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BY AJ TRAGER
HIGHLAND – “We got overwhelmed with the planning,” Brenda told BTL when discussing her March 20 marriage to Conne. They’ve been together for over a decade and recently planned a very small wedding with just their “Best of Honor” and Rev. Deb Cox presiding.
After they picked the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle as their venue and started working on other wedding plans, they became severely overwhelmed thinking about having to order caterers, send out wedding announcements and navigate the nitty-gritties of their upcoming wedding. As realtors, the early-spring is an extremely hectic time for them and Conne and Brenda didn’t have much extra time to throw around and plan their wedding. They quickly decided to have a (mostly) private ceremony near the shores of the Detroit River followed by a pub crawl throughout Downtown Detroit.
“Brenda cried throughout the whole thing,” Conne said. “Being able to get married validated who we are. It was weird how we felt once we did it. I didn’t expect it.”
They met at Real Estate One 15.5 years ago at the company fax machine. Conne was engaged at the time and Brenda was married. Despite the circumstances, they remained friends for a few years with Conne serving as Brenda’s “therapist” as she processed a dissolving marriage.
Three years ago on Valentine’s Day, Brenda and Conne went to Sweet Lorraine’s for dinner following a real estate conference. Conne brought an engagement ring and Brenda brought a six-pack of beer.
“When I gave her a ring, she screamed,” Conne explained.
For the wedding, Conne donned a mink coat owned by Brenda’s mother and Brenda wore, and learned how to tie, a bow tie.
“She was in front of the mirror for days until someone gave her a hint,” Conne said.
While family and friends were disappointed that they were not able to make it to the couple’s ceremony, Brenda and Conne have planned a 41-person reception in June to be held on the Ovation, a 138 foot luxury vessel that sails up and down the Detroit River.
“Marriage gave us validity,” Brenda said. “We were finally for real and it felt really good. I got mad because our insurance for our house and cars went up, and I decided to shop around for alternatives. I called some guy and put us both on the insurance and got to tell him, ‘No, she’s not my roommate — we’re married. She’s my wife.’ Telling people has been very fun and matter of fact.”
“We aren’t on the outside of society anymore,” Conne added
When they aren’t working together to sell and market property in the area, they head up to their lake house in Greenbush with their two dogs, Sophie, a 10-year-old mutt and Jody, their 1-year-old English Bull Dog.