Is a Wedding a Cakewalk?

Gay Couple In BedAre you ready to have a wedding, legal or otherwise?

While the idea of a lavish affair is enough to seduce anyone, think about everything it means before you sign on any dotted lines.

I don’t normally write columns like this one because I’m a gay-wedding planner and not a therapist. However, in the past year I’ve met or interviewed or been friends with so many gay newlyweds that I thought it would be a good week to assess what a gay wedding means.

I had intended to do a column a few weeks back with a hot-shot businessman who’s planning a huge wedding with his partner. But, he canceled on me because he’s too busy with another project — having an affair with a guy from his gym.

The wedding, however, is still on, and it’s going to be a lavish celebration in two cities.

Why is he going through with it? Two reasons: His partner wants a husband and a wedding, and he thinks it will help his gay-friendly business. While I think he has feelings for his partner, I’m sure gay activists had more on their mind when they started fighting for gay marriage than “it looks good on paper and my partner demands it.”

That attitude will indeed keep those divorce rates soaring.

As far as I know, his partner knows nothing of the affair. But I do know that monogamy will never be part of this after-party celebration.

Another acquaintance of mine chose to have a big wedding over Christmas. It was gorgeous and simple, and I know in my heart the couple loves each other. When I asked him, “Why the sudden nuptials?” (they put it together in about a month), he told me he’d always felt like a misfit and this gave him pride.

I understand and I sympathize, but I also know he’s a drug addict. When I asked him if his fiancé knew about his habit, he said the problem was under control—his last relapse (that I know about) was two weeks before our conversation. I applaud his love and his relationship, but I don’t think any wedding can be held with serious, unresolved issues.

There’s also a growing concern among colleagues of mine that gay men and lesbians are rushing to the altar because it’s now legally recognized (to a certain degree), and not because they’re ready for a wedding or a marriage. That feeling is understandable, but it’s better to be cautious than to jump on a stranger’s bandwagon.

Yes, we are allowed to make the same mistakes that straight couples do, but why would we want to?

Since the politics of marriage is not my expertise, I will comment here on what I do understand; the politics of finances.

I know of a good dozen couples who have tied the knot in the past two years, only to find themselves in serious debt afterward. The debt factor came into play because they all insisted on having a huge wedding, and getting as much attention as possible. Why didn’t they wait? The answer is always the same: “It’s happening now! It’s history! We want to be a part of it!”

I agree, and I want to be a part of it, too. But I would never advise a couple to go into debt for their wedding. Economic distress is happening too, and in love and marriage and life, no one wants to be a part of that history either.

Just think about it.


Photo Credit: © Frenk And Danielle Kaufmann

David Toussaint is the author of the Gay Couple's Guide to Wedding Planning, Gay and Lesbian Weddings: Planning the Perfect Same-Sex Ceremony, and TOUSSAINT!.