Welcome to the 2014 Spring Wedding Issue, “Celebrating Us.”
Have you noticed how serious we’ve been these past few years? If these years had been summed up by a Chris Kluwe tweet, it would go something like, “So yeah, just getting same-sex marriage legalized. SO FOCUSED.” Sure, we’ve cracked a smile since the Governor signed the paperwork, but it seems like we’re finally loosening up a bit, seven months and 3000+ same-sex marriages after August 1, when it became legal in Minnesota. With this first Wedding Issue of 2014, now is the time to kick up our heels a bit. We’re emerging from one of the coldest, most wicked winters in recent history and spring cannot come soon enough. As the ground thaws, so can we. Like all the seasonal stories of rebirth from apparent death–whether the Greek God, Dionysus, and his grape vines coming back to life or the Easter resurrection story of Jesus or even Groundhog’s Day signaling the end of the cold and dark–we’re in for some wine, song, and sun.
We’ve had good reason to be serious. The rights of the GLBT community have been making great strides, with many more to come. Same-sex marriage passed in Minnesota and the federal government is recognizing these relationships on a large-scale more now than ever, but employment issues and rights for the transgender community members remain lagging behind. Hopefully, as awareness and visibility moved the issue of marriage forward for the community, they will do the same for the remaining issues, with plenty of support and demand from within the community as well. We need to move our issues forward to be able to celebrate our victories together.
Celebrating Us, the theme of this fifth comprehensive Lavender Wedding Issue, became apparent as I was pulling together the content earlier this year. Perhaps it’s because I’ve got five of these under my belt now, but it was a more fun process than ever not only because of what it’s including, but because of what it doesn’t include: there are no arguments or campaigns or pleas. The three wedding issues prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in Minnesota were crafted to make a statement, as campaign pieces for the larger society. If someone were to pick up a copy who’d never seen a Lavender before, I wanted each Wedding Issue to not only represent our advertisers and stories well, but the whole issue and community involved with same-sex marriage. This one? There isn’t one bit of overt politics in the thing. A breath of fresh air. A sigh of relief. An echo of laughter.
Of course, the personal is political. Every couple editorially presented in this issue is either engaged, married, or coupled. So, inherent to every story and photo in this issue is the newness of laws that enable every member of this community–whether the couples in the issue or the couples that might use the advertisers in this issue–to cross the threshold into legal marriage. But we can cross that threshold with lighter steps now. It’s not as much of a march as it is a stride. Members of this community can move confidently into marriage, knowing that our state and our country are supportive of these unions, and hopeful that broad, sweeping legislation might not be far behind us.
Please enjoy this Wedding Issue as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. As with each Wedding Issue, it’s separated into sections that include Thinking, Planning, Celebrating, and Loving; the stages that go into the whole process. It starts out a little serious, talking about prenups (hey, let’s get real) and then moves into the fun of nuptials: the planning, the celebrating, and the happily-ever-after. Okay, the “fun of nuptials” is relative, depending on who you’re talking to, but work with me. Just try not to laugh as you read through Nell’s piece about “How to Plan a Wedding (Without Getting Divorced)” that I asked her to write instead of her usual, cheeky sports column (which earned me a bit of a traitor status in these last months before her wedding). Go location scouting with Todd Pernsteiner and Shane Lueck as they show off fun venues that can include barns and wineries and theatres as whimsical wedding options here in the metro area. Let your eyes feast on the catering creativity of the new W&W Catering that Pat Evans introduces us to, making stomachs growl and mouths water. Consider the adventure of a destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta that Morgan Ross presents after touring various locations on a recent trip to Mexico and imagine the sand between your toes as you say “I do.”
Most of all, I hope you see yourself in our Wedding Stories and Real Weddings. The most important aspect to each of these Wedding Issues is to give examples of what hasn’t been presented before: same-sex weddings. We’re building a collection of resources for this community that helps those who could never “picture” themselves getting married. Whether seen by an adult who’s lived through a lifetime of personal and political struggles or a young kid who gets to envision his future groom, we have the people in these pages to thank for giving us their stories and experiences to show us how same-sex weddings can be done. And for those who are still looking for love, we know that we might find it online, like Laura and Melissa, or in the freezer case by the ice cream, like Michael and Stephan. Hope springs eternal.
Celebrate spring. Celebrate love. Celebrate each other. Celebrate us.