Lesbian couple devastated after ‘heart-crushing’ email from dream wedding venue

Lesbian couple getting married

A lesbian couple have shared their shock and disappointment after receiving a “heart-crushing” email from their dream wedding venue.

Ali Waggy and her fiancée Jessica Robinson believed that they had locked down the perfect location for their vintage plains-style wedding and were getting ready to put down deposits when they were sent one final email from the venue owner that took them by surprise.

Waggy, who had been in communication with the people at The Barn at Grace Hill in Newton, Kansas ever since her engagement, was in the middle of discussions about cleaning deposits and using an on-site coordinator for her big day when the shocking email arrived in her inbox at 10pm on Sunday night (7 January).

A queer, same-sex couple wear white outfits as they attend a wedding and hold each other's hands
A lesbian couple was left in shock after their dream wedding venue sent them a “heart crushing” email. (Pexels)

The venue’s co-owner had reached out to Waggy to let her know that, although she and her fiancée would legally be permitted to marry there, the owners had “deeply held religious beliefs” that meant they would not be able to celebrate her same-sex wedding.

Sharing a screenshot of the email to Facebook, a gutted Waggy wrote: “Imagine going to your dream wedding venue with your fiancée, kids & parents… Seeing it, falling even more in love with it, deciding it’s it… & then when you email them one last question before asking for a contract; not the person you’ve been emailing, but the owner responds like this.”

The email, shared by Waggy, reads: “If you decide that our barn is the location you want for your wedding, we have learned that it is most fair to you to know who we are and where our heart is.”

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It continues: “While our deeply held religious belief keeps us from celebrating anything but marriage between a man and a woman, we desire to serve everyone equally and do not want to keep anyone from using our building who would like to.”

The email then clarifies that “all couples legally permitted to marry in the state of Kansas are welcome to use The Barn at Grace Hill”, but they wished to share their beliefs on same-sex marriage so that everyone could “move forward in the most authentic way possible.”

China same-sex marriage
The lesbian couple are now looking for a new venue for their 2025 wedding. (Carl Court/Getty)

Admitting that she had “cried all night”, Waggy asked her Facebook friends if they could recommend any venues that “believe everyone deserves to be celebrated”.

Speaking to The Wichita Eagle, Waggy said that she had dreamed of an old-school barn wedding since she was a child, and had her heart set on the Newton venue before she was even engaged.

“Honestly, I just started crying hysterically, and it was pretty awful and heart-crushing,” she admitted.

While the couple have plenty of time to find a new venue in time for their 2025 wedding, the exchange is what bothered Waggy the most.

“I think it’s more upsetting that we’re still dealing with this, and it’s 2024,” said the bride-to-be.

PinkNews has reached out to The Barn at Grace Hill for comment.

However, another local business, Grace Hill Winery, has commented on the incident, having been mistaken for The Barn at Grace Hill.

Although both businesses are located on Grace Hill Road, Grace Hill Winery is not located in Newton, but in Whitewater.

Unfortunately, their similar names and addresses have led many mix up the two establishments, prompting the winery to respond to the controversy.

“At Grace Hill Winery, we have always stood for inclusivity and equality,” the venue wrote in a post to Facebook on Monday (8 January).

“We’ve always strived to create an inclusive environment where anyone from any walk of life can come out with their friends and family and enjoy some delicious local wine in a beautiful Kansas setting.”

The winery’s managing partner Jeff Sollo told The Witchita Eagle: “It’s been an interesting 24 hours, that’s for sure. When you kind of get dragged into a situation like this through no fault of your own, it’s a little disheartening.”