Retired FL Police Officer Weds At Last

Donna Brown & Lynne Morneau • Tallahassee, FL

Editor's note: This story was written by Jennie Reiken in partnership with Equality Florida. Jennie attended her friend Donna Brown, who was integral to building our First Responders in Florida project.

This weekend I attended a friend’s wedding. My dear friend Donna Brown was finally able to marry her partner and soulmate Lynne. 

There's something different about attending a wedding of a couple that has been told for years by people that don't even know them that they can't get married.

The brides walked down the aisle and met hand in hand in front of their closet friends and family. They stood under a gorgeous oak tree with spanish moss hanging over them. They shared their own vows and exchanged rings that symbolized not only the love they have for each other, but also the long road it took to be able to marry that day.

Living in Florida, it wasn’t until January 6, 2015 that Donna and Lynne were allowed to legally marry.

The guests placed special rocks, golf tees (a reference to the couple's love of golf), or a seashells in a basket, symbolizing all of our thoughts and wishes for the couple. Donna and Lynne poured the contents into a vase with sand brought in from their dear friend's beach house.

They kissed. We all cheered and cried, and then the party began.

Donna and Lynne shared their first dance under the twinkling lights and that hung from the trees at the beautiful Southwood House in Tallahassee.

It was like I was in a Nicholas Sparks book!

As the night when on, folks shared stories of their love for both Donna and Lynne and wished them many more years of love and happiness.

The matron of honor shared that she couldn’t believe this day had come. Marriage being legal for her close friends was something she didn't believe would happen in their lifetime.

At one point in the evening, all the couples were slow dancing. I looked around and to my left were my friends Sean and Chris holding each other close and swaying to the music, to my right, a straight couple enjoying the moment, and behind me another gay couple dancing close to one another. 

I thought to myself, "What a great picture this would make!"

We we were all just couples in love dancing on the dance floor. All together. All there for the same reason.

The evening came to a close when all family and friends lined up with sparklers that led to a golf cart that was all decked out with "just married" signs and cans tied to the back.

Donna and Lynne drove off into the night holding hands under that beautiful starlit sky.