Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Same Sex Marriage Celebration - SF City Hall Wedding Giveaway Winners!

I am so excited to announce the winners of my SF City Hall Wedding Photography Giveaway - Tracy and Leslie!

I had a really (REALLY) difficult time choosing a winner - each couple who entered had such a unique and beautiful love story. I was reminded again and again that each couple falls in love their own way; has marriage mean something slightly different; and comes from a different background. I so enjoyed reading about the women who fell in love, unexpectedly, on an army base in the 60s! Or the couple who were raising a son together, after one woman's husband died and she found herself falling in love with another woman. Or the sweet men who met in the Pacific NW and have followed each other all over the country to stay together. I wanted to say, yes, I'll do it all!

However, I already feel so swamped, that I knew in my heart it was unrealistic. Devon reminded me that no one EXPECTED to be picked, and that I was probably feeling much more regret about having to choose one than they would. I went around and around... and finally chose the couple I could relate to most. I loved how different all of the stories and life experiences were, because it reminds me over and over again that love can affect anyone in unexpected ways. People who don't expect to fall in love, fall hard.

Back to Tracy and Leslie - here's a bit of their story:

"My honey and I met about 7 years ago while we were both attending Mills College. We didn't date at the time since we each weren't the others "type". A little over 5 years ago, we re-met, had dinner and the rest is history. We just bought ourselves a tiny house in Oakland, have adopted 3 dogs, 4 cats and opened our home to over a dozen dogs looking for a forever home.

The marriage ruling came down 2 days before I was graduating from Mills (again) with my Masters. We were so excited! Then we left for Thailand and didn't discuss it much. Leslie and I both saw a ring in the window of a jewelry store and both conspired to go inside. Without much discussion we bought it and later the night talked it over. We've wanted to marry ever since the 2004 weddings in San Francisco and now we could actually do it, with a license and everything! Traveling through another country with her made me realized all over again how much we love each other and that we are a family, no matter what!

We came home from Thailand and I starting trying to do a wedding before the November election. A few days later, we realized that it felt rushed and fake, like a wedding package. After watching the first day of weddings on the news, Leslie turned to me with her grand idea - get married at City Hall.

Perfect! Get married in a civil ceremony at one of the most beautiful buildings ever (a favorite of Leslie's dad, an architectural historian), have a great dinner with close friends and our families at one of our favorite San Francisco restaurants and next year renew our vows with a big party!

We picked our date for a reason. The month of September is in honor of my grandparents who have been married for 57 years. They have been through so much and have always stuck together. They are our inspiration. Secondly, we compete with our three dog and it was one of two weekends when we didn't have a competition the next day - now you know where our priorities are!

Being able to get married is still a shock. I can only imagine how emotional this day will be for us. Actually signing a license and certificate. Speaking those words in front of our friends and family. Being in the presence of all those other LGBT couples who came before us in 2004 and in 2008. We also hope that our wedding will inspire our friends and family to continue to speak out in support of marriage equality."

Tracy also told me that they decided if they didn't win the contest, that they were just going to not have photos, rather than have cheesy bad ones to color their memories of the day. Love it!

She also sent over this cute photo of the two of them, and I love the casual affection in it:

I'm finalizing the edit from the East Bay Express' "Wedding Wednesdays" events and will be posting those very soon, in the continued spirit of same sex marriage celebration!

1 comment:

Meg said...

YAY!!!! I wish I were a wedding photographer, or had something real to offer, because then I could take pictures of everyone else too.

Excellent, and hooray!