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A lesbian couple was unwelcomed by their wedding venue. Now, they've been gifted one for free

Mrs Lesbian Wedding Cake Kansas couple Ali Waggy Jessica Robinson
Shutterstock; facebook @ali.ritthaler

Ali Waggy and Jessica Robinson have been gifted a wedding venue for free after being told the venue they had didn't approve of their relationship.

After having their "dream wedding venue" owners tell them they didn't approve of their marriage because of their sexuality, two women in Kansas have since been gifted a new location to get married at, free of charge.

Ali Waggy and Jessica Robinson of Wichita first wanted to hold their wedding ceremony at The Barn at Grace Hill in Newton, Kansas, after "falling in love" with the location. Following months of communication and an in-person tour, Waggy suddenly received an email from the venue's owner, just as they were preparing to put down their deposit.

Related: 20 tips for the perfect LGBTQ+ wedding

“While our deeply held religious belief keeps us from celebrating anything but marriage between a man and woman, we desire to serve everyone equally and do not want to keep anyone from using our building who would like to," wrote the venue co-owner, Amanda Balzer, who said that while they could not prohibit the women from getting married there, she wanted to let them know "who we are and where our heart is.”

Waggy posted a screenshot of the email to Facebook to express her disappointment, noting that she "cried all night" after receiving the message. She said that she felt as if she was being told “we will take your money, but we’re not going to celebrate your marriage & want to make sure you know that."

Waggy then asked her friends for inclusive venue recommendations, and the community more than delivered as her post raked in thousands of views. The bride-to-be posted an update to her page just ten days later, sharing that they had been offered a new location, free of charge.

Joy Amore-Bishop, owner of Heritage Meadow Estate, reached out to the couple after hearing their story, gifting them use of the venue. The location typically would have cost $12,000, according to NBC News. Amore-Bishop told local outlet KAKE-TV that she wanted to "overshadow any negativity" surrounding what's meant to be the happiest day of their lives.

“Honestly it was like my mama bear heart that just wanted to wrap her in a hug and make her know that not everybody feels that way,” she said.

Waggy continued to say that she and Robinson will be able to keep their original wedding date, and that the site "is even more gorgeous than we could have ever dreamed!" She noted that she "truly had no idea what it was going to blow up into" when she made her initial post, and was simply seeking recommendations. However, as the situation unfolded, Waggy said she realized it was "much bigger" than their ceremony.

"As it got bigger I knew that this wasn’t just about us, what happened to us or how we were treated. It was much bigger than that," she wrote. "It was about using our voice to speak up, even when it was scary with the hope to raise awareness of our experience."

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at the Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel 'Someone Else's Stars', and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.