On Cinco de Mayo in 2019, Candace Brisco went out with a group of friends. Later that night, she couldn’t fall asleep. The question “Do you like a girl?” wouldn’t leave her mind.
“I woke up the next morning, and was like, ‘I guess you like a girl,’” Ms. Brisco said. “And that was it.”
That girl was Iam Tucker.
Ms. Brisco, 34, and Ms. Tucker (pronounced “I am”), 38, are both New Orleans natives. Ms. Brisco was a registered nurse and a keto diet coach and social media influencer. She is now studying to get her bachelor’s degree in Spanish at the University of New Orleans. Ms. Tucker, a former police officer, is president and chief executive of ILSI Engineering, a civil engineering firm founded by her father. She is also active in Democratic politics.
The two women knew of each other since high school, as Ms. Tucker is close friends with Ms. Brisco’s first cousin.
A group of friends began coalescing around regular taco and tequila Tuesdays in 2008. For years, the women saw each other regularly, and over time, became close friends and began spending more and more time together. They even regularly confided in each other about their relationships. In one instance, Ms. Tucker told Ms. Brisco she needed to give her boyfriend another chance, while Ms. Brisco advised Ms. Tucker she should break up with her girlfriend.
Until that May night in 2019.
Both women say before being together, they used to think the phrase “When you know, you know” was only attainable in the rarest of circumstances, and it certainly didn’t apply to them. They do not think that anymore.
“I knew in an instant, and for me, being straight, that just shows how serious it was,” Ms. Brisco said. “We can go through things together and it’s not a strain. Plus, she’s the most dynamic woman I’ve ever met.”
Ms. Tucker, who said she had tended to date women unsure about their sexuality, was awed by the self-acceptance Ms. Brisco exhibited as she came out: If she lost followers on social media when she posted about loving another woman — and she lost more than 10,000 — so be it. While Ms. Brisco was nervous to tell the more conservative of her relatives, they were all won over when they saw the couple together.
By September 2019, they had only been together a few months when Ms. Tucker arranged an elaborate, surprise proposal, with their friends and family joining a second line parade during Decadence, the city’s L.G.B.T.Q. pride celebration. Ms. Brisco thought they were attending a work function for Ms. Tucker with the mayor, but instead, while a brass band played Bill Withers’s “Just the Two of Us,” Ms. Tucker dropped to one knee in Jackson Square. A celebratory brunch awaited them all at Tableau, a restaurant in the French Quarter.
They were married Feb. 13 by Marissa Hutabarat, a Orleans Parish First City Court judge, at the Sunset Monalisa restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. (Their September 2020 wedding had been canceled because of the pandemic.) Nearly 70 people took Covid tests before flying to the wedding, again upon landing and then again before leaving Mexico, and nearly 200 watched on Zoom. All the guests were asked to wear white.
The women joke they are the lesbian cliché between their rapid-fire courtship and their domesticity that includes two dogs, a cat and a fish. While both were highly skeptical about marriage, they are now all-in. Ms. Brisco is taking Ms. Tucker’s name.
“I can be 1,000 percent myself, the good, the bad, the ugly, the crazy, and not just accepted. She’s someone I can share everything with,” said Ms. Tucker. “We’re partners and best friends from before, there is nothing hidden between us.”