Nickie Gullahorn, 37, was introduced to Sharla Weissinger, 31, at the 2005 Dallas Gay Pride Parade by Gullahorn’s two moms, Judy and Linda Riggi, who met Weissinger through mutual friends as they rode their motorcycles side-by-side in the parade. Gullahorn, who doesn’t ride, met them at the end of the parade route.
Weissinger, a Conroe native, was a little scared of Gullahorn when they first met, because of how young she was. “She was just 18,” Weissinger exclaimed. “But when I saw her smile, I was truly excited! She was not like most people I had met.”
Gullahorn, who is originally from Bedford, Texas, remembers thinking, “Wow, this is going to be fun!”
Their first date was at Starbucks, where they sat for more than six hours, even after they closed, just talking and getting to know each other. “I loved how Sharla was a dreamer,” smiled Gullahorn. Weissinger loved how Gullahorn was mature beyond her years, and that she had her life goals set.
“We have had a great relationship from the beginning,” shared Weissinger. “We learned early on to put the other first, and that communication is very important, as is honesty. We also try to remember every day why we fell in love.”
“It’s not about you,” stated Gullahorn. “It’s about giving 100% to the other—not 50/50! And it’s hard not to stay madly in love if you’re always striving to get your spouse to fall in love with you over and over again.”
“Romance is also important when it comes to relationships,” added Gullahorn. “I surprised Sharla with a trip to Key West for Valentine’s Day, and Nickie surprised me with a bubble bath complete with lit candles, fresh fruits, cheese, and wine, to just relax after a day of chaos.”
After being together for nine years, and way before gay marriage was legal in Texas, Weissinger changed her last name to Gullahorn. “I just had to have her last name,” she said.
Gullahorn says she knew she wanted to marry Weissinger for years, but it wasn’t until they started visiting her niece, Callie, in the hospital that Gullahorn decided to make it official. (Her niece was born with a congenital heart defect and spent five months in the NICU.)
“When I saw the bond between Callie and Sharla, I knew it was time. The fact that Callie was named after Sharla was great validation! (Callie Shay Harper and Sharla’s nickname is Shay Shay.)
Gullahorn never thought that gay marriage would be legal in her lifetime, or that a piece of paper or an official ceremony could ever define their love.
Weissinger felt the same way until she met Nickie and her mom, sister, and grandmother.
Gullahorn proposed to Weissinger on her birthday. She started the day by making Weissinger think that they were just going to lunch with friends. Instead, Gullahorn took her to a local airport where Weissinger had her very first flying lesson. The plane landed at another airport, and they were taken to a vineyard where she thought they were going to do tastings, but instead she was surprised by a large gathering of her friends and family. While they walked around, a photographer was taking their pictures. They were on a really pretty bridge when it started to drizzle and Gullahorn got down on one knee.
They were married on October 4, 2018, at Camp Lucy in Dripping Springs, Texas, under an arbor of century-old live oak trees they had fallen in love with on their first visit. The officiant was Sharla’s grandmother, Barbara Roberts, who was truly honored to marry them.
“The moment that really stood out to us was seeing each other at the ceremony for the first time!” said Gullahorn.
“It felt like no one else was there. It was just us!” added Weissinger.
The brides declined to share their vows because they were “way too personal and embarrassing—meant only for each other and the wedding party,” stated Gullahorn.
The brides included a “heritage table” at the reception, with empty seats to represent all of their loved ones who have passed.
The brides chose to honeymoon in Cabo, Mexico, at an all-inclusive hotel that they had earned as a performance bonus from their employer, THRIVE, a network marketing company selling the only wearable nutritional supplement.
Ms. and Ms. Gullahorn live in Dallas.
This article appears in the March 2019 edition of OutSmart magazine.