Just a few short days before the Supreme Court issued its historic rulings in June, John Crisafulli and Charlie Cornish enjoyed their own celebration by tying the knot in front of their closest friends and family. Both natives of the Northeast, the two married in Massachusetts slightly over a month ago and just bought their first home in MA together.
Charlie and John met in fall 2008, while Charlie was a junior at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and John was a senior at Bryant University in Rhode Island. Although they were attending separate schools at the time, they knew almost immediately after meeting that they wanted to give a relationship a chance. “We were many states apart but we just had that ‘feeling,’ and decided it was worth the long distance,” John said.
During winter break, Charlie went home to Massachusetts and John remained in Rhode Island, so they took advantage of the shorter distance and went on their first three dates, which confirmed the spark they knew they had for each other. Following that vacation, they each took turns traveling to see the other. “Over the course of these visits we were slowly falling in love, and come summer, we knew we were meant to be together,” Charlie added.
As soon as summer arrived, John and Charlie were together nearly every weekend, exploring Boston, Providence, and Cape Cod, going to the beach, and spending time with each other and their families and friends. When fall came, Charlie returned to Pennsylvania for his last year of college, but the visits continued and the relationship kept deepening. Once he graduated, he secured a full-time job back in Boston and they spent almost every weekend together again – including “one very special weekend,” John said. Charlie surprised John with dinner at Top of the Hub in Boston. John described it as “a very special dinner overlooking a beautiful city,” and knew something was up when they returned to their hotel room and he saw the floor strewn with rose petals, and a bottle of champagne on the table. “This was the night that he asked me to marry him and spend the rest of our lives together,” John said – and, of course, told him yes in response.
John and Charlie immediately began making arrangements for the celebration after moving in together in Boston in May 2012. The wedding weekend began with an intimate rehearsal dinner and welcome cocktails on Friday night, June 7, 2013. The actual ceremony took place the following day, when their parents walked them down an aisle in front of a large group of their family and friends in Falmouth, Cape Cod under a clear blue sky. “Our wedding was everything we had hoped for and so much more!” John said. “The pictures hold such incredible memories that we will treasure forever.” Charlie added, “The company makes the feast, and our guests added so much warmth and happiness to an already momentously happy occasion.”
Even though the wedding day has come and gone, John and Charlie are excited about their future together. “We come from incredibly supportive and loving families and we hope to someday have our own children and raise them with the same sense of family values and traditions,” John said. Charlie echoed John stating “Marriage matters to us because we grew up in very strong, stable families, with loving parents who are still married to this day. Our parents taught us how to love, how to care for each other and how to make it work in good times and bad.”
“One of the reasons we were so compatible from the start is because we shared that experience and desire to have our own family one day,” John continued. “We both knew that we would want to express our deep love and respect for each other in the form of marriage and that we wanted to raise children as a married couple… We haven’t yet decided how we will start our family, but we hope to bring two children into our lives.” Charlie agreed, “We love children and look forward to starting our family soon, including a few dogs!”
In spite of having their dream wedding, John and Charlie know that things are still not perfect. “We are fortunate to live in a region of the country where our marriage is recognized and our rights are plenty, however, we don’t take those rights for granted as we know there are many who cannot say the same,” John said.
As Freedom to Marry continues working to ensure that couples across the country can marry in the states that they call home, it’s stories like John and Charlie’s that keep us going.