Happy 6 Months …

It’s positively unreal to me that Sam and I have been married for six months. It’s been a whirlwind, but to be honest, we like life that way.

Some people warned us that after our wedding everything would change.

Some wondered if anything would change at all.

Some told us we’d feel empty without all the excitement and attention that a wedding demands.

So what has it really been like? Well, Sam and I moved in together back in 2007. We’ve had high-highs and low-lows in the years between then and now. In the early days there were wild fights, lies and half-truths. There were cross-country moves and there was a “break.” There were new jobs and higher education. There was rejection. There was sudden death and sudden accidents and surgeries and new friends and old friends and gain and loss and the constant, through all of this, has been a love so deep that its foundation is unbreakable.

Marriage, for these past six months, has been for Sam and I an extension of what we have been building on for nearly a decade now. It’s been almost ten years since I met Sam. It’s been almost eight years since we decided to really truly try out “this relationship thing.” It feels like a lifetime that I’ve loved her. We drive each other crazy. Sometimes it feels like we have nothing in common. Sometimes everything one of us says annoys the other into a near-blind rage. Sometimes I awake in the night and I just want to wrap myself around her because I am so full of love that I get choked up. Sometimes I awake in the night and the television is still on and I want to kick her.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Six months into our marriage Sam and I are a couple in transition. We are each other’s greatest champions and harshest critics. We are working towards a future that belongs both to us and to a family that extends through our relatives and reaches our dearest friends.

Six months into our marriage and we have been very, very busy. We’ve celebrated holidays and gone on a long, incredible honeymoon. We’ve embarked on new adventures both together and separately. I’m in the middle of the arduous process of taking this little blog and allowing it to become something bigger and more meaningful. Please, hang in there and don’t desert me now. 2Brides2Be hasn’t even begun to show you what it’s capable of, and as I try to make my dream a reality I will certainly need the support of those who also want 2Brides2Be to be a place for anyone to come and take a peek into what it means to plan a lesbian wedding, to gain knowledge and to better understand all of the different ways in which we can celebrate love.

Fun with elephants in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Fun with elephants in Chiang Rai, Thailand

As I wish a happy 6 month anniversary to my  cute little wife I urge you to check back soon, and to contact me – any time – with questions or ideas or epiphanies. The overhauled and redefined 2Brides2Be is on its way …

2 New Brides 2 Be

Now that I’ve been blissfuly wed for nearly four months and my posts have begun to slow down, I can let you in on two little facts: 1) It is true that I have been hiding most of the wedding day photos. I promise to share in the near future. 2) My hope for this blog as my own wedding becomes a memory is to share stories of other brides.

We all know I’m not a gold star lesbian. I don’t have as many lesbian friends as I’d like, but those I do have are pretty bodacious. Not long after our wedding, two of our dearest friends moved away from us and across the country to Los Angeles. Our devastation was overshadowed by all of the crazy final wedding plans and the hectic aftermath. Still, we miss them constantly.

Carie & Kelly have been together for 8 years. Kelley and Sam grew up together in Sarasota, and I first met the girls when I moved with Sam to LA in 2007. Carie and Kelley were living in San Diego at that time. They have been our partners in crime, our beloved travel companions, and our go-to girlfriends for all things lesbian. Needless to say, we adore them. Back in May Sam and I enjoyed insider knowledge the night before Kelley was going to propose to Carie. A group of us went to dinner and our excitement was not easy to contain, but I am honored to share their adorable proposal story with you today.

As told to me by Kelley:

The Proposal

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All Green Everything

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A quick Google search sealed the deal. 2013 was the year of the green.

This past year there were many catchy headlines to remind us that green was indeed the color of 2013. To be precise, the color of the year was Emerald. Pantone, the authority on this, made it perfectly clear last December.

By the time this news was delivered to the masses I already had my gown designer, Kathryn Conover, on a search for the perfect shade of green french lace and silk taffeta for my wedding gown. I didn’t make her job an easy one, and she was often reminded as she searched for the fabric that while it was hard to find at the time, it would soon be available everywhere. So yea, I’m excited that my dream color for my wedding gown turned out to be the color of the year. That’s cool and I’m inclined to give myself much more credit than I deserve. However, had green been voted the worst color of 2013, the absolute ‘don’t you dare wear it’ color of 2013, I still would have walked down in the aisle in my perfect green gown. Ladies, be who you are. This is not a straight or gay thing. I’m just certain that life is too short to do what everybody else says you should do.

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My parents still leave newspaper clippings on my bed in their house. Each time I arrive for a visit there are relevant articles in a pile on my comforter. Last year, any time they came across breaking news about the color of the year they left me the pages. Cuties.

Looks like the color of 2014 is Radiant Orchid … Hmm.

The real point of this post is that I’d like to know – Any of you ladies have a wedding dream that everyone raises their eyebrows at? 

Kegs & Kickball

A wedding day is often an emotion-fueled enterprise idling around one word: Preparation.

Hair. Make-up. Last minute details. So you have all of these special people in your life in this one place to celebrate with you, but you can’t spend any time with them because you’re busy getting ready all day. I rejected that.

As I’ve already mentioned, Sam and I were adamant about enjoying our wedding day – the entire thing! We had family and friends gathered in one place, so we thought it would be fun to get everyone involved in some friendly competition and go Goettlich v. Semon one final time before we became The Abbys.

Unfortunately it turns out that we have some seriously competitive friends … and a few on either side who like to bend the rules. We discovered some new heroes among us and most importantly, we had a ton of fun. View this slideshow to check out some fun kickball pics. It hurts to admit that in the end Team Goettlich won, but Team Semon put up a good fight … even if most of our team spent more time at the keg than in the field.

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Insert Lesbian Wedding Joke Here

I’ve always viewed lesbian weddings in black and white. You either have two girly lesbians (what’s the lingo these days? Lipstick is out, femme is in?) or you have a big butch wedding with one bride in a suit waiting at the end of the aisle. This is totally unfair, and I know it. Every single relationship is different, therefore I should acknowledge that every lesbian relationship is different. Just because this is glaringly obvious doesn’t mean that it had ever occurred to me before. I think my fear was that if we planned this as a lesbian wedding then we would be overlooking that this was, really, a wedding.

I was careful how I approached the ‘lesbian’ factor. I was conscious to toe the line between lesbian wedding and wedding. For some guests, the same-sex element was half of the appeal. I didn’t want to ignore that, but I didn’t want to make the wedding a gay pride party. This was a wedding to celebrate a marriage, and that’s what I wanted it to be. Still, what’s the use of ignoring the elephant in the room?

At our rehearsal celebration on Friday night, some of our friends and family gave speeches and made toasts. For both me and Sam, it was one of the highlights of the whole weekend, and I am absolutely going to tell you more about it in posts to come. On Saturday, at the actual wedding, both of our fathers said a few words, and then Sam’s brother Jonathan (the best man) and my sister Katy, (the matron of honor) both gave speeches. Every one of them had heartfelt and wonderful things to say, and listening to their words are moments I will hold dear in my memory of the weekend.

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(Did I mention she looked gorgeous while doing it?)

I am going to share the ending of my sister Katy’s speech with you. She didn’t just give an incredible MoH speech, which was poignant and funny and candid, but she also took the opportunity to acknowledge what we were all here to celebrate. This was a same-sex wedding and here we were, in a candlelit barn filled with our nearest and dearest. There were many different kinds of people in that room, from my 88-year-old conservative Grandfather (who ends every phone call with, “Love you both”) to Sam’s Jewish aunts, colleagues, childhood friends and glam gay best friends , and many of our college sorority sisters, and every single one of them was there with love and support for us. We never once, over the course of planning this wedding, had to worry that someone might disapprove, or that a family member wouldn’t show up. Everything about planning this wedding felt normal. It felt right to plan a wedding so that I could marry the person I love, and it felt right to include all of these beautiful people, and this was worth acknowledging. My sister ended her speech with these lines:

This is a real life modern family. The rest of the world is very slowly learning what we here have already known for years, that love is love.  A family can be comprised of so many parts but in the end it’s love and friendship that holds it all together. Laura and Sam, congratulations, I wish you all the happiness in the world and love you both dearly.

She had to pause for a moment when she said “love is love,” as the entire wedding had erupted in big, boisterous applause. It was worth saying, and worth noticing, that in this room we didn’t see ourselves as different. We saw ourselves as family.

The Blob

Remember when I first started this blog and I told you about our venue? What I was really telling you about, was the blob. All year long we planned for the perfect wedding and we hoped for the perfect weather. “Please don’t rain,” I begged toward the sky. “Please stay calm,” I asked of the wind. “Please shine strong,” I urged the sun.” It was all too much. How could I ask for sunny skies, calm winds and warm (but not hot) weather? My expectations were too high. The evanescent weather I so desired, well that exists only a few days a year in the northeast. Who was I to ask for three of these coveted days in a row?

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My cousin Amanda flying high.

My karma bank must have been full, because I got my dream. We got blob weather.

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Here’s our friend Anna getting a lot of air.

On Saturday, after a rousing game of kickball, we retreated to the lake to watch our friends and family take their turn on the ziplines and the blob. Most of them made it look easy. Some of them somersaulted into the water, others made graceful arcs as they flew into the air. Everyone screamed and laughed and I waited for my turn. I knew better than to blob hours before my wedding ceremony. I knew I had to wait until Sunday. So on Sunday morning, when almost everyone else was hungover or sleeping or heading home, I rallied not one but two friends to launch me. They jumped and I flew, slapping gracelessly into the water and landing flat on my back. I emerged from the lake with a smile on my face, though my body was quite shocked.

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Two views of me going up, up, up.

The next day my lower back and the backs of my legs were black and blue. I looked like my wife had beat me, but I’d do it again. And again. One of the brides had to step up to the blob, and I’m mighty glad I did.

Enjoy this video of Sam’s brother Jonathan being launched by his dad and his uncle:

Band, DJ or Both?

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Welcome to another two-part blog post. I’ve been thinking that a lot of these post-wedding posts might be helped by a “What we did” intro and a “What we would have done differently” conclusion. That way I can tell you … Continue reading

My First REAL Post-Wedding Post

I always knew that I would keep blogging after the wedding … for a while at least. I can keep this thing going for at least a year sharing every bewitching detail of our extraordinary wedding weekend. The problem is this: Where the hell do I start?

Sam and I were married over a week ago and the whole thing still feels like a fever dream.  There were vows. There was music. There were toasts, dancing, tears and laughter, and there was food. But we did not simply “eat.” We feasted. There was delicious everything. There was too much booze! There were instagrams. Let’s start there. If you’re on instagram check out #2brides2be for some stunning, funny, and wild pictures, many of which include the following hashtags:  #bestweddingfoodever #teamsemon #teamgoettlich  #highflying #perfectceremony #signofagreatwedding #eatingmyfaceoff #beautifulbrides #somuchlove #2gorgeous2believe #aephine #theblob #kegsnkickball #campabby  #theroyalwedding #afterparty #theythoughtofeverything #besttoastever #whiteparty #lifeisbutadream #zipline #kegstand … you get the idea, right?

There were also two dresses. Nay, these were not dresses. These were glamorous gowns. Sam not only wore a heart-stopping, whimsical gown in pale nude called the Diedre by Vera Wang, but she had the headpiece that her mom wore to her own wedding in 1981 custom-dyed to match. We took a selfie just before the ceremony. I cropped myself out so you can see a close-up of Sam’s gorgeous headpiece.

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She looked like a fairy princess, and I got to marry her.

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Sam approaching me for our “first look”

My gown was custom made by the insanely talented, incredibly patient and sweetest woman I have ever  had the pleasure to work with. Kathryn Conover worked with me to create my custom, dream, couture gown. I went into wedding planning knowing that I was going to wear green. I shared this with only a few people. I’ve always loved the idea of a dark emerald green gown, and though some friends and family probably thought it was crazy, they knew I’d make it work. My next post will be all about my dreamy one-of-a-kind wedding gown and how it came to be.

In the meantime here we are in a whimsical snapshot, walking away as newlyweds from our ceremony to the acoustic version of “I Kissed a Girl” sung by the talented Christine Tambakis of Tangled Vine. More to come, including every detail about the music, the venue, and the food. It was all too perfect to believe. Thank God I have the photos.

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Wives in the woods!

Weather.com and Repeat

September 3rd 2013, 11:46pm

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What have I been doing the last few days? This: Weather. Anyone planning an outdoor wedding in the northeast knows to be fearful of the weather. We can control nearly every aspect of the planning, but the weather is beyond … Continue reading

The Final Countdown

What is the typical bride usually doing the week of her wedding? I have no idea. But I can tell you what Sam and I have been up to.

On Friday we got facials at Bliss. They do a great job there, but generally I regard facials as the worst. I have big pores so facials are a mostly unpleasant task that end with the esthetician reminding me that those huge pores are only going to get bigger as I age, and that if I take better care of my skin and use the products she suggests then maybe, maybe, I can save myself. So we did that.

We have more poking and prodding coming up this week. Some of which is enjoyable–mani pedis–and some of which is not–getting waxed. Tomorrow the dogs are getting groomed, of course, and we are picking up our dresses. On Thursday we are heading up to Cedar Lakes Estate. The more we can get done and organized on Thursday, the better, that way come Friday we can relax as friends and family begin to arrive for the rehearsal.

We also decided to lay low for Labor Day weekend, but ended up seeing a lot of friends that we don’t see very often. It has been nice to spend time with loved ones as the excitement mounts, especially because at the wedding we know that we won’t possibly have a chance to spend very much quality time with everyone. The extra work-outs at Punch Fitness and Soul Cycle can only do so much when I’m brunching at the new UES Meatball Shop, drinking, and meeting friends for dinner. Juice cleanse? Who needs it! Once the dress fits I say we are good to go.

We’ve also been checking the weather religiously, but more on that tomorrow. I am just about packed, which is not easy for me. I detest packing and am known to either grossly overpack or bring a bunch of underwear and like, two tee shirts.

Today it’s out to New Jersey for some last minute errands, another trip to Soul Cycle and a concert with some friends. Staying busy has helped keep me pretty calm, since we are getting married in FOUR DAYS!!!