While in California my amazing girlfriend (now fiancé) proposed to me – and I said yes! Obviously. This woman has been the best part of my life for the past three and a half years, I couldn’t image what life would be like without her.

Now that I got the gooey stuff out of the way… on to the planning! And opinions. You hear that everyone has an opinion about your wedding, but it doesn’t feel quite real until it smacks you in the face. We’ve been engaged for a month, and if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard ‘well have you thought about’ I would probably have enough to buy me some nice sparkly shoes. I shouldn’t be that mean, people are just excited and they want to help.

What I’ve found interesting so far is how we are navigating around the hetereonormative wedding traditions. There is something truly freeing about not feeling like you have to do this, or have to incorporate things into your wedding. It also kind of sucks? Don’t get me wrong, I love bucking the norm as much as the next queer lady, but I would like at least a road map to start from. Nothing has been clearly defined as gay wedding etiquette and that’s pretty awesome. From food to music to what we want to wear, it’s all up to us.

What’s even more interesting is how friends and family have been managing it. “Are you both wearing dresses? Do you guys do rehearsal dinners? What about cake?” Since neither of us are marrying a dude, people think that we automatically have to be unconventional. We’re bucking the norm because of who we are- I love being unconventional but it’s not something that I need to do. Nothing has to be traditional, unless we want it to.

It feels like we’re free and under a microscope all at the same time. Every time I call a space to look at I’m afraid they won’t even talk to us. Every time I fill out a form where they ask me who the groom is I get mad because I don’t see myself in the bridal industry.

Everything is a reminder that we’re different. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I like being different. It’s something that I need to get used to because I know everything isn’t going to change as fast as it should or as fast as I want. Change will come by being our beautiful loving selves who will throw an awesome celebration. It’ll come when people realize how we’re the same, yet extraordinarily different.

How To: Plan an Event

There are many types of events to plan for: online auctions, galas, 5Ks, golf tournaments, etc, but there are core planning techniques that will help make your event a success.

  1. Pick a date. Knowing when your event is going to be gives you ample amount of time to plan and organize.
  2. What type of event would most benefit your organization?
  3. How long is the event going to run?
  4. What space do you need? How much will it cost?
  5. Who are you inviting? How many people are you inviting?
  6. How are you inviting people? What marketing materials will you need?
  7. Is admission going to be charged? How much profit do you want to make off of this event?
  8. Is entertainment involved? What kind?
  9. What food are you providing? Where are you getting it from?
  10. Is anyone speaking at your event? What contacts do you need?
  11. Will there be an auction? What type of items are you looking for? How are you getting these items?
  12. How will you staff the event? How many volunteers or staff members will you need?
  13. Will there be a way for attendees to donate via cash or credit card?
  14. Are there any materials you want to give attendees? (i.e. Thank you cards)

Probably the best thing to do while planning an event is to double and triple check everything and with everyone. Make sure the entertainment knows when to come and that volunteers show up and are trained. It may seem a tad neurotic, but people and services can fall through the cracks very easily if they aren’t monitored.

Get planning, and good luck!