“Like all amazing couples, we met at a drag show.”
“You’re in frickin’ midwest Wisconsin. You’re going to darn near the north woods. Hey, this is a same-sex wedding, are you ok with that? That was one of our qualifying questions.”
Hear the stories behind these quotes in this week’s episode, where we talk with Andrea and Tara about their super gay Stout Island, Wisconsin wedding.
Facebook is the devil
And we still suck at recording intros. Forgive us. We’re working on it.
Amanda gets taken out by a linebacker cleverly disguised as her clients’ dog during an engagement photo shoot. She’s icing her knee right now. Cindy, thankfully, has never been tackled on the job.
We talk about tacos (again) and how old we are
And the unfortunate allergy Cindy discovered the hard way by eating hipster tacos at a wedding. Tacos are the most superior food group in the universe. That’s why they’re the first sponsor of the Super Gay Wedding podcast.
Meet Andrea and Tara
Andrea (originally from Wisconsin) and Tara (from Minnesota) have been together 4 years, which in lesbian years is adds up to 42. They got married on Stout’s Island on Red Cedar Lake in Wisconsin in the summer of 2016.
What’s the difference between Wisconsinites and Minnesotans?
“Water fountain” vs. “Bubbler”
Vikings vs. Packers
“Stop Lights” vs. “Stop-and-Go Lights”
Otherwise, it’s all more or less the same?
“Like all amazing couples, we met at a drag show.”
I’m gonna make you listen to actually hear that story, because they tell it better than I will.
Only straight girls wear scarves. True?
The internet does not have an opinion on this, at least not on the first page of Google, but it did provide this gem:
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We do agree, though, that perhaps most scarf-wearing done by gay women is in pursuit of appearing straight, also known as “passing”.
Their Engagement Story
Andrea, previously divorced, didn’t think she wanted to get married again and mentioned it very early on in their relationship. Tara’s response?
“You need to propose to me. And then, because everyone deserves a proposal, I will propose back.”
About a year later, they knew they wanted to get married. They happened to be at a jewelry store and each picked out rings, then kept them in a safe. Three or four months later, they were ready to propose. Andrea enlisted her softball teammates to help her erect a banner reading, “Tara, will you marry me?”
For her part, Tara says she did her proposal the way everybody should: at a fantasy football draft. She called Andrea her “number one draft pick” for the rest of her life.
According to Andrea, the secret to having an amazing wedding is… just marry Tara. She’s super organized and will research all possible outcomes before making a decision. So you know you’re making the best choice.
Weddings are ripe for decision fatigue because there are so many options for every little detail.
So investigating them all is no small task. (That’s one reason why you might want a pro to help you plan.)
They set a goal of having everything planned six months before the wedding date, so that they wouldn’t be stressed out and scrambling as the day approached.
The first task they tackled was finding a venue. Andrea had always wanted to get married barefoot on the beach; Tara wanted to stay in Wisconsin. They lucked out with Stout’s Island: it was halfway between their two families, in state, and complete with water views.
The logistics of getting all your guests on and off an island with limited ferry crossings are no joke, though. Information is key.
Hot Tip for Narrowing Down Your Guest List
Tara and Andrea had a great litmus test for wedding guests: If they hadn’t both met those people in the time they’d been together in the time leading up to the wedding, they weren’t invited. (With one or two exceptions of close family members.)
Another pro tip? Make your RSVP cards really clear, so they can’t add plus-ones.
“Hey, this is a same-sex wedding. Are you ok with that?”
Andrea and Tara specifically looked for LGBTQ-friendly wedding pros. Given their venue’s location in the upper midwest, they knew they’d need to be proactive about vetting potential vendors. As Andrea noted,
“You’re in frickin’ midwest Wisconsin. You’re going to darn near the north woods. Hey, this is a same-sex wedding. Are you ok with that? That was one of our qualifying questions.”
They didn’t get any all-out rejections, but there were a few who they could tell weren’t really ok with it, despite stating otherwise. Since they only wanted people at their wedding who were truly supportive, they passed on the iffy responders.
Andrea and Tara take us into their bedroom. Literally.
It wasn’t like that, I swear! They just wanted to show off a beautiful triptych of their individual vows and a photo from their wedding.
Pro tip: Take some time alone right after the ceremony. Take a breath and absorb what’s just happened. Give yourselves a chunk of time with your photographer to make a few photos. Then go back and have a really awesome party!
What They Wore. What Their Wedding Party Wore.
They both wore dresses, and even shopped at the same store. But they stuck to tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding. In order to make sure their gowns coordinated and to make sure they didn’t actually both purchase the exact same dress.
Click through to Amanda’s website to see their dresses and their rainbow wedding party.
Tara and Andrea were very conscientious about picking their wedding party members. They wanted to choose people who had been and would continue to be the most supportive of their relationship.
“It’s a day that we put a year’s worth of planning into.”
Their first look was so cool that Amanda walked into a tree. She recalls the light being just incredible. Meanwhile, Tara was freaking out a little bit about the timeline and some rain in the forecast. But once they took those first few photos and the family portraits, they were able to relax and enjoy the party.
“I’m gonna do exactly what I want to do, I’m going to marry my best friend, and everybody else can get bent.”
This was pretty much their attitude towards wedding traditions. They did their due diligence and read up on all the expected options – and then decided to toss the things they didn’t care about and keep the things they liked.
“We started planning themes and (super gay!) we decided to go with classy rainbow.”
Welp, this one was met with a, “Don’t you think you’re kinda shoving the gay thing in everyone’s face?” from Tara’s mom. But Tara said, gay or not, she’d want a rainbow – and even if it is a super Pride thing — that’s fine, because it’s important to her!
The rainbow theme was hard to carry out in the wedding party attire – because they first had to find a bridal shop that carried a full rainbow of colors in just the right shades and their bridesmaids were scattered around the country.
So how did the wedding go?
When asked if there was anything they would have done differently in retrospect, Tara and Andrea said:
Well, actually – one thing. Because they were out taking photos when the meal was served, their food wasn’t hot when they sat down to eat it.
Having someone who knows you officiate the ceremony is awesome.
Do be sure to read up on the county and state rules if you’re enlisting a non-professional. Otherwise your marriage may not be legal.
“If we can nail the kid-raising as good as we did our wedding, we’ll be happy.”
Andrea and Tara are expecting a baby in the fall – Congratulations!
LGBTQ+ Wedding Planning Advice from Andrea and Tara:
Be present. Don’t worry. (And try not to worry about your partner being worried.)
Plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute – you’ll be stressed. Having everything planned well in advance allowed us to relax and get excited leading up to the wedding.
Choose your guests thoughtfully.
You need to be comfortable with your wedding vendors. Pick wedding pros who really want to make sure your day is awesome. You don’t have to say yes to the first vendor you find. If you don’t like them, go somewhere else!
Andrea and Tara Loved Working with These Wedding Pros, and You Will Too:
Venue & Catering: Stout’s Island Lodge
Make-up Artist/Hairdresser: Spa Beauty of MN
Florist: Allure Event Florists
Band: In the Fields