When Roxanne Leigh Werner and Kristina Jean Nichols met as colleagues in January 2019, both felt the potential for a deeper connection.
“We got on really well right away and had great chemistry,” said Ms. Werner. Ms. Nichols said she also felt “something” between them that day at the Harris County Clerk’s Office in Houston, where they worked under Chris Hollins, a former county clerk who now wants to become the city’s mayor, and she wanted to make sure. be that Mrs. Werner knew she was gay.
“You know, like you should drop the gay bomb right away,” Mrs. Nichols said. “I was talking loudly to someone else so she could hear.”
Mrs. Werner, who was then in the process of divorcing her ex-husband, had already thought she might be bisexual. (Their divorce was finalized later in 2019, and Ms. Nichols and her ex are “very affectionate,” she said.) Less than two weeks after meeting Ms. Nichols, Ms. Werner felt compelled to casually tell her that she was being questioned. her own sexuality.
“It was definitely because there was something,” said Ms. Werner, who now identifies as a lesbian. But, said Ms. Nichols, “it took a few months for something more to develop.”
At the time, Ms. Werner confirmed that employee relations were not banned in their office, where the two worked in different departments: Ms. Nichols, 34, was an employee of the outreach program and Ms. Werner, 34, was the director of community relations.
Ms. Werner, who is from Beaumont, Texas, has a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Houston and is now director of communications and outreach for the Harris County Attorney’s Office. Ms. Nichols, who is from Spring, Texas, has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and currently serves in the Harris County Election Department.
As their friendship evolved in the spring of 2019, Ms. Nichols said she was “touching a bit” on Ms Werner. But Ms. Werner said she thought Ms. Nichols was just “overly observant.” In the end, Mrs. Nichols made things a little clearer.
“I know you could date anyone. But I’d like you to go out with me,” Mrs. Nichols said to Mrs. Werner.
Soon, the two were spending enough of their free time together that Mrs. Werner wanted to introduce Mrs. Nichols to her son from her previous marriage, who is now 7. “It was important to me that they meet before it got too serious,” Ms Werner said.
The three took a trip to a zoo, where Ms. Werner said her son and Ms. Nichols “get along right away.”
“We were on the train and he said, ‘I want to sit next to Kristina.’ And he wouldn’t want to do that to anyone,” she added.
In July 2019, they were officially a couple. “She cornered me and said, ‘Do you want to be my girlfriend?'” Ms. Werner recalled. “And I said, ‘I already am.'”
Mrs. Nichols has Mrs. Werner proposed on March 10, 2021, but not before Mrs. Werner that same day to Mrs. Nichols has suggested. “I had a feeling there was a proposal ahead, so I hid a ring for two months before Kristina proposed to her,” Ms Werner said.
The two had arranged to meet at a restaurant in Houston, where they live, and Mrs. Werner arrived first. “I gave the ring to the hostess and told her I was going to propose with dessert.” When she did, Mrs. Nichols was shocked.
Once they got home, it was Ms Nichols’ turn to wow. “She bought an old-fashioned viewfinder and had a custom disk made with seven photos of us throughout the relationship,” Ms Werner said. “The last slide said, ‘Will you marry me?’” When Mrs. Werner pulled the viewfinder out of her eyes, Mrs. Nichols handed her a ring.
The couple married on March 26 at AvantGarden, a Houston bar and event venue. Ordained by the Universal Life Church for the occasion, Mr. Hollins performed in front of approximately 40 guests, all of whom were vaccinated by the couple.
Mrs. Werner’s son walked her to the top of the aisle before bringing Mrs. Nichols down. At the reception that followed, he also gave an impromptu speech: “Kristina and Roxanne, thank you for being my mothers.”