"It seems like a rabbit chasing a carrot in a sense," she said. "It's just, just, just within your grasp, but just far enough away that you can't hold onto it."
Liam Warren and Christopher Upperco have felt that disappointment, too.
The Owings Mills couple of 10 years considered waiting to wed in Maryland. But after they got engaged in November, they shifted plans to Washington.
Gay couples, Warren said, "are being driven into other states' arms."
"We had to resort to D.C. because it's not possible here," he said. "As a taxpaying, law-abiding citizen, it's tough to swallow that I have to do that."
He said he can understand why some couples are holding out "until Maryland gets it together," but he and Upperco wanted to make a different kind of point.
Their $30,000 ceremony and reception at the W Hotel, with 12 attendants and 100 guests for dinner and dancing, will give an economic boost to a government that supports them.
"We just fell in love with the idea of having it in D.C. and what that represents," said Warren, 30.
Rob Naumann and Michael Alto of Baltimore are also taking their nuptials on the road: Their $20,000 wedding is planned for this fall in Vermont.
"We weren't going to wait around for our own state to pass legislation," said Alto, 34, an administrative assistant.
But Gilbert wants to marry Wernick in their adopted hometown of Baltimore. They have been a couple for 26 years.
"We have been waiting for Maryland to declare, and we'll keep waiting," Gilbert said. He said "it doesn't make sense to get married elsewhere and then come back home."
If Maryland legalizes gay marriage, Gilbert said, it will be politically important for couples to stand up and marry as advocates across the country try to make the case for national acceptance.
Kaplan, who is dreaming of a beach wedding, remains optimistic and said O'Malley's decision "makes me feel even more hopeful."
"Joel and I feel we are married, but we would love to have our relationship formally recognized by the state," said Kaplan, a fitness instructor. "I want to celebrate here. We want our parents to come to Baltimore for the wedding."
At the same time, he and Pearson, who are in their 40s and have been together for 18 years, aren't going to put their wedding on hold forever.
Both sets of parents are living, but Kaplan's father has cancer. Kaplan said they will lobby Annapolis again this year for the right to marry but might begin making plans elsewhere.
Jonathan Blumenthal and Eric Cohen decided they had waited long enough.
Now in their early 40s, the Silver Spring couple started contemplating marriage not long after they met 11 years ago, long before the effort to gain legalization in Maryland.
"We were looking into having a commitment ceremony. We wanted to have it in front of family and friends. We even found a venue," said Blumenthal, a federal worker who co-founded with Cohen the Burgundy Crescent Volunteers, which coordinates volunteers for gay and gay-friendly nonprofit groups in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. "But then we decided, why not wait for marriage in Maryland? It seemed possible that it would soon be legal, and we felt it would be silly to do a ceremony twice. So we waited.
"But we had to wait longer than we thought," he said. "When we saw that Maryland didn't get it this year, we started thinking about New York."
While the gay marriage bill was heading to defeat in Maryland, the effort to gain same-sex marriage rights in New York was in full swing.
"I was up there with Eric when the vote was taken," said Blumenthal. "That's when we definitely decided to get married. New York is the second-best choice. We really wanted to do this in the state we live in."