Real LGBT Weddings

Lisa and MyLinda Hogan

1 May 2015  

My name is Lisa Hogan. I come from a small town in north Tipperary called Roscrea. I recently got married to my partner in America on May 1st. We wanted to wait and see how the referendum went here but we didn’t want to leave it to chance. Now thanks to the result on May 23, I will get to call her my wife. Her name is MyLinda Hogan (she took my name).

We met online two years ago. It wasn’t long till we fell in love. She is an American and will soon be joining me to live here once the visa comes through. We are now seen as equal in my home country and for that I am proud and humbled to be Irish. We first met in June of 2013 online on a chat site. That night I had seen MyLinda’s picture beside her chat name and I thought she was cute so I messaged her to say “hi”. Apparently my charm and humour won her over because she was just about to log out. We chatted for over two hours that night but it honestly felt like five minutes, but sleep deprivation and the time difference took its toll on me and under the insistence of MyLinda I went to bed.  

MyLinda lives in a small town in Missouri, USA, called Warsaw. Ireland is six hours ahead of her local time. We talked on and off for a week or so via the chat site which eventually lead to a Skype call. We talked and laughed for eight straight hours, by the end of the call MyLinda said that she wanted me to be her girlfriend. So we set up a Skype date, with a movie and popcorn, we hit play and the same time and had our first movie Skype date.

 For the next few months this is how our free time would be spent Skype dates, hanging out, talking about everything and nothing and at the same time getting to know every little thing about each other. We fell in love; we had everything we needed in a girlfriend except the physical touch. Every night before I would turn in for bed I would pull up Skype and MyLinda would lay with me till I fell asleep so I wouldn’t fall asleep on my own or feel alone, we still do this every night. In March of 2014 we finally arranged to meet in person. I’m not going to lie, the first time we met it was a little weird. We had this somewhat awkward hug and we collected my baggage. After an hour in each other’s company it was like we had known each other all our lives. For the first time I could reach out and touch her and vice versa.  

Sparks flew, an energy I had never felt before and I knew. We knew it was a forever kind of thing. It’s a love story with a lot of twists and a lot of distance. People say long distance relationships don’t work but they do, all you need is trust, hope and love. Even now in married life, we live in two separate countries, 6000 miles away and we are making it work, we have a few more small obstacles but we know that it will all be eventually worth it, we are almost there.    

OUR FIRST DATE? Can you count a photo shoot as our first date? I do. It was the day after I arrived in March 2014 and we had arranged to have a couple photo shoot with a very talented photographer called Rosi Buretz. She was amazing; she made us feel at ease. For the first time since we met I got to hang out with this amazing woman, hold her hand all day (except when I was “apparently” jay walking to which I promptly pointed out that this is how  the Irish cross the street). All that day I would regularly pinch myself and sometimes MyLinda to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, that she was real and that I really was this lucky.
 

WHEN DID WE KNOW WE WERE MEANT TO BE? Probably the first night we met in person. I remember that after we got home from the airport I was sitting on her couch in the living room and she knelt down in front of me, took my face in her hands and kissed me. It felt right that this is the way it should always have been.

THE PROPOSAL One night after she finished work (MyLinda), she came home and handed me a Samsung box and told me it was a phone for me while I was in the States so I could get in contact with her and my family back home if I wanted to. When I opened it, it was empty except for a small black box. She told me to open it and that was empty too but when I looked back up she was on one knee asking me to be her wife.
 

THE WEDDING We married in Iowa on May 1.  We picked Iowa because Ireland recognises same sex marriages and civil partnerships from this state. We got married in the county court house with two witnesses present. The following day we held our own ceremony in the Truman State Park with family and friends. It was a small intimate ceremony with about 15 guests. The theme was a rainbow theme and I walked down the aisle to the song ‘How Long Will I Love You’ by Ellie Goulding.  We danced our first dance to Mary Lambert’s ‘She Keeps Me Warm’.


THE IRISH CELEBRATIONS When MyLinda moves to Ireland we plan on having an afters celebration with my family and friends. I have the best friends I could ever ask for; the Eliza lodge crew, where I work as a carer. They have supported me so much on my journey along with my incredibly understanding boss Kay. There are no words can describe what my family do for me on a daily basis, they keep my spirits up when the distance gets too much and celebrated the referendum with elation. The truth is without the support and love of my Mam, Dad, sisters and brothers I would not be the person I am today. They shaped who I am and MyLinda will most definitely create and love the person I want to become. The after party will be a band, good fun and dancing till we can dance no more. It’s a way for my family and friends to welcome my beautiful wife into the family and to wish us the best for the future.                

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