Is marriage equality relevant to radical queer politics? Bird Pilatsky challenges the notion that engaging with norms of marriage is regressive and anti-queer.
When I came out at the age of 17, I wasn’t met with love by my parents. I was met mainly by fear, and a little anger. After all, I was coming out in the deep south—South Carolina, to be exact.
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The written word can be intimidating for those who don’t necessarily fall into the creative category. Especially when that narrative is to be spoken aloud, in front of all your friends and family, and is expected to encompass the impossible: expressing in a five-minute monologue how much you love your partner.
However, the rules for these oaths aren’t written in stone, and no one says you have to tap into your own talents (or lack thereof). Couples who aren’t comfortable at writing their own wedding vows are turning to talented friends or even outsourcing to professional wordsmiths.
“For so many people, saying their vows is a crowning moment in their relationship—the culmination and the single most important and meaningful moment of their wedding,” says Karen Davis, who writes vows and other speech types for a living for her company Rhymes by Design. “People re-read and refer to their vows over the years and they tend to be—and become—a cornerstone of their original intention in getting married, so, it matters that they be as relevant and vibrant years later as they were the moment they first vowed them.”
In order to put feelings to paper, Davis interviews the couple either in person or on the phone, and walks them through a series of questions that help define elements of their relationship and what direction they’d like to take the vows. Capturing the essence of their personalities as individuals and as a couple, while conveying the vision of their intention isn’t easy to do … even for a professional. “It is both challenging and thrilling, to hit that note,” she exclaims. “It is a special privilege to be part of this expression and one that deserves great thought and care. On that note, I share the same feeling about vows that most couples tend to have … that they simply have to be perfect. We continue to refine them until everyone is completely satisfied—though deliriously happy is the goal.”
Though each couple takes their love story down a different path, whether it be heartfelt or humorous, there is one underlying theme. “What’s personal to them in their relationship … it’s the sharing of their special bond, woven into a story or picture, that's what people like.”
Photo: Real Wedding Lauren and Lauren, photography by Alissa Dinneen Photography
Brittny Drye is the senior editor at Equally Wed, the nation's premier online magazine for gay and lesbian weddings and honeymoons. Follow her on Twitter @BrittnyDrye.
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