Michelle Brown and Christine Sholar

She Said “Yes!”

Take two women, both in their 40s.

Woman number one had been in two significant long-term relationships during most of her adult life. Woman number two had not spent “more than five minutes” in a relationship.

They meet each other over a mutual interest in motorcycles.

The air crackled with electricity. There was  an inexplicable “something” that felt like nothing either had felt before. Even before they made a commitment to each other, the world started looking different to each of them. Christine was in a current relationship but it had grown stale, but she wasn’t actively seeking a new partner. What she saw in and felt with Michelle was deeper than an instantaneous attraction.

For Michelle, these were feelings she’d never felt. For Christine, it had been a long time since she’d felt butterflies.

They both felt like they were gulping fresh air.

But there was no shortage of considerations. Still, they bantered back and forth for the next few months. And what they each discovered was more than just an attraction, they discovered a mutual willingness to be open and honest with each other; they began to build a foundation of trust. Christine spent the time pondering what changes would need to take place in her current situation while Michelle spent time the time trying to make up her mind … did she want what she thought might be her first     meaningful long-term relationship?

One night they were out with a group of friends and Michelle asked Christine if they could kiss. At first Christine rebuffed her and said she’d rather wait until they had a proper and appropriate first date before starting any kind of physical contact. Yet, as the evening wore on, that crackle of intense electricity and curiosity kept them in close proximity to each other.

Finally Christine figured, “What the hell.” She reasoned that their first kiss would tell it all. Was there indeed an irresistible attraction? Was Michelle someone she could end up spending a lifetime with?

Yes.

The next day Michelle went out with a mutual friend. The friend later talked to Christine and said she’d seen Michelle and there was just something about her that seemed lighter. And happier. They both described the “next day feelings” like they’d gone back to high school and were experiencing the giddiness and possibilities of a first relationship.

For the next six months they dated. They both kept their homes. Christine’s job, which involves weekly travel, kept the two on a weekend schedule. But as fall turned to winter, more of Michelle’s clothes were accumulating at Christine’s house, and they decided to move in together.

Michelle brought up the idea of marriage.

“Actually,” Christine interrupts. “Michelle’s mother called me and wanted to know what my intentions were.”

Michelle explains that she is always doing some kind of entrepreneurial activity and she and Christine were starting to engage in business transactions together. Both Michelle and Christine wanted others to know that this was a different kind of relationship. A relationship meant to last. A relationship with a future. And because their future would involve more co-mingling of assets, it was a relationship that needed legal protection.

In October of 2013, the stage was set for a wedding. Their plans took a “hot second,” according to both women. They picked New York City’s famed Central Park, in an area known as Wagner’s Cove, “one of Central Park’s hidden oases of calm.” They found and officiant and had three friends from NYC meet them there. Park visitors in the area gathered and witnessed their wedding and sent them pictures from different vantage points. After the wedding, they and their friends went to see “Kinky Boots” on Broadway and then out to dinner.

And nearly two years later, they are as strong as ever.

They’ve always said that once same-sex marriage was legal everywhere, they would plan a day of celebration back in Ohio so friends from home and families could witness their commitment to each other. So those plans are now in motion.

Says Christine, “Michelle and I have set forward to show our love is real and to let people see it. We make sure we tell each other ‘I love you’ every day.”

And they think it’s amazing that same sex marriage is now legal and everyone can just “move on” without that red herring dangling about.

“There’s a lot more to marriage than just financial considerations,” they said. “It takes work. It takes commitment.”

And now, everyone is able to make that decision no matter where they live.

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