Down the Lavender Aisle: Part 2

Here’s the second installment by guest blogger, Carl.

Will you?

“So, who asks whom?” When it comes to getting engaged, this is a common question posed to gay and lesbian couples – and one for which there isn’t one answer. When I decided I was going to propose, there was some worry in the back of my mind that I would be beaten to the punch. Personally, I think it just comes down to which partner has more self control. And that is definitely not me.

Once I figured out that I wanted to spend my life with K, I had to figure out how to ask him and what I would give him as a symbol of our engagement. While a diamond ring is a time honored and classic sign of commitment between two people, it absolutely wouldn’t work for us. I thought about buying bands and having each of us wear them on our right ring fingers and then moving them to our left at the ceremony. And I thought of simply asking him without any “props,” but I really wanted him to have something that symbolized our engagement for the rest of his life.

I thought about all this for so long that I was running out of time. And then it struck me. A watch. A good watch. One that he would wear every day. One that would last forever. One that he had been talking about getting himself for what seemed forever.

Here’s how it played out…

Last May, I planned a week-long vacation in Napa Valley under the guise of K’s birthday. He had no idea that I was planning to propose – which made it that much better. Napa has always been a special place for us. It is where we took one of our first trips together and the fact that we are both really into wine makes the location that much more blurry memorable.

Route 1 from San Francisco to Napa is a scenic, winding drive along the coast, passing through Muir Beach and Point Reyes. There’s a particular spot on the way where we love to pull over for the most incredible view and I knew that it would be the perfect place to propose. For days leading up to the trip, I was trying to figure out a way that I would be able to mention stopping there without raising K’s suspicions in advance. Fortunately, I didn’t have to think too hard.

K remembered the spot and suggested going there on our drive. When we arrived, we got out of the car and started walking to the edge to take in the view. There, I handed K a box that I had discreetly taken from the car. I told him it was a happy vacation present and to open it. He quickly did so and was so excited about the watch I don’t think he noticed how nervous I became.

I began telling him how much I loved him, how important he was in my life and that if he really wanted to know just how much I loved him to look on the back of the watch. As he turned it over, he saw that engraved on the back between our initials was “Marry me?”

To get back to my original point on who asks whom – in the end, does it really matter? Woman to woman, man to man, man to woman – when you ask someone to marry you, you are saying I want to be with you for the rest of my life. When you say yes to someone asking you to marry them, aren’t you saying the same exact thing?

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New guest blogger!

I’m so happy to introduce my first guest blogger…and hopefully not the last! Carl and I “met” on the Indiebride boards a few weeks back, and I knew instantly that he had to post about his wedding planning experiences….I’ll let his intro explain why….

About 6 months ago, I got engaged to the man of my dreams and started to plan our wedding. You’ve probably heard that about a million times before; it seems to be what so many women have hoped for ever since they were little girls.

Thing is, I’m a guy.

For my journey “down the lavender aisle,” there aren’t any roadmaps for me to follow. I don’t have any other gay or lesbian friends who have reached this point in their lives. And some of the gay wedding books out there are so, how can I put this eloquently, cheesy, not to mention condescending and already outdated.

I recognize that – gasp – there are more gay people like I who are going through this without any other perspective as they try to navigate how to plan a gay marriage, commitment ceremony, or celebration of their lives together. It seems a lot of people on this wonderful blog recognize this as well…

When Brooklyn Bride asked me if I would be interested in guest blogging about my planning experience, I jumped at the chance. At home with my partner, I’m only allowed to talk about wedding plans on Sunday nights. After dinner. For an hour. Max.

Now I have an outlet!

I don’t want to be presumptuous and say that I have all the answers. Hardly. What I will promise is to share my experience with you and give you a frank, inside look at my planning process – forks in the path, road blocks and all. From my engagement to breaking the news to our parents to finding the perfect venue to finding an officiant…any officiant!, I hope you’ll appreciate my stories, get a laugh from them, or potentially even garner some ideas for your own wedding/ceremony/celebration.

Maybe you have a gay friend who is getting married. Maybe you are that gay friend. Regardless, I hope you at least find my musings entertaining and I hope you will share your thoughts with me along the way!

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Why “lavender”?

In Ancient Greece, the Greek word for lavender supposedly also meant a gay man. In the 60s, the color became popular as a symbol for gay pride. And in recent years, it has been used to describe powerful gay executives in the media and other industries, “the lavender mafia.” So when it came time to name the blog, “down the gay aisle” just didn’t cut it. To get my point across, I borrowed a shade with a colorful gay history and “down the lavender aisle” was born.

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