Toledo Pride: Couple enjoys sharing a life together after June weddingWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
When Angie Carriker and Rebecca Facey got married June 23, neither bride waited for the other at the altar. Instead, they met in the middle.
“We both came in the sides and we met in the center,” Facey said. “That was one of the first things we decided and we were most excited about the entire time. We kept it a secret from everybody so they wouldn’t know where to be looking for us, and that was really about the fact that we are equals. We are both the same in this.”
Facey is a 30-year-old law student and co-founder of Independent Advocates, an anti-domestic violence group now on hiatus. Carriker is a 32-year-old social worker from outside of the Cleveland area. Both are quick to laugh and touch each other’s hands mid-conversation.
The two met in 2006 at a domestic violence prevention training program and later worked at the same agency in Toledo in 2007. Although they got along well, their romance didn’t start right away. Carriker had moved back to Cleveland to attend graduate school, but the pair reconnected on Facebook in 2009. The timing was finally right for Carriker and Facey to start dating.
“When we got together, we realized we had a lot in common. We have very similar personalities. We’re both very outgoing. We love to laugh. We love surprises. We’re just big kids. We like having fun,” Facey said.
Eventually, at Facey’s encouragement, Carriker decided to move back to Toledo. In October 2011, the couple became engaged although neither technically proposed to the other.
“Each of us made a list of the things we wanted in life and compared and contrasted those lists and realized that we wanted the same things, and that this was the direction we were headed,” Carriker said.
Next came the wedding planning, a process both women took very seriously. The couple researched all their vendors to make sure they were accepting of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning and allied (LGBTQA) community.
“It was education for us,” Carriker said. “It makes you think twice. Sometimes you don’t know or you think things are one way and you find out they’re really not.”
The pair found a place in Cleveland to design their wedding rings, which have orange and purple stones. It took a couple months to get the rings in, something Facey used to her advantage.
“Even though we were already engaged and everything was very much set in motion, I still wanted to surprise her with the rings when we got them,” Facey said.
She took Carriker to a bridge at Wildwood Preserve Metropark, a setting with significance since Carriker, a veteran, had been an engineer who built bridges during her enlistment. However, the “proposal” didn’t go off without a hitch.
“It was a really special moment and then I dropped the rings down a snowy embankment and Angie had to climb down after it,” Facey said.
Facey and Carriker also incorporated their love of surprises at their June wedding. Facey arranged for an ice cream truck at the wedding and Carriker serenaded her with Kristy Lee’s “I Wanna Know Love,” accompanied by Carriker’s brother on guitar.
The wedding, which took place at Facey’s parents’ lake house on Lake Erie, included family in many ways. Facey and Carriker have several nieces and nephews they included, and their puppy, a Yorkie named Chompers, was the ringbearer.
“The greatest thing for me was the kids and the kids’ involvement, having them have no idea that this isn’t a typical wedding,” Facey said.
The couple also incorporated LGBTQA pride culture in their special day. Each bride had six attendants who each wore a color in the rainbow and Facey’s parents had the Human Rights Campaign flag waving at their house.
“It was a mix between pride and tradition. We had the rainbow. We were very proud that we were a gay couple able to get married with our friends and celebrate,” Facey said.
The pair’s family enjoyed themselves as well.
“[Guests are] still saying, ‘That was like the best wedding I ever attended.’ I mean we were blubbering for probably four days,” said Darlene Carriker, Angie’s mother. “The girls put so much into it and so much thought and so much feeling and emotion.”
Although Carriker said the day turned out beautifully, her father and his wife chose not to attend the wedding.
“As sad as it is, I think it is important for people to know we are very blessed, but there are those things along the way,” she said.
The day after the wedding, the couple traveled to New York City, where same-sex marriage is legal, to get their marriage license.
“We had talked about going to New York before doing the wedding here and then realized we didn’t want to do that without our families. We really wanted that moment,” Facey said.
On June 25, the couple received their license. Both said they enjoyed talking to other same-sex couples and learning their stories. Two male couples, one who had been together for 32 years, served at witnesses at the New York ceremony.
Facey pointed out money the couple spent in New York could have been spent in Ohio — if same-sex marriage were legal in the state.
“It’s stupid and we’re behind the times and we’re going to be on the wrong side of history when it all comes down. But I am very confident that it will all come down very soon and that Ohio will have to catch up with the times and start honoring all its citizens,” she said.
And as for married life so far?
“I have to say that grocery shopping is more fun when you’re married. I hate grocery shopping, but something made it different the first time we went to the store together when we married. It made it seem a little bit better,” Carriker said.
“Everything feels better. I really wondered, what is different about getting married? I mean, am I gonna feel different? Is it gonna be different? We lived together already; we’re raising a puppy. And it does [feel different]. It feels like we’re sharing a life together and that’s for real,” Facey said.