The entire world, it seemed, knew that Taylor Hollenkamp had received a marriage proposal.
It was written about in The New York Times, during a Thanksgiving six-word challenge last November.
Lauren Few, now 36, had lots to be grateful for, most notably her partner, Ms. Hollenkamp, whom she had met the previous December through a mutual friend.
“Taylor was a bad-ass, independent, beautiful, hilarious,” said Ms. Few, who has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and lives in San Diego. “I felt we had similar life experiences and big blended families.”
Ms. Hollenkamp, who grew up in St. Louis and owned two barre fitness studios in San Diego, was equally mesmerized. “Our friend left early because she felt like the third wheel.”
By May they were living together.
The idea of marriage had come up during a trip to Morocco, when Ms. Few became seriously ill. Worried she had the coronavirus, she told Ms. Hollenkamp that they had to wed. “I don’t want to die without marrying you.” Ms. Few said.
Ms. Few didn’t die, but she did have Covid. Still, the couple decided to wait before actually making their union official. Except Ms. Few didn’t want to wait, and decided to propose on Thanksgiving Day, during dinner.
Then she heard about the six-word contest. Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway composed a (very) short story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” That inspired the Six Word Memoir phenomenon. Ms. Few’s father, Harry Few, a huge Hemingway fan, had given his daughter a book of his short stories before dying of brain cancer in 2014.
She decided that the best way to honor her dad and express her love for Ms. Hollenkamp would be to propose. In six words. In a national newspaper. “I never expected it to run,” she said.
To ensure that Ms. Hollenkamp didn’t find out via a friend on the East Coast or on Twitter, Ms. Few woke up at 5:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving and absconded with Ms. Hollenkamp’s phone. She returned with mimosas, pumpkin spice lattes and The New York Times.
Then she suggested that they do their six words. Ms. Hollenkamp quickly responded: “My life has never been happier.”
Ms. Few told her hers were in print: “Will you marry me, Taylor Hollenkamp?”
Ms. Hollenkamp’s brain didn’t quite register what she saw. “I read the words 10 times,” she said. “I’m like, ‘I’m Taylor Hollenkamp. Is this serious?’” Ms. Few assured her it was. Ms. Hollenkamp screamed and cried.
The following day, Ms. Hollenkamp compiled a video of their past year together, along with her own marriage proposal. Further crying and screaming ensued.
The couple married on June 26 at the Farmhouse at Riddle Hill, a wedding venue in Mars Hill, N.C., not far from where Ms. Few grew up. It was the six-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, a coincidence that delighted them.
“We had a lot of older lesbian couples reach out via email or social media after hearing about us to tell us how much our engagement meant to them, because they couldn’t have the same experiences when they were our age,” Ms. Few said.
Sixty fully vaccinated friends and family members witnessed the women, visions in white, walk down the aisle. Ms. Hollenkamp’s brother Noah Hollenkamp, an ordained minister through the Universal life Church, officiated.
In her vows, Ms. Few reminded Ms. Hollenkamp of their Morocco trip and her pledge to marry her. She finished in six words: “Thank you for keeping your promise.”