An elegant gay wedding for theater-loving grooms, inspired by Old Hollywood, Motown and a luxe jungle aesthetic
Theater lovers Dustin (he/him) and Reid (he/him) wanted their summer wedding to be simple, elegant and natural, incorporating greenery, white florals and gold accents to give a bold atmosphere. For their Detroit, Michigan, ceremony and reception, both husbands wore suits inspired by their shared love of Old Hollywood and Art Deco vibes. Dustin’s tuxedo jacket was white with black accents, while Reid wore a midnight blue tux and matching bow tie. The mothers of the grooms both donned floor-length black gowns fit for the red carpet.
Pride was prevalent throughout the decor as well, with rainbow motifs featured on gay Pride stickers featuring their custom wedding hashtag and a “Gay Agenda” schedule displayed in a gold frame. For the floral arrangements, the couple wanted to focus on an elegant jungle aesthetic that complemented their venue’s Motown history, so they included cuts of Monstera and palm, along with monochromatic white flowers. Each groom wore a white rose boutonniere, and members of their wedding party each held simple bouquets of greenery, anemones and white roses. The reception centerpieces echoed art deco style, with each arrangement raised up from the tables on gold risers. Small cuttings below, with black candles, filled the rest of the space on the tables.
We caught up with Dustin to hear more about their elegant gay wedding.
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
Reid and I met on an app called Chappy, a gay dating app that no longer exists. We dated for about two-and-a-half years, and when we moved in with his parents during lockdown, I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of this family. The following January, I proposed to Reid at Virtue Cider in Fennville, Michigan, while on a mini vacation.
Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and reception?
Our venue already had so many nice pieces that we kept decor minimal. The most decorative part of our wedding was the tablescapes in the reception hall. Reid’s mother put together a photo area in the salon, using vintage frames with old childhood photos of Reid and me. Our venue came with an element of Motown, and we didn’t want to mess that aesthetic up.
What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
We hand-selected our DJ and curated unique playlists with a different vibe for each part of the evening. Pre-ceremony, we had a more playful vibe to welcome our guests. Reid’s sister, with her own fiancé and my friend, sang a musical theater song “Human Heart,” from Once on this Island as we walked down the aisle. Afterward, we shifted to a singer-songwriter playlist for cocktail hour, then oldies and Motown for the reception.
Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look?
I originally wanted a green tux, but after some thinking, I chose white. It was classic and timeless. Reid definitely knew he wanted to wear blue. It took him a while to decide what shade, but he eventually chose a deep midnight blue for top and bottom. Both of us had gold-accented jewelry, and I wore my gold “Love is Love” bracelet.
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
Getting married was the most anticipated moment! We were both very nervous, despite our backgrounds in performance. But our favorite part was the reception. We wanted our guests to feel at home and warm. Everyone still talks about how good the food was, the music was amazing, and there was an open bar.
Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
No wedding planner was formally used, but Reid’s mother planned the whole thing. She was fantastic. I would say that other couples should be prepared to be hosts. If an intimate wedding full of special moments is important, go small. Keep the guest list short, and choose a venue that is intimate. If you have a larger wedding, like we did, make every moment alone count. And check in with one another. You’re going to be busy!
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Photographer: Kari Paine Photography
Venue: Shinola Hotel
Floral Designer: Adorn LLC
Makeup Artist: Reneta Celebrity Make Up Artist
DJ: Abay Israel
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