Gina and Dana moved their wedding to 2021 because of COVID-19, but wanted to do something special on their original wedding date. They went back to the beach where they both proposed to have a “commitment ceremony” with some of their closes friends. During the ceremony, they saved sand from the beach and asked guests to find a rock or shell to add to the sand so they’s have something from that day to bring to their new 2021 wedding date.
Tell us about your wedding!
A1: When our original wedding date was postponed due to COVID, we wanted to do something special on that day to acknowledge all the complicated feelings around the postponement. We decided to have a small commitment ceremony on the beach in Edmonds, WA where I proposed to Dana two years ago. The Jewish wedding ceremony that people usually see is actually a combination of two different ceremonies, one for the engagement and one for the marriage, so we had our rabbi perform that first half. The noisy, joyful wedding reception experience is something that we definitely still want to have, especially since our families are back in Michigan, so we will have our big wedding in June 2021!
Did you personalize the day in any way? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
This was a pretty small and simple event. One of the unique things about our ceremony was that we asked everyone in attendance to take a handful of sand or a stone from the beach and place it in a vase. We plan to bring the vase and its contents to our Michigan wedding, symbolizing the family we have built for ourselves in Washington. Our officiant is also a good friend of ours, and he crafted and curated the ceremony beautifully. He also set up a live stream on YouTube so our families in Detroit could watch, and that was lovely. We just had such a good day all around.
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A6: Dana and I both grew up in the Detroit area and attended Michigan State University, but we did not meet until both of us had started in the working world. In 2015 I was working in Lansing, MI, and Dana had just gotten a job in the area. While looking for queer community in the area, she met someone who was involved with roller derby and they invited her to a practice. At the time, I was the president of our roller derby league and was skating on the travel team. When Dana walked in the door to observe our practice, my world stopped. She was so cool and confident looking, and I had to muster up the courage to talk to her. At the end of practice, I skated up to her and introduced myself. And the rest is history! After dating for about a year, we moved to Seattle together for Dana’s job (through which we met our photographers Stormy and Michael!). We began to frequent Brackett’s Landing, a smallish beach near a ferry terminal, and it became out favorite place to relax and unwind. I proposed to Dana at sunset on that beach, and then she proposed right back! We ended up having the commitment ceremony about 20 feet from where we got engaged!