To Have and to HOLDEN is our series where we interview real couples about their romance, weddings, and whatever else comes up along the way. Enjoy!
Lucy (they/them) and Ryliegh (they/she) are a true Covid-19 romance. After hitting it off during the pandemic, they now run a vegan bakery in Nashville, TN where they have created a safe and inclusive space to break bread (or, croissants). Lucy was kind enough to answer our questions and share more of their story.
How did you two meet and start dating?
We met at Nashville Pride 2019. We definitely didn’t hit it off then since I thought Ryliegh didn’t like me haha, and we were both in different relationships.
6 months later Ryliegh decided to sell all of her stuff and move to Germany where her parents reside. At that time, I was bartending at the place where she had her going away party. I gave her a free drink, and without saying goodbye I went home thinking I was never going to see this person again.
Then we both went into quarantine in different countries and we began talking through Instagram and really hit it off. Ryliegh had to come back to the states, so I asked if she wanted to stay with me at my apartment. We haven’t lived separately since then!
How did you get engaged?
For Ryliegh’s birthday in 2021 I decided to surprise her with a short vacation in New York City. While being there she decided to surprise me by proposing in Bryant Park. Bryant Park is my absolute favorite place in Midtown. I went to the ICP in NYC back when their campus was in Midtown and spent a lot of time in that park, so it was indeed a very special moment and it made it a no-brainer for us to get married in NYC.
What’s a moment from your wedding day that you’ll remember forever?
The whole morning before the ceremony was very special. We got coffee and street bagels for breakfast together and read our vows on the couch of the hotel room.
We got ready together, rode to the location together, searched for the spot on the High Line where we’d say “I do” together, and we went back to the hotel together. Every moment of the morning was special.
Later in the day, we found a street market by the Oculus and sampled food from each vendor, which was another amazing highlight. And we ended the night sipping champagne with family with views of the city from a river boat cruise.
What advice do you have for couples planning a wedding right now?
Don’t stress out. The day is for you and nobody else. If it’s too much, scale down and don’t let anyone talk you into something you don’t want to. Eloping can be a lot of fun, and Amazon has cheap tripods if you want to FaceTime your loved ones during the ceremony!
What was important to you in choosing a ring? What made you choose HOLDEN?
We wanted something that didn’t come from a mall jewelry store and didn’t break the bank. LGBTQ+ representation was very important for us, and being an NYC based company was the cherry on top. Our customer service experience was amazing, and HOLDEN made it very accommodating with us being out of state.
What does love mean to you?
Spending every minute together and still feeling like it’s not enough.
What inspired you to open Yellow and Lavender? What was most important to you when opening your business?
I have always loved baking, and Ryliegh loves cooking savory food. I started baking for fun and realized that I should probably share what I was making with everyone since vegan food is scarce in Nashville. Ryliegh stepped in and really began to help with everything. It then became really important to begin to share my culture through food, and veganize Venezuelan dishes. Vegan croissants weren’t available in Nashville yet either, and we are really proud to be the first bakery that brought vegan croissants to the city.
The most important part was that we wanted to make these pastries and eats available for everyone. To make it easy for shops to provide these items to the public and for the public to enjoy nostalgic items never available or seen before without worrying about their allergies and limitations they could have had before.
What is it like running a business together?
Easy and difficult at the same time.
Easy because you know who you are working with, and we have the same dedication and thoughts. There’s no drama! It’s also great to see your partner excited about what they do and passionate about their skills.
Difficult because it does take a toll on your relationship because you see so much of your partner during the day that it’s complicated to separate when you are talking to your partner as your business partner and when you’re talking to your partner as your lover.
What is your favorite menu item?
Anything else you want people to know about your business?
We are not only passionate about croissants but also about our community. We feel very proud to be advocating and representing the minorities we belong to as an immigrant, women, queer, and Latinx owned business, and to create a safe space in Nashville for everyone. It’s hard to live in a red state and to still witness discrimination daily. We are determined to spread love and provide a safe space where everyone feels welcome and to normalize vegan food and diversity.
Learn more about their bakery: Yellow and Lavender
Wedding photos courtesy of: Deirdre and Jon