LGBTQ+ couples have always found innovative ways to exchange vows regardless of the obstacles, proving today's social distancing rules need not stand in teh way either. Here are couples who have exchanged vows under quarantine, eloped, or hosted micro-weddings proving all you really need is each other.
Meeting your forever at an in-home screening for the Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana fight may sound unlikely, but that’s exactly what happened to Lakesha Allen and Nikia Hughley of Atlanta. The chance meeting turned into a committed five-year relationship, kicked off with a date at Café Intermezzo.
“When I decided to finally pop the question, I knew more than anything I wanted her to be my forever,” Allen says. “I had finally narrowed down when and how I wanted to propose and I knew I wanted it to be intimate and not cliché.”
The proposal saw Allen decorate the couple’s home with a dozen roses foreach year they had been together — each bouquet included a special note explaining her feelings. The feelings were clearly mutual; Hughley gave a tearful “yes!” after the pair danced to “Love Ballad” by L.T.D. Then the two set about planning their wedding for March 20, 2020.
Intimacy had always been important in the relationship, and that extended to the ceremony which included only an officiant and their mothers. While they had initially planned to do a hand-tying ceremony, a rose exchange seemed more apropos.
“Throughout our marriage, the exchanging of the roses will symbolize our love during tough times when we can’t find the right words to say,” Allen explains. “The roses also represent ‘I am sorry, I forgive you, I still love you, and I am hurting.’ We have designated a special place in our home to leave the roses. The other should accept the rose for the words which cannot be found.”
In August 7, 2019, Nicole Slota and Nikki Terry exchanged vows that clocked in at about 5,000 words between the two of them in a destination elopement wedding at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami. This, just over a year and a half into a relationship that could very well not have happened.
Before January 2018, Nikki was against dating apps, but after incredible pressure from friends, she relented and joined HER. Luckily for her, as Nikki found Nicole. Their first date was to a yoga studio.
“We chose to elope because we wanted it to be about us and our love,” Terry says of their ceremony, which was hosted on the museum’s Joy Terrace—they chose August 7 as 7 is their lucky number, and they inscribed it on the bottom of Slota’s wedding day heels. “We wanted uninterrupted intimacy and attention to detail,” Terry explains. Their special day was a decided departure from a Paris proposal that had gone slightly awry as Terry rushed against the clock to get them to an appointed spot to meet their photographer along the Seine after getting lost.
In contrast, their wedding was “everything we wanted,” Terry says.
A lot of weddings have keepsakes, little items that you can remember the occasion by. Kyle Hill and César Salza’s seven guests will always have their masks and gloves.
“We always joke around with each other on who swiped right first,” Hill says of the pair’s first meeting on Tinder a year ago. While that may still be unclear, what’s evident is their love for each other. The two got engaged in Portugal as they were on the way to Spain to visit Salza’s family over the 2019 winter holiday.
Initially, they had plans for a big wedding, with family and friends traveling across the country and overseas to commune with them in June. The pandemic put a halt to those fantasies. Instead, the two put a call out on Facebook for a local marriage commissioner in San Francisco (they already had their license) and got down to business in a friend’s backyard before everyone fled town. Attendees kept things responsible, all wearing masks that were sewn by Hill’s mother out of Star Wars fabric, which came in a swag bag that also included gloves, hand sanitizer, and cookies. About 50 friends and family watched the proceedings via Zoom. Their hope is to have a much bigger honeymoon and reception in Tulum once things open back up.
“We felt that it was important to move forward with the wedding because in this time of uncertainty we wanted to share a little bit of joy and bring everyone that has supported us on this journey together kind of physically but mainly virtually,” Hill says of the April 18 ceremony.
Just because we all must social distance doesn’t mean your ceremony has to be small. No one showed that more than Bri Houk and Lindsey Leaverton, who hosted their wedding at Doc’s Drive-In Theatre in Buda, Texas. Around 85 cars turned up to watch the pair exchange their vows, and attendees were treated, unsurprisingly, to a full show. “I’m not kidding when I say that we are out in the middle of the country, and people were taking pictures in the middle of the street at one point and these country trucks are driving by,” Houk says. “You know they are wondering why the hell there are two women in wedding dresses in the middle of the country. Like, this must be a dream.” And it was.
To celebrate their nuptials, Jack Vidra and Cain Marko baked a cake together. Though known to tens of thousands around the world as adult performers, Vidra is also an accomplished, working chef and Marko has an appreciation for art and life’s finer things. So together they ideated, baked, and decorated a honey spice cake with buttercream frosting and honey fondant sculpted into an abstract dragon egg. A cake that they ended up eating at the end of their in-apartment wedding ceremony broadcast to an estimated 100 friends and family.
Mr. and Mr. Ryan and Ben
You might not realize how beautiful a desert wedding can be until you see one. Ben and Ryan’s chic, simple September2018 ceremony proves just that. “An elopement was simple, intimate, and there was no pressure leading up to it,” Ryan says of the event, which hosted only the couple, their driver, an officiant, and a photographer. “Absolutely perfect.”
The ceremony was understandably calming with the dead-quiet surroundings as the two said their “I dos” at sunset wearing custom InStitchu suits with shoes by Givenchy and accessories by Tom Ford. In a similarly chill mood, they opted for pizza and roller skating instead of a lavish reception. The pair, who have requested that their last names be withheld, have since had a son.
Mr. and Mr. Aaron and Christopher Trotman
Would you quit a job for love? Well, Christopher Colon did just that. He met Aaron Trotman while they were both working at Sephora in 2016. But when the two realized that there was more there than coworkers should have (according to the HR handbook),he left the store.
“We realized we were in love during the time of working at Sephora together,” Trotman says. “We would sneak around just to talk and eventually, Chris quit and found a new job so we could be together without having any conflict from work.” A year later, Colon propped the question after tricking Trotman into a “party for a family member.”
Always thinking ahead, the couple decided for their nuptials they wanted to go smaller and budget conscious. “We have long-term goals that include buying a house and having children,” they say. So they took five family members and got married in Columbus Park, right outside New York’s City Hall, in November 2019. One of the most important parts: the officiant, Twiggy Pucci Garçon.
“She has been my gay mother and mentor for over 13 years,” Colon says. “She also has been a part of our journey together since Aaron and I met. It was essential for us to have someone from our community that shares the same values as us perform the ceremony.”