A marriage between two love birds got off to a “strong” start when they deadlifted a barbell right after exchanging vows!
Zeena Hernandez and Lisa Yang married in New York’s Prospect Park on September 28, and surprised their guests when a barbell loaded with 253-lb. weights was brought out in front of the altar.
“We thought about the usual candle lighting, tree planting, sand pouring, and none of those things represented Wek and I,” Yang told Women’s Health magazine. “We were joking about doing a tandem deadlift.”
While the couple weightlift, the act of deadlifting — when an athlete lifts a barbell from the ground to the level of the hips before placing it back down — is not their specialty. Still, the deadlift seemed like the best chance for them to weld their love of weightlifting with their special day.
“At the time, it seemed ridiculous because we’re Olympic weightlifters, deadlift isn’t even our main sport,” Yang added. “But a snatch or clean-and-jerk in dresses might be a bit dangerous, so we settled on three deadlifts.”
For Hernandez, deadlifting with her bride after exchanging vows was more than just a representation of their love.
“It was meant to not only be a symbol of unity but also a statement: ‘Individually, we are strong, capable women, but together we are stronger,’ ” she told Women’s Health.
The couple told the magazine that strength training has been a key component to their relationship throughout the years.
“We’ve trained at least three days a week for the past two to three years,” Yang said. “Wek even shared a platform with Morghan King!”
King is an American weightlifter who competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
“Weightlifting to us is very special,” Hernandez added. “We lift with our local team in Brooklyn. They’re family to us, and the whole weightlifting team was at our wedding.”
The couple told Women’s Health they hope their display of strength — captured in stunning images by wedding photographer Eileen Meny — can inspire more people to pick up some weights.
“People get really intimidated by barbells,” Yang said. “But if they see tiny Asians in wedding dresses lifting weights, maybe they can start to believe that anything is possible.”
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