Delle Donne and Clifton are The Knot’s first same-sex Dream Wedding couple. The Knot, which covers all expenses as part of the promotion, has named a Dream Wedding couple for the past five years.
“Accepting their invitation was a no-brainer for us,” Delle Donne wrote in an email while traveling with her fiancee. “We’re so grateful for the support we’ve received. At the end of the day, we are both excited to stand in front of our family and friends and make this commitment.
“Love is love, and we can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together.”
The exact date, time and location are to be determined, a spokeswoman for The Knot indicated.
Delle Donne, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and Clifton met four years ago after a mutual friend introduced them. Clifton was the first to propose, doing so at the same beach where they went on their first date. She attached a ring to the collar of their Great Dane, named Wrigley, and popped the question.
Several weeks later, Delle Donne fitted their other dog, Rasta, with a wedding dress and veil. Clifton walked into their Chicago home to find Rasta next to a sign that read, “Marry Me.” Delle Donne presented Clifton with a ring on rooftop of the building in which they lived, and the couple announced the engagement officially before Delle Donne departed for the Summer Games in Brazil.
When officials at The Knot learned about the engagement, it didn’t take long for the couple to be presented with the opportunity for the Dream Wedding.
“We’ve never seen a couple more passionate about giving to others than Elena and Amanda,” said Kellie Gould, editor in chief of The Knot. “It’s incredibly heartwarming to see the special bond and relationship that Elena has with her sister Lizzie and all of the work that she and Amanda do for other families through their foundation.”
In lieu of registering for gifts, the couple will be creating a charity registry on TheKnot.com to allow family, friends and fans to contribute to the Elena Delle Donne Foundation benefiting the special needs community and those with Lyme disease.
Clifton serves as the director of the foundation, and the causes are particularly important to Delle Donne because her sister Lizzie was born deaf, blind and with other disabilities. Delle Donne had Lyme disease diagnosed in 2008.
“No matter who is getting married, no matter when, people immediately think of The Knot,” Delle Donne wrote. “They also have the largest platform to raise awareness and funds for our organization.”
The couple is working with Jove Meyer Events, a Brooklyn-based wedding events and design team, on ensuring the ceremony leaves a highly reduced carbon footprint.
All the floral arrangements will be locally sourced when possible and donated to local hospitals and nursing homes. Leftover food will be donated to homeless shelters.
Though the ceremony is scheduled during the WNBA season, Delle Donne indicated she does not expect to miss any games. The Mystics’ longest layoff in June comes after a home game on the 11th against the Indiana Fever. They don’t play again until the 18th.
Washington will open the season on May 14, facing the San Antonio Stars in the District before a three-game road trip that includes games against the reigning WNBA champion Los Angeles Sparks and the Chicago Sky, which dealt Delle Donne to the Mystics in exchange for the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, all-star center Stefanie Dolson and second-year guard Kahleah Copper.
“We are excited to be June brides, and of course June is Pride Month,” Delle Donne wrote. “But the WNBA season means we’ll take our honeymoon in the fall after the season is over.”