Wake Up. Throw on a swimsuit. Walk down to the river in the backyard. Hang all day. Repeat. Falling in love was never a part of the summer plan, but that is what makes the summer of 2010 so incredible! I came home from college to be with my mom who had been diagnosed with cancer in the spring. Come summer, every second was spent at the river, hanging with friends, jet skiing, and laughing all day.
July 12th was the typical day; wake up, head to the river, meet friends, love life. Who knew this day would change my life forever?
A friend called and asked if her sister could join and of course everyone was welcome, so I headed out to an address Siri took me to. A random girl at the time, Hil, walked out, jumped in and we headed back to the jet skis. The group drank all day, laughed until our faces hurt and then decided to grab dinner and crash at my house. I was drawn to Hil all day, but couldn’t figure out why. Her free spirit and flawless tattoos caught my eye from the second she sat in my car, but there was no way I would ever admit that I was gay or that I even thought of her that way. I knew going to pick Hil up that she was gay, but no one knew I was.
I made it a point to get to know her throughout the day, made sure she was having a blast and wanted to hang out again. Morning came and we threw on suits, went to the river and were ready for another day in the sun. I was in absolute shock all morning. I kept thinking, “I’m not gay. How did that happen? What did I do?”
I asked Hil if she wanted to head out on the jet ski, so off we went, and about 100 yards out I stopped mid-stream and we just looked at each other. Beaming from ear to ear, I kissed her, AGAIN! The night before, around 3AM, we woke up and I knew I could not let this girl go; I had to tell/show her what I was feeling. There was no mention in the morning of the kiss the night before, so I needed to assure myself this was all real. We kissed again, I had her all to myself, floating along in silence, and without speaking we knew right then and there this was oh-so-right!
From that moment on, we never spent a moment apart for weeks! It was the true definition of summer love. Also, the true definition of what lesbians call U-Hauling (moving in right away). Without a care in the world our eyes and hearts were set on each other every second of every day.
I slowly had to admit to myself, “you are gay, and you are indeed falling in love."
August 9th came around and I knew what I had to do. A few friends took Hil to Old Sacramento, I followed them down there to surprise her. “Here goes nothing," I thought as I cornered her and, without a second thought, asked her to be my girlfriend. Summer came to an end and I was falling head over heels for this girl, but not many people knew I was gay. Close friends, but never my family, not my team, not anyone outside of Sacramento! We moved back to San Luis Obispo, enrolled Hil in school, basketball was underway again and we started our fairytale life in a small loft that drained our pockets to afford!
We lay awake at night still getting to know one another, asking anything and everything. I slowly started to tell my friends, but never my family. We grew as a couple into something we thought could never be possible. We were happier each day, always knew how to make each other smile, added our first furry dog child to the family, Bentley, and we even survived our first fight over something we can’t even remember. Our time in SLO flew by, graduation was creeping up on us and we needed a plan. I came home one day and said, “Portland. What do you think?” Hil claimed she would never move, not out of California, ever! I convinced her to just take a quick weekend up North and give it some more thought. My dad accompanied us up to the Northwest and after a morning of looking at houses we sat down to lunch.
I knew I had to come clean. Hil needed me to tell him, and I knew deep down our relationship could be so much stronger if I just said it out loud. The food was set on the table and out it came: “Dad we have something to tell you. We’re kind of a thing. We are dating”…silence…longest five seconds of our lives! He finally spoke, “Well, are you happy?” "Yes, dad we are more than happy." "Well, that is all that matters”
From that day forward our relationship together has been even stronger and our relationship with my dad has been much better. Turns out, we moved to Portland and continued our lives in a new state, making new friends, and finding new things to do! New Year’s 2012 rolled around and we were at a point where we needed something, anything. Something new, something exciting, something to strengthen our relationship. Hil wanted to be back in California with her family and sister, who just had a baby. I needed her to trust me even more than she already did. I needed her to know I was going to be there, FOREVER. I knew what needed to happen.
We were back in Sacramento for the holidays and I had an afternoon to plan “my plan”. I asked her mom, I asked my parents, I had the ring, now I needed the perfect moment. I set up a scavenger hunt to visit all the places that meant something to us, places that helped us to build our relationship. December 31st started as a normal morning, we jumped in the car to head to breakfast and I jumped out to “grab something from the house” A good friend of Hil’s was hiding waiting for her moment to take my place in the car and tell her to drive! They spent the day running all over town and for the magical moment, I asked Hil to meet me where I had first asked her to be my girlfriend. The few minutes that evening were a complete blur, but we do know that there were a lot of happy tears, our family watching from a close by window, a restaurant of people clapping and finally the dreamlike word“YES!"
There was no doubt in our mind about when the best day of our lives would take place. August 9th would always hold a special place in our hearts, so we needed an August 9th that fell on a Saturday. Lucky for us, August 9th, 2014 would fall on a Saturday and give us plenty of time to plan our dream wedding. Hil gave me the best proposal of all by using a diamond from my Mom’s wedding ring and customizing a pair of Nikes. She asked me to marry her on 8.9.14! After ensuring we both had gorgeous rings, we had 586 days to test our relationship and plan our dream wedding.
The next 586 days gave us free relationship counseling and great ways to learn to compromise. The rustic/crafty theme seemed to suit us best as we are both very creative and detail oriented. From deciding on a new perfume that had a scent to remind us of our wedding day to building big bold L.O.V.E letters that helped to explain how in love we really were, we only grew stronger and our rings now reminded us of the summer love that turned into forever. 586 days later we both woke up in separate rooms on August 9th 2014 and knew this would be the best day of our lives. Our faces already hurt from smiling so much, friends were running from room to room, and finally we were getting into our dresses with the help of the best mom’s ever! With dresses on, perfect makeup and hair, we were finally in place and ready to do our first look by releasing a cluster of balloons that would reveal our forever with each other. Up and away they went, the tears started rolling and we were lucky enough to have a country artist playing live “Hey Pretty Girl” in the distance. We could not wait to kiss each other and just take in the exact moment. With our life in front of our eyes, friends and family surrounding us, we held each other, not wanting to let go!
We eventually had to let go for pre wedding photos and the limo ride, but we couldn’t keep our hands off one another. The limo rolled up and we saw the rustic barn as a backdrop. Cars were driving in and Hil and I were watching from a distance. We were moments away from becoming Mrs & Mrs. Five o'clock came around, and I watched Hil and her mom walk proudly down the aisle, tears in their eyes and hundreds of guests waiting for us to say “I Do”. Hil, standing so proud, had the best view of all to watch my dad slowly walk me down the aisle and for those 30 seconds we were in a dead stare. Hil vowed to spoil me as much as I spoil her. I vowed that we would be the perfect pair with no sock seams to interrupt us.
I waited 1489 days to share my last name with the love of my life. In the sweltering heat, we were pronounced Mrs & Mrs Gregersen and at that moment we fell in love all over again. As we made our exit, there were tears in guest’s eyes and applause like I have never heard. Every single person in attendance made us who we are as a couple and enjoyed the best day of our lives with us. From kindergarten and first grade teachers to grandparents, new babies and friends from all over the country, we shared the best meal of pizza and beer, popped a few champagne bottles, danced the night away and shared stories that we will never forget. We both so seriously wanted our guests to enjoy themselves and take away how fun of a couple we are and that we truly care about every individual in attendance. The most thought went into our favors for guests to take home. Despite multiple battles, we finally agreed upon the most meaningful CD that guests could enjoy for months to come. On the first track we thanked them for attending and supporting us as a couple. The remaining tracks had songs that were meaningful to us and a few that were played throughout the evening.
To be honest, the few moments we had with our photographer, Jessica Stout, at sunset, will forever be the best memory of our wedding day. Our photos were the most important piece of the wedding to us, besides the “I Do’s.”
After the cupcakes are gone and the flowers are wilted, we wanted memories to relive our day. We can now relive our day any time we want. The few moments after toasts were our only chance to be so entwined in one another and just have a moment to breathe and reminisce, as well as look forward to the future. Our photos are proof that those moments were the best of that day and our whole bodies’ beam happiness in every way possible. Just as the sunset on our continuous summer love, with our first dance as Mrs and Mrs Gregersen, Jason Mraz said it best:
I don't wish to change you
You've got it under control
You wake up each day different
Another reason for me to keep holdin' on
I'm not attached to any way you're showing up
I'm just gonna love you like the woman I love
- Photograhy By Stout Photography
- Desserts By Sugar Cake Company
- Shoes By Nine West
- Dresses By Mikaella Bridal
- Wedding Party Attire By Macy's
- Makeup By Sidney Le Beauty
- Hair By Curl Up & Dye Salon
- Paper Goods By Ivey Performance Marketing
- Flowers By Unveiled Grace Event Design
- DJ By Huge Entertainment
- Music By Johnny Bulford
- Jewelry By Smith & Bevil
- Details & Decor By BHLDN
- Venue By Smith Flat House