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Katlyn & Melissa

Katlyn & Melissa

Tiago Pinheiro photography lesbian gay couple engagement proposal Las Vegas America Dancing With Her wedding directory magazine

These two lovers met eight years ago when they played Division 1 softball together in college. Their social circles rarely crossed, not enemies but certainly not friends either. Two years later, they would connect at an alumni event, start dating long distance. Eventually, they’d find themselves planning a wedding together.

Words by Melissa

We had discussed getting engaged for a few months before the engagement but refrained from going too much into detail.

I know I bugged Katlyn about when she was going to propose to me, and all I would hear back would be “sooner than you think!” So naturally, I always made sure I had my nails done. The biggest struggle during this was who was going to propose first! We always just left it up to timing and whoever had the ring first. Neither one of us wanted to rush before we could buy the ring the other deserved. It turns out, and our engagements were only one month apart.

Katlyn’s proposal

I remember getting home from work on a Friday, and Katlyn seemed completely out of sorts. She cracked open a beer and offered me one. I responded with, “It’s 3 pm….” And we laughed. I chalked it up to her just being stressed about something. She told me we were going to dinner and had reservations at five (which we never have that early), but I went along with it.

I got dressed, and when I asked her how I looked, she said, “yeah, that’s okay,” and I flipped out! I grabbed my work computer because I had some deals to close and sat in the car fuming at the fact that she rushed me out of the house and didn’t even like my outfit! So dramatic, I was.

It gets better.

We get to our destination, and she says, “before dinner, Tiago [our photographer] is going to take some Valentine’s Day photos of us.”

I flipped more!

I said, “OH GREAT, FIRST MY OUTFIT IS JUST ‘OKAY,’ AND YOU WANT MY PHOTO TAKEN IN IT?!”

The nerves were getting to her, and she just took my hand, and we walked inside. We clearly suck at keeping secrets from each other. As we walked through the outdoor museum, her palm was so sweaty, and she was super quiet.

As she secretly waits for Tiago to come out, unbeknownst to me, she pulls me in front of an antique sign that says “wedding chapel this way,” and I start to hear the shutter of a camera. A few seconds later, she is on one knee. After the crying and total shock, my first words were, “OMG, I Was so mean to you!” and we laughed hand-in-hand to greet my family and friends, which she surprised me with.

Melissa told me she had never been to the Las Vegas Neon Museum, so I rented out the entire thing for us to enjoy in private. I toured the museum the week prior and found the perfect spot to ask her to marry me. I knew it would be the perfect place to experience our engagement together.

Katlyn

When I proposed to Katlyn a month later, I did it in Long Beach, California. We both had never been, and I knew that she would want something very intimate and in private. So, I drove us to California with the ring in my pocket the entire time, and after dinner, we went back to our Airbnb right on the beach.

We both shared a glass of wine, and I decided that there would be no better time than that to ask her to marry me. I got down on one knee in pajamas and told her all of the reasons why I would be honored to be her wife.

For me, our engagement is a constant reminder of serenity. I have found the person that wants to love me through my most challenging days and will always give me 100% of her. Being her girlfriend meant everything to me, and I thought when we would become engaged, nothing would really “change” because I already felt like we had committed to each other. However, after the day we both proposed, it felt totally euphoric.

We talk more now about future life goals than ever before. I feel more confident in us every single day. Being engaged to someone like her is the most honorable feeling.

When it came to wedding planning at first, we didn’t know where to begin! We have found we have been in sync with what we want our day together to look like. Which has been perfect!

Aside from being very romantic, we want our ceremony to be short. We also cut out some traditional things like the cake cutting ceremony. On our day, we want it to move smoothly and include everyone, most importantly. Our bridesmaids are in gradient shades of light rose to chianti, and the two women in suits will be wearing a burgundy suit from Friar Tux.

We hope it is a constant party where our two worlds can collide. We want the least amount of sitting and the most amount of dancing possible! Style-wise, we are going for upscale and elegant (no jeans, no kids). We want this to be a monumental day for every guest and leave a lasting impression on everyone. Especially us.

Our photographer, Tiago, is our first and only option for our wedding.

He has been the most accepting and welcoming photographer we have ever worked with, and we know he will have our best interest in mind.

We still need to find a videographer, though!

As far are vendors, we have browsed several social media platforms for different local artists to showcase their talents at our wedding. We love supporting small businesses, so we plan to use a local florist with a very chic and creative style. We booked a DJ that will MC the wedding as well. The music is the heartbeat of the wedding!

We have used Pinterest for many of our wedding ideas and looked up different vendors on Instagram. Taking bits of inspiration from all we see and have put together a clear vision of what our wedding will look like. Also, we follow some LGBTQ friendly blogs that have shared some awesome same-sex wedding ideas.

We have our date and venue set. Deciding to get married at Mansion 54 here in Las Vegas. It is an outdoor/indoor venue that is located near the arts district downtown. It will be the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend on 5/23/2020. We wanted to pick a place that advertised that they were an inclusive venue because we are very proud to be who we are.

Fun fact: Elvis and Marilynn Monroe use to stay in the Mansion when they would perform in Vegas. It is a gorgeous venue!

We are so looking forward to seeing each other on our wedding day, and we are lucky to have very supportive families. Many of Katlyn’s friends and family will fly in from her hometown in Baltimore to join us here in Vegas, and we are very fortunate. We cannot wait to become the McCormick family and start planning to have children the following year!

People need to know that a same-sex wedding can be ANYTHING they want it to be. We will both be in dresses, both have a wedding party in dresses [plus two women in suits], and we will have the best time doing it. Many people will ask, “so who is wearing the Tux,” and frankly, we would both wear one if we wanted to!

Weddings are times of celebration where two lives are officially joining together, and no one should tell you what that should look like. 


Photography by Tiago Pinheiro

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