PHOENIX — Nearly 30 million people watched as they exchanged rings, said “I do”, and became a married couple.
Brittany Pennington and Sally Beaver were married at the Grammy Awards on Sunday in front of the show’s second-largest television audience since 1993.
The couple met at Mesa Desert Ridge High School, fell in love, and have been together for nearly three years. When the two saw a vaguely written casting call for a group wedding, they submitted their information and were eventually invited to take part in the ceremony.
Pennington said when the couple found out the wedding would be at the Grammys, they were ecstatic.
“Not only was I marrying someone who’s my best friend, who I’m completely in love with, but, we also had support from people we’ve looked up to our whole lives,” Pennington said.
Beaver and Pennington were joined by 32 other couples: gay, straight, young, old, interracial, all married as rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis performed their award winning marriage-equality anthem “Same Love.”
“When I think of the moment, I want to break down,” Pennington said. “It’s beautiful. It makes me want to cry. We started walking down the aisle and all the celebrities stood up; Katy Perry, Paul McCartney, country singers, everyone was crying.”
Queen Latifah officiated the wedding for the couples.
“We are gathered here to celebrate love and harmony in every key and every color,” Latifah said as she commenced the ceremony. “As I look out on this audience, I’m delighted to see the faces of thirty-three couples who’ve chosen this moment to celebrate their vows here with us in Los Angeles, and everyone watching around the world as witnesses.”
Pennington said that she and Beaver were honored to represent same-sex couples from Arizona in the ceremony. “Even though we live in Seattle, we do represent Arizona. That’s our home and [we’re] getting married in front of the world to show the people in Arizona that are gay, if they want rights, then they have hope.”
The newlyweds have their own hope — that marriage equality will soon become the societal norm throughout the U.S.
“Same-sex couples go through a lot and we deal with a lot of discrimination; but, there are people out there that are rooting for us,” Pennington said.