NC Gay Marriage

October 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

NC GAY MARRIAGE: Oct 10, 2014

            Let’s face it, change is happening! And by that I mean, love is in the air. The battle for marriage equality has been long and as a child of the ‘80s born in rural Texas, I never thought I would see the day. When my partner and I got engaged two years ago, we had many inequalities and tough decisions ahead of us. Getting married, legally, in NC was not an option. Neither was Texas. In the midst of our excitement and discussions of our future, there was frustration- at our legal system, and for their ability to say our love was unconstitutional. Amendment One was handed down and it was a huge defeat for the LGBTQ community in NC.

            We decided to do a destination wedding at the Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach, OR (yes, home of the Goonies)! Cory’s parents, based out of Portland, generously offered their unconditional support and love for our marriage, and gay marriage was on the upcoming agenda in OR. To our surprise, it passed in OR a month before our big day! We were ecstatic! Just another sign from the universe that it was meant to be. (I’m an optimist, to say the least).

I had never dreamed of a wedding, let alone a legal one. But lingering in the back of our minds was reality: we’d be returning to a place that didn’t recognize our union.

It was Friday, Oct 10th and we were getting ready for date night when the group texts and Facebook updates started pouring in. “Gay marriage passed!” “Equality for NC.” There had been news about the potential for it passing the previous few days, but unfortunately we were skeptical.

It felt like it literally happened over night! Less than two months ago, we were on our honeymoon. Again, we were ecstatic!

    “This is the best date night ever,” we told each other!

 As a LGBTQ wedding photographer, I was elevated. History is being re-written, as it rightfully should be and to be a part of it is priceless.

 
Monday, October 13th was the first full day of NC Gay Marriage. Cory and I loaded up the camera gear and were at the County Deeds Office by 9am. We spent the entire day meeting beautiful families and participating in their love and excitement.

We were surrounded by loving ministers and officiants, beaming parents and friends. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville provided free ceremonies for most of the day- an entire community came together in love and with open arms.

Just when I thought the day couldn’t be more spectacular, I got a text from our friend Becky, “Hey we should be at the Deed’s Office by 1:30.” We knew they were planning on getting married, but didn’t know we’d be there to capture it! I followed them back to the Deed’s counter and shot away as they vowed to one another. It was incredible! Then at 4:30, we headed to the Unitarian Church for their ceremony. They were surrounded by their parents, siblings and a beautiful crowd of support.

When working with couples, I always ask them to tell me their love story. How did they meet? How long have they been together?

In Becky and Amie’s words,here is their beautiful story:

“Amie and I met about six and half years ago oddly enough, through my mom.  She worked with Amie's neighbor at the time in Catawba, NC.  We'd love to hear the details of that conversation, but the result was Amie and I exchanging contact information.  We spoke on the phone for many hours at night while Amie was on vacation with her mom and step-dad who lived in Asheville.  When they returned to town Amie and I finally met, and the connection was instant! Amie lived in Catawba for a few more months, so we would travel back and forth to see each other as often as possible.  Eventually, she moved to Asheville, and we've been inseparable ever since! We knew that we were meant for one another within the first couple of weeks, and have wanted to get married for years.  The question for us, was whether to travel to another state or wait until North Carolina finally came around.  We eventually decided that we wanted to wait until our home state recognized us as fully equal citizens.  We wanted to be one of the first couples to legally marry in North Carolina, so once the decision came down on October 10th, we scrambled to get our family here to celebrate with us.  We applied for our marriage license on Monday October, the 13th, and had a short ceremony at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Asheville a couple of hours later.  It was a beautiful, love filled day that we will always remember! We're so happy to be married, and are so thankful to all of the people that paved the way!”

For us to love is to be free. Congratulations, North Carolina!

 

          


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