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How the Pandemic Took This Gay Couple's Wedding Back to Their First Dates
Congratulations to Mr. and Mr. Jaime and Edward Oliva-Williams, who said 'I Do' in an outdoor ceremony on October 4 at the United States National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
Exchanging their vows in front of 44 in-person guests, the couple livestreamed their ceremony for an additional set of virtual attendees. To carry out proper social distancing among those who gathered, both the wedding ceremony and cocktail reception took place outdoors near the National Capital Columns, and some wore masks.The couple, who have been together since 2012, originally planned to wed in April at the United States Institute of Peace in front of 160 friends and family, but had to postpone the ceremony due to the ongoing pandemic. The new changes turned out to be kismet: not only was the new venue safer but it was also where they'd had one of their first dates and where they got engaged in June 2019. During the wedding, they recreated a photo sitting on a bench there that they had taken on their first date as well as the day Jaime proposed.
When the Supreme Court declared marriage equality the law of the land in June 2015, the pair was in the Dominican Republic. Jaime was spending the summer there supporting The Dream Project, a non-profit that focuses on education for local youth. The decision meant a lot to them as when they had begun to date, neither could marry in their home states of Georgia and Florida. Fast forward to the day after their wedding this year, when two justices of the Supreme Court -- Justices Alito and Thomas -- made it clear that they would be willing to reverse the marriage equality decision and allow states to forbid the wedding that they had just celebrated the day before.
"It was an urgent reminder that the rights that we have are not self-sustaining," Edward tells Out. "On October 4, we vowed to live our many years ahead out loud and proud, as living reminders to the world that nothing will keep love from winning."