Your wedding day should be one-of-kind — a special celebration of all the things that make your love story unique, whether it’s the venue you choose, the family you have by your side, or the song you share for your first dance. Imagine your perfect wedding; now imagine it with Kesha officiating.
That’s exactly what happened to one couple — Dani and Lindsay — who were selected to have their wedding at the Bellagio in Las Vegas with an extra special officiant, the “Praying” singer-songwriter. The ceremony (and some of the preparation) would then be filmed for a music video for Kesha’s new single, “I Need a Woman” as part of a special new album Universal Love, a collection of reimagined songs for the LGBTQ community.
After the video hit the internet on Monday, EW called up Dani and Lindsay to get the details behind their love story and what it was like to have a pop star officiate their wedding.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did this all come together?
DANI: My family’s all from Southern California and Lindsay grew up in Salt Lake City, so her family’s all from Utah. We just recently got engaged in February, February 2nd, and we were looking around for LGBT friendly venues. It’s kind of an awkward thing to have to start an email like, “Hey we want to get married there, are you LGBT friendly?” Because you don’t want to show up somewhere the day of and find out people aren’t going to be friendly or don’t want you there or are not happy about your wedding. This opportunity came up to get married in Vegas, and Las Vegas is great for us because it’s right in between and we knew our guests would have a lot of fun there. We knew we’d be 100 percent welcome and then they let us know that Kesha would be officiating, and that was amazing.
LINDSAY: That was very much the cherry on top of the ice cream — to have your wedding officiated by someone as amazing as Kesha. Also, the venue was beautiful. We’re still in shock that it actually happened, and it was way more than we could have probably ever dreamed of.
In the video, you talk about seeing Kesha perform at Pride and what that meant to you – can you elaborate on how much you were fans of her before, and if that’s increased since?
DANI: We loved her before, and we love her even more now. She was so sweet, so down to earth, talked with all of our family and friends. She was very nervous. You can see in the video how she’s like, “I hope it all goes right.” She was very nervous about making sure that our wedding was exactly what we wanted it to be. We were just so happy.
LINDSAY: I’ve always been a fan of hers and especially in the last couple of years, she’s been extremely brave. I’ve always admired the way she’s been an ally and stood up for anyone that’s been bullied or a misfit or anything like that, that’s really near and dear to my heart. But I would never in a million years have thought that she would officiate our wedding.
Did you talk about the flow of the ceremony and what you wanted her to say ahead of time? How much of it did you write?
DANI: We certainly wrote our own vows. We talked to her on the phone and went through what we wanted said. She had some input as well and told us some of the things that she had done because she has officiated two other LGBT weddings for friends of hers. She had some thoughts about what she liked, and she was very adamant that it was our wedding and whatever we wanted would definitely be how it went.
LINDSAY: She was very much like, “This is your day, whatever you want. They want to make sure that it’s what you guys dreamed of.” We talked on the phone. We also met once we were in Vegas to go over it again. Everyone involved was super sweet and unbelievably welcoming and accommodating, so it was definitely collaborative.
You just got engaged in February, that’s a little more than a month to plan a wedding. Was that nerve-wracking? Or how did that work?
DANI: It was actually really wonderful because so many people pulled things together. We just got to dream big and go, “Oh let’s do this and let’s do that,” and MGM made it happen. We just said, “Oh yeah, we think maybe like a rainbow theme, maybe some confetti,” and they took that and [amped it up by] 100. It really wasn’t stressful at all.
LINDSAY: We’ve been together for five years and we’ve been talking about marriage for the last year or so. We hadn’t gotten engaged yet, but we already had some ideas of what we wanted to do. I’m not going to lie, once it all fell into place, I was like “Oh my gosh, we’ve got to find this and that,” in the last couple of days, but it all came together amazingly and beautifully. I’m sure there’s a lot more stressful weddings out there than this one ended up being.
Did you play a lot of Kesha music at your reception?
DANI AND LINDSAY [in unison]: We did.
DANI: We heard her song “I Need a Woman” for the first time when we got there, and they played it for us.
LINDSAY: They played the song, and that actually ended up being our first dance.
DANI: It was up at the highest floor there. They were playing the music and you could see all of the strip. We still feel like we dreamed it all.
Now that you’ve seen the final video, what was your reaction?
LINDSAY: Oh my gosh, like happy tears all over the place. Ugly crying but in the best way possible. It was beautiful. I wasn’t sure how they were going to make the song fit with everything we did, but it worked perfectly.
DANI: We were there, we lived it, but even seeing it on film, it was just so beautiful how they pulled it all together. We’re smiling and laughing and having such a great time, and that’s exactly what it was like. We were cracking up and enjoying it and crying and getting to talk about our five years together and how much we’ve seen the world change, just in those five years, and it’s incredible. Just thinking back, when we saw Kesha at Pride, that was right before the Supreme Court ruled on Freedom to Marry, so tensions were super high. We didn’t know if we were going to get it or not. The protestors were there, the backlash was there, and it really felt like the United States was divided completely in half on this issue. All of that was captured in that weekend. We had so much fun, and we got to celebrate our love and our life together.
LINDSAY: It was very us. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. It was really cool they incorporated those little moments that were funny.
DANI: Us being goofballs [laughs] … nerds that we are. They really captured us a couple.
It must be special to have a wedding video that you don’t have to force your family and friends to sit down on the couch and watch.
DANI AND LINDSAY: [Laugh]
DANI: One that they’re really excited to see. [They’re] like, “When is it coming out, when is it coming out?”
Have you had a chance to connect with Kesha since?
Lindsay: We haven’t yet. We hope to get a chance to thank her again because this has just been amazing,
DANI: She wrote us a beautiful card.
LINDSAY: She wrote us a beautiful card that was sitting in our room when we got married, our wedding night, and it was unbelievably sweet what she wrote. I just think she’s the bees knees. She’s probably one of the sweetest, most incredible women I’ve ever run into, so it was very cool to have our paths cross.
Overall, what does this experience mean to you and what do you hope others take away from the video?
DANI: They just really gave us the five-star treatment. There’s a lot we did that you don’t see in the video. We got our nails done at the spa, and we went out to lunch. They really took care of us. You worry when you have a LGBT wedding – you hear about people who get rejected from having someone make their cake or things like that. Every single person we interacted with was just so happy to be a part of the day. And that’s wonderful. I wish that for everyone on their wedding day.
LINDSAY: It’s amazing because it’s our wedding so obviously we love it because it’s about us, but I really hope that someone somewhere, whoever it is in the universe or the world that needs to see this, that may be being bullied or feels bad about who they are or is going through a rough patch, sees this video and realizes that not only are they perfect the way they are, [but they should not] just [be] tolerated, but celebrated. This video really shows that celebration [where] love is just love. I hope it’s a small blip of hope to somebody out there that maybe needs to see it.
DANI: That was the most amazing part of today is to see people tweeting and hashtagging things on Instagram in all these different languages, all over the world. Kesha’s an international star, and we often think about LGBT rights and freedoms here in the United States, but there are so many places around the world where it’s still illegal to be gay and punishable in some places by death. Even here in the United States, there are so many states that still have conversion therapy, that it’s still legal. There’s still so much to do for LGBT rights around the world, and that’s one of the best things about having Kesha be a part of this project is that she really is reaching places where people don’t think it’s okay to be LGBT, and don’t think it’s okay to have the right to marry or have any rights at all. That’s been really amazing to see…
LINDSAY: …the outpouring of love from all over the world. Hopefully in a small way, we’ve been a small part of making that difference internationally as well.