In 2016, Lisa Johnson Pinkham made herself go to a party she did not want to attend. Little did she know that she’d meet her future wife, Amy Renee Broussard. But it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing that night.
“I was invited to a party. I didn’t want to go,” Lisa recalls, “but since I didn’t really know anyone in Houston other than people I worked with, I thought I should go. I didn’t have a good time.”
When they met at the party, Lisa mentioned to Amy that she had recently moved to Houston from the San Francisco Bay Area. “Since I had lived there also, I thought Lisa would want to exchange numbers,” Amy says. “Lisa was too unavailable for that.”
Amy, who is from Lafayette, Louisiana, attended the University of Houston and San Francisco State University and majored in anthropology and LGBTQ studies. She is a business analyst for AIG and the president of the LGBTQ+ and Allies Employee Resource Group for Houston.
Hailing from Brooklyn and Nyack, New York, Lisa attended Emerson College to major in theatrical design. She is currently the resident lighting designer for the Houston Ballet.
When the two met, Lisa had been single for two years and not really looking. “I wanted a relationship, but I didn’t know what to do about it. And I have this belief that whatever I am looking for is looking for me, too. So I was just waiting.”
Then one day in 2019, three years after their first meeting, Lisa found herself in “overlapping groups of friends” with Amy. “I had this feeling and thought, Okay, I’ll investigate,” Lisa says. She was finally ready to exchange phone numbers.
“We went for coffee, and I started interviewing Lisa, asking her many questions,” Amy recalls. “As we were getting to know each other over coffee, discussions with food after movies, and walks, I wasn’t convinced Lisa was interested in dating because she did not ask me questions. She would tell stories and then wait for me to tell stories. That really isn’t my style. Months later, I told her I wanted to date her.
It was then that she was able to clue me in that she liked me, too.”
As the couple spent the first few months getting to know each other better, Amy asked Lisa what her feelings about marriage were. Lisa admitted that she was open to it. “A few months after we started dating, we started talking about getting married. We didn’t know when, but we knew it would happen.”
Perhaps not surprisingly after such early and straightforward marriage talk, the proposal was not a traditional one. In fact, there wasn’t really one at all. “As we were getting to know each other and creating safe space for sharing intimate truths, marriage was a topic of discussion,” Amy says. They addressed questions like the qualities a partner must have, and how they would know when they were ready to get married. “From there,” Lisa says, “it was never going to be a ‘Who is popping the question?’ situation, but an open, honest conversation along the way.”
The couple was wed on October 21, 2021, in Menil Park. Because of the pandemic, they opted for a small outdoor gathering. “The date was one of the bigger challenges because Mercury wasn’t coming out of retrograde until the 19th, and Amy’s friend told her [she should wait] to sign any contracts. And then, Numerology. We didn’t want a bad number. The 21st made our number a nine, and that is the presence of all numbers, so we got married on a Thursday,” Lisa explains.
Amy really liked the idea of eloping, but they felt somewhat restricted in terms of travel. “So the idea of a local elopement seemed to be the way to have a small wedding with no guest list,” Amy says.
Using LGBTQ vendors was important to the couple, so they used officiant Jen Dickey, floral designer John Friedman Flowers, transportation from Limo Jackie, dinner arrangements by State of Grace, and rings by Esqueleto in Oakland, California.
Lisa felt that there was a lot of stress, even for a small wedding. “I can’t imagine a big wedding. All we had to do was find rings, have them made, figure out what they should say, pick the date, time, and location, get boutonnieres, get something to wear, get that something altered, get a limo, and make a dinner reservation for seven people. Seriously—cannot imagine a big wedding!”
Despite how it all began, the two could not be any more enamored with one another. Lisa calls Amy the most amazing person she’s ever met. “And I get to spend my life with her!” And Amy says Lisa exceeds anything she had hoped and prayed that the woman she fell in love with would embody. “Lisa is sweeter than ever.”
This article appears in the December 2021 edition of OutSmart magazine.