, I was surprised and floored, since the band called us out in the middle of their set and dedicated their rendition of the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” to us.)

Next up: Wedding Planning.

A few friends suggested that we chronicle our planning process so we help grow the literature on the subject. Because I’m a professional nerd, the opportunity to fill in gaps in the research is a source of personal satisfaction, so I couldn’t not do it.

So, welcome to Archie and TJ’s wedding planning diary. I don’t know that this will necessarily be a chronological, step-by-step account of our adventures, but we hope that reading about our experiences might prove helpful to others charting the gay wedding waters.

Here we go!


Before we get to the actual wedding itself, let’s talk rings.

Earlier this year, TJ and I hit up Tiffany’s to window shop for rings that could double as both engagement rings and wedding bands. We both wanted engagement rings, but neither of us were interested in bling or in sporting multiple rings. So we settled on a simple and understated platinum wedding band. We presented each other our rings at our respective proposals, and we’re wearing them now. The plan is to get them engraved and present them to each other again at the wedding ceremony.

What to engrave them with? TJ and I have suggested writing each other personal messages (140 characters or fewer!). I have a few candidates in the running, but the victor will remain a surprise until the day of the wedding. 🙂

Establishing Guiding Principles

So our next step is one that we actually borrowed from TJ’s former boss, who married his husband last year. They suggested that before getting down into the nitty-gritty, we first come to some agreement regarding our expectations for the wedding and the reception. The idea was for each person to come up with three words to describe his ideal wedding, compare each other’s answers, and negotiate a combined list.

I’m a big fan of establishing guiding principles so we have some criteria on which to base decisions. And because TJ and I are so damn agreeable, we came up with our three words one morning during our commute to work:

  1. Sophisticated
  2. Personal
  3. Fun

We have yet to explore how these words are going to be operationalized once we start looking for venues, drag queen DJs, etc., but keeping them in mind should help us cross things off the list, especially since we’re trying to pull this wedding off at the lowest cost possible. More on that later!

Next time: Dates and Venues!


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