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5 Years Later, 5 Tips to Make Your Same-Sex Wedding and Marriage Great

It’s been nearly five years since I took my beloved to Hawaii and became her wife. We were married on the North Shore of Oahu surrounded by our friends and families. These five years have had their ups and downs, but I feel so lucky that I get to wake up next to her every day.

Of course, you don’t need a wedding for this to happen. (After all, we’d already been waking up together for ten years when we had ours.) But a wedding is a starting point because it’s an affirmation of your intentions to be together.

Looking back at my wedding today, here are five things I wish I’d known.

1. Let go of the perfect, timeless wedding

When I was planning our wedding, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to make it perfect. While we had no interest in traditional trappings like seating arrangements or first dances, I still wanted our wedding to perfectly represent us and stand the test of time.

Today, when I look back, I don’t cringe at any part of our wedding — instead, I remember the people who were there and their overwhelming joy. Sure, there are things I might have done differently today… but that’s reflecting me now, not the person I was five years ago. Our wedding was exactly what it needed to be.

2. Don’t get bogged down in the details

I vaguely recall some kind of drama with our caterer in the run-up to the wedding. Today, I couldn’t even tell you what it was about!

Trust me – you and your guests won’t remember anything about how much food there was or whether the decor was the right shade of purple. You will remember the look your beloved gave you as you said your vows.

In fact, you can kill two birds with one stone. Does someone in your family tend to stick their nose into everything? Give them a task you weren’t terribly excited about! My mother took it upon herself to make wedding favors, and I’m so glad she did.

3. Don’t be afraid to break traditions

My wife hates wearing dresses. Yet she insisted on wearing a dress to our wedding because she thought that’s what a bride should do! She looked stunning, but looking back, we both wish she had the confidence to wear something she was more comfortable with.

If there’s a tradition that you don’t like, it’s fine to leave it out! You can make your own new traditions, like having a pinata at your wedding. (We did, and it’s highly recommended.)

4. Love is bigger than a piece of paper

When we got married, same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in Hawaii. It’s still not legal in Australia, which is where we live. Yet getting married was still important to us.

Marriage is many things to many people. For some, it’s mainly about insurance and visa applications, and that’s okay. For us, it was about a deeper connection: acknowledging our intentions to stay together for the rest of our lives. And you don’t need a piece of paper for that.

5. The wedding is only the beginning

A wedding is a big, fancy party to commemorate a relationship. After that party is over, once all the decorations are put away and the bottles are in the recycling bin, that relationship continues.

Our vows were simple: to take care of each other and to help each other be the best people we can be. I call on those vows every day. Through adversity and joy alike, we’ve been able to walk hand-in-hand. And that means more to me than a thousand fancy parties could. Guest Blogger: Dina Clare
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