How long have you been together, and how did you meet?
Caitlyn and Farris grew up less than ten miles from each other and shared the same circle of friends in high school. While they wouldn’t have considered each other close friends, they always seemed to cross paths. They both showed up at the local high school to support their mutual best friend, who was nominated for homecoming court. Caitlyn even invited Farris to her sweet sixteen birthday party, even though she doesn’t remember Farris being there! Fast forward to a snowy New Year’s Eve in Asheville, North Carolina, and they found themselves in the same place again. That night, something felt different. They both returned to their homes and normal lives the following day, but Caitlyn knew she needed to find a way to see Farris again. Farris invited Caitlyn to visit her in Chapel Hill a few weeks later. That was 5.5 years ago, and now here we are, married!
Tell us about the proposal.
Six months after they started dating, Caitlyn went to their cabin in Maine with her family. Caitlyn spent the entire trip brainstorming ways to tell Farris she loved her for the first time. Three years later, Caitlyn was planning another trip to Maine, but Farris would be joining her this time. If you’ve ever been to New England in the fall, you know how picture-perfect it is. Caitlyn knew this was where she wanted to ask Farris to marry her. So, Caitlyn proposed to Farris at the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse overlooking the water. It was just the two of them on a little beach covered in stones, and everything was perfect. They cried, laughed, and debriefed on the huge secret Caitlyn had been keeping for months! Afterward, they got to celebrate with Caitlyn’s family and then head off on their own for a weekend together in Portland.
What led you to the venue?
Coincidentally, the wedding venue was only about a mile from our apartment. We love the convenience of being in the city and wanted to pick a venue that was easy for our guests to find. The venue was absolutely stunning, with multiple indoor and outdoor spaces, exposed brick, old windows, and two full-service bars to serve our signature drinks. If we could, we’d get married there all over again!
Talk to us about your experience finding the perfect outfits.
Finding our wedding outfits was exciting and, of course, also a little nerve-wracking. We both wanted to keep our choices a surprise from each other, but we were a little concerned that we might accidentally choose the same dress (what are the odds?) – mainly because we had both booked appointments at the same boutique. To ensure that we wouldn’t show up to the wedding in matching gowns, we enlisted the help of a close friend, who graciously agreed to tag along to both of our appointments and play interference if one of us gravitated towards the other’s pick. Coincidentally, we still chose dresses from the same designer and collection – which was a sweet surprise!
Talk to us about the big day!
The day started with rainy weather and learning that a surprising number of our family members had woken up with pink eye. But by the time we’d finished eating doughnuts, drinking tequila sunrises, and getting ready with our wedding party, the sun was shining, and Farris’s mom had found eyedrops. The rest of the day went off without a hitch! The venue was already set up and beautiful when we arrived to do our first look. Farris’s friend, Clayton, performed the ceremony. The food was incredible (Caitlyn’s favorite was the chicken ginger dumplings), and there was a lot of dancing. Afterward, we took a few more pictures at the hotel – and ended the night with drinks and McDonald’s cheeseburgers on the rooftop with a couple of friends.
What are your favorite moments?
Our DJ accidentally played the wrong song for our first dance, which was a huge bummer because that was the only song we were really excited about. After the wedding, Mady and Hannah, her second photographer, came back to the hotel with us for some after-party photos. We shared our disappointment with them about missing out on our first dance song, and without hesitation, they pulled up the song and played it in the background while we danced and sang and took photos.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage means feeling loved, celebrated, and respected. It means having a built-in best friend to share in all of life’s joys and hardships. And for us as a same-sex couple, it means being recognized as a legitimate and legal unit. It isn’t lost on us that in the not-so-distant past, we wouldn’t have been able to legally marry each other and celebrate our union publicly with our friends and family. To us, marriage means being proud of the love that we share and wanting the whole world to know about it.
Advice for other couples planning a wedding?
Your wedding is a special, happy, much-deserved celebration – but it is only one day. Try not to put too much pressure on yourselves to make it “perfect”! You and your partner will have many more days together and many more things to celebrate.
Anything you are glad you did? Or wish you didn’t do?
We were so excited to share our wedding day with our family and community – and we also knew that for many of our guests, ours would be the first “gay wedding” they’d attended. It was important to us that we honor the fact that our marriage fits into a much longer history of queer love, so we incorporated that bit of history throughout our ceremony. We’re happy to have included other details throughout our day, too – like the beautiful set of stained-glass frames Caitlyn found hanging behind the ceremony arbor. Our wedding party was glad that they got to sit during the ceremony. And we are both very, very glad that we hired a videographer so we have a beautiful film of the entire day!
Dancing With Her Partner
Wedding Rings Emily Chelsea Jewelry
Photography by Mady Noel Photo
Catering The Catering Company Of Chapel Hill
DJ All Events Dj
Dress Boutique Gilded Bridal
Dress Designer Anais Anette
Florist Pine State Flowers
Hair Wedded Kiss
Makeup Wedded Kiss
Signage Rachel Writes
Venue The Cookery
Videographer Twenty-One Films
Wedding Planner Emily Katherine Events
Wedding Rings Holden, Emily Chelsea Jewelry