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BA & Christine

BA & Christine

Lizzie Tilles Photography lesbian gay lgbtqia+ older couple COVID19 marriage elopement Colorado National Park USA Dancing With Her

Words by Christine

We met online, a sign of the times, right. BA was an Athletic Director, and my dad was an Athletic Director as well. One thing that drew us to one another was that I grew up in rural Illinois, went to Grad School in Miami, and BA grew up in Miami and went to college in rural Illinois. 

Our first date was at a taco bar in Denver, and we spent the night trying to pick out which couples were on their first Tinder date. We wonder how many of them are still together. 

We dated for a while – I was living in an Airbnb while enduring construction delays, and I got an alert that there was activity on my kennel cam while at work. It was a MOUSE! I set traps and packed my bags to stay with BA (temporarily), and we wound up staying together permanently. 

I think I knew we would wind up getting married very early. We are both emotional and sensitive people, and it always seems that when one of us is freaking out, the other is calm and rational. Also, seeing BA form her bond with my beagle, Maude. For a long time, it had been just Maude and me, so seeing their relationship thrive was awesome. 

We knew we were going to get married, and we were planning to go to Hawaii to celebrate my 50th birthday, and I assumed we would get engaged there. BA surprised me when we were spending a weekend in the mountains. We ordered room service for breakfast, and it was just the three of us – Me, BA, and Maude. 

We wanted a fall mountain wedding and chose our colors to accentuate that. Wanting something non-traditional, which is where the grey came from on my dress, and we knew we wanted burgundy and orange accents. My dad passed away in 2015, and I always knew I wanted to incorporate Gerber daisies as they were my dad’s favorite flower. 

We wanted our wedding to be about us and didn’t want to “have to” invite people, and we didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings. We are both private people, so it made sense to us that it was small. Also, being older, we focused on our marriage and our relationship rather than the event. We wanted something more than just us but nothing extensive or showy, so we decided on one witness each and our officiant. 

We each designed our outfits for the day, and I designed my dress on Etsy, and BA designed her suit at a local suit shop. My dress and the maid of honor dress were actually the same, but in a different color and fabric. Since the dresses were convertible, we were each able to wear the bodice in a most flattering and comfortable way. 

It was funny because we started out “just wanting to get married in the mountains,” but we wound up really focusing on the details! It all turned out better than we even thought. We had no idea how well everything would go together (that was all BA, by the way). 

Although we wanted to have an elopement, we needed to honor our families that could not be there. I had two charm holders on my bouquet – one for our family that had passed away – my dad (photo) and my aunt (hummingbird), and one for our family that couldn’t be there (charms of Florida and Illinois, and of course a photo charm of our dogs). We wrote our ceremony using the opinion of the Supreme Court from Obergefel v Hodges. To us, there were no words that could sum up what we feel about our marriage better than that.

We spent several days in Telluride with our witnesses and were able just to enjoy the weekend! We had planned a reception but decided to cancel it, and ultimately we are happy with that decision. This year has really helped us to focus on our relationship and our family relationships.

Photography by Lizzie Tilles Photography

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