Three companies, two offices, two women, three dogs, one relationship: Lynn Yeldell and Alisa Weldon are a power couple, to say the least. Yeldell—who has worked in the financial industry and with startups her whole life—is currently the CEO of Ticketbud, a local Austin startup; Weldon owns and runs well+done DESIGN, a local creative agency, as well as L Style G Style. The two were able to celebrate the overturning of DOMA in the most special, “Weldell” way possible: by getting married during what was initially planned to be a birthday trip to New York City the weekend that DOMA died.
But it all started—as it often does—with an awkward encounter in a bar.
When Hurricane Katrina hit, Yeldell—a NOLA native—and her partner at the time were forced to move from New Orleans to Austin. The relationship was crumbling, but Yeldell had no intentions of leaving … until she met Weldon. The two met and continued to run into each other, albeit in professional settings, for months before Yeldell realized she was developing feelings for Weldon.
To set the fateful scene: the two were in the same bar at the same time, Weldon with a friend and Yeldell with her partner. The two lock eyes across the bar. Yeldell’s partner leaves; Yeldell stays around to talk to Weldon. After a few stutters and false starts, Yeldell finally managed to spit out that she had feelings for Weldon.
“I was wondering if Lynn even realized who she was dealing with. You can’t just tell me you have feelings for me, and I’m gonna go home and be like ‘Oh, yeah, thanks,’ and life goes on. That doesn’t happen. It meant so much more,” Weldon explained.
The relationship picked up speed at that moment, then, as Yeldell took a few weeks to make sure that her relationship with her partner at the time was not salvageable; at the same time, Weldon made the decision to sell her house and start a business. Within three months of their moment at the bar, the two had moved in together and founded L Style G Style.
“She went through a huge breakup, we started a new company, started a new relationship, sold a house and moved in together, all in one year. Since then, we’ve been on warpspeed and our relationship, it’s only been this last six months that we’ve been able to really focus on who are we as a couple,” Weldon said.
The two have only now been able to focus more on the intentions behind their decisions for each other, for their businesses and for travel. For Weldon, the past six months have meant definitively halting the printing of L Style G Style and focusing more of her efforts on her creative work. The two also made time to embark on a much-needed escape from work on a bike and boat tour of Croatia. The two find that their spark is brightest when they’re able to just put their phones away, put business on the back-burner and simply be near each other.
“What keeps the spark alive for us is exactly opposite of what you see on TV and in movies, like a horse-drawn carriage going through central park after a fabulous meal with a white napkin. When we’re in situations like that, there’s no spark, no connection,” Yeldell explained.
And it doesn’t necessarily have to be an exotic getaway to keep the two connected: sometimes simply finding quiet time at home alone allows the two to recharge.
“We have this thing—and I know it sounds so cheesy—but we get ready together every morning. I could probably count on one hand the number of times in the past seven years we haven’t gotten ready together in the morning. If she’s in the shower before I am, I’m like ‘Wait! what about me?!’” Yeldell said.
Weldon’s decision to stop printing L Style G Style was not one she took lightly, and she did so in the midst of the couples’ reevaluation of life goals. To celebrate having an income again, Weldon planned a trip to New York City for a belated celebration of Yeldell’s birthday.
That same week, DOMA was overturned, and their birthday trip very quickly turned into an opportunity to get married. Weldon proposed to Yeldell via Facebook on a Wednesday; Yeldell called back and said yes, and within four days, they were officially wife and wife.
“It was an Amazing Race wedding,” Weldon joked. After three attempts and 24 hours of running from government building to government building, they had their ceremony performed in the home of Judge Sherry Heitler. After their wedding, they saw the last performance of Ann at the Lincoln Center and took a pedicab ride around Central Park. They woke up the next morning to the sounds and celebrations of the New York PRIDE parade. They even saw Edie Windsor, the woman whose case was the reason that DOMA was overturned. While the weekend was fun, very gay and very chaotic, they both agree that their New York wedding did not and never will compare with their Texas commitment ceremony.
“Our marriage is not recognized in Texas, our home state where multiple generations of my family have lived. When it doesn’t mean anything in the eyes of our home state, it’s hard to connect to that, emotionally. I feel like our ceremony is the closest thing you’re’ going to get to a true wedding,” Weldon explained.
“It was the most significant, insignificant day of our lives,” Yeldell added.
Their commitment ceremony on March 6, 2009 (Yes, it was a 3-6-9 ceremony. They love dates!) was cozy: they only invited about 100 of their closest friends and family in order to make it as stress-free and peaceful as possible. The couple made sure that both Yeldell’s Louisiana flair and Weldon’s Texas roots were represented. There was good food, plenty of dancing and loads of laughter, happiness and love.
“It was perfect. Hands-down, one of the best parties I’ve ever gone to,” Yeldell said.
Between their hectic work-weeks and the potential for chaos, there is, without a doubt, deeply rooted love, mutual admiration and respect. Put the two of them in a room together and the energy changes: both have an incredible passion for the work that they do, but they also do everything in their power to make each day as purposeful and fun as the last. Together.
“Here’s my phrase for Lynn: I just think she’s adorkable. Loving her youthful, young energy and spirit is the thing that keeps me on my toes and engaged more than anything,” Weldon said.
“I just feel lucky that she’s my best friend, and that everything we do, it’s better together than if I were to do it on my own. All the other things are like the sprinkles on the cupcake, but there’s nothing better than to go through life with your best friend,” Yeldell said.