Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Grace Peek and Elie Harris

By : Aaron Drake
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“We had been in the same place at the same time many times before without knowing,” Elie Harris says about when she first met her wife Grace Peek. The couple says they first interacted in January 2017 at the funeral of a mutual friend.

“Our friend Becky had been trying to introduce us, but it never quite worked out. It took a few weeks after our first meeting before we exchanged numbers, and since then we have been inseparable,” Harris says.

Harris, who moved to Huber Heights, Ohio, is the Orlando police department’s community service officer. Her wife, Peek, is from Cleveland, Tenn., and is employed as the Orlando police department’s master sergeant and LGBTQ liaison. The couple resides together in Windermere with their son Dylan.

Both knew the other was the one at the same time. “For me it was definitely when I was really sick right after we met. I had just moved into a new house and I was sent home from my serving job,” Harris says. “Grace offered to bring me soup and a movie. There were boxes everywhere, the floors were extremely dirty due to the movers and I did not have furniture yet. So she heated up the soup and sat down on my dirty floor to eat soup with me.”

“Elie took my answer on this one as I believe I realized then I would do anything for her and wanted her in my life,” Peek says. “I wasn’t sure how she felt but knew she was the one for me, whether we would marry or be the best of friends. I know it sounds cliché but I knew then that she ‘completed’ me and my son.”

They each say they “kind of” proposed to one another. Harris shared that early on, Peek had joked while they were at the beach that she would marry her with a bread tie—and they often discussed possible wedding dates—but Harris was the one who officially asked.

“Grace was working that day and we couldn’t get to the beach so she invited me to do a lunch picnic at Lake Ivanhoe,” Harris says. “After lunch, she pulled out two bread ties that were tied into little rings and asked if I would become her wife on Aug. 18, 2018. Of course the answer was yes.”

As intended, the couple married on that date on the beach at Treasure Island. The wedding had a nautical theme, as Peek was formerly in the Navy and Harris in the Coast Guard.

“My favorite moment of the wedding has to be when we walked out on the beach for the ceremony and I was finally able to turn around and see Elie behind me with her father,” Peek says. “She took my breath away—she was so beautiful! I loved our first dance and our family dance with our son. Elie is my one and I will be forever grateful she has taken a chance with me.”

Engagement date: Aug.18, 2017

Wedding date: Aug. 18, 2018

Venue: Bilmar Beach Resort, Treasure Island

Colors: Blue jay, sand and sliver

Wedding Song/Artist: “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur

DJ Service: DJ Shannon with InterCross Entertainment

Caterer: Bilmar Beach Resort

Officiant: Terry DeCarlo

Cake Bakery: Se7enBites

Cake/Cupcake Flavors: Wedding white with key lime filling and coconut rum buttercream frosting

Theme: Nautical

Photographer: Stephanie Michelle Photography

Planning a wedding? Click here to check out our 2018 LGBTQ Wedding Guide to use as a great resource to find several LGBTQ wedding resources for your special day! 

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