What's sweeter than a double proposal? Congratulations to Mrs. and Mrs. Raquelle and Katie Langlinais who were wed on November 7, 2020 in Zion National Park amid a group of 37 of their closest friends and family.
After meeting via Tinder in January 2018 in the small "Louie Gohmert-type" conservative East Texas town of Tyler, the pair started dating. The two were attending the University of Texas at the time and, as they'd both been engaged before, Raquelle put in place a rule that they couldn't get engaged until they had been dating for a year. By March 2019, Katie was ready to pop the question and did so at a quiet corner of the reading room in The Strand
The pair were on Spring Break in New York City. Originally, Katie had planned to propose the night before but after a nine-hour flight delay, she pushed it off. She chose the iconic bookstore as Raquelle was an English major. But there was a surprise in store for her: apparently, Raquelle had been preparing to propose at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was the next stop on the trip.
"I asked her to marry me and she pulled out a ring and said 'only if you'll marry me back,'" Katie recalls.
Their original May 2020 wedding plans were canceled as a result of the pandemic. The event was set to occur at Zion National Park, which closed. When the November postponement came around and lockdown restrictions didn't seem to be easing, they decided to press ahead.
"Because of [the pandemic,] the park was actually requiring shuttle tickets to get to all the trailheads that had to be reserved online on a very complicated and confusing platform," Katie explains. "We ended up not being able to get any so we had to subvert the system and get a couple of vans on a permit technicality that took our 37 guests in and out of the park. Once all our guests were there and the ceremony began, everyone formed a circle around us. Completely organically. It was the most amazing and symbolic gesture of what our wedding, our marriage, and our love is. It's not about sides of an aisle. It's about community, support, inclusion, acceptance, and love." With that community surrounding them, they exchanged their handwritten vows before their officiant, who was a key aspect of the event.
Two weeks before the wedding they had reached out to their friend Julie Gobble to officiate the marriage who was in the middle of running her first campaign for public office. She was aiming to be the first Democrat in 27 years to hold a Texas district house seat. But she made time to officiate the ceremony, giving a speech about marriage equality and reading a passage from the Obergefell v. Hodges decision.
"Being two women married to each other in 2020 feels like political and patriarchal rebellion," the pair say. "The lesbian experience is so especially revolutionary because it doesn't require or honor any part of the patriarchy. On the flip side of that coin, it also feels the most invalidated and vulnerable, needing defense at all times. But because we are unapologetic and ready to take on that fight, it is sacred, beautiful, and empowering. It's our hope that our love brings joy and hope to our queer brothers and sisters who have yet to be married and worry that that right will be revoked. We are with you, we fight for you, and we will prevail. Love always wins."