We have chosen to do a series on our blog throughout December. We are going to be featuring 5 different blogs about this wedding. We felt it necessary in our current climate and our need to share LOVE. Each blog is a different short bit from this one special day. I, as owner of IDoWED, chose Van and Chelsea for this 5 part series because I respect and love their story. I began to watch them and read about them after they reached out to IDoWED. They are both passionate about equality. Their story is one of inspiring power. I hope in reading their love story that you become inspired. I hope it encourages you to become pro-active in sharing LOVE.
Here is the Beechlinc Lovestory in Chelsea's words:
By the end of 2012, Evangeline and I had heard about each other for some time, from friends, fellow activists, our shared hair stylist…we both laughed at the passing suggestions. Starting off the new year, timing was different in our personal lives and although friends on social media for a while at that point, the opportunity to get to know each other better came that spring.
The Idaho Democratic Party had approached Evangeline about starting the first LGBT Democratic Caucus in the state, knowing I was in the same activist circuit but residing in Canyon County, she approached me with the prospect. Our first meeting was over drinks at Bardenay, Evangeline has a great poker face, claiming she could tell I was nervous but conversation came easily.
That May with fellow advocates we would go on to found the caucus and get right to work building momentum, spearheading projects, events and workshops.
It’s not your average love story, falling head over heels while advocating for marginalized communities of people, including yourself.
Yet there were always things for us to talk about, aside from our shared activist work we both adore our dogs and work in the mental health field with children that have cognitive disabilities. Long phone calls, coffee dates and later traveling around the state providing advocacy workshops together, we fell in love.
It was her humor and selflessness, her drive to serve and ability to put people at ease. Give us a six hour road trip to Northern Idaho and we can solve all kinds of national and local issues, still leaving time to car karaoke to The Sound of Music, Metallic and the best of the 90’s.
Fast forward to June of 2015, we would put the rumors and fun loving urging of everyone to rest and finally become an official couple, friends and family were overjoyed. Over the course of that summer, I would work closely with her identical twin sister Elizabeth in San Francisco, and her best friend Erin in Portland to plan her proposal that October (which they both flew in for). Thanks to the Flying M Coffee House and close friends the proposal went off without a hitch!
After I popped the question, we took pictures at the Capitol, it was there Evangeline surprised me with a ring on the steps. What a day! We finished the night with a surprise dinner I’d planned with our closest friends at Sofia’s Greek Bistro.
I cried the day we went to get our marriage license. We picked it up randomly after a quick lunch date, but it happened to be on the anniversary marriage become legal in Idaho for same sex couples. I became overwhelmed knowing those that made it possible. It was hard to believe not so long ago we would have been refused and turned away.
Seeing our big day come together surrounded with our friends and family was beyond incredible. The pictures, the videos, whenever we share stories or talk about our day, there’s a reoccurring theme of “joy.” Every.time. It was fun to combine the spirit of Evangeline’s hometown of New Orleans, my Idaho roots and really make the day our own with finishing touches. Having an incredible team didn’t hurt, I converted our wedding page beechlinc.com into a list of the vendors we worked with.
A couple months later, Evangeline still hates dishes, I still hate laundry and a great Friday night is still Greek food and Target.
These words shared during our ceremony, still bring tears to our eyes, I can’t imagine a day they won’t.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right… It is so ordered.”
–Justice Kennedy, SCOTUS Obergefell vs Hodges
Photography: Crissie McDowell
Pictured Makeup Artist: Blush