“Starting out and dating Thomas, I think we found a lot of great value in each other. It’s kind of yin and yang. I’m a little more scattered and emotional and he’s significantly more detailed and calm,” says Normand.
Both Normand, a human resources director for talent management for HSN, and Thomas Carter-Hale, an IT project manager for Verizon, agree that they complement each other. Years ago, they met by frequenting the same restaurants and knowing similar people—fast forward more than eight years and they have made it official.
“Because we have a lot of friends and everything, we wanted the ceremony itself to be more small and intimate for us,” Thomas says. “We’ve been together for eight-and-a-half years. We are a big part of each other’s lives and families, so our actual wedding day we had a judge, who was a friend of his mom’s, perform the wedding. We had some close family there. Not too many, probably about 15 people.”
Both Normand and Thomas believe their wedding is a major accomplishment, after having to wait for this opportunity to finally be recognized as a married couple.
Thomas joked about how he had to catch himself, now, after the big day because he was so used to saying “my partner” or “my boyfriend,” but now he can call Normand his husband.
“I think one of my favorite things about Normand is he’s able to actually see the good in everybody, and he keeps me leveled,” Thomas says. “When you live with someone, it’s not always that fairytale story—life happens. He’s the one who keeps me leveled and keeps me focused. Also, it’s nice to have that one person that no matter what happens they’re going to be there for you.”
And yes, they admit it was an emotional day, where even a couple tears were shed.
“I think my biggest moment [from the wedding] was when we were standing in front of the judge,” Thomas says. “When we started actually saying our vows, hearing the vows come out of Normand’s mouth and seeing him look me in the eyes when he did it, I got a little teary-eyed. I had to kind of keep myself composed because here he is, committing to me in front of the judge and his family and God, saying I want to be with you. It was one of the most emotional times for me.”
The couple plan a two-part honeymoon. They have already spent eight days in Arenal, Costa Rica hiking the rain forests and experiencing la pura vida, and they are headed to the Florida Keys at the end of May to spend a week in Key West to relax together by the water.
March 12, 2015
Oct. 10, 2014
HOW DID YOUR ENGAGEMENT HAPPEN:
Normand asked Thomas over dinner at Rocco
Pinellas County Courthouse
Mazzaro Italian Market
When they planned to get married in October 2014, they had agreed to have the ceremony in Chicago in January 2015. However, once it became legal in Florida, Normand’s mom strongly recommended they get married in St. Petersburg so that she could be a part of their special day.