Wedding Bells: Jaci Pfeiffer and Kelly Bardier

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Photo by Tamsin Wright of Tamsin Photography.

“It was like a whirlwind,” Jaci says about their wedding day. “It seemed like from Wednesday to Friday, we didn’t stop at all. We thought we’d have time to go to the beach with the kids and relax—we didn’t stop for one second.”

Jaclyn Pfeiffer, who is a teacher, and Kelly Bardier, a nurse, met a couple of years ago through a mutual friend that introduced them. They were friends at first, but it eventually developed into more.

“I thought she seemed like a great person, and it kind of just went from a friendship into more,” Jaci says. “It wasn’t like I was looking for anything. It wasn’t even like I was openly gay. It was like she was just a friend and it just happened.”

Kelly lived in Melbourne, and Jaci lived in Orlando. She would come to Orlando once a week for doctor’s appointments and they would hang out just as friends—until Kelly mentioned to Jaci one night, through text, that she had to tell her something.

“I just told her I didn’t really understand what I was feeling but that I was developing feelings for her, especially when she would casually mention past relationships that I found myself feeling jealous and I really didn’t understand why,” Kelly says. “It just turned out that the feelings were mutual, and we kind of decided to see where it would go.”

Kelly says they had talked about marriage before, and she said one day she went shopping for a ring, found one and bought it. A week later they went to Disney, and she made a video of photos of them to the song “Marry You.” They went to watch the firework show on the beach of the Polynesian, and after the video, Kelly asked Jaci to marry her and she said yes.

“We were sitting on the beach and she had a Fitbit on and her Fitbit heartrate went crazy on her wrist—it was like 127 or something,” Jaci jokes. “I was like ‘What is wrong with you? Why is your heartrate so fast?’ But it was because she was nervous. We watched the video, and I instantly said ‘yes’ and we’ve been planning ever since then.”

They did most of the planning of the wedding themselves and decided on things together. Jaci says the days leading up to the ceremony and reception were exciting and surreal.

“She gets me, and we love each other no matter what,” Jaci says. “Even when we were just fired, I was trying to push her away, I guess, because I couldn’t handle all the stress, but she reminded me needed to stick together.”

Kelly says a memorable part of their wedding was how Mary Meeks, a local LGBT lawyer who was their officiant, wore a Lokai bracelet that they gave her as a thank you gift after she represented the couple. A Lokai bracelet is a bracelet that is infused with elements sourced from the highest and lowest points on earth, and she used this as a talking point during their ceremony to say how the couple have been there for each other for all the low points in their relationship, and this wedding was the high point.

YEARS TOGETHER: Two years

ENGAGEMENT DATE: August 28, 2015

WEDDING DATE: October 28, 2016

WEDDING VENUE: International Palms in Cocoa Beach

WEDDING CATERER: International Palms

WEDDING THEME/COLORS: Nautical theme with the colors pink and navy

FIRST SONG: “Better Place” by Rachel Platten

INTERESTING FACT: They were both fired for their sexual orientation. No one knew about their relationship, and they were forced to be “out” due to local media coverage of the incident.

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