With a little help from Netflix darling and officiant Jonathan Van Ness, Elysian and Seattle Pride kicked off Pride Month yesterday afternoon with a colorful, confetti-filled wedding at the brewery's original Capitol Hill outpost. At the center of the action: bride and groom Megan and Haden, two Seattle transplants who decided to enter the #MarryUsJVN competition on a whim—and (rightly) suspected that they would win. We caught up with the couple, who prefer to go only by their first names, in the hour leading up to the ceremony to chat about their love story, Seattle family, and what it meant to win the unprecedented competition.
To start, tell us how you two originally met.
Haden: It was on Megan's first day as a transfer student at the University of South Carolina. ... She walked in late to this 300-person stadium seating...right where the professor was at the bottom.... She looked up and the only empty seat she saw was next to me.
Megan: I didn't even make eye contact with him that first day. I just sat down and [had] blinders on for the class. I told him that I liked his rings that he had on because I could see his hands... I left and then every class we had after that we sat next to each other. It just snowballed. And we never even established that that was a thing, we [were] just creatures of habit.
What was it about Seattle that drew you to the city?
Megan: Inclusivity, safe haven, a good place to grow. I mean it's definitely worked out for us.
What is it like to be a couple here, especially one that's part of Seattle's gay community?
M: We've gotten so lucky with our chosen family out here—we could not be more blessed than we are. It's just been amazing.... [There's] nothing like it and I have zero regrets.
Why did you two enter this competition, and what has the process been like?
M: So it's 100 percent me—I've been learning to live with my gut, and I saw that the contest was happening. My immediate reaction was we've got to enter into this contest.... I texted [Haden] and I was like this is what's happening, this is what we are doing.... I still can't believe that we won.
H: I was nervous to enter because I felt like if we entered, we'd win. And here we are, so we did.
M: It's just kind of been fate all the way around for us. I think this kind of crazy thing is so fitting.
H: I definitely think the universe has kind of been with us from the get-go. I bought her engagement ring in December and had planned to propose on our seventh anniversary in February, and that did not go as planned because I had to get it resized and it snowed like crazy. So we didn't go and I had rescheduled it with our hiking friends because I did a sunrise proposal hike.... I rescheduled it in February for the 19th of last month and we had found out we won a week before that.
M: I had no idea. So we were just going to go from dating to being married, and he was like, Little do you know, girl, I've got this ring.
H: Dated for seven years, engaged for two weeks.
M: I didn't even fight it. He woke me up at 2:30 and we hiked up a mountain with all of our friends and then we had this fancy photoshoot thing and I cried so much.
Today is the one-year anniversary of the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court case, which ruled in favor of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Does this date have particular meaning to you two?
M: Elysian chose the date, and they are trying to redo what today is about. They are giving everybody a better memory to associate with this date. They actually have Charlie and David here and they will be attending the ceremony.
The couple from the court case?
M: Yeah. We met them last night; they actually came to our not-rehearsal dinner. They are wonderful and our best friends actually kicked it with them after. We went home, and they went out and did karaoke together, so they really had a great time.
One last question: The wedding's just an hour away—how are you feeling? What's going through your mind?
H: It's been amazing. My best friend took me to brunch today. I met him right before I met Megan seven years ago and he's kind of been with us for the whole journey. He helped me get ready and he got me all fixed up...and he looked at me and just started crying.... Today has been amazing and it's just going to get better, I know it.
M: I know that the first look was the hardest part. And so now that it's over I'm just ready to party.... I know we are going to cry again, but we'll save that for later.