The year was 2010. Gustavus Adolphus College was celebrating its annual Coming Out Week festivities in October, including an event called Queer We Are, which is a safe place to share coming out stories or to come out as an ally of the GLBT community. Lindsay, now a senior, had been attending each year and enjoyed the stories and company of good friends. In 2010, everything changed. There was one story and one young lady’s company that she enjoyed a bit more than others.
After Lindsay had gone up on stage and told her coming out story (it took her three years to muster up the courage to do so) this cute, blonde girl with dreadlocks approaches the stage. As it turns out, she’s a freshman. Immediately, Lindsay is impressed with such bravery and valor. Once she learns dreads girl’s name, she turns to her best friend: technology.
Now, this is the part of the story where Lindsay admittedly toes the line of stalker-hood. Through Gustavus’s online directory (the Gribly), Lindsay does an advanced search for freshmen named Hannah. Bam. There she is, dreads girl. Lindsay memorizes Hannah’s last name, and moves forward to adding her on Facebook. Keep in mind, this is all happening while Hannah is still on stage telling her story.
Later that evening, Hannah accepted Lindsay’s friend request and Lindsay turns on her best cyber-flirting. She pretends to be super active in the Q&A (Gustavus’ GLBT group on campus) so it wouldn’t look as if she was stalking her to the next evening’s event, the BBQ&A.
At the barbecue, Lindsay and Hannah exchange a plethora of stolen glances and subtle smiles, but not a single word. Hannay chides, “Lindsay has no game, unless it’s through an electronic screen apparently.”
Through more Facebook interactions, Lindsay gives Hannah her phone number, leaving the ball effectively in Hannah’s court. “Obviously, I couldn’t resist Lindsay’s talents of technology, her cunning wit, or her dire good looks,” Hannah says. “So our first official hangout was established through text message and Lindsay was stoked to have a date to the drag show the following evening.”
Hannah showed up at the drag show with her friends, but soon left their sides and found herself next to Lindsay’s. They finally talked in person, and they haven’t stopped talking since.
“Man, that girl has confidence!” Lindsay reflects on the first time she saw Hannah. “It first struck me when she went on stage as a freshman and told her coming out story, and then the first time we hung out at the drag show, she left her friends to hang out with me instead. Now, you may not believe it, but I am typically a shy person, especially when it comes to talking to the ladies. I was in awe of her.”
October has effectively become a special month for Lindsay and Hannah: when they met, first date, official dating anniversary, and many more memories. Three years later, Hannah is the senior attending Queer We Are. Unbeknownst to Hannah, Lindsay met up with their good friends, Molly and Anne, for a “calming of the nerves” beverage before the event that night.
During this “calming of the nerves” ritual, Lindsay gave a small little box for Molly to hold onto until later that night when they were due to meet up with them again (they also planned on going to Queer We Are).
Once at Queer We Are, Molly slipped the small little box to Lindsay under the table. Lindsay then walked up onto the stage, and told the story of how she and Hannah met at the exact event three years prior.
“We had agreed that neither of us really planned on going on stage,” Hannah says. “Except Lindsay was just throwing me off. Next thing I know, Lindsay is on stage and my heart is melting. She is telling our story of how we met and then telling the entire audience that she intends to make me her future, asks me to come up on stage with her, and proposes.”
But Hannah knew that October was a special month for them, and she, too, carried Lindsay’s ring with her. This way, when Lindsay popped the question, she could pop it right back… which she did on stage.
“We had picked out rings already, which turned out to be about three months before the proposal; we knew payments were being made on the rings,” Hannah says. “I knew Lindsay wanted to be the one to propose.”
There were a few different ideas Hannah had as to when Lindsay may propose, but made certain to have her ring by the end of September, just in case. “I had been convinced she didn’t have the ring on her, so my shock showed through all of my many tears as I said yes,” Hannah says. “Hesitantly in front of this crowd, I then grab my purse, take out her ring, and ‘pop the question’ right back to her.”
When the shock and awe dissipated and the tears dried up, the couple began planning their wedding. There were a few things they knew they wanted right away: River Rock Coffee for desserts as it’s a local favorite, and SmartSounds DJ as it’s owned by a good friend. As for other vendors, the couple did a lot of online searching, knowing they wanted gay-friendly businesses.
They stumbled on photographer Heidi Garrido’s website and, after a perfect first impression, the couple became a little less stressed. “We didn’t tell the caterer or florists that we were a gay couple, as their services didn’t directly involve us interacting together much,” Hannah says. “But, when it came to videographer, we did ask if he had any issues with filming a lesbian wedding and Eric Olsen pretty much said no way, and hoped we hadn’t encountered any issues thus far. We knew then that he was our guy!”
When it came to styling the wedding, the two brides radiated against their Edgewood Farm venue backdrop. “We definitely wanted to reflect the rustic look and feel of the venue,” Lindsay says. “Hannah is slightly more traditional with decoration so that influenced the vast amount of flowers we had. We wanted fresh, green, leafy additions to our flowers to go with the rustic nature of the venue.”
Lindsay’s passion for DIY lended itself to a rustic feel, which showed through in most of the table and other venue decorations.
For the ceremony, Lindsay’s less traditional, more personal preferences allowed her to piece together a very casual, funny, non-religious ceremony script and she even took pictures of the crowd in the middle of the ceremony.
“We had our dog, a golden retriever named Penny, run the rings down to us also in the middle of the ceremony,” Lindsay says. “We balanced the non-traditional with traditional entities such as us both wearing white dresses and all six bridesmaids (we each had three) wore matching dresses. We exchanged rings, but instead of getting new bands or adding to our engagement rings, we kept the same rings from the engagement and decided to forego the additional wedding band on the left hand.”
To help create a unified look between the brides, both dresses came from The Wedding Shoppe. Hannah went shopping first, and when Lindsay went shopping, she made sure that the staff knew which dress Hannah had chosen, and the helpful employees ensured no dresses were pulled that could clash, or too closely resemble Hannah’s dress.
“We kept the dresses a secret, and had a ‘first look’ on the day of,” Hannah says.
Both brides were walked down the aisle by a parent. Lindsay with her mom, and then Hannah with her dad. Lindsay says, “Since Hannah is more traditional, it was easy to decide that I would walk down first and wait for her as she approached the altar.”
From the Queer We Are stage to the Edgewood Farm altar, Hannah and Lindsay said their vows in front of nearly 175 guests — that’s 175 people to bear witness to this love story for the ages.
Photography: HM Photography
Videography: Olsen Media
Florist: Budding Creations
Dresses (Bridal and Bridesmaids): The Wedding Shoppe
Jewelry: Shane Co.
Hannah’s Hairpiece: The Wedding Shoppe
Linens: Inspire Bridal Boutique
Cake/Desserts: River Rock Coffee
Lindsay’s Hair/Makeup: Raydiance Salon
Hannah’s Hair: Hairitage Salon
Hannah’s Makeup: Chelsea Jeanson-Ham, Friend