26 years. That is how long Diana and Sue have been together. I was five years old when they got together. It’s a lifetime when you think about it! And I could feel that lifetime as I walked into their home in Knoxville on their snowy wedding day. Their home was filled with trinkets from a life well lived: hundreds of cookbooks lined the shelves in the kitchen, Christmas cards from the recent holiday hung on the rafters, and photos of children and grandchildren lined the hallways. Upon entrance to their home, I was quickly greeted with a shot of RumChata and Fireball and soon become one of the wedding guests (instead of the photographer). I heard stories of love, laughter, and a good bit about Star Wars from both the older and younger generations.
At the ceremony time, we walked down the pasture to a small alcove at the back of the property. Diana’s daughter told me that this is their favorite part of the property. It was quiet, peaceful, and yet full of laughter. Diana and Sue drove down on their tractor, and soon vows and rings were exchanged. One of the grandchildren sealed their union with a beautiful song, and in true Diana + Sue fashion, a bonfire (or two) was lit. It was the perfect way to keep away the January cold and a perfect way to roast homemade marshmallows.
Words and photos by Erin Morrison
This was Diana's daughter's (Rebekah) inquiry on my wedding contact form: 'Hey Erin — Due to recent events, my mom and her partner of 26 years are getting married! I know it's super last minute, but they're hoping to make it official before laws have a chance to be changed. So, my first question is: are you supportive of same sex marriage? If you are, are you available on January 6th? It's going to be a very small ceremony — maybe 20 people total. If your answer to either question is no, do you know anyone who would say yes? Thanks for taking the time to answer! Hope you're having a great weekend.
I was so happy that Rebekah had emailed me, but at the same time I was a little sad. Why? First, she had to make sure that someone would want to photograph her mom's wedding with her partner of 26 years (26 years!). Second, the reason for them finally deciding to tie the knot was our changing political climate in our country. I immediately responded with a yes! Of course I would. How could anyone say no to this?
I don't know if Diana and Sue are "game changers" but I believe that they have beaten the game. They have overcome so much in regards to their lifestyle and their relationship, and in a world where people say "no" they said "yes."
Meet Erin Morrison: I was born and raised in Illinois and moved to the great southern state of Tennessee. I make my bed in Knoxville, but I love to travel all over East Tennessee. I consider myself a walking contradiction: a Type A personality with a creative streak, a yankee who says fixin', and a lover of comedy who couldn't tell a punch-line to save her soul. My days are spent making simple photographs and spending time with my husband and baby girl. I am blessed that my art allows me to meet new couples every day.