An Intimate, International Affair
Tell us your love story/how did you meet?
No it was not the usual meet-at-a-bar or friend-of-a-friend meet-up. Teddy and I met the now-regular way: online. I had never tried online dating, so, armed with a beer and my best friend, I started plugging concise (hopefully not boring) answers to the mundane questions thrown at me from a website promising me a cupid date. Little did I know that Teddy was on the site to close it down after few months of unsuccessful (and scary) dates.
Teddy: Just as I was about to click “delete profile,” Lea’s account popped up in my matches, and I saw that she was a doctor...and well, who doesn’t want to play doctor??? This led to a discussion of Lea’s background, she was born in the US (New Jersey to be exact, I mention it all the time now and call her a Jersey girl) and grew up between France and Beirut, Lebanon. I was hooked by her worldliness and ability to speak 3 languages, not to mention her to-die-for accent.
Lea: A whirlwind of stereotypical lesbian romance ensued: we fell in love within three weeks, she moved in after two months and we were engaged within a year. While I was able to meet Teddy’s family in Boston (and her identical twin sister), Teddy and I went to France where she met my father and endured French cuisine (she still tells me that she ate calf’s thymus for me).
What about the proposal?
Lea: Given that we both knew we wanted to get married and we both wanted to get proposed too, we bought identical engagement diamond rings but did not wear them till one would propose. While we were having dinner at an upscale (French, of course) restaurant, my best friend and his boyfriend (because who better than gay men to help decorating a lesbian engagement), decorated our apartment with red roses, candles and a big banner that I had ordered with one question (Will you Marry Me?) and two answers (one for Teddy and one for me).
Teddy: I thought the whole thing was adorable, I had never been to a fancy restaurant before, and Lea was slightly irked that my favorite course was a single sour cream and onion potato chip. Best chip of my life! I knew we were getting engaged that night but she threw me off for sure by telling me we had to go home and change into outdoor clothes. I had a lot of wine and just wanted to go home!!! I was SO relieved when we got home and everything was there. The banner she got was so cute, and was in the “do you love me check yes or no” middle school style, except the “No” box was REALLY small! I checked yes.
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
Both: We both have very distinct memories of the moments we fell in love with each other and knew that we wanted to be together forever. For Teddy, we were walking by Charles River and waiting for my best friend to meet Teddy for the first time. I was on the phone with him, speaking in a different language (telling him how smitten I was with my new girlfriend), and, apparently, it did the trick and Teddy was into me (go foreign language!). As for me, it was a very ordinary activity: we were in my apartment, I was walking by the bedroom and I saw Teddy sitting on the bed, folding laundry (very meticulously) and singing; I remember thinking to myself that I want to be folding laundry with her for the rest of my life (indeed, very corny, I know!).
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
We both knew that it had to be small for the wedding to remain as intimate and personal as we wanted it to be. Both of our families are conservative and assuming that they would not come, however we were left scrambling when everyone rallied around us with support and love!
Teddy: I initially thought I didn’t care about planning a wedding. I can be cynical at times. I actually gambled away my rights to choose anything for the wedding in order to get full control over the new furniture for our apartment. When wedding planning came, I found it impossible to hold myself to this agreement!
Lea: We initially planned on having me plan the wedding, but Teddy was way more creative than me so she would give the big ideas and I executed. We wanted it to be romantic and vintage-y, but with the industrial, funky edge that we love so much. It was all about contrast, beautiful gowns against steel bridges, and old mill wide beams. I think it was gorgeous. Teddy was adamant that we were just two people getting married and thus refused to have a “gay wedding”, so I was not allowed to have everything rainbow. I still managed to sneak in the rainbow wherever I could!
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
Planning a wedding was a difficult and complicated task. I was surprised by the amount of details we had to address. The easy part was having Teddy’s imagination guide us into flower choices and others. The most difficult part I think was for us to feel comfortable with all our vendors because they will forever be included and remembered in our wedding. Teddy had an episode in Michaels one day and decided that we would make our own invitations… she went strong for one day and then I was left with that project! I must really love her!
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
Lea: My maid of honor had told me that it was going to be a difficult year on our relationship which I agree with now. I do think however, that planning a wedding together made me fall in love more with Teddy’s creative genius and mind.
Teddy: Don’t go into Michaels “just to look”. That is my advice.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?
Lea: The best advice I would give is to take things lightly and enjoy the process no matter how tedious it becomes. Remember it’s only one day, but probably the best of your relationship so far.
Teddy: stock your bar.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Lea: My favorite part was seeing all my friends and family from all around the world present at our wedding. It made me feel loved and blessed.
Teddy: My favorite part was giving Lea the bra I didn’t need to wear but knew she would need but refused to wear because she thought she knew better. My dress had lots of boning and hers didn’t. I looked like Dolly Parton for the first part of the wedding wearing that thing. I love being prepared for her needs. My other favorite part was the intimacy. I was able to dance with everyone and spend time with my family instead of standing in an endless receiving line. My 92 year old baptist grandmother just was told the week before, and she came, gave her blessing and danced her butt off. If she can do it, anyone can. Anyone can open their heart and witness love.