"Danny had gone to NYC for the weekend with his sister and niece, they planned to return early the morning of June 26. Ben had secretly been planning to pop the question when the trio returned home. Danny is a huge Beyonce fan, so Ben had purchased a Beyonce shirt to be used as part of the proposal. When Danny walked into the couples apartment Ben had laid out on the kitchen counter, the T shirt, Roses, and a Bottle of prosecco, and he immediately started to cry. Repeating "Stop it right now, stop it right now" Obviously shocked. Ben was hiding in the bedroom, and came out and dropped to one knee and said "Daniel Thomas Tippett, you make me happier than anyone else - will you make me happy for the rest of my life?" Through tears Danny said Yes, Ben slipped the ring onto Dannys finger and the couple sealed it with a kiss. Even though it was 9am they toasted with the prosecco. It was a day filled with surprises, after spending the afternoon at a Baltimore Orioles game celebrating a friends birthday, they returned to their apartments rooftop where Ben had another surprise planned. They stepped off the elevator to a party with their closest friends gathered to celebrate the engagement. Hot dogs, hamburgers and of course champagne to celebrate! There would be no way to top this, but Danny tried to surprise Ben a little bit as well. Unbeknownst to Ben, Danny purchased an engagement ring for him as well in the days following the original engagement. With the help of his Mom and Godmother, surprised Ben with it at the families beach house in DE."
Guests arrived to the ceremony to a drink fridge with the message "Sip Champagne When We Thirsty" filled with splits of champagne and Miller High Life - the Champagne of Beers. The couple felt very strongly about the importance of their Union and wanted to incorporate aspects that celebrated the exciting nature of their wedding. For the ceremony set up, the couple stood on a round white platform with Gary at the center of their guests, they wanted to be surrounded by the love and support of their families and friends as they joined their lives. As part of the ceremony decor they had a selection of the Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage on a chalkboard with a gold frame as their backdrop. To begin the ceremony each member of their wedding party read a line from the selection of Justice Kennedy's statement- " No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
"The couple wanted the guests to really be a part of the ceremony - so they did a candle lighting, but each guest received a candle and as Dannys best friend Priscilla belted out "Love You I Do" from Dreamgirls, guests lit their candles started at the back of the gathering, passing the flame forward to the Grooms mothers, who then lit the Grooms candles and they then lit one unity candle. This signified their guests sharing their love and support for the union. The couple wrote their own vows which they read to each other from matching notebooks. The couple wore matching suits they purchased from Macys - Maroon Alfani Suit jackets, Black Silk Elie Tahari patterned pants, and matching Dita Eyewear - Gold for Danny, Silver for Ben. Once the boys had sealed their marriage with a kiss - they were surprised to find a 3 piece trio hidden just beyond the ceremony space. A secret flash mob had been orchestrated to top off the dramatics of the ceremony. The Couples friends popped up and serenaded them with the song Rather Be."
Ben and Danny wanted their reception to be non stop fun, so they opted for more outside the box elements at the party. Guests enjoyed a Mac n Cheese Bar with two styles of Mac n Cheese, chicken, beef or shrimp and a plethora of toppings to choose from, and a Taco Bar with chicken and fish tacos and all the fixing you could dream of. The couple wanted to try and keep the line at the bar down so they had a beer wall with 4 beer taps that guests could help themselves to the beer of their choice in a branded cup - Miller High Life (as a nod to Dannys Grandfather) Blue Moon, Bud Light and Heavy Seas. Ben is a huge music fan so throughout the decor were little nods to songs - The buffets were branded - Baby got Mac, and Something to TACO bout - the bar said Poppin Bottles and the Beer wall said - "Life Looks Good Good Good with my Beer Goggles On" as well as the Beer Fridge message mentioned earlier.
The evening ended with an Ice Cream Sundae bar and cookies from Birmingham Alabama (Bens hometown) and no evening of dancing and partying would be complete without breakfast sandwiches! The Reception decor was masculine and natural with a little bit of glam. If they had their druthers the couple would have been married outdoors, but dealing with mother nature would have been too stressful for Danny - they opted to bring some elements that brought the outdoors in.
The couple refers to themselves as The TippMasters (Tippett/LaMaster Mash up) so for the DJ backdrop they had a 22' Hedge wall with their moniker routed out in large gold letters. The Bar was a huge wooden bar with hedge bar fronts. The couple wanted to have their relatives who have passed represented, so they incorporated photos of their grandparents in the Back bar decor along with other elements that had some meaning to the couple. Guests were able to lounge in leather lounge furniture and maroon sequin linens gave a pop of color to the space. Danny and Ben are lucky to have many talented friends, including Gene Shepard who made their wedding cake for them - Gene was able to take the Grooms suits and create a beautiful and delicious cake for the pair that was a wow piece at the event.
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-The LGBT Weddings Team