Jon and I met over karaoke. That's how I like to tell the story. We are both from Las Vegas, but I had moved away to New York before we ever met. As luck would have it, I got a job that took me back to Las Vegas. My old hometown friends were very into karaoke nights at the time, which I hated, but I went with them anyway and it was there that Jon and I met and became friends. He had his own gang of karaoke enthusiasts, and often times we would find our groups sitting together and singing backup for each other. It took two years of $5 pitchers of beer, late-night laughs, and rockstar-potential singing for us to come together. That was eleven years ago!
Jon and I are big travelers, and having the wedding in Thailand was the perfect way for us to get our friends, who had dreams of traveling, to leave their countries and see some place new. Jon and I felt that our wedding was not just about the two of us but about the community of loved ones we had built together in the ten years of being dating. Our wedding would be a celebration of all of us.
With so many people coming together from different areas of our lives (some we met while volunteering in Cambodia, some we met from years of working in the theater, and some from our childhood), we focused on bringing the group together as one. After the first initial meet and greet once most had arrived in Phuket, Thailand, we created our own version of "The Amazing Race," the popular TV competition show where contestants race around the globe. We had all of our guests running around the center of Phuket in teams where they had to do such things as find famous landmarks, eat bugs, and take pictures with ladyboys! The next day we rented a yacht and took everyone out for day to play on private beaches, swim in beautiful waters, and bond on the boat...a perfect day to relax and get to know each other. The following day we moved everyone to Coconut Island where the wedding was to be held and had a massive bonfire party on the beach. Jon and I sailed in on little boats with appetizers to start the evening out right! All the food was set up like Thai street food, and we passed out buckets of booze a la the Full Moon Party! We had fire twirlers and a full out ladyboy show to end the night! The morning of the wedding, we had monks come to bless us with a more traditional wedding ceremony, a peaceful gathering that started the day in a very tranquil tone. The actual ceremony was in the evening, held in front of the villas Jon and I had rented for us and our wedding party. Our friends gave us a ceremony that reflected who we were, with a hysterical Star Wars introduction! After a heartfelt sharing of vows that Jon and I had written, we left the ceremony privately to sit by the beach where a beautiful table with a bottle of wine was waiting for us to enjoy, a moment to connect before a night of celebration with our loved ones.
I could go on and on about the after party, but let me just say that the group who made it to the wedding for those few days are still sending messages on our group Whatsapp chat, and they have INSISTED Jon and I get married again so they can come!