After 16 wonderful years together, we're excited to announce that Richmonders Jim Morgan and Dan Stackhouse will tie the knot as the winners of our dream wedding contest! The lucky couple was one of more than 40 LGBT couples who entered the giveaway, courtesy of Say I Do! LGBT Wedding Expo and OutRVA.
Jim and Dan, who became engaged last fall on the day marriage equality became the law in Virginia, will say “I do” at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Tea House on March 7, 2015 in an all expenses-paid wedding worth $25,000. The two met at Barksdale Theatre in the summer of 1998, during their stage production of "The Rocky Horror Show."
"It amazes us that we will now be able to get married in the city we call home," Jim shared. "Marriage is a public way of saying not only, "I love you," but "I love who WE are." Richmond is a large part of who we are. We couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else."
Jim and Dan received the exciting news at Sunday's Say I Do! Dessert Soiree, a matchmaking event for LGBT couples and the LGBT community to meet pro-equality wedding vendors and LGBT-affirming businesses. Held at the Renaissance, Carol Schall and Mary Townley, plaintiffs in the federal suit over Virginia's ban on gay marriage, delivered the big reveal.
"When Dan proposed (in October), he got down on one knee with the only thing he could find on short notice. Never has a Ring Pop tasted so sweet."
That summer, Dan had just graduated from the University of Richmond and found his first professional experience working backstage on the production. After many years of performing in community theater, Jim had auditioned for his first professional role. It took Jim 6 auditions to land the role of Dr. Frank N' Furter, a dream of his. They met in late May. After shows, the cast would hang out at The Lighthouse, the Fan bar patronized by the Richmond theatre crowd. As the summer went by, eye contact across the room became a table in the corner for words shared by just the two of them.
During a quick 45-second costume change one night, Jim raced to his place and asked Dan, "Do I have lipstick on my teeth?" Dan answered with a kiss. 16 years later, the couple is still bonded by that kiss. Since, they've become local leaders in the arts and education sectors, giving back to the city that brought them together.
"There isn’t a neighborhood in Richmond where we can't think of someone or something that has had a profound impact on who we are over the last 16 years," Jim shared. "We love each other. We love our community. We love this city."