We met while working for the same coffee company, Dutch Bros Coffee, in the Sacramento area. Kaylynn chased Kendra for a few months before Kendra was willing to go out with her. We have been together for six years now.
Kendra proposed to me on her birthday, February 17th of 2018. We had just bought our first home in Sacramento in late December of 2017. The conversations leading up to buying the home made it clear to me that we wouldn’t be getting engaged for a while because we were spending all our savings on a home.
Little did I know, Kendra already had my ring.
For her birthday, she wanted to go to a local winery, The old Sugar Mill. All of our close family and friends were there to celebrate her. She actually didn’t tell anyone that she was going to propose, except for our parents, so it was a surprise for everyone!
Right after we sang happy birthday to her, a song we love starting playing over a loudspeaker, Beyonce, 1+1. I looked at Kendra and said, “Babe, it’s our song!” still very clueless about what was happening. Kendra grabbed my hand and started dancing with me in front of all of our friends, family, and strangers. After a few moments of dancing together, I realized what was happening and definitely blacked out while I cried my eyes out!
She got one knee and asked me to marry her. I said YES! It was magical.
We were so lucky that my parents had the land to build the venue! We looked in the city for venues, but everything was expensive considering our big guest list. We asked my parents if it would be okay, and they said, of course. It was special having our wedding somewhere where we can go back to often.
However, leading up to the wedding, we didn’t realize how much work it was going to be to create a wedding venue from scratch. My parents had started their lavender farm in early 2019 but had not had any events, so we had to design and rent everything to make it what it was. There was a lot of stress, but it all came together better than we could have imagined.
Kendra is the one with the eye for decorating and did a lot of the styling herself. She searched all over Pinterest, and when she came across “Moody” themed weddings, she was set on that for ours! We also love the moon and feel connected to the evolution of the moon’s phases. We searched specifically for a wedding date with a full moon and chose October 12th because of that. It was moody, witchy, romantic, and lovely.
I went to two bridal shops before finding my wedding dress at Bride to Be couture. I had my babes with me, plus my Mom, Kendra’s Mom & her sister. I put my dress on and felt so amazing in it. I moved onto a couple of other dresses before coming back to the one I knew was meant to be worn by me on my wedding day.
Kendra searched everywhere and ordered lots of different pieces online before coming across a suit from Banana Republic. She pieced together all her different accessories, shoes, and suit from different places. It took her forever to finally piece together everything that she wanted.
Balancing her masculinity and femininity is important to her, so it wasn’t as easy as heading to a bridal shop like my experience.
THE WEDDING DAY
The big day was a lot of work for our family and friends.
Again, since the venue was from scratch, all décor had to be put up the day of, and thank goodness our team brought our vision to life. I got ready at my parents’ house while Kendra and her folks got ready at a nearby hotel.
I feel like the first half of the day dragged but was full of so much love. Family and friends in and out of the house were reassuring me everything was going smoothly outside! We literally had 280 of our favorite humxns come to support us. It was a gorgeous melting pot of old friends, new friends & family from everywhere.
The full moon was everything we could’ve dreamed of; it represented our arrival and sacred unity and the beginning of a new phase.
One of my favorite moments was the first look. Kendra and I both really wanted and needed that intimate time before stepping in front of all the people. It was so special to see one another since we both had not seen each other’s outfits. We cried and laughed and drooled and refrained from all the other things we wanted to do.
Our ceremony was gorgeous. My little brother officiated. He scared me when he said he memorized everything and was not going to have a copy of his script with him. I thought he was joking. He wasn’t, he really did memorize it. He did so amazing, I think he could honestly be a professional officiant. He honored our wishes of certain things we did and didn’t want to incorporate. He described our love in ways I had never even thought of, and it was so personal and sacred.
We started our ceremony out by honoring and thanking all the LGBTQ folks and allies who made our wedding day and open love possible. It was an emotional moment but an important one.
We are not religious, but we are spiritual and didn’t keep it very traditional. My Mexican Mother did gift me two Mexican wedding coins before the ceremony, ones that would traditionally be shared during the ceremony. I also wore part of my Mother’s wedding dress around my ankle during the ceremony.
Kendra wore a black diamond ring in honor of her grandma, who unfortunately passed a couple of months before our wedding.
Jamie Thrower, our photographer, was our stand out vendor – hands down. The most incredible humxn and photographer. She is a pillar in the Queer wedding industry if you ask us.
Kendra and I have talked about what this marriage means to us a lot because we didn’t want to have this grand expectation that our relationship would feel different after the marriage. We have been together for six years and wanted to make sure that our relationship was just as meaningful, valued, and sacred as it was before the wedding.
To us, marriage was a way for us to honor all of the queer folks who never had the opportunity to get married. The folks who fought for our ability to stand in front of a diverse group of loved ones with all different beliefs yet come together because of our love, our great big queer love. That is something to honor.
Marriage was a radical act of love for each other but also our community. A way to say we love one another, and we also love our community, here we are showing the beauty and light of what can happen even amongst the challenge that comes to LGBTQ folks. Our marriage is a sign of hope and evolution.
Photographer Studio XIII Photography
Bar Full Shebang Bar
Bridal Boutique Bride to be Couture
Cake JnJ Bakery
DJ DJ Bucky Dungun
Florist Marshals Florist Redding
Gown Designer Essence of Australia
Hair & Makeup The Hailey K Makeup
Rentals Barn Door Rentals
Rings Pave Fine Jewelry
Suit Banana Republic
Veil Bride to Be Couture
Venue 29 Rows Lavender Farm
Wedding Party Outfits LuLu’s