I was thrilled to be invited to the wedding of my good friends, David and Anthony. They were married on September 3rd at the Buffalo Historical Society here in Western New York. I had the honor of being their official program passer-outer... aka: people greeter! Working where I do, I happen to have some background in people greeting :)
I must confess that normally I do not look forward to going to weddings or enjoy them much when I'm there. I have always gone by myself, and they usually serve as painful reminders of my perpetual bachelorhood -- not to mention the feeling of being excluded from such ceremonies because (up until recently) gay couples could not get married. I knew this wedding day was going to be different.. and in a very positive way!
For once I was not going to go to a wedding stag, or bringing my sister as a date. My friend Joe, whom I went to grad school with (where I also met one of the grooms, David) agreed to be my date for the evening. Though he is straight (which I try not to hold against him)... he was very good company and very attentive. He even permitted me to dance with him for the opening dance -- My first guy-guy dance at age 29! No, I wasn't starring lovingly into his eyes.. I was more concerned with watching David and Anthony glide across the dance floor in each other's arms.
I couldn't have picked a better atmosphere for a "small"-intimate wedding than the Buffalo Historical Society. It's marble steps and portico served as classy back drop to the wedding ceremony followed by a night of fun and dancing amongst the art deco ambiance of the interior. Add to that almost non-stop Big Band music and I was in Heaven!!
Even the guests added to the enjoyment of the evening. People seemed more sociable than at most gatherings. Random guests would come up to me and start conversations - making for a very interesting and enjoyable evening! It's always fun getting to meet and greet with new folks.
I made one new friend in particular - one of the ring bearers. He sat down next to me as I was having dinner outside on one of the marble steps, and we just started talking. You could tell that at the age of 6, he's very much and old soul... just like I was (am). He was such a sweet kid and became my other "date" for the night as he would often join me in watching folks dance the night away while making small talk.
What really made the evening special for me was not the art deco building and big band music.. or even the fact I had a male date (though the latter did make a positive difference).. it was seeing my two friends finally be able to publicly solidify their relationship in this time honored institution of marriage - an institution from which we have been excluded from for so long simply because we love a person of the same gender. I finally saw the feelings I have inside reflected in a ceremony and celebration that often left me feeling like an outsider... now, I felt.. well, normal! -- Though - define "normal". haha!
Contrary to the sky falling in response to a "gay wedding" - there were actually fireworks in the sky that night! No, they weren't purchased by the grooms -- there just happened to be a fireworks display across the grounds from the museum. As we all gathered on the portico to watch the bursts of color in the sky one couldn't help but marvel at how well things had fallen into place, and how beautiful the celebration of love can be - for anyone!
This wedding certainly left a joyous imprint on my heart and mind, and was an evening I will never forget. Maybe.. just maybe.. I'll find the type of love David and Anthony have for each other which they so beautifully celebrated this month.