Ashley and Jen met at church. They had a romantic proposal in an Airbnb in Thailand and just shared their California wedding day with a handful of guests in person, and hundreds more on Zoom.
Tell us about meeting at church.
A: We have been together for over two years. We met at a church where Jen was the Community Outreach Coordinator. I had a crush on Jen for months before I got up the courage to actually talk to her. I am a youth pastor, and in seminary, so I LOVE Christianity.
One Sunday morning, Jen was managing the welcome table at the church. I walked up to her and asked her, “when did you get saved?” I genuinely wanted to learn more about her and her faith. Unfortunately, it was the wrong move and probably the worst first line to give anyone.
Jen rightfully ignored me and looked the other way.
It wasn’t until a mutual friend’s birthday party at a karaoke bar in North Hollywood that Jen saw me without my bible. I asked her if she wanted a ride home, and she said yes and made fun of my “lesbian floor mats” the whole ride home.
The rest is history.
Tell us about the proposal.
We were in Thailand for Jen’s best friend’s wedding. After the wedding, we traveled to Chiang Mai and enjoyed roaming street markets, visiting temples, and eating Thai food. I wanted to get a big ring, and the jewelry in the street markets was super affordable, but every time I tried to purchase a ring, Jen would encourage me not to. “It’s too cheap,” she would say, and “it’ll put a green ring around your finger.” Finally, I gave in and gave up on finding a cool ring in the street markets.
As we were making our way back to our Airbnb, Jen wanted to stop and get some tall beers. It was already pretty late, so I wasn’t sure why we bought them. When we got to the Airbnb, I went to the restroom and when I came out, she sat me down. Having had no idea that her iPhone was propped up and recording the scene. I wasn’t sure what was going on, and before I knew it, she was on her knee asking me to be her wife.
I said yes, like, 100 times.
Talk to us about the wedding day
The big day was amazing! Jen had her bridesmaids in our home drinking mimosas and getting their hair done pretty early that morning. Ashley’s bridesmaids got ready at the church. Together, they watched a YouTube video on how to tie a Windsor tie knot. The weather was beautiful – sunny and cool. We broadcasted the ceremony via Facebook live to share it with over 250 people.
Our favorite moment was when Jen peeked her head out, just as she was about to walk down the aisle, to look at Ashley. Of course, Ashley was watching for her too and both jumped with excitement! We also loved Jen’s uncle Dana’s speech. He was wonderful and supportive.
How did you incorporate your faith into your queer wedding day?
Ashley is particularly religious, and so we had a mentor/pastor friend officiate our wedding – Rev. Jefferson Beeker. He preached a short homily and performed a sand ceremony, symbolizing the unity of our separate but now joined lives.
Photography & Cinematography by Wildflower Photo Co.
Accessories Hankies Hand Kisses
Cake The Shredded Carrot
Dress Boutique David’s Bridal
Dress Designer Galina
Engagement Rings HOLDEN, Bloomingdales
Hair Cruz, Fernando
Makeup Laura Connelly
Officiant Jefferson Beeker
Robes Gentle Sateen
Suit Designer Indochino
Venue Calvary Presbyterian Church
Wedding Party Outfits Azazie, Friar Tux