Now Reading
Avy & Lara – An Self-Uniting Backyard Wedding

Avy & Lara – An Self-Uniting Backyard Wedding

Sarah Foley photography lesbian gay queer lgbtqia+ Reeding Pennsylvania small COVID-19 wedding marriage Dancing With Her (4)

Covid meant that Avy and Lara’s big Halloween wedding had to be canceled, instead, they hosted an intimate backyard wedding with a handful of guests.

How did your love story begin?

L: I messaged Avy on OkCupid, and after messaging back and forth for a few days, they didn’t answer my message back. I had a strict no-double-messaging rule, but I broke it and messaged them again. After that, we texted for about a month before planning our first date in June of 2017. We got sushi and barely ate any of it because we were talking non-stop. The waitress checked on us several times to see if something was wrong. Everything was right! It was a great first date.

A: Aw! What Lara said. She was the first and only person from a dating app that I met in real life. And the first and only person from a dating app that I married.

Aside from your wedding, what is your favorite memory together?

A & L: In February 2019, we went to Breckenridge, CO, for the wedding of Avy’s close friends from high school, Lindsey and Adam. There was a literal blizzard, and travel was chaotic, but once we were there, we loved the town so much. Their wedding was so much fun, and the day after, we explored the downtown area and got matching tattoos. There wasn’t necessarily one thing about the trip that made it our favorite memory. It was the combination of the winter scenery, the relief of actually making it there, being in a new place together for the first time, and celebrating two people we love. And the dispensaries. It was a magical adventure!

Tell us about the proposal.

A: We were out for lunch with Lara’s family and my mom. My mom was the only person who knew what was about to happen, and I was so nervous; I don’t even remember driving there. I had a speech, Lara cried (happily, I’m pretty sure) throughout the entire thing, and Alicia Keys was playing in the background. My mom cried too, obviously.

L: I did not pick up on how nervous Avy was on the drive over or that the proposal was happening until it began. My family still didn’t know what was going on and were trying to calm down or leave with my inconsolable nephew. When everyone finally got on the same page, Avy’s proposal was heartfelt and funny. My nephew, mother-in-law, and I cried through the whole thing. Happy tears for at least two of us!

Talk us through your wedding day.

A: We stayed at Lara’s parent’s house the night before, so the morning of the wedding, I got up and went to my mom’s house to get ready. I felt oddly relaxed all day. I was only worried about being late because Lara basically said she wouldn’t marry me if I got there later than 4:30 (I pulled up to her parents’ house at 4:30).

L: I would have married Avy if they were late, but I couldn’t let them know that because then they might have thought it was okay to be a little late. It turned out that I was the one running late. I was stressed out because I don’t like public speaking, and I was worried that I would cry through our ceremony. We had joked about it since the proposal, but it was a valid concern. I couldn’t even think about what I was going to say at the wedding without tearing up. I did tear up while reading my vows, but I made it through our ceremony without fully crying. I was just so incredibly happy. 

Neither Avy nor I are religious, so we opted for a self-uniting ceremony and married ourselves. It was silly and fun. I had such a great time that I forgot I was ever going to cry by the end. The rest of the night was pure joy. Everyone there was a close family member or friend, so it made the event feel extremely special that they were all there to celebrate us.

Advice for other couples planning a smaller wedding?

Avy & Lara: If you live in a state that allows it, marry yourselves! We officiated our own wedding, and it was so much fun. A small wedding is a way to go for a less stressful experience than a large affair, but that doesn’t mean it’s stress-free. 

Time goes a lot faster than you expect it to leading up to the wedding, so if you can get things done early, do it! There are many little details that a venue or caterer would usually take care of, and we couldn’t have put it together without our family and friends. It felt extraordinary that everyone helped us pull it off.

What does the future hold for you both?

L: Avy and I are open to all possibilities. We are really excited to travel again in the future, buy a house, adopt more pets, and start a family. I’m working to grow our business at the bakery. One day I hope to wrangle all of my thoughts into a book or graphic novel.

A: As for Lara and I together, I second what she said above, but maybe not in that order! As for me, I love teaching and want to stay somewhere under the education umbrella. And, like Lara, there are books in my head, and I hope the future holds me writing them down. If I come back and read this in a year, I better have started! I mostly think, though, that we’ll take it one day at a time, do what we can, and continue to be kind of disgustingly obsessed with each other.


Photography by Sarah Foley Photography

Dress ModCloth
Flowers DIY
Makeup Cashmeir

©2020 DANCING WITH HER®. All Rights Reserved.

Dancing With Her is created on the beautiful land of the Bundjalung Nation. We acknowledge that we have benefited from the colonialism which dispossessed the Bundjalung People of their land and culture, and pay our respects to Bundjalung elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge sovereignty was never ceded. The land we live and work on is Aboriginal Land.

Scroll To Top