It took time for Dani to come out and explore her own sexuality, and while she did her love for Michaela only grew deeper. Their wedding day was focused on love and family.
What is your favorite memory together?
M: Something we do a lot together is take time to go on adventures, road trips, new places, etc. We love being in the car together (Dani is not a huge fan of flying, so we road trip A LOT). Singing at the top of our lungs, munching on our favorite snacks, and traveling to new spots.
We love being by the water, hiking, finding cute coffee shops, trying new breweries, and eating good food!
Some of our favorite places we’ve been together are Maine, The Grand Canyon, Colorado, Palm Springs and we can’t wait for many more adventures together.
We have hanging wall art with all the national parks and hope to cross all of them as we continue our adventures together.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
D: As we mentioned, we met in grad school and at that time, I wasn’t out yet – to my family, friends, or even myself. Michaela had been out for eight years at this point. Her confidence in herself and her identity is one of the things I found most attractive. It didn’t take long for me to confide in Michaela about my identity, past, and who I was and wanted to be. While getting to know each other, pulling all-nighters, and trying to stay on top of our grad school work, I still struggled with coming out to family and friends. Michaela was extremely patient during this time as I navigated my coming-out story and all that comes with owning your truth.
After a few months of dating and falling madly in love, I worked up the courage to come out to my family and friends and shared that my roommate was much more than that and would change my life forever. As we continued dating, getting new jobs, moving to new states, our love continued to grow, as did my confidence in my identity.
I continue to break down my own walls. Work on my mental health, and we both prioritize communication as a pivotal pillar in our relationship. There were times and still are times we have to talk about the stress and anxiety surrounding being a lesbian couple and how we do or don’t want it to impact us. I’ll be forever grateful for Michaela giving me time, space, and courage over the years to explore my own identity. I always thought that I never deserved a love like this because of who I loved. I now know that your person is someone that supports you, loves you, and is there for you to find and be your most authentic self.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
M: This is tough to narrow it down to one favorite thing about Dani. I’d have to say that one of the reasons I fell in love with Dani is her humor. She is like my own personal comedian! She makes me laugh every single day, even when I do not feel like laughing! I can be a little high-strung, and Dani always reminds me not to take life too seriously. But, she can make anyone feel at ease and lights up a room with her humor and contagious laughter.
D: Michaela’s heart. She honestly cares so much about everyone. It’s not fake either. Most times, it’s hard to believe someone can genuinely be that nice, especially since I come from New England. It was hard for me to grasp that someone could be that happy and nice ninety-nine to one-hundred percent of the time.
Tell us about your proposal.
M: Dani planned a surprise proposal complete with some of our closest family and friends. I had gone away for the week on a road trip, and the day I returned was our anniversary weekend. So Dani had mentioned wanting to plan a special date night when I returned. However, I was thinking, “oh no, I’m so tired, I just want to go home and go to bed,” but Dani had much bigger plans!
Dani picked me up from work and blindfolded me for the car ride, so I didn’t know where we were going. Finally, we ended up back at the house. Side note: we had just moved to a new place, and Dani didn’t have the garage code, so I had to open my eyes to help get us in the house. When we got back to the house, Dani had decorated the place in all white, with a decorated table, coffee to help wake me up, and the proposal note and book Dani created. Dani had written the sweetest note from the day she decided she wanted to marry me, months prior to the engagement, but she had saved the note and read it to me before she popped the question. At some point, I realized what was happening and thought to myself. This is THE moment!
Soon after I said YES, Dani had planned for many of our family members and friends to come out to surprise me and to celebrate with us! People from near and far had come, and that was just the best surprise of all. We are so lucky to have such loving and supportive people in our lives. We enjoyed an entire weekend of fun, laughter and love.
Tell us about your wedding day.
Something we both have in common is our love for our families. So for us, our wedding was going to be a day that not only celebrates us and our love but celebrates our family and friends who have loved and supported us throughout our journey. Because of Covid, our wedding was postponed a year, so we were very ready for the day when it arrived. We had made some changes to our original wedding plan. But we both agreed that the day was everything we could’ve ever wanted. We were so glad that it worked out exactly as it should.
We have family from all over the country- California, Connecticut, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Iowa. Knowing that people were traveling so far and we wanted to spend as much time with everyone as possible, we actually planned a whole wedding weekend.
Friday afternoon started with a rehearsal and the venue. Then that night, everyone was invited to join us at one of our favorite restaurants in town. We had great food, drinks, and fun – any family or friends could give speeches that night which was so meaningful!
When we woke up on our wedding day, we were already feeling so loved, spoiled and excited for our ceremony and reception! We started the morning by heading to the hotel for breakfast and mimosas with our family and friends. Because our ceremony was later in the day, all of us could spend time together. We laughed, shared stories, ordered lunch, and then started to get ready for the wedding. Once the two of us began to do our hair and make-up, we split up because we didn’t want to see each other until we walked down the aisle.
Along with our bridal parties, each of us took a shuttle to the ceremony. We spent only a few hours apart and most of that time was spent taking photos with our separate bridal parties and families. It was so fun to be surrounded by our closest people as we got prepared to walk down the aisle.
The ceremony was such a meaningful part of our wedding weekend. Dani’s bridal party walked down the aisle first, followed by Dani and her parents. Michaela’s bridal party was next, then Michaela walked down the aisle with her dad and brother. Having our families involved in a special way was very important to us. Seeing each other for the first time in our wedding attire is a moment that we’ll never forget!
Michaela’s mom was the officiant, so the ceremony felt personal. We had all the emotions during that 30-minute ceremony. We cried, we laughed, and there was clapping and cheering! Our wedding was celebrated during pride month and on the anniversary of Stonewall. We wanted to take a moment during the ceremony to remember that we could stand in front of our loved ones, because of those who have fought for our rights.
Michaela’s mom read, “Today we say thank you God for the enclaves of the brave people of the Stonewall Riots. The courage and outright bravery of the generations of the LGBTQ+ community who have gone before us. Who fought for our little Michaela girl and sassy little Dani without even knowing it. They fought for, some died for, proving that LOVE WINS for all the generations who have come after them. We salute them today and invite the very essence of their courageous spirits to join all of us here. To this celebration of love.”
We included music and readings into our ceremony that have been important to us as a couple and wrote our own vows so that we could speak directly to each other. Sharing our hearts with each other. And at that moment, to say out loud and proud our love for each other surrounded by our family and friends. As we had our first kiss and processional, all our guests waved their pride flags and cheered. It was everything we wanted!
With the changes and uncertainty, we had some very special people who were unable to attend in person. So we had them join via zoom and were able to say hi to them after the ceremony.
The reception immediately followed the ceremony, and because it was supposed to rain all day, we ended up having the ceremony indoors. Our wedding guests started cocktail hour enjoying the winery’s patio because the rain had held off. But it poured down just 30 minutes into the reception! However, it only rained for what felt like 5 minutes. And what followed may be the most memorable part of our ceremony- A DOUBLE RAINBOW!
After people stopped taking photos and videos with the rainbow, we had dinner where we served some of our favorite foods; sliders, pizza, appetizers, and great drinks! Then, after the cake cutting, we moved into dancing. We decided that we wanted both a father/daughter dance and Debbie/daughter dance (both our moms’ names are Deb). Then we had a large dance with our bridal party to kick off the dance. Then for the remaining three hours, we had the BEST DANCE PARTY EVER!
As we mentioned before, we had a whole weekend planned, so we didn’t stop on Saturday. We invited all our friends and family to brunch at one of our favorite breweries in town to continue the celebration with breakfast tacos, mimosas, bloody marys, and lots of laughs! I wish we could’ve stayed there forever with everyone – it was the most beautiful weekend of our lives.
Photography by Jamie Tobin Photography
Bridespeople Outfits Azazie
Cake Tip Top Cakes
Catering & Venue Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery
Celebrant Deb Wilcox- Bride’s mother
Decorative Elements Unique Events
Engagement & Wedding Rings Diamond Leaf Jewelers
Entertainment 11:11 Event Co.
Gown Boutique Flutter Bridal Co.
Gown Designer Colby John Bridal
H&MU Stephanie Mueller Event Styling & Make-Up
Socks The Tie Bar
Tie | Bow tie MYTIESHOP, VoyagePrint
Transport CIT Signature Transportation