Words by Lindz

We have been together since April 2015 [although there were massive amounts of flirting that happened before we started dating]. I am a pastor’s kid, and Nic’s family was very controlling towards her as a kid. Ironically enough, we met at church in our small home town of Pennsylvania. We already knew that any form of being queer or dating someone who wasn’t the opposite sex was frowned upon, so we kept our relationship very secretive until about 2017 when we were outed.

At that point, I was kicked out [after a few rounds of unsuccessful conversion therapy], and Nic was sent to an extremely strict baptist college in Wisconsin that also performed conversion therapy on her.

At the end of her school year, we were able to help Nic leave school without her parents’ intervention successfully, and we started a new life in Florida, where we have lived ever since.

We had talked about getting married from day one. Lindz remembers riding up a ski lift in PA with Nic and casually talking about wanting to get married. We spent about ten months apart when our parents had banned us from seeing each other, and we used to talk about our future life and wedding all the time, so I would say we’ve been planning it for a while.

Ultimately, I started making plans to propose to Nic in the winter of 2018.

I had countless conversations with friends about how I was going to set up this proposal. I threw around ideas like hiking to a cliff somewhere, a destination proposal, setting up a concert and proposing after – the ideas were wild, and thankfully I had some friends remind me that simple is good, easier, and something to be remembered; and it would cause me a lot less stress.

We decided to plan a cover beach day for April 6th, and I gathered all our close friends, and we enjoyed a day spending time together in the sun while preparing for the proposal later that evening.

Treasure Island beach is one of our favorite spots in FL. It’s in St. Pete and right down the street from an adorable little seaside town and boardwalk. It’s one of the first beaches we visited after moving to FL, and the beach we went to after our first Pride in St. Pete. It means a lot to us, so it was easy to land on as a location to propose.

Keeping secrets from Nic is hard, so I never actually had the ring at our apartment. I shipped it directly to a friend for safe-keeping until the date. Ultimately, I’m just glad I was able to surprise her, because when she thinks something is up, she’ll get really nosy.

Nic’s ring is from a jeweler in New York City called “Tippy Taste.” She picked out the company for their uniqueness in rings and the desire for something that wasn’t a traditional diamond and setting. Lindz decided on a very small, dainty rose gold band with purple stones creating a floral pattern around it. It wasn’t very expensive, but it was something we both wanted, because we knew the money could go towards other things in our lives.

I think the engagement has been a celebration of love in our lives, and the friends that have become family to us. They have been here for us from day one, and are so crucial in our lives in the way they support and encourage us. We wanted to bring that same love and energy to our wedding, so it encourages me to see the flow of energy from our engagement, and through the whole planning process, and the way it will carry through to our wedding. Knowing we are loved, supported, and celebrated is the most beautiful feeling.

Wedding planning has been pretty smooth so far! I feel like we’ve finalized a lot of the important details to us. It is crucial that this be something we want, and not an event we put together to please other people. We’ve seen a lot of weddings where people are invited out of obligation, or the wedding is planned by people other than the couple.

We want this to be a celebration we will enjoy, and that creates memories for years to come. It is much more straightforward than the average wedding, much to our delight. We’re working off a minimal budget since we’re self-funding this, but I think that makes every decision that much more intentional, and full of simple beauty.

There are only certain vendors that we have in mind for our wedding. The first thing we decided on was the photographer. This was probably the most important thing for both of us because we understand the importance of a quality, talented photographer. We’re so thankful to have found that in Jenny. Other than that, we’re still finalizing our decorations/equipment rentals. We’re looking to go with a Boho theme, and have found several vendors in the central FL area that do this. It’s tricky to find that type of vendor specifically, but thankfully there are a few! We will more than likely end up doing everything else ourselves since we’re on such a limited budget, but that means things will be made and created with love and creativity for us.

Our love isn’t traditional, so we didn’t want our wedding to be either. We are really young – some say too young to know much about love, but I think we’ve seen in action and in those around us, the way love is carried through people and demonstrated to each other.

We want our love to be the most radical, life changing experience that shows others, it’s ok to step outside of traditional and conformality and create a life that is unique and celebrates you as an individual, not who others want you to be.

We want to celebrate the reckless and wild hearts around us, as much as we want to celebrate our love. Our love wouldn’t be possible without them.

There is nothing better, healthier, and real, than to be true to yourself and to your heart. This can be the hardest thing to do, but I believe it holds the most reward. We all deserve true, abiding love.