Jenn and Christina: 5 years of photos on our engagement night
March 20, 2013
Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the successful defeat of a legislative bill in New Hampshire that sought to repeal the freedom to marry, which was established in the state in 2010. The defeat of the repeal efforts, led by Standing Up For New Hampshire Families (for which Freedom to Marry served as a founding board member and the largest financial investor), marked an enormous victory for marriage supporters. More than 100 Republicans voted against repealing the law, signaling shifting perspectives on the freedom to marry.
In November 2012, electoral wins for Gov. Maggie Hassan and many other Democratic legislators, strong supporters of the freedom to marry, further guarded New Hampshire's marriage law from any attempts at repeal. The successful defeat of the repeal efforts last year - paired with the November election results - have ensured that hundreds of same-sex couples in New Hampshire can share in the joys of marriage.
Jennifer Corriveau and Christina Honeycutt are just one of the many couples able to celebrate their love and commitment in New Hampshire now that the freedom to marry is secure. The couple, who have been together for over 5 years, will marry next year in the state - the state where they both attended high school and where Jenn's family calls home.
Jenn and Christina met online while both women were pursuing their undergraduate degrees - Jenn at Colby College in Maine and Christina at Keene State College in New Hampshire. They talked for nearly a month - "on AIM and MySpace because they were cool at the time," Christina laughed - and when they met in person for the first time on Jenn's campus, both women felt comfortable and excited to get to know each other better. (Above Photo by Amanda LeTard)
One of their first dates was at a "Prom" event at Christina's school to celebrate 100 days until graduation. The event was right around Christina's birthday, and she wanted to be sure to spend it with Jenn. She drove from Keene to Colby, picked up Jenn, and took her back to Keene.
The Prom cemented their relationship, and after Christina graduated, she took a summer job in Maine and lived with Jenn. "She moved into my dorm!," Jenn exclaimed, remembering how excited she and Christina were to live together, no matter how small the room was.
Over the next three years, they endured four months apart while Jenn studied abroad in Germany, celebrated Jenn's graduation and acceptance into the University of Connecticut PHD program for Behavioral Neuroscience, and welcomed an adorable puppy named Köda into their lives.
Last summer, on July 21, Jenn and Christina took another big step in their relationship when Christina proposed to Jenn with an elaborately creative night. Christina sent Jenn to a salon for a manicure and a massage while she decorated the apartment, then met Jenn for dinner in West Hartford. The women then returned to their apartment, where Christina had arranged 14 photos from the previous four and a half years of their lives together and wrote captions for each photo to explain all of the ways that she loves Jenn. Christina lit the room with tea lights nestled in wine glasses, a nod to their summer of wine tasting at vineyards across Connecticut.
Jenn read the captions on the pictures:
"Our first "date" - I knew you were amazing and I traveled miles just to spend time with you - it was SO WORTH IT!"
"I love being silly with you. You always put a smile on my face."
"I want to grow old and wear matching outfits with you."
"Thank you for everything you do to support me and make me smile. You are my best friend and I don't know what I'd do without you. I love you."
"You are so smart and I am so proud of everything you have accomplished so far...I can't wait to see you walk across the stage and become Dr. Jenn. I am so proud to be your girlfriend - you are AMAZING!"
"We make the best doggy mommies...I know Köda loves us."
"I want to go on many more adventures with you and see the world with you by my side."
After giving Jenn time to reflect on the photos and read all of the reasons for her love, Christina got down on one knee, presented Jenn with a bottle of wine and a custom designed label. "Will you marry me?" she asked.
"I've dreamt about getting married since I was young," Jenn said. "It's a huge milestone, and I have always fantasized about that big day when I get to wear a beautiful dress and walk down the aisle, surrounded by friends and family, toward a shared future with the love of my life. Just because the person I love is another woman doesn't mean I should be denied such a human experience."
Since the engagement, Jenn and Christina have dozens of photos to add to the photo retrospective of their lives - and they look forward to adding hundreds more from their May 2014 wedding. They're hoping to host their ceremony in Henniker, NH under a beautiful covered bridge, less than a mile where Christina used to live.
"I like the idea of getting married where we started off," Jenn said. "New Hampshire has meaning to both of us, and we love New Hampshire. We were proud that New Hampshire's lawmakers stood up for what they believe in last year, and we're excited to get married there."
Until then, they're looking forward to the day when all same-sex couples across the country can share in the joys of marriage, too.
"It shouldn't matter where you live," Christina explained. "Everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. I grew up in Texas, and I would love nothing more than to have our marriage recognized in the state where I was raised. When we go home to visit my family, I know that our marriage will not be legal in Texas. I'm hopeful that one day soon we will all be able to marry the person we love and be recognized as truly equal citizens in each and every state."