Four queer weddings, one wonderful spouse

Photo of two people wearing grey suits. Their left hands are clasped and wrapped in a grey, white and taupe plaited cord. It's a handfasting ceremony.
A closeup of the handfasting cord that Veronica made for our first wedding. Each guest tied a string to the cord after the ceremony. The conversations and wishes of that moment are a treasured memory.

Photographer: Yany Muhammad more info

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary. More precisely, it’s the fourth anniversary of our first wedding day. We have had two more wedding days since then. And we’re planning one more.

The first one was our ceremony, wonderfully led by a dear friend of ours; witnessed by friends and family; and celebrated in joy. That day remains one of the best of both our lives. It’s the wedding that means the most to us, regardless of its lack of legal standing. No paperwork was signed, no officials were in attendance.

The second one was a civil partnership ceremony, because at the time, both of us presented as male; and although 2015 was the year that the equal marriage rights referendum passed in Ireland, the law hadn’t caught up.

The third one was the conversion of the second one to “full marriage” when the law caught up. We still managed to find some family willing to attend although there were definitely some rumblings about the number of weddings getting out of hand.

I’m sure those rumblers will be “delighted” when we properly announce wedding number four. Because we are going to renew our vows with a ceremony and celebration, just like our first. It won’t be anytime soon but it will happen.

It has to. Because my wonderful wife hasn’t had the opportunity to have that moment of celebration as Veronica. We both agree that she should have that moment as her fully realized self. And we both want to make the memory for who we are now.

Four weddings for the same couple might seem strange, but part of LGBTQIA+ life is realizing that the beats of your life will be different to the standard version we’re shown as kids. Many of us have to redefine what words like relationship, family and wedding mean. And in a relationship that mixes up a few letters from the spectrum, we’ve had to redefine those words more than once.

We haven’t decided how we want to do wedding — bride in a white dress, evening gown or suit; walking down a secular aisle or standing up from a table in front of a room full of friends; expressing our commitment in a space drowning with flowers or adorned like the Addams house — but wedding number four is going to happen. And even if we do go with groom in a suit, bride all in white, I guarantee it’ll be super queer, just like our first.

By the way

To anyone wondering why I’m blogging instead of spending my wedding anniversary with Veronica, this also happens to be only available follow-up day for her surgery. She had to drive up to Dublin for a consultation; and I had to stay home to mind the new puppy, who is too young to be on her own for that long. And who is being an absolute dote. Anyway: we will celebrate our anniversary in our own inimitable way at the appropriate time.

And to anyone reading who was there on that very special day: thank you. You were part of making it wonderful.

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