Jourdan Eastling (left) and Sarah Hugus share a quiet moment before their ceremony.

Jourdan + Sarah


One cold, snowy day in January 2014, Jourdan Eastling asked Sarah Hugus if she wanted to drive to Lake Monroe and have a picnic on the wintery beach. Enjoying a glass of wine, Sarah turned to find Jourdan on one knee, proposing that they spend the rest of their lives together. Sarah never saw it coming. “I thought she was kidding!” the 25-year old Indianapolis native says. As disbelief gave way to delight, Sarah said “yes.”

Jourdan, also 25 and a native of Lowell, Indiana, met Sarah in 2010 when the two Indiana University students joined the women’s rugby team. As teammates, they were slow to warm up to one another, but eventually became close friends. In 2011, friendship turned into something more.

“That first year, it took us awhile to get to know each other,” Sarah says. “But after our sophomore year, none of our other friends stayed through the summer. Just Jourdan and me, and that’s when it started to happen.”

“That’s when we started to fall in love,” Jourdan finishes.

On that snowy day in January when Jourdan proposed, same-sex couples couldn’t marry in Indiana. So rather than planning an elaborate ceremony spilling with tradition, together they planned a party that concentrated on celebrating their commitment and love.

As winter melted into spring, the U.S. District Court declared Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision, and same-sex marriage became legal in Indiana on October 6, 2014.

All of a sudden, the couple was no longer planning just a party to celebrate their commitment. Now they had an actual wedding to plan, something that was equally exhilarating and exhausting. Fortunately for Jourdan and Sarah, loving friends and family helped by lending hands whenever possible.

Sarah’s mother coordinated the taco bar dinner menu details with Terry’s Catering. The couple asked Bloomin’ Tons Floral Co. to add subtle floral accents to complement the natural look and feel of the Clubhouse at The Fields, where the wedding and reception took place. The cake was from Rainbow Bakery. And everything was captured in photos by Katy Lengacher of Icarus Photography.

Sarah was accompanied down the aisle by her mother, Bobi Eastman, and her father, Steve Hugus. Jourdan’s parents, Grant and Tracie Eastling, walked with her. Both women chose to have a sibling by her side: Sarah’s sister, Sam Hugus, served as her maid of honor, while Jourdan’s brother, Grant Eastling Jr., served as her “best man of honor.”

The couple asked Sarah’s uncle Ron Wohrle to officiate. “He’s not a minister, but he’s also gay, and we have a very special relationship with him,” Jourdan says. “We’re not religious, so we wanted someone we love and are close to to marry us, and Ron was the perfect fit.” He was ordained through the Universal Life Church especially for the occasion.

Wedding guests were encouraged to dress in whatever pleased them. “We just wanted people to be comfortable and happy,” Sarah says.

Looking back, Sarah and Jourdan recall how much love they felt that day from their guests.

“It wasn’t a normal, traditional wedding in any sense, except for the fact that we were actually allowed and able to celebrate our love with marriage,” Jourdan says.—Sara Sheikh

Since their wedding in 2015, Sarah and Jourdan moved to Indianapolis, where Sarah now works as a physical therapist at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital and Jourdan works as an information security analyst. The pair enjoys spending time in nature and traveling, and regularly return to Bloomington to visit.