WEDDING WISDOM: CHRIS & SAMRUAY
“How are you going to get together and how are you going to stay together?” This was a question many people had for Chris and Samruay. A valid one given Chris lives in the UK and Samruay lives in Thailand. But, there’s something poetic about the fact that their relationship began in Kanchanaburi, site of the famed bridge over the River Kwai, because their marriage spans cultures and distances and flourishes as a result.
WEDDING WISDOM: FELIPE & TOM
Tom was already at his local Starbucks in Miami for his morning routine of coffee and a little bit of work, when Felipe walked in. They caught each other’s eye and began the “coy little thing of me not looking and you not looking thing” as Tom described. Felipe asked to join Tom at his table, despite there being other open tables. And, for the next while Felipe asked Tom questions, listening to the long responses, and simply replying “good, in his sexy Colombian accent.” But, Tom thought that Felipe was “bored out of his mind” and that, despite exchanging numbers, this encounter would lead nowhere. However, that afternoon, the phone rang and Tom and Felipe went out on a date that night… and the next night… “and pretty much every night we’ve been in the same city for the last six years.”
WEDDING WISDOM: SEAN & MANUEL
They began discussing the idea of marriage shortly thereafter, while on their first vacation as a couple - a cruise to Bermuda. While eyeing David Yurman rings in the duty-free shops Manuel asked: “Why don’t we get rings… to start the next step,” to which Sean responded by saying he wanted the experience to be more intimate, with family and friends around. But the plans were set in motion.
Manuel promptly asked Sean’s parents for permission and began the process of organizing his 30th birthday party where their friends and family would be gathered and he could respect Sean’s wishes. They were engaged in front of their nearest and dearest in December of 2015, with Manuel down on one knee and the prized David Yurman ring in one hand.
WEDDING WISDOM: DAN & VINNY
When the big day approached, the military officers and grooms-to-be prepared with meticulous attention to detail. The grooms both wore formal military uniforms down the aisle because of the significance of their West Point education and Army careers in their relationship. Vinny jokes that Dan treated the preparation of their uniforms with a greater level of detail and respect than any other uniform inspection--something that all soldiers undoubtedly understand. The morning of the ceremony, the couple repeated a breakfast traditionally enjoyed the morning of graduation from West Point: waffles and ice cream.
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When it came time to propose, the helicopter was turning around South Point Park in Miami Beach and facing the city and sunset, Tom pointed out that they both became “illiterate in all the languages we speak!” He tried to pop the question in Spanish, but couldn’t get it out. And, when he did, in English, Felipe was only able to answer “si, si.” No matter the language, a band of white gold presented in the sunny skies over Biscayne Bay said it all.
When asked what was the most surprising aspect of the planning experience, Manuel quickly answered, chuckling: “I didn’t expect to become a groomzilla!” But, when it came to advice they share with other couples, it would be “don’t ask for other opinions,” and “do what you want; after all, it’s your special day.”
It’s the stuff that lasting relationships are made of, which makes celebrating Dan and Vinny all the more fun. As the first active duty same-sex couple to be married in uniform in the chapel of the nation’s oldest military academy, publications all over the world have shared their story in the weeks since their wedding.
It was their friends, in fact, who planned to introduce them while they were both on vacation at Disney World. As destiny had it, their friends didn’t need to make the introduction. When Richard saw Bryce through the crowd at a beach party, he says he nearly knocked someone over to make his way over to the tall, handsome man and introduce himself. From there, it was smooth sailing.
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