Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Christians are people too

Hey Jill,

Thanks for responding on the blog today.

I worry that my advice was a little flip, but honestly what I meant was: Go with your gut! Get on with your life together! And hearing more of your story just reinforced that for me. I hoped it helped to hear from other women who did the city hall thing too. Obviously, your religion is your own f*cking business. SHEESH.

Keep us posted will you? (I'd love to see photos from city hall and/or the big wedding if you feel like sending any.)



Dear ESB, 

Thanks for responding. It was nice to hear someone else's input on the matter, many readers' input in fact. I am woman who is familiar with people judging my ideas. For my wedding day I have opted not to have paper wedding invites, call my women "bridesmaids" or have my wedding in a church. We are getting married on my (bought it myself, no man, no co-signer) 140 acre property next to the pond where my fiance proposed. My pet pig Tula will be walking down the aisle along with our three dogs. Our reception is in a 200 year old barn that was converted into a playhouse (which I rented for free, we just need to dust). This is not your mother's wedding.

The decision to get legally married ahead of time was three-fold. One, we are stoked to be married. Two, we want to live together and have sex. Three, it makes a lot of financial sense because he is in the military.

I will send you photos very soon because our engagement shoot is actually going to be (psych!) the photos from our legal wedding ceremony. Aside from the readers of ESB and a few friends we aren't announcing our legal marriage in case we are met with more opposition.

I've never understood why everyone want things, especially weddings, to be done the way they have been done before. I am an avid (avid!!) reader of wedding blogs and I feel like brides are finally getting this, things don't have to be any particular way, only the way that makes sense to you. I think as long as you are respectful of your guests (don't make your gramma sit on a cactus plant) then you should have free reign for your day.

It was awesome that you posted my email and I was so happy to hear all the feedback, even the comments about us trying to escape hell by getting legally married. I love your website and I will be a faithful reader long after my wedding day.

I have attached a few photos of my pre-wedding life. Enjoy! 



  1. Jill: you're awesome.

    ESB: you too.

  2. By the way, that's Tula pig beside me, one of my four mini pot-bellies. -Jill

  3. I'm glad there was a follow up to this discussion.

    It raises many important questions which blur the line between what life partnership means, and obviously highlights the many options revolving around the issue. (which also acts as a great example of the same sex marriage debate)

    Personally, I see life partnership defined as three ways of 'entitlement'

    1. committed for life. this means your heart and soul love this person no matter what you've done to bind yourself together. this means you in it for good. I think being 'engaged' is just a formal way of announcing to your community that you're committed for life...but in no way means you are not if you are not engaged.

    2. legally married. this means you are recognized by our legal systems as a unit. you get access to things like tax breaks and joint insurance plans with discounts. this means if you divorce, you go back to the court, not back to the church. which is also why 'traditional' or 'real' weddings include this aspect. You can not simply have a bliss ceremony and be really married. You need to be legally married as well. (have you ever seen a divorce ceremony?)

    3. married by the church. traditionally in America, this is a ceremony symbolizing the Christian perspective of marriage, which is to leave and cleave to your life long partner of choice. The ceremony is designed in such that the woman is escorted by her family and 'given away' to the man (which my feminist education makes my blood boil.....) but today, the entire tradition has become rather ingrained, and it's simply how we perceive a wedding ceremony. it's what our communities and societies associate with marriage. it's why, arguably, there might be so much stress revolving wedding planning. it's an emotionally huge undertaking paired with the logistics of being legally married making one giant day with big changes both emotionally and culturally. it's no wonder it has created bridezillas in our country. It's a cultural milestone.

    So the tricky part, is where does sex come in. Obviously the legal distinctions happen in option two, but the sex part is completely up to the couple.

    I identify as a Jesus follower (I have problems with organized religion) and personally decided to sleep with my partner when I felt we were committed for life. Which happened to be before we were engaged. My non-denominational/evangelical family has huge issues with that. And also huge issues that we are living together, but I know the decisions I've made and they are practical to me. (I live in one of the most expensive cities in the US and there would be no way we could live in the same city separately. we both need a roommate and moved here together, so we didn't know anyone else...plus living together (read, not sex....like, doing the dishes together and arguing about little things) has been really important in our relationship)

    If option two....legal marriage....works for you, then do it sister. If you feel that is the right thing, and makes sense for the two of you, I have no doubt that both days will be EXTREMELY magical for different reasons.

    I totally respect your choice and am super happy that ESB treads on these waters.

    Let's hear it for people who have opinions! And don't just eat up every thing the blogosphere tells us is right! (oh no! photo booths are going out!)

  4. get married whenever you want however you want. (and then show us photos, obv) but getting married early so you can have sex sooner* kinda defeats the purpose of WAITING. just sayin. (*which is totally how it sounds when you start off by saying you're not having sex)

    meanwhile, why don't i have a pig??

  5. You know, I understand waiting to have sex till marriage for religious reasons, but the bible also says getting married JUST TO HAVE SEX, is a sin. It's like faux Jesus street cred: I'm waiting, but we're getting married early because I can't wait anymore.

  6. Oh. My. God. They waited, they waited, okay!? They're waiting right now. Jeez! And what's with the faux Jesus street cred thing. What's wrong with saying, we're so excited to get married and all that it means that we're going to do it ASAP! Allow me to quote the best romantic comedy of all time, When Harry Met Sally: "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." Congrats, Jill!

  7. just to get this out of the way: i fully acknowledge that not everyone believes the same things i do. i am not judging you, just giving my opinion from where i stand.

    as a christian who is also getting married soon (less than 3 months!!!) and waiting for sexytime until then, i debated a bit about commenting on one or the other of these posts. i'm actually in a pretty similar situation... getting married this summer, need to be legal earlier for financial reasons... we're currently debating whether to go ahead and make it legal in the next few weeks, or wait and deal with the financial repercussions.

    regardless, we there will be no sexytime until after the real wedding. per my (our) beliefs, premarital sex is a sin. not telling people we got married early makes it seem like we're still not married, so living together and having sex would look like living in sin just as much as if you didn't get married, moved in together, and started doing it. to the outside world who doesn't know you're legal, it appears the exact same and has the same effect on your witness as a Christian.

    fiance and i have decided that should we go through with legalizing things early (for the financial benefits), nothing about our relationship would change. at all. the legal ceremony would be as plain-jane and meaningless as possible, to preserve the meaningfulness of the ceremony we have this summer. that is when our real commitment, before God and our friends, is happening.

    my advice to you, since this is a larger matter than just sexytime, is to get married early and deal with the logistics of military stuff and finances now, but wait for the sex and living together until later. or get married now, let it be publicly known, and tell people that the wedding is still happening in august so all the people you love can celebrate with you.

    people will either understand or they won't and if they don't... nobody likes them anyway.

  8. I tried to post something, but then it didn't appear. So, maybe I'll be repeating myself if it pops up later. Anyway, I'll just skip to the gist of it, which is to quote the best romatic comedy of all time ... or at least in color, When Harry Met Sally: "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." Romance, people! If they're waiting for sex until they get married, they're waiting until they get married, whether that's tomorrow or ten years from now. At any rate, congrats Jill! It sounds like an awesome 2-part wedding! And look at you and your adorable pig! Love it!
    p.s. As a non-Christian who sometimes accidentally puts her foot in her mouth re: religion, I love your heading ESB!

  9. (Yep, there's the first one. ESB, feel free to delete one of my redundant comments!)

  10. Jill-
    I love your dress.
    I love your pig.
    I love that you're doing things your own way.

  11. I am loving this dialogue! I never thought this little email would grow so many heads. I have also been inspired to start up my own weddingish blog. Stayed tuned for content at:


  12. Jill - you are gorgeous and Tula is super cute. Do whatever feels right to you and your man, and don't worry about your "Jesus street cred" (wtf?).
    In my opinion people who will judge you for this are feeling insecure in their own life decisions and it doesn't actually have anything to do with you. I totally wish my husband and I had done the court house thing, my health insurance was so exorbitant that if I would have been able to be on his insurance for the 18 months we were engaged we could have put away enough money for a down payment on our condo. Or one kick ass honeymoon.

  13. @FK - excellent use of a When Harry Met Sally quote

  14. Colleen -
    Um. I'm pretty sure the bible does not cover that. Would you like to back that up with chapter and verse, in context?

    Yay! I like this follow up post (and title).

    I've been facinated by your comments on all this!

  15. @FK srsly, as far as I'm concerned, there can never be too much When Harry Met Sally.

  16. @meg- have i ever mentioned my degree in biblical theology..?

  17. .....so then your wedding isn't going to be kosher?


  18. Jill - you are awesome, and all the more power to you! You are going to have a great pair of weddings.

    - a different, not as cool, Meg

  19. Really glad there was a follow up to this conversation...
    Jill -- I'm really happy for & and your hubby, you sound like rad people. I love that your wedding is going to be unconventional (pig, dogs, barn)... yet conventional in many regards (waiting to have sexytime, etc...). You're doing what works for *you*, and that will make your wedding perfect :)
    Can't wait to see the photos -- good luck!! xo

  20. Jill!! This is late and I hope you get it still. My partner is in the Air Force as well and we got hitched in December, just went to city hall! But we are having a wedding reception in September and it should be a rad time. You seem like a totally awesome girl. Shoot me an email at lizashleyjaxn@gmail.com and let me know where you guys are stationed. We get moved around a ton and I would love to get in touch with you. It's nice to have someone to relate to when most AF wives are...well c'mon you know what I mean. Please respond and we can commiserate together!!

  21. Oops sorry, I don't know why I assumed he was in the Air Force, he could be in any of the branches...doesn't matter either way! let me know where you guys are stationed! Thanks!

  22. Jill, I swapped out the picture. Needed. More. Pigs. Is that Tula on the left?

  23. Tula is on the right, snuggled right up to my neck. Her daughter, Darla is on the left and her son Rocco is behind us. Barely visible is Mr. Pig, he actually belongs to Dan Akroyd's daughter but he chills at my place. I love pigs. And...I'm married!

  24. Oh and Elizabeth, he is in the Canadian Forces. We are in Kingston, Ontario.