Ana was my neighbor in Brooklyn. When I first met her, I thought she was sweet and mellow. She casually mentioned she was a musician when I asked her what she did and I was like, “uh huh, sure you are,” because I tend to be judgmental like that. But then one weekend when I was having a brunch, I asked her to bring up her guitar from her apartment and play a few songs. I was a goner at that point. My heart exploded and there was no turning back. We were friends for a few months before we crossed the line. She was on-again-off again with another woman, and I thought she was drama, so I stayed away.
But ten years ago today, I was hanging out with a friend (Britney!), and we went to see Ana play on the Lower East Side. Her girlfriend was there and I thought: trouble. After the show I biked home to my apartment in Brooklyn and, at the same time, Ana arrived at the front door with only her guitar — no lady friend. We hung out that night. I played her the Shins album (of course) and she played me Jeff Buckley. I got a massage and the rest is history. But I will say, it was incredibly romantic, and I felt like I was on acid for the first week. I knew that whatever was happening was amazing from the start, and I was completely overwhelmed by my feelings for her.
A few months into the relationship, when I was traveling in Europe with a friend and Ana and I met up in Istanbul, I remember looking at her in the backseat of some bus and thinking: I think this is it. Ana was the one to bring up the idea of marriage, and I was like, “are you crazy?” I thought the whole point was that we didn't have to get married and all that. But it was really important to her, and it meant a lot. So I read a few books on the history of marriage and if it even meant something if two women got married. Mind you, this was roughly eight years ago when same-sex marriage was really at it's earliest stages, and even I had to get used to the idea.
She had proposed one year in but it almost gave me a heart attack, so we waited another few years until I did all my research. I popped the question while I was visiting her for her birthday in Austin (while I was living in Denmark working on a film). We wanted to have our wedding in New Mexico, as an excuse to get all our friends to a beautiful place that means a lot to both of us.
The ceremony was in Pinos Altos at the Pinos Altos Opera, a magical old opera house from the 1860's that is now sort of fighting decay. Next door is the Buckhorn Saloon, featuring lots of paintings of ladies of the night on the wall. How could we not pick a place like that? The party was a few miles away at a gallery/hotel called Gallery 500. We made 120 jars of homemade (pear, ginger and peach rum) jam into the wee hours of the night before.
Our wedding was DIY. We had a caterer, but we basically did everything else so there was no time for pampering. My parents walked me down the aisle, and Ana's parents walked her. Our friend Steve James, an amazing blues musician from Austin, played steel guitar, and our friend Mya sang a Lucinda Williams song, "Like a Rose." I didn’t have a wedding party; I can't handle all that traditional wedding hoopla. And who really wants to be a bridesmaid?
I mean really. Overall, I don’t regret a thing. The wedding was absolutely magical and amazing. Every bit of it. The setting was beautiful, and having all of our friends come out from New York City and Portland and finally experience the beauty of New Mexico, was unforgettable.