He was playing it a little too cool for my taste, so I told him he wasn't flirting with me enough.

Clay and I grew up a few streets away from each other in Nashville. He's four years younger than me. After graduation I moved to New York, and when I was home for the holidays I bumped into him at a local bar. We chatted for about twenty minutes. The next morning I couldn't stop thinking about him, even though he didn't ask for my number.



A few weeks later I had a huge party in Williamsburg, and Clay came. He was playing it a little too cool for my taste, so I told him he wasn't flirting with me enough. We wound up having our first kiss that night, and went on an official date a few days later.


Four years after that, Clay and I were eating ice cream in front of a fire on Christmas Eve when he suggested we take a tour of his family's Christmas ornaments. I was pretty buzzed and told him I'd rather look at his weird family heirloom stuff later, but he insisted. There was a beautiful engagement ring on one of the branches that had belonged to his grandmother, and he asked me to marry him.



My parents got married in my grandmother's backyard in Tennessee, and I wanted to get married there too. We scattered rugs and chairs and couches from her house all over. I didn't want to wear a traditional wedding gown, so I wound up wearing a reworked Victorian dress that I found on 23rd street.


On the morning of our wedding I had a huge breakfast at Waffle House. I was feeling sort of down because it was raining. It miraculously cleared for about two hours during the ceremony. My dad walked me down the aisle and this great gypsy band trio played in the background. We wrote our own vows and Clay's brother married us. Both of our parents spoke.


The rain came back with a vengeance during the reception, but we had an amazing time and danced like crazy. It felt like Woodstock. There was mud everywhere. I never thought that the act of getting married would be that important to me — but I'm still in shock over how amazing it really was.


Pics by Lisa Ligon