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Real Wedding

San Diego Destination Wedding: Claude & Shawn

Bob Hoffman Photography

July 17, 2014

Shawn and Claude met at a nightclub – one of those places where people say you’ll never find your soul mate. The two were naturally attracted to each other, but at first did nothing about it. After about a month with no contact, they ran into each other at the gym and promised to call each other, but still didn’t follow up. Another month passed and one Friday night Claude was bored. He was sitting in a hotel room away from home on business. He picked up the phone and called Shawn. They talked for two hours! After that conversation, they finally had their first date in Kansas City. They have never stopped loving each other since that night on the phone.

The Proposal

One cold night in Kansas City, Shawn took Claude back to the jazz club where they had their first date. Before they went into the club, Shawn had Claude wait in the freezing cold car while he explained that he never wanted to spend a day apart again. He pulled out a Tiffany box and placed the most beautiful ring on Claude’s finger, saying “I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Bob Hoffman Photography
Bob Hoffman Photography

Claude & Shawn fell in love with San Diego on a vacation in August 2013. On their last day there, the hotel told them about a gay parade. They were hesitant to attend, but put aside their skepticism and visited the parade. It changed their lives. The event included children, couples and families from all walks of life. It was all about love, and the experience convinced them that they had to marry in San Diego.

Bob Hoffman Photography
Bob Hoffman Photography
Bob Hoffman Photography
Bob Hoffman Photography
Bob Hoffman Photography
Bob Hoffman Photography
Bob Hoffman Photography
Bob Hoffman Photography
Bob Hoffman Photography

The theme of Claude and Shawn’s wedding was “Breathless.” Blue and white altar flowers marked the spot where they exchanged their vows. Everything came together magically, from the décor, flowers, linen and table settings to the family dance routine to “We Are Family.” The couple felt free to let go of some traditions to better fit their vision of their day.

Bob Hoffman Photography
Bob Hoffman Photography
Bob Hoffman Photography

Claude shared the couple’s advice to other soon-to-be-weds: “Start with the end in mind. How do you want people to feel after attending your celebration? What do you want them to remember? I am big of themes. I believe if you choose a theme first, you can start building from there…The best advice we can give you is it does not matter how many people you invite, whether is two or 100, they spent money to attend your celebration of love and you should do everything possible to make them feel special. Our job was to make sure everyone left his experience feeling Breathless. Pay attention to every detail, no matter how small. People will notice.”

Their LGBTQ-Friendly Vendors

Photographer: Bob Hoffman Photography & Video // Event Venue:  Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa //Floral Designer: Kathy Wright and Co. 

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

S. Walker is a freelance writer for GayWeddings.com.

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