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Our Experience as a Grammy Same-Sex Couple

Brittany and Sally Beaver Pennington share their Grammy wedding story

Brittany Pennington and Sally Beaver Pennington

Brittany Pennington and Sally Beaver Pennington marry at the Grammys

In December, we submitted to a casting call looking for a diverse group of couples that wanted to get married at a huge event. Once we were chosen we were told it would take place at the Grammys. Coming from a family who loves music, I was ecstatic.

With only a month to prepare I didn’t have much time to think about exactly what would happen. We were so curious about where they would fit this mass wedding into the Grammys. The Friday before the main event, we flew to Los Angeles for rehearsal. We were so excited that we barely could eat anything. All the excitement had taken over.

When we arrived at the Staples Center for rehearsal we were told the ceremony was going to be during Macklemore’s performance of “Same Love”. All along, I had hoped it would have to do with that song because it’s such a powerful song. Then walked in Queen Latifah as the officiant, and Madonna who would sing during the performance too. I was shocked and in awe to see all the amazing people who had a part in this wedding. After doing a run through of the show I remember my wife and I starting to cry because the rehearsal alone was so moving. We knew this was going to be a powerful performance.

Grammys Wedding Couples - Macklemore 'Same Love'Neither one of us slept well that night because we were so excited to get married. The day of the Grammys we got to get ready with the other 32 couples in a tent that was set up just for us. I got to get to know some amazing people. Each couple had their own unique story. Each one of us was different, but all of us were brought together by love. When it came time for us to go on stage, I could hear the song starting. I remember I was so nervous because so many people were in the building. When it was our turn to walk down the isle all the people stood up and started cheering. Surprisingly all the nervousness went away and all I wanted to do was cry. I looked over at my beautiful partner who I love so much, and then noticed the people I’ve looked up to my whole life crying and cheering for something that means so much to me. It was truly the most amazing feeling.

I got to marry the love of my life in front of the world on the Grammys, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I have heard people saying on social media that this wedding was just a show. Even though this wedding was part of Macklemore’s performance it was also our wedding. Everyone likes to show their love in their own way. Marrying my wife in front of millions was my way of showing it. When Queen Latifah married us, all I saw was my wife. It was our moment that just so happened to be shown on television, but it was not just a show.

Since the wedding people from all over the world have reached out to us saying that they are inspired by our love and how we stood up for equality. I’ve received some of the kindest letters from people in Brazil, Canada, London, and Germany. I knew this would be big but I didn’t expect to inspire so many people.

A year ago, Sally and I moved from our home state of Arizona to Seattle, WA where gay marriage is recognized under the law. I love Arizona; it’s my home but we needed to live some place where we have rights. I was surprised that when we got married, the Arizona news did six stories on us, including radio interviews, newspaper stories, and magazine stories. This showed me that Arizona has hope for equality. Some of the conservatives have said a lot of hateful things since the wedding. I have seen people from the religious community writing terrible things online about us like “you all will burn in hell”, “we are perverted disgusting people”, and so on. It’s quite saddening to see people be so hateful about our love.

When we came home from Los Angeles we took some wedding pictures with a very good friend and photographer. She took us to a location where we took a picture by a wall that says “Moved Mountain”. I thought that saying was perfect for this situation. It symbolizes all the states that have had to fight to win marriage equality. LGBT people have gone through and are still going through a lot all over the world. For us to finally get married legally and to have the rights we deserve is a “moved mountain” for us. I don’t think I ever dreamed of being able to marry my wife legally, let alone do it with 32 other couples on the Grammys. This is a battle not won for every gay person in the world yet, but I hope it gives others hope. We can do this together one mountain at a time.