Married multitaskers Lacey and Jessica created their dream wedding. Now they put cohabitation on hold while their careers take off.
Lacey Stone, a 30-year-old celebrity trainer, was working at Equinox Fitness Club in Greenwich Village when she noticed a gorgeous woman working out on a treadmill. The video of Usher's "Burn" played on the machine's TV screen, and Lacey recognized the woman on the treadmill as the one in the video.
"I said something to her about it, and she was rude!" Lacey laughs, recalling the fateful introduction to her future wife, Jessica Clark, 25. "But she came back and apologized, and we became friendly. She started to develop a little bit of a crush."
Lacey and Jessica had their first date on November 3, 2005. “Before Jessica asked me out, we saw each other one Sunday night at Starlette. The moment we made eye contact from across the room we both can honestly say we knew our lives would never be same," Lacey remembers. "I knew I wanted to get to know her better, and she knew she wanted to ask me out. She did so a couple months later at the gym after she broke off the relationship she was in."
Lacey was instantly drawn to Jessica's inner strength and what she calls Jessica’s ability to be a chameleon in any setting. "When she puts her mind to it, she excels at everything, from being the fastest in my athletic classes, to being a red carpet host to starring in a movie as a ninja. She's incredibly resourceful, if you want something difficult accomplished Jessica will find the best way to do it and make it look easy. I love how smart she is and her fearlessness to take risks in all areas of her life."
For Jessica, the feeling was mutual. "I love and am inspired by her drive and dedication; by the fact that she is always trying to be the best person she can be. She makes me laugh all the time; she encourages me to believe that I am capable of anything. I am so lucky that she loves me as much as she does!"
Their relationship grew into love—despite the demands of their work schedules. Lacey, a native of Whitefish Bay, Wis., continued teaching fitness classes, while Jessica, a model and actress originally from London, pursued roles in film and TV. About three years after the first date, they proposed to each other.
"I'm very romantic, and people that love each other get married where I come from. I wanted to celebrate being together for the rest of our lives," Lacey says.
Jessica launched herself into planning the ceremony—an exotic destination wedding on Las Caletas, a private island off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They chose the tropical escape for two reasons: first, the cost of a single night's wedding in New York City equaled that of a week on Mexico's beautiful Pacific coast; second, same-sex marriage is legal in gay-friendly Puerto Vallarta. Adventure Weddings, a full-service wedding planner based in the area, made all the arrangements with Jessica's input. The brides rented the entire island for the event, which took place February 28, 2010.
"A destination wedding is fun, because you can invite your closest friends and family to celebrate with you in a special setting," Lacey says. "It was about having a party and introducing our love to everyone we love. We wanted to put an exclamation point on our love.
"We'd been to our friends' gay weddings, and we saw how wonderful the experience can be. It can be all about your personality; you can put your own spin on your ceremony."
The brides chose a ceremony on the beach with a simple draped canopy for the altar. Jessica wore a strapless floor-length gown designed by Angel Sanchez, while Lacey sported an ensemble of crisp white trousers and sleeveless tuxedo-style vest by Ports 1961. Thirty guests wore royal purple and orange, echoing the colors in the bouquets of Birds of Paradise adorning the tables and canopy.
Lacey's parents walked her down the rose petal-strewn aisle first, then Jessica's mother accompanied her toward the altar. After their vows, the couple celebrated with a first dance on the beach and a party under the stars.
"Our families met each other at the wedding," Lacey says. That was important, because "we wanted them to see that gay people, and gay relationships, are real and not going away."
What's most remarkable about Jessica and Lacey's nuptials is that the two brides were in the same place at the same time—not an easy feat for this bi-coastal couple. Even after marriage, they split their time between Los Angeles, where Jessica lives and works, and New York City, where Lacey is busy growing her fitness empire.
"We see each other once or twice a month, for a week at a time," they explain. "Either I'll go there, or she'll come to New York. Jessica will come to New York for modeling jobs, which can take a few hours. For the rest of the time, she'll come to my fitness classes, we'll have dinner—just be romantic," Lacey adds.
"The thing that helps us survive the distance is Skype. I'll buy some wine and we'll have Skype dates several times a week.” Being intimate is the only thing that's lacking in the bi-coastal arrangement, though they see each other almost every day, even if it’s only online. Though the cross-country setup might seem like an insurmountable inconvenience for some, it works for Jessica and Lacey. These married multitaskers made the mutual decision to pursue their careers now, and achieve their goals before starting a family—which is definitely in the future.
Their decision is paying off. Jessica is filming a lesbian-themed feature film, Perfect Ending, and will be seen in the pilot of The Great State of Georgia on ABC next season. Lacey recently signed on with Gatorade to launch its new G Series FIT product across the country with a line of workout videos, and she just wrapped two episodes of MTV's Made.
"If you're looking to be extraordinary in your field, you have to make sacrifices," Lacey explains. "We want each other to be happy, and when we're old and gray we'll be together and know that we did the right thing. And we'll make it work, because we love each other very much."