In this week’s Sleeping With Money I let you in on some of the foibles of my past. Oh dear, how we queers love serial monogamy! And so many of us also want marriage equality so badly that when we fall for someone, we start thinking big. Three years ago, I was quite madly in love with and then was to be wed to a genius drummer girl. We were together only three months when we announced ourgaywedding.jpg engagement. Our break-up could be contributed to youth, stupidity, and many of the things in my previous Sleeping With Money post; but also to the reason I warned against in my last post: her depression and my I having an emotional affair with someone else. She couldn’t keep a job. I hated mine. But we had a wedding to plan! And then, a wedding to cancel.

The following is exactly how I cancelled my wedding, step by step and tried to get some our money back.

The Venues: This is why you probably would have paid a deposit.

Being one of the most expensive parts, you must not just eat it. If you did not pay a deposit, you will probably be off the hook, weddings get cancelled all of the time. Fortunately we were to use our own church and a public park. If you can’t give enough notice or you have paid in full already, decide if you can actually “sell” the date and space on Craigslist or call wedding planners to see if you can pawn off the date.

The Invitations: Once the invites have been printed, there is obviously nothing you can do. Ours were finished being printed and were sent to me the day after we broke up for good. I saved one as some sort of sick momento. I re-used the envelopes for little notes and if I were even more crafty, I would have cut off the tops that said “you’re invited” and written some other event on the blank sides.

The Clothing: Sell the dress/suit on consignment. Okay, well I still haven’t done this yet. I really like the dress and if it didn’t have such memories, it would be great to wear to someone else’s fancier wedding. I suggest getting it off of your hands as soon as possible. I was unwilling and so It went from my closet to my guest bed closet to my friend’s closet and flew down with me to L.A and now lives with my mother.

The Rings: If they are non-engagement real wedding rings and they weren’t worn, you can usually return them to the store for a full refund. L. and I wouldn’t afford two sets so we happily wore our wedding rings from the time of engagement. My best friend and her ex-wife have kept their rings after divorce, but my ex-fiance couldn’t wait to get rid of hers so I let her take both of them to a jewelry pawn and we split the proceeds down the middle even though one of the rings was much more expensive. It just seemed fair. This was the only part of canceling our union that L. was willing or emotionally able to participate in. Fortunately, it was the part that would have been hardest on me.

The Officiant: All I had to do was say “Sorry, Pastor Joan, I’m so embrassed.” but often times if you don’t have a faith community and you have hired someone, you may have been charged a deposit on this one too.

The Cake: For the record, I don’t even like cake and I was not happy that we were having a $200 cake at our wedding. (Okay, I admit, I wanted $400 tarts instead.) But somehow, because the cake was such a big issue and we had worked through it (settling that I would eat berries and everyone would have lemon cake so that I would eat one bite of it for a photo), it was the most sentimental item to deal with. Of course the cake is not made until the day before, so I was given credit for another cake at another time. (You can tell them you are postponing the wedding, if it feels less embarrassing). I later changed and used that cake order for a friend’s birthday. We didn’t have catering but I assume the situation is similar to cake.

I hope none of you ever have to recall this information, because canceling the wedding, especially all by myself,was tremendously painful. Still, the depression and grief that came taught me invaluable lessons about myself and my strength. The whole ordeal of actually canceling everything and telling friends and family brought me a lasting gift: humility. Looking years back, holding that humility, and still deathly afraid to consider a wedding again, I feel like I should commemorate our date (September 3rd) this year by eating some lemon cake. It would be funny to eat lemon cake with L. but she still won’t talk to me.