Daniel is graphic designer and photographer, while Michael is a software engineer. The two enjoy cooking, video games, museum visits, finding great new places to eat around LA, and watching TV shows including Star Trek, the Walking Dead, and Community.
They first met online via OKCupid, shortly after Halloween in 2010. For Daniel, asking what Michael wore for Halloween served as a good icebreaker that quickly led to discussing their experience as gay Christians, and how they eventually reconciled their sexual orientation with their faith. After some back and forth messaging, they had their first date at Starbucks, followed by a second date at a Trans Siberian Orchestra concert.
After a wonderful day that included an old-school marionette show, an exquisite Italian dinner, and the nostalgia that came with watching a documentary that they hadn’t seen since they first started dating, Michael proposed to Daniel in his apartment (as Daniel is an introvert who hates attention). Michael read a letter to him that ended with the line, “will you marry me” and after an enthusiastic, “Yes!”, Michael brought out the champagne and cheese while they proceeded to call family members the next day with the good news. They were engaged in March of 2014 and got married a little over a year later.
By the time they were engaged, marriage equality had already come to California, but it felt that much sweeter for the two to get married so soon after it became nationwide. “There weren’t any legal hurdles we had to overcome, but we did have a few difficult (yet gracious) conversations with a few friends who ultimately decided not to attend.”
Daniel & Michael were married in August of 2015 at The Hacienda in Santa Ana, CA. The two could gush about the finer details, but they will allow their gorgeous images to speak those words.
One twist in tradition shared by the couple was in their presentation of their wedding rings to each other. While they were engaged, they each wore each other’s wedding bands around their necks. They found great joy in placing them on each other's hands.
"Daniel had a jockstrap hidden and wrapped around his leg, which Michael removed and tossed to the single guys. Michael had a pair of lace panties hidden and wrapped around his leg, which Daniel tossed to the single women
We chose not to have a wedding party, but one of our best friends essentially played the role of best man, and gave the pre-dinner toast.”
The couple honeymooned in Bali. What made it extra nice was that they had family members living there to show them around. There was also the opportunity to apply the whole “in sickness and in health” thing as they both got sick in the middle of the honeymoon!
Aside from their photographer and venue, none of the vendors they selected specifically marketed themselves as LGBT friendly, but it was important for them to ask the vendors right off the bat about their experience with same sex weddings. “With the exception of one venue, we thankfully were greeted with a ton of enthusiasm by the rest of the vendors we visited. For the vendors we ultimately chose, we would happily recommend them to any our friends.”
Remember how much you love your partner, and that they’re the reason why you’re doing this.” The couple encourages other couples to be secure enough in your relationship that you can put your heart and soul into both your wedding and marriage without being overly concerned with “perfection”. Plan this wedding for each other, not for anyone else’s sake - the only expectations you have to live up to are your own. Learn to laugh at the unexpected - it’s usually those things that help you grow closer. Also, they agree: Google Drive is your friend!