Trouble in paradise?

Just when we all thought we had it all together….  As my friend and co-worker Angie is fond of saying:

“Wedding planning brings out the most in people.” 

(*wink wink*)

tulipsWell, over the last few weeks My Girl and I have certainly seen the *most* in each other– the most cranky, the most conflicted, the most unpredictable, the most outrageous… you get the idea.  Wedding planning can be stressful, even with the best attitude and purely good intentions. 

Try this simple little trick next time you and your sweetie are arguing over plans, big or small:

Sit across from each other knee-to-knee and eye-to-eye.  Hold hands (if you can manage it and neither of you has the propensity to slap the other).  Decide who will be the “Listener” and who will be the “Talker.”  And repeat after me.  Or rather– Listener repeat after the Talker.  It goes like this:

tulips close upThe Talker says what’s on their mind.  Keep it simple, keep it short, and pause often for the Listener to repeat. 

The Listener repeats *verbatim* what they heard and asks:

“Did I get that right?” 

If the Talker answers “yes,” the Listener asks:

“Is there more?” 

(If the Talker answers “no,” the Talker clarifies what was misheard and the Listener repeats and asks again.)

When the Talker has no more to say, the Listener summarizes and then asks:

“Is that a fair summary?” 

Then the Listener ** with compassion and empathy ** says:

(Pay close attention here people!)

angel mom“I can understand how that’s important to you, and why you feel that way.  I love you and I want you to be happy and feel good.”

See how simple that is? 

** Most often when there are conflicts in relationships, it’s because we all get triggered by things we aren’t quite consciously aware of.  And in the end, everyone just wants to be heard and accepted and loved. **

The Grateful Lesbian Bride’s Wedding Planning Tip #3:    Taking 10 minutes to pause, breathe, and “mirror” your sweetheart can go a long way towards happier wedding planning and a healthier future together.

abandon all doubt

For more information on the best tips and tricks for couples communication, see


Cast of Characters….

One thing that is very special about my life today and the planning of this grand old “Wedding of Gratitude” is the cast of characters.  Instead of choosing who will be part of the “bridal party”  this time around the bridal party has chosen me!

My Girl

My Girl.  The love of my life.  Enough said.

the grateful bride

Me.  The always Grateful Bride & humble writer.


Minnie.  My typical seven year old daughter, the Maid of Honor.  She has the most important job in a wedding, I’ve told her, because she gets to hold the bride’s flowers.  She says she’s going to wear a bathing suit under her dress and promptly jump right into the ocean at the end of the ceremony.

Big Guy

Big Guy.  My twelve year old son with autism, who will have an important role also.  Because he can be a bit easily distracted, his role may involve taking a walk down the beach in the middle of the ceremony… but hey, it’s all good in our family.

felix and sweetie

Felix & Sweetie.  Also affectionately referred to as “Chihuahua One” and “Chihuahua Two.”  Yes, there will be dogs at the wedding.  Somewhere.  Somehow.  Yippy, barky details to be announced…

dad and laurel 2

Dad & Laurel.  My dad (duh.) and his lovely wife.  My father has graciously agreed to dance me down the aisle on the big day.  What a sport, huh?

angel mom

Angel Mom.  My mother will be there, too, but chances are only a few of us will know for sure.  She was a pastor and her best friend in the ministry has promised to “channel her energy” from heaven while officiating at our ceremony.  There may be sudden gusts of wind & rain involved, but only if my mother is feeling dramatic.  And I’m sure if the weather is unpredictable, somehow we’ll end up with a big gay rainbow at the end of it.

dad and angel mom over the rainbow

The Grateful Lesbian Bride’s Wedding Planning Tip #2: 

All the ways your family & friends participate really are all good.  You don’t have to choose between people.  Simply invite those you love to take part and gently guide them to key roles based on their individual talents and the gifts they want to share.  Then enjoy the one-of-a-kind wedding results!

katja taking pictures

A beautiful, unique rainbow is always best.

Onward with the big, fat lesbian wedding planning journey

First thing to tackle:


I had a planning revelation this week over “colors.”  Yes, you read that right– a revelation.  I was perusing the website of the photographer I did NOT choose whose online survey insisted on the following information:

* What are your wedding colors?

* What will the bridesmaids be wearing?

* How many attendants will you have?

* Please specify the type of footwear every single person participating in your ceremony, your reception and your honeymoon will wear– and exactly what color each shoe will be.

Okay, so maybe that last part was a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.

Truth is, I don’t know my “colors.”

I really like blue and I hope to find a thrift-shop-gem of a cerulean blue dress in which to dance down the aisle.  Heck, I also like peach and rose, most browns, and certain shades of pink…  In fact, I’ve become sort of a “rainbow” gal lately– pun completely intended.  So all these color questions sent me straight into a mini-panic.

Had I already picked “my colors” by accident??

I had sent out some cards with save-the-date refrigerator magnets.  The magnets matched the colors in the picture I chose– dark red, gray, light blue.  But the cards were actually pink and brown with maybe a little gold somewhere in there… kind of a funky pattern… oh whatever, I don’t really remember.  I just thought they looked cool.

But should I have thought all this through?  Did my colors now have to be red and gray? And what about the reception decor?  The invitations?  The flowers?  Was everything supposed to match??

Just when I was about to call the amazing photographer I DID choose and insist on only black and white prints to save my sanity….

I remembered what my grandmother taught my mom:

“If you love it, buy it– it will go.”

Meaning if you’re trying to coordinate your living room in all browns and blues and cream, but you fall head-over-heels in LOVE with an orange afghan with purple flowers… well then, go ahead and bring that afghan home.  Because the simple truth is that the human eye isn’t always as good a judge as the human heart.  If you coordinate your “colors” with your heart, instead of trying to focus your eyes on what “should” match up according to some style magazine, you will never go wrong.

Kind of a neat life lesson, don’t ya think?

So here’s the Grateful Lesbian Bride’s Wedding Planning Tip #1:

If you love it, go with it and ignore anyone who asks about your “colors.”  Because in the end, a beautiful, unique rainbow is always best.