By: Samantha Swaim & Kristin Steele
Monday in Oregon was an amazing event day. No one knew it when we woke up. But by noon, the marriage ban in Oregon had been lifted and the community was ready to come together and celebrate.
With very little lead time, a generous group of event professionals joined us as we set out to throw a huge celebration for a moment that people in Oregon have waited decades for.
So many amazing vendors and event partners joined us to make the celebration happen—over 50 of them in all. Let it be said that this event could not have happened without them and their automatic responses of, “YES!” to anything we needed were pure magic.
Events are comprised of moments that all put together, tell a story.
Hundreds came together to celebrate.
There was crying and laughing and hugging everywhere.
Over 70 couples were married by volunteer celebrants.
Kids and couples burned up the dance floor to the tunes of amazing DJs donating their time on donated AV equipment.
Fantastic donated food and drink was had.
Donated desserts served as wedding cakes.
The day was documented by volunteer photographers.
Beautiful donated flowers spilled down steps and were carried as bouquets as new brides and grooms and people who have been partners for decades walked out of their ceremonies, legally married in the state they call home.
And aren’t all of these things why we hold events? To create a time and space where people come together and are changed for the better by the act of being together to champion each other and a cause?
Swaim Strategies was started ten years ago with the idea of assembling people to add to the greater good of our communities. Working for marriage equality has been an issue we have been committed to working on since the beginning. We can think of no more perfect example of our proudest work than this event held at The Melody Ballroom on May 19, 2014.
It even ended with a volunteer marching band, leading us into a brand new day.
Thank you to absolutely everyone who made it possible. Your generosity is what defines Oregon and we are so honored to know and work with all of you.
A few of our favorite photos of the day: