45 Things I Learned On Washington’s First Day With Gay Marriage

A culmination of everything that happened in Seattle on Sunday. Onward to Maryland and Maine!

1. The world needs an alternative to boutonnieres.

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They’re impossible. There has got to be an easier way.

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2. The best way to hide your tears at a wedding is to take pictures with your camera.

Of course I was a mess after seeing stuff like this all day. I found the best way to hide my tears was with my camera.

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See, during this picture I was crying. That’s why this picture is blurry.


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3. This guy had the most important job.

Tissue Man!

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Tissue Man had to strategically place all the tissues around City Hall.

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He also had to fluff open the boxes.

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Voila! Perfect!

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4. The pen tester was pretty important too…

There was a woman who had to make sure all the pens were properly working. The pens were needed to fill out all of the contracts before the ceremony.

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…but as you can see, even she knows Tissue Man had a more important job.

(She’s pointing at the tissues)

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5. Probably the most touching thing that you could tell your spouse is, “I just love being with you. Always.”

That’s what the guy in blue told his husband. And that’s when I lost it. Also, look at the officiant’s face.

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6. If you show up to a place holding mass weddings and you aren’t on the list… chances are you’ll probably get in.

Everyone on the standby to be married list got in. The weddings were actually perfectly on schedule. That NEVER happens nowadays.

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7. Protesters are so 2011.

There were no protesters at City Hall that day. This was about as violent as things got.

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8. The paper “wedding licenses” are basically just souvenirs.

That’s what this lady said. They don’t get their official wedding license until later.

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9. People in Washington really take their beards seriously.

So many bearded couples! Is this a Pacific Northwest thing? Either way, I love it.

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10. Everyone is into lists nowadays.

Bye list haters. Even Seattle City Hall made a top 10.

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11. Being part of the wedding party is serious business.

Just about every couple had a wedding party. One of the most important tasks as a part of the wedding party was flowers, and as you can see, this lady took her job seriously.

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12. I also learned all about the different types of things people wear to their gay weddings, like matching suits:

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13. Sailor uniforms:

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14. Custom t-shirts:

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15. Song lyrics on a custom t-shirt:

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16. And matching glasses:

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17. You can also just wear a little name tag saying how long you’ve been together.

That works too.

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18. Or you can be like Dan Savage and do the tux and suit combo:

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19. Ultimately, I think subtle matching is the way to go:

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With, of course, matching Converse shoes!

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20. The first embrace is way more emotional than the first kiss. It was the best part of the weddings.

So so so incredibly touching to watch the couples hug after their kiss.

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21. The second best part of the weddings was watching the couples walk into the cheering crowds.

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22. The third best part was watching the couples have their own little moments at the reception.

This isn’t actually a couple that got married on Sunday. It’s a prominent Washington lawmaker and his boyfriend. They’re getting married this summer. They met while hiking Mount Rainer (typical Washington) 22 years ago.

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23. The fourth best part was watching the wedding parties.

They were (almost) equally adorable.

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24. Putting on the ring is the most awkward part of a wedding.

Because whenever in your life have you put a ring on someone else’s finger? The ring moment always made the couples laugh.

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25. Weddings take about 5 minutes.

I had no idea how long these weddings would last, but most were about 5 minutes. They had 5 wedding stations set up in City Hall.

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26. The best way to hand out flowers is with a giant top hat.

Because who doesn’t love a giant hat?

Anyways, this is the “Flower Brigade.” They got together before the wedding to get flowers for the couples. They were also the best.

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27. No one really has a wedding song any more.

I wanted to find out if couples had a wedding song or just a song together. Out of about 20 couples, I could only find one that did. This couple’s song is “My Best Friend” by Queen.

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28. But some people make up and create their own songs. These two women sing a song whenever they need to find parking in Seattle.

Pretty amazing. FYI, Mr. Cramer is the guy in charge of parking in Seattle.

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29. Just about the only acceptable place to fist pump nowadays is after waiting years and years to be married.

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These were delicious. Lots of people brought baked goods to the weddings. Who doesn’t love baked goods?

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31. After your wedding, you eat and drink as much as you want.

That’s what this couple and their family were cheering about. They were really excited to eat!

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32. KISS!

If you’re walking into a big cheering crowd after you just got married, then a kiss will drive us wild. There was always someone cheering “kiss, kiss, kiss!” after the couples would walk down into the crowd.

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33. If you’re going to be the wedding witness, then you should dress like this woman.

Because why not?

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34. Seeing the kids of the gay couples was incredibly inspiring and heartwarming.

Probably the most touching part.

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35. This is a really adorable outfit to wear to your wedding reception.

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36. One cake ball is enough.

I absolutely love cake balls, but if you have more than one you’ll probably start to feel sick. At the reception they had this awesome baked goods station that were constantly replenished. It was nearly impossible to control myself (I adore baked goods. See #30).

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37. First dance selfies are now a thing.

Most adorable selfie ever.

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38. Seattleites REALLY like their Starbucks!

During the toast this guy cheersed with a Starbucks cup. So perfectly typical.

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39. This is an awesome shirt to wear to a gay wedding reception.

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40. The best party favor at a mass gay wedding is a cute little tote.

Everyone got one of these at the reception. Who doesn’t love free things and cute little totes?

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41. They’re probably going to play Madonna at your gay wedding.

At the reception they played Madonna more than anyone else… twice.

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42. All couples, regardless of sexual orientation, begin to look alike after a while.

It’s one of the best parts of being in a relationship.

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43. If it’s raining, and you’re about to be married in a mass gay wedding, you go with a rainbow umbrella.

Because duh.

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These guys did it right, too.

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44. There’s not much you can do to get over your pre-wedding jitters.

Waiting can be the hardest part!

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45. Last, but not least, I could watch people getting married all day. There is no greater joy!

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See, when they kiss it’s the best!


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All photos by me, Matt Stopera.

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If you liked this, then you will definitely like these:

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Deputy Editorial Director, Devout Member of the Church of Godney
Contact Matt Stopera at
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