Category Archives: Post Wedding Life

Anniversary: Kimberly & Hayley

Kim and Hayley’s Banff elopement (complete with wedding dresses and snow boots!) was one of our favorite features from 2016, so we were thrilled to get an update from this binational couple!

From Hayley: Because we never had an official engagement I decided to surprise Kim with a ring on our first anniversary that we spent in Amsterdam. We had a really fun photographer Nadine, and it was a great day. We are still living in separate countries waiting on visas but things are moving a lot closer to an end date, hopefully next time we update we’ll be in the same country!

Photos courtesy of Nadine van der Wielen.


Event Credits

Date: February 10th, 2017Location: AmsterdamPhotography: Nadine van der Wielen
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Brides Revisited: Jessica & Cherry

Canadian couple Jessica and Cherry are A Bicycle Built for Two regulars—you may remember their engagement photos from back in 2013 and their gorgeous 2014 Vancouver wedding. So, you can imagine our excitement when they got in touch with us with an exciting update! Here’s Cherry:

In 2015, Jessica and I have decided to start a family. We conceived our son Cassius via IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination). Our son was born in June 2016. He brings so much joy in our lives. We love him so much.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us over the course of these last few years, Jessica & Cherry! We couldn’t be more excited for you and your beautiful family.

Photos courtesy of Kyla Dawn and others.


Brides Revisited is a series in which we check back in with the couples who’ve appeared on our site in the past. If you and your one true person are interested in being featured, we’d love to hear from you—whether you call yourselves brides, brooms, spouses, or something else entirely!

Event Credits

Date: 06/27/2016Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Brides Revisited: Mya & Holly— and Judah!

We love hearing from folks who have been on the blog in the past, and so, we were delighted to hear from Mya & Holly, just about a year after their ridiculously gorgeous San Francisco City Hall wedding appeared on the site!

From Mya: Hello again! Our wedding was featured on the site in January of 2015 and so much has happened since then that I wanted to send a little family update. We welcomed our son Judah in March of this year and it’s been the most thrilling experience that Holly and I have ever had. Our friends at Blueberry Photography were gracious enough to snap some photos of our little family and I adore showing them off! Here’s to hoping that everyone has a safe and joyful holiday season and that 2017 brings brighter days for our community. 

mya-holly-judah-3 mya-holly-judah-4 mya-holly-judah-2 mya-holly-judah-1

Brides Revisited is a series in which we check back in with the couples who’ve appeared on our site in the past. If you and your one true person are interested in being featured, we’d love to hear from you—whether you call yourselves brides, brooms, spouses, or something else entirely!

Event Credits

Date: 12/14/2016Location: Berkeley, CAPhotography: Blueberry Photography:
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Anniversary: Corrinne & Michelle

It’s a very special day when we get to feature a couple who we know in real life, and today, we could not be more thrilled to help Corrinne & Michelle celebrate their second wedding anniversary! These two women inspire us every day, and now, we hope they will inspire you too—with their strength, their compassion, and their love.

Since Corrinne doesn’t know about this post (surprise!), we’ll let Michelle tell you their story: On September 25th, 2010, I logged into my Facebook account and posted this status:

BEST DAY EVER. Seriously, words can’t express and nothing can compare. ☺

I was twenty-two years old, in my senior year of college at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and it was Homecoming week. The previous three years, I hadn’t paid all that much attention to the university’s hullabaloo over this event. But on this day, I spent the entire day in the company of a classmate whom I had recently befriended. She was bright and cheerful, and she had the most beautiful brown eyes I’d ever seen. Her name was Corrinne.

Facebook doesn’t tell me what we did all day, but I do remember small details. Gorgeous blue sky, hundreds of students and alumni milling around campus, the way Corrinne’s eyes glowed with excitement as she tugged me along. We explored the Homecoming festivities for a while before moving to a local street craft fair. This photo shows us moments after encountering a Hungry Howie’s pizza representative, who cheerfully gave us an entire pizza for free. We shared it, and we talked. For hours and hours, we talked.

I wasn’t in love then. It wasn’t even on my radar to think of a girl in that way. But I knew something was special about Corrinne.


Four years later, we got married in Asheville, NC. The journey from that first day (first date!) was not easy; at times it was hellish. We struggled with long distance while she was studying abroad in Japan. We struggled with no distance at all when we moved in together right after she came home. We struggled with trust and compromise, with support and self-care, with dating in secret and finding the courage to be together openly. We struggled with family who refused to accept our relationship, and we struggled with family who did. We struggled with faith. We struggled with making it one day at a time.

But when I looked into Corrinne’s eyes that October morning, I could only think of spending the rest of my life with this woman. This amazing woman, with her beautiful brown eyes and her easy laughter. Her willingness to listen to my fears and her ability to help me face and overcome each one. Her hugs and her kisses and her promises that every day together would be worth it, even if it was a struggle, simply because it was another day we got to love one another.

It’s been a little more than a year since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide and almost two years since the bans in our state were struck down, since we took this step together. We have spent our marriage making every day count. Yes, we still struggle, but we’re making it, one day at a time.

Happy second anniversary, Corrinne. I stand by what I said six years ago: Best day ever. Words can’t express, and nothing can compare.

Congratulations, Corrinne & Michelle, and happy anniversary!

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Also posted in Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Minimalist, North Carolina, Region, Style, Uncategorized, United States | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Popping the Question: What’s in a Name? Part II

Welcome to our new series here at A Bicycle Built for Two: Popping the Question! Based on the interests you expressed in our survey this summer, we’ll be tackling some questions unique to wedding planning as a queer couple.

Our first question had to do with last names:

After your wedding, did you (or do you plan to) keep your last name? Take your partner’s? If so, how do you pick which name to keep?

We asked, and you answered! After taking a week to collect your responses to the great last name question, we’re back with an update and some personal stories that may help those of you who are still deciding how to proceed. We couldn’t fit every answer here, but many thanks to all who got in touch. We love to hear from you!

The Name-Changers

alex-erica-081Erica & Alex in what ended up being the third of three wedding photo opportunities!

“My feminist child self decided long ago I wasn’t going to take anyone’s last name. I also really like my full name, my initials, and my dad is really proud of ‘being a Gillingham’. I’ve been hearing stories about great-great-Gillingham so-and-so for years! At the same time, I really love the idea of a family name.

When my wife and I had our civil partnership ceremony, we talked very loosely about her taking my name as in ‘it would be nice when we have kids’ kind of thing. When we converted our civil partnership to a marriage last summer, we’d been married 5 years at that point and with the passing of time, she felt even more strongly about taking my last name–and I started to feel weird about it! ‘What kind of feminist was I to have someone else take my name?!’ I asked myself. ‘The kind of feminist who lets her wife make up her own damn mind, that’s who,’ my head replied.

When Alex gave a speech at the party last summer, she announced that she’d be taking my name and we would be ‘Ms. and Ms. Gillingham’–and now I love it.” —Erica

The Name-Keepers

“No matter the gender of whoever I ended up with, I always planned on keeping my last name—just a personal preference.”—Elana

“I was in a heterosexual marriage prior to falling in love with Maya so I was clear to us that I needed to let that name go. I also felt strongly that I didn’t want to take another person’s name ever again. I wanted to reclaim myself and hang on. At 43, she was very attached to her name and didn’t want to give it up, so the decision was easy. I never liked my maiden name but had been using my middle name for years as a nickname—so Tingle for me and Stein for her and now just for fun, all our friends call us the TingleSteins, which we both love without having to legally adopt it!” –Amy

The Hyphenaters

“After endless back and forth, we decided to hyphenate our names. The order was simply based on which we decided sounded better, but hyphenation was a really hard call. This may sound ridiculous, but if I was straight, I wouldn’t have hesitated to have each of us keep our last names. As a lesbian, however, having our family share the same last name felt like an important step in being recognized as a family unit… particularly as we want to have children and both of us having been raised in smaller, more traditional communities.

A combination of our feminist sensibilities, the (very different) heritages that our last names carry, and simple inability to ‘just pick one’ resulted in the hyphenated last name. While this is what worked best for our family, I’ve got to acknowledge the challenges that come with hyphenating. We’ve gotten every combination and pronunciation out there on mail and when asked my last name, without thinking I begin with, ‘It’s hyphenated. The first part is…’ to ease confusion and misspelling.” —Dana

And then there are those of us taking things a step beyond hyphenation:

“Things aren’t official yet, but they will be in a month’s time. Neither of us have personal attachment to our last names, both of which are pretty common, and neither of our families cared either. We definitely wanted a joint identity, a ‘Teamname.’ I was ready for a hyphen, she thought they were unruly. So we anagrammed our names into something that seemed like a surname, yet isn’t as far as we could Google. That’s where we are at now, informing banks and being a team with our lovely semi-germanic franken-name.”—Stacy

That’s not all! In fact, there are almost as many considerations as we got responses—family traditions and relationships, future kid names, and combinations that just sound funny… Claire wrote to us about how she and her partner hyphenated their names in order to balance personal and professional goals: having a shared last name for the ease of their future kids while also staying recognizable in their fields of employment. Then, there’s the logistical stuff: Annie and Sandy, who also chose hyphenation, chimed in to note that in certain states, there are legal requirements that make some options easier than others—and Lynette, who shares a last name with her partner, pointed out that taking one wife’s existing last name means filling out only one set of name-change paperwork!

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And then, in case you missed it, there’s always Beth and Aimee’s creative solution: play a game of Yahtzee and take the winner’s last name—an approach that another couple played out with their families on the soccer field! However you approach the question of last names, we’d love to hear about it. Leave your comments on this post to keep the conversation going!

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Bride & Broom Revisited: Deborah & Melissa

If you’re a long-time visitor to the site, you’ll probably remember Deborah and Melissa’s wedding, which featured a kilt, a Wiccan handfasting, and lots of amazing Tarot-themed details. Just last week, the couple celebrated their third wedding anniversary, and Deborah wrote to us with an update!


Give us a life update! Have there been any major milestones since we heard from you last? (New houses, new babies, new brownie recipes to share…)

Our lives have changed so much for the better, it’s amazing. My son moved into his own place. I’d been chafing in my dull suburb for a long time, but I sure didn’t want to buy a new home for the three of us. After he moved, I left the door open for him for a year, and then started fixing up the house to put on the market. We found the perfect place, a dream apartment in the “Historic Downtown” neighborhood of Jersey City! (You’ve actually featured an engagement shoot in my neighborhood.) So, we went from a suburban townhouse near a mall and not much else, where we were usually the only same-sex couple within sight for weeks at a time, to a trendy, diverse urban neighborhood, and we couldn’t be happier.

We also sold both the old cars and got a brand new Subaru (oh, the cliché!)—only one car needed in the city. We honeymooned in St. Croix, and visited Brazil a year later. The following year we were too busy moving to travel, so now we’re figuring out what our next trip will be.


What is your favorite thing about being married?

I love both the emotional and practical things about sharing my life. Finances are so much easier, after fifteen years as a single mother! I love making decorating decisions (and then implementing them) together. I love a sounding board. I love snuggles. I love someone to pick up the slack in the house. All of the things that mean “partnership.”

What do you fight about?

Our communication styles are really different. Sometimes we fight about whether or not we’re having a fight, or why we’re having a fight, which is just about as insane as it sounds. I’m a talk-everything-out type, she’s a silently-think-it-over type. When we do it my way, she feels emotionally flooded, and when we do it her way, I feel bottled up and frustrated. We’re still finding a path through that.

What advice would you give to people who have just gotten married?

I don’t think I’ve ever heard better advice than Dan Savage’s “price of admission.”

What do you like best about your spouse?

She’s smarter than me. She’s so smart. I love bragging that I am married to a history professor, I think that is so cool. She has a long list of amazing qualities, but that’s my number one.

Bronx Zoo Family

Describe a typical day in 5 words or less.

Work Work Eat TV Work

What is one thing you and your partner do to relax?

We love going to the movies, or curling up with Netflix at home.

What is the best wedding gift you received?

Cards Against Humanity with three expansion packs!


What moment from your wedding still stands out the most in your mind?

So many! Melissa pretending to steal the wedding cake, our first dance to “This Must Be the Place,” my first dance with my son to “Ca Plane Por Moi”, my son diving across the room and catching the bouquet, Melissa singing to me (we had karaoke), watching the Perseid meteor shower as the reception wound down.

If you had to compare your marriage to a food or animal, what would you choose and why?

We’re like a housecat—a little overfed, a little lazy, but content and really, really cute.


Brides Revisited is a series in which we check back in with the couples who’ve appeared on our site in the past. If you and your one true person are interested in being featured, we’d love to hear from you—whether you call yourselves brides, brooms, spouses, or something else entirely!

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Brides Revisited: Leah & Lisa

We’re thrilled to celebrate another anniversary with one of A Bicycle Built For Two‘s lovely couples! Leah and Lisa have graced our blog with their beautiful presence twice before—their engagement was featured in 2011 and their wedding was featured in 2012. Now, after four years, we’re excited to welcome them back!

Happy anniversary, Leah and Lisa, and thank you for sharing your story with us!

Give us a life update! Have there been any major milestones since we heard from you last? 

The last time we were in touch was our wedding in 2012!  We still follow the blog, of course.  Our wedding in 2012 was awesome but our marriage still wasn’t recognized in California.  When it became legal the following year, we quickly planned our intimate legal ceremony.  Our wedding was on 6/8/2012 and our legal ceremony was on 8/6/2013.  We had a beautiful, simple ceremony at the Disneyland Resort Esplanade!  It’s that area between Disneyland and California Adventure.  We have great photos from that day and it was really freaking awesome.  We also began focusing more on our health.  We’ve lost weight, began running, and have even completed some 5k runs!  We have goals to run 10ks and even half marathons!  While Lisa is currently researching universities for her Master’s degree in disability policy and ADA law, Leah is currently working on her second Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.  Our oldest daughter, who was 17 at the time of our wedding, is almost 21.  She moved out on her own 2½ years ago and is currently studying culinary arts.  Our youngest daughter, who was almost 10 at that time, is now 13.  She is active in drama and theater and will be attending a performing arts high school next year.


What is your favorite thing about being married?

Putting down one thing is hard!  So we have a few. One favorite thing about being legally married is that we have the same rights as everyone else.  There is no longer that fear that if something was to happen, we’d be separated or left out.  Our marriage, and our friendship, just gets stronger every year.  We still learn new things about each other and we laugh together every day.

What do you fight about?

Oddly, we really don’t fight.  We do have discussions though!  We’ve worked hard to get to a point in our relationship where we can come to each other openly without judgment or fear.  It’s not always easy and sometimes, those discussions last a while.  But we both want the same thing in the end – resolution and a better understanding of the other’s perspective.  So, what do we discuss? We tend to discuss things like how to deal with our kids.  That’s mostly it.


What advice would you give to people who have just gotten married?

Listen to each other; truly listen without thinking of the response, just listen.  And trust each other – know that the vows you took mean something to both of you and work towards the value behind them.

What do you like best about your wife?

Leah: What I like best about my wife is how incredibly smart she is and her determination.  I also love her appreciation of music.

Lisa: What I like best about my wife is her big, open heart. And I absolutely love when she laughs.

Describe a typical day in 5 words or less.

We are always going.


What is one thing you and your partner do to relax?

We put our phones away and just be with each other.  We’ll sit on the couch with a fire going and a glass of wine or coffee and talk about anything and everything.  Another thing we do is get outside and spend some time with nature.

What is the best wedding gift you received?

We had set up a honeymoon fund for our guests to give us gifts.  In a sense, they gave us our honeymoon and that was wonderful. We got to spend a week up in Northern California, in Carmel, and it was lovely!


What moment from your wedding still stands out most in your mind?

We had made ribbon wands with bells for everyone.  As our celebrant was announcing that we were married, we turned to look back at our guests. At that moment, everyone had stood up and was waving those wands; it was a sea of colors and with the bells’ soft ring, it still brings tears.  It was incredible to have all of that love surround us.

[Editor’s note: Ashley is crying.]

If you had to compare your marriage to a food, what would you choose and why?

A sushi boat!  It’s strong, colorful, healthy, and damn delicious!


Brides Revisited is a series in which we check back in with the couples who’ve appeared on our site in the past. If you and your one true person are interested in being featured, we’d love to hear from you—whether you call yourselves brides, brooms, spouses, or something else entirely!

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