A TALE OF TWO YOUTUBE STARS
In honor of Michael & Matthew’s wedding this month, Men’s Vows is taking a look back at all the couple has shared with their fans over the past four years. We sat down with Matthew & Michael a week before the wedding to hear their story.
We hear time and time again that your favorite Men’s Vows content are the stories of real couples, and we understand why. It’s rejuvenating. It’s fun to read about men who marry: how they met, where they struggle, where they thrive, and what motivated them to make the big commitment.
Many of you may already be familiar with the story of Matthew & Michael. As YouTube creators, they’ve shared glimpses of their lives with us in videos throughout the years. We’ve seen everything from their proposal in Denmark to casual One Direction lip syncing while driving to advice for gay guys in college. Not only are we fortunate to have these video stories to look back on Michael and Matthew’s story - they are what brought the couple together in the first place.
Both guys shared very emotionally stirring coming out videos on YouTube, which launched each man on a path forward that would change their lives forever. Michael began his story with a message of hope for other people coming out, stating that “You are so much more than a binary, you are so much more than someone who fits in a box… there are people out there who love you.”
Somebody “out there” took note of Michael’s message, and left him a comment.
Matthew had posted an equally emotional and inspiring coming out message a year earlier. Scrolling through the comments on both their coming out videos shows the immense and positive impact these guys have on the community. Fans from all over the world offer words of encouragement and appreciation for the genuine message that each man shares in his video.
They recount how they met, a tale that includes a common thread we’ve seen in recent stories: a missed message on social media that went unanswered for some time, before a second attempt finally brought the two together. After all, connecting with the man of your dreams requires some persistence! Once they’d caught each other’s attention, the two fell madly in love and the rest is history.
Watch it Now: How They Met
In 2015, they posted a video answering questions from their fans, including “Who would propose?” and “Do you want kids?” They also mused about their honeymoon. (“I want to go to Europe.” “We should go to Japan!” They ended up going with Thailand.) They also inadvertently invited all of us to their wedding. Pro Tip: if you are a YouTube creator, do not invite all of your ninety thousand fans to your wedding, lest you run out of food and wine.
Their first anniversary video is another favorite. Not because it is spectacularly perfect, but because it is authentic and real. Michael gets home earlier than Matthew was expecting (“You’re not supposed to be home yet! … ‘One hour photo’ isn’t one hour photo, sometimes.”) so he has to get Michael to leave the kitchen so he can finish setting up the surprise flowers and photo curation. “But I’m so hungry,” Michael playfully responds, before giving Matthew the chance to arrange the display. Then comes the reveal, the anniversary kiss, and gift exchanging. We won’t give away what’s inside the box--you’ll have to watch the rest of the video for yourself!
Fast forward several years, the two get engaged on the streets of Copenhagen - Matthew in total surprise, Michael charismatic and on one knee, passersby nonchalantly strolling through the streets. They set a date for June 2, 2018, and married near Portland, Oregon in a gorgeous outdoor venue. We hope to come back with tales from their big day, but thought we’d let the two enjoy their honeymoon and initial weeks as newlyweds first. For now, we’ll share the advice that Michael and Matthew offered to us prior to tying the knot.
What did it feel like to get engaged and plan a wedding?
“In a way, it was like coming out all over again.” The coming out videos that both men posted years ago were big milestones for them, as coming out is for all of us. It is the first time that we affirm to ourselves and our communities of family and friends that we are who we are. By the time the wedding bells start ringing, all the guests should be aware of the grooms’ sexuality, but as Matthew explained, it feels like a second coming out. By inviting your community to attend this event and witness your ceremony, you are giving them an opportunity to affirm your relationship.
Maybe some of us planning a wedding worry about who will refuse to attend. Perhaps we get anxious about those who attend, but do so reluctantly. It seems that most couples we talk to have to deal with all of the above to some degree, but try to let the good outweigh the bad. Matthew and Michael explained that there are often pleasant surprises with people who are attending their first same-sex wedding, citing examples of guests who have showered them with love and support.
How did you personalize the ceremony?
Listening to the two fiancés describe what it was like the plan the ceremony, it was clear that they put a lot of thought into the details. “We were constantly asking ourselves… what is the purpose of this tradition?” From the procession to the vows to the exchanging of rings, there is a lot of tradition involved in every wedding ceremony. Many of these traditions stem from antiquated ways of thinking that the grooms wanted to move away from, such as the "giving away" of a bride by her father. In planning their own ceremony, there was the implied symbolism to consider, as well as practical logistics: both grooms couldn’t process simultaneously with both sets of parents, because there wasn't enough room in the aisle. But what was implied with one groom going before the other?
The answer was compromise. Michael and Matthew took turns going first throughout the ceremony. They didn’t process with only their mothers, rather with both parents. They didn’t intentionally pair members of the wedding party with one male, one female. They found ways to honor their guests and their own relationship that felt unencumbered by archaic traditions.
What obstacles did you overcome while planning the wedding?
As the final week before the wedding approached, the couple, video chatting with Men’s Vows from a Starbucks in Portland, were assembling the final touches after months of planning. Every major project comes with unexpected obstacles, and I wanted to know: what were theirs? One hiccup involved an invitation vendor that didn’t offer an option for two grooms. Despite being an LGBT-friendly vendor, many companies haven’t quite figured out the pain points of a gay couple planning a wedding. In the spirit of advocacy for other gay couples, Matthew tweeted his reaction to the vendor for their lack of consideration, and the company responded by adapting their product to honor LGBT couples.
The invitation wasn’t the only challenge. Michael managed to find his wedding suit rather painlessly. Matthew, on the other hand, pursued an epic quest to find the holy grail of wedding suits. It was an elaborate saga that involved hunting down the maker of something specific he found on Pinterest, only to discover it was no longer being made with the same design, until he found something close enough but wasn’t shipped in the right size, until finally after months of pursuit, he found the perfect attire.
Guys, if you’re looking to Pinterest for wedding inspiration, Men’s Vows has your back.
As of this writing, Matthew and Michael are happily honeymooning their way through Thailand, bringing us along for the ride through their Instagram stories. So far we've seen some amazing food, Bangkok skylines, a unicorn cafe, a floating market, and some stunning architecture! The honeymoon is a nice way to get time to yourself following the wedding, which is often a community experience, according to the couple. So gents, don’t forget to treat yourself with an unforgettable escape after your wedding day.
Be sure to follow Matthew and Michael as they share more from their wedding and honeymoon. To Michael, to Matthew: Men’s Vows wishes you a lifetime of happiness as husband and husband!