City Hall Wedding: Brett & Adam
Brett and Adam wanted a wedding that reflected their relationship: No fuss and no drama, but lots of good friends and good food. They chose a New York City Hall ceremony on August 16, 2013, followed by an intimate dinner at one of their favorite restaurants in Astoria, Queens.
“It was so great to be able to enjoy the day with minimal stress and insanity,” Brett said. The day began with a 2-hour wait at City Hall, but even that became part of the festivities. “It was packed with people, which normally would be frustrating, but everyone was so happy and joyous that it made for a wonderful atmosphere,” Brett said. Having strangers from all walks of life and in all manner of dress all around them turned out to be a fun part of the day.
As for their own attire, the men chose grey and blue suits, respectively, and they exchanged matching purple boutonnieres. Once their names were called, the ceremony was brief and to the point. What mattered most to the couple was exchanging the rings and making it official.
“It was so moving to us that even though we had a very informal wedding, friends and family from around the world were insistent on being there,” Brett said. They chose Butcher Bar for their reception because it was close to where they live, and they were very familiar with the food. They knew it would be a hit with their 25 or so guests. They had explored a variety of traditional wedding venues in the New York City area, but nothing had felt quite right. They wanted an informal setting, and the owners at Butcher Bar were willing to be completely flexible in accommodating the couples’ choices. In fact, when the day turned out to be gorgeous and not hot and humid as expected, management reached out to them and suggested they move their party to the outdoor patio, where their guests enjoyed BBQ and drinks.
The one element that mattered a lot to the grooms was having a great wedding cake, and lucky for them, Brett has a friend who is a pastry chef and crafted something special for the occasion. Brett and Adam planned their wedding day together, in the same spirit of mutuality and collaboration their relationship was always based on. In fact, both men had secretly planned to propose to each other around the same weekend. Adam beat him to it, surprising Brett with a ring just before Brett was scheduled to have hand surgery. Adam had pretended that he was leaving town for a conference and wouldn’t be around for the surgery, but instead, he had the proposal up his sleeve. “I was even more shocked, because I was planning on proposing to Adam and had already purchased a ring and now had to rethink my proposal in a very short time,” Brett said. Shortly after his hand surgery, still in bandages and stitches, Brett got down on one knee and proposed to Adam. “It was kind of funny and awkward, which I guess is appropriate for us,” Brett said. “A lot of our major relationship events have been unglamorous,” he added.
Denise Oliveira is a Brooklyn-based writer. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City and is the founder of Prequels, where she interviews engaged couples to create wedding invitations and favors that incorporate their love story.