A Brooklyn Love Party
Tell us your love story!
We met in real life, if you can believe it. It was on the rooftop of a hotel in the meatpacking district of NYC. It also happened to be Pride Sunday 2012. Both of us had spent the day with our own circle of friends, but ended up at the same party at the end of the day. Michael’s best friend (who would later be his best man) had recently begun dating one of Chaz’s coworkers, who invited him and his best friend (also his future best man) up to the party. When Chaz arrived there was only one spot to sit, and it was next to Michael. Three martinis, and the rest was history.
Was there a proposal? Tell us about it!
We had actually both been secretly planning to pop the question to one another. We took a trip to Paris in the fall of 2015, and everyone thought we were going to come back with rings on our fingers. But each of us had planned to propose once we returned. Michael secretly bought a ring for Chaz. And Chaz had his grandfather’s wedding band for the occasion. In the end, Chaz beat Michael to the punch by only a few weeks.
On a seemingly normal work day for Chaz he had arranged for what was supposed to be dinner with two of our friends. I had the day off and had spent it listening to Adele’s new album, which had come out that day (so I was already very emotional, and may or may not have already had a slight buzz on). When he got home I was so excited for him to hear one of Adele’s songs that I wouldn’t let us leave for dinner until he heard it. – Michael
I, of course, was on a very tight time schedule since I had planned a surprise party (not a dinner with friends) and they were all waiting for us at our local bar. I had hand drawn him a book of my fondest memories of our relationship but was trying to find the right moment. Not knowing what to do, I just knelt down and gave it to him… while a sad break-up song by Adele blasted through our apartment. – Chaz
When did you know you were meant to be together?
When on our first date he was totally game to put wine in coffee cups and walk around the west village. – Michael
On our second date, when Michael asked me for a third, even after my debit card was declined for ice cream at Coney Island. #reallove - Chaz
What were you completely sure about as you went into wedding planning?
We were sure we wanted it in New York, since both our families were spread across the country. Beyond that, we just wanted it to be a super fun party with good food, good music, and lots of whiskey.
Was there anything that surprised you during planning?
I found the planning portion to be quite fun! Since I do interior design for a living, I knew the importance of planning ahead. Pinterest boards, ever-so-changing Apple playlists, and Etsy shopping carts became by nightly ritual, which kept me on task. Big thanks to Stems Brooklyn, Chaz Cruz, Scratch Weddings for making it all a reality. - Chaz
I work in food and beverage, so that was my area of planning. Honestly that was fun for me too! We were so lucky to end up working with amazing vendors that provided absolutely delicious food and drinks. The food from Pies’n’Thighs BK was ridiculous. And the staff at 501 Union rocked it out from start to finish. Everyone that was a part of our day was just incredible. – Michael
Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew during planning?
While the planning and choosing of vendors felt fun and easy, I had really overestimated our abilities to do the coordinating of the day ourselves. We had set out to do the whole thing without a planner, but about a month before the day I had a total meltdown and began furiously contacting planners to see if anyone was available for our date. Again, for some reason, fate was on our side and we found Amy at Modern Rebel and Co. She swooped in like the wonder woman she is and literally saved the date – get it? We could never have accomplished this on our own and really owe it all to her. It turned out more beautiful that we could have imagined. – Michael
Any advice for folks planning their celebrations now?
Get a planner.
The goal for our wedding was for all of our guests to have a great time. And so every element of our day was built around that, from the food, to the music, to the photo booth. For us, the result was a night that was so not only a blast for us, but for our guests as well. So, I guess our advice would be to choose a goal for your wedding and let it guide the choices you make in planning it.
What was the highlight of your wedding day?
I think my favorite part of our wedding was my dance with my Mom. She is, and has always been, my biggest supporter. It will forever be one of my favorite memories. –Chaz
I think my favorite moment was when were seated for dinner and I just had a chance to look out over a room full of the most important people in our lives, all here to support us. It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe and one that I tried in that moment to imprint on my memory. - Michael