My Big Gay Wedding, Part 1: The Designer Album

Narrowing down the photos I wanted to share from our big gay wedding was a daunting task — too many wonderful images and memories to choose from! So I’ve divided them into two albums representing my Gemini-esque personae: Designer and Daddy.

This one — the Designer Album — features details, graphics, colors and all the minutia I obsessed over to make our special day a little special-er. You can see the Daddy Album here. And thanks for your patience — I had to wait nearly 17 years to legally marry the man I love, so I figured folks could wait a few days to see more pics of my adorable kid.

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YOU’RE INVITED. From early in the planning stages, it was obvious to Papa and I that a marriage between two people that had been together for 16+ years should get some props for longevity. There weren’t going to be doves descending from the heavens and whisking us away to a magical happily ever after. This was about commitment and family and roots and the journey it took to get here.

So I came up with a stylized brick motif. Bricks may not conjure romantic imagery, but they are vitally important in that they build roads for life’s travels and the foundation for a home. They fit and work together to guide, protect and stabilize.


The front of the invitation unfolds to reveal a “road” leading us home.* I wanted to not only communicate the ceremony would be at our house, but also emphasize the importance of home to our relationship and our family. It also set the tone for the celebration — warm, informal and all about the love.

So let’s get to the photos of the actual day, shall we? By the way, the fabulous Piper Watson shot all of the wedding day photos. Please hire her — she is a sweet photographer and an even sweeter spirit.

gay wedding - flowers yard

BACKYARD BEAUTY. My hard-working husband (woohoo!) took off the entire week prior to the wedding to work his magic in the yard. It was such a joy to not only have him home for a full week, but to see him in his element. He coordinated the contractors who mulched and mowed and planted and delivered, and he got in there with them — elbow deep in soil, making the yard look as if it was in bloom though it was early yet in the season. I enjoyed watching his creative expression and it contributed so much to the wonderfulness of the day.

gay wedding - pinwheel

The one contribution I made to the yard was a bunch of pinwheels I picked up on one of my several trips to the craft store. I went in for ribbon and hot glue and came out with a pile of these springy spinners — they really helped liven up the backyard setting and were great gifts for our gaggle of younger guests.

Luckily there are a few left over, still working their magic whenever we go out to romp around in our little corner of the world.


gay wedding - bells box

DO ME A FAVOR. Guests were handed a small silver bell while milling about drinking cocktails and munching appetizers. The sign in the box explains what they’re for, and the Daddy Album will show them in use.

The front of each tag had our names, and on the back were lyrics from one of fours songs about bells. What can I say? I’m a designer who sings in a gay men’s chorus — it couldn’t be helped.

gay wedding - tags

My “bachelor party” consisted of a few of my awesome friends, my brother and his partner coming over to help tie the tags and ribbons to the bells. We did have beer and pizza, but alas, no strippers or table dancing. My wild oats were sown a looooong time ago; and with the ceremony at the house, I couldn’t afford to be hung over.

Here are close-ups of the front of the tags and the four different backs. Can you name these tunes?

gay wedding - guest favor tags

Since you’ve made it this far, here are a few photos with actual people in them…

gay wedding - jon and grandma

DRESSED TO IMPRESS. Here’s our boundlessly energetic boy, patiently sitting on Grandma’s lap and sporting his multi-colored plaid blazer from a local consignment shop and orange polka-dot tie from Trendy Ties. If you hadn’t noticed yet, I took the orange and blue from the invitation and carried it over into pretty much everything else — decorations, wedding favors, even our outfits. The challenge was making sure it didn’t end up looking like a Miami Dolphins party at a HoJo.


gay wedding - dance

CAN I HAVE THIS DANCE? The lights weren’t orange, but they look like it here. So let’s just say it was intentional.


gay wedding - cake

GOLDEN CAKE & THE THREE BEARS. I already wrote about the cake and toppers, but wanted to include this lovely shot on our back porch prior to the cake being devoured.


gay wedding - caprese

MANGIAMO! I had seen something similar in a catalog, but in large rocks glasses. Our wedding planner provided these mini martini glasses, and Papa whipped up a huge batch of Caprese salad, which made for an incredibly adorable appetizer.


gay wedding - cupcakes

CUPCAKES WITH A MESSAGE. Made by Fancy Cakes by Leslie, these s’mores cupcakes sated my chocolate addiction, while also making a sweet, subtle statement. If you look closely, the graham crackers are actually Teddy Grahams, a product of Honey Maid, who boldly featured same-sex couples and parents in a recent TV ad. This is my tribute and heartfelt thanks to them. My delicious, chocolaty thanks…


gay wedding - flowers

BLOOMING GORGEOUS. All I said was orange and blue. The gorgeous arrangements, boutonnieres and corsages were created by Allan Woods Flowers.


gay wedding - tablecloth

TABLE MANNERS. These tablecloths were not only beautifully and springtimey, but also eerily similar to the ones we had at our commitment ceremony reception 10 years ago.


gay wedding - daddy and papa

DASHING DADS. If you’re at all interested, our jackets are from Men’s Wearhouse, both ties and Nick’s shirt are from Nordstrom, and my shirt is from Stacy Adams.


gay wedding - umbrella

CASUAL FAMILY AFFAIR. More lanterns, our patio table moved into the yard, and family and friends eating, drinking, and being merry. Can somebody get my Dad a drink? He needs more merry.


gay wedding - timeline
Click image to biggefy

A HISTORY OF US. This timeline originally appeared in smaller form on the back of the invitation. I then enlarged it, printed it out and used it in place of a guest book at the wedding. It features all of the major (and some minor) events in mine and Nick’s lives, starting with our naked baby pics, when we met, buying our home, creating our family, and culminating with our legal marriage.

Guests were asked to sign the timeline at the point when they first met us. I can’t wait to hang this up — I just need to find a spot that will accommodate a 3-foot wide frame…

gay wedding - timeline

gay wedding - daddy, papa, jon

3 IS A MAGIC NUMBER. And finally, a fun family photo showing off our colorful get-ups, which I think we all look damn good in, even after a long day of celebrating! Please be sure and check out Part 2: The Daddy Album!


*I Photoshopped out our address to ward off stalkers. However, if you just want to send gifts, message me privately! 😉

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You can find more stuff about parenting, design, LGBT issues, pop culture & potty humor on the Designer Daddy Facebook page. Snacks will be served!


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