History-Making Pennsylvania Wedding: Dee & Sasha
July 28, 2013
Sasha and Dee met in college. They lived on the same door floor during their first year at Bowdoin College. They lived together all four years during college.
The brides had a big ceremony with their family and friends in 2004, but could not then obtain a marriage license. They were denied a license in Massachusetts because the court only allowed their state’s resident coverage under their law. Dee and Sasha would later become the lead plaintiffs in the court action against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Ballen v. Corbett), to ensure it recognized their license. They settled on favorable terms after the federal decision came down in Pennsylvania.
In 2013, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor, the Register of Wills in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, announced he would issue licenses to same-sex couples. Dee was at work when she saw the headline. She called Sasha at work to share the news, and they were both thrilled at the idea of finally obtaining a marriage license. They were the first couple to arrive at the courthouse the next morning. They met with county officials and awaited the arrival of the county solicitor to witness the issuance of the first-ever license to a same-sex couple in Pennsylvania. The staff wept and hugged them. The press was there, but Dee and Sasha were too overwhelmed as they ran from the courthouse to start making phone calls to plan their wedding just four days later.
Planning was a mad, four-day dash. They secured an officiant, two dresses, a cake, photographer, caterer, decorations, music and outfits for the kids. They coordinated scheduled to have family come in from out of town. The planning was intense, but it all came together.
The wedding was full of special details. A friend, who is a rabbi, performed the ceremony which included the traditional Seven Blessings with a twist. The blessing, read aloud by family and dear friends, were quotes from court cases involving the right to marry.
Their favorite memory was sitting in their son’s bedroom before the ceremony and looking out the window as love filled their yard with the arrival of each guest.