Yvonne and Lisa Tran were in a hurry to protect themselves after Donald Trump’s victory.
By Henry V. Thiel
In January 2005, Lisa Tran walked into her first committee meeting at Pride Houston as a volunteer, hoping to meet some new friends in the community. Little did she know that she would meet the love of her life, Yvonne Feece.
“Although we were friends for many months, we both knew within the first week of dating that the other was ‘the one,’” says Feece, who now goes by Yvonne Tran.
They originally planned their wedding with 150 guests in the fall of 2018—but then Donald Trump’s victory last November threw a wrench in their plans.
“After the 2016 presidential election, we were concerned that Trump would roll back the rights of the LGBT community, so we decided to get married as soon as possible,” Yvonne says. “After years of being denied the 1,200-plus rights that legally married citizens were already receiving, we knew that we could not afford to lose this opportunity to protect ourselves. Our future and family was much too important to leave to chance.”
In moving up the wedding, the couple had to condense their guest list to 36—a difficult task, given that they originally wanted to invite extended family and out-of-town friends. They sent out their wedding invitations via text message.
“We planned our wedding in less than three weeks,” Yvonne says. “We were so touched by those that attended our special day, particularly since they were given little notice.”
Both attended the University of Houston and consider themselves native Houstonians, even though they each moved here when they were 10.
It was on a weekend trip to New York City last spring that Lisa proposed to Yvonne. After sharing a romantic French brunch, they snagged an appointment at an artist’s studio to pick out their rings.
“We jumped into a cab to go to Brooklyn,” Lisa says. “And to our surprise, our cabbie was an older Jewish woman. We had never had a female cab driver before, and she was very sweet and quite the character. She told us all about the neighborhood we were headed to—the streets and the brownstones. About halfway to our destination, while stopped at a traffic light, she shut off the meter.
“Everything just fell into place on that gorgeous day,” she adds. “We arrived at the artist’s studio and began to try rings on. Within 20 to 30 minutes we had picked out our favorites, and our engagement became a reality. It was all very exciting for us. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening out and about, just the two of us.”
On December 11, 2016, Houston Judge Jerry Simoneaux officiated their wedding at Masraff’s Restaurant on Post Oak.
“We would like to thank our amazing LGBT-friendly vendors,” says Lisa, listing Seventh Ray Films, M&M Photography, culinary artist Sean Elliot Lewis, hair and makeup artist Bonnie Swan, and SimpleRegistry.com.
The couple says the big day flew by faster than they could have imagined.
Lisa’s favorite moment was when Yvonne said, “I do!, I do!, I do!” Yvonne’s favorite moment was watching Lisa walk down the aisle with her father.
“We walked down the aisle to the song that was playing when Yvonne professed her love to me,” Lisa says. Other favorite moments included the moving speeches and toasts from family and friends.
“It meant the world to us to have our nieces and nephew in the wedding,” Lisa says. “We had a couple of our nieces walk down together and give flowers to each of our moms. The other niece and nephew gave our rings to Jerry.”
Yvonne walked herself down the aisle because her father “doesn’t believe in her lifestyle,” according to Lisa. Yvonne then proclaimed: “I am beyond thrilled to marry into such a wonderful family, and I am proud to take Lisa’s last name. I am gaining incredible parents, brothers and sisters, many cousins, and a large, tight-knit family.”
Lisa, 38, and Yvonne, 39, recently moved to Sugar Land after living in the Heights. Lisa works in the corporate world, and Yvonne is a successful photographer.
The brides plan a relaxing honeymoon vacation later this year or early next year.
Henry V. Thiel is a principal with The Epicurean Publicist, a boutique public relations company which works exclusively with chefs and restauranteurs. He loves weddings.