On August 4, 2018, surrounded by friends and family, Grace and I exchanged vows and rings on a hilltop covered in oak trees in Calabasas, California. I have written many posts recapping our wedding, and my dream is that engaged couples might find encouragement and inspiration from these words and images. More in-depth posts about each aspect of our wedding are linked throughout this page.
After dating for four years, Grace proposed to me with her grandmother’s ring on our vacation in Alaska. You can watch a video she made capturing the moment here.
Selecting our vendors and pulling together an awesome team was one of my top priorities in wedding planning. Seeing them come together and create my dream wedding was everything I’d wanted my whole life. Read all about our vendors and find links to each of their websites here. One of our favorite parts of wedding planning was selecting a caterer and tasting our food—you can read all about that here.
In the midst of wedding planning, I took some time off to do both an East Coast and a West Coast bachelorette weekend! Celebrating marriage and spending time with all my bridesmaids was one of the best things leading up to our wedding.
A few weeks before our wedding, we sent out beautiful custom invitation suites. Picking out all the paper goods for our wedding was one of my favorite aesthetic choices.
We had a huge wedding party - 10 bridesmaids each! Here’s a post about designing and organizing our bridal party attire, and another post about picking out Grace’s and my attire. I went with a classic white gown, but Grace, being less of a traditional “bride,” had more of a puzzle of what to wear. I absolutely loved the blue two-piece set she ended up with.
The day before our wedding was so full of excitement and joy at seeing all of our favorite people roll into town. We had bridesmaid’s lunches (or a pool party in Grace’s case) in the afternoon, followed by our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. After dinner, we had a welcome drinks party for all our guests to really kick off the weekend.
I spent the morning of our wedding getting ready with my mom and bridesmaids. Grace and I chose not to see each other until we walked down the aisle (we decided against a “first look”), which I believe was one of the sweetest decisions we made in wedding planning.
Before walking down the aisle, we did a gift exchange where our best friend carried the gifts from one bridal suite to another, and we wrote each other some words we wanted to say before the ceremony. Read about what we gave each other here.
Our ceremony was the most important part of our wedding day, and the reason all the other little details of the day existed. We had a traditional Episcopalian ceremony, and our priest and dear friend married us. Promising a lifetime to Grace was the best decision I have ever made, apart from putting my faith in God.
After our ceremony, our photographers whisked us away for some dreamy sunset portraits in the Calabasas hills while our guests enjoyed cocktail hour. You can find a whole post about our reception here.
Throughout the day, Grace and I planned to set aside intentional time to be together, soak in the huge thing we had just done, and take a breath from how overwhelming a wedding day can be. We ate a private dinner alone before rejoining the reception, and it was one of the best decisions we could have made.
Our wedding was the first gay wedding either Grace or I attended, and we worked hard to infuse the day with little details that made it distinctly “us” and, we hoped, to be ambassadors for our friends and family who had never attended a gay wedding before. You can read all about those little details, including the individual letters we wrote to each guest, in this post.
I resisted the idea that our wedding was any “different” than any other, but ultimately, embracing being different was one of the most rewarding parts of planning this wedding. I wrote a whole post here about my advice to other queer couples planning their wedding.
At the end of the night, we had a big sparkly final exit and left in a classic Rolls Royce convertible getaway car. I was on cloud 9 and couldn’t believe we would be honeymooning in Hawaii in just a day!