Twila Beasley + Chris McGee
October 9, 2017
Written by: Natalie Pompilio | Photography by: Hi Volt Studios
As Shakespeare said, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” But if two people are truly in love – like Twila Beasley-McGee and Chris McGee — they not only survive those challenges but thrive.
Chris and Twila met at New Orleans’ Xavier Prep High School. Their bond was immediate and they were inseparable for three years – until Hurricane Katrina.
Twila moved to Arkansas. Chris stayed behind. They spent senior year apart, keeping in touch via phone and MySpace, reuniting as freshmen at the University of Arkansas.
Then another major setback: Chris suffered a brain aneurysm. If she survived, she could be permanently changed, perhaps cognitively and definitely physically. Twila learned doctors had amputated Chris’ right hand and multiple toes during a video call.
“She was kind of nervous, but I just started crying because I felt myself fall in love with her all over again,” Twila says. “Her amputations didn’t bother me.”
Chris was determined to return to college – “She’s a nerd who loves research,” Twila jokes – and Twila was determined to help her. Twila put her own education on hold and opened a pet care business with flexible hours. That allowed her to support the couple while attending Chris’s classes.
I never felt like it was difficult or a burden,” Twila says. “I’m not the hero here. I may have taken the notes, but she did all the studying, research and stayed up late typing papers.
In May 2016, Chris graduated from Our Lady of Holy Cross College with a degree in legal studies.
“Words can’t express how proud and happy I felt to see her walk across the stage on graduation day after witnessing her being given Last Rites at the hospital,” Twila says.
On Oct. 9, 2017, thanks the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision, Chris and Twila made their bond legal as well as emotional, marrying at The Crossing in Kenner. Wish Upon a Wedding, a non-profit that helps couples afford weddings after life-altering situations, helped pay for the event.
They had a masquerade theme, an homage to New Orleans and a reference to how their courtship began.
“We originally had to hide our relationship – we had to wear masks – knowing that we weren’t going to be accepted right away,” Twila says. “But we knew that as some point we could remove those masks and reveal who we are.”
They are two people, deeply in love.
CEREMONY + RECEPTION LOCATION: The Crossing | OFFICIANT: Johnny Adams | COUPLE’S ATTIRE: JJ’s House + Macy’s | VIDEO: Bride Film | FLORIST: Kim Starr Wise Floral Events | BAKERY: Frosted Fantasies by Nikki | CEREMONY MUSIC: Adam Perret | BRASS BAND: Kinfolk Band | TRANSPORTATION: Unique Transportation | HAIR + MAKEUP: Flawless Beauty Bar | WEDDING PLANNER/DESIGNER/CANDLE DECOR/RENTALS: Unique Weddings in New Orleans | JEWELER: Zales | INVITATIONS: Exquisite Events | FAVORS: Party Oasis | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Yazzies Snow Balls + Photo Booth by Tim Alexander Photography