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Brenna & Lauren

Brenna & Lauren

Ashley Howland Photography lesbian same-sex lgbtqia American desert big bend national park elopement wedding Dancing With Her magazine

We’ve been together for three years.

I set eyes on Brenna for the first time eleven years ago, when I had just come out as my authentic self and was at my first ever LGBT+ club. I was with friends, basking in the newness of the atmosphere, when I spotted her across the room.

Instant attraction.

I can still tell you what she was wearing that night; a black and white solid baseball tee, black jeans, converse, the classic lesbian Tegan and Sara mullet of that time, AND a girlfriend. I wouldn’t speak to her that night, but I certainly mentioned to my friend several times how attractive I found her.

Flash forward to an entire year later, and I’ve just moved to a new city, and I’m getting my hair cut downtown. In walks Brenna, and sits right in front of me for an appointment. I immediately recognize her and start swooning again. I even mention to my hairdresser how attractive she was to me.

Two years then pass, and I’ve already ended two serious relationships and a series of dating in between. Circa 2010. I get a Facebook request from Brenna out of nowhere. I didn’t even know she knew I existed.

Which is a whole other story as to how she did. Nonetheless, we became Facebook friends and, of course, right as I was entering a relationship with someone else. Not long after, she followed suit, and we both spent the next five + years in serious relationships with other people. We reconnected as those relationships were coming to an end.

Our relationships were both very painful and difficult to get out of, and we found comfort in one another. We endured the most painful, evolutionary, and transitory year during that time, but we became inseparable. There are SO many additional details where our paths have aligned or synced in some shape or form. We’ve had this interconnectedness for years and years. Quantum entanglement, I like to call it. The Universe brought us together. Undoubtedly, our paths were always meant to collide when the time was right.

Our wedding day honestly couldn’t have been more perfect! We woke up in the mountains to the most beautiful landscape. Went into Terlingua and got the best cup of coffee and breakfast burritos at Espresso Y Poco Mas. Our absolute favorite place in Terlingua.

Back we went to our Airbnb and spent the rest of the day, lounging around and enjoying each other’s company. Tossing the nervous feelings back and forth.

We got ready together, both of us doing a facial mask in between us, each perfecting our vows, forcing the other one not to come near.

Our photographer drove nine hours and primitive camped with her husband to capture our big day for us. Photographer Ashley Howland and her husband came to our Airbnb an hour or so before leaving for the park. They photographed us getting ready and recorded us individually, saying our vows to one another. We all drove into the park. Nervous we would be kicked out for not having a permit, and we got in for free! Not only that, but the overlook to Santa Elena Canyon was vacant, and we were able to say our vows with the most exceptional background and with no one else around.

Brenna’s vows were my favorite memory of the day. I was so captivated by them. Every single line, every word, every emotion behind them was so genuinely heartfelt and gushing with love. They were passionate, unreserved, and organic.

I cried like I didn’t expect to and laughed – hard.

She conjured up the most carefully constructed and perfect things to say and left me in awe of her sincerity and affection for me. In them, she quoted our favorite movie, “I could die right now. I’m just happy. I’ve never felt that before. I’m just exactly where I want to be.”

I’ve never felt that more than right then, on that day, in that exact moment.

We chose to elope, just the two of us. We are so glad that we kept it intimate and isolated. Not wanting to have to worry about anyone else but ourselves and what we wanted our experience to be. And without have any set time frame, other than being in the park as the sun was setting for golden hour.

We focused on one another and had a lot of alone time before the ceremony, which only magnified the emotions for both of us.

The reception was the week after we returned home. Keeping it very small with only our family and our closest friends. Maybe twenty people tops. We had good food, cake, and we celebrated with the people who matter most. It was perfect, and I would do it that way one hundred times over.


Photography by Ashley Howland Photography

Blazer Dillard’s
Celebrant Ashley Howland
Ceremony Venue Big Bend National Park, Santa Elena Canyon Overlook
Florist The Flower Market on 7th Street
Gown Designer David’s Bridal
Rings Olive Avenue Jewelry, Alex Gray Cosm Shop
Stationery Minted
Tie Kissvian

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