A newly engaged Philadelphia couple got a huge surprise from Ellen DeGeneres this week after a tweet asking the talk show host to attend their wedding went viral.
Earlier this month, Philly’s Kate Austin got DeGeneres’ attention with a tweet showing her proposal to fianceé Sarah Sulsenti. In the tweet, Austin asked DeGeneres to walk her down the aisle at the couple’s wedding because her parents aren’t comfortable with the fact that she is gay, and won’t be at the ceremony.
DeGeneres responded by inviting them on the Ellen show in an episode that is set to air Tuesday. In their appearance, the couple explained Austin’s recent proposal at the Eiffel Tower, and thanked DeGeneres for having “paved the way for queer women everywhere” after she came out publicly in 1997. The move derailed DeGeneres’ career for years.
“I just have to thank you because if it wasn’t for someone like you, I would have never had the courage to just go out there in the public and be able to propose to my fianceé,” Austin said. “So many people don’t accept that.”
“All that matters in this life is love, and the fact that some people don’t understand that — it’s just love,” DeGeneres responded. “There’s nothing wrong with it. And the fact that your family doesn’t accept it, I am so sorry.”
DeGeneres regretted to inform Austin and Sulsenti that she wouldn’t be able to attend their wedding, but made up for it with a number of gifts — the least of which was a cardboard cutout of herself, complete with a moving arm that held tissues for the ceremony’s more emotional moments.
Then, DeGeneres presented the couple with an enormous gift. The couple’s family and friends also appeared on the show to watch Sulsenti make her own proposal to Austin.
“The way that you feel today is the way you make me feel every day,” Sulsenti told Austin. “I can’t wait to spend my life feeling that way.”
And finally, DeGeneres made a generous contribution to the couple’s nuptials in the form of a $25,000 check.
“For Kate and all the people out there that are not accepted by their family, you are loved by so many people, and we love you for who you are exactly, so know that,” DeGeneres said. “Anybody struggling out there, just be proud of who you are, and know that you’re going to find a different family.”