Atlanta Engagement Session: Brian & Grant
Brian and Grant met through Facebook. Grant showed up in Brian’s “People You Might Know” section and his profile picture was of him and his dog hiking which immediately piqued Brian’s interest. It turned out that they worked at the same hospital, so Brian built up the courage and messaged Grant.
The two hit it off immediately and, later the same day, Grant asked Brian on a date. They went out for sushi a couple of days later and have been together ever since. It did help that both are physician assistants, so they had a lot to talk about.
It was only their second date when Grant told Brian a story about how his mother and father met, and how on their first date, his father told his mother that he was going to marry her. He used it as a lead in to tell Brian, “I know I’m going to marry you,” and it turns out he was right. They decided to have their engagement on their anniversary at the same restaurant as their first date.
Brian is very private, so he only agreed to the restaurant as long as Grant promised he wouldn’t put on any kind of show. When they sat down for dinner and ordered wine, Brian thought the waitress looked awfully familiar and he took a second look – it was his sister, one of Brian’s best friends. Grant arranged to fly her in from Kansas City to photograph the engagement and celebrate with them. He also arranged with Brian’s boss so he could have the next day off to spend with her. It was an intimate, heartfelt engagement with the most important people in their lives.
Since Brian’s sister shot their engagement photos, she had a prior connection with them, which made the session more comfortable. Some of the locations were too popular, busy and uncomfortable to really allow them to interact naturally with each other, though. Brian and Grant would definitely recommend choosing the locations carefully to offer the most relaxed situation.
The grooms are planning a local Atlanta wedding only a mile from where they live, using all local vendors. They enjoyed their cake tasting, which was their first planning stop. They chose a bakery around their neighborhood where they had been many times before and the owner helped make it an amazing experience.
Their biggest challenge so far has been the guest list. They started with a budget, did their research, budgeted reasonably, then watched as the guest list filled up quickly. They want as many friends and family to attend as possible and worry about hurting anyone’s feelings.
Brian shared his recommendations for other couples planning their weddings: “My advice would be to start early, and set a strict but realistic budget for the kind of wedding you want. We had most of our vendors lined up seven to eight months before the wedding, and then our caterer unexpectedly dropped out. Luckily with that much lead time we were able to find a replacement pretty quickly. Also, with the budget, keep in mind that this is only one day. It’s easy to keep racking up cost with add-ons and upgrades, but in the end it’s the people you’re with that make the party fun and memorable”.
“For same-sex couples,” added Brian, “I would also recommend to leave politics out of it. We both have family members that have expressed anti-marriage equality sentiment, or voted for politicians that actively fight against gay rights. We really grappled with the notion of whether or not we should invite them. We decided in the end, that they are still family, and that minds and hearts don’t change by shutting people out, but by being inclusive and welcoming. We decided that if those individuals didn’t want to come, then that was on them.”