As a tour supervisor and sound engineer for nation bands like the Black Lillies and the Band of Heathens, Harley Ellis Stumbaugh used to spend most of his time on the street, crammed on buses with musicians.
“It’s very, very difficult to match that camaraderie and also the magic, that first note of the first song and the show coming to life,” he stated.
Whenever he was again residence in Austin, Tex., he would typically use Tinder to arrange dates, though constructing a relationship appeared out of the query. “I might have a cool connection with somebody, but then I’m in Europe for seven weeks and by the time I get back,” he stated, “they’ve already swiped right” for another person.
In the summer season of 2014, Mr. Stumbaugh, 35, was matched with Brooke Stuard, a single mother who additionally lived in Austin however grew up in a small farming neighborhood simply exterior San Angelo, Tex. She might identify each Patsy Cline music by the point she was 6. “We used to go driving in the car in the country and listen to Patsy Cline songs,” stated Pam Blair, her mom.
Before they met, Mr. Stumbaugh checked out her Instagram pictures. “I could see she had a really great group of friends, could see she had a son,” he stated. “I could see she was really into art. I could see her laughing a lot.”
Ms. Stuard, who received pregnant in highschool and broke up with the daddy quickly after, hadn’t dated in a very long time. She went on Tinder after her son, Gavin Schniers, now 17, moved again to San Angelo to stay along with his father. ”That was robust as a result of it was at all times the 2 of us,” stated Ms. Stuard, who can be 35. “If I went out to dinner with friends, Gavin came with me. If I had friends over, he was there.”
Ms. Stuard and Mr. Stumbaugh first received collectively over Labor Day weekend. “She had Starbucks in her hand and this great vintage linen romper on,” he recalled. “I came around the corner and here’s this rad chick with a really cool style.” (She designs and sews most of her personal garments.)
She seen his “bright eyes” and his enthusiasm for all the things from good espresso to bikes to Colorado, the place he grew up. “To me, he’s the embodiment of positivity,” stated Ms. Stuard, whose work schedule was the alternative of his. She was an agent at Goosehead Insurance on the time and infrequently traveled, though she had a protracted checklist of cities and museums she wished to go to.
Days later, he left for a monthlong tour however they stayed in contact through lengthy cellphone conversations, FaceTime and texts. “She’d be in Austin working 9 to 5 and I’d be in Chicago or New York sending pictures about what we ate or what band we got to meet that night,” Mr. Stumbaugh stated. “I had so much fun finally having someone to share it with.”
Unlike different ladies he had dated, Ms. Stuard didn’t transfer on when he was out of city. Also, he stated, she understood his want for downtime when he arrived residence with ringing ears. They watched motion pictures collectively, cooked meals (do-it-yourself ramen could be an instance) and labored on inventive initiatives — songwriting for him, pencil drawings or yarn sculptures for her. “Sometimes, just a quiet room and each other is so great,” she stated.
Eventually, she launched him to Gavin. “The first thing I remember is Harley making jokes and just being hilarious,” Gavin stated, noting that he by no means thought his mom would discover somebody as humorous, creative and unconventional as she is. “They are just perfect,” he stated.
In the spring of 2015, Mr. Stumbaugh determined to take an prolonged break from touring. He moved to Denver and threw himself into creating his personal firm, Ellis Entertainment, which installs audiovisual techniques in properties, eating places and nightclubs. Overtaxed, he broke up with Ms. Stuard. “I had too many balls in the air and I dropped an important one,” he stated.
Unwilling to surrender on their relationship, she additionally moved to Denver and tried to maintain their friendship going whereas additionally maintaining a distance. “I just kind of sat back and waited a little bit because I was like, ‘This is my person,’” she stated.
Although they didn’t get again collectively instantly, her transfer impressed him. “She’s a sensitive person,” he stated, “but she’s taken these stands in her life that were incredibly brave and bold.”
Over the subsequent a number of months, they’d loads of lengthy, painful conversations. “We cried at like four different restaurants in Denver talking about our feelings,” she stated. “It was like, ‘O.K., we can’t come back here anymore.’”
One of their greatest points was Ms. Stuard’s reluctance to have extra youngsters. “I’d always say, ‘Nope, I have my one and he’s amazing,’” she stated. “‘I’m done having kids.’”
Mr. Stumbaugh, then again, had at all times wished a household. “It was so hard for me to love her the way I did and not have the option for kids on the table,” he wrote in an e mail. “She thought long and hard about it and told me that with me she would want to have them again.” He added, “That was a huge pivotal shift in our relationship and the repairing and renewing of it.”
She moved again to Austin in May 2016. But the couple traveled repeatedly to see one another and knitted their relationship again collectively, go to by go to. In the summer season of 2017, he hid an engagement ring in her dessert — a chocolate cup with a white chocolate lid — whereas they have been having dinner on the Way Back restaurant in Denver. Not lengthy after that, he stunned her once more with one other current: a periwinkle Triumph motorbike.
In September, they moved into an house in Denver’s gritty River North Art District, a.okay.a. RiNo neighborhood, and stuffed their place with guitars and Ms. Stuard’s art work (certainly one of her yarn sculptures hangs above their mattress).
Ms. Stuard, who now works remotely for Goosehead Insurance, not too long ago posted a message on Instagram describing Mr. Stumbaugh as, “My person, My fellow weirdo, My PIC, My support, My love.”
Mr. Stumbaugh, who has devoted himself to Ellis Entertainment and is at first levels of constructing a file of his personal songs, posted: “I can’t wait to watch my Brooke walk down that aisle toward me. Her big beautiful smile and her kind eyes.”
Their marriage ceremony showcased what the couple love essentially the most: music, artwork, espresso, mountains, household, Denver and one another. On Friday, May four, the rehearsal dinner passed off at their favourite espresso store, Black Eye Coffee, in Denver’s historic and hip Lower Highland, or LoHi, neighborhood.
On May 5, they have been married in a gallery on the Clyfford Still Museum, a stark concrete constructing in downtown Denver. The bridegroom wore a blue go well with whereas his groomsmen wore cosy concrete grey ones and colourful socks. They regarded like a boy band from the ‘60s, surrounded by Still’s massive summary work.
Among the 65 visitors, the bride’s family and friends from Texas stood out. One pal, Lori Duncan, wore a black, fringed costume and white cowboy boots with steel toes. ”You put on the silver toe so that you don’t kick the leather-based off,” she defined. “I kick at snakes a lot and then I shoot them.” (She didn’t look like joking.)
The Band of Heathens have been stationed quietly in a nook, subdued by the minimalist environment and looking out extra like a band of accountants. They performed an instrumental model of “Angel Dream (No. 4),” a music by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, because the bride entered the gallery together with her father, Kenny Stuard, and her stepfather, Tim Blair, who wore the most important cowboy hat within the room.
The bride’s white wool crepe robe had open again that confirmed off her tattoos and a protracted prepare she sewed herself and adorned with sparkly gold appliqués that matched photographs in Still’s art work.
The couple self-solemnized their marriage, which is authorized in Colorado, however requested Richard Millsap, the drummer for the Band of Heathens, to steer them by their vows. The bridegroom reworded just a few on the spot. When requested to repeat the road, “I promise to fill our lives with adventure and our home with laughter,” he as an alternative stated, “I promise to fill our lives with adventure and our garage with motorcycles.”
Later, 120 visitors gathered on the Wayward restaurant, which has since closed completely, for dinner and a extra raucous live performance by The Band of Heathens. At one level, the bridegroom’s father, Harley Stumbaugh, a musician who lives in El Jebel, Colo., received up on stage and sang a household favourite, the Rolling Stones traditional, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
Actually, the sensation at this specific marriage ceremony was you could.
ON THIS DAY
When May 5, 2018.
Where Clyfford Still Museum, Denver.
Surprise! While exchanging rings, the bridegroom shocked the bride by giving her a a lot fancier ring that the one she had anticipated. “You’re so damn sneaky all the time!” she stated, laughing.
The Songs For their first dance, the couple selected “If We Were Vampires,” a love music by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. The bride and her son danced to “Welcome to Earth (Pollywog),” by Sturgill Simpson. Mr. Simpson wrote the music for his oldest son and it incorporates two strains the bride repeats to Gavin on a regular basis: “You may not be my last/but you’ll always be my first.”
Morning Music There was a brunch on Sunday at Low Country Kitchen in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood with loads of Patsy Cline songs performed by Extra Gold, the couple’s favourite native band.