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San Diego Rooftop Pool Wedding: Brett & Danny

Derek Chad Photography

August 8, 2015

Brett and Danny met at the same venue where they would eventually marry. In 2009, a brand new upscale hotel in San Diego called welcomed JetSet, a social group that hosted exclusive parties in non-conventionally gay venues throughout Southern California. Brett and Danny were invited to attend. They discovered that they actually had many mutual friends, and were immediately interested in getting to know each other.

Danny wrote: “Shortly after meeting, we quickly discovered our shared passion for travel and adventure. In 2010 our first trip together was Thailand. It was such a great and memorable experience that set the right tone for many more adventures that followed.  Not only did we learn about great places, but we also discovered our friendship and the complements that make us a great partnership.  In our six-year relationship we’ve gotten to travel half-way around the world—we look forward to exploring the other half!” 

Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
On Christmas Day 2013, both Brett and Danny were away from their families, but happy to be together making new memories. After what seemed to be the end of unwrapping all presents, Brett pointed out a tiny little stocking on the top of the tree. In the little stocking, Danny found a riddle…one of seven little poems that would take him down memory lane and all throughout the house in a scavenger hunt. All along, Danny was sure the game would lead him to his new iPad Mini!
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography

The final riddle read: “You did it, Lovebug! You found it in our tree. It sure does look super fancy, but now you need to look at me as I get down on one knee…” Needless to say, Danny didn’t get the iPad.

Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography

Palomar Hotel San Diego (formerly ) reflected the big city, urban vibe both grooms wanted in a venue. They searched for concrete, wood and steel, finding all of them in the hotel where they first met.

Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography

The thought of planning a wedding was daunting, and some of the traditional elements seemed restrictive. Brett and Danny would hold the first gay wedding in their families and knew they wanted to make it their own. Danny made many things himself. He grew succulents for several months, which he planted in tiny planters to serve as table décor and favors. He designed, printed and hand-made the welcome fans for the ceremony. He also made the signage and the “X marks the spot” floor decal, which marked the spot where they first met. Although the grooms took on the bulk of the planning themselves, they did hire a day-of coordinator and a host of amazing vendors who helped them relax and enjoy their day.

Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography

To decorate the pool, Brett and Danny had a GOBO made which projected their logo in the middle of the event. Danny’s best friend served as the couple’s officiant and stole their logo to have a hand-made plaque of nails and wood made to commemorate their wedding. An eloquent and witty speaker, he also added the perfect blend of entertainment, sentimentality and meaning to their ceremony. Both grooms’ sisters were part of the ceremony, and both families were 100-percent present, putting aside traditional constraints and expectations.

Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography

Danny and Brett shared the following advice for other same-sex couples: “We are breaking barriers and convention as same-sex couples. Brett and I embraced this by making every effort to personalize our wedding.  I would encourage every couple to do the same—there are no “should-dos” that need to be followed—just follow your hearts and the love that you have cultivated in your own way to make this day your own. We didn’t have assigned seats, or cake, or a first dance or a flower girl. Instead, we had frozen yogurt, bubble kids and glow sticks for ALL to dance.”

Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography

Their LGBTQ-Friendly Vendors

Photographer: Derek Chad Photography // Floral Designer:  Branches a floral studio // Event Venue: Hotel Palomar // Caterer:  Pink Berry // Photo Booth Equipment: Pixster Photo Booth // Wedding Coordinator: Julie Erickson – Details in the OC //  Graphic Designer: Mark Gusmann //  Suits: Bonobos Groomshop // Shoes: Aston Grey // Rings: David Yurman // DJ: DJ GarGar – GarDouble Productions //

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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