October 25th, 2014
Suzie, a school-based speech-language pathologist and Lauren, a fundraising manager for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America just purchased their first home in Silver Spring, MD, right outside DC.
Lauren first saw Suzie on a DC metro train and thought she was “absolutely beautiful, with the most stunning eyes,” but figured she would never see her again. Despite walking in different directions after getting off the train, however, it turned out they were both headed to the same bar. They chatted briefly that night, and in another act of fate, ended up on the same train home at the end of the night, even though they had left the bar at different times. They chatted on the ride back, but did not expect to see each other again.
One week later, Lauren decided to take off from work and go for a mid-day run. While she was jogging through Takoma Park she was shocked to see Suzie walking towards her. She was so shocked, in fact, that she ran past her twice while working up the courage to say hello. She finally stopped and Suzie invited her to hang out with friends that weekend. From there a friendship blossomed, and as it grew, they continually bumped into each other, unplanned. Once Lauren and Suzie admitted that this might be fate, and that their feelings of friendship had turned romantic, the rest was history!
The Proposal: Lauren is a fan of grand gestures so she created an elaborate proposal that involved Suzie’s friends from near and far, and ended with a sunset proposal with a wooden train that said, “Will you marry me?” as a nod to their first meeting.
When it came time to plan their wedding, the brides wanted something within their budget that was completely personal, so they threw tradition aside and planned a wedding unique to them. “We rejected the idea that there are things people *should* do at a wedding.” Some details that made their wedding all their own:
- October 25th was the day that, 9 years before, Lauren’s father passed away from early onset Alzheimer’s. “We wanted to take that date and turn it into something positive.” In a lucky coincidence (or maybe due to Lauren’s dad’s intervention), the DC Alzheimer’s walk was also on October 25th, so Lauren and her friends participated that morning to honor her father on their wedding day.
- Suzie made her own purple and turquoise birdcage veil and bought her dress secondhand then had her tailor make it one-of-a-kind.
- Throughout the ceremony, their rings were passed around so that everyone in attendance could infuse them with well wishes for the marriage.
- There was a hand fasting ceremony during which their closest friends and family tied the cords and the wedding party tightened the knots.
- Rather than place rings on each others’ fingers, Lauren & Suzie placed them on their own fingers to symbolize their autonomous decisions to marry one another.
- They incorporated a portion of Suzie’s parents’ ceremony into theirs, and included a pledge to their future children.
- They took on Suzie’s middle name as their last name. It means “There is joy” in the native language of Suzie’s father (Ewe from Togo in West Africa).
Another way they broke from tradition, “Our guests were seated in an infinity symbol and we each walked through one-half on an aisle that wound around and through our guests.”
Wedding Song: All of Me – John Legend & Lindsey Stirling
Suzie’s Favorite Moment: During our reception I stopped dancing for a moment, looked around, and saw that everyone we loved most was there in support of our marriage and having the time of their lives.
Lauren’s Favorite Moment: We played musical chairs instead of doing a garter and bouquet toss. One of our officiants, who’s a solid 6’2″, basically sat on another friend (who was about as tall as the chair) because he was trying so badly to win. He went from doing a beautiful job officiating our wedding to nearly committing manslaughter to win musical chairs. I almost died on my wedding day … from laughter.”
Instead of cake, the brides served pie, baked by the most important women in their lives.
Suzie: Lauren has a chronic illness that makes life stressful and, often, unpredictable. We bought wedding insurance and planned for the possibility that she might get sick on our wedding day. She was hospitalized for a week and missed her own bachelorette party, and we feared the same thing might happen on our wedding day. That day, however, she was in perfect health. We could not have been more grateful.
To see Suzie & Lauren’s touching ceremony and the fabulous celebration that followed:
Asked if there’s anything they would change, the brides were emphatic: “Not a goddamn thing.”
Suzie surprised Lauren with a classic car to chauffeur her in style from the hotel to the venue.
An entrance this sexy called for a kiss.
Both rings have purple and turquoise stones and have inlaid etching.
Their photographer climbed out on a branch hanging over the stream in order to get this shot – now that’s dedication!
Hand-in-hand ready for their wedding ceremony to begin.
Suzie’s maid of honor warming the rings.
The hand fasting.
And a kiss makes it official.
First walk as wife & wife. (Photo by Glenn Clevenger)
The bridal parties.
Metro-themed escort cards and centerpieces, all made by the brides.
The sweetheart table includes Lauren’s “Will you marry me?” train.
For their first dance the brides combined salsa and rumba to “Trumpets” by Jason Derulo.
Playfully cutting the pies.
And they danced the night away.