When Erica got in touch with us with photos from her and Alex’s three (three!) gorgeous weddings (technically, one civil partnership, one commitment ceremony, and one whole-milk wedding extravaganza), we couldn’t resist. Keep checking in over the next few days for the whole amazing series!
From Erica: Our friends like to tease us about getting married… because we’ve gotten married three times, to each other. This is what happened when we decided to move countries and get married against the backdrop of the marriage equality movement.
Alex and I started dating after our graduation from UC Santa Cruz and right before she was set to move back to England and I was moving on to LA. When we parted, we both knew that we had something pretty special though, and it really took less than a year long-distance before I was readying my bags to move to England to join her in January 2009. Alex was studying to become a physician associate (physician assistant in the US) and I was doing a postgraduate programme in children’s literature. Over our Easter break that year, I proposed on a Cornish clifftop in the bright sunshine with her parents and family around the corner, ready with champagne and strawberries. Thankfully Alex said yes!
When we decided to plan our wedding for 2010, the UK had civil partnerships available to same-sex couples (not recognized by the US) and marriage had been overturned in my home state of California. Honestly, we didn’t think marriage equality would happen in the next ten years (let alone five!) so we made the best of it and planned a civil partnership in Cornwall, England, for April and a commitment ceremony back in California for October.
Both weddings were completely different, and yet we wanted to make both of them reflective of us as a couple. We focused on the things that mattered to us (excellent local food served throughout the day, eco-conscious decorations with minimal waste, bubbly (!)) and decided that whatever was going to be a part of our days was going to be meaningful to us. Most of all, we wanted to have fun, joyous celebrations with all those whom we loved!
Our Cornish wedding started with the civil ceremony in the beautiful Victorian Fowey Hotel with our brothers as Best Men, followed by strawberries and champagne in the garden overlooking the River Fowey and the English Channel. None of us expected brilliant sunshine in April but we lapped it up and a few got sunburned! We then had a proper Cornish afternoon tea (with lashings of clotted cream) and storytelling by a local family friend—a tale of love always being in fashion when the gorse bush is in bloom… My brother led the guests in group games while Alex and I snuck off for some photos. After, the Town Krier arrived and the Cornish bagpipes came out (the storyteller doubled as our piper) and under a rainbow umbrella we processed through the village to the local sailing club for our evening meal & dancing! Everyone was coming out of the shops to cheer for us as they’ve all known Alex since she was little, and it was just magical! We disappeared again for photos (and even got invited on a sailboat for a bit!) while our guests snacked on mini Cornish pasties. Alex’s mum has assembled a crew to turn the regular ol’ sailing club into a magical tent and the table decorations were purple, green, and word-themed — postcards, scrabble tiles and single purple tulips in recyclable glass juice bottles. We came back to enjoy a cold buffet of quiches, meats, fruit, and a cake of cheeses (!) from a local lesbian-owned deli; a traditional English fruit cake, made by Alex’s aunt; hilarious speeches and musical performances; and lots and lots of dancing as Alex’s brother and a friend DJ’d the soul music all night. It was bliss!
(Alex is in the gorgeous suit; it cost more than both my dresses combined!)
Photos courtesy of Cornish Wedding Photography.