Comedian Fortune Feimster and longtime partner Jacquelyn Smith have gotten married in a ceremony that made allowances for the pandemic and came amid fears about the future of marriage equality.
The women got married Friday at a house overlooking the ocean in Malibu, Calif. “It was something small,” Feimster told People, which published an exclusive photo of the wedding. “We only had a couple of good friends there. We all had COVID tests. We purposefully kept it small for the reasons of it being during a pandemic. We had started [planning] in early March to start to look because it was never going to be a traditional wedding per se. It was going to be more of a celebration, but we were starting to look at venues and stuff, and then COVID hit. So then we were like, ‘I guess that big thing is not happening.’”
The house they rented had outdoor space that appealed to them, so the ceremony was held on the patio. It was livestreamed via Zoom.
Feimster and Smith met at Chicago’s Pride celebration in 2015, one day after the Supreme Court ruled for nationwide marriage equality. They got engaged in January 2018 on a trip to California’s Big Sur.
Feimster said the court has been in her thoughts, as its conservative majority is expected to increase to 6-3 with the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to succeed the late liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg; the Senate vote is set for Monday evening. Two other right-wing justices, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, have already said they would like to see the marriage equality decision overturned. There is no case on the issue headed to the court right now, but LGBTQ+ Americans are still worried, justifiably so.
“I’m not going to lie, there were some nerves about the Supreme Court,” Feimster told People. “After Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, all these people started talking about gay marriage again. On the first day of their session, two of the justices brought up gay marriage. I think I had posted something on Instagram, something like, ‘Oh man, this is nerve-racking as a gay person.’ Especially because we were planning to get married. All these people were like, ‘Go get married now.’”
“Who knows what will happen?” she continued. “Hopefully, marriage equality is here to stay. But we wanted to be more proactive and get married while we know we can. It definitely got the ball rolling for us a lot faster.”
Meanwhile, the pandemic has affected Feimster’s work as well as the wedding plans. “This whole year has been so unpredictable for everybody,” she said. “I mean, my [Netflix] special [Sweet and Salty] came out in January, and I had six months of theaters sold out. We were ready to go. The first show was supposed to start March 15, and literally the night before we were supposed to get on the plane, they called and they’re like, ‘Not happening.’ So our whole year was going to be touring, aside from when we were originally going to get married. We didn’t think that we would even get to take any sort of trips. So this is one cool thing in 2020 is getting married and taking a honeymoon.” They will eventually honeymoon in the Maldives.