If there's one thing that's confusing about a gay engagement, it's wondering if you should be the one to propose, or if the other half is going to do it. For months it seemed like we were on the brink of being engaged, but we were just waiting for the other to go ahead and do it.
So, in a rare occurrence of self-motivation, I decided it was time to do the deed, get down on one knee and ask the girlfriend to marry me. Talks took place with friends to organise a flashmob, spurning a huge debate around whether it should be to Who Loves You by The Four Seasons or to Fun's We Are Young. Choreography was being discussed, singers were being approached and I was figuring out how to get past asking the non-singing friends that thought they could sing. Plans were beginning to come together when - after a drunken night out, the now fiancée dropped onto one knee and asked me, spur of the moment, if I would marry her.
The 'who will propose' side of things is where it stops being confusing for us when it comes to the 'traditional' side of planning a wedding- but, apparently, not for our nearest and dearest. Upon announcing it to friends and family, we were met with many different reactions and a lot of assumptions. The most frequent reaction though was being asked frank - and sometimes rude - questions. The questions were never about the engagement and how it took place, but about the future wedding that we hadn't even begun to plan. It seemed like even the thought of a lesbian wedding had everyone confused about what kind of circus of gender role-play will be going down. I'm not talking about the kind of questions that my future mother-in-law likes to spring upon me at 2am (so, how exactly DO lesbians have babies?), but queries that were loaded with suggestions that played upon traditional, heterosexual weddings.
'So, who will be wearing the dress' is the one question that we get asked all the time. At first I thought that people were joking but - as time goes by and the frequency of being asked increases - I've finally realised that everyone is being serious. It seems that for a wedding to go ahead, someone HAS to be wearing a suit. Don't get me wrong, if you're planning your wedding and want two suits, one suit, two dresses, birthday suits or whatever you're comfortable in, that's great and you SHOULD. However, what seems to be happening with our wedding is that it's assumed we'll be sticking to the traditional theme of one suit and one dress. One thing's for sure you will not be catching me wearing a suit on my wedding day, and I certainly want to see my bride walking down the aisle in a dress and not, as everyone seems to expect, a suit. Although a waistcoat and three-piece suit can be appealing, it just isn't us. Pledging our lives to each other should be as we are and as we identify and not conforming to certain traditions.
The aisle is another hot topic - and something that I can see impacting our choice of venue. Whenever we're asked 'who will be walking down the aisle', we're damn sure that we both will be - at the same time, with our fathers. After all, the only thing my Dad has asked me is who he has to fight to get me down the aisle. Two brides, one aisle? Not going to happen. Therefore we're on the hunt for a wedding venue that will accommodate two aisles. Yes, I know, Good luck.
Gay marriage is new and as with all new things, the playbook is still being written. We're off to our first wedding show tomorrow and although we're excited to look at venues, caterers, ceilidh bands and more - we can't get out of our minds that it's going to be assumed that we're either two brides without their grooms, a bride and her maid of honour or - the worst - a bride and her sister. I assume that it's going to take a long time for society to adjust to something new and get used to creating new traditions but the wedding show may well surprise us.
We're still learning about how to plan a wedding and as time goes by people are beginning to ask more about the engagement itself, instead of questioning how we'll adapt the traditional wedding form.
One thing I am sure of though, is that I'm glad I didn't propose with Fun's We Are Young playing in the background - I've recently come to learn that the fiancée is not a fan and only pretended to like them to please me when we first met. Little does she know that I'm determined to find a way to work them into the wedding day.
Follow Sarah-Elizabeth Daly on Twitter: www.twitter.com/selizabethdaly