Commitment Across Cultures: This Couple Eloped in the North Carolina Mountains for their Wedding
No post-pandemic wedding celebration necessary for these lovebirds.By Kaitlin Menza |
The next time a friend nags you to get dressed and come out, you might want to remember the love story of Adrienne Michelle and Brittany Glover. The pair met in a gay club in New York City in 2013, “which is hilarious because we both don’t club. You’d never catch either one of us in a club. We just weren’t those people,” says Brittany, a product manager and UI engineer.
What made their partnership even more unlikely? Brittany was visiting the city from North Carolina for the weekend. “She was gorgeous. I literally had just enough of the courage to go talk to her,” recalls Adrienne, a LGBTQ couples and family therapist. “I was like, ‘Oh no! I will never see you again.’”
But they exchanged info and kept talking, and Brittany “actually was pretty persistent,” Adrienne laughs now. They embarked on over three years of long-distance love before Adrienne moved down to North Carolina. In 2019, Brittany showed her appreciation by proposing one morning over coffee.
“We have just the sweetest mornings. We always talk and hang out for two hours before we start doing anything,” Adrienne says. Brittany placed the ring on her finger, drew her a bath filled with rose petals, then surprised her with a private chef who cooked a lavish brunch. “I felt so overjoyed. You know how people say it’s the most magical moment of your life? It really was. I was just in heaven.”
While the coffee proposal may have seemed impromptu, Brittany had actually been plotting and planning the diamond engagement ring design for months. “We went inside a store—this is a fancy store in Charlotte, North Carolina—and I couldn’t find anything that I liked. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, these still look so basic on your finger,’” she remembers. The couple looked in New York as well, and Brittany was disappointed to find that vendors were dismissive and closed off when it came to working with a black, queer couple with a vision.
She wound up buying a diamond from one jeweler, Hamilton Hill in Durham, and working with another, Booth Custom Jewelers in Raleigh, to create a unique setting. “They sat down with me every step of the way. They let me design it, they let me fill the mold, they let me sit with it,” Brittany says. Adrienne’s diamond engagement ring and Brittany’s diamond band both feature a pattern that Brittany created, which is composed of eclectic, intertwining lines that mirror the realities of two souls committing to live together. “Crazy stories, crazy lives intertwining—that’s what marriage felt like to me,” Brittany says.
Both women call the diamond solitaire’s shape a ‘squatty oval.’ “She did everything perfectly. It’s so beautiful,” Adrienne says. “It’s such a perfect diamond.”
Even if there hadn’t been a once-in-a-century pandemic, the couple would have held tight to their plan to elope. “Eloping was the way for us from the very beginning, because I cannot imagine trying to make so many people happy on a day that you’re hopefully marrying your best friend. I never really saw that for myself,” says Brittany.
Adrienne agrees. “I think that comes from us being long distance, too. We’re very used to having these really intimate times,” she says. “Eight years later, we still look at each other like, ‘We still can’t believe it! We get to be together!’ Because we were apart for so long.”
In October 2020, they found an Airbnb with soaring windows overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, and invited friends to help them get dressed. Brittany wore a lace top and meticulously tailored pants: “It was militant, but in the most regal way,” she says. Adrienne donned a strapless sweetheart dress with a mermaid hemline that fell over royal blue Manolo Blahnik heels. “My mom helped me pick out the dress. She’s so excited for us and was cheering us on the whole time,” Adrienne says. “She loved that we eloped, too.”
Their friends left and the pair were married on the patio of the home by a black female officiant they found online. “We just wanted to find a minister that looked like us,” Adrienne says. The ceremony was spiritual but not religious, with poetry and sweet promises read to each other.
“Honestly, I think when we saw each other, we were just like, ‘Oh my God, this is our day. This is our life. We get to enjoy all parts of this,’” Brittany says. “We were just so happy.”
THE WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS
After the ceremony, instead of diving right into dinner, the newlyweds took a joy ride with an old Mustang they’d rented. “Oh my gosh, Brittney loves cars. She really wanted the car,” Adrienne says.
A driver took the wheel as they cruised through the mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway, with a picnic and cigars in the back seat, followed by a mini photo shoot. “That mattered just as much as the ceremony for me. It was just celebrating us in the most truest way,” says Brittany.
When they returned to the house, an echo of their proposal was waiting: a luxurious candlelit meal for two prepared for a private chef. “We had oysters, we had crab cakes, we had salad, we had steak, we had lobster—but it was all put in the fridge,” Adrienne says. “It was our wedding night, so we were exhausted.”
Luckily, they had rented out the Airbnb for the whole weekend, so they spent days in a house filled with their decorations and food. “You’re waking up to all these beautiful flowers—so many things to love. It just didn’t have to be packed in a moment,” Brittany says.
Since their wedding was always going to be on the small side, Adrienne and Brittany feel no need for another post-pandemic celebration of their marriage. “I can’t imagine hanging out with 200 people at this point in my life, ever,” Adrienne says. However, their hearts are still set on their original honeymoon: two and a half weeks traveling through Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa.
And the festivities only continue from here. “We just bought and renovated a house and we have this huge backyard, and I just have this dream like, well, maybe if we have a baby we can have a baby shower and can plan… but that’s as far as we can go,” Adrienne says.