Pillbox

Here come the brides: A quest for marriage

Amanda and Rachel traveled to Iowa to receive their marriage license and put on an unforgettable wedding ceremony. (credit: Courtesy of TR Creative Services) Amanda and Rachel traveled to Iowa to receive their marriage license and put on an unforgettable wedding ceremony. (credit: Courtesy of TR Creative Services) Pop music group Leslie Hall and the LYs performed at Amanda and Rachel’s wedding. (credit: Courtesy of TR Creative Services) Pop music group Leslie Hall and the LYs performed at Amanda and Rachel’s wedding. (credit: Courtesy of TR Creative Services)

A compelling new documentary film is headed for the Steel City. Married in Spandex — the entertaining story of a young lesbian couple’s quest for marriage — was produced and directed by two Pittsburgh natives, Allison Kole and Devin Gallagher. The upcoming Pittsburgh screening is shaping up to be an exciting one.

Married in Spandex is a 55-minute documentary recording the marriage of Amanda and Rachel, who are determined to make their wedding a memorable one. Although the couple’s home is in Philadelphia, they travel to Iowa in order to receive a marriage license. The journey is made more interesting by their choice of wedding ceremony: They are married by rapper and performance artist Leslie Hall while wearing spandex, as vaguely hinted at in the title. The entire ceremony is laden with unique perspectives and is almost unrecognizable as a wedding.

The documentary started out as a series of interviews that would be given to the couple as a wedding gift. Gallagher explained, “We initially thought about using the interviews as a wedding present, but the event kept growing and growing so we decided to invest in something bigger.”

“It all happened really organically,” said Kole, who is Amanda’s sister and was a maid of honor in the wedding. “[Amanda and Rachel] thought it was a great idea and that it would be fun. People relate to them and they wanted to show how everyone can be creative with their own wedding.... They trusted us and they enjoyed talking about what they were about to do.”

Although there are some flat moments, this fast-paced film is quite entertaining. The interviews with friends and family scattered throughout provide a variety of perspectives on the women’s relationship and marriage. They also highlighted the difficult decisions Amanda and Rachel were faced with during this time, as the two women chose their love despite the difficulties and opposition that came with it. Although Rachel’s parents did not accept her lifestyle, she refused to give up on the person she loved; for her, it is most important to love in spite of everything the world does to change her.

Aside from the extraordinary wedding, many interesting political issues are brought to light in the film. Specifically, the viewer is reminded of the fact that marriage equality is something unheard of in certain states; this is the reason the girls travel to Iowa. The time and effort they put into receiving a marriage license that is not even valid in their home state is a truly remarkable testament to their love for each other.

“It’s a really personal story that can open up dialogue more than a dry political story can,” Kole said. “The film isn’t necessarily that focused on marriage equality, but it is a benefit to the movement and encourages people to openly talk about it.”

From the beginning, Gallagher said, “We wanted to tell the story of two women doing something unique.” And the two filmmakers did just that. Married in Spandex is a touching and entertaining story, and anyone with an appreciation for originality, fun, love, and spandex will certainly enjoy this documentary.