WEDDING WISDOM: JEREMY & HUSTON
Jeremy had been living in Los Angeles for just a few months when he met Huston at Here Bar in the heart of West Hollywood on Memorial Day of 2005. “I hadn’t seen him before and thought he was stunning,” Huston said of Jeremy. Over the course of the evening, the two chatted, made plans for lunch later that week, but as “these things go” the two “ended up spending the rest of the weekend together,” Jeremy pointed out. And, a decidedly LA-weekend at that: brunch at Joey’s Café, afternoon lunch at Chateau Marmont, beside Portia and Ellen no less, and later that evening, drinks at Marix, the place for weekend margaritas.
Once they’d parted ways, Jeremy realized he’d left his phone behind and, without a way to contact Huston, had to “trace his steps back to Huston’s house” in the Hollywood Hills, leaving a note on his gate to get back in touch! “It was the oldest trick in the book,” said Huston! Nonetheless, the spark was lit and the two started dating.
Later that year in November, the two found themselves in Palm Springs. Having taken the gondola up to the top of the mountain, Huston knew it was the moment to profess his love for Jeremy. “I was really nervous because I have had people say they’re in love with me and I was not in the same place.” But, overlooking the desert at sunset, Huston said those three magical words, which Jeremy joyfully repeated!
The couple moved in together six months later and one year after that decided to move to Austin and make their home there. “We both felt like this was a big step we were taking together and wanted to mark the commitment,” Jeremy described as the reason for having rings made for each other. The gesture was not an engagement, given gay marriage was not legal across the country, but both felt they were in it for the long haul.
“We did it just for us, without all the pomp and circumstance,” Jeremy said.
As marriage equality gained momentum, culminating in legalization across the country in 2015, so did Jeremy and Huston’s plans for tying the knot. On the occasion of Huston’s 50th birthday in Sonoma County, CA, Jeremy decided to pop the question. “He told no one; not his mom, not his best friend. No one knew!” Huston said. Jeremy described the reason for his stealth: “maybe I told no one because I was afraid I’d back out! LOL”
But, he put himself in a position where there was no way out. As part of the birthday celebration, Jeremy produced a video with birthday wishes from all of Huston’s friends and family. Jeremy’s message ended the video asking everyone gathered for the party to join him in a song. Naturally, everyone assumed “Happy Birthday” would be the song, but were bowled over when it turned out to be Bruno Mars’s “I think I Want to Marry You.”
“When the chorus came round, I got on my knee and everyone stopped singing and Huston was bawling,” Jeremy said. But, there was also a laugh to be had. “The house we’d rented was where they shot The Bachelor, so I first proposed to Huston by asking him to accept my final rose!“ “I said: ‘I’ll think about it,” Huston jokingly responded through tears. “It was already pretty emotional having everyone together for my birthday and toasting, or rather roasting, me. And, then, to have Jeremy ask me to marry him, I was wrecked!” As the jokes and shock wore off, Jeremy officially popped the question and Huston accepted. And, so began the planning.
“As much as we love California, we equally love Colorado,” said Jeremy. “And, the Viceroy in Snowmass, became the obvious choice, because it is very us,” Huston went on. The original date they wanted was booked so they opted for the next day, which coincidentally happened to be a year to the date of marriage being legalized across the country. Recommendations from the venue’s planner, led them to, among many other vendors, the Aspen Wedding Guide and its founder, Robin Proctor, who also became their photographer.
“We did our walk-through via FaceTime and didn’t even do a tasting,” Jeremy pointed out. This laid-back approach to the wedding would have surprised everyone close to the couple given how visionary Huston is and detail-oriented Jeremy is. But, as Huston explained: “if you pick the right people, you can trust them to execute in a certain way.”
With the broad strokes taken care of, Jeremy and Huston turned their attention to making sure their 62 guests, none of whom had spent much or any time in Aspen, got the most out of their time in the mountains and getting to know each other. “All these folks were coming to Aspen so we wanted to make a whole weekend event.” And, boy did they what with a long itinerary of activities. “We included all of the events on the back of the invitation, which made it fun to see our guests running around Aspen with our invitation in their hand!”
The Saturday activities for wedding guest kicked off with a group gondola ride to the top of Aspen mountain for some breathtaking views. Later at their welcome reception, Jeremy and Huston made a point of introducing each of their guests to the assembled room. “These are some of the people we love the most in the world, and we wanted them to get to know each other,” said Huston. Jeremy continued: “We didn’t have anything written down, but we were taking it a little deeper with a comment that explained what every person there meant to us.” Aside from the ceremony, many guests said the welcome reception introductions were their favorite memory of the weekend.
On the morning of their big day, Jeremy and Huston each led a group of people on a hike to Maroon Bells, one of Aspen’s most iconic hiking sites. “We wanted to ‘set the day’ with something everyone could participate in. Maroon Bells is a hike you can make as easy or challenging as you like!” said Huston. “And Maroon Bells isn’t just a place. It can be spiritual for some people and a perfect experience that definitely set the tone for our wedding day,” Jeremy added.
From a walk in the mountains to a walk down the aisle, the couple and their guests were treated to an acoustic, slow version of The Beatle’s “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” “Guest were so amazed by the performance, some attempted to Shazam our friend while she sang our entrance song,” said Jeremy. Another good friend served as their officiant. Huston first met Lori in a spin class. Then all three became friends and especially bonded over their golden doodles. Like so many of the people who came together to make this event special, “Lori’s energy was perfection,” said Huston, but, given it was her first wedding ceremony, she was also a bit nervous. To calm her nerves, Jeremy pointed out: “If you can teach a spin class girl, you can do this!” And, making sure the ceremony wasn’t entirely on their officiant’s shoulders, the couple decided to write the ceremony themselves – vows included – leaving it to Lori to embellish as she saw fit.
When she did embellish, it was in the most delightful and meaningful of ways. Bentley, the couple’s golden doodle, wasn’t able to make it to the ceremony. He’s a rambunctious hound and best left away from a room of 60+ people. However, Lori laminated a photo of their doodle and affixed it to her remarks such that she was able to “flip” Bentley’s photo into the ceremony, making sure he was as much a part of the occasion as he is Jeremy and Huston’s every day life.
The couple wrote their own vows, but there was some horse-trading between the couple leading up to the moment of truth! “We agreed we’d each keep them to a minute-and-a-half,” said Huston, “but I wanted us to read each other’s beforehand to make sure we weren't saying the same things – and not upstaging each other!” But, as Jeremy went on to say: “we are such different people, there was little chance of that” and emphatically denied sharing the vows before the ceremony. Suffice to say, the only thing their vows shared was pure, heartfelt love for each other.
Once vows and rings had been exchanged, their talented singer friend announced, “The greatest power a person possesses is the power to choose,” and then performed Sara Bareilles’s “I Choose You.” “The words of that song put a period on all that led up to this moment,” said Jeremy.
“We like to goof around and have fun,” Huston said teeing up a bit of mischief following the more formal ceremony. While their guests gathered at the reception, Jeremy and Huston were donning 12-foot veils in which to be announced as husbands for the first time! “People fell out of their chair, and marked a turning point in the day. ‘OK, let’s party!’”
That party involved a slide-show including images of the couple from birth and, to the effort of celebrating all those who were gathered, the slide show included everyone who was at the ceremony. And, as a call back to their engagement, ended the piece with a reprise of Bruno Mars’s “I think I Want to Marry You.” Two of Jeremy’s cousins and Huston’s sisters toasted the couple, then Huston’s niece sang the couple’s first song, Rascal Flats’s “God Bless the Broken Road,” which the two danced to for part of the song, and with their mom’s for the balance of it. And, then “the dancing and the parting kicked off!”
When the night finally wound down, their DJ paid an unsolicited final tribute to the couple by sharing an anecdote from his Facebook feed. One-year prior, he had posted Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion granting the right to marry to all citizens, which he read to the couple and all those gathered. No more fitting tribute to a couple who deserved not only to find each other, but to marry each other, as well.
For Huston, their hike to Maroon Bells was his favorite memory of their ceremony weekend. For Jeremy, it was the ceremony and all the efforts to create community that paid off. “From Robin’s photographs, you can see how much fun people were having with each other. And, it’s so great to see people from my past liking stuff on Huston’s friend’s Facebook!”
When it came to Jeremy and Huston’s advice for those of you yet to tie the knot, they said: “start early and have an idea of how you want things to play out, then pull in the people who can get you there without micro-managing.” Huston went on to say: “think of whom you’re inviting and what they will enjoy.” Judging by the marriage that they forged and the community they built, this is sound advice we should all follow.