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WEDDINGS: A Shared Passion

Kamah Asha and Kelsey Lovelle fell in love while working toward degrees in social work.

Kamah Asha (l) and Kelsey Lovelle (EVOKE Photography & Video)

Kelsey and Kamah Asha Lovelle have a lot in common. They both attended Southeastern Louisiana University. They both received bachelor’s degrees in social work. They both attended the University of Houston School of Social Work, where they earned their master’s degrees. And on October 10, 2021, at Shirley Acres in Spring, Texas, they began sharing the same last name—Lovelle.

“We met at Southeastern Louisiana University in Mrs. Magee’s social-work human behavior course. Kelsey sat one row over and one seat in front of me, the perfect spot to watch them with intrigue for the next few months. Kelsey was completely unaware that I existed. Finally, on the last day of class, April 22, we hung out in the campus library cafe and finally exchanged numbers,” says Kamah Asha.

From that point on, the couple began developing a relationship that would eventually take them from Louisiana to Texas to begin their careers after earning their master’s degrees. Kelsey is the supervisor of volunteer services at the Houston Food Bank. Kamah Asha has continued on with her education and is pursuing specialized education in trauma-informed expressive arts therapy. 

They currently live in central northwest Houston, where you can usually find them in the Heights, Midtown, or Montrose neighborhoods exploring art walks, the Chocolate Bar, or any neighborhood that has walking trails to explore.

“We love the theater, so we are so glad Houston is a major stop for all the Broadway tours. We are both foodies and love to explore food trucks, dive bars, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants like the Truck Yard and Chilosos. Kelsey also accompanies me on my tours of Houston’s garden centers and plant shops,” says Kamah Asha.

Their engagement was a romantic moment that involved a fun scavenger hunt crafted by Kelsey—and ending with a surprise ring from Kamah Asha.

“Kelsey put together a scavenger hunt around our college campus taking me to the place where we met, the place where we hung out every day, the spot of our first kiss, various spots where our friendship and then relationship blossomed, and then finally to the place where we spent so much time falling in love—a garden called Tinsley’s Garden where Kelsey proposed. It turned out to be a double proposal because I had been carrying a ring with me for weeks waiting for the perfect moment, and that was it! I think we can both agree it was the most romantic thing we’ve ever done for each other,” says Kamah Asha.

Kelsey, who uses they/them pronouns, remembers fondly the moment that they knew Kamah Asha was the one. “I was driving home from Houston for spring break and listening to a specific song, and it just hit me right then and there that I wanted to marry her.”

Kamah Asha, on the other hand, came to this realization over time. 

“I don’t remember an exact moment. I just began to realize that Kelsey had become my best friend, and then suddenly I was falling in love with my best friend. And then there were so many signs and confirmations that the relationship was meant to be. We were so blessed every step of the way, and I realized that one day I wanted to be Kelsey’s wife and never be without them,” she says.

The couple had their ceremony in a garden in Shirley Acres in Spring, Texas. It was their dream location—an all-inclusive wedding and event venue that even provides a coordinator at the site during the wedding. 

“They have two bridal suites and a bed-and-breakfast house on the grounds where we were able to stay the night before and the night of the wedding, which gave us the opportunity to have our entire bridal party with us. It is such a magical place. The bumble bees and butterflies were present in the garden throughout our ceremony. I knew it was where we were meant to get married when I walked around the garden and stood on the altar and burst into joyful tears. My ‘hopes and dreams’ checklist was completely checked off,” recalls Kamah Asha.

When Kamah Asha walked down the aisle, the music she chose was a surprise for Kelsey. It was the song that was playing when they kissed for the first time—“A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. Kelsey carried their grandfather’s antique pocket watch and wore his signature cologne. 

Family memories played a big role in their special day. “The soil we spread around the Magnolia tree was soil dug from various family members’ yards, such as Kelsey’s godparents, Amy and Jeff Hayden, and Kamah Asha’s grandparent’s house. It represented our foundation from which the tree will now grow from our constant nurturing. The magnolia itself represents heritage, longevity, perseverance, and steadfastness,” Kamah Asha explains.

“Our wedding was very unique in that we twisted old traditions to fit us and let it still have meaning for us. We also made new traditions,” Kelsey adds.

After the nuptials, the couple honeymooned all over North Carolina. They visited the Biltmore mansion in Asheville and watched a Broadway show in Greenville. They also took a nice hike up Grandfather Mountain, where they enjoyed the changing colors of the leaves. 

Kamah Asha had one last surprise for Kelsey in the end. “I purchased a plot of land in Ireland in both of our names so that it would help conservation efforts. And [owning land in Ireland gives us the title of] Lord and Lady Lovelle!”

Attention, Houston: we have a new royal couple among us. 

This article appears in the June 2022 edition of OutSmart magazine.

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Ryan Leach

Ryan Leach is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine. Follow him on Medium at www.medium.com/@ryan_leach.
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