Abbie George and Joe Gaskins were both living in Denver in 2013 and happened to be at the same Big Freedia concert. The musician invited some of the concertgoers onto the stage to dance and that’s when Joe spotted Abbie. “I see this lovely, tall, beautiful blonde girl dancing her heart out on the stage.” Joe admits she didn’t have much rhythm, but that didn’t matter to him. Unfortunately, she left the stage and he missed his chance to try to meet her. Then, just a short time later, they both went to the same post-concert party and they immediately hit it off.
Joe invited Abbie to go rock climbing for their first date. She had never tried it, and while Joe was giving her some pointers, he grabbed a rock and it fell and literally hit her on the head. “I was pretty sure I had a concussion,” Abbie recalls. She pretended to be fine because she wanted to impress him. “I’ve been in love with him ever since.”
Last fall, Abbie and Joe decided to quit their jobs and go on a bike tour through Europe. They talked about proposing to each other. So, two months into their journey, they found a perfect proposal spot on top of a hill in Croatia. They had wine and chocolate and exchanged garnet rings they had purchased in the Czech Republic.
Abbie and Joe recently moved to Jacksonville, where Joe grew up. They were married on May 13 at Stockton Park in Ortega. With their love of bike riding, they thought it would be perfect to make their entrance while riding bikes down the aisle. They each came in on separate bikes and departed together on a tandem, as friends and family blew bubbles at them. Joe will never forget that feeling. “Thousands of bubbles in my face while you ride a bike with the person you plan to be with the rest of your days. It was an amazing experience.” Abbie managed to get her wedding dress caught in the chain, but she certainly didn’t let that ruin the special day. Abbie and Joe wrote their own vows, but kept them secret from each other until the ceremony. The words were filled with emotion and they also made sure to include plenty of humor.
The reception for their 150 guests followed at the Phoenix Arts District in Springfield. The big warehouse was the perfect place for a party and plenty of dancing. Abbie said there was a magical moment when the two of them danced alone to Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose.” Joe sings in a band, so he surprised Abbie by singing the song to her while they danced. As the night went on, they flipped to a late-night playlist that they describe as “not suitable for grandma.” It included songs from Big Freedia, reminding them of the night they first met. They had a secret room in the back that they likened to an old fashioned speakeasy, where they served their signature drink, whiskey blackberry lemonade.
Abbie said she feels so lucky she found someone willing to share in fun expeditions. In addition to bike riding, they both love canoeing and swimming. “He has the same sense of adventure, the same sense of humor. He is like my emotional rock. He is very reliable and I know I can always count on him.” She adds that he also happens to be a fabulous cook. Besides singing in a band, Joe is a children’s librarian and he works part-time as a bicycle mechanic. Abbie is starting a new job as a social worker at JASMYN. Joe loves his bride’s “passion and her drive for equality and justice.” And he can’t forget one other important quality. “I love her dancing skills.”
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