Words by Sherise
How our love story began…
We have been together for 4.5 years, but more importantly, we’ve been best friends for 15 years. We first met in Mr. Henritzy’s first-period history class in 6th grade. We were the most unexpected best friends. I was a petite, shy, straight-A student who prided herself on being a ‘good girl.’
KP was a rebel, skater kid, who hung out with older kids, smoked cigarettes (we fought about this all the time), and beat up any kids who were bullies.
We instantly had a connection, though.
We wrote notes that were multiple pages long, stayed on the phone till we fell asleep each night, and could talk about anything, anytime, anywhere.
When I finally made the first move, KP kissed me with so much emotion and passion that it felt like something she had been waiting to do her whole life.
After a few weeks of dating, she revealed how she had loved me since we were kids, but she never wanted to ruin our friendship because I was ‘straight’ and she wasn’t. She cared more about having me in her life as a friend, than ever showing me her true feelings. She would have taken that to her grave, had I not started flirting with her for months, and finally made her realize I was thinking of her in a whole new way.
It was October 29th, 2015, and we spent the morning of the proposal shopping for snowboards and new snow gear for the upcoming winter season. We returned home, super excited, and pumped about our new equipment. We were starting to get ready for a friends Halloween costume party (we LOVE Fall and Halloween), when KP asked me to come to the backyard, she said that she had something to show me.
I made my way to the backyard and came upon a hand-painted pumpkin that said, ‘Will you marry me?’ and it was filled with my favorite, big beautiful sunflowers. I turned around, and she was down on one knee with a perfect ring, trying to express her love, but she was a bit shaky and stumbling around her words. I jumped in her arms, said YES!
We kissed in the wooded backyard, with the most gorgeous Fall colored leaves falling from the trees around us.
I always told KP that I didn’t want to be proposed to on a holiday, anniversary or birthday… I wanted such a monumental moment to have its own day to shine; it’s own importance to us. She listened, and she did just that. No one else was around, it was just us, and it was just a normal Saturday in October.
Our Wedding Day
We knew we wanted a barn venue from the start and wanted just one location for everything. We spent months doing research and walkthroughs at various places in our area. (For a brief time we even considered getting having a smaller wedding in Vermont, until our families weren’t too thrilled about the time it would take to drive there.) We narrowed it down to a couple of options and eventually fell in love with the Grove at Kempton.
Because Fall is our favorite season for festivities, the season we started dated, the season we got engaged, and we couldn’t have seen ourselves getting married during any other time of the year. We wanted to incorporate the fall feeling into our wedding, while maintaining a rustic, chic vibe that was relaxed, fun, and bursting with love.
We had a specific budget for our big day, and we also wanted to put our own personal touches into our wedding, so we decided to handle a bunch of projects ourselves. We made all signage (wood stained, hand lettered/painted), stationary (save the dates, invitations, rsvp, thank you cards), centerpieces, guest name tags, favors, food table signs, floral arrangements for the arch, bridesmaids bouquets, flower crowns, and bridal party gifts. It was a lot to do, but we got it done!
Our big day was far from typical and traditional, but it was everything we could have ever wanted and more.
We started it off nearly getting into an accident on our way to our 8 am hair appointment (thankfully, everyone was okay!!), Dunkin’ coffee, bagels, and donuts while we got our hair done. Once finished, we all headed to the venue to start getting ready.
Katelyn had a little cabin suite on the property for her and her bridesmaids to get ready in, while I had a suite in the bottom of the barn for myself and my bridesmaids to get ready in. However, the 8 of us hung out together all morning, remising on Katelyn and I’s love, getting all dolled up, having drinks, and laughing a lot until it was just about time to get dressed.
At that time, we split to our appropriate suites for the finishing touches.
Before we knew it, it was time to walk down the aisle and say our ‘We do’s’ in front of all our family and closest friends on a cool day in October.
We incorporated family members, including siblings, parents and, grandparents into our ceremony to help walk us each down the aisle and to help us tie the knot.
Katelyn was walked down the aisle first by both her Mother and Father.
My Mother passed away in November of 2018, just a little over a year out from our big day. I don’t have the best relationship with my Father, and he isn’t a part of my life, because of that, my two brothers stepped in to walk me down the aisle and give me away.
Our ceremony was more on the spiritual side, and was less traditional than an expected wedding.
After we did our ring exchange and said our personal written vows (not a single dry eye around), we performed a rope tying ritual that was facilitated by Katelyn’s older sister. Directly following that while our guests counted to three, we both jumped over a handmade broom, physically and spiritually crossing into matrimony together.
After the intimate ceremony, our family and friends went to cocktail hour while Katelyn, myself, and our bridesmaids had drinks and took amazing photos. We all entered the reception as dancing fools, where Katelyn and I shared a romantic first dance and welcomed our guests.
During our friend’s and families’ speeches, we had so many laughs, cries and never felt more loved. We shoved the most delicious cupcakes into each other’s faces, followed by Katelyn licking raspberry filling off of my cheek.
We danced to music from all generations, toasted to the future, and shared so much love by the end of the night. It was so rewarding for us to look in every direction that day to see all of our hard work bringing the whole day together, surrounded by all the people who support us.
My personal favorite moment was during a tribute dance with my siblings to my Mother who passed away last year, a whole bunch of Katelyn’s family and our friends came up to dance with me during the rest of the song. They all surrounded me, hugging me, and swaying side to side. It was the sweetest moment that made me feel so welcomed and loved.
One of Katelyn’s favorite moments was her father-daughter dance. She thought for many years, due to family religion and beliefs that she would not be accepted, and it was such a heartfelt moment for her to be experiencing that special dance with her dad at her own wedding to her wife.
Our love story is one for the books. Two best friends who met when they were 11 years old, one ‘gay’ – one’ straight.’ We have made it through years of growth, bad relationships, moving, college, and jobs finally get together. Our whole friendship, people thought we had a ‘thing’ or that we’d get together. Neither of us ever saw it.
I didn’t ever think I’d be with a girl, and Katelyn would have never risked losing me as a friend to tell me how she felt. One thing we did agree on was that the two of us had a connection. No amount of time, struggles, or distance ever changed our friendship. Our souls were connected, and we truly believe that we ended up right where we were supposed to be, when we were supposed to be there.
I started seeing Katelyn differently at the exact moment fate had already planned out for me. Thankfully, she was still in love with me to give this thing a try. We got closer than we ever have on a September night over four years ago, shared our first kiss, and haven’t looked back.
Here we are, married in our home that we own together, living a dream life with our fur babies.
What’s meant to be, will always be. I really believe that.