Tell us your love story!
Hallie: Short story? We met through a mutual friend. Long long story? Let’s go back to 2012. I was 23 years old, I had just started to come out. I was on the phone with a friend of mine talking about how in the world do you meet girls?! She randomly mentioned that I would probably like one of her friends. So she gave me her name and naturally I did some Facebook research. The girl she mentioned was Kelsey.
My friend was right, I was immediately interested in this cute girl who I saw on social media! However, how do you go about messaging a girl you don’t actually know? So life continued. Fast forward a bit, maybe 2013-ish. My guy friend and I are just hanging out, and he tells me about his step sister who I had never met. He shows me some pictures and I see a familiar face in those pictures. Small world, but my guy friend’s step sister was dating none other than Kelsey! I recognized this girl (who I still didn't know) from a few years before. Hmm, she’s still cute, but obviously unavailable. Again, life continues.
Fast forward to 2015. I had just moved back to Birmingham. My guy friend was trying to help me out with making some new friends, so he suggested that maybe he and I get together with his step sister and step sister’s girlfriend (Kelsey). Still following? Well, that get together never ended up happening, we just couldn’t get all of our schedules together. No big deal. So now, fast forward once more to 2016. My guy friend randomly tells me that his step sister andKelsey broke up. Okay…? I really didn’t know either of them, so it was just random chit chat with my friend. But then...then I happen to see Kelsey on a dating site. I thought about it for a minute, and then I decided, “What the heck!” I finally messaged this girl that I thought was cute since 2012.
After making sure she knew who I was and that we were actually supposed to hang out way back when, I gave her my number. We texted for a few days and then I decided I needed to meet this girl. Apparently I was really hard to read via text, so what I thought was a first date, Kelsey actually thought was just a friendly get together, ha! We met at Avondale Brewery for a beer...and you know...the rest is history. I married the first girl that ever really caught my eye.
What about the proposal?
Kelsey: I thought that Hallie was going to propose to me the weekend of my birthday when we had planned a trip to New Orleans with all of my closest friends. Turns out, she completely surprised me by proposing the weekend before! I had been working at our church all weekend for our youth retreat. After it was over on Sunday, we were supposed to go to the Redmont Hotel and eat lunch at their restaurant for a family birthday. We got there early before everyone else. My friend Sydney was the Front Office Manager there and she wanted to take me up to the rooftop bar to see some of the changes we made.When we got up to the rooftop, we ordered a drink and then Hallie excused herself to go to the restroom. I noticed that they were playing Hanson, our favorite band, over the speakers, so I started singing. Little did I know this was a full Hanson playlist that Hallie put together for them to play. I went outside with Sydney as she toured me around the rooftop (which overlooks Birmingham in the most beautiful way). We came around the corner and Hallie was there waiting for me. On the couch next to her were large wooden letters that said, “Marry Me?” and vases of sunflowers (my favorite). It was absolutely wonderful and completely threw me off guard! Of course I said yes.
After we had a mini photo shoot on the rooftop, we were heading down the elevator and Hallie told me that no one was actually joining us for lunch, and that it would just be the two of us to celebrate. How sweet, right? Well, we get to the ground floor, and the elevator doors open to reveal both of our entire families. It was absolutely wonderful and another unexpected surprise for a perfect day.
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
Kelsey: I knew the night we were both sitting on the couch at her apartment watching a movie. It was not a crazy and memorable night filled with details. I don’t even remember what movie we were watching. All I know is that we had yet to even tell each other, “I love you.” I just looked at her and she asked me what I was thinking. After a long pause, I just said, “yep…” and she knew exactly what I was thinking. She said, “yep…” back to me, and we continued to watch our movie.
Hallie: It felt right from the very beginning. Even as early as the second week when we were just randomly making whale noises like Dory and laughing uncontrollably.
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
Kelsey: Hallie definitely knew she did NOT want to be outside. I had always pictured an outdoor ceremony with an indoor reception. We compromised and I said that if we couldn’t be outside, then I wanted a lot of natural lighting. Other than that, the only thing we both knew for certain is that neither of us wanted to get married in a barn. That was not our depiction of the perfect wedding day. Other than that, neither Hallie nor I were the type of girl who had a Pinterest board of all of our wedding dreams.
Hallie: Really just no barns. Nothing wrong with them, just not us at all. People in Alabama like their barn weddings.
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
Kelsey: Planning was actually quite easy for us. I handle the detail and coordination for events and weddings at my job. I knew where to start and what questions to ask to make the process seamless. We had 80% of all of the planning completed, with vendor contracts signed, within a week of getting engaged. However, that doesn’t mean that there were not hiccups in the planning process! The first major issue happened when our original photographer completely ghosted us. We had a lovely introductory phone call with them, signed a contract, paid a deposit ...and then we never heard from them again. About three months away from the wedding date, we reached out to them via email and phone multiple times with no response. After doing some research, Hallie was able to find that this had been happening to multiple couples. Needless to say we were in crisis mode. A friend of mine who is a wedding photographer, sent out a blast to her community of other photographers with our details. Within a couple of hours, she had a list of photographers who were happy to help us and work within our parameters! That is where John Myers Photography came into the picture, and we couldn’t be happier! It was truly a blessing in disguise.The second most difficult part was honestly deciding who to invite to ensure a good mix of family and friends. Unfortunately, we couldn’t just invite the entire world or else we would have. It turned out to be wonderful, and surprisingly, a large number of the guests were all members from our church! Seriously, who would have thought a lesbian couple getting married in Alabama would have such a supportive church community?
Hallie: I was surprised at the number of stamps we needed!
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
Kelsey: I really don’t think there is anything else I would go back and change. It truly was a wonderful day.
Hallie: I probably would have made sure to really keep the guests away after the ceremony when we took all of our family photos. Most of them were not around, but the few that were made it very distracting and somehow I ended up not being in one of the family photos, whoops! Everyone is just so excited, so that part is a tad chaotic, haha.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?
Kelsey: There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions.Please know that the more questions you ask, the better understanding you have for your vendors, and the better understanding they have for what you are wanting. Also, I HIGHLY recommend getting a day of coordinator. Even if you don’t have a wedding planner, a day of coordinator will removel oads of stress off your back. Because of her, neither Hallie nor I had to worry about anything. We got to enjoy the day while knowing that everything was going smoothly. For example, the car we were leaving in died about 30 minutes before we were about to depart. Dana got people together to get the car working and we didn’t even know anything was wrong! Talk about a wonder woman.
Hallie: Definitely get a day of coordinator, but also! If you are planning on going on your honeymoon right after the wedding, give yourself at least one day in between! We got married on Saturday and left for our honeymoon on Monday. That one day in between was MUCH needed.We recuperated at home instead of using our first day of our honeymoon to recuperate.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Kelsey: My absolute favorite part of the wedding day was after Hallie and I left the ceremony and walked back up the aisle and into our holding room. The first moment that we looked at each other and were officially MARRIED was surreal.
Hallie: It’s hard to pinpoint a certain moment, but I love that I really have no idea exactly who was there that day because I was having so much fun with my WIFE :) My second favorite thing though...that we both had our own father-daughter dances.
- Venue & Catering: North River Yacht Club
- Photography: John Myers Photography
- Day of Coordinator: Day of with Dana
- Florist: HotHouse Design Studio
- Paper Goods: Courtney May Design
- Baker: Publix: Aprons
- Ceremony Music: Cahaba Creek String Quartet
- Reception DJ: DJ Papa Rooster
- Hallie’s Hair & Makeup: Marlene Glaser
- Kelsey’s Hair: Barbara Grimes
- Kelsey Makeup: Erin Milkay
- Officiant: Reverend Katie Gilbert
- Hallie Attire: Suzanne Perron
- Kelsey Attire: Bridal Bliss
- Wedding Party Attire: Men's Warehouse
- & David's Bridal
- Kelsey's Jewelry: Verragio
- Hallie’s Jewelry: Wallace Burke Jewelrs
- Favors: Edible Art by Capri
- Signage: Prophouse Birmingham