Not many newlyweds can say Queen Latifah was their wedding officiant and Beyoncé and Jay-Z congratulated them after their ceremony. Alhambra residents Wendy Diaz and Monique Flores can.
Diaz, 30, and Flores, 33, tied the knot Sunday at the 2014 Grammy Awards. They exchanged vows with 32 other couples during a performance of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love,” a song about gay and lesbian rights and marriage equality. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were joined on stage by Mary Lambert, Queen Latifah, and Madonna, and the couples received a standing ovation from the star-studded audience.
We sat down with Diaz and Flores, who met two years ago through a mutual friend, to chat about why they decided to take part in the mass wedding and what it was like sharing their big day with the world.
How did you hear about the opportunity to get married at the Grammys?
Wendy Diaz: I actually first read about it on Craigslist. There was a posting about a special moment for same-sex couples who were engaged. I sent our information over, and they contacted me back.
It was confidential; they weren’t able to disclose too much of the information. It wasn’t until we read over and signed all of the paperwork that we found out it was for a wedding at the Grammys, and three weeks ago we found out we were going to be part of Macklemore’s performance. We weren’t allowed to say anything until Sunday. Our close friends and families didn’t even know until about two days prior to the Grammys.
Once you were finally able to share your wedding plans with your families and friends, what was their reaction?
WD: They were extremely happy for us. They even had their viewing parties last night just to watch us. Monique’s parents also booked us a room at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel downtown so that we wouldn’t have to drive home after the ceremony.
Monique Flores: We’ve been getting lots of texts and Facebook posts saying, “Hey, we saw you on TV. Congrats!” Our friends are sharing photos on Instagram. And even people we don’t know are congratulating us. I didn’t know it was going to be that big an impact on people.
Why the Grammys instead of a traditional or private ceremony?
WD: Originally we had planned on having a more intimate ceremony, just with our family and friends. But we just thought this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We are still planning on having a private ceremony at Big Sur and then coming home and having a reception with our huge families and close friends in July. This was just something big and memorable. Not a lot of couples are able to say they got married at the Grammys with a standing ovation.
It was also an opportunity to make a stand for the perfect cause. We were big advocates of the law legalizing same-sex marriage here in California.
What was running through your minds as Queen Latifah was officiating the mass wedding?
MF: We were just thinking. “Do not drop the ring.” We were a little nervous, and we were worried about falling or not smiling enough. But it was very emotional. We started crying as we took everything in, and so were the celebrities. Katy Perry was bawling. While we were walking out, Beyoncé and Jay-Z congratulated us. We just felt an enormous amount of love and support from everybody. They seemed just as happy as we were.
Other than exchanging vows, what was your favorite part of the experience?
MF: How happy everyone was for us. We were getting pulled left and right by people who wanted to congratulate us and take pictures with us. We also had the chance to bond with the other couples who got married, and they are very special people. We’re even planning to get together for our anniversaries since it’s going to fall on the same date.
What message do you hope your wedding sent to viewers?
WD: We really hope to send a positive message to everyone. That simply, love is love. There are no restrictions when you truly love someone. We hope to be a small inspiration to those who struggle in understanding themselves or others. And we hope this is another small push to the equality we all deserve.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This interview has been edited and condensed.