Braunwyn Windham-Burke’s Las Vegas wedding to girlfriend Jennifer Spinner may have been “fake” — as the couple describes it in an exclusive sit-down with Page Six — but the love inside that Sin City chapel Tuesday night was certainly real.
“Obviously, it’s not a legally binding marriage but for us, it meant something and we talked a lot about the intention behind it,” Spinner, 38, says while cozied up to Windham-Burke, 45, at the latter’s shared home with estranged husband Sean Burke in Orange County, Calif.
“It was … something that we put thought into.”
Windham-Burke says the idea came to them during a recent cross-country road trip, during which the pair searched for a “forever home” in the South.
The ladies ultimately found a new place in Franklin, Tenn., where they will continue “nesting” with Burke and the youngest four of the exes’ seven kids after relocating this spring.
A commitment ceremony felt like the best way to commemorate their modern family’s next chapter, Windham-Burke notes.
“That’s how we were going to finish out the road trip,” says the “Real Housewives of Orange County” alum, while Spinner had hoped it could be their “grand finale.”
But plans were upended when they got into a terrifying car accident in Texas, resulting in Spinner’s hospitalization and a subsequent concussion.
“We had gone thrift shopping for the outfits and we had booked [the wedding], but then we had gotten into a really bad car accident in Texas,” Windham-Burke says. “We had to cut that short and fly home.”
During the early stages of Spinner’s recovery, it dawned on Windham-Burke that they should “tie the knot” at Vegas’ Graceland Wedding Chapel with an Elvis Presley impersonator as their witness — and, better yet, on the most romantic day of the year.
“We said, ‘We really want to redo this,’” she recalls. “So we said, ‘Well, what about Valentine’s Day?’”
Spinner adds, “It just felt like a really fun way to sort of commit to each other.”
Standing together in front of the altar was equally fun as it was poignant, says Windham-Burke, who came out as a lesbian in December 2020 and has since become a fierce LGBTQIA+ activist. (Her advocacy also extends to the sober community, of which she is a part as well.)
“Just being queer, people have commemorated their love in any way they wanted for a long time,” she says, acknowledging that while the House has passed the Equality Act, the Senate has yet to vote on the legislation that would safeguard LGBTQIA+ rights.
“For me, it was, this is our life, you are my person, we’re about to get started on this fantastic journey of the two of us. We are moving together, we’re getting a home together, we’re going to have this family together,” she continues, looking at Spinner directly.
“And I sort of thought it was really powerful to stand in that chapel, even though it was Elvis, but actually take the vows and look her in the eye and say, ‘I do, I promise to be there for better or worse, in sickness and health, forever.’”
Of course, Windham-Burke can’t make things official with Spinner until her divorce from Burke is finalized.
She finally filed in October 2022 after nearly 22 years of marriage and two years after embracing her sexual identity. A legal dissolution is incumbent on agreements reached over custody and spousal support.
Though Windham-Burke is still married to Burke, she and Spinner lovingly call each other “my wife.”
“It started as a joke because we were in the casino. First of all, we got ‘Just Married’ shirts … and people recognized [Windham-Burke], so they were coming up to her nonstop and congratulating us because they had seen on Instagram that we had got ‘married,’” Spinner says.
“So as a joke, I started calling her ‘my wife.’ Then the next day we were sort of like, ‘Oh, we actually like it.’ So yeah, I guess you’re my wife.”
Windham-Burke agrees. “It fits,” she says, beaming.
The retired Bravolebrity — who departed “RHOC” in 2021 after two consecutive seasons — once asserted that she would never remarry after splitting from Burke. But Spinner changed her mind.
“Obviously, everyone I dated before you was a lot younger, it was fun, whatever, it was just different. I never saw it as something that I wanted,” she says, remembering the succession of women she dated prior to meeting Spinner.
“But my kids love her. They already call her their stepmom. I think a lot of people feel that way until you meet the one person that makes you not feel that way. And it’s like, ‘This is what I want. This is my wife.’”
Windham-Burke shares Bella, 22, Rowan, 20, Jacob, 17, twins Caden and Curren, 9, Koa, 7, and Hazel, 4, with Burke.
Spinner emphasizes that she adores the entire brood — and wants each child to know that she is not only committed to their mom but to them as well.
“Even though it was a fake wedding ceremony, it was sort of a symbolic gesture of, like, I am actually committed to this family and everything that this family represents,” she says.
“I’m making a commitment that I’m present and I’m here and I’m in it for real with everyone involved in this relationship.”
Windham-Burke assures Page Six that there is a “timeline” — previously unbeknownst to Spinner until discussed on camera — for a proposal and a real wedding. The lovebirds went public with their relationship in August 2022 after meeting via Instagram.
“There will be a time where I do the getting down on one knee … It’s not even a possibility. We are going to actually get married. We talk about it all the time,” Windham-Burke gushes.
“Elvis isn’t our last stop,” Spinner quips, to which her future spouse replies, “No, this is just the beginning.”