Audra and Jeff Johnson are a Michigan couple who got married at a Make America Great Again-themed wedding on July 4.
The Johnsons posted photos of their nuptials in Kalamazoo on social media. The images show Jeff Johnson, a Marine veteran, in full uniform while Audra wears a white dress that says “Make America Great Again” on the front and “Trump” on the train.
“It looked like America threw up all over my wedding and I’m not sorry,” Audra told WXMI.
Audra said the reception was a celebration of President Donald Trump. Groomsmen donned “don’t tread on me” cufflinks and each reception table had a petition for an anti-abortion “heartbeat bill.”
Audra told the outlet that her maid of honor, a Democrat, was welcome despite not wanting to wear a Trump hat. Her husband’s father, however, refused to show up.
“As long as you support that racist in the White House, I won’t be attending your wedding,” he told the couple in a text, according to Audra.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Audra Johnson Wore an Original Andre Soriano Dress
Audra Johnson wore a dress designed by Andre Soriano. According to Soriano’s website, he makes custom “Trump gowns” that have been featured at the Grammys red carpet.
Johnson’s dress said “Make America Great Again” on the front and “Trump” on the train.
“The dress is actually an Andre Soriano original. It’s actually made out of a MAGA flag,” she told WXMI. “It looked like America threw up all over my wedding and I’m not sorry.”
Soriano, a gay immigrant from the Philippines, said he was inspired to make Trump dresses after being “distraught” by the anti-Trump rhetoric at the Women’s March in Washington DC.
“At the Women’s March in Washington, there [were] a lot of iconic people [who were] also my role models ever since I was [living] in the Philippines before I migrated here (to the United States),” he told Paste Magazine. “When I was a teenager…younger, actually, before I was a teenager… I looked up to a lot of celebrities like Madonna, Meryl Streep, Ashely Judd, Robert DeNiro and they were totally, instead of being a good role model, they were creating hostility and hatred towards the new President.”
2. Jeff Johnson’s Father Refused to Attend
Audra Johnson told WXMI that her husband’s father refused to attend because of his opposition to Trump.
“He sent us a text message,” Johnson said. “It said, ‘As long as you support that racist in the White House, I won’t be attending your wedding.’ Which is sad but we did have a lot of people that loved us and showed up.”
On the other hand, she said, her maid of honor attended despite being a Democrat who is not being a fan of the president.
“We were gonna do our photos with the Trump hats and she said, ‘You know I love you, but I can’t wear the Trump hat,'” Johnson told WXMI. “I said, ‘It’s OK. It’s OK. Just wear a red hat. We still love you. We can have completely different opinions about everything and still love each other.”
3. Jeff Johnson is a Marine Veteran
Johnson wore his full Marine dress uniform and was pictured holding a gun at points during the wedding.
“Being a patriotic wedding, we really did encourage people to do whatever they felt comfortable with, if they wanted to open-carry, if they wanted to conceal-carry,” Johnson told CBS News.
His groomsmen wore “don’t tread on me” cufflinks.
Audra told CBS News that their wedding photos have received both support and criticism.
“Amazing patriots said they love the dress and support us. But then there’s the other side, where we’ve gotten threats, and there’s been really nasty comments,” she said.
“A lot of the comments are ‘It’s a racist wedding.’ I’m the granddaughter of a Filipino immigrant, my husband’s black,” she explained. “I think what I want people to take from this is there’s a stereotype of Trump supporters flying around out there and maybe some of them are like that, but most of us aren’t like that.”
4. Audra Johnson is An Activist With The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition
Audra Johnson works at West Michigan Patriots 4 Trump and is a Kent County Captain at the Michigan Heartbeat Coalition, an anti-abortion group, according to her Facebook page.
Johnson said she is a Republican precinct delegate in Michigan.
Johnson grew up in Michigan, attending East Kentwood High School. Her college is listed as the Asgard University of the Gods, which claims on its Facebook page to be based in Norway.
5. Wedding Guests Were Asked to Sign Anti-Abortion Petitions
Every table at the Johnsons’ wedding featured a petition for an anti-abortion “heartbeat bill.”
So-called “heartbeat bills” are intended to bar abortion after a “fetal heartbeat” is detected, which can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said in a statement to The Guardian that the term “heartbeat bill” is misleading.
“What is interpreted as a heartbeat in these bills is actually electrically induced flickering of a portion of the fetal tissue that will become the heart as the embryo develops,” ACOG President Dr. Ted Anderson told the outlet, adding that the term “[does] not reflect medical accuracy or clinical understanding.”
“Thus, ACOG does not use the term ‘heartbeat’ to describe these legislative bans on abortion because it is misleading language, out of step with the anatomical and clinical realities of that stage of pregnancy,” Anderson said, calling instead for policies based on “science and evidence.”