WEDDING WISDOM: AARON & TONY
“You’re gay, I know a gay guy!”
A grand total of zero gay men have ever believed this classic gal-pal set-up line would lead to a good first date, let alone a marriage. But, thankfully Aaron and Tony took the bait and defied the odds.
A good friend of Aaron’s friend arranged for a workday afternoon introduction to her friend Tony, given all three coincidentally worked near to each other in Denver. While an atypical first meeting, it did result in Tony and Aaron exchanging numbers and going on a first date the very next evening.
As Aaron and Tony arranged to pick each other up for dinner they learned that, not only did they work near each other, they lived across the street from each other. This became the first of many examples of how their parallel lives that were destined to intersect. So destined were these gents to be together, that it wasn’t before six months had passed that they were living together.
“It became clear to us very early on how easy it was to be together with each other,” said Aaron.
Two years ago this month, Aaron and Tony planned a weekend retreat from their busy work schedules to Ojo Caliente in New Mexico. Before heading off, Aaron’s assistant pulled him aside to share a premonition: this would be the weekend Tony would propose. Aaron dismissed his office sage. While both gents knew they were headed in this direction, Aaron didn’t believe his colleague was at all right.
After an incredibly relaxing day, Aaron noticed Tony becoming more anxious. Aaron dismissed this as him getting caught up in work, but as it became more pronounced, he pressed Tony on his behavior, citing how it was interfering with their time away.
“I got totally mean girl on him!” Aaron said jokingly.
After attempting to brush away his anxiety, Tony gave in to his intentions. He got on bended knee and proposed to Aaron.
Together, the couple set out to design their rings with a local Colorado silversmith and, more importantly, plan their wedding set for a year later. Theirs was a decidedly casual approach to planning, so much so that a friend of theirs became their “quasi-wedding planner” as she kept having to encourage Aaron and Tony to set plans in motion, if for no other reason than to satisfy their family’s interest in knowing what was afoot for the big day.
As the couple described, they wanted the whole experience to be “carefree for our guests and totally us.”
Their “totally us” wedding started with the invite, which was a winning design that combined Tony’s love of 50s advertising and Aaron’s love of sci-fi. And, that was probably the end of very deliberate design and planning!
“When we were thinking of the guests we were inviting, they were all used to big outdoor weddings on mountainsides. So we thought: “why don’t bring them into the city and show what we love about Denver?” The answer to that question for the couple is that “Denver is a where you can go anywhere and find what you’re looking for. Denver is a melting pot of fantastic opportunities to live culturally and vibrantly. And, as big as it is, we’ve noticed that people love settling here, because it is easy to feel a part of a community here.
Whereas in other cities you feel detached, you feel the opposite here. It is western town where it is easy to find people you know.”
Tag Restaurant in Larimer Square would be the venue for their reception. Not only did they pick it for being located in Denver’s newly renovated historic downtown, but more importantly, Aaron and Tony knew that the team at Tag would create a “big family dinner” for their 55 guests. “They did everything – menu, flowers, cake - even including having the bartender teach us how to cut the cake,” said Aaron.
As for the ceremony, that too was decidedly casual. The couple, while strolling Cherry Creek along the Platte River came across a footbridge just opposite the Museum of Contemporary Art. “The leaves had all almost turned and we decided this is where we are getting married.”
A week later, on a Wednesday, surrounded by 8 friends and family, Aaron and Tony were married. For Tony, hearing Aaron say “I do” made for his most memorable moment.
“In retrospect, the fun part was doing a lot of the planning off the cuff and not getting lost in the details a year or two out. We wanted our guests to feel like it was a true celebration and have zero stress about it. The spontaneity was very us.
"It all worked out great because we were confident in the vendors we chose,” they said.
When asked what they’d do differently, Aaron said “Nothing… there’s nothing I’d change because it all worked out.” And, when asked what advice to share about planning a wedding, Aaron and Tony’s advice was simple: “Be yourselves. Be yourselves in the ceremony, planning, how you dress, where you get married, who you invite, the food you have. See it as a family event, a big fun family event where no one feels has to worry about what they should and shouldn’t do.”
While describing his favorite moment about the wedding, Aaron shared when he looked up at Tony as he gave a toast. “In that moment, it really dawned on me that, after all that we’ve gone through, we were all really happy.”