Grand Tetons Grooms
The Love Story:
We met in Washington, 2013. Different circumstances brought us to this special place from very different parts of the U.S. Scott moved to Seattle from Florida to work as a teacher in Tacoma, Geoff migrated from Colorado to attend university in Tacoma. The first time we met in person was in front of Scott’s school. We had been having a conversation via text, and Scott noted that he was very tired and could really use a great cup of coffee. Geoff, being in the coffee world, immediately headed over to the school to deliver a fresh cup of coffee in person. This was the moment that Scott knew Geoff was a special kind of person. A series of thoughtful, genuine dates and conversations over the course of the next 6 months helped us both to realize how valuable and rare this relationship was. The summer after we began dating, Scott had to move back to Florida temporarily for a new job. Geoff was still in school, so we made the collaborative decision to continue seeing each other, vowing to dedicate the communication and effort necessary to maintain a long distance relationship, knowing that this was too good to walk away from. Six months after Scott moved back to Florida, Geoff graduated and moved to Florida to be with Scott. The following months allowed Geoff to see where Scott grew up, gave him the opportunity to meet his friends and family and everything that had shaped him into the person he was and is. In standard cadence, six months later, Scott and Geoff both got job offers in Seattle that were too good to turn down. This would be the culmination of their relationship: moving to Washington together from the same place.
In November of 2015, Geoff planned his own proposal weekend, unbeknownst to him. It was a weekend in the mountains with close friends, ample food, and a dusting of snow. Scott recruited everyone to help pull this off. Geoff was sent into town to pick up pastries while everyone else got to work hanging lights, setting up candles in mason jars, and displaying 3-Dimensional letters spelling out ‘Marry Me?’ It was a magical experience, surrounded with love.
The big day!
As the planning begun, Geoff was very clear about his ideal venue, the same small chapel in the Grand Tetons where his parents were married 31 years earlier. Scott was hesitant about getting married in a church in Wyoming, but upon seeing the photographs of the venue and location, he was sold. Fun fact: we didn’t know it at the time, but we would become the first same-gender wedding to be held at the chapel.
Planning a destination wedding with many friends in Seattle, families and friends in Colorado, Utah, and Florida, was quite challenging, not to mention the inability for us to actively visit any of the reception venues we were looking at. Rather than spend money on frills and décor, our main goal was to make it as easy and seamless as possible for our friends and family to join us in celebrating our special day together. Other major aspects of our planning were made easy by our network of talented friends and family. Scott’s brother, Paul, is a floral designer and took care of everything with the only guidance being the importance of baby’s breath and fragrant herbs. He even coped with us forgetting to pack the succulents for the cocktail tables and coming up with the idea to use artichokes instead, one day before the wedding. Geoff had previously worked with Alex, our photographer, so that was an easy decision to make. All wedding related announcements were designed by a close, personal friend and graphic designer, Kate.
Some helpful advice for couples currently planning their wedding:
There are pros and cons to utilizing the talents of friends and family. We found it really helpful to set clear expectations up front, treating planning interactions as professional exchanges. Also, something is going to go wrong on your wedding day, like Geoff losing the rental car hours before the wedding, leaving Scott and all his friends and family to finish setting everything up without him and showing up minutes before leaving for the wedding. The day won’t be exactly perfect, but those moments will be some of the most memorable pieces of your wedding when you look back.
The most memorable part of our wedding day was looking into the crowd of people celebrating this day with us. It’s the one time in our life in which this group of people will ever be in the same place at the same time, solely to celebrate and witness the love between us.