A Union That Defied Tradition Gets a Blessing From Chaka Khan

Amanda Renee Bupp is known among friends for being notoriously punctual. But when it came time to meet Kim Anh Jimenez for the first time in May 2019, she was late, rattled, and out of sorts. Ms. Bupp was nervous to meet the woman she had been getting to know, and falling in love with, online and over the phone over the last month.

“We got to know each other before we even met,” said Ms. Bupp. “We had some meaningful, honest conversations. Kim was easy to talk to.”

The couple connected in April through Instagram, when Ms. Jimenez, 42, reached out to Ms. Bupp, 44, after coming across her profile and realizing they had many mutual friends.

But they were both skeptical from the start. What would Ms. Jimenez, an independent D.J. and composer based in Los Angeles, and Ms. Bupp, a vice president in fashion living in New York, have in common?

After Ms. Jimenez reached out to Ms. Bupp, the two “women of a certain age” (they said as they chuckled together), seemed destined to become more than friends, and began to talk on the phone almost every night.

There was an immediate attraction.

“When I first spoke to her on the phone I was really attracted to her voice,” Ms. Bupp said. “It was really sultry and sexy — she was easy to talk to.”

“I don’t think anyone had ever come at her like that with the confidence,” Ms. Jimenez said. “As an out D.J., meeting people is easy, but meeting the right person is another story.”

After about a month, Ms. Bupp had a planned trip to a baby shower in Los Angeles coming up — it was time for the couple to meet. She fumbled her way through getting ready and arrived about 15 minutes late to the couple’s first date at Cafe Stella in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. They didn’t make it through the second round of orange wine and old fashions before sharing their first kiss.

The couple maintained a long-distance relationship for the first year, with Ms. Jimenez visiting often for gigs in New York. After the pandemic closed the worldwide music scene, they decided to hunker down in the Catskills, where Ms. Bupp had a home. (Ms. Jimenez relocated to New York full time about a year later.)

After nearly two years of riding out the pandemic together, Ms. Bupp decided it was time to propose. She brought Ms. Jimenez to their New York City apartment to get ready for a supposed night at the art gallery.

Ms. Bupp kept glancing outside, rattled once more, waiting for the jazz band at a restaurant across the street to start playing and the full moon to show itself. When it was time, she rushed Ms. Jimenez outside in time for the perfect moment.

When she got down on one knee, she recalls Ms. Jimenez calling out “Oh, Lord!” before saying yes.

On Nov. 5, 2022, the couple invited about 100 members of their “chosen family” to convene for their wedding in Kingston, N.Y., along the Hudson River. The wedding ceremony took place at Hutton Brickyards, a luxury spa retreat that they transformed into a disco extravaganza. Ms. Bupp’s father, Timothy L. Bupp, a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Clergy, officiated. He was among the first to officiate same-sex marriages in South Carolina.

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

No white was worn. Ms. Jimenez wore a black sequin Karl Lagerfeld pantsuit with Raf Simons sequin boots and a black latex undergarment. Ms. Bupp donned a custom-made, pale pink skirt from the garment district, along with black sequin opera gloves. Both were bedazzled with pearls and jewels.

“The goal of our wedding was to defy most traditions and focus on an experience with little formalities,” Ms. Jimenez said. “Less stress, more fun. As much as the wedding was about us, it’s also about sharing our love with others and making them feel welcomed and celebrated too.”

After the wedding ceremony, came hours of music and dancing, along with a few surprises. Ms. Jimenez sang a classic jazz standard, “I’m in the Mood for Love,” in the arrangement of Julie London. She was accompanied by W. Andrew Raposo on bass and Simon Kafka on guitar. When she finished she went to hug Ms. Bupp, who said she might faint.

“It was so cute,” Ms. Jimenez said.

Ms. Bupp orchestrated a cameo video by Chaka Khan, whose music Ms. Jimenez has incorporated in shows all over the world. Ms. Khan is one of her favorite artists.

“I literally fell to my knees screaming,” Ms. Jimenez said.

Ms. Khan, she added, “wished us a wonderful life together, saying, ‘May God smile on you and bless you.’ And thanked me for DJing her music all around the world. We were blessed by Chaka!”

Sumber: www.nytimes.com