Despite being raised by married parents, D’Lovely Gibson knew early she wasn’t interested in glittering gowns, expensive decorations or any of the over-the-top hubbub attached to so many weddings.
So when, in February 2014, she found herself standing at the center of a $50,000 fairytale ceremony at Atlanta’s Georgian Terrace, tearing up as bride Lisa Favors approached, only true love could be the reason.
“I was like, I’m gonna have to do this for Lisa,” D’Lovely said recently, Lisa smiling in agreement.
Both IT professionals, the women have since enjoyed wedded bliss in their southwest Fulton mini-mansion, where they watch tennis and playfully finish each other’s sentences.
“We met on Jan. 27,” said Lisa, D’Lovely quickly interjecting, “June!”
It was actually in July 2008, at East Atlanta’s now defunct Vino Libro wine bar. Lisa, now 50, was socializing with friends when the topic turned to the ideal woman. That’s when D’Lovely walked in. She was vibrant. She was professional. She was not interested, Lisa quickly learned.
For starters, D’Lovely, the then vice-president of In The Life Atlanta was there on business. And she wasn’t impressed by Lisa’s presentation.
“She was in some shorts and a t-shirt in a wine bar,” D’Lovely said, laughing. “I was like if I just keep walking she’ll leave me alone!”
But she warmed to the broad-smiling Lisa and took her business card anyway. Within a week, they were chatting about work and family life over Indian food. The women soon learned they worked just a few minutes from each other. Lisa, struggling with the realities of raising her teenaged nephew, found a sympathetic ear in D’Lovely.
“She was exactly what I needed at that particular time,” Lisa said. “Mostly, a friend.”
Over time, however, romance flourished. By 2013, the women had matured into a thriving power couple. Marriage seemed like the next natural step, but D’Lovely wasn’t sold until her own family dynamics changed.
“My father retired and I was having those conversations with my parents about money and pensions and 401ks,” D’Lovely, 40, said. “It became real, all of what marriage legally does for couples.”
Around that time, Lisa was hearing her own wedding bells and planned to propose on an upcoming Paris vacation. D’Lovely beat her to it.
“In a million years I never, ever, ever thought that would happen,” Lisa said.
Lisa had won over the self-styled “wedding Antichrist,” but the battle wasn’t quite done.
The women had dramatically different ideas of how their nuptials should look -Lisa leaning toward a grand spectacle, D’Lovely happy with something at a courthouse. Arguments followed.
“It almost tore us apart,” Lisa said. “But in the end, it brought us together.”
Eventually, they would agree to get legally married in Washington D.C., with an Atlanta ceremony a few months later.
And so, on Feb. 15, 2014, the pair exchanged vows at a lavish lavender-themed affair before 120 guests. Lisa sparkled in Vera Wang and a veil.
“I wanted Lisa to be the princess for the day,” said D’Lovely, who chose a lower-key, high-collared gown.
Two years later, the women proudly display their wedding album in their living room. And though she originally considered weddings “a bunch of hoo-ha” D’Lovely said she doesn’t regret taking the plunge in a big way.
“When she looks at that book, when we watch the video, she still gets misty-eyed,” D’Lovely said. “So I feel mission accomplished.”