Magical California Forest Lesbian Wedding
How long have you been together?
Our first date was on Wednesday, February 25, 2015. So, it will be 3 years in February!
Where do you two live? Tell us a little bit about what you both spend a majority of your time doing.
Sally is an accountant for a firm in San Francisco and Ale is a teacher for the visually impaired at the California School for the Blind. We just recently bought our first house in Oakland, California – so we spend a lot of time dreaming and exploring.
We enjoy doing many things together, but high on our list is dancing. We also love spending time with family and friends, and with our two pups, Samson and Malala.
What is the first thing you remember about the other when you first met?
Sally: I remember seeing Ale walk up Mission Street towards a bar called Virgil’s Sea Room in San Francisco. She looked gorgeous and mysterious.
Ale: We met at Virgil’s Sea Room in the Mission, just blocks away from where we both lived for years without bumping into each other. I remember everything about our first meeting. The way Sally looked. Our conversation. Her smile. I remember feeling at peace; like I had met her before. Every day with Sally feels as amazing and as vivid as the first.
How did the proposal go down?
Sally: We were in Norway and it was magical. Ale had a custom ring made for me. She carried it with her from CA to London. Then from London to Oslo. While going through security at Heathrow her bag was searched. Ale calmly asked that I get her a coffee. Then proceeded to clue in the British airport security about the engagement ring she had stashed in her carry-on. Ale didn’t even flinch. We got to Norway and…well, Ale can share the rest.
Ale: I asked Sally to marry me overlooking a river on a bridge in Norway.
We landed in Oslo and spent a few days there before catching a train to a small seaside town called Grimstad, where one of my favorite musicians (Ane Brun) was performing at a music festival. Before catching our train, we took a beautiful walk through the city to the river, where we sipped coffee and enjoyed being together. As we walked, I shared a list that I had been keeping on my phone of all the “reasons why” I love Sally. I had been keeping the list since our second date so at the time, I had a little more than 100 reasons. I was sharing some of the memorable ones as we finally got to the bridge where I planned to ask her. I came up behind her and told her to scroll down to the bottom of the list where I had written a note to her. At the end of the note, I had written “will you marry me?” And I whispered it in her ear as she read the words on my phone. I hired a photographer to capture the moment, and then we spent the rest of the morning taking photos, drinking champagne and radiating joy like I’ve never experienced before.
Was there a memory from your wedding that sticks out more than others?
Sally: All our friends and family that showed up to make the day happen. We are lucky to have such an amazing community. So much love. And our first dance to Sade’s your love is king.
Ale: So, so many beautiful memories. Our second line procession was hilarious. The music of the talented Diana Gameros was out of this world. Diana is an amazing singer/songwriter, and we were so blessed to have her perform for us. Our first look. Our ceremony. Our vows to each other. Our community tree planting. The way our family and friends smiled and laughed and cried. Our first dance, and all the dances after that. It was a wild party. Looking back, we laugh because it was by far the best wedding either of us had ever been to. The fact that it was our own is just awesome.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to other couples planning their wedding?
Sally: Roll with it. Trust your people.
Ale: Definitely just roll with it and trust your people. For us, our people did everything. We didn’t have vendors to deal with, we had family. But also, enjoy every second you can.
If you could change one thing about your wedding what would it be?
Sally: I wish I would have been more present. It went by so quickly and I think I tried to control too many things during the first part of the day. Ale: I would change nothing. Everything happened the way it was supposed to. I was just overcome by how our community of family and friends came together. Sally’s family lost everything in the Santa Rosa fires literally the weekend before our wedding, so our celebration almost didn’t happen. In the end, people really came together and supported us in ways we never could have imagined. We were surrounded by so much love, it was breathtaking really.
Why did you choose the wedding venue/location you did?
We wanted a venue that represented us. We wanted to be surrounded by redwood trees, somewhere close to or in SF, and magical. The venue we found somehow was everything we wanted.
Did you run into any issues with vendors who were not gay friendly?
We didn’t deal with any vendors. We experienced nothing but tremendous love from everyone who helped make our love gathering happen.
Top 3 things that make a marriage last?
Making time for and respecting your relationship.
Honesty, vulnerability, compassion, and never going to bed angry or upset.
How supportive was your family about your wedding?
100% ALL GOOD!
What do you think makes it hard about planning a wedding without the support of your family?
We could not have done what we did without our family. Period. We would have had to reimagine our entire day. Not having the support of our families would have created a dark cloud that would have been hard to emotionally overcome.
3 songs that remind you of each other:
Your love is king, by Sade
The things I’d do for you, by Astronomyy
Daring to love, by Ane Brun
Only you, by Yazoo
Why’d you choose Steph to document your wedding day?
We chose Steph because she’s an amazing human. She has a wonderful eye for delicate moments. Her photography speaks for itself. She doesn’t just take a beautiful picture, she captures the emotion and people within the photograph. We also tremendously value how real and authentic she is. Steph is not only a pleasure, but she’s the best.