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Musings on a Marriage: The Blessed Crowd
Muted Real
I'm not a very vocal person when it comes to my personal life. Despite an interest in acting, I shy away from being the center of attention, preferring a wise-cracking role on the sidelines. So with this in mind, it was very tempting to make our wedding a very small, intimate affair. In the end, however, we decided to open our doors wide.

We sent out over 100 invitations, prepared for over 220 guests. Over 190 replied with 'yes'. For the longest time, it seemed like an abstract number, an exercise in counting our friends and family. I suppose you would classify it as a big wedding if I look back on it now.

We partly did it because the expectation was there. I don't mean that in a burdensome obligation way. However, it was made quiet clear across several family lines that they simply HAD to attention our wedding, a gay wedding to boot! My husband comes from a larger family, and inviting my handful of cousins and aunts meant it was only fair to invite his seventy-bajillion relatives of the same blood distance. All of whom were more than welcome of course, but that certainly swelled the ranks.

We partly did it because there is honestly no other culturally expected event like this in a person's life. We will never have the excuse to throw such a huge, extravagant party AND expect nearly everyone to show up, including those out-of-state. We are hosts at our heart, and it was too good of an opportunity to miss.

We partly did it because it is sometimes easy to forget that we have it good. There are still LGBT folks out there without family support, without the unconditional and unquestioning love that we have both experienced. It is awe-inspiring when I think of it, and it makes me love people even more. There's no question, no hesitation, "you two are in love and that's all that matters". In my parents' eyes, there is no difference between loving me and my husband, and loving my brother and his girlfriend. I see no difference most of the time either. But it could have been different, and I am keenly aware of that at times. So we celebrate our love with so many guests as a way to show the world how many can love, and to say thank you with a huge freakin' party.

That was one of the reasons I started crying when walking down the aisle. The abstract number became real, and it was breath-taking. It was what made the first glimpse into the reception hall so perfect. Real bodies, adored faces, a gathering swell of support. I shied away from the thought that they were here to celebrate me, and reveled in the though that they were here to celebrate.

We asked our guests to dress fabulous, so that they could feel amazing without feeling bound. We were obliged with gold gowns, flowing skirts, bow-ties and corsets and fascinators. (And an unusual amount of purple, I must say as the groom-in-green). Some of course chose to show up in more casual attire, but I cannot fault them. Not everyone has the same love of looking awesome that many of us share, and I would rather everyone have a good time.

Every 'congratulations' was met with sincere thanks, but it was much more of a thrill to hear the comments of "this place is beautiful", "I am having such a good time", and "what a wonderful evening". The host in me swelled to such music. I tried to greet every guest, give everyone my appreciation for coming, but the numbers were just so great. The dollar dance was a good opportunity to come face-to-face with many, but not enough. I felt like each guest deserved more of my time, despite how many told me not to worry, that everyone understood the demands of being the happy couple.

Then I lost myself in the dance and let go of being a host. I lost track of a great many people as the evening went on, gracious good-byes and silent departures and simply taking to the sidelines. Now I realize, though, that our guests didn't require our presence in order to be entertained. My father danced his way into nearly every guest's heart. My brother and cousins inciting the dance crowds. Gatherings of old friends, new friends, out-of-town relatives in the velvet-lit corners of the Varsity. Our guests made it a wonderful evening because dammit, that's what they came here for!

I have many thank yous to write, because honestly, it was the thought of our guests that propelled me to ensure the evening's perfect details, it was the presence of our guests that charged the evening with wonder, and it was the love of our guests that made it worth it.