22: Queer Wedding Planning | Dee and Carly’s Chicago Wedding at the Shapiro Ballroom (Part 1)

This super gay wedding features a non-binary wedding party and roller derby girls skating up the aisle. And it was basically planned in a handful of text messages. Plus, ways to get even gayer this year.

How Gay Are You Today?

On a scale of 1 to 10.

We’re really asking, but unfortunately we can’t hear you, so we’re assuming you’re all over there like, “So gay! So fucking gay!!”

Because in 2019, we are all getting gayer. Just by rolling out of bed and existing, for starters.

If a gay has brunch and there’s no one there to witness it, is it still gay brunch?

In which we debate breakfast versus brunch and their respective amounts of gay-ness.

Do you need help getting gayer? We have a few suggestions:

Autostraddle is here for you with book and television recs.

And so is Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, if you’re in/near Atlanta.

Or just look in the mirror. Are you wearing a beanie hat? Congratulations, you’re gay!

Want a little more culture in your gaying-up strategy? Amanda’s been reading up on gay artists, specifically Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.

Fountain pens are so gay! Amanda loves the Kaweco Liliput pen. Cindy loves the Pilot Metropolitan. And we nerd out about pens for a little bit.

And it’s time to start the show…

Meet Dee & Carly

Dee (queer, they/them) and Carly (queer, she/her) have been engaged for about two months and today we’re going to see how the planning has been going so far. We’ll check back in later on to get updates about their wedding as the plans progress.

Their wedding is planned for July 2019 in Chicago, where it’s likely to be sweltering hot! Which will be welcome after the long winter.

Amanda’s pro tip for outdoor photos on hot days: strategically placed ice packs! Hold those on your pulse points in between shots.

How Did You Meet Each Other and Why Are You Getting Married?

Carly and Dee met, like many millennials, on a dating app – Hinge. They had a pretty quick start to the relationship – so fast that Dee’s best friend came along on their second date.

Their first date was at a pie shop next door to Dee’s workplace. After about 3 hours, they had to cut it short so that Carly could get to a roller derby draft party. That’s right: Carly is a roller derby girl and, spoiler alert, there will be folks roller skating up the aisle at their wedding!

Dee’s best friend was in town and tagged along for their second date a few days later. Then Carly accidentally met one of Dee’s kids the day after that. As they put it: about six months’ worth of relationship stuff happened in about four days. It progressed quickly.

Dee thought they’d never get married. As a wedding planner and venue owner, they’re at weddings every weekend. Friends thought of them as a wedding grinch of sorts, so when they announced their engagement, everyone was truly shocked.

Carly knew right away that they were meant to be – on the night of their first date, she told her friend at roller derby, “I think she’s the one.”

When you know, you know.

The Engagement

Carly proposed to Dee on a piece of pie from the pie shop they went to on their first date.

They went downtown on Black Friday, with the kids, to shop for wedding rings. It was, they said, a shitshow, but they got their rings for crazy cheap!

An ASL segment where we discuss a bunch of signs… but you can’t see us, so here are some videos.

Watch how to sign ‘Turkey’ in American Sign Language

They’re Six Weeks into Wedding Planning… let’s hear what they’ve gotten done.

Dee’s not trying to make y’all feel bad, but they’re a wedding professional – so they pretty much got all the vendors booked in a handful of text messages. It was important to them to work with vendors they know and trust so that they wouldn’t have to work on their wedding day.

So – one group text to poll their picks for a date, and all the big pieces were pretty much set!

Their caterer will be the Hearty Boys, also a gay-owned company. They’ve got their tasting scheduled the day before Valentine’s Day – a timely date night!

Secondprint Productions will be their photographer.

Ten Twelve Entertainment could run the playlist for their lives, as far as they are concerned, but for now they’ll have to settle for having them DJ their wedding.

Yum Squared Bakery already earned their place in Dee & Carly’s lives when they made a spectacular unicorn cake for their kiddo’s birthday, so it was an easy choice to pick them as their wedding baker.

The wedding venue was the easiest choice – since Dee already owns one, it’ll be there. The ceremony will be on the rooftop of a favorite restaurant nearby.

Rentals will come from Tablescapes.

Jill Valentine, a professional comedian, will officiate.

What’s Left to Figure Out?

They still need to sort out their decor plans and decide what to wear. In fact, attire has been the biggest stressor.

Finding queer clothing in any part of life is a challenge, so they’ve decided to have their wedding outfits custom made. Right now, they are researching designers.

What’s Stressing You Out?

Not much on the planning front! Being a wedding planner, all the logistics and color-coded spreadsheets are just another day at the office for Dee.

For Carly, coming out to family has been somewhat challenging. She moved from Massachusetts, where most of her family lives, and she never came out to many of them. So rolling the coming out into a wedding announcement has been a little bit stressful.

Dee has some family they just aren’t inviting because they wanted to make sure that every person they invited and who they are working with knows how to ask for and correctly use pronouns and is fully accepting and excited for them.

Particularly having a transgender child and a wedding party full of nonbinary folks, making sure that it’s a safe environment for everyone is a top priority for them.

Pro Tip from Dee: Don’t forget yourselves in your headcount!

RSVP for yourselves, choose meals for yourselves, add yourselves to the seating chart. You are kinda very fucking important to this wedding, so… you know. Include yourselves.

Pro Tip #2 from Dee: Don’t expect to plan your wedding in six weeks.

Take the time to research and vet vendors and find the ones who are affirming and fit your budget.

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