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Real Wedding

San Diego Rooftop Wedding: Steven and James

Derek Chad Photography

May 6, 2016

Both Steven and James (Steve and Jimmy) attended and graduated from the United States Naval Academy, although their time never overlapped in college. After completing flight school, Steve started his first operational tour of duty in the Navy in Atsugi, Japan as an F/A-18 pilot. Immediately following graduation, Jimmy also took orders to Japan in the city of Yokosuka, working as a Surface Warfare Officer. Yokosuka and Atsugi are relatively close in proximity, and Steve and Jimmy met there in the summer of 2012.

In early 2013, both Steve and Jimmy were transferred back to the States, Steve to Ridgecrest, California, and Jimmy to Jacksonville, Florida. After doing the long-distance thing for about a year and a half, Jimmy was able to convince the Navy to allow him to take orders in Ridgecrest as well. For the first time since they started dating four years prior, Steve and Jimmy were finally able to enjoy a normal relationship.

Derek Chad Photography
There was no big proposal. Steve accepted orders to San Diego and Jimmy started the job hunt down in America’s Finest City. They both figured that there would be no better place to get hitched than San Diego. So one day, Steve simply asked Jimmy, “Should we get married in a few months?” Clearly, Jimmy said, “Yes”!
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography

Jimmy and Steve wanted a ceremony venue that was simple and intimate, yet one that also had a beautiful view. Their apartment building had a beautiful roof deck that looks out on San Diego Bay, the downtown skyscape and the airport. During the ceremony, landing jets flew right by their heads as they took their vows, making for some incredible pictures. The weather was perfect. The forecast called for a chance of rain, but it never materialized, and instead they enjoyed blue skies and a lovely breeze.

Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
The reception was held at the San Diego restaurant of one of the couples’ favorite celebrity chefs. Situated only a few blocks away from their apartment, Jimmy and Steve walked down the hill from their ceremony to the restaurant, hand-in-hand and with their families. They had a private room overlooking the main dining room, and selected a menu for their guests that included both wedding classics and adventurous offerings. The service was perfect, and the wine and good memories were definitely flowing.
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
As active/former Naval Officers, the grooms were used to taking charge of projects themselves to get them done. They went from “proposal” to married in three months, and sourced all vendors and venues on their own.
Derek Chad Photography

The wedding was incredibly small with a guest list of just 14. Steve’s cousin Lacey attended with her fiancé and officiated the wedding. They wrote their own wedding script and selected several readings from film and poetry. Each reading was delivered by one of their siblings. Steve’s sister read the poem, “Most Like an Arch this Marriage,” and everyone teared up.

Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography
The most memorable part of the wedding was using their dogs as their ring bearers. Jimmy’s mom was adamant that she provide something for the wedding, so they allowed her to purchase their ties. They chose matching ties, and without her knowledge, they bought two more bow ties in the same pattern for the dogs to which they affixed the rings. When it was time for the exchange they called their names and they pitter-pattered to them, rings in tow. It was a nice surprise that everyone seemed to like.
Derek Chad Photography
Steve and Jimmy suggest that other engaged couples make their wedding true to who they are and who they hope to be. They continued, “For us, that meant keeping it nice and small; for others, that may mean a huge affair with all the trimmings. Same-sex couples, in particular, aren’t as bound by tradition as opposite-sex couples, so do what makes you authentically happy! Who knows – that special touch you make part of your ceremony may end up inspiring others to do the same.”
Derek Chad Photography
Derek Chad Photography

Their LGBTQ-Friendly Vendors

Photographer: Derek Chad Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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