From One Mother Of A Lesbian Bride To Another
In honor of the social media habit of “Throwback Thursday” (#TBT), I couldn’t help but reprint an email that our company founder — my mother, Gretchen Hamm — received from another mother, named Ann Marie, on the morning of March 3, 2003. Yes, that’s over a year before Massachusetts, the first state to recognize marriage equality, had done so.
Gay and lesbian weddings — or, as we often called them at the time, “commitment ceremonies” or “unions” — were an entirely different animal than they are today.
Ann Marie’s email obviously made a difference to my mom; she printed it out and saved it. Neither of us has seen it in over ten years so it was amazing to stumble upon it, receiving a glimpse of the kind of service we were providing at the time.
I think that, even without access to the exchanges that preceded Ann Marie’s note of appreciation to Gretchen, you’ll find that you can easily fill in the blanks:
“I just wanted to let you know how inspired I am by your website. My daughter will be committing to her partner in a beautiful ceremony in April. Because of your own story, I was able to full enjoy preparations for this special day. Both women will dress as brides and we have a full wedding reception planned along with all the trimmings.
I sometimes find myself worrying about what some of the guests might be thinking. When these thoughts and others enter my mind, I read your story over again. Juts like you, my husband and I have dreamed of the beautiful wedding our daughter would someday have. We will both walk her down the aisle with our heads held high as we bring her to the love of her life.
Thank you again for such a wonderful website and for your caring words.”
Wow! Not a day goes by where I work on our website, consult with other wedding professionals, or consider a new product for our boutique without thinking about my mom and the incredible vision she had.
And here we are today: a few weeks away from an announcement from the Supreme Court where we will learn if they will choose to hear one — if not more — of the marriage equality cases that have bubbled up through the appeals process this past year.
What the end result will be is anyone’s best guess. But, it certainly seems likely to me that the day my mom predicted so long ago — with marriage equality being ‘a matter of when not if’ — is nearly upon us. And my champagne glass stands at the ready to celebrate that joyous occasion with her and every other couple who has been waiting for marriage equality to be recognized in each of our 50 states.
Wedding innovator Kathryn Hamm (@madebykathryn) is co-author of The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography (Amphoto Books, 2014), an Education Expert for WeddingWire and Publisher of GayWeddings.com