U.S. soccer stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris initially planned on having a small, private wedding last year but decided against it for a compelling reason.
In the cover story for the August issue of Allure, the couple spoke about why they chose to have a much splashier affair in Miami last December and what it meant to the LGBTQ community.
"Originally, we just wanted to have a private ceremony," Krieger said. "We were like, ‘Let's save our money and worry about our future kids' education.' And it ended up being like, ‘Listen, let's share our love with the world. We can make this an event for our community.'
"Sometimes I did feel like, ‘What are we doing?' But no, we're saving people's lives (with our visibility), and that's what matters most. We can put our privacy aside for a moment and just be like, ‘This is worth it.' "
The couple publicly announced their engagement in March of 2019 after getting engaged in September. They had been together for nine years before Harris proposed during a getaway to Clearwater, Florida.
Their wedding included a reading from Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. There was a rainbow cake at the reception, where tables were named after gay rights icons.
Fellow U.S. national team superstar Megan Rapinoe, who is part of a high-profile couple herself with WNBA star Sue Bird, served as a best woman at their wedding ceremony.
"They refuse to have anybody tell them how they're going to live or what's going to make them happy or who they are or what they can be," she told Allure about the couple. "Growing up, we didn't have a lot of gay role models. They've made such a huge impact. It's been so cool just to see how much love they've gotten and how happy they are."
The couple believes that the visibility from being on the cover of Allure is also important.
"Representation matters," Harris wrote on Instagram. "Thank you @allure for standing with us and putting us on the August cover. @alikrieger I am incredibly proud of your vulnerability. You are absolutely breathtaking."
Harris and Krieger were part of the U.S. women's national team that captivated the country last summer in winning the FIFA World Cup title. The team was preparing for this year's Olympics in Tokyo before the Games were postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The couple both play for the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League. The team announced last month that it was pulling out of the NWSL Challenge Cup after multiple players tested positive for coronavirus, leaving Harris and Krieger time to contemplate their future.
"We talk about having kids a lot. The unfortunate part is someone's going to have to give in their career," Harris told Allure. "Which is not fair. Because we both love our jobs and have waited our whole lives for these moments. Just taking a year off...where does that fit in? I can't even take a weekend off.
"We've talked about surrogates, we've talked about adoption, and it's just really tough because what — are we going to take the child everywhere? I mean, we've been home for seven days in the last three months."
They also plan to continue to fight for equal pay with their teammates for the U.S. women's national team.
"What really moves a lot of us is changing the conversation, the culture," Harris said. "You're playing for more than the popularity of your sport. You're playing to impact people's lives across all industries. We're trying to empower people to feel strong enough to stand for something that is important to them. And right now, for us, that is pay equity."
This story was originally published on TODAY.com.