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It’s Complicated: My Relationship With Wild And Wonderful West Virginia

Oh West Virginia, how I love thee, let me count the ways. Every year around the end of September I look forward to taking a drive through the rolling hills to fawn over the crisp rainbow of turning leaves finger painted along my peripheral. Each winter I adore the snow caps that sit perched on top of the mountains. Few things are as beautiful as when the water reflects off the still waters during a sunset over one of your shimmering, sprawling lakes.

Oh West Virginia, how thee makes me sad, let me count the ways. Your mountain top removal methods have decimating some of the breathtaking beauty. Your opioid crisis has ravaged the health of  your citizens. Your reliance on energy industry that slowly kill your bodies have left you unemployed, unhealthy, and in poverty. Your continuous drop in public school funding lowers the likelihood of your young people receiving the combination of free and quality education that every child deserves.

Stunning, heartbreaking West Virginia is like that sweet uncle who gives you the best candy at every holiday but also steals money from your favorite Aunt Sally. You have a soft spot for it even though you know it needs some tough love. Self sabotage is the name of the game these days in the mountain state. Let’s take a look at recent events.

Shelley Moore Capito has made national (actually even international) news this year for her back and forth on Trump’s proposed healthcare plans. Capito ultimately cast a vote to repeal Obamacare even though the proposed replacement failed to cement access to affordable healthcare, care for rural health care providers to ensure affordable premiums, adequately battle the opioid epidemic, or protect Medicaid.

What the bill did propose to do?: Create more tax breaks for the wealthy, even though West Virginia consistently comes in at the bottom ten of percentage of millionaires per capita, hovering around 4%. The percentage of West Virginians on Medicaid? 30%. Yes, you read that number correctly.

Now Ms. Capito, I understand your need to maintain the support of your constituents in the beautiful state of West Virginia, and I also can’t imagine how difficult it must be to stand up against the pressure of a fascist President who offers empty promises and delivers shallow threats simultaneously. I get it, but you were elected to put the citizens of the state you represent first, and can you honestly say that repealing the Affordable Care Act in order to replace with any of the bills that have been proposed will benefit and of the hopeful people who elected you?

Sure, for seven years Republicans have been screaming for Obamacare’s demise, demanding Obamas head on a stick, but what do they say when you ask them for their idea of a better healthcare plan? Surely it’s not one with a $13,000 deductible that’s likely half of their yearly salary.

I know your single vote wasn’t the “deciding” one for the country, there were 50 of those, but your vote is the only one that matters to your beloved state.

On to a more recent event. Earlier this month, Democratic Governor Jim Justice announced that he would be switching political parties from Democrat to Republican in order to better serve the people of West Virginia. This man, who was elected based on Democratic principles and platforms, deceiving his voter base by switching just eight months into his term. While he was running, Republicans criticized Justice for owing millions of dollars in unpaid taxes as a result of a deal with a Russian, yep Russian, coal company. Who do you think will end up paying those dollars?

As a former coal man, Justice is leading the charge to revitalize the dead industry instead of focusing on education and vocational training for laid off mining workers in order to help them find jobs in cleaner, renewable energy markets. How can you build a successful future if you insist on living in the past?

So if you’re a resident of this lush, albeit confused state, what can do you? I have some humble advice:

  • Visit some diverse cities. The ‘coastal elite’ isn’t out to get you, they just don’t exactly feel comfortable spending time in a place where they don’t see themselves. Spend some time in an urban place so that it feels normal to see someone wearing a hijab, two men holding hands, and people of color walking together on the same street. Make an effort to feel comfortable around diversity, because that’s your job, not anyone else’s.
  • Study our existing healthcare as well as every plan that’s proposed. Don’t rely on the media to give you the facts, because they’re being delivered by human beings and we’re all flawed. Learn it yourself to discover what hurts and benefits your health.
  • Find out where your representatives actually stand on each issue. Call them when you have something to say.
  • Read. Read. Read. Read. Read about the issues. Read about the history of West Virginia. Read about the history of the Unites States, the continent, the world. Understand what is and has happened outside of your bubble.

“The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading.” – David Bailey

I love you West Virginia, but please return the favor by also loving yourself.

XOXO,

Personal

Tales of a Bisexual Bride: Tips for Planning the Perfect Wedding

Every day people write books and blogs, publish binders and guides telling us all this over and over again, but it can’t be stated enough: wedding planning is hard. And stressful. But it also can’t be overstated that all of those details that felt like they just didn’t come together really don’t matter to anyone else, and they won’t even matter to you when you look back. Lesbians have the stereotype of being total overachievers, but my wife (squee!) and I tend not to fall into that category when it comes to planning. We like to think it’s because we’re just so carefree. Maybe it’s because technically I’m a bisexual bride, so my maintenance and perfection levels lie somewhere in the middle, just like my sexuality,

Here are the things I either screwed up on or didn’t get done before my wedding:

The list never ends…

  1. I didn’t get my nails done until the morning of my wedding. I didn’t get my toes done at all. Talk about some last-minute pampering prep.
  2. We ended up with no seating chart. None. I typed it the night before we left town for our venue and forgot to print it out before the wedding. Two of my besties, bless their patient souls, tried to stop at Staples to print it to frame at the last-minute for me, but my computer shit the bed.
  3. I forgot the poem I wrote for Mia at home. Writing is the best way I communicate my feelings, because I freeze up if I don’t have time to prepare, and I left these handwritten heartfelt words sitting on my desk.
  4. We were late for our own rehearsal dinner. I’m not talking the fashionable five minutes, but more like closer to an hour. You see, two days before our wedding we decided to adopt puppies (ask me in six more months if that was a good idea), and we had to drive all the way out to a farm to drop them off for puppy sitting. To a farm. That we didn’t know. Right before our rehearsal dinner.
  5. The bracelet we bought to give to Mia during the ceremony is too small. We thought we were really on our game with this one, and we tried to squeeze it over her hand but it was not happening. If you were there, I’m surprised if you didn’t hear her yelp a little.
  6. Probably not last and certainly not least, we forgot to light our remembrance candle at the beginning of the ceremony.

These are the things that didn’t go as planned, because who ever gets all the details exactly right? Guess which of those minor mistakes actually mattered one we said “I do”? That’s right, none of them.

Can you tell if I have freshly painted toes? I thought not.

My nails looked fabulous and you couldn’t see my toes in the Badgley Mischka flats I was wearing. We had an intimate wedding, and our friends and family use the open seating to catch up and create new bonds with people they didn’t know. Instead of reading from a piece of paper, I looked into Mia’s eyes to tell her how much I love her and promise I’ll care for her forever. Our puppies were well taken care of, and our parents broke the ice in a first time meeting that probably would have just been more awkward if we were there. I don’t have a silver lining for the last two, other than words mean more than material things to Mia, and we remember the loved ones we lost every second of every day.

None of the small details I had spent so much time sweating mattered, but do you know what did?

The way my stepdaughter looked at herself in the mirror.

The way my wife’s eyes sparkled and the breath caught in her chest when we turned around for our first look.

The moment we said I do, I knew I had planned the perfect wedding. So here are my tips for you:

  1. Choose your partner wisely. All of the details don’t mean a thing if you’re not standing in front of the person you can’t picture your life without. Make sure you can laugh at yourselves for underestimating the side of your daughter’s wrist. 😉
  2. Stop. Stop trying to plan the perfect wedding, and instead start focusing on why you’re having one in the first place.

Thanks, as always, for reading 🙂

 

Personal

Celebrating Pride: 10 Things You Didn’t Want to Know About Being Bisexual

This month, Skittles goes black and white, McDonalds tastes the rainbow, and the signature flag adds two new colors all in celebration of Pride. For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t until two years ago), June is the month we celebrate the LGBTQ community because it’s the anniversary of when the Stonewall riots took place back in 1969.

Ashamedly, I never took much time to comprehend the magnitude and importance of Pride Month for the community until I was suddenly part of it. So in celebration this year, I wanted to share some personal things about my identity and experience since becoming part of the “B” in LGBTQ.

  1. No, I didn’t always “know I was gay”. To be completely blunt, I realize I wasn’t straight once I fell in love with a person who doesn’t have a penis. She’s the most remarkable human being I’ve ever met, so why would I pass that up?
  2. I’ve never loved labels, but I choose to identify as bisexual because I realized my capacity to love wasn’t limited by body parts. I shied away from labeling myself until I understood the importance of being proud of standing under the LGBTQ umbrella.
  3. I grew up Christian, but have always struggled with the faith’s tendency to follow self interpreted rules and regulations for what’s right or wrong.
  4. Since I came out, I’ve slowly embarked on a deeper exploration into every aspect of who I am, both spiritually and sexually. To be honest, right now I don’t know what my religion is, but here are the things I do know: I believe in love. I believe in tolerance. I believe that there is more than what exists right now in this life on this earth. I believe animals have beautiful souls. I believe nature heals. I believe in a god that doesn’t have requirements, only the capacity of goodness, creation, and empathy. I believe Jesus taught people how to love more deeply and openly.
  5. To all of my female friends I’ve seen naked, kissed, lived with, or all of the above, the answer is no. No, just because I am bisexual doesn’t mean I was attracted to you all of those years.
  6. I’ve never been dishonest to anyone about my sexuality. Who I know myself as at every point in my life is exactly who I have presented myself to be.
  7. Those of you who have loved ones who have always known they were gay or transgender were not being dishonest to you before they came out either. It’s called “coming out” for a reason. The process is complicated and difficult and requires and comfort level with oneself and one’s body that can take years to reach.
  8. It’s 2017, and in many ways our society has come along way. However, don’t assume that because you or so many around you are tolerance that other aren’t still hateful to the LGBTQ community. It’s 2017, and I get looks from bystanders when I hold my wife’s hand in public spaces. But guess what? It only makes me hold onto her harder.
  9. If you’re an ally, speak up. Don’t presume that your loved ones assume that you’re proud of them, or love them for who they are if you haven’t told them since they came out. I have made those assumptions and discovered later that I was wrong, and that’s way more devastating than finding out up front. So I no longer make those assumptions. If you’re not outspoken in your support of the LGBTQ community, of my relationship, of my marriage, then I’m forced to wonder. It hurts to badly to assume you’re on my side and then be blindsided to realize you’re not.
  10. The importance of having close relationships with other members of the LGBTQ community cannot be overstated. Neither can the importance of having LGBTQ representation in music, movies, and television. As a bisexual, I now feel lost when I turn on the television and see storylines I can no longer relate to. Sure, I’ve dated men, but I’m married to a woman. I want to see women who are like me. I never realized how annoying it would become to cross out the word “groom” and write the word “bride” for my partner’s name every time I filled out paperwork for my wedding. If you’re frustrated by seeing things change to become “PC” and inclusive, chances are you’re not nearly as frustrated as those who never feel included.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that if you’re wondering if I’ve changed, or skeptical about whether or not you ever really knew me, the response is both yes and no. I have changed, but only in the ways that have made me a better, more loving, open human being. Now I flinch when someone asks a woman they don’t know who her husband is after she says she’s married. What if she’s married to another woman?

So if becoming more conscious of the conclusions I jump to when speaking to or about others means I’ve changed, then I’m proud of those changes. I didn’t just start listening obsessively to Tegan and Sara and binge watching The L Word because that’s what all the lesbians do. I listen to them the lyrics and the stories resonate, and isn’t that why they’re made?

The self recognition of being bisexual has made me a better person, not a different one, and that’s why I all of a sudden plaster my Facebook page with rainbows. I’m proud to me. So whether you’re straight, gay, lesbian bisexual, queer, questioning, transgender, gender fluid, asexual, or anything else along the spectrum, be proud of it. Celebrate it. Celebrate yourself and celebrate those you love who are unafraid to be who they are. Be an ally. Celebrate Pride.

 

Personal

Why I Stopped Sweating for My Wedding

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all women’s bodies are created equal. We also know it is fundamental truth that no two bodies are exactly the same.

If I still have any readers out there hanging on, my apologies for the extended absence. It’s been about six months so we last chatted, and I wish I had a better excuse than, well, life. I had a New Years resolution to check in weekly at minimum, but alas, 2017 has been a busy, beautiful year so far. I bought a home, I got married, I officially became a stepmom, and our little family grew by two babies of the canine variety.

I want to talk about the stigma that lies behind having the perfect wedding day body. After Jen and I got engaged last July, I, the embodiment of couch potato and tied for first place for most clumsy creature alive (I share the trophy with a baby giraffe), decided I was going to become the ultimate health machine. I purchased head to toe Adidas gear, because you can’t work out without looking the part, right? I bought a full year membership to an at-home fitness program, meal replacement shakes and all. I replaced a meal a day, portioned out my snacks, and strapped on my sneakers for those living room workouts. For about a week.

Time passed. The holidays began approaching, wedding planning got underway, and we started house hunting. Lack of time is never an acceptable excuse not to commit to something, but it’s the only one I had. As the new year approached, I promised myself to kick it into full gear come January. Shortly after that we closed on our house, and I quit my full-time job to focus on my freelance writing. Jen and I settled into our new home, and I made a set of rules for myself to follow as full-fledged, frantic wedding prep crunch time loomed.

One of the few times I attempted meal prep. I hate meal prep.

No soda. No beer. One glass of wine a week. Shakes for breakfast. One thirty minute workout a day minimum. No fries. Sometime in February, Jen and I sat at our favorite brewery for dinner, and I stared sadly at the menu. My favorite beer was on tap, and the burger and fries were calling my name. The salads at this restaurant are scrumptious, but I couldn’t have fries, so dammit I wanted them. As I lamented over my mixed greens and vinaigrette, Jen looked at me and said, “Would you please just get the fucking fries?”

My fiance then proceeded to tell me that she’s marrying me, exactly the way I wake up and go to bed every day. Every dimple, every fluctuating pound, every zit, and every bad hair day. I then began to really think about why I was trying to become this perfect, unattainable version of myself for my wedding day. I’m not unhealthy, and I’m not unhappy with the way I feel or look, but for some reason I needed more of that. I wanted to look at my photographs from that day and marvel at my own appearance. On top of that, I wanted the attention of everyone else.

What I realized that day was something vital that I didn’t want. I didn’t want to look back at my wedding photos and not be able to recognize myself. I didn’t want to reflect back on my engagement, what’s supposed to be one of the most blissful periods in a relationship, and only remember the misery of deprivation. I was striving for a me that just wasn’t actually me. I like to walk my dogs at the park. Without trying too terribly hard, I usually dabble in my fair share of all the required food groups most days. But sometimes I don’t. I like beer and wine. I love french fries. I put way too much sugar in my coffee, and I could each chocolate croissants for breakfast very single day.

That one time when it was two months before my wedding and I ate all of the pizza in the restaurant.

I don’t need to get married with a body I’ve never actually had, and probably never will care enough to have. My fiancé and I love to take walks together, and we also love to go to the bakery downtown, buy six cupcakes, and eat them the same day. So instead, I stopped stepping on that scale. I stopped refusing the fries and worrying about how tight my pants were. I bought my dress exactly the way it fit me the first time I tried it on, and I had dessert every time I wanted to.

So now, instead of looking at my wedding photos and marveling at the Michelle Obama arms in that one pose, I see those pictures and remember how much fun I had with my fiancé when that’s what she was. We were only engaged for a nine months, and we were indulgent as hell. The night before our wedding, I ate lobster mac and cheese, and the next morning I downed two bagels, because that’s exactly what I wanted.

Cheesecake porn. Always order dessert.

Is this mentality one that everyone should adopt? Of course not. My point is only this: Happiness radiates beauty, so do what makes you happy. If you’re sweating for your wedding, do it because it makes you feel good, not because it makes you miserable, because your engagement is fleeting. I won’t remember how big my thigh gap was or if I had fully formed abs under my dress, but I’ll always remember the Sundays nights we spent splitting bottles of wine and devouring cheese trays while addressing wedding invitations. Love is about the perfect imperfections.

Personal

The Weekend in Shopping

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Happy Cyber Monday!

If you’re anything like me, you worked all of that extra turkey and stuffing off by spending the weekend exercising your serious shopping skills. I decided to do a quick roundup of the things I found worth a few of my hard earned dollars over the weekend. Some of these deals are still happening, and they’re too good to pass up!

TOMS

I got the black and white wool women’s classics. They’re currently running up to 40% off, plus an additional 15% off your entire purchase. Get another 10% cash back when you go through Ebates.

Tory Burch

I’ve been stalking the Sidney Boot for years, and they finally dropped it own to a price I couldn’t resist. Shop 30% off straight from the Tory Burch website.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Sherpa everything this winter. I can’t stand being cold, so when cozy is in fashion you’ll find me layering in it every day the temp drops below 50 degrees. I already have a striped sherpa pullover sweatshirt, but with the entire store 50% off, I may or may not have snagged one in every color. Size up for an extra cozy fit.

J.Crew Factory

This fair isle crewneck sweater might be the prettiest thing I have in my closet.  The colors are infinitely brighter in person than in the photo, so toss this one in your cart and just trust me. Everything is 60% off today.

Barnes & Noble

For the book worm, make sure to hop on the BN website and get 15% off your entire order, which never happens. Stay tuned in the next week for a rundown of my 2016 book recommendations. For the collector, head to your nearest store to get one of the signed editions they’re carrying this holiday season. I’ve been on a celebrity memoir kick lately, so my top picks for signed books were Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Littler Nobody and Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime.

Bonus: Book of the Month

A monthly book club subscription, Book of the Month is a great holiday gift for someone who loves to read. You get a featured new book and a special little gift delivered straight to your doorstep every month. You can even add additional books for only $9.99. Most of the add-ons are new releases, so that’s a hell of a deal. Use my referral link to get your first 3 months for $9.99 each: https://www.mybotm.com/moukmaxjo22zkt9

Where have you been finding your best deals for holiday shopping?

 

Much Love,

Beth

 

Personal

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night: Kicking and Screaming My Way Out of 2016

Photo: QuotesPics.com

Photo: QuotesPics.com

I promised myself that I’d hold back from writing anything political on this blog, for fear of dividing my readership, but last night the results of this election sliced through me in a visceral, painful way. When I woke up, I tainted every room I walked through with sobs of disbelief, but after I sat with it for a while I realized that part of the reason this happened is because of complacency. So here, I fight with the strongest weapon I have in my arsenal: my words.

Before last year I identified as a straight, white, middle-class woman, so apart from my gender I was fairly privileged. Over the last 20 months, by realizing I am a member of a marginalized, minority community, I have become a more compassionate person. A better person. I still attempt to attract listening ears with honey rather than vinegar, but this election has hardened me as I’ve watched that bitter, painful to swallow vinegar take over our country.

The news that Donald Trump was elected President shook me to my very core. The only emotion I managed to feel all morning was fear. Fear for the future of our planet. Fear for the future of our country. Fear for the future of our children. Fear for the future of minorities. Fear for the future of my family as a unit. Fear for the future of my own place here and the state of the open mind, positive temperament, and sympathetic heart I’ve always been able to maintain, because my fear has begun to translate into a deep hurt and a bubbling anger.

My social media timelines were sprinkled with positive sentiments and frustrated comments encouraging people to either unite themselves and come together, or to get over it, accept the results, and stop whining. These comments struck me in an unexpected way. My world as I knew it had just shattered around me and people want me to just get over it? How does an LGBT person who doesn’t know how many years left of marriage equality they’ll get to enjoy just get over it? How does an immigrant child whose parents are now likely to be deported just come together with someone who wants to build a wall? How does a parent of an unarmed child who was murdered because of racial stereotypes just accept the results? And how does a woman who has been raped, sexually assaulted, or even harassed or cat-called in the office just stop “whining” about waking up in a nation who has decided it doesn’t care about these things as long as their insurance deductibles are low and their taxes don’t get raised?

if-you-are-neutral-in-situations-of-injustice-you-have-chosen-the-side-of-the-oppressor

Claiming that you voted for Trump because he’s “the lesser of two evils” or “anti-establishment” or “a symbol of change” isn’t an excuse. Sending a messing to Washington isn’t an excuse. Insisting you’re not racist, homophobic, xenophobic, or bigoted doesn’t absolve you from the blame of what’s to come. This morning a kindergartener was told by one of her classmates that she would be sent away because Trump was President now and he would deport people like her. A young child told another, “Mr. Trump is President but he doesn’t like people with disabilities.” A teenager was told by two girls that she needed to start sitting in the back of the bus. Members of (or those who want to be members and had dressed as such) were photographed standing on a bridge in North Carolina. Swastikas and Nazi propaganda was written on windows in Philadelphia.

This is the America we have chosen to live in as a result of an election where people claimed they just wanted a tax break and the repeal of Obamacare. If Donald Trump for some reason is unable to perform his duties, a man named Mike Pence who is a proponent of electric shock therapy and conversion camps for those on the LGBT community would be our President. Letting this sink in very nearly broke my spirit. Those are the long-term consequences. The short-term ones involved the decision I have to make to sit at the dinner table across from family members who proudly voted for this man. This man who aims to take away my rights and the civil rights of so many others in order to ensure they and anyone who, mental health issues or not, can buy a gun whenever and wherever they want. How do I do that? How do we do that? We the people have spoken, and we have decided that hate in our country is acceptable. We have just chosen a leader who mocks the disabled, sexually objectifies and assaults women, and discriminates against anyone who isn’t a white, straight man. We have just made the choice to raise our children in a country where this is not just acceptable, but preferred, because you can be President if you act like this.

My fiance’s daughter learned that Hillary lost this morning, and she was saddened by the idea that “a girl like her” wasn’t going to be President, but that maybe she could be next time. She also said that Donald Trump and his friends must just need to have more love in their hearts. As 2016 comes to a close and a new, terrifying chapter in history begins, I hope that she doesn’t lose that sense of enlightenment and optimism, and I hope that we can find a way to have more love in our hearts. Until then, do not go gentle unto that good night.

Housekeeping

Hello Blog Family!

Hello readers! Let me introduce myself: I’m Beth, an awkward, introverted book nerd who loves the written word and the ability to socialize where and when I want. Not too much to ask, right? I have a lot to say, but don’t always feel comfortable saying it in person, so that led me to the idea of starting a blog where I can express myself and hopefully reach some people who can relate and can benefit from these ramblings.

The last couple years of my twenties have proven to contain the most eventful, challenging, and fulfilling transitions I ever expected to experience. I spent the first 27 years of my life in various small towns of West Virginia, doing small town things like eating at Applebees and walking around Wal-Mart at 2:00 AM. After relocating to Pittsburgh in 2013, I began to realize that although I treasure and appreciate my upbringing in my home among the hills, I had not only a sheltered outlook on life, but had also experienced so little of what the world had to offer to guide me on the path to discover who I really am.

Before I moved to Pittsburgh, I was a straight sorority girl who said “like” way too often and had pumpkin spiced latte literally running through my veins, settling for being semi-content in my relationship with my college boyfriend and a career that paid the bills and fed my shopping addiction. Fast forward to today and I’m a bisexual writer who is blissfully engaged to a woman and her four-year-old daughter, striving to spend my days pursuing my passion. I do still say “like” more than most people, and I’m currently typing this while drinking my second PSL of the day, but hey, people don’t change that much, am I right?

Seriously though, how perfect are they?!

When I found myself in a drastically new kind of relationship with a ready-made, nontraditional family, I tried to find resources to help my with advice and support for this transition. I didn’t have any “newly” gay friends in my life. I mean, most of my pals came out right after high school, and they all pretty much drive down a one way street if you know what I mean. I know no one (still really don’t) who went through this big of an identity change this late in life.

My goal with this blog is to help create a community for people to feel free to be themselves, share their experiences, and hopefully benefit from the insight I have to offer. Straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, however you identify (or don’t), let’s be friends and help one another through this amazingly unique and beautiful thing called life.

Xo –

  • Beth Ann
Personal

White Wedding Wonders

I was never one of those girls who spent her childhood planning and daydreaming about the perfect white wedding. The dress, the shoes, the perfect bouquet toss. Until last year, the only thing I imagined was that someday I would be a bride who married a groom, and we would live happily ever after. Because of how many surprises and twists and turns we take through life, I don’t usually plan or fantasize about anything until the concept of it is actually concrete. So I didn’t begin to think about my wedding until Jen proposed; as a matter of fact, I just assumed she would be the one to propose because, well, I had always been a straight girl and that’s all I knew.

My fiance proposed outside of Konzelmann, one of the wineries at Niagara on the Lake, and just like that we were off to the races and I found myself engaged and planning a wedding, or as most people feel the need to specify, a gay wedding. My head began to race with so many questions. What are the rules here? Can I wear a dress? Does she wear a tux? Is that too straight? Can we do vows? Will a minister actually marry us? Will people come?

It was right after a rain storm, but isn't this place stunning?

It was right after a rain storm, but isn’t this place stunning?

I googled, I researched, I bought every resource I could find. I followed bridal blogs on Instagram, joined all of the planning websites, bought every issue I could find of The Knot, purchased the corresponding ultimate wedding planning binder, and dug in. Most of these resources, as customizable as they advertise themselves to be, haven’t fully jumped on board with making their language and tips easily adaptable by same sex couples. So I shifted gears. My google searches turned into “how to plan a lesbian wedding”, and my book purchases evolved into “wedding planning guide for the modern/nontraditional bride”.

And you know what? That didn’t help either. Because I am neither of these things. I’m not a straight girl, and I’m not a lesbian. I refused to label myself until I began to grasp that I identified the most with the term “bisexual”, but unfortunately while it seems to be one of the most inclusive ways to identify, being bisexual has the tendency to actually mean that you don’t fit in anywhere. You don’t fit the cookie cutter straight wedding concept, and you don’t fit into all of the full blown lesbian stereotypes either (although I did just buy a Subaru. I can’t resist my fate entirely).

So I finally resigned to the fact that I might have to pave my own way in the wedding planning process. I have about ten half finished checklists, multiple magazines covered in question marks and earmarked pages, and an empty planning binder with a few scribbles and a whole lot of pages with the word “groom” scratched out. My dress? It’s purple, and it’s a gown. Her tie? Burberry, purple, and fabulous. Our playlist? A little bit of top 40 and a whole lotta Tegan and Sara and Dave Matthews Band. Bridal party? Nah. Bouquet? You’re damn right. Because when it comes right down to it, we’re not planning a gay wedding or a straight wedding. We’re planning our wedding. And it’s going to be perfect.

 

 

xoxo

-Beth

 

 

 

 

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