Littering the kitchen countertop was a mess of costumes, accessories, and makeup found typically in the back recesses of a dimly lit performance theater. Aaron Vokoun excitedly holds up the wet suit he brought “just in case” while showing off the obvious skin-tight benefits of being photographed in it—if the one being photographed is as confident with his body as Aaron appears to be.
“I know it’s a little weird,” he said. “But I thought you might want it for some reason.”
I was having a hard time imagining what that reason might be.
“What do you think of this hat Aaron brought?” asked Jessica Vokoun. She smirked and held up a sparkling fedora. This never goes well for the roped-in third party. I kept quiet.
“She thinks it makes me look gay, but I think it’s just a fun hat,” Aaron responded and flipped the sequined hat onto his clipped, blond head. Indeed, he’d fit in very well at Club Majestic.
The photo shoot would be a breeze—they didn’t even need to smile—but both insisted on “exploring their op- tions.” After several alternate outfits and mustaches were applied, the couple acquiesced to the original uncomplicated idea. But only after they were allowed to photograph me in one of their purple wigs.
“You see, I’m a try-sexual,” he said, and laughed. “I’ll try anything once.” He grabbed the wig from my head and, after donning it himself, left to inspect his reflection in the bathroom mirror.
“He’s a nut case,” said Jessica. “But it’s that part of him— his youthfulness—that attracted me to him. Although, that did make me think he was 16 or 17 when I first met him.”
Aaron was of legal age—24, to be exact—when Jessica first spied him on stage doing the center splits at her hometown church in Marshfield, Wisconsin.
He had been traveling from town to town, dancing with the production of The Masterpiece: A Toymaker’s Dream sponsored by Impact Productions. But Aaron was focused on his dance performance that night, and not the audience. It took Jessica moving to Tulsa before Aaron took note of her.
“We were in a holiday show together and he would be a little flirtatious,” Jessica said. “I thought he was hot, but not my type. He was a little goofy.”
Although Jessica was an outsider, Aaron had admired that she “gelled easily” with the tightly knit group of dancers. And as the final curtain closed, he seized the opportunity to get near the “new girl” he had been eyeing during rehearsals.
“I asked her to get on my shoulders to take down some lights off a Christmas tree,” he said. “She said, ‘Sure!’ and that was one of those moments that I thought this girl might work out. She was willing to try all sorts of different activities.”
Jessica agreed to swing-dance in random parking lots, and Aaron agreed to teach her stunts learned from years of gymnastics training. She took him to new vacation destinations and he showed off his juggling skills. They meshed perfectly and months later, they decided to try one more thing together.
Like Jessica and Aaron, their wedding was inadvertently unique. Signaling the start of the wedding, bagpipers blared out a tune—the droning notes welcoming the bride as she made her way from the back porch to meet up with her groom. The guest list included the usual friends and family, plus two bow-tied golden retrievers. The sounds of ancient Scotland were disagreeable to the canines, who howled in unison. The cacophony spooked small children, creating a domino effect of wailing and tears.
Jessica and Aaron Vokoun were married on July 6, 2001, in the backyard of her parent’s home in Marshfield, Wisconsin.