Bret and Ryan had been dating for a year when they found themselves in the midst of Hurricane Irma’s destructive path and were forced to evacuate their home. “We loaded my car with supplies and our dog Alfie and decided to make the most of it,” Bret says. “We were confined to a car or a hotel room together for eight days in what should have been a really stressful situation and had the time of our lives — that’s when I knew that we were going to get married.
A year later, Ryan came home to fine Bret and Alfie waiting for him on the balcony. As the sun set, Bret asked him to marry him. “Having grown up in the South, I never knew if marriage was feasible for me. I knew I wanted to marry Bret so when he asked, I was just overwhelmed with gratitude and thankfulness for having found someone I love and who I know loves me.”
After touring Living Sculpture Sanctuary, the grooms immediately knew that was where they were going to have their wedding. “When we walked into the venue, it felt like we were transported to a completely different world. It was so lush and beautiful, and it just felt separate from anything else in Florida.”
They enlisted the talents of Love List member Cortiella Photography, who also captured their engagement photos, to document the day’s details that were filled with personalization. The theme of their ceremony was “Free to Love” based on the song written by LP after marriage equality passed on a federal level in the States. “LP is one of our favorite artists and that song is very special to us, so we not only walked down the aisle to it, but we made it the theme of our day.”
Dressed in custom Indochino suits, the self-proclaimed mommas’ boys were escorted down the aisle by their mothers and then exchanged handwritten vows. “There is no greater feeling than hearing the person you love most of all publicly profess his commitment to you,” says Bret. “To put it mildly, I was a mess during the vows. It was certainly a challenge putting such complex emotions into words, but I think we made each other proud.”
Gold details flickered throughout the reception space where guests danced and dined at a fajita bar. The grooms cut into a classic white-tiered cake topped a comic book cake topper complete with a caped Alfie.
“My mom told me she was so proud of me and so happy for me. And then she reminded me of her most famous adage, ‘If you’re going to do something, do it right.’ After which she said, Bret’s a keeper so you’d better make this last.’ It was such a perfect moment.”