Who would have known what the universe had in store for Dez and Ashley Forsythe when they first met? Little did they know, years after meeting and forging a platonic friendship, they would trade vows before family and friends in the quiet town of Anna, Texas. But what makes this Dallas couple’s story even more special is that they set out to prove that they too, can uphold their traditional values while also being their unique selves. The newlyweds now look forward to building a family, continuing their support for LGBT communities, more trips to Austin and … more awesome tattoos!
Ashley Forsythe on finally tying the knot…
AF – It feels nothing short of amazing! It may not be legal in Texas but it is still real for us. Our wedding was absolutely amazing. There is not ONE thing we would have changed. It means so much to us and we have put so much into our relationship that it just feels so good, so right. With all of the things going on in the world right now, especially with same-sex marriages, it’s just like look, we did this no matter what you think, we’re married. We didn’t hurt anyone, we’re spreading love, so we’re proud and happy. It’s something that 10 years ago, no one would have thought would be happening, especially in the huge way we did it, so it feels amazing.
On meeting Dez…
AF – We met in 2007 through mutual friends. Dez was 16 and I was 19. She was always coming out to hang out with mutual friends, so through numerous parties and get togethers we became friends. Nothing ever became of it until years later. We had to go through all the ridiculousness of dating others to see what was right in front of us.
On their relationship…
AF – If I had to choose one word to describe it I would have to say, real. We have our ups and downs but our relationship and love for each other is worth fighting for. She’s my best friend, my better half, and the love of my life. We can be goofy and stupid together and that’s what I love most. We don’t have to hold anything back.
There are a couple of songs that we intertwined into our wedding [festivities] that describe us quite perfectly. Our first dance was to “All of Me” by John Legend. The lyrics “you’re crazy and I’m out of my mind,” describe us perfectly. We’re definitely a match in that crazy way. Then, for our guest book we had a big anchor out for people to sign their names on with the lyrics, “You Be The Anchor That Keeps My Feet On The Ground, I’ll Be The Wings That Keep Your Heart In The Clouds,”surrounding it. Those descriptions can be either of us. One of us is always wild and the other one is right there to hold us together. We’re each other’s anchor.
On the marriage proposal…
AF – I thought we were going out to Blue Martini for my mom’s birthday. At some point in the night Dez got called up to the stage, which I thought was weird but I thought maybe she was going to announce my mom’s birthday or something. Then. she called me up to the stage. Everything from that point on was pretty blurry. I was definitely caught off guard. All I could think was please do not fall up these stairs in front of 500 people! I wish I could have slowed time down so I could really embrace every word she had said but I was in so much shock I couldn’t even focus on what she was saying. All I saw was her getting down on one knee! It was the best feeling and the best night of my life – until our wedding of course! There is no topping that.
What was the most exciting part of your journey to the alter?
Dez Forsythe – Definitely all of the planning and just being able to do it all together. We gave ourselves over a year to plan it, having a 15-month engagement, so we were able to ensure everything was exactly how we wanted it. Experiencing all of the normal wedding traditions along the way was exciting and being able to put our own twist to some of them was definitely thrilling. We including our families on every aspect of it which was great because they are the most important people to us. Some people expect a gay/lesbian wedding to be nothing like a straight wedding, but we did it exactly the same, the same traditions and timeline. So it was good to be able to show everyone it’s not so different after all.
What’s been the biggest adjustment starting on your new journey as a married couple?
DF – We’re doing the same things we were before. Except, when I go to text her now it’s taken some getting use to typing in “wife” instead of “fiancée,” [laughs] but really no adjustments! In terms of hardships on the other hand, changing Ashley’s name has been difficult. We were hoping the judge would lift the stay making things a lot easier (and cheaper), when it comes to changing her last name, but we are halfway done and are going to have to get a court order to do so for that.
What are you most looking forward to as a married couple?
DF – Starting our family. We had been “trying” to save to buy our first house while also saving for the wedding. Now, we are finally taking the steps to go about buying one. I am thankful we have been able to go about all of this in the right way for us. Dating, getting engaged, getting married, getting a house, starting a family…we have really been able to prepare ourselves and be ready for each step so that has been very beneficial to our relationship. As to what we are looking forward to most would definitely be starting our own family, or should I say adding to it.
One of your favorite getaways spots is Austin. What keeps the two of you coming back?
DF – Honestly, it’s just everything. Not only is it a close and easy getaway from Dallas, it’s more our style. We’re laid back and we love how Austin’s such an easy going place. We love music, so all of the festivals and up and coming artists and just the entire scene is what brings us back time and time again. Next time we visit, it will definitely be to get some more tattoos. There are some really raw artists in Austin.
What are some of your favorite things to do as a couple in Austin?
AF – We love going to all of the bars, from mainstream to hole-in-the-walls. At other times, we’re enjoying the Austin Art Festival. Dez has family that lives in Austin as well, so the 5k’s around the holidays in Austin are amazing – just to run right through the middle of the city. We enjoy every aspect of it. Not to mention, we LOVE going to the lakes up around where we live (Lake Lewisville & Lake Texoma), so it’s a blast just going to Lake Travis and doing something we love with different scenery.
Any words for couples who may feel discouraged to tie the knot living in Texas where as of now laws prevent same-sex marriages?
DF – Follow your heart and do what makes you and your partner happy. Don’t let other people’s feelings and opinions get in the way of your own happiness. Gay or straight, some people never have that desire to get married so if it’s not for you then don’t. But don’t let some lawmakers take away the excitement or the option from you. We had the whole big ceremony & reception just like it was legal, because to us it was, to us it was real, because our love is real. If your love is real you can do whatever you want to do because you have something so strong within your heart, that it doesn’t matter what anyone else says.
There’s this picture we love: on top it’s a picture of current protests for gay rights, on the bottom it is a picture of a protest back in the 1950’s during the civil rights movement, and around and between the picture it says, “Look how stupid you’ll look in 40 years,” because its true! It is only a matter of time before it’s legal. For us, we know very well we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, so we weren’t going to wait for someone to tell us that we could when we didn’t know how long that wait would be.