Aside from the vows, the food and the partying, what wedding guests look forward to most at a wedding is the big reveal of the outfits. Like most lesbian couples, Nikki and Amena have had to, by default, adapt their wedding day to reflect their own new traditions. Before the two unveil their wedding day gear for their guests this weekend, they shared with us their thoughts on picking an outfit from the perspective of a black lesbian couple.
Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): Some women think and dream about their wedding day ever since they were little girls. Growing up lesbian, did either of you ever think about your wedding day?
Nikki: Actually no, I was still stuck in la-la land and just being a kid.
Amena: I thought about it but it was not an every day thing. I am not the type of person that had every thing planned out before I was in a serious relationship. Getting an education, living and supporting myself on my own were the things I dreamed about as a kid.
BL3: Amena selected her wedding dress, long before you did, Nikki. As a woman with a more masculine gender presentation, what was shopping for your wedding outfit like?
Nikki: I had the year to plan, browse and really shop for what I want. It was also fun having family to help in the process. My cousin and my sister helped me pick out my outfit.
BL3: Do you have in mind what you want to wear on your wedding day?
Nikki: I do, but dare not share 😉
BL3: Amena, what kind of dresses did you look for?
Amena: When I went to look for dresses I was pretty open. I tried on several different types of dresses. I kind of thought I would end up in an off white or champagne color. I was surprised that these colors did not look that good on me. I also didn’t want a princess dress. The dress I chose is not a princess dress, but it is more poufy than I thought I would like.
BL3: Did either of you have any major concerns about your outfits?
Nikki: Always the look of the outfit, and how it will complement my shape and size. I won’t say my biggest concern is this, but I do think of how my *”broom’s” party will complement me. I am allowing the people in my broom’s party to purchase or rent their own outfits. I want to make sure that everyone’s colors are the same shade.
Amena: I wanted a dress that I felt comfortable in. I didn’t want it to be so flashy that [my family and friends] noticed the dress more than me.
BL3: Nikki, what is the most important feeling that you want to have when you look in the mirror on your wedding day?
Nikki: The feeling of looking sharp and a perfect reflection of the beautiful woman I’ll be marrying.
BL3: Any wedding outfit shopping tips for women who prefer a more masculine style of dress?
Nikki: For my fellow women who wear suits, go to a place that is gay friendly; it makes the experience more comfortable. I did go into one men’s store and the salesperson completely ignored me. I definitely felt why. If people don’t interact with you or you feel like they are treating you funny, leave.
BL3: Amena, since this is a lesbian wedding, does the dress mean anything different in your opinion? Was dress shopping still exciting for you? Has Nikki seen the dress yet?
Amena: I don’t think it was much different for me than a straight bride. I think the fact that Nikki and I can get married legally plays into that. If this was not going to be a legal ceremony I may not have been as excited.
I was actually more excited and nervous than I thought. Wearing that dress makes it more real.
Nikki has not seen my dress and I have not seen her suit. We want that element of surprise. We will have a “first look” before the ceremony to see each other in our outfits. Not many people have seen my dress. I can’t wait to show it off on our big day!
*Broom is a mashup of bride and groom. Since Nikki is more of a tomboi, she chose to call herself a “broom.”