Thursday, March 29, 2012


(actually, to be fair, it was more like one exclamation point)

Meet me. The A bride.
Yes, this was about, oh, 23 years ago.
Once an angel, always an angel.
And that is no offense to my amazing girlfriend (or "fiance" as people seem to coin it - all I can hear is a Seinfeld episode when I hear that word...), it's just that other than whole "two women" thing and "ashley-is-afraid-of-committment-based-on-a-myriad-of-past-relationships" thing no one was really all that surprised after four years.

That being said, this whole two females thing is really going to help put the "non" in non-traditional wedding planning. The whole thing has been quite confusing (and exciting!) already, and we are barely into this. I started to think about all of the "offbeat" decisions we would be making (and already had to make) and thought, "hey self, this seems like something you would a) love to share with the world and b) are going to have way to much fun with not to share with the world - or at least those who will stumble upon it." Let's be honest, my younger days as a world-renown blogger are long gone, and I miss them.

Did I say world renown? That might (might) be self-proclaimed. I was definitely a 19-year-old pretentious college girl moonlighting as any therapist's dream and any guy I got tangled up with's nightmare (and dare I say not all that surprising given the first complete sentence of this blog?). If that's not world renown, what is?

So back to the point of this fair blog. I am getting married to my lovely lady of almost four years. Turns out, even in the year the world will end (please don't stop reading because I said that, I'm not an idiot - come on) 2012, marrying a chica when you are also a chica is not muy facil. In fact, in this fine state of Colorado, it's not even legal! (Kind of absurd, right? If you don't think that is absurd, unless you really like getting upset, this probably isn't your kind of blog...) As such, I thought there are probably other people who, gay or not, also find the whole wedding planning business confusing. Since I am overjoyed and looking forward to this confusion and challenge, I thought I would document my process for all the wonderful people who like that sort of thing. Or, better yet, might actually be entertained by it. If you don't fall into one of those categories, that's cool too. Seriously. Unless, again, you don't understand the separation of church and state and think I shouldn't be getting "married" because you believe marriage is between a man and woman... in that case, start by educating yourself. Honestly, there like a bazillion places you could go to learn why hating on same-sex marriage doesn't make constitutional sense given separation of church and state. You may have to leave Fox News for a moment. Here is a simplified version of you might find: religious versus civil.

Fact: I'm getting married.
Fact: I'm marrying a woman.
Fact: I am also a woman.

You're caught up! Let's start with the first question every asks me (and trust me, sometimes the other person gets significantly more awkward than I ever could have hoped for or anticipated).

"So, ummm... how does that, er... I mean, so, who proposed to who? I mean, well, how does that, uh... work? You know? I mean, you know what I mean, right?"

my ring!

  • We (my girl and I) talked about this at length. At one point we said screw proposing let's just give each some rings and have a big ol' engagement party. Then we got a little sappy. I also really wanted to to include my mammacita in the planning and have her be "in the know" so we thought a little more carefully. I fell in love with a place that sold antique engagement rings years ago when I first moved to Colorado and always knew it was where I wanted to pick mine out at. To be perfectly transparent we even went up and looked at rings last June (2011) and sort of picked one out... However, between my left hand ring finger having sharp shooting pains the whole day and just a general feeling of uneasiness, we decided maybe we weren't (and by that I mean, I wasn't) quite ready for the whole really-big-deal commitment thing. So almost a year later, in late late February, we got in the car and headed back up to the "ring store" as we had started calling it. I was quite mortified to step foot back in there after having a ring on hold for almost a year... I mean, that's just cursing a marriage before it starts, right? My lady went in ahead of me, talk to the owners, found out the ring was no longer on hold (and likely gone forever) but cleared the air that two women were going to be looking for rings for each other. When they were totally on board I joined (I was down the street in a Christmas shop) and we had a lovely time of it. After quite awhile of looking through tray after tray, I wanted to give up on the old ring (you know, the one that gave me sharp, shooting pains?) and move on to new things.  The very first ring the woman found for me (thinking of the previous one's style) I fell head over heels for. A gorgeous, 1935 antique with an 1800s mine cut diamond. Gorgeous. My lady also fell in love with some bling (after finding a similar one that was not platinum and four times the price of what I had expected her to fall in love with...) and we were on top of the world. We got a monstrous and calorific fresh-baked white chocolate macadamia cookie and celebrated. It was our day the lesbian way (rhyming!). Just like something out of Cinderella, right? Wait until you hear the proposal story...
  • I planned the day. Red rocks, dinosaur ridge, and of course, a beautiful Colorado style hike. OH wait. It's March. Did I forget to remember that there is at least a few feet of snow still on the mountains in March out here? Yes. Red rocks was gorgeous - especially on a full stomach of homemade apple cinnamon pancakes. Dinosaur ridge made me feel like a kid (a good thing when my soul is eighty and likely takes the shape of Estelle Getty). The hike up Chief Mountain may have been a whole different ball game. First, we couldn't find the trail (the whole several feet of snow at 11,000 feet thing was nuisance). Eventually we found something that looked hike-able so I said let's go for it. Then came the abandoned four door sedan (totally stuck in 3-4 feet of snow) with rocks smashed through all the windows (and likely a dead body in the trunk - no, we didn't check). Next came the big SUV with a live person sitting in it... creepy as hell. Then the hundreds, and hundres, and hundreds, of shotgun shells and destroyed targets. Not to mention just a bunch of abandoned goods... creepy is definitely an understatement. Regardless, i had my bag of crackers, champagne, champagne flutes, cheese, and of course the ring slung over my shoulder and we weren't heading back til I put a ring on it (and so did she... seriously, I would have left her there). After climbing off trail and through some serious snow, we hiked up a short hill and found THE most gorgeous view... what I was hoping for. Did I mention very loud gun shots were very audible and likely very close by through all of this? They were. We proposed. We ate some herbes de provence. I may have said something terrible like "even though you're going to die first" in the midst of my surprisingly nerves-ridden proposal. It's OK, that's why she loves me, I'm ridiculous. The best part of the day? How happy my family was for us. Especially my brother. 
the view from the hike
You might be questioning your commitment to this blog right now. You should. There will be times in the future when I rant in a similar fashion. However, this was a lot of days and weeks in the making. From here on out I will stay on top of things so I don't have to cover so much time. That will keep me sounding more intelligent in my writing and your tendency to be distracted by shiny things to a minimum.

What's the moral of the story? 
Life doesn't have to play out like a fairytale to be perfect. I'm learning that along the way. I'm confident that this wedding planning process is going to help me really take that understanding to heart.  I plan to share everything from the emotional stories to the great tips and ideas I come across planning this shindig and managing my life at the same time. Hopefully it helps keep me sane, on track and might even help out some other not so traditional wedding planners out there. Or, even better, maybe I could get so damn good at this I could just BE a wedding planner? We'll find out soon enough.
happily ever after

1 comment:

  1. "Life doesn't have to play out like a fairytale to be perfect."

    This really resonated with me, Ashley. I sometimes get caught up in the frustration of waiting for that perfect, storybook-romantic moment that I think sometimes obscures us from the authentic happiness that comes as result of meeting life halfway -- embracing the perfection of the beautiful imperfection all around us -- and just falling in love with it. Keep writing!