Although we were only 18 years old when our paths first crossed, our story truly was the epitome of the cliche “love at first sight”.
We met in March of 2012 at a small Division II school where each of us had received athletic scholarships for our respected sports. It still feels like yesterday we spotted each other from across the room in the cafe of the university. We just so happened to have mutual friends that were able to introduce us to one another and have been together ever since!
While our story began in a fairy tale sense, the struggles leading up to the big day were not as much. Being that this was our first real relationship worthy of familial acceptance, there were a lot of obstacles to overcome along the way. We spent four years working on what felt like an impossible mission trying to essentially prove that our love, although unconventional, was still worthy of the same type of experience other couples were given.
We were very fortunate in that most of our friends and family welcomed our relationship with open arms, however, there were others who required a bit more convincing.
In October 2016 after spending four and a half years together and relocating to our third city with one another, we decided it was time to move forward with all of the plans we had been dreaming up from the day we met. Bachelors Degrees, jobs, a wedding, house, and a family of our own were all figments of our imagination for the longest time. We laid awake in bed at night talking out every single detail of how our amazing future would look as we spent the rest of our lives together. We began to check the items off of our list. Bachelors Degrees, check, jobs, check… Although very fresh from a legal standpoint, we were now able to have our marriage recognized within the state of Texas. It was time to put our next plan into action, a wedding!
We were very fortunate in that things seemed to naturally fall into place when it came to planning the big day. Our visions aligned perfectly which made the process much smoother. We researched a multitude of venues online before visiting any. The moment we walked into The Orchard Event Venue in Azle, TX, we knew it was our place! The breathtaking visual appearance of the venue was not the only thing that drew us to this location.
In an attempt to avoid the initial awkward encounter as a same-sex couple walked through the door for a meeting, we felt it was necessary to disclose that detail initially with all of our vendors. This particular venue was very accepting and responsive from the start. As we moved on to booking the rest of the lineup, we were not as lucky. Some would never respond to our emails, others made up excuses, and a select few felt the need to express their negative opinions in regards to the LGBTQ+ community. While difficult at times, we would not change a single thing about our experience. It taught us a lot about ourselves, our relationship, and what the future would hold for us as a same-sex couple.
Ultimately our experiences both positive and negative led us to have a wedding that will easily hold a place in both of our hearts as one of the happiest and most magical days of our lives.
There truly is not anything we would change in regards to how our wedding day played out. We toyed with the idea of writing and reciting our own vows to one another. Deciding to do so was easily the most nerve-wracking and terrifying part of our day; however, it also turned out to be the most memorable. It took everything in us to fight back the tears as we attempted to somehow sum up how strongly we felt for one another as we made verbal lifetime promises. We both pulled out our Etsy-approved vow books and Kayla went first;
Lauren, I will never forget the first time saw you. You stole my heart without even saying a word to me. We were in the Angelo state university cafeteria when you walked right past me, so close I can’t believe you didn’t catch me staring.
Inthat moment, my whole world stopped. It was an indescribable feeling of bliss that changed my life forever. I will never forget that feeling because it is the same one I am having right now standing in front of you as we begin our journey as a married couple.
For six years, you have selflessly stood beside me through the best and worst times of my life without passing any judgment. You believe in me when I start to doubt myself, you encourage me when I feel like I want to give up, and most importantly, you’ve loved me when I have struggled to love myself. When I look at you, I see perfection. Your heart is pure and one of a kind, and I am blessed to have a front row seat to your beautiful soul
. From now on, I will make my heart your shelter, and my arms your home.
I promise to show you through actions and words how much I appreciate you every single day.
I promise from this day forward, I will spend the rest of my life striving to be the best I can be for you and our future.
I vow to push you to follow your dreams and be there for you every step of the way.
I want you to know that no matter what difficulties we face in the future, I will always choose you, and I will always approach our marriage with patience, honesty, and compassion.
Lauren followed with;
Kayla, It is no secret that my indecisiveness and uncertainty more often than not, tends to get the best of me. However, if there is one thing in this life that I know for sure.. you, Kayla Gregory, are the person I was meant to spend the rest of my life with.
They always say that when you know, you know. Well, for six years I have known. From the moment we met, I instantly knew you were my person. In every moment that I have spent and continue to spend with you, I cannot help but feel unexplainable feelings of comfort, joy, and happiness.
In you, I have found myself and my home.
No one is truthfully knowledgable when it comes to all of the hardships we have had to endure together thus far. While I understand that life will continue to throw obstacles our way, nothing is more sheltering than knowing that amidst all of the trials and tribulations we may face, you will always be my hand to hold, my shoulder to cry on, my constant reminder to drink more water, and the one person who can never seem to tell me no.
With you by my side, I know that ANYTHING is possible.
Throughout our journey, countless aspirations have been discussed, thousands of dreams have been dreamt, and many many goals have been set between the two of us. As I stand before you today and we check one of those big dreams off of our list, I promise to devote the rest of my life to you in hopes that I can help make all of those dreams become a reality.
While I am unable to promise perfection, I can assure you that I will give you the best version of myself,
everyday, for the rest of our lives.
I promise to always love and appreciate you for everything that you are.
I promise to stand beside you in celebration over times of triumph and be your strength as this crazy life throws those inevitable curve balls our way.
I promise to never take advantage of the fact that what we share is truly a once in a lifetime love.
Finally, and most importantly, I promise to let you go fishing anytime you want as long as I will continue to remain your
We have just celebrated our one year anniversary along with our two and a half-month-old baby girl (no we did not waste any time!) We both are aware of the fact that in our life together we will continue to have to overcome a multitude of obstacles, as will our daughter. We also realize that we are blessed beyond measure and others are not as fortunate to have their ‘happily ever after’.
In sharing our story, we hope to give hope to those who have yet to begin living out their truth, are struggling to receive acceptance from friends/family, or feel as if a lifetime of love and happiness is somehow unobtainable.
Cake Creative Cakes by Monica | Catering Rudy’s BBQ | Ceremony Venue The Orchard Event Venue | Celebrant Rodney Prater | Day of Coordinator Heidi Nettles | Entertainment It’s Your Night Entertainment (Jeremiah Brinkley) | Engagement Rings James Avery & Kay Jewelers (Neil Lane Bridal) | Florist Flourish Floral Design Studio (Macey Ward) | Hair & Makeup Kiss and Makeup (Micaela Evans & Team) | Photographer Brandi Allyse Photography | Photo