Thursday, March 10, 2011
Why is it Called a Wedding Party?
It was personal, of course, and we actually told all of the people who we wanted to stand up with us before we told anyone else. For Teri, particularly, it meant so much for her to be able to share with her sister, parents and daughters the genuine intention of our pending commitment. While we are typically tough-skinned, like many LGBTQ folks, when it comes to family relations, it does matter immensely to be able to share the joys of love with those with whom we walk though life. Also typical of many people who have had to "come out" in our adult lives, we have not always felt the unconditional love and support that many heterosexual people can take for granted.
So, we have put together our "team" and like many engaged couples, different members of our wedding party have different levels of involvement and energy. This may be news to my dear friend Wendy (who is standing up with me as my "Best Gal"), but we've decided she is Best-Gal-In-Practice for the both of us because she has been such an energetic and encouraging boost of gooey positiveness. Since Teri doesn't know for sure if her identical twin sister will be able to attend or not, I told her we could share Wendy--she has enough best-galness for the both of us!
There is an unfortunate imbalance in that the daughters who are standing up with me as bridesmaids, as well as my son and sister (who will be officiating) all live here in town, and for Teri, only the daughter Leah lives here. Teri does not have a whole team of people from her family and old life to wrap around and carry her through the process and I know that is sometimes hard for her. Fortunately, she has friends and coworkers who are sharing in the Wedding Planning and excitement and we have a shared circle of people who are digging in and sharing in the excitement and details.
I think there are always challenges and some heaviness that goes with asking and building a wedding party. We feel vulnerable in the asking and vulnerable in wondering if our chosen people will really "be there" for us and we want to include, share and appreciate those who mean so much to us. After all, a wedding ceremony is really about the sharing, the community and the feeling of connection that comes with making a promise to weave lives, family and friends together.