Travis County judge holds free weddings for Central Texas couples

During Pride Month, Judge Denise Hernández is once again offering free weddings for couples in Travis County.

"I'm really honored that I get to collaborate with the Cathedral ATX and a lot of other vendors to provide a beautiful space, to really provide just beauty, celebration, and accessible weddings to all couples," said Judge Hernández, who presides over the County Court at Law #6.

Hernández married her wife back in 2019, and she says during the process of planning her wedding, she faced discrimination. When she became a judge, Hernández knew she wanted to provide safe and inclusive weddings, so other couples wouldn’t have to face the same challenges.

"It means so much to be able to give back to the community, to create a safe space for love, in a way that says, I see you and I support you regardless of who you love, your gender identity or sexual orientation," said Hernández.


Last year Hernández held the ceremonies in her courtroom. After people heard she was performing free wedding ceremonies again, the community stepped up and helped her make it bigger.

Ceremonies will take place at The Cathedral ATX on E 16th Street, a boutique art gallery and event venue owned by Mónica Ceniceros. Couples can expect refreshments provided by the Cathedral ATX, Jane Ko, and So Gay Rosé, cupcakes provided by The Cupcake Bar, small gifts provided by Las Ofrendas, a vintage car provided by So Gay Rosé filled with flowers for photos, and a beautiful floral arch provided by Teoxochitl Designs, Austin City Council member José Velásquez, Jessica Cohen, Stonewall Democrats of Austin, and ASHwell Clinic. Hernández also noted Contigo Wellness as a donor.

"I feel very honored. It's truly a representation of why this place was built in the first place. We really wanted to provide a safe and welcoming space for everyone. And it just makes me feel very honored that we're able to make people feel celebrated in this space," said Mónica Ceniceros, owner of The Cathedral ATX.


This Wednesday marks the ninth anniversary of marriage equality and to mark the historic date, the Travis County Clerk's Office and Travis County judges will hold free wedding ceremonies through the end of the month.

"This week, where they're hosting a bunch of different opportunities for free weddings in the courthouse. And so, I'll also be a part of those celebrations happening on Friday, June 28th," said Hernández.