Black and gold Hollywood wedding at The Ebell of Los Angeles
Stephen + Jared
Pronouns: He/Him/His for both
Orientations: Gay; Gay
Wedding Titles: Groom; Groom
Location: Los Angeles, California
Theme: Hollywood wedding
Colors: black and gold
Stephen and Jared married in October at The Ebell of Los Angeles in a black and gold Hollywood wedding decorated with a motif of stars and Broadway flair. They are from Las Vegas, but it was New York where Jared proposed.
“I proposed to Stephen on the stage of the Brooks Atkinson theater in New York City after a performance of the musical Waitress,” says Jared. “That particular show has always held a special place in our hearts as it combines so many of our passions; musical theater, baking and Sara Bareilles.”
“When one of our friends, Shoshana Bean, booked the leading role, we instantly planned a trip to go see her in it and I knew that there would never be a better opportunity for a proposal. I texted Shoshana and told her what I had in mind and she was so gracious to help facilitate everything. After the show ended Shoshana took us on stage for a fun photo op and that’s when I got down on one knee and asked Stephen to marry me. He was so surprised!”
The grooms met while working in the entertainment industry in Las Vegas, where they live. Jared was a manager for a local production company and Stephen was a dancer for that same producer. “From working together for about a year, we saw how much we had in common and how much we made each other laugh, and started dating,” they say. “We have gone on to run a successful bakery in Las Vegas together, appropriately named, Showboy Bakeshop.”
THE HOLLYWOOD WEDDING DETAILS
“Our main colors were black and gold. Stars were our motif. We wanted our wedding to have a very classic, Old Hollywood design with twists of our own personalities and Broadway-centric flair.”
“Having a custom backdrop for the stage at The Ebell of Los Angeles as well as a custom-build ceremony installation and photobooth, created by PaperMoon Shoppe, added the uniquess and customization we were looking for to compliment the historical building.”
The newlyweds aren’t big flower people so they wanted something that “incorporated a lot of greenery and a clean, neutral palette that made sense in the historical setting,” says Jared. “Our florist created the perfect arrangements by taking inspiration from a Hollywood floral designer from the 1940s that included various shades of whites and greens with lots of textures that fit perfectly in the space and didn’t overpower what they were meant to enhance.”
“The ceremony was held indoors in a room that instantly reminded us of a grand hall with a personality and drama all its own. The second that we entered during our initial walk-through, we knew that was where we wanted to get married. Our officiant was a personal friend and actress who asked us to each send her a list of marriage promises that she would read during the ceremony in addition to the traditional wedding vows. As all of the promises were surprises to each other, it was exciting to see how personal they all were yet we both kept a sense of humor in their delivery. Although our ceremony didn’t include any religious elements, we were lucky enough to have our friend, Broadway star Laura Michelle Kelly, sing for our ceremony and that was a very spiritual experience for us!”
Stephen and Jared were the stars of the day, but the love of close friends shone just as brightly in the entire affair. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, they hosted a joint bachelor party for the two grooms, curating a fun night out with a special dinner and a limo-escorted tour of the town.
During the ceremony, the grooms were preceded by a flower girl, a ring bearer and three junior attendants. Stephen and Jared were escorted down the aisle by their closest friends, who they called their guests of honor. Each man walked down the aisle escorted by their individual closest friend. “Stephen was the final person down the aisle,” Jared says, “as age always precedes beauty.”
How did you personalize your Hollywood wedding?
“Throughout the wedding, we had customized napkins with printed lyrics from our favorite songs. We also placed a custom Christmas cracker at each person’s table setting for the reception. Since Stephen is British, and these are a wedding tradition in England, we wanted to include them as a nod to his culture. During the cocktail hour, we also had our pianist only play songs by Sara Bareilles, our favorite singer-songwriter.
We love Broadway icon, Patti LuPone. In fact, since she has filed at The Ebell in the past, we nicknamed our reception hall, ‘The Patti Room.’ Our wedding planner, Holly, surprised us with cardboard of Patti waiting for us as we walked into the room all dressed up for the first time. It was a lovely surprise. Patti ended up taking photos with the guests the rest of the night as well as all over the venue with the photographers. It was a fun nod to our Broadway roots and passion.”
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
Don’t get stuck trying to fit into established wedding roles or traditions. There doesn’t need to be a bridesmaid or best man or anything else that doesn’t feel comfortable to you. We thought that people might have certain expectations of what a wedding should include but soon realized that pressure was only coming from ourselves.
Advice for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?
Update your language to be more inclusive. We saw a lot of website submission forms, contracts and other template type materials that always asked for the names of the bride and groom. It always caused a weird moment where we had to decide who would be listed as the “bride” and often just made us dismiss the idea of using the vendor at all. One of the main things that initially struck us about the wedding planner we hired, Anything But Gray Events, was how LGBTQ+ inclusive her portfolio, website, social and personality was. We knew right from the get go we could trust her to introduce us to other like-minded and welcoming vendors who would embrace us.
What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
The main challenge of being an engaged LGBTQ+ couple is finding same-gender items. A lot of places still only accommodate “Mr. and Mrs.” as the couple. It would be nice to see vendors and sites that have this as their original setup evolve to be more inclusive of same-sex couples. Even selling and offering items individually would help in this case.
Did you encounter any pleasant surprises as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
One of the most heartwarming experiences was us being able to include the kids we have in our life in the wedding. We have an incredible core group of friends, whose kids accept and understand us as a couple. These friends are the kind of parents I wish all kids could have, because they are going to be the future of a more accepting and normalized life. It was also so much fun seeing how excited the girls were about the wedding, and their outfits and shoes! It made the experience that much more exciting for us to see it through their eyes!
Search our directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors.
Photographer: Peterson Design & Photography
Planner: Anything But Gray Events, whose owner and planner, Holly Gray, is Certified LGBTQ+ Inclusive™ by Equally Wed Pro; an Equally Wed Preferred Vendor; and voted Equally Wed’s 2021 Best Inclusive Wedding Planner
Band: Luke Carlsen Band
Invitations: Gilded Swan Paperie
Florist: Flower Duet Floral Design
Grooms’ attire: Indochino
Jewelry: Tiffany & Co.
Cape and accessories: Julie Harris Designs
Attendant attire: Mac Duggal
Cake: The Butter End
Favors: Olde English Crackers
Linens: Luxe Linen
Beauty: Face It Sugar
Backdrops and photo booth: Paper Moon Shoppe
Magician: Brad Baker
Rental decor: Papillon Rentals
Transportation: Riz Transportation
Videographer: Elevate Films
filed under: gay wedding, LGBTQ+ wedding, LGBTQ+ love, two grooms, black, gold, crowns, stars, Broadway, cape, Hollywood wedding, Los Angeles, mr and mr, wedding cape
Kirsten Ott Palladino
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