is the only thing
in the world
that can make you feel
as though you are both
and the weakest person
Tell us your love story!
We met at Smith College. Ellen was a first year, Katy was a sophomore. We both lived in the same house, Tyler House. On Mountain Day, Katy and Ellen went apple picking together. Afterwards, we exchanged numbers to make an apple pie. A couple days before Halloween, Ellen asked Katy if she wanted to do a costume together. Ellen said she was going to dress up as a 1950’s housewife and she needed a husband. Katy agreed and we went downtown to buy items for the costumes. We ended up at a café talking and have never stopped.
What about the proposal?
After dating for six years, Ellen went away to NYC to attend graduate school, while Katy stayed in the same town to continue teaching first grade. After about a month of long distance, Katy decided that she was going to propose over winter break when we were together in San Francisco. Katy got a hold of rings from each of our great-grandmothers, asked Ellen’s dad’s permission and made plans. Katy asked Ellen to marry her at Sutro Baths in San Francisco at sunset and then we ran off to Sonoma for a few days to celebrate.
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
There was never really any doubt.
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
As soon as we starting envisioning our wedding, we realized that we wanted to be really selective about what traditional elements we included. Our mantra was, “Is this meaningful to us?” We made sure to only include traditions and practices that resonated with us, rather than including things that felt performative or not authentic to us. This allowed us freedom to edit the traditional wedding to fit our personalities and desires.
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
We were surprised by how shocked people were that we weren’t including some traditional elements. Some people had a hard time understanding what a wedding would look like without a bridal party, first dance or white dresses. It made us realize how deeply ingrained these wedding traditions are in our culture. In the end, the most common feedback we got from our guests was, “This wedding was so authentic to you two!” We won people over in the end.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?
Don’t feel like you have to “perform” a wedding just because you are getting married. Think about what practices and customs you want to include with a critical lens, if it doesn’t resonate to you and your love, then toss it. Don’t be afraid to describe what you want, even if it differs from the normal expectations.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Seeing everyone we love in one place, surrounding us and making community together. Being surrounded by the chuppah that our maternal grandmothers knitted for us as we married each other.
"You are the ink,
and you've always been the art.
I'm covered in you."