Timing was everything for Morgan Levine and Cameron Romer.
When the couple got engaged, marriage equality had not yet come to Pennsylvania, nor most other states. The Keystone State got on board in enough time for them to scrap their out-of-state plan. And, as icing on the wedding cake, the U.S. Supreme Court brought marriage equality to the entire nation the day before they tied the knot.
While the wedding date was picked long before the showdown in the top court, its confluence made the day even more special, Levine said.
“I don’t think the impact of it really hit me until the next day when I was able to look back and just see that there was something so extra special about the wedding,” she said. “It felt extra magical to know that we went from being engaged when it was not legal at all in our state to, by the time we said ‘I do,’ it was legal across the United States.”
Levine, 30, and Romer, 34, have been together since 2010, having met at a party thrown by Stimulus Productions, of which Levine is a co-founder.
“I used to say she was ‘too cool for school’ when I met her. She had this attitude about her, just very cool; my first impression was very wrong,” Levine laughed.
Romer joked that her initial impression of Levine was also a little off.
“When I first met her, I thought she was this party, free spirit-type of person and then the second time I met her, I thought she was kind of nerdy. That’s definitely more accurate,” she said.
That “nerdiness” is one of the traits Romer came to most value in Levine.
“She’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,” Levine said. “But she doesn’t let it affect her personality; she’s still very social and just a very loving person who pushes me every day to think differently.”
Levine said she draws inspiration from Romer’s focus and positivity.
“Cameron is very grounded and grounding, and I really need that sometimes. And she has a great energy. I would say 90 percent of the time she’s positive and the other 10 percent … well, that’s what you get for loving each other unconditionally,” Levine joked.
Romer works as a treatment court administrator for York County Probation, and Levine as a program associate at Mathematica Policy Research.
The couple got engaged in July 2013 during a trip to Delaware — unbeknownst to one another, they each planned to propose that weekend, though Romer went first.
“I beat her to the punch,” Romer laughed.
Levine said that while Romer had some difficulty finding the ring, she was still surprised.
“It was so awkward,” she laughed. “We were talking and walking along the beach and she just kept wanting to walk and it wasn’t even nice out. We got to this dune and she took out her bookbag and was going through it for like 10 minutes before she proposed.”
“The whole idea was lost in everything that was in my bag,” Romer laughed.
When they got back to their hotel, Levine gave Romer a necklace inscribed with their initials, the date and “Marry me,” which Romer still wears.
While Levine said the pragmatic reasons for marrying — such as medical decision-making, highlighted by Romer’s type-one diabetes — were apparent, the emotional impact came over time.
“As we got into planning a wedding with each other’s families, it really unified us as a couple and I think solidified that we’re all family,” Levine said.
“I’m so glad we did a two-year engagement,” Romer added. “It was so important for us to have that time and really helped us to be relaxed and enjoying the time leading up to the wedding.”
While they had time to plan all the details, Mother Nature was out of their control and their outdoor ceremony at Riverdale Manor in Lancaster had to be moved inside.
“It rained the entire day, but it actually turned out that plan B was even better,” Levine said. “I got to wear heels, it wasn’t a million degrees. We still had a gazebo setting so it was somewhat of an outside element with the rain in the background. It was a beautiful day.”