12/17/2013 09:31 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What Does an Engaged Butch Call Herself, Bride? Umm..

Getting married is fun. Oh, maybe I didn't mention it? This year, I fell in love, proposed and got married -- to the most amazing woman on the planet. Since she's a femme and I'm a butch, we have some interesting/funny experiences. (I've written about her a bit over at my blog, ButchOnTap, if you want to learn more.) Lots of people have asked me questions about the whole getting married thing and I promised I would share -- I live to serve. So, here goes the first installment of wedding-y wit and wisdom.

The first wedding-y thing that she and I did was go to a bridal bazaar. Fun, right? Yes, right now, you are probably imaging that I signed us up gleefully and dragged her to this cornucopia of wedding planners, photographers, dress shops, tux purveyors, caterers, dish renters (did you know people do that?) and florists. There was even a fashion show! No, of course, I did not drag her there. But neither did she have to drag me. I asked her to marry me. She said yes! So, a wedding was going to happen, and if a wedding was going to happen, we needed things. From people, you know, who handle those things. A bridal bazaar is a pretty efficient way to see a lot of these vendors all in one place. So there. We went.

The first thing that happens, in case you've not been, is that we walk in the door and they ask us "Bride or Groom?" They have stickers, you see, pre-printed in pink and blue (surprise!) that say exactly that. You are to wear one of these stickers as you peruse the tables and exhibits, and they instantly mark you as a potential customer. She happily dons a sticker that says "Bride," as if there was ever any question, and then looks at me anxiously.

We had talked about language not long after we got engaged (it is not just semantics), but hadn't come to any conclusions. I didn't like referring to myself as the "bride" because that has very girly/feminine connotations to it for me. Plus, if ever there was a "bride," it was my love. "Groom" isn't right either. I identify as a woman and as female, so I don't refer to myself with male pronouns. Neither fit and we left it at that.

Back to the sticker passer-outer and my beautiful bride gazing at me expectantly at the first wedding-y thing we did. Will I pass on a sticker? Will I chose one? Well, without thinking, I took one of each, ripped them each down the middle (basically), put them back together, and formed a new word "Broom." I was able to do it pretty well, actually, so that the "Br" and the "oom" lined up nicely.


I stuck that on my chest -- to the delight of my bride and the sticker passer-outer. You would have thought I was the funniest person in the world judging by her reaction. The sticker passer-outer almost died, she laughed so hard. I smiled at my bride and we walked on. That initial reaction was repeated throughout the bazaar more times than I can count. It seems no one had ever heard of a "broom," and everyone loved it.

It was pretty amazing to feel the kind of acceptance that this allowed people to show us. "Broom? I love it!" "Make way for the bride and the broom (now let me sell you something, of course)!" "That is the cutest thing I have ever seen!" "I have never heard of a broom, it's perfect!"

We scoured every inch of that bazaar, holding hands, heads held high, and we had a blast.

We found our photographer there, by the way. Not directly, but through a referral of someone we liked who turned out to be unavailable. So, not only was it relationship and language-affirming, it was fruitful.

Butches, go to a bridal bazaar with your fiancée. Maybe you can even score some butch points by researching one and suggesting it first! If you are marrying a femme, I promise that she has already thought about going to one. I know my bride was happy the day before, during and after. I made sure that I didn't look like the other partners of brides there -- miserable and dragged against their wills. And, I was rewarded for it.

It's very butch to find your own language... and to attend a wedding-y thing. Be Butch.