Four hundred and forty-eight days after my girlfriend asked me to marry her, I officially became her wife. Four hundred and forty-eight sounds like a lot of days, but I think it felt like even more. Every day was filled with moments of relief and worry, joy and existential dread, questions and answers. And every single day, there was a whole lotta love–between me and my girlfriend, between us and our family members, between us and our friends, even between us and strangers who joined our journey.
It might take another four hundred and forty-eight days for me to fully process our wedding day, but here’s what I can tell you now: it was transcendent.
Our number one goal was that our wedding would be fun for our guests. And we had a specific picture of what fun would look like: drinking heavily and dancing until we were sweaty. When we noticed our guests were neither getting trashed, nor dancing like maniacs, we got worried. Was this not fun? But a closer look revealed people standing in pockets with friends they’d known for a long time or just met. They were pouring each other a glass of wine, or playing lawn games, or noshing on tacos, or interpretive dancing to Love Shack, or taking group selfies, or chatting and laughing.
The next day, my wife and I stopped by a friend’s place to drop off sound equipment (friends who own or know how to set up sound equipment are to be cherished!). She said, “it was so nice to have time to really talk to friends.” She said at parties, usually you just get a few moments with people, because it’s loud and everyone is mingling. But the long tables we filled with friends gave them a chance to have more than just a quick conversation shouted over music.
We got back in the car and headed to Palm Springs. I streamed our wedding mix through the car radio. We walked down the aisle to Daniel Johnston’s True Love Will Find You in the End and as it started to play, my wife teared up behind her dark sunglasses (I always know when she’s crying). “I lost it when everyone stood for you,” she said. She said she realized in that moment how brave I had had to be to get to that point, where dozens of family members were there to watch me marry a person of the same gender and a different race.
I do not think of myself as brave, but it has been a rough road.
Yesterday, before we left Palm Springs, we rode the aerial tram to the top of Mt. San Jacinto. On the way back down, taking in the views, feeling the air turn from cool back to hot, with my wife casually holding my hand, I started to tear up.
We both made it to the top of a mountain. We found each other there and came back down together.