Romantic California Wine Country Wedding: Braden & Dan
Oct. 24, 2015
Braden and Dan met in 2008, when both were on staff for a production of the musical Ragtime in Saratoga. Dan was the musical director and Braden was the assistant director and assistant choreographer. Eight years later they still work together, Braden as the CFO and treasurer for the company, and Dan as the box office manager.
Dan proposed to Braden. He asked a mutual friend to ask Braden to plan a surprise birthday party for one of their other friends. The task kept Braden distracted. Everyone was in on it, including the birthday boy. After Dan finished his beer, he started a conversation with their friends that they had rehearsed, that ended with him saying, “We had our first date here five years ago and I couldn’t think of a better place to ask you, ‘Braden, will you marry me?’” He asked on one knee and Braden was completely surprised.
Braden and Dan chose their winery venue because it was centrally located to their family and friends, and also met their budget and facility needs. They particularly loved its romantic charm.
The venue’s availability helped determine their wedding date, and the grooms had two years to plan. One of their best friends, Jen, helped them create the perfect day. Braden said that it helped that he and Jen are OCD and detail-oriented! The long lead time meant that they never felt stressed or rushed.
The wedding details were meaningful to Braden and Dan. The centerpiece of each table was a single white orchid stem in a chalkboard painted wine bottle. White orchids were Braden’s grandmother’s favorite flower. Even though she passed away in 2003, it was like she was there in spirit. The two were very close and it was important to have that symbol of her there.
We asked Dan and Braden to share their advice for other same-sex couples. They responded, “Since we live in the Silicon Valley, all of the vendors were super friendly and supportive of a same-sex wedding. This made a huge difference. Unfortunately, I know this is not the case everywhere in the U.S. so I would say to pick vendors that are 100 percent on board. If one of them isn’t, there are plenty of options and it makes the experience that much more enjoyable if they are.”