Melissa is a registered nurse and Laura is in medical school. They love cooking, running, sports, and entertaining company together. They found they could not be more perfect together..
The two met in September of 2012. Laura lived in Chapel Hill, NC and Melissa lived just about an hour south. They met online and after speaking for about a week, decided to meet in person. Laura took Melissa to an adorable little coffee shop where they chatted for a few hours. They moved the date to a local pub, and that’s where they had their first kiss.
Melissa proposed to Laura when they were out to dinner at a restaurant called Nomi Kitchen in Chicago. “The ring I bought for her has a great story along with it. Laura loves all things outer space. On one of our first few dates she told me that one day she was at the Air and Space Museum and they had a rock on display there that was dated back to the Big Bang. She touched it and yes, it made her cry. I of course found this story to be hilarious.” When Melissa was picking out the wedding ring, she found a material called Silicon Carbide which was originally found in a crater from a meteor that hit the earth at some point a very long time ago. The compound actually doesn't organically exist on this planet. Silicon Carbide is now manufactured into rings.
The girls were legally married in Illinois before the ruling. They wanted the ceremony to be on Laura’s parents’ farm in Wisconsin but knew at that time it wasn't legal. So they got the official certificate a few months early in Chicago, and decided to have a small ceremony after. “Not that it made a huge difference but, one month before our wedding was when they ruling occurred. It was awesome timing.”
“Our wedding day was essentially my PERFECT dream on a wedding,” says Melissa. It turned out beautiful and whimsical. Laura and she actually decorated the barn themselves. They bought all of the materials and hung everything, even the draped organza. “It was a hell of a challenge!” They lived in Chicago and would travel back and forth on the weekends to get things done.
They got married around 5:30 in the afternoon, while the sun was just over the trees. The ceremony was short and sweet. One of Melissa’s bridesmaids and one of Laura's sang the song ‘Ho Hey’ by the Lumineers (this was one of the first songs they heard together when they started dating), and Melissa played the guitar for the performance. “I wanted to be that bad ass bride with a guitar!”After the ceremony they enjoyed cocktail hour which included Laura's family's cheese from their dairy farm followed by catering from Three Guys and a Grill from Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin. They roasted a whole pig!
Best moment of the wedding for Melissa was giving Laura her most favorite Jordan's of all time. After they did the grand entrance and sat down, they put Laura in a chair and blindfolded her with one of the bridesman's ties. Melissa took her shoes off and put the Jordan's on her feet! “It was the best feeling in the world. She was so happy.
They didn't have an assigned maid of honor or best man. Laura had both of the men in her party, her two best guy friends Eric and Matt. And they used the terms "bridesmaids" and "bridesmen".
Melissa’s mother is a professional photographer. “I love her work (I am biased, I know)”. She has a partner, Ann Norment, who has a very similar style and who they knew pretty well. They felt a little awkward asking her to do LGBT wedding because they have heard photographer say that it can either help or hurt your business because someone may not want to use you if they find out you do LGBT photography. “But Ann has been absolutely amazing. She said yes with no hesitation, and has our pictures on her website... She is just wonderful!”
If having a home wedding, have someone else handle the details during the wedding so that you can both enjoy without distraction. "Get a photographer!" Jull and Lisa are very happy that they did, he set the stage for them that day and helped create some very private moments even when surrounded by everyone. Also, Lisa and Jill both say "don't be afraid to have a wedding that reflects exactly who you are" it doesn't need to fit into anyone else's mold. "Be yourselves!"