WEDDING WISDOM: BRYAN & DAVID
It is not uncommon for a couple to giggle or laugh when asked: “how did you two meet?” Usually, the answer has to do with the fact that they met on social media. But, in the case of Bryan and David, their reaction was because they met through Bryan’s ex.
The two were at a 2008 New Year’s party in Arizona where Bryan was a graduate student and David an undergraduate at Arizona State. “My friend who was Bryan’s ex, told me that his friend, Bryan, thought I was cute,” said David. “But, I kinda ignored it for a while!” Bryan reported that he was hoping to kiss him to ring in the New Year but “David and his friends were too cool and left before midnight.”
Bryan and David went on to become MySpace friends and later met at another party. As Bryan said: “I told him it was nice to finally meet him and he didn’t really recognize me!” But, one could say things fell into place when David posted on Facebook for help with an Economics assignment which Bryan responded to, fully intending to make this meeting the one that would count. The two made plans to meet at David’s apartment to work on the problem set.
“I had no idea what I was doing with the assignment, but it was pretty clear Bryan didn’t either! So, we split a bunch of Franzia and we’ve pretty much been together ever since!”
Despite essentially moving in together on that very first night, their first dinner date was a Thai dinner at which Bryan tested David to make sure he wasn’t “a gold digger” and made him pay for his share of the $20 bill. “As a poor college student, I was worried my card wasn’t going to go through, but given he’d been chilling at my place for a few days I thought he’d pick up the bill,” said David amusedly.
Weeks later the two declared their love for each other and shortly thereafter Bryan transferred his job in California to one in Arizona to be with David. Eventually, the two moved to Dallas where David was starting law school. As Bryan said: “good guys are hard to find.”
At the pace of the early stages of their relationship, one could imagine that the two would have been engaged by month five, but they got together around the passage of Prop 8 and weren’t interested in a ceremonial wedding or even marrying in a state where same-sex marriage eventually became legal. Bryan is more traditional about marriage so not being able to have a ‘normal’ wedding where we were living took the question out of our hands. And, for me, I didn’t feel marriage was the end all be all.” As Bryan clarified, “we’d really already proven our love to each other were living together and didn’t need to make it official until we could have all the rights.”
Serendipitously, they got engaged the week the Supreme Court issued its ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.
When the time came Bryan popped the question on the couple’s first trip to Canada. “I had been trying to figure out a unique way of asking him. I didn’t want it to be in our condo!” Instead, Niagara Falls proved the memorable place Bryan was after. Bryan maneuvered the couple to a more private spot overlooking the falls knowing that David wasn’t one much for undue attention. Before long, David cottoned on to what Bryan was up to and answered Bryan’s question before he’d even asked! “I needed to get on one knee and finish asking him,” Bryan said. David said yes, they kissed and a young Canadian couple and their toddlers celebrated the moment with Bryan and David.
“David was so excited that I asked him to marry him that he passed out and slept the whole bus ride back to Toronto!”
When it came time to planning the wedding, David pointed out “we both sort of ignored it! Neither of us is a planner.” Though they became boyfriends quickly, they’d take their time becoming husbands. But, one morning, David pulled out his phone and the two picked a date. Despite not planning that far ahead and thus not having plans that would conflict, the two did have to negotiate their love of football. “I love college football, so I didn’t want to get married on Saturday. And, Bryan is a big NFL fan – well, fantasy football fan – and he didn’t want to get married on Sunday afternoon.” So, the two decided to get married on the Sunday morning before Columbus Day.
Not being planners also influenced the size and spirit of the wedding. “I know Bryan originally wanted a bigger more traditional wedding, but we wouldn’t have been able to coordinate everyone,” said David. Bryan went on: “we also didn't want to spend a lot, preferring to spend it on the honeymoon.” The two settled on 24 immediate family and friends in the green space of their condominium building in Downtown Dallas. “It was $200 to rent and there was no competition for a Sunday morning,” David said.
While Bryan took on the planning, David took on the design, particularly of the invitations and printed materials. “I am a crazy fan of Dallas so I did a pencil sketch of the skyline and included it at the bottom of the invitation.” Bryan went on: “He’s also a crazy scent fan – he has over 50 colognes – so our one ‘cheesy wedding’ thing was to scent the invitations with one of his colognes!” They went on to say that everyone one of the guests commented on how amazing the invitations smelled! Bryan commented, “maybe we shouldn’t share that part” as David laughed.
On the Friday prior, they hosted a more “traditional reception” or cocktail party at their building which proved the ideal opportunity for Bryan and David’s families to spend time together; something they’d not been able to do because each group lived in different cities. On Saturday, their families attended a big college football game and hosted the rehearsal dinner “without the rehearsal,” said David.
When it finally came to the ceremony, the couple picked a friend of theirs, Emily, to officiate. “She’d gotten ordained a year earlier and I asked her: ‘does the ordainment expire?!” Together with her, Bryan and David structured the ceremony and developed their vows. “Emily’s parents always thought that she and I would marry, so it was funny when she started our ceremony by telling this story and saying: ‘here I am marrying David… to Bryan!” When it came time to for the vows, humor gave way to heartfelt emotion. And French!
When Bryan first told David he loved him, David, self-described as “a bit of a Francophile,” responded by inscribing in the frost on his car the words: “moi aussi.” So, when it came time for Bryan’s vows – ones that David had caught him writing and crying over! – he ended by saying: “Je t’aime, aussi,” bringing tears to David’s eyes. There was no shortage of emotions for Bryan, either.
Once declared husband and husband, the two joined their guests for a champagne brunch. “From Friday night to Sunday at noon, it all was so fast, and so great.”
When asked about their favorite moment of the wedding, David mentioned his was when his dad described their wedding as one that only they’d have planned. “He said: ‘only David and Bryan would have a wedding weekend with good food, beer and a college football game!” For Bryan, it was the intimacy of the whole weekend and ceremony. “It was important for me that our families got to spend time together.”
David’s advice to future grooms is: “Don’t start from the traditional script of what you think a wedding should be. Just decide what you want your event to be. I mean we are gays who turn down social things in the fall because of football, so no one was surprised we had a Sunday morning wedding!” Bryan added: “Yeah, you have a lot of friends and family, but keeping it small makes it easier to have fun and be with your guests. It is also a lot less stressful!”
To mark the one-year anniversary of their wedding, Bryan and David are going on a honeymoon to a surprise destination planned by David. Of the honeymoon, Bryan said: “surprise, surprise, it isn’t really planned yet!”