WEDDING WISDOM: DAVID & ELI
David & Eli met while attending a work conference in Barcelona, Spain in 2015.
Meant to share a large Airbnb with a group of coworkers, to their surprise they arrived to a completely empty house and quickly realized that it would just be the two of them. As they spent the next couple of weeks together, it was clear that there was something more than just a work-relationship.
David explained, “It all happened very organically. We just wanted to hang out with each other… Honestly, the first kiss happened because we went out and got a little bit drunk, and then we just kissed!”
The second week after they met, David & Eli took a trip to Madrid where David planned a romantic dinner at a local cider house. During the meal, the reality of their situation became apparent. David, a citizen of Spain, would only be able to live in San Francisco with his work visa until the end of the year. The obvious question arose - “did we want to make this something serious?”
After a moment, Eli laughed “I guess you can imagine what that answer was!”
David & Eli’s first few months together were quite unique. Because of the certain visa expiration at the year’s end, many serious conversations about their future took place. Admittedly, Eli recalled “At the time it was a little overwhelming - realizing that we had to make some really big calls before we had many months under our belt, but we knew we were both in the same place… It removed a lot of that early doubt in dating.”
In December, nine months after first meeting, the two went to City Hall to sign their marriage license and end the possibility of a long-distance relationship. “We joke that we proposed with an immigration attorney” laughed Eli. “We were really happy doing that step with city hall. It was so focused on the two of us, just us at the end of December… City Hall was all decked out for Christmas with origami peace-cranes, and it ended up being a very nice moment for the two of us together.”
David & Eli exchanged rings when they signed their papers, but the celebration with friends and family would have to wait until their wedding day. David added “We just jumped! We are going to take this risk, and we both felt that we wanted to be with each other. It was something we just had to do, for us.”
Since many of their guests were coming from Spain, they set the wedding date far in advance for July of 2017. They settled on a dreamy venue complete with on-sight housing by the name of Hidden River near Asheville, North Carolina where Eli grew up. Concerning the planning process, Eli expressed “There’s not a standard for gay marriages or gay ceremonies, so in some ways that was the really beautiful thing, that we could make it into anything we wanted to.”
The event lasted the entire weekend, providing tons of time for all the guests to be together. The night before the ceremony consisted of a huge cookout that included a bonfire. Friends toasted as the party lasted until the early hours of the wedding day.
After a few hours of sleep, David and Eli kicked things off with an energetic Zumba class to wake up and re-energize the guests. As the grooms prepared for the ceremony, the weather changed dramatically. “We saw these big, BIG clouds coming in the sky.” David explained that they rushed to take their formal photos outside, but as soon as the ceremony was about to begin, the storm broke over them. The rain and wind unleashed, throwing decorations off the tables and onto the ground. Even their photo booth flew away! Eli adding, “We had everything planned out in 15 minute increments, and then as soon as the wedding happened all of it got thrown out!”
Due to the inclement weather, the venue suggested to move the ceremony to the tent where the reception was going to happen. However, after the worst of the storm had passed, Eli and David made the ultimate decision to follow their wishes of getting married outside. They didn’t mind the rain anyway! With the support of all those attending, the entire group removed their shoes and walked together down to the river.
In reality, the rain ended up being a quintessential part of their day. David expressed “I can’t imagine our wedding without rain at this point. Everyone who was there was fully committed to having a good time and celebrating with us.”
In the presence of their closest family and friends, and a variety of umbrellas, Eli & David read their own vows to one another. “Part of our vows talked about how we always want to be there for each other, even when we are standing in the face of adversity. He will always be there to hold my hand.” Eli stated as David added “just seeing Eli’s face while he was telling me these things, I don’t know, it’s something I have very deep inside of me.”
The reception was light-hearted, fun and full of celebration as the two grooms sported their favorite tuxedo-themed onesies. Their first dance was a choreographed and comical hit featuring songs from Meghan Trainer and The Back Street Boys. Eli & David’s guests further surprised them with a flash mob performance to High School Musical’s, ‘We’re all in this together.’
The party was only getting started by the end of the reception, as they planned the after-party far in advance. Of course, every single wedding guest chose to attend the after-party. Eli’s brother premiered a lip-syncing video featuring friends and family, including many of those who could not be there. Touched by the video, Eli explained “We lost it, we started crying. We were standing there on the dance floor holding a handful of glow-sticks just bawling. We are so lucky that in that group of people, the most important people to us, that we are accepted by them. I think in that moment, I realized how beautiful what we have was.”
Closing out their wedding day, Eli and David danced, surrounded by the love of their family and friends. When asked what advice they would give to other couples planning a wedding, Eli replied “Our wedding was perfectly imperfect. That’s the approach that we took to it. No matter what, we were happy. There are trivial things, but what’s important is that you’re all there together.” David added “Make sure you’re having the day that you want. Just go with it, it’s your day and you need to enjoy it.” They took their own advice to heart in particular with the storm. It’s easy to see how one could be upset, after so much hard work planning a wedding, and seeing the skies open up and decorations ruined. However, David & Eli took everything in stride, enjoying the moment and welcoming any imperfection as a vital part of their perfect day.
Now, the happy husbands continue to share their adventures and travels together on their Instagram page, @twobecomeonesies.