Liz + Lindsay’s Wedding by Petronella Photography

In Weddings by RaeChani Wison

Photo credit: © Petronella Photography



Lindsay and Liz’s journey together began in 2013 with a play – fitting for two theatre artists. Lindsay was performing in Theatre Exile’s production NORTH OF THE BOULEVARD. Liz came out to support her friends Joe and Pfeif, who’d produced and directed the piece.

They ran into each other later that year at an event at the Wilma Theatre. Lindsay was there as a cast member of a new play in development, which later led to the formation of the Wilma Hothouse company. Liz, a founding member of the Bearded Ladies’ Cabaret, in residence at the Wilma, was part of the entertainment for the evening. She sashayed through the crowd, singing Edith Piaf songs and handing out cardboard hearts. She offered one to Lindsay. He accepted. She teased him (in a bad French accent) about his elaborate charm necklace. He proceeded to hold it up, one piece at a time, and explain the significance of every charm.


On one of their first hangouts, Liz and Lindsay met up at Race Street Pier. They stood and looked out on the Delaware River, talked for a while, and slowly began to unfold their histories to one another. Lindsay was in a place of transition, having just moved back to Philly after 9 years of working as an actor in New York. Liz was in a place of grieving, after losing someone she loved in a motorcycle accident less than a year earlier. Despite the connection they’d found with each other, neither of them felt ready to date; but they both very much wanted a friend.

October 27, 2013

Later that fall, Lindsay asked Liz if she’d like to come “help build a new fence for donkeys” at a local animal rescue. The answer, of course, was “Yes.” It was hard physical labor, lifting, hammering and hauling logs in the cold and the mud: the most fun either of them had had in a long time. They petted the donkeys, fed the goats, and quietly noticed that together, they were exceptionally good at building fences.


Back in the spring of 2020, when Lindsay asked Liz what she wanted for her birthday, she replied, “Potting soil. I would like to try to make things grow.” When May rolled around, Lindsay made a beautiful breakfast, lunch and dinner. Liz’s sister Kelly came over and helped her make rainbow cupcakes from a box they’d been saving since the dawn of time. The three of them broke out musical instruments after a delicious meal, and jammed together late into the evening.

After Kelly left that night, Lindsay and Liz slow danced in the living room. “Did you have a good day?” he asked. “Yes,” she smiled, balancing on his toes. “Good. I almost forgot –” he said, pulling away, “I have one more present for you. Sit down.” Liz sat still on the couch, and listened as Lindsay rummaged around in the other room. As she waited, her heart began to flutter. ‘Calm down,’ she told herself, ‘It’s probably just a bag of dirt.’ Lindsay returned, with a grin on his face, holding an item behind his back. It was not dirt, but a small velvet box with a little rose gold ring inside. They laughed, cried, and rejoiced in the dawn of a new era together.

(And, eventually, Lindsay brought out one more present: some potting soil.)

It goes without saying that getting engaged during a pandemic was surreal. To experience such intense joy in a time marked by sickness, upheaval and grief made the glow of our excitement just a little closer and quieter. We spoke of our wedding plans haltingly, not knowing when we would emerge from this liminal space to embrace our loved ones and profess our vows. But in this long season of unknowing, we discovered many gifts:

We found time to make music, go for runs, cook new meals and play 4-hour long board games together. We adopted little rituals, like listening to podcasts over breakfast, reading to each other at night, and cuddling under the blankets with our cats.

We learned to juggle our full zoom schedules in a tiny less-than-sound-proof apartment, leaving each other ‘squirrel gifts’ between meetings, and offering massages when either of us came away from a session feeling like we’d failed our students in this strange new digital realm. When the news got too overwhelming, we’d go for a long hike in a part of Philly we’d never seen before, like The Meadows of FDR Park.

These new rituals gave us the wherewithal to dig deeper into social justice issues: from the national level, all the way down to our own bodies. We made space for the questioning of old habits and the cleaning of old wounds. When the civil rights movement of our time erupted, we took to the streets. When the opportunity for change arrived, we chose action. And as we watched a woman of color and a daughter of immigrants take her place in our nation’s history, our hearts burned bright with hope.

It hasn’t been an easy year by any means, but we figured if we could make it work in 2020, we must have something pretty special.

And so, to our gardeners: those of the past, looking down on us; those of the present, tending our hearts; and those of future, who drive us to deepen our roots and stretch our arms wide, so that we may one day provide shelter and nourishment — we want to say thank you.

Thank you for filling us with your wisdom and care. Now it’s time to celebrate the bounty of our love!