Bri and Lindsey Leaverton Had a Socially-Distanced Drive-In Wedding

Couple Gets Married In A Drive-In Movie Theater With Guests In Their Cars After Canceling Their Original Venue Due To Coronavirus

Bri and Lindsey Leaverton Had a Socially-Distanced Drive-In Wedding

Bri and Lindsey Leaverton were going to get married at a beautiful historic mansion, and had everything planned to a tee. The details included gorgeous place settings, elegant linens, a delicious steak dinner, and pretty much everything else that guarantees an unforgettable night.

“We had the intention behind every single detail of our wedding,” Lindsey told Bored Panda. “Every moment, every experience, every second had a purpose and profound meaning, which couldn’t have happened without the support of a team of experts collaborating with the same vision.”

The couple spent months and months dreaming of their big day on 4-10-2020 and by February, almost every bit of the wedding planning had been completed, enabling them to spend the last few weeks of their engagement dreaming of the forthcoming celebration of their love.

But then the pandemic happened.

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Image credits: fulksvision

Image credits: the.mrs.leavertons

As COVID-19 was taking over the world, Bri and Lindsey realized that their day might be in jeopardy. “We held onto hope, believing that nothing would get in the way of our dream.

Then, while Bri was cooking dinner for our 3 kids and I was nerding out on research about the coronavirus, I found the official shelter-in-place order for the city of Austin,” Lindsey explained.

“As I read the order and looked into it further, reality slowly began to sink in. 4-10-2020 would in fact not be our day.”

Lindsey told Bri and the kids over dinner and they all reacted and responded in their own unique ways. “Though we completely agreed with the order and wanted to do whatever we could to keep people safe and flatten the curve, we also selfishly wanted all of our planning and hoping and dreaming to not all be for nothing.”

Image credits: the.mrs.leavertons

Image credits: the.mrs.leavertons

Many people ignored the official order which banned all gatherings of more than 10 people.

“We were shocked and deeply grieved by the state of the world, the pain and loss that this virus was having on us and millions of other people, and found ourselves frozen without any ability to pivot gracefully.

We did what any other strong, resilient lesbian couple might do in our situation: we started eating our feelings,” Lindsey continued.

“Once we finally realized we had to come up with a plan B, our attempts at finding a new date began, all of which failed miserably. Nothing was falling into place. There was no way to move forward with the original plan we’d initially dreamed of. Schedules weren’t aligning, vendors weren’t coordinating, and waiting until 2021 was not an option either of us wanted to explore.”

Image credits: fulksvision

Image credits: the.mrs.leavertons

While the women were still trying to come up with a course of action, the day before their would-be-wedding-date, they got a call that would change the way they looked at the calendar. A family member told them they’d tested positive for coronavirus.

“The news … was significant enough that it further fueled our desire to get married sooner rather than later. The next day, Good Friday, our would-be-wedding-day of 4-10-2020 was filled with grief, loss, and sadness. On the other hand, it was also a day filled with gratitude that thus far, I and my family and friends were safe and healthy, despite the positive results,” Lindsey said.

“We spent Good Friday with our kids, enjoying the light that their laughter brings to our lives. Also, their incessant loudness is a good distraction. Luckily, Bri’s sister lives with us and agreed to babysit so we could “go out” on a date that night.

Since we can’t actually go out anywhere or do anything, we had a date in our car on the top floor of a parking garage.

We ordered pizza, watched the sunset, and finished off a yeti cooler full of champagne to celebrate a day that will always be important to us.”

Image credits: fulksvision

Completely unplanned, the couple shared unexpected vows for promises they wanted to make each other while they awaited their new wedding date. “I put on a private concert for Bri and we danced under the stars. We were determined to make lemonade some really bad lemons.

There was this moment toward the end of the night where we looked at one another with love and gratitude. Our heavy hearts had settled a bit and we found a sense of peace that night. Our much needed moment of acceptance had arrived.

Though the day and night were filled with sorrow, that night on top of that parking garage, we ended up making one of the best memories that we’ve shared to date. Plus, our relative is doing very well in fact and officially on the mend!”

Image credits: fulksvision

“We woke up on Saturday morning and instead of being on a flight to Mexico for our picture-perfect honeymoon, we made a cup of coffee and sat on the couch to watch cartoons with our kids. Within minutes of what should’ve been a typical Saturday morning, Bri lunged off the couch in excitement nowhere… ‘Oh my God! There’s a drive-in movie theatre that is still open in Buda, Texas!'”

Image credits: fulksvision

“I look up from my crossword puzzle, confused at why such randomness would elicit this type of response.

In my next thought, I remembered that a few weeks ago in the midst of our grieving, our wedding planner shared an idea she had about having a wedding at a drive-in movie theatre where everyone could stay safe in their cars, abide by the rules, and still be able to witness our nuptials. We were instantly drawn to the idea and thrilled.”

“But soon after she shared this idea with us, we didn’t even have a chance to look into it because the city of Austin went on lock-down. The only drive-in movie theatre in Austin was closed. So now it made perfect sense why Bri lept off the couch.”

Image credits: fulksvision

“So there we were on Saturday, April 11th looking at the possibility of making the greatest wedding pivot in history,” Lindsey said. “We immediately started to take action because this felt right. Our hearts lit up.”

After a call with the owners of Doc’s Drive-In Movie Theatre to assess the possibility of having a wedding at their venue in a safe, compliant manner in the midst of this pandemic, followed by a conversation with their wedding planner, Bri and Lindsey decided to do it.

“We began planning a polar opposite wedding than our original vision and had 17 days to get everything ready. We chose our new wedding date because literally everything fell into place.

We never thought we’d be getting married on a Tuesday during a global pandemic at a drive-in movie theatre in Buda, Texas but … April 28th was our new wedding date.”

Image credits: fulksvision

Instead of a ceremony under a beautiful oak tree facing a historic mansion from the 1920s, Bri and Lindsey stood in a gravel-paved parking lot off of a farm road surrounded by 80-90 cars. But it was just as magical. “One of the reasons we chose April 28th as our new wedding date was due to the availability of our officiant and dear friend Jen Hatmaker,” Lindsey said.

She has known Jen for 20 years. “I remember the first time Bri came to church with me. I walked up to Jen and said, ‘I’m going to marry that woman someday and you’re going to marry us.’ Jen lit up a Christmas tree and I’ll never forget the look in her eyes. So of course, when Bri and I began wedding planning, Jen was one of the first calls we made.”

Hatmaker is an American Christian author, speaker, blogger, and television presenter, and has a very busy schedule, but there was no way she was going to miss the wedding.

Image credits: fulksvision

“Nothing quite went as planned other than it being our perfect wedding,” Bri added. “We were late, no one was supposed to see us before the ceremony during our ‘first look’, we were supposed to have all of our photos done before people even arrived, but it was amazing!”

“It all ended up working out better because we got to see so many of our guests from inside their cars.

We were supposed to depart from the theater and not return, but due to Lindsey being directionally challenged, we ended up back at the movie theater where we actually got to stand at the exit and wave goodbye to our guests!” It was one of the most beautiful and connected moments we’ve ever experienced, during one of the most disconnected times!”

Image credits: fulksvision

“I’ve learned to hold plans quite loosely. So even though there were a few things that didn’t necessarily go ‘as planned,’ to me, it all lined up in perfect coordination of awesomeness.

Sure, I forgot the words to the song I wrote for Bri and performed for her in the ceremony and sure the kids decided to run after the getaway car instead of staying with their aunt, while Bri’s mom frantically searched the lot for them!” Lindsey said. “There was so much laughter and even the ‘mistakes’ were perfect.

I wouldn’t change a single moment! If something didn’t go as planned, it ended up working out even better. That’s been the story of our lives and our relationship. I no longer know the difference between a setback and a miracle.”

Image credits: fulksvision

Lindsey walked down the aisle first, led by her twin daughters. Then Bri walked down the aisle led by her sister who lives with them.

“We wrote our own vows, I surprised Bri with a song I’d written for her and she surprised me and the girls with vows she’d written especially for them. We exchanged rings, countless looks, and smiles of ‘I can’t believe we get to marry each other and I can’t believe we pulled this off.

’ Jen said some unforgettable words of encouragement and blessing, and there were bubbles. Lots of bubbles. Of course, I had to buy a bubbletron.”

Image credits: fulksvision

After Jen declared them wives, the newlyweds kissed and walked/danced down the aisle. “We popped champagne, our best friends gave a speech (remember our guests were asked to wear PJs) and we had a couples dance followed by a family dance!”

“The four of us did sparklers, and then Bri and I got in the gorgeous 1972 Jeepster commando we rented and drove off while 90 cars honked their horns and cheered from inside, so loud we could hear the cheers.”

Image credits: fulksvision

All of this taught Lindsey to hold her plans loosely. “Let go when the opportunity presents itself,” she advised. “Take it easy and enjoy the journey. If you let love, lead, and you live with your whole heart trusting in the process and trusting the path no matter how off it may seem, you will end up where you’re supposed to be. Love is enough.”

“I’ve found time and time again that when I let go of my ego, plans and self-will, and surrender to a greater purpose – even if I am not yet fully aware of it – I’m always so grateful things worked out the way they did.”

Image credits: fulksvision

Image credits: fulksvision

Image credits: fulksvision

Here’s what people said about the wholesome wedding


Couple’s Wedding Was Cancelled Due to COVID-19, So They Had It at a Drive-In Movie Theater Instead

Bri and Lindsey Leaverton Had a Socially-Distanced Drive-In Wedding

Photo: Greg Fulks

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in countless ways, and the canceling of events is one of the most acutely felt effects of it. Large group gatherings, weddings, that had been in the works for nearly a year (or longer) are now indefinitely postponed.

Austin-based couple Bri and Lindsey Leaverton experienced this as they were in the countdown to their April 10, 2020 wedding.

As the city instituted a shelter in place, they saw their guest list shrink from 50 people to just 10 and knew their nuptials wouldn’t go on as planned.

But the two, who started dating in 2018, knew that they didn’t want to wait to get married. That’s when their wedding planner had the brilliant idea to have their event at a drive-in movie theater.

The local drive-in theater was closed, but the couple found Doc’s Drive-In Theatre in Buda, Texas—just a little south of Austin. This place, deemed an essential business because it allowed food for pickup, gave them the OK to host their wedding there.

With the planning and venue change, the new date for the couple's wedding was set: April 28, 2020.

Despite the logistics and setbacks, their friends and families were supportive and “immediately on board” with Bri and Lindsey’s plan B. The big changes to the wedding led to smaller ones, too.

The women got ready by themselves and did their own hair, makeup, and nails and wore cowboy boots with their dresses instead of heels.

Photo: Greg Fulks

Photo: Greg Fulks

The theater had a 90-car limit and the couple nearly maxed it out with their supportive friends and family.

They asked their guests to decorate their cars for the occasion and still had special people walk them down the aisle during the ceremony; Lindsey’s twin daughters, Annabelle and Olivia, accompanied her while Bri was with her sister. Throughout the event, everyone maintained proper social distancing and sanitation recommendations.

Photo: Greg Fulks

When Lindsey and Bri were officially married, they were congratulated with car honks, flashing lights, and even a cowbell. The amount of love for them was evident, and it made the entire event a bittersweet one.

“On the one hand, we loved seeing 85 decorated cars filled with our friends and family who were so excited to show up and support us,” Lindsey recalls to My Modern Met.

“But on the other hand, it was heartbreaking to not be able to connect with them in a pre-Rona way.”

“For example,” Lindsey explains, “there was this moment where I saw my parents in their car on the front row. I immediately started bawling. I was so excited to see them and it meant the world they were there. But it broke my heart that I couldn’t hug them! When we’ve all somehow someday moved through this pandemic safely, I am going to give my parents the biggest hug of their lives!”

Lindsey, a musician who was part of the Christian music industry until coming out, surprised Bri with a song. (Photo: Greg Fulks)

Photo: Greg Fulks

Photo: Greg Fulks

The whole wedding was pulled off in just 17 days—to the amazement of the women. “Walking through this process together made us fall deeper in love with each other,” Bri explains. “The saying is so true that Lindsey even included it in her vows: ‘If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’”

As for another in-person celebration, it will depend on the pandemic. Lindsey and Bri are firm believers that we need to continue practicing social distancing until there is a dramatic decrease in the spread of COVID-19.

“Until then, it’s going to be really difficult to plan the type of party we so desperately want to have,” Bri says.

“But when it is safe, you best believe we’ll have a HUGE celebration with tons of dancing, lots of laughter, and ALL THE HUGS!”

Photo: Greg Fulks

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The Sweetest Proposal Stories of Bri and Lindsey Leaverton, the Couple Who Got Married at a Texas Drive-in

Bri and Lindsey Leaverton Had a Socially-Distanced Drive-In Wedding
Welcome to their wedding, world. Photo by Greg Fulks

Last spring, the world over was captivated by the wedding of Bri and Lindsey Leaverton. After canceling their long-planned, 100-person wedding at Hotel Ella in downtown Austin, they made one of the coolest pivots that the dawn of pandemic wedding season saw: a drive-in movie theater wedding.

Their vendors rallied to make it happen in just 17 days, and family, friends, and strangers showed up on a Tuesday in late April to witness Bri and Lindsey walk down the aisle (fittingly, to iLoveMakonnen’s “Tuesday”). It was undeniably one of the brightest spots of 2020’s disheveled wedding season.

“We traded our heels for cowboy boots, swapped an unforgettable dance-party reception for a movie that played for our guests after our ceremony (Airplane!), and switched our Tulum honeymoon for a 2-day staycation in an Airstream trailer,” says Lindsey. “The true magic doesn’t usually happen with plan A or even plan B … usually the most magic can be found somewhere between plans C and Z.

“We never thought we’d be getting married on a Tuesday during a global pandemic at a drive-in movie theater in Buda, Texas. But everything about it fit us.

Their story went crazy viral—captured in all its glory by the New York Times, LGBTQ Nation, Out Magazine, Buzzfeed, HuffPost, and more. Whether you were planning a wedding or not, Bri and Lindsey’s story created a feeling—if only fleeting—that things would be okay.

Pandemics aside, much of the course of Bri and Lindsey’s relationship has actually been rooted in unpredictable—but remarkable—life moments. We’re sharing a few of their incredible stories that will hopefully make you believe that sometimes, if you just let go and have a little hope, things will work out.

First, The Ring

As told by Bri. Lightly edited for clarity.

“In 2009, Lindsey came out after a life of living in the closet. As a result, she lost her career as a full-time touring recording artist and worship leader in the contemporary Christian music scene.

On Good Friday Eve in April 2009, she’d returned home from what she thought would be her last gig.

complete desperation, Lindsey prayed a prayer that night that would change her life forever: She asked God to give her a sign that He/She loved her. She’s not one to ask for signs.

“The very next day, Good Friday 2009, Lindsey was flying to see her family for Easter. During one of her flights, a complete stranger sat by her on the plane. nowhere, he looked at Lindsey early on in the flight and said, “I have to tell you something… God loves you and He thinks you’re beautiful.

” Confused and surprised, Lindsey asked him to repeat it. As he repeated those words, she remembered the prayer she’d prayed the night before. Lindsey hadn’t told this man anything and they didn’t know each other. Blown away, she asked Randy if he was an angel.

He jokingly replied, ‘Do you know how big them damn wings would have to be to fit me?’

The engagement session. Photo by Jess Karin

“As the flight continued, the two went on to talk about all kinds of things. Randy did most of the talking and Lindsey listened. They got off the plane and headed to their respective gates to make the connecting flight. Randy called out to Lindsey and said he had something for her.

She’d find out later that he’d had this item for 10 years and was waiting for the perfect person to give it to. Apparently Lindsey was that person. Randy proceeded to put something in her hand while saying, ‘This went through a great deal of pressure to become as beautiful as it is.” When she opened her hand, she saw a 2-carat diamond engagement ring.

Frozen and stunned, she was speechless and had no choice but to accept the ring.

“Later that week, Lindsey got the ring appraised, because as she says, she’s a skeptic and had to prove it. It was 100 percent real. After getting it resized to fit her finger, Lindsey wore that diamond ring every day.”

The diamond from Randy, designed by Bri. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Leaverton

“When I first heard the story from Lindsey, I knew this special diamond would be the cornerstone of the ring I’d give her someday. And that’s exactly what I did! I knew that I wanted to modernize her ring, add some extra sparkle to accentuate its natural beauty, while keeping the original magic of the gift.

I searched for the perfect jeweler and worked with them to craft the most beautiful ring. Lindsey’s ring contains the original diamond and is surrounded by 50 smaller diamonds on a simple gold band. For the wedding band, Lindsey wanted a simple gold band for now.

But someday I’m going to give her a major upgrade so she can have a diamond covered band to match her ring, as well!” 

Bri’s Proposal to Lindsey

In August 2019, after months of planning in secret, Bri proposed to Lindsey at the Austin Pride Parade.

“I knew Lindsey had no idea of said proposal because as we were getting ready to head out to Pride, she came out from our bedroom wearing a full sequence rainbow dress with the most obnoxious metallic rainbow hat, rainbow sweatbands, and a damn rainbow WINDSOCK attached to the back of her hat,” say Bri. “Little did she know that this would be the outfit that would be in all our on-the-spot surprise engagement photos. Forever.”

Bri’s proposal to Lindsey in front of family and friends. Photo by Angela Doran

Bri had arranged for a group of friends to meet up with them at a rooftop bar in downtown Austin. “What she didn’t know is that I had extended invites to college friends, family, straight friends, and co-workers. Lindsey walked in, surprised to see all of those familiar faces.

As she turned around, I expressed to her that I couldn’t imagine waiting another day to ask her to be my wife—yes, while Lindsey was STILL WEARING THE GD WINDSOCK. So down on one knee, I asked the love of my life to spend forever with me. Through tears and cheers, she said yes.

It will forever be the best Pride celebration ever.”

Them engagement smiles. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Leaverton

Lindsey’s Proposal to Bri

Early on in their relationship, Bri had shared with Lindsey her bucket list dream of attending the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico and riding in a hot air balloon. Lindsey launched into a year of elaborate planning to surprise Bri with a proposal in the air at sunrise, enlisting the help of travel agent friend, and pitched it to Bri as her Christmas gift.

“I spent months working with a local hot air balloon company to coordinate a fail-proof and fool-proof master plan.

I even went as far as making up an entire bogus story about how my travel agent had entered us into a drawing to win a free private, sunrise hot air balloon ride during the Balloon Fiesta. I knew she’d figure it out if I just went and bought us a private ride,” says Lindsey.

She even had an actor friend leave her a fake voicemail pretending to be her travel agent, sharing how they had “won” the drawing. “I’ve never faked anything so well.”

Inside a hot air balloon that would never leave the ground. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Leaverton

In October 2019, Bri and Lindsey flew to New Mexico for the annual balloon festival. The day of the balloon ride, they woke up at 2 a.m. for their 4 a.m. check-in. “As we headed out to the field to get ready for take-off, I couldn’t stop shaking and smiling, knowing I was about to give the love of my life the engagement of her dreams. Then it all went to hell in a hot air balloon basket.”

Bri’s pear-shaped diamond, measuring slightly over 2 carats. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Leaverton

The fog was so bad that morning that the FAA had to ground and cancel all balloon rides, the first time in the history of the nearly 50 year International Balloon Festival this had happened.

“Bri and I waited in the basket for hours that morning, ended up missing the sunrise, and eventually heard the news from our pilot that all rides had been cancelled. I was absolutely heart broken, deflated (pun intended), and defeated.

But I had to pivot and stay the course. And figure out how to make this happen despite the fog.”

While they waited to hear the final news about the cancellation, Lindsey noticed a local news crew, KOAT, approach their basket, looking to interview them. “Seeing the news crew and the camera gave me an idea for a plan B.

Bri started answering a few questions on camera while I quickly pulled out my phone, pretending to show Hope, the news lady, photos of our kids.

” What she was actually doing was showing Hope that she was planning to propose, and had the ring in her pocket.

Says Lindsay: “The diamond sits on the cutest, daintiest little band which fits perfectly on her delicate finger. The ring definitely softens the finger tats that Bri has, which I happen to LOVE. She tells people she was in a lesbian prison gang. This is why I love this woman.”

Photo courtesy of Lindsey Leaverton

Once the flights were officially grounded, the in-air proposal turned into a ground proposal outside the basket. “While Bri continued to be distracted by her 15 minutes of local news fame, I continued scheming with Hope.

She had her crew ready to film this magic. As we climbed the basket, with much disappointment in Bri’s eyes and a heavy heart, I grabbed her hand, gave her a handwritten note, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry me.

We were both bawling, beaming, and reeling.”

People around them cheered while the KOAT cameras rolled. The segment was picked up by their local news affiliate back in Austin, but they couldn’t stay awake long enough to catch it.

Looking back, says Lindsey, “Turns out FOG didn’t stand a chance because love wins.”   

And Moments from their Epic Drive-In Wedding, Just Because

No glam squad here—Bri and Lindsey did each other’s makeup. Photo by Greg Fulks Instead of slices of cake, the drive-in handed our popcorn in individually packaged, old-school popcorn boxes.
Photo by David Wells Leaverton, party of 5. Photo by David Wells In lieu of venue decorations, Bri and Lindsey asked guests to decorate their cars. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Leaverton The ceremony was live-streamed for loved ones who couldn’t make it. Photo by Greg Fulks


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