Beverly Hills Courthouse Wedding: Jerrold & Drew
February 6, 2015
In 2008, Jerrold sent Drew a message online because they were the same age, both loved to travel, and as he admits now, “Drew was easy on the eyes”! For his part, Drew was simply looking for a friend, but ended up finding his soul mate.
Jerrold proposed to Drew in 2005 at a going away party. The couple was moving to Boston after California voters overturned Proposition 8. In front of 40 of their closest friends, Jerrold gave a toast thanking everyone for their love and support, then got down on one knee and proposed.
A Courthouse Wedding
Jerrold and Drew chose the Beverly Hills Courthouse as their venue for many reasons, including its political and personal symbolism. First and foremost, the grooms wanted to gain legal protection in a building tasked with serving all citizens of the state. While affordability and privacy also played a role, the refusal of some family members to attend for “religious” reasons made the Courthouse the ideal site for their emotional exchange of vows.
For a long time, Jerrold wanted to have a big wedding, but after setting the date, the couple found that there were family members who would not attend. They supported the relationship, but not a marriage. The planning was quick and lasted only two weeks. After filling out the license, the grooms had to choose a day and decided to marry on their seven-year anniversary. The ceremony would be intimate with only the closest family members.
Once the venue was finalized, the couple focused on making sure they looked good. They didn’t want traditional – they wanted to look like the best versions of themselves. Jerrold found a Ted Baker shirt that was graphic without being overwhelming and chose a blue blazer with “so many quirky details” he couldn’t resist. Drew was able to find a three-piece suit at Topman with a similar fabric. They chose blue as their color, including a blue velvet cake that they picked up in the limo on the way home from their ceremony.
For Jerrold, the most meaningful part of the whole day was taking pictures in the middle of the street in the morning. “I grew up in that house, feeling different and lost and confused. To stand outside on the street I grew on, back in the city I grew up in, and where I fell in love felt incredible,” says Jerrold. “I felt so happy, secure, and proud.”
Drew describes both grooms’ favorite moment as the one when the officiant told them to hold hands, saying the words “we are gathered here today in the presence of these loving witnesses to unit Andrew Wayne Persons and Jerrold Alexandre Blackwell in matrimony”. Says Drew, “It was like tunnel vision. All I could focus on were his eyes and the feeling of his hands in mine. It was like the last five years had FINALLY come to the most unbelievably euphoric finale…the tears started to flow and didn’t stop.”
Asked if they had advice for other couples, Drew and Jerrold insist that no one should derail what YOU want for your day. Never lose sight of the fact that a wedding is one day and marriage is, ideally, a lifetime. Don’t freak out about flowers or cake, just do what you want to do. Same-sex couples should take advantage of how unconventional your wedding can be because gay marriage in this country is young. “Make it whatever you want it to be before gay weddings have a tradition of their own.” Lastly, spend as much money as necessary on a photographer. A good one can make your wedding look more expensive and luxurious than any other wedding service. Pictures last a lifetime so invest in documenting “moments” not portraits.