Tag Archives: popping the question

Popping the Question: Walking Down the Aisle

We’re back with another installment in Popping the Question, our series where we tackle questions unique to wedding planning as a queer couple.

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Photo courtesy of Jason Worrell Photography

Earlier this fall, we asked you about walking down the aisle. How do we, as queer couples approach this tradition? What unique and personal twists can we bring to this aspect of the wedding ceremony? Today, we’re featuring some of your answers! 

From Leah:

My wife and I danced our way down the aisle! Our music was from Pirates of the Caribbean (we’re Disney freaks, among other things we’re freaks about) so it worked out! The way our venue was set up, we had a short distance, and it intertwined with our guests. Pretty awesome to see my wife to be (extrovert) rock her way up to our ceremony space while I (introvert) got to kiss and hug all our guests on the route! Our Honor Party of Awesomeness walked into Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter (I am a Potterhead). One of the best aspects was that all of our music was played by an instrumental trio that included flute (my aunt), a cello, and a violin. We loved it!

leah and lisa

Photo courtesy of Karen Leah Photography. (See more from Leah and Lisa’s beautiful, colorful wedding here!) 

From Deborah:

In the first picture, you see my adult son “walking me down the aisle” (there was no aisle). As I said in the write-up to our wedding, “He didn’t want to give me away because it’s a patriarchal tradition, but I said to view it as being a psychopomp, and he agreed he could get behind that.”

My father passed away between the engagement and the wedding, but I wouldn’t have wanted him to walk me anyway. We didn’t have a good relationship, and my son was much more intimately involved with Melissa & I as a couple. Walking with Arthur felt more “us.”

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Photo courtesey of MPR Studio. (You can see more from Deborah and Melissa’s wedding here!) 

From Mel and Rachel:

Rachel and I (Mel) just got married June 3, 2017. We decided to forego a wedding party, and we’re both only children whose parents mean the world to us. The walk down the aisle began with our friend Topher, who walked our Yorkie mix Judy to the birch altar we bought on Etsy. (Judy wore a white dress too!) Then Rachel decided she wanted to go down the aisle before me, which worked out well because I wanted to go last! She walked in with a parent on each arm, and then I did the same. I wouldn’t change a thing!

MelRachelWedding (719 of 1236)MelRachelWedding (724 of 1236)Photos courtesy of Jason Worrell Photography.

Thanks to everyone who responded! Stay tuned for our next Popping the Question soon! 

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Popping the Question: Love Songs

We’re back with another installment in Popping the Question, our series where we tackle questions unique to wedding-planning as a queer couple.

480-1024x683Photo courtesy of Melissa Jean Photography. (See more from Jen & Beth’s wedding here!) 

This time, we’re focused on the challenge of picking a first dance song when a lot of songs don’t always feel like they apply to we queer humans the way they do to others.

From Deborah:

Our first dance was “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” by the Talking Heads. For Melissa, the lyric that nailed it was “Home, is where I want to be/But I guess I’m already there”.

Read more about Deborah & Melissa in their Brides Revisited post

From Leah:

My wife and I signed our first dance in ASL. Well, we danced a little when there was only music. We signed “Give Me Your Forever” by Ben Harper. It was a surprise to everyone, as we didn’t tell a single soul what we were planning. It was pretty awesome to see and hear all of the reactions from our guests when we broke apart and started signing to each other.

We also thought we’d give few answers from the team here at A Bicycle Built for Two:

From Morgan:

“Love Me Like You Do” by Elle Goulding – This is good song to dance to and get the party started!

“Take Your Time”by Sam Hunt – I love this song about getting to know someone more and spending time together.

“For My Love” by Bethany Dillon – This one’s an older song—and technically off a Christian/gospel album—but it’s a great love song for everyone nonetheless.

jen and bethPhoto courtesy of Rachel Bayne Photography. (See more from Jen and Beth’s wedding here!)

From Adriana:

“Doo Wop” by Lauryn Hill -The song informed for the first year of my relationship with my girlfriend. We’d lay in various London parks, the sun shining down on us rapping (badly) to the song.

Meanwhile, Maggie and Ashley are hoping that Brandi Carlile miraculously comes out with a few more wedding appropriate songs before they tie the knot! Fingers crossed!

Ashley-Maggie-81-copyPhoto courtesy of Marianne Chua Photography.

A few other great ideas from our commenters (thanks, Deborah & Erica!)

“Heavenly Day” by Patty Griffin

“Wherever is Your Heart” by Brandi Carlile

“Love is the Seventh Wave,” as covered by The Duhks (and thus sung by a woman!)

“Here, There, and Everywhere” by The Beatles

megan and lauraPhoto courtesy of Madeline Faye Photography. (See more from Megan and Lauren’s wedding here.) 

Thanks for all your responses! Keep an eye out for the next installment of Popping the Question, when we’ll talk about how you chose to walk down the aisle.

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Popping the Question: Walking Down the Aisle

We’re back with another installment in Popping the Question, our series where we tackle questions unique to wedding-planning as a queer couple.

Today is all about strutting your stuff! We all know that “tradition” dictates how couples are supposed to walk down the aisle, but what happens to those of us who don’t fit into that traditional binary? If you’re already married, tell us: How did you decide who would walk down the aisle? Did you both walk down together? Or did you forgo that tradition entirely in favor of a different kind of grand entrance? If you’re planning—or just dreaming of—that perfect ceremony, how do you envision taking those all-important steps?

On a related note: what do dads have to do with any of this? Will pops be “giving you away”? Will you go it alone? Or will a member of your chosen family be walking you down the aisle?

amanda melanie

Whether you’re married, engaged, or simply dreaming of the big day, we’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment on this post or get in touch with us . We’ll be accepting responses though Friday, September 18th, and then we’ll compile a post with some of our favorite stories, so get in touch!

Photo courtesy of Cassandra Zetta

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Popping the Question: Love Songs

Welcome to Popping the Question, our new series here at A Bicycle Built for Two, where we tackle questions unique to wedding-planning as a queer couple. 

Today, we’re thinking about music—a tricky thing for every couple, but one that can be made even trickier if you (like me) tend to get hung up on things like heteronormativity or gender pronouns! So today, we’re asking for suggestions for the ultimate LBTQ wedding playlist: What songs were or will be must-plays for your wedding day? What about that all-important “first dance” song?

Take a quick break from calling your senators and writing to Congress (you’re doing that, right, U.S. readers?) to drop us a line or leave a comment.

View More: http://nicolebarrphoto.pass.us/lcwed

What was your “first dance” song? What will be the theme song of your wedding? What are your favorite not-too-heteronormative love songs?

Share your song suggestions in the comments and/or via email. Then, we’ll make a playlist for everyone to enjoy!

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In other news, we’re always accepting your submissions. Now more than ever, we are committed to celebrating our love and our community, and seeing photos from your weddings and engagements in our inbox warms the cockles of our queer hearts!

Photo courtesy of Nicole Barr.

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Popping the Question: Put a Ring On It

Welcome to Popping the Question, our new series here at A Bicycle Built for Two! Based on the interests you expressed in our survey this past summer, we’ll be tackling some questions unique to wedding planning as a queer couple.

This time, we invited you all to share your engagement ring stories, and today, we’re featuring a few of our favorite responses—thanks so much to everyone who got in touch!

From Annie:

img_9036Photo courtesy of Karen Krogh Photography.

“Once we realized we were on the path of forever we started looking for rings.  Sandy said she wanted “something simple with a small solitaire.” I wasn’t sure what I wanted but I knew when I saw it I would know.I was looking at pawn shops and classified ads. Then, I found it!  It was absolutely beautiful and so “me”:  a center diamond with baguettes on either side and a thin band with small inset diamonds.  I contacted the seller.  The engagement ring and wedding band were soldered together, so we negotiated a price for the set. Then, we made arrangements to pick up the rings in a town about 3 hours away but a snow storm prevented us from being able to travel, so we had to rely on United States Postal Service. While waiting to receive my set I began to search for the solitaire for Sandy.  I found a beautiful half karat round diamond on a narrow gold band. Ideal!

When my set arrived I took it to a jeweler to be separated. On the day we were to pick up my set, now an engagement ring and a wedding band,  our plans were to go to a small quiet park on a nearby lake. We faced each other and spoke from our hearts. We each proposed to the other.  We took out the rings.  I had Sandy’s small solitaire and Sandy had my…. What’s this? A beautiful half karat round diamond on a narrow gold band. I hadn’t seen my ring since we’d picked it up at the jeweler, but the rings were practically identical! It turns out the band to the set was actually a wrap or guard.  The baguettes were attached to it. Once separated it left a solitaire on a thin band as the engagement ring. This was one of those “meant to be” moments.

With our matching engagement rings we went to our special restaurant. Our waitress was the first person we told we were engaged.”

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From Emily:

“After much prodding and begging from me, my girlfriend of four years and I went engagement ring shopping together on a random spring afternoon. We had a great time searching through the different stores and eventually found exactly what we wanted. It didn’t matter to us if the rings matched, just that we liked them, and we split the cost of both to make it fair. Our rings have been safely stored in a lock box under our bed for the perfect proposal moment (though we take them out occasionally to try on and admire again!).

It took us a while to figure out how we wanted to propose. The main issue was that we both wanted to be proposed to and have it be a surprise, but we also wanted to be able to start wearing our rings at the same time, not months apart. We have tentatively decided to do it on a vacation in the summer, where we will visit Madrid and propose to each other at some point on the trip. I am so in love with her and while I’m VERY ready to get engaged, I’m willing to wait for the perfect moment to show her how much she means to me.”

From Anlin:

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“In February 2011 Denise arranged a weekend away in the Drakensberg Mountains for us for the weekend. We went for a grueling walk, which was supposed to have been an easy 2.5 km walk… At the highest point she presented me with a beautiful diamond ring. This was not an engagement, as Denise did not feel the need to get married, but it was a promise to love me forever, and that was perfect for me. So in April that year I bought Denise a ring to do the same, promise my love in a way that the world could see.

About six months later, we went on a road trip around South Africa. We drove 6000 kms and spent many hours together with family and my daughters. When we returned to Johannesburg we went about the New Year as one does, busy with work, overseas meetings for Denise. At the end of January I received a SMS from her asking if I would marry her. I said yes of course, but I did not for one moment think she was serious.

2 days later, when I received a bouquet of flowers at the office and the card read “Please will you marry me?” I realized that she had been serious. I phoned her and said YES!!!!

We had our rings we had given each other and did not want another ring to add to that. But a few months later I lost the ring she gave me, and that gave us the opportunity to have matching rings made in time for our wedding.

Unfortunately I seem to have bad luck with diamond rings, and when our daughter was 2 months old I lost my ring in a parking lot. Must have been the porridge brain that goes with having a newborn baby to look after.  I still have my wedding band, plain Jane, but I need no more… Needless to say, a ring is just that, a symbol to show the world you are someone else’s. We show the world our love for each other in many ways, so we don’t feel the need to replace the lost ring.  Maybe one day when our ship comes in?”

Read more about Anlin & Denise’s love story here!

From Hannah:

“We did forego the engagement rings, since both of us are pretty practical and frugal. We found some really great wedding bands on Etsy though, made from tungsten and Hawaiian Koa wood. The shop has free engraving too, so we are already thinking of what to inscribe on each other’s rings as a gift for each other. This has been one of our favorite parts of wedding planning.”

From Mel:

“Rachel and I had been together 3.5 years before she surprised me and popped the question. Years ago I pinned a ring on Pinterest, but it was so different and so beautiful I never thought I would actually have one like it. Rachel remembered that ring and tried to track it down, but it was originally made in Japan and no longer available as a design. So she asked her college roommate’s uncle (who lives five hours away!) to design the same ring, nervous every step of the way whether it would turn out. I’ll never forget the day she proposed, and how absolutely gorgeous my ring was! Mine was made in yellow gold, and she liked it so much she received the same ring in white gold when I proposed a few months later. Before those rings people assumed we were just friends, but now strangers notice our matching rings and want to know the story of them, and the story of us – it makes me proud to have an outward symbol of our relationship.”

mel1mel2Photo courtesy of Jason Worrell Photography.

Planning an engagement this holiday season? Eager for more queer engagement stories and photos? Check out our gallery of proposals here and read more in this Buzzfeed round-up, featuring several A Bicycle Built for Two couples. Or leave a comment on this post to keep the conversation going! We love hearing from you.

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Popping the Question: Put a Ring On It

Welcome to our new series here at A Bicycle Built for Two: Popping the Question! Based on the interests you expressed in our survey this summer, we’ll be tackling some questions that unique to wedding planning as a queer couple. 

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Today’s questions are all about engagement rings: How did you pick them out? Did one of you surprise the other? Was it important to you to have matching or complementary styles? Or did you skip the rings entirely, in favor of tattoos or an engagement puppy?

Whether you’re married, engaged, or simply dreaming of future rings, we’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment on this post or get in touch with us. We’ll be accepting responses through next Friday, November 25th, and then we’ll compile a post with some of our favorite stories, so get in touch!

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In other news, we’re always accepting your submissions. Now more than ever, we are committed to celebrating our love and our community, and seeing photos from your weddings and engagements in our inbox warms the cockles of our queer hearts!

Photos courtesy of Scott Martin Studio.

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Popping the Question: What’s in a Name? Part II

Welcome to our new series here at A Bicycle Built for Two: Popping the Question! Based on the interests you expressed in our survey this summer, we’ll be tackling some questions unique to wedding planning as a queer couple.

Our first question had to do with last names:

After your wedding, did you (or do you plan to) keep your last name? Take your partner’s? If so, how do you pick which name to keep?

We asked, and you answered! After taking a week to collect your responses to the great last name question, we’re back with an update and some personal stories that may help those of you who are still deciding how to proceed. We couldn’t fit every answer here, but many thanks to all who got in touch. We love to hear from you!

The Name-Changers

alex-erica-081Erica & Alex in what ended up being the third of three wedding photo opportunities!

“My feminist child self decided long ago I wasn’t going to take anyone’s last name. I also really like my full name, my initials, and my dad is really proud of ‘being a Gillingham’. I’ve been hearing stories about great-great-Gillingham so-and-so for years! At the same time, I really love the idea of a family name.

When my wife and I had our civil partnership ceremony, we talked very loosely about her taking my name as in ‘it would be nice when we have kids’ kind of thing. When we converted our civil partnership to a marriage last summer, we’d been married 5 years at that point and with the passing of time, she felt even more strongly about taking my last name–and I started to feel weird about it! ‘What kind of feminist was I to have someone else take my name?!’ I asked myself. ‘The kind of feminist who lets her wife make up her own damn mind, that’s who,’ my head replied.

When Alex gave a speech at the party last summer, she announced that she’d be taking my name and we would be ‘Ms. and Ms. Gillingham’–and now I love it.” —Erica

The Name-Keepers

“No matter the gender of whoever I ended up with, I always planned on keeping my last name—just a personal preference.”—Elana

“I was in a heterosexual marriage prior to falling in love with Maya so I was clear to us that I needed to let that name go. I also felt strongly that I didn’t want to take another person’s name ever again. I wanted to reclaim myself and hang on. At 43, she was very attached to her name and didn’t want to give it up, so the decision was easy. I never liked my maiden name but had been using my middle name for years as a nickname—so Tingle for me and Stein for her and now just for fun, all our friends call us the TingleSteins, which we both love without having to legally adopt it!” –Amy

The Hyphenaters


“After endless back and forth, we decided to hyphenate our names. The order was simply based on which we decided sounded better, but hyphenation was a really hard call. This may sound ridiculous, but if I was straight, I wouldn’t have hesitated to have each of us keep our last names. As a lesbian, however, having our family share the same last name felt like an important step in being recognized as a family unit… particularly as we want to have children and both of us having been raised in smaller, more traditional communities.

A combination of our feminist sensibilities, the (very different) heritages that our last names carry, and simple inability to ‘just pick one’ resulted in the hyphenated last name. While this is what worked best for our family, I’ve got to acknowledge the challenges that come with hyphenating. We’ve gotten every combination and pronunciation out there on mail and when asked my last name, without thinking I begin with, ‘It’s hyphenated. The first part is…’ to ease confusion and misspelling.” —Dana

And then there are those of us taking things a step beyond hyphenation:

“Things aren’t official yet, but they will be in a month’s time. Neither of us have personal attachment to our last names, both of which are pretty common, and neither of our families cared either. We definitely wanted a joint identity, a ‘Teamname.’ I was ready for a hyphen, she thought they were unruly. So we anagrammed our names into something that seemed like a surname, yet isn’t as far as we could Google. That’s where we are at now, informing banks and being a team with our lovely semi-germanic franken-name.”—Stacy

That’s not all! In fact, there are almost as many considerations as we got responses—family traditions and relationships, future kid names, and combinations that just sound funny… Claire wrote to us about how she and her partner hyphenated their names in order to balance personal and professional goals: having a shared last name for the ease of their future kids while also staying recognizable in their fields of employment. Then, there’s the logistical stuff: Annie and Sandy, who also chose hyphenation, chimed in to note that in certain states, there are legal requirements that make some options easier than others—and Lynette, who shares a last name with her partner, pointed out that taking one wife’s existing last name means filling out only one set of name-change paperwork!

View More: http://tarabethphotography.pass.us/bethaimeeengagementshoot

And then, in case you missed it, there’s always Beth and Aimee’s creative solution: play a game of Yahtzee and take the winner’s last name—an approach that another couple played out with their families on the soccer field! However you approach the question of last names, we’d love to hear about it. Leave your comments on this post to keep the conversation going!

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