Tat (Mike) and Panda (Scott) began our journey as a couple 14 years ago. We have been so blessed to have each others unconditional love and support for more then a decade but also grateful and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support we have received from our family and friends in the CrossFit community and in our professional careers as well.
We announced our wedding engagement after the ban on gay marriage in the state of Virginia was lifted last July 2014. Within 24 hours of posting on social media we had a combined total of more then 300 messages of love, support and congratulations. We were so overwhelmed that it moved us to tears to feel so loved in a world that has not always been so supportive of our lifestyle. Panda, 50, and Tat, 44, have always maintained the position that although we love each other and share our lives with each other in every way, we didn't really see the point of getting married if it would not be recognized in the state where we live. Well surprise! It's finally legal in Virginia! And we are getting married this October 2015. What better way to celebrate Panda's 50th year of life. Right?
Here is the thing. We have no experience in wedding planning. We both have been active coaches in our CrossFit community for the past four years. We have been so blessed with the gift of being able to help others of all ages and from all walks of life achieve their fitness goals. For two small town guys who come from very small families, we have truly hit the jackpot when it comes to our extended family. The folks who have supported us unconditionally as we have fought for marriage equality. The folks who named us Tat and Panda (long story) and inspire us to want to get out of bed each morning and feel proud of who we are and what we have accomplished in our community. We would really like to share our special day with so many of these wonderful folks whom we have truly grown to love. We are not looking to have some big fancy pricey event. Although as lovely as that sounds, the reality is that we are a couple of pretty down to earth guys who generate pretty down to earth incomes and just want to have a very nice party to celebrate and share our love with a few hundred wonderful people.
It sounds kinda crazy to think that you can have a couple hundred friends. But in reality we do. When you're in the business of public service, you are given the opportunity to build many quality relationships. We don't enjoy the feeling of being forced to pick and choose who is invited and who is not. We love all of you and would really like you to be there with us.
We have been a couple long enough that we really don't need any kind of material gifts. You being with us is your gift to us. So in order for this to happen I have created this campaign. At first the idea of fund raising made me feel a little uncomfortable. However, the reality is that most guests want to give you some kind of gift at a wedding. So why not this? The gift of a very special event that you are part of.
Thank you all
Peace, Love & Light
Tat and Panda