The Happy Couple | Gay Issue 2013: Guide to Same-Sex Weddings | Charleston City Paper

The Happy Couple 

Rebekkah and Jackie

For Rebekkah Epstein and Jackie Karam it was love at second sight

Jonathan Boncek

For Rebekkah Epstein and Jackie Karam it was love at second sight

Rebekkah Epstein and Jackie Karam met about two years ago at Social. Rebekkah was intrigued right away by Jackie's humor and easy-going personality, but the timing wasn't right. "I was not in a place where I was ready to date yet," says Rebekkah. Four months later, the universe decided it was time for something to happen. The two ran into each other again, and within five seconds of talking, Rebekkah knew that Jackie was the one.

Fast forward to an unexpectedly eventful weekend. It was Sunday morning. Rebekkah and Jackie were now living together and got up to feed their dogs. Jackie wanted to make pumpkin muffins, and through an unanticipated series of events, the alarm system and smoke detector in the house both went off. "Long story short, we ended up having to call the fire department to disable it, because it was going off for like 30 minutes. Have you ever had an alarm and smoke detector go off for 30 minutes? Not fun," Rebekkah says.

After the situation was remedied and the stress levels had evaporated with the smoke, Jackie suggested the couple take their dogs for a walk down at Charlestowne Landing.

"As we were walking, we started talking about alligators," Rebekkah says. "I was already frazzled by the smoke alarm, and Jackie's telling this story about how last time she was there, she had seen an alligator."

Sure enough, within 15 seconds, they saw an alligator. "I was like, this is not happening right now," Rebekkah says.

She was ready to turn around and go home, but Jackie convinced her to continue the walk. They turned a bend toward Rebekkah's favorite spot at Charlestowne Landing where you can see downtown Charleston. All of Rebekkah's friends and family were there, and before she knew what was happening, Jackie had gotten down on one knee and popped the question. Of course, Rebekkah said yes.

Since a legal marriage is not an option here in South Carolina, the couple will tie the knot in the Northeast sometime next July, but the ceremony and reception will be held right here in town. One of Rebekkah's close friends will be officiating, and their friends and family will get to attend. "The cool thing about the whole process is that we don't really have any preconceived rules to follow," Rebekkah says. "It doesn't have to be traditional."

Rebekkah and Jackie will be saying their vows at their friends' place on Johns Island on the water. So far, they have been looking into vendors and other things as part of the typical engagement process. Lime Catering will be providing the food, and the couple is trying to keep everything as simple and local as possible.

So far, the happy couple have not come across any negative attitudes. "We were at one point looking at a beach house, and the guy showing it to us was a real good ol' boy. We were hesitant to tell him the truth about us at first," Rebekkah says. When they did, he fully embraced their union. "Especially living here in the South, we try to be respectful of everyone's feelings, but we still have to be true to ourselves," she adds.

This wedding means a lot to Rebekkah and Jackie. Like any other couple, getting to commit in front of friends and family is an unforgettable moment. The wedding is not just a religious ceremony to the couple, but a real symbol of their commitment and love for one another.

"We hesitated as to whether or not to do this article. We aren't any different from any other couple. We have the same struggles and triumphs and arguments and great moments. While it's a little bit different, it's not really. We want to put ourselves out there and be in the City Paper, which is saying we're different. Everyone else does a marriage announcement in the paper, so this is our version!" Rebekkah says.

Gay Issue 2013: Guide to Same-Sex Weddings

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