Wedding Bells at Watermark: Nicole Jerys and Lisa Thomas

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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NL-1013Nicole lived in Minnesota at the time and Lisa lived in Orlando. Both of the women belonged to an all-girls gaming clan on Xbox. When Nicole came to Orlando for a competition and to meet up with friends, that’s where she met Lisa—and they both say the rest is history.

“When we met each other, we didn’t call each other by our first names,” says Nicole. “We called each other by our gamertag. So it was actually kind of weird when we got more serious because I was like ‘OK, well you can call me Nicole now.’”

Nicole, a commercial insurance agent, and Lisa, a lead property manager, started to build their friendship and relationship after meeting at that competition. Two years later, they began dating and Nicole moved down to Orlando.

“One of my favorite things about Nicole is her sense of humor and the way she does these weird impersonations of people or things or spontaneous enactments,” Lisa says. “She’s just so fun to be around; she can always make you laugh.”

After dating for about five years, Lisa made the decision to propose to Nicole at Downtown Winter Garden, one of the couple’s favorite places in Central Florida.

“We walked down the pathway, she got down on her knee and asked me to marry her,” Nicole says. “Of course the very first thing I did was pull out my phone and say, ‘Don’t move!’ I took a picture of her and then a car drove by and said ‘Congratulations!’ I was so sucked up in the moment that I didn’t even answer Lisa. So she finally said, ‘Is that a yes or no?’ And I said, ‘Oh yes, of course!’”

Unbeknowst to the couple, the pathway they were on was lined with fire ants. Nicole joked about how they didn’t notice the ant bites on their ankles until they were on their way home.

A few bites didn’t take away from their special moment and what it means to them.

“Lisa is the kind of person that everybody wishes they could be,” Nicole says. “She’s very caring. I mean, we all want to help out people, but Lisa is really genuinely the person who would give the shirt off of her back for someone.”

When Florida legalized same-sex marriage, it was one of the greatest moments in their life.

“We’ve been together for a little over five years, and we’ve been waiting patiently,” Lisa says. “About a year ago, we were like ‘This is taking too long. We’re just going to go marry out of state—we’ll go to New York or something.’ The only downside to that is when we come back home, it would mean absolutely nothing. For Nicole and me, we know this is going to be a lifetime commitment for us.

“When we were actually able to get the same rights as everybody else, here in our hometown, it was just a sense of relief and a sense of security. No matter what, we’ll be able to take care of one another with our health and our financials.”

The couple is busy planning their wedding and preparing for the big day next year, but they still find the time to do what they call “Super Craft Sundays”—they go to the craft store and pick out an activity or something artsy that they do together.


5 years


September 30, 2013


February 7, 2016


Paradise Cove in Lake Buena Vista


Bjoely Event Services


Eggplant and lilac


Nicole is on the Board of Directors for the Orlando Gay Chorus, and Lisa has played softball for the Central Florida Softball League over the past several years.

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