London Palace Wedding: Miguel & James
May 27, 2016
They say the third time is a charm, and for James and Miguel it was certainly the case. They met many years ago, when they were both seeing other people. After 10 years, each of them moved to London separately. They were single, and each joined a dating site. They arranged to meet up, but had a chance encounter before they figured out who they had met. They had just one date at the bar and went their separate ways.
A couple of years later, the same thing happened again and they started talking online. When they met that third time, James knew Miguel was the one.
James proposed to Miguel. During a visit to his parents’ home in New Zealand, James’ mum encouraged him to propose during their holiday. James decided to surprise Miguel on New Years’ Eve in Auckland. He bought a ring and then waited for Miguel to join him on the 27th.
The night of the proposal, James was very nervous and unusually quiet during dinner. When the time came, they went to look out over the harbor, and just as he was about to ask the question, people came out of the restaurant and surrounded them by accident. James had to feign illness and walk around the corner to get some fresh air. When they were alone again, he popped the question.
The grooms looked at several venues, but settled on theirs for several reasons. It was intimate, yet had a wow factor, and the ceremony, wedding breakfast and reception could all be held at the same venue, but in different locations. The courtyard could be closed to the public and featured a beautiful fountain. It gave the place an impressive, yet rural feel, as if you weren’t even in London.
The venue provided a fun, outgoing and accessible wedding planner who was at ease with planning a gay wedding and always calm. They had 18 months to plan, which gave them time to save money along the way. They created a big list of things that they wanted, determined the cost of each, and using a spreadsheet, planned what they needed to save each month to have the wedding they wanted.
Miguel is Spanish, so they wanted to ensure that there was as much Spanish influence during the day as possible. They had tapas and sangria instead of canapés and champagne, and even had a Serrano ham station. They also had a Spanish song for their first dance, and Spanish props for the photo booth.
They added other personal touches to the day, like pictures of them throughout the building and their monogrammed wedding stationery.
James and Miguel offered a lot of advice for couples planning weddings, including the suggestion to, “try to remember the reasons why you are getting married and not to lose yourself too much in all of the detail. One thing we did keep saying to each other throughout the process was that one of the benefits of it being a gay wedding is that the rules don’t apply to us and that we could make up our own decisions along the way.”