By Henry V. Thiel
Photos by Sebastian Aguilar
“For more than three years, everyone—mutual friends, coworkers, even my own sister, Mollie—wanted me to meet Sarah,” laughed Carrie Moore. Then one day, just after my coworker Nikki told me she thought Sarah and I would be a great match, we ran into Sarah at Jason’s Deli on our lunch break. It was crazy, wonderful timing.”
Two days later, they ran into each other at a mutual friend’s birthday party. They were inseparable from that night forward.
Two years later, they went on a date at a quaint restaurant in the Heights, where Sarah Arrendondo gave Carrie flowers and a sweet card. In the card was a surprise trip to Lake Tahoe for that upcoming weekend. “She had even scheduled for me to have time off from work without my knowledge,” explained Carrie.
When they arrived at Lake Tahoe, Sarah suggested they go on a hike at sunset. On a plateau, near the top of a hill, they stopped to enjoy the amazing view of the sun setting over the lake. “To my surprise, Sarah sweetly knelt down, poured her heart out, and proposed,” said a teary-eyed Carrie.
“We have an appointment,” Sarah added, “to get married at the county clerk’s office on Tuesday at 10 a.m. if you want to. But only if you want to.”
“Yes! Yes! Yes!” came the reply.
Getting married without any friends or family wasn’t what either of them had imagined for their wedding. And when Carrie woke up on the morning of the civil ceremony, she was saddened that no family or friends would be present to share the moment.
“However, as we stood there, hand-in-hand in front of the officiant,” remembered Carrie, “a flood of emotion and love rushed through my body. Tears started streaming down my face as I was being joined to Sarah for the rest of our lives. It was the most touching and romantic moment of my life—being married in a humble clerk’s office in the presence of just one stranger. I would not trade that moment for the world. It was so powerful and affirming, deep within my soul, that I was meant to marry Sarah.”
“Now, with that said,” Carrie added, “we still wanted to have a special ceremony to celebrate our marriage with our sweet family and friends.”
So began the planning for a wedding in Houston with all of their friends and family. As soon as they saw the Astorian, they knew they wanted to get married there. They loved the interior. “It’s very elegant, and has a Great Gatsby feel to it,” said Sarah.
Then on Friday, October 16, 2015, they got married for the second time. “It truly was an unforgettable evening,” exclaimed Sarah. “We felt such an overwhelming amount of love and support from our family and friends that truly made our wedding day more than we could have ever hoped it would be,” shared Carrie.
“We feel incredibly grateful to have families that celebrated our love for each other [and are] so supportive of our non-traditional lifestyle,” said Sarah. “We are blessed to be able to be our true, authentic selves and express our love for each other openly. We hope to see more and more of this for all couples in love. Love between two people is truly something to celebrate, and we were so touched by how celebrated we felt on the evening of our wedding.”
In planning their wedding, Carrie and Sarah made it a point to start by specifically asking each vendor if they were okay with a lesbian wedding before they proceeded any further. “While I am not sure if any were LGBT, they all were LGBT-friendly,” commented Carrie.
One tradition from Carrie’s side of the family brought the house down. “My family has a tradition on Christmas Eve to do a family talent show,” Carrie explained. “The [acts can show off] a wide range of talents, from playing a musical instrument to singing a song or doing a dance. Over the last few years, my 14 nieces and nephews have choreographed different dances to popular songs of the previous year. At our wedding, my nieces and nephews surprised us with a special dance routine dedicated to us. It was awesome,” she added as she touched her cheek.
Since the two women are currently living in Brazil, they flew to Playa del Carmen for their honeymoon. “The honeymoon was amazing. We had so much fun eating, drinking, and relaxing on the beach. We can’t wait to go back,” admitted Sarah.
Carrie smiled. “The best part of all this is that now Sarah has the pressure of two wedding anniversaries to remember, and to celebrate every year.”
Henry V. Thiel is a principal with The Epicurean Publicist. He enjoys nice walks in the country.