Wendi & Crystal shared their beautiful love story in the hopes that another couple out there can relate and not be in shame and fear about their love any longer, “What a wedding! In order to truly grasp the depth of our wedding story, it’s helpful to have a little bit of background:
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 full of laughter, playfulness and a deep love for Jesus, as well as each other. And kitties. Always kitties. 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 – however we knew deep down that 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, we quickly became friends and 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, yet we 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. For 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 unprivileged 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. Of telling our story. Of telling the truth, as hard and terrifying and painful as it may be. Of struggling with what it means to be true to our loves – a love for the Father and a love for each other. Of coming to grips with the sting of rejection from some while feeling the warmth of acceptance from others.
Which brought us to our wedding: a day of pledging with happy hearts our sacred love for one another. We feel our entire relationship – the last 11 years – had been building to our wedding celebration and we were over-the-moon happy the entire day.
In prepping for the wedding, we knew we had this in the bag, especially having helped countless friends plan their wedding and my love for all things crafty and Crystal’s graphic design skills. Our theme was 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 of. We had “I Choose You” by Sara Barielles 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, especially with combinations like Pink Champagne Burst w/ Raspberry, Chocolate Salted Caramel & Chai Spice Cheesecake). We also found a local family that has a taco cart and they made the most amazing homemade, authentic tacos on-site which were almost all gone by the time the evening ended!
A few of our favorite details from the day were:
-The loom our friend Susan created for us: we had guests bring special strips of fabric which they weaved into a loom along with notes, well wishes and trinkets
-The globe guestbook we asked people to sign
-The pennants everyone waved upon our first kiss
-The gold-and-glitter-dipped feathers that donned our entire reception location; all our guests had glitter on them by the time the night was over
It was an absolutely perfect day and we were on cloud nine (and still really are). We are part of the Why Marriage Matters Arizona campaign (as is our congregation) and are hoping for some big change soon in regards to marriage equality!
Dresses: Mod Cloth
Photography: Alyssa Campbell Photography
Cake/Cupcakes: Suzanne Lever
Caterer: So-Cal Taquizas
Loom: Luv Loom by Susan Chew
Venue: Foothills Christian Church
date of wedding: May 31st, 2014
location of wedding: Glendale, Arizona