From Wendi: In order to fully grasp the importance of our wedding day, it’s helpful to know a little bit of our story: We’ve been together for over 11 years! Our love has derived from a deep friendship that created a foundation for the relationship we have now – one that is full of laughter, playfulness and a deep love for Jesus as well as each other. And kitties. Always kitties.
Here’s how it all happened: We both grew up in conservative Christian homes where we fell in love with Jesus at a young age. Neither of us ever considered ourselves to be gay – we just thought we hadn’t met the “right guy” yet. Upon further consideration and through various experiences, we individually knew deep down that since childhood there was something different about ourselves and our romantic attractions. We met in college in 2001. Both being freshman and living in the same hall, Crystal quickly became friends with my roommates and by default, I slowly became friends with her as well. Crystal was a bit “too-cool-for-school” while I leaned towards the more “nerdy” side (we think it’s because she was home-schooled for most of her life). A year and a half later, we slowly fell in love. Real head-over-heels, heart-bursting love. We still don’t know exactly how it happened, except that in a whirlwind of emotions, a casual friendship turned into a deeply heartfelt love. We questioned much of the emotions that were stirred up, knowing we were pursuing something very different than what we were taught as little girls in Sunday School. We guessed what our loved ones would think. We knew what our home churches believed and easily assumed their thoughts. Yet we also knew what we had together was incredibly raw and gentle and bursting with color and life and that truly made us want to strive to be better people for each other and the world around us.
Plagued with inner conflicts of meshing love with faith, we formed a relationship by a beautifully sacred commitment. We trudged forward with our lives together, in silence to our world (over nine years in silence). We watched the rest of our loved ones find their soul mates, get married and build families. Time caused us to realize we had been stuck in the same place all those years, not being able to move forward with plans to get married and start a family of our own all while feeling unable to invite said loved ones to be a part of our love celebrations. After realizing how unfair we had been to ourselves and those around us, we went through a year-long process of coming out to ourselves and preparing to come out to the rest of our world. Holding tight to the truth that honesty is the best policy for all, in the summer of 2013 we moved forward and began changing everything. Telling our story. Telling the truth, as hard and terrifying and painful as it may be. Struggling with what it means to be true to our loves – a love for the Father and a love for each other. Coming to grips with the sting of rejection from some while feeling the warmth of acceptance from others.
Which brought us to our wedding: establishing our commitment before God and the rest of the world and pledging with happy hearts our sacred love for one another. We feel our entire relationship – the last 11 years – had been building to this wedding celebration.
About the wedding: Crystal and I were a little bit of a dream team, if we do say so ourselves. We’ve helped countless friends with their weddings throughout the years and I love all things DIY and crafty. Also, Crystal works as a graphic designer so that was huge in our execution of things! For the theme, we knew we wanted it to be all things metallic, glitter and sequins – your perfect lesbian wedding!
We did all of the decor ourselves and Crystal designed our invitations and the programs/menus for the day. We had “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles playing as we walked down the aisle three times – once with dear friends and family to represent our past, once with church friends to represent our present and finally just the two of us to represent our future. It was a very sacred moment and symbolized the crazy journey that brought us to that day. We had over 100 guests join us at our church, where we were their first same-sex couple to get married at their location. A friend of a friend did our cake and cupcakes (which people are still raving about). We also found a local family that has a taco cart and they made the most amazing homemade, authentic tacos on-site! We also asked guests to bring a special piece of fabric with them which was weaved into a beautiful loom along with notes, well wishes and trinkets – this was one of our favorite pieces of the day. I also loved the hundreds of white feathers dipped in gold paint and glitter that we hung all over the reception area – definitely created the vibe we wanted and all of our guests had glitter on them at the end of the night!
It was the happiest day of our lives and we’re still glowing from it all (and slowly putting everything away). We’re a part of the Why Marriage Matters Arizona campaign, and our church is a corporate sponsor of it, which is why we’re huge on sharing our story with the world. We are pushing for marriage equality in Arizona and love telling our story in hopes that another couple who has been silent because of fear and shame, can relate.
Photos courtesy of Alyssa Campbell Photography.