Melissa + Tamara | Ruby Beach Elopement {Olympic National Park, WA}

 Melissa + Tamara | Ruby Beach Elopement {Olympic National Park, WA}

Tamara and Melissa are women who remind us of why we do what we do. Our highest aim is to serve humans in love who want to capture a moment in time—beautiful, complicated, whatever they need it to be—and let it be truly just for the two of them. We met these two beautiful humans at the start of their journey into marriage, but their story includes so much more than what we have been able to witness. Our team of vendors was ecstatic when given the opportunity to create a beach elopement getaway for these women to celebrate their relationship and the step forward into marriage. It’s an honor to share what makes their partnership an inspiration to all.

Melissa and Tamara met at a gym in Des Moines where Melissa was the General Manager. Tamara’s first thought upon meeting Melissa was, “Hey! That’s nice customer service.” Melissa took the time to notice people both as they walked in the door and as they left, or so Tamara thought. Little did she know that Tamara was one of the most striking people Melissa had ever seen but was too intimidated to approach. Cut to a couple of years and a location move later, Tamara was Melissa’s “gym crush” that she was fated to never see again…until Tamara walked into her new location. Melissa recounted numerous embarrassing attempts to talk to her, including walking her to the locker room, yelling awkward goodbyes as she was half-way out the door, picking up trash conveniently around the club to “randomly” fall into conversation, letting Tamara’s son into the kids club for free, and saving Tamara’s number in her phone “just in case”.

Soon after, Tamara came up with a plan to see if Melissa was into women (or not) by sharing that a male “friend” was into her, to which Melissa quickly called Tamara on her story. Tamara worked up the guts to call the gym one day and get Melissa’s number to see if she was interested in going out. They went and got drinks the next night…and the next…and the two nights following that. Within a month, they had spent every single day together and told each other they loved each other. Within two months, they had moved in together. Two years later, they decided to marry the woman of their dreams.

Tamara was first drawn to Melissa for her maturity, the way she cares for other people, and her sense of independence and assertiveness as a woman. She is constantly in awe of Melissa’s capacity to love and build a life together. Melissa frequently creates opportunities to treat Tamara to experiences she would never create for herself or put off in favor of others. Tamara is always learning how to strengthen relationships with those that love back, and say goodbye to those relationships that no longer serve, by Melissa’s inspiration.

Melissa was struck by just about everything in Tamara, but especially the way she treats the people in her life with respect and a boundless capacity to forgive. She frequently hears Tamara say to her son, “I love you more than I love myself” and is the epitome of that phrase. Melissa is most proud of Tamara for growing a firm set of boundaries to balance her ability to love and forgive. Melissa is also consistently inspired by their ability to value independence in balance with the solidarity of their relationship. They are ALLOWED and ENCOURAGED to live their own lives while making joint decisions and sharing an empathic listening and experience of life.

When did Tamara know that she wanted to marry Melissa? “I chose marriage because honestly, one day, I was watching her cook and all I could think is, ‘Never let her go’.  I wanted to always wake up to her, be able look at her, know she’s mine and I’m hers. I finally had that feeling that I wasn’t missing out on anything, never wondering if there was someone better for me. I love the feeling that I get from the thought I have when I know I’ll love her forever and ever.” Why did Melissa choose marriage with Tamara? “Because I value her enough to commit every day of my life to bringing her up. Because I am a better person with her and she is a better person with me. We both deserve to have that, forever.”

Together, these women support each other’s growth by being an unfailing source of encouragement and support for one another. If Melissa has a long day at work, Tamara steps in unprompted by cooking dinner, cleaning the house, and setting up home life so that Melissa can arrive and relax. By listening to one another and never putting the other down, they can communicate with one another clearly, be heard, and make decisions as a team.

They both agree that the love they share is something they’ve never experienced before. It is from this place of faith in their love that they are both looking forward to expanding their family and sharing the experiences of raising a child, progressing in school and their careers, and buying a house together. As these two brave, beautiful women continue to walk the path of invitro fertilization to expand their family, they are committed to tackling big decisions by listening to each other’s opinions and ideas first. They are more than partners; they are soulmates, best friends, and represent all the beautiful forms of strength and stability that a marriage needs to flourish.

Written by Kate Faoro, Tapestry Event Co. 

Members of our Collective on this Elopement:

Photographer: Kamra Fuller Photography
Design + Planning: Tapestry Event Co.
Floral: Villanelle Floral
Stationary: Sablewood Paper Co. 
Dessert: Sift and Gather
Dress: Rue de Seine Bridal by The Dress Theory Seattle
Jumpsuit + Accessories: Asos
HMUA: Holly Tipp Makeup

Bride portrait at Ruby Beach Washington

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