In the summer of 2013, Nina happened to need a job to pay for their undergraduate degree and found themselves asking to speak with the manager at Dianne’s store. It was a fortuitous thing that we met because Nina was new to the city, and we have a 21-year age gap. And yet, we hadn’t realized at that moment that we had met our life partner. Together, we have gone through mental health struggles, homophobia, ageism, ableism, and losses.
During our first unofficial date, we walked and talked well into the early morning – about 25 kilometers in all! Neither of us had wanted the walk to end. We shared so much, catching each other up on our lives thus far. Under the moonlight, we were unabashed about holding hands, even though we’d only known each other for a month, and made plans for the future.
For each other, we walk that extra step (no matter how painful), pull ourselves out of the valleys we find ourselves in, and gravitate to the other. We’re patient with each other. We are giving the other what they need to the best of our ability.
We got engaged in the low-key, introverted way that’s befitting of us. While folding laundry together, Dianne pulled out a ring on a random weekday in 2017. There was no exchange of romantic words. Just a promise to continue sharing our lives together. To have the privilege of loving and being loved by each other.
We married in 2020 at the Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto through Pop Up Chapel (aka micro-wedding). We chose to get married this way because it was inclusive, sustainable, and socially conscious (a portion of our fee went toward funding programming at the Evergreen Children’s Garden).
Everything but the guest list was a surprise! But, of course, that included the COVID-19 global pandemic.
We are grateful to have had the opportunity to get married in the presence of our friends and family (both chosen and blood), both in person and virtually via Zoom, while socially distancing and taking all necessary precautions. We never expected it to go this way, but now, we wouldn’t have it any other way!
We’re now in our ninth year together. Having built a life together that neither of us thought possible. We’re dog parents to rambunctious cubs, aunties to three kickass kiddos, Other Mothers, Gomas (grand other-mothers) to wonderful grandkiddos, nerdy best friends, and so much more. We’re each other’s courage and strength and we’re each other’s family.
Photography by Rita Kravchuk
Catering Kernels Popcorn, Cops Doughnuts, Fresh Wines, Lakeview Wine, Steamwhistle Brewery, Station Coldbrew
Decorative Elements Pop Up Chapel, Love By Lynzie
Engagement Rings & Wedding Rings Peoples Jewellers, Blue Nile
Entertainment Toronto Jazz Collective
Florist Nymph Floral
Furniture Hire Divine Furniture Rentals, Chair Décor
Gown Boutique The Brides’ Project
Lighting | Sound Hire EPiQVision
Live Streaming Thom Varey
Marquee Wild & Free Marquee
Officiant Leonard Nolasco
Planner Pop Up Chapel
Signage Kerbel Design
Stationery Paperless Post
Suit Hire Moores Clothing
Venue Evergreen Brick Works
Videography Sean Sutherland