June 26th, 2015 was a day that changed the lives of many people in the United States. It was one of those days, that ingrained into many people, the memory of exactly what they were doing when they heard the news. For a few of my friends in Texas, waiting on the state to make same-sex marriage legal was beginning to feel like a hopeless dream but that Friday changed it all. On June 26, 2015, The Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage in all States and tears of joy, excitement, and hope were shed all around. Once they heard the news, couples could finally begin making those long-awaited ceremony plans. From where to find wedding photographers who shared a vision for their wedding (like…ahem, Lauren Lindley), to which traditional wedding aspects they should include. One of my oldest family friends was one of those couples who began planning. So, in honor of the recently celebrated Pride Parade in Austin, TX, I asked her and her close friend to share their Texas LGBTQ wedding experience. I believe these stories will help all couples find some joy, hope, advice and encouragement from reading.
Liz and Traci
Wedding Date: Dec 10th, 2015
Venue: Private Estate Backyard
How long have you been married? 1 year and 9 months
Tell me how you met. We met in Jr. HS. Liz asked Tracy to the Valentine’s Dance. Tracy said yes!
Was there an official proposal? If so, who Proposed? Yes! Liz proposed in California on Sunset Beach, at sunset. (I’ve been chasing Tracy for years. It was only appropriate to finally propose). We were also pregnant and thought we should act fast just in case something was overturned.
Did you decide to get married pre-supreme court decision or post? We wanted to before but we were also expecting a baby. To protect my (Liz’s) rights, it seemed logical to rush it more than we originally had discussed.
Did that ruling affect your decision? Yes, to get married sooner rather than later. We were really worried it wouldn’t stick and hoping we could get grandfathered in.
Did you both want to have a wedding? If not, why not? Yes, but we dreamed of more of wedding ceremony with more family and friends present and not so much
of an elopement.
Were your families accepting of a wedding? If not, what were some of their concerns? Yes, our families were totally good with it. They were only sad they couldn’t all be there.
Did you decide on a big or small wedding? Why? We did small for sake of time. We plan on throwing a bigger one at our 5-year anniversary.
Did you bring the standard traditions into your wedding (Ex: Father/Daughter Dance, throwing of the bouquet, etc.)? No, but we did write our own vows, and Tracy’s daughter held the rings.
Were there any new traditions you started? I’m not sure. We wrote our vows (not sure if that’s traditional or not), we had everyone we knew involved in some way at least. Sister-in-law signed our marriage certificate with the county, best friend was the officiant, our other sister-in- law was our photographer, we used our friend’s backyard, and our other friends made some yummy foods for after.
Did you have any vendors or did you completely do it on your own? Why? Completely on our own. Mostly because it was small and not necessary to use vendors.
Did you come across any discrimination during your planning? No, even getting our marriage license in small town Lampasas, just so Tracy’s sister could sign it, was still very welcoming.
Did you feel like you were treated like a heterosexual engaged couple? We just felt like a couple getting married. That’s all we ever wanted.
Tell me about your wedding day. How did you feel after it was over? It was short and sweet. Even as I (Liz) was running a 103 temp, I still couldn’t be happier to look Tracy in the eyes to say I’d love to spend my life with her.
What tips would you give other same-sex couples preparing to plan their wedding in Texas? Don’t give in to hate.
Prior to this interview, I had never heard Liz and Traci’s complete story but I will say that any couple can walk away from reading this with a few beautiful takeaways.
(Just kidding, well maybe but definitely hire a photographer if you do)! But I think the takeaway from elopement is if you find love and you know, go for it. Life is unpredictable and if you wait for the perfect moment, you may never have it. See the opening and take it.
2. Even though Texas is a conservative state, most people are still good.
Texas gets a bad rap for being politically conservative and when it comes to politics and politicians that may be true, but the great thing about actual Texans is that they believe in decency and respect and most residents will still make sure you feel that.
3. Involve people who love and accept you in your wedding.
This day should be about you and your love, don’t allow people to come in and bring dark clouds to your special day. Don’t give in to another person’s hate. Surround yourself with love.