Neither cancer nor Hurricane Harvey could stop Lindsey Reimer and Ashley Burnaman from tying the knot.
By Jenny Block
If you think “love conquers all” is just a silly expression, consider the case of Lindsey Reimer and Ashley Burnaman.
Reimer, 34, and Burnaman, 30, were married on October 28, 2017. But getting to their big day was anything but easy.
First, in the summer of 2017, Reimer was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Then in August, the couple lost their home to Tropical Storm Harvey. Those back-to-back disasters threatened to change everything, but the couple refused to let that happen.
In the wake of Reimer’s cancer diagnosis, Burnaman wasn’t sure what would be best for her fiancée.
“With our wedding rapidly approaching, I asked her if she wanted to postpone it because she was self-conscious of her hair loss,” Burnaman says. “She insisted that we keep the date and keep things as ‘normal’ as possible. I feel like us pulling off our wedding was literally an act of God, especially considering we have two kids and three dogs.”
Despite it all, the wedding went off exactly as planned. The couple was married at Shafaii Hall & Garden in Houston, with their friend Jess officiating. The event facility has “a beautiful garden to get married in, and then an extravagant hall right on the other side of the glass wall to have the reception,” Burnaman says, adding that they were not the first same-sex couple to marry there.
Reimer wrote their wedding vows, as well as their vows to their children. “It was so beautiful and heartfelt,” Burnaman says. “Our children adore Lindsey, and they started to get emotional when she was reading them her vows.”
Burnaman wanted Reimer to have the incredible moment of her dad escorting her down the aisle and everyone standing for her. “Lindsey is very special to me, and I wanted the focus to be on her,” Burnaman said.
“Everything turned out so beautifully,” she adds. “All of our friends and family were there to show us so much love and support. She is the woman of my dreams, so the least I could do is give her the wedding of her dreams.” After the wedding, they took off for a honeymoon in the Caribbean.
Their wedding was the culmination of a love story that can only be described as kismet. Even though Reimer and Burnaman grew up on the same street, they didn’t meet until 19 years later—at the Waffle House where they both worked.
“Lindsey also specializes in custom cakes,” Burnaman recalls. “I wanted so badly to see her outside of work. So I found her business page on Facebook and texted the number listed. I set up a consultation, and when I went to the appointment, I found it was Lindsey’s mother. Lindsey and her mom were in the cake business together. I almost paid $85 for a cake I didn’t need, just to see this girl.”
After meeting with Reimer’s mom, Burnaman received a text from an unknown number. “Lo and behold, it was Lindsey. Her mother called Lindsey immediately to update her on the cake order she just booked. Lindsey sent me a text, and I called her. I insisted on seeing her that night to discuss my very ‘detailed’ cake order.” They went to a diner and stayed up until 2 a.m. talking.
“Not once was the cake mentioned,” Ashley says with a laugh. “After that, we were inseparable. After a couple of weeks I admitted to not needing the cake, and that it was all a ruse just to see her—but I was totally willing to pay for the cake and for taking up their time.”
It didn’t take Burnaman two weeks to admit to herself that she wanted to marry Reimer. “We were out shopping and Lindsey reached for my hand, and I just knew I wanted to spend forever with her.”
In the most wildly romantic fashion, just about a year later, Burnaman proposed. It was Reimer’s birthday, and Burnaman organized friends and family at different locations meaningful to the couple. She gave each person a card with a clue to the next location. Reimer’s last stop was their home, where their friends and family were waiting.
“When she came up the driveway, it was lined with candles and rose petals,” Burnaman recalls. “I was singing, and our friend was playing the guitar. Then I brought Lindsey into the house, and there was her birthday cake. I confessed my undying love for her and turned the cake around. It said ‘Will you marry me?’ on it. I got down on one knee and put the ring on her finger. She immediately said yes.”
Burnaman calls Reimer “an incredibly strong and beautiful person, inside and out.
“We have been through so much together in the last four years. I have come to admire her more now than I ever did before,” she says. “Lindsey is a wonderful mother, a hard worker, and—the best part—she makes me want to be a better person. I am honored to call her my wife.”
Reimer’s thoughts on Ashley are equally adoring. “Ashley is my love, my best friend, wife, and number-one supporter,” Reimer says. “She picks me up when I am down or at my worst. She has opened my heart to love, and to me that is the most special part—her love. I gained two beautiful children to love and care for. It has made me less selfish and more loving. I adore my family, and I’ve never been prouder.”
“We have overcome Hurricane Harvey. We are beating cancer. Our wedding and honeymoon was so incredible, and now we have our new home,” Burnaman says. “We have been through so much these past few months, and you know what? As cliché as it sounds, it has only brought us closer together.”
This article appears in the February 2017 edition of OutSmart Magazine. If you were recently married and are interested in having your wedding featured in OutSmart, email [email protected]