Lately I've been referring to J as my wife, mostly because it's the easiest and most clear-cut way to explain our relationship in the least amount of words. And for all intent and purposes, she IS my wife. October 1st saw our 3 year living-together anniversary, this February we will file joint taxes for the first time so I can claim her student credits.
But, legally she is not yet my wife.
I had gotten over the idea of a wedding and being married to someone, because when I came out in late spring of 2001, it wasn't yet legal, nor did I understand the importance of why it needed to become legal.
I am still not entirely married to the idea, preferring to day dream about babies and parenting rather than my "perfect wedding day". Perhaps because I am overly practical, I cannot fathom the idea of spending $20K on a party. The thought in and of itself makes me want to barf. I have attended weddings that topped $60K, and weddings that only cost the married couple the cost of the marriage license and the wedding officiant. Each and everyone were lovely in their own way. I have spoken with people my parents age who had huge weddings and regret the expense, and people who had small, intimate weddings and still speak of it to this day (my parents being among this last group).
We each come from small families. My mother is the youngest of three, her middle brother died when I was 6, and her oldest brother and his husband I *never* see, and have spoken with only once in 4 years. My cousins I have spoken with twice in 5 years. My father is an only child. J is an only child, and her brother-like cousin is the only one on her dad's side. Her maternal family is slightly larger, although I have only met 1 of them (excluding her mother, whom I've met several times).
Our small wedding is 20 people. Our large wedding is 45. It does not include people who would have a biological claim, but whom one of us have never met.
But, who wears a dress? Does anyone walk down the aisle? What about wedding parties?
The answer? There are no rules. This is an opportunity to create something uniquely us, devoid of any cultural and societal obligations to rules and the "supposed to's". It will probably be fairly inexpensive, since our kids will be more than a freebie.
J will definitely wear a dress, and I will most likely too, but beyond that, we have no idea. Summer wedding? Winter wedding? Catered? Appies? Sit down dinner? Venue? All of this, who knows?
The world is our oyster.