In between their work to save democracy by ensuring a smooth Harris County election, Roxanne and Kristina Werner have found love. The coworkers-turned-husbands savor every moment of marital bliss and prove that love can blossom in the least-expected places, and on a timeline all its own. With a drag queen, a mayoral candidate, and a top notch taco truck presented at their wedding, the Werners truly showed their guests that “love is love.”
The couple met in 2019 while working in the Harris County Clerk’s Office, with Kristina running for office and Roxanne under County Clerk Chris Hollins, who is now running for mayor of Houston. “Kristina ran — and still runs — a high school clerk program,” notes Roxanne. “I did communication and community outreach. We still got on really well and started talking and hanging out more, and it blossomed.
Their dynamic at work hinted at just how romantically the two would fit in. “We were fine [at collaborating] when we crossed work paths,” says Kristina. The married duo continue their work for Harris County with Kristina in the office of the Administrator of Elections and Roxanne in the office of the County Clerk.
“We started dating in 2019,” Roxanne recalled. “Kristina definitely asked me out on a date first. She was really open about wanting to date! We were ‘official’ in July 2019, but by then we had been dating and spent all of our time together.”
With their high-intensity jobs, Roxanne says it was helpful to have someone at home to decompress with. “If you had told me before I met Kristina that I could spend so much time with a person and not want to kill them, I wouldn’t have believed you. Working in elections is stressful, and each was able to understand what the other was going through. Rushing in with comic relief, Kristina adds, “It’s a testament to my greatness!”
For this duo, the question was not Will they get engaged? but When? “We had looked at the rings, so I knew something was going to happen, but I didn’t know when,” Roxanne recalled. “I went to our jeweler and ordered a ring for Kristina and carried it around in my purse for almost three months. I thought if she was going to propose with a grand romantic gesture, I would propose immediately after her.
When Kristina made reservations at Harold’s Restaurant in the Heights, Roxanne knew it was time to go. “She planned a big date and I could tell by the way she was acting that she was going to propose,” Roxanne recalled. “She was freaking out because she was late from work, so I decided to go to Harold’s early and meet her there. I asked the staff if they would bring the ring with the dessert, and they were more than happy to help.
“I really didn’t expect that,” admits Kristina. When the couple got home, it was Kristina’s turn to pop the question. “We came home and she had this old-fashioned custom sight,” Roxanne describes. “Each slide was a picture of us, and the last one said, ‘Will you marry me?’ When I removed the viewer from my face, she was on her knees with a ring.
Wedding planning quickly began and the couple set their sights on a stress-free celebration. “It felt so good to have something to celebrate,” Roxanne says. “A huge advantage of being a queer couple is that you don’t really have to fit into stereotypical roles.” The two agreed that tradition wasn’t their vibe if it meant additional stress. “There are things people will remember, but most people won’t remember everything,” Roxanne theorized. “If something got stressful, we just wouldn’t do it.”
Kristina was ultra-protective of their big day. “People always say weddings are for everyone. I wasn’t going to accept that. We did a really good job of doing that. our way, for we.”
Roxanne and Kristina were married on March 26, 2022. On their wedding day, the brides celebrated with family and friends creating their own traditions. “It was definitely the best time. We had the wedding at Avant Garden in Montrose. It was officiated by Chris Hollins, and he was wonderful,” Roxanne says. “Kristina wore a tailored suit and Nikes. I hand dyed the bottom of my dress for a pop of color, and I wore Chuck Taylors under my dress. I walked half the aisle with my son, then Kristina came out and walked the rest of the way [with us]. We had a cocktail hour, a guestbook with Polaroid photos, and the venue had an amazing taco truck! Kristina summed up their big day by saying, “It was excellent.”
“We booked a drag queen named Cyn City who was absolutely amazing!” Roxanne said enthusiastically, describing the dinner entertainment. Kristina adds, “She had giant feathered wings that made a big heart. It was so sick!
Donning a rainbow fringe jacket, Roxanne strolled hand-in-hand with her new bride to Westheimer’s rainbow crosswalk for a photo op before the two danced the night away.
After returning from their honeymoon, the couple settled into their new home and life together. “I’m obsessed with saying ‘my wife’,” exclaims Kristina. “At the gym today I said ‘It’s my wife’s shirt’ because I can!”
“I love him more every day!” Roxanne adds, “It sounds like she’s kidding when she says that, but she says stuff like that every day.” Roxanne reflects on the impact of her marriage saying, “I came out later in life; I didn’t realize I was gay for a long time, but it was like turning on a light in a dark room. Being this most authentic version of myself and calling someone my wife means a lot to me. I’m so grateful to be able to be the most “me” version of me and to have a partner who is so supportive of me.
The self-proclaimed ‘gay as hell’ couple are also quick to offer wedding planning advice to other same-sex couples: ‘It’s normal that things don’t turn out the way you were told,’ Roxanne says. “Do what you want to do! And don’t overbook the days leading up to the wedding. We had time to relax and spend time together. If anything happened, we had time to deal with it. Kristina adds her own advice for the perfect celebration: “Book a drag queen for your wedding, of course!”
And as for their secret to a successful marriage, Kristina stresses the importance of good communication. “Communicate until you’re nauseous,” she jokes. Roxanne adds: “We are so lesbian, we talk about everything!
This article appears in the May 2022 issue of OutSmart magazine.