Tell us your love story!
We met on Tinder on New Year’s Day. Robin was driving home from Dallas after going to see Michigan State lose at the Cotton Bowl. I was at a New Year’s brunch. We texted and texted all week long and talked on the phone late into the night.
One week after we matched online, Robin took me on the kind of date I had only ever dreamed of. It was seriously magical. I spent nearly the whole day with my hair and make-up artist. She sent a car and had a whirlwind evening planned in Dallas, where I lived at the time, dinner at Perry’s Steakhouse, a drag show, and two-stepping at a gay country western bar!
Our second date was actually country western wedding – we’re not cowgirls, I swear! - complete with line dancing. Our third date was a week-long Olivia cruise and then five days in Isla Mujeres. We figured if we still liked each after that much time together in that close of proximity, we just might be on to something. And we were.
Resisting the incredibly, incredibly strong urge to UHaul, I took my time moving to Robin’s house at the Lake, waiting even longer to surreptitiously redecorate. Six months after meeting – despite swearing that four seasons had to pass before marriage could even be discussed – Robin proposed to me as the sun set behind the glorious porch of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. I seriously could not have been more surprised.
What about the proposal?
Robin took me on a surprise birthday trip to Mackinac Island in Michigan. She is from Michigan and she spent one summer interning on the magical island. It is home to the Grand Hotel where the film “Somewhere in Time” was shot. She took me to dinner there on the night of my birthday. I was wearing a Samuel Dong dress she had gotten for me the night before in Traverse City, which is the cutest little town. She suggested we take a stroll on their amazing porch, the longest in the US, I believe. There were photographers for hire and Robin motioned to one. It didn’t seem strange to me until she said to him, “Take hers first,” as she motioned to me where to stand. I took my place, smiled at her, and she started walking towards me and then got down on one knee. I know I stopped breathing. I couldn’t believe it. Could she be breaking her very own four seasons rule? Indeed. I couldn’t say yes fast enough!
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
It seems cliché, but from the moment I walked into the restaurant and saw her in person for the first time. The restaurant has a piano bar and she wouldn’t let the driver let me out of the car until the piano player was back from break. I was worried something was wrong. I walked in in an LBD and pearls and there she was in a blazer and pants just as nervous as could be. When we looked into each other’s eyes for the first time, I just knew.
What sealed the deal for me was when I realized that she “got” me. Robin is a very take charge kind of woman, which means she is usually the one to take charge. But when the task at hand is something at which I am better, she is more than happy to let me take the reins. I could not feel any more loved, trusted, or supported. That is when you know, she’s the one!
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
I think all we really knew was that we wanted to be surrounded by family and friends. And once Robin met my dad, we both knew for sure that we wanted him to do the ceremony. After seeing The Astorian, we knew a black tie wedding there would have to be it. The rest just fell into place!
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
We were surprised by just how many minute details there were to attend to and which things really were important to me and which ones were really important to Robin. Having Chad at Revisionist Events there to help made all the difference. Things got stressful occasionally. It’s a lot to do and a lot of money. But when things got crazy, Robin and I would sit alone together and regroup, reminding ourselves what was really important – joining our lives together in love.
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
That so many people would unfortunately not be able to attend. There are people we didn’t think we could invite because of how many people that would mean having, and, in the end, we could have invited at least some of them.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?
The one thing everyone said is, “Be in the moment. It goes SO fast.” Even though I heard that a million times and I believed the people who said it, it still went WAY too fast. So, take your time. Smell the roses. Be where you are – in the middle of what will be one of the most magical days of your life…
And don’t skimp on the photographer. Seriously. Don’t.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Jenny: Hearing Robin recite her vows. I knew and know how much she loves me. But it was life-changing to hear her speak to her love for me right there in front of so many people that we love. I also LOVED when my very best friend from High School, Michael Goles, gave his toast. He is an amazing man and I feel so grateful to have had him in my life for so long and to continue to have him in my life. His toast was unforgettable. And having Daddy perform the ceremony that I wrote for us was also truly a phenomenal experience.
Robin: Dancing with Jenny when the DJ asked our friends and family to join us after our first dance. Looking at her and then seeing all the love and support around us.
'i will love you
with the dust of
who i was,
with the skin
i am now,
and with the bones
that will one day
decorate my tomb."
One of the hardest things for LGBTQ+ couples planning weddings is the vows. Most couples don't get married in a religious setting, so there is no priest or rabbi to say traditional vows in a traditional ceremony. How do you find an officiant who really understands you as a couple? Modern Officiant is one of the newest members on the Creme de la Creme Vendor Directory and we are thrilled to share a bit about them!
With the encouragement and support of my wife, and my passion for Marriage Equality, I became The Modern Officiant. I love meeting couples and hearing the story of how they fell in love and decided to spending their lives together. I am especially interested in the stories of LGBTQ couples because I know their journey wasn’t always smooth sailing. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Marriage Equality, I was overjoyed just thinking about all the couples who could now marry legally. I want to help make the wedding experience exciting and memorable for couples whose friends and families may not be supportive of their decision to marry the person they love.
I believe that as LGBQT people, we experience so much hate and discrimination in everyday life. We shouldn’t also experience it with something we fought so hard for – the right to marry who we love. This is why I specialize in LGBTQ weddings. Of course, I do NOT discriminate. While my specialty is LGBTQ marriages, I am delighted to marry ANY couple in love.
Love is just as strong and meaningful between ALL couples.