Wedding Bells: Amber Kuzma and Shelby Kucharski

By : Aaron Drake
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“I met her on Facebook in a group for lesbians,” Amber Kuzma says about how she met her wife, Shelby Kucharski. “I wasn’t looking for anything as I had recently gotten out of a pretty nasty divorce. However, I had moved from Florida—where there were tons of out people—to Michigan, where I was the token lesbian again.”

The two struck up a conversation about Kucharski’s work as an off-leash dog trainer and that was the beginning.

“We spent a lot of time talking about dogs and she didn’t really catch the fact I was trying to talk less about dog training and more about her,” Kucharski shares. “I hadn’t met her yet, but after a few minutes of checking out her profile I figured she was pretty cute.”

“I gave her my number and we planned to see a movie together a few days later. We went for drinks before the movie and never made it to the movie because we blabbed all night until 2 a.m. and both had to work the next day. We’ve really kind of been inseparable since,” Kuzma says.

Kucharski was the one to pop the question. Though Kuzma had known it was going to happen, she didn’t quite know when.

“Shelby made me think she was going to propose to me during the Demi Lovato concert we were planning to go to. I had known she had the ring for a while,” Kuzma says. “We got friends together at 526 Main Piano Bar in Royal Oak, Mich., for what I thought was my birthday. I got pulled on stage for a super-long, drawn out birthday song, and then the piano player introduced Shelby who got down on one knee. The whole place erupted with applause and I’m pretty sure everyone there bought us a drink. It was really sweet.”

Kuzma and Kucharski married in Michigan surrounded by friends and family.

“One of my many favorite memories of this day was during our vows,” Kucharski says. “[My close friend] Allie had us repeat our vows after her and although we chose them beforehand, Amber had changed the vows with some silly adds, such as ‘You vow to love me even when I’m crabby, I vow to love you even if you have an obsession with narwhals.’”

And at last, there was cake.

“We had an epic cake fight. For those that know me, it wasn’t ‘if’ I would smash the cake in her face, only a question of how hard,” Kuzma says. “Shelby looked really nervous when it came time to cut the cake and it was all caught on video. She lovingly showed me the next day that she was still blowing chocolate cake out of her nose.”

Engagement date: Feb. 23, 2018

Wedding date: Sept. 9, 2018

Venue: Mac Ray Harbor

Colors: Lavender and coral

Wedding Song/Artist: “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri

Officiant: Allie Lyttle

Cake Bakery: Becky Kuzma

Cake/Cupcake Flavors: Chocolate, vanilla and banana

Theme: Steampunk

Photographer: Madeline Theede

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Read Watermark’s latest LGBTQ Wedding Guide here.

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